Leyland’s new ‘Boss’ medium truck offers car comforts

17 Oct 2013


Ashok Leyland's Boss range of intermediate commercial vehicles (ICVs) – capable of hauling nine to 13-tonne loads - is set to hit the market soon.

Leyland's new 'Boss' medium truckUnveiling the truck in Chennai on Wednesday, Ashok Leyland managing director Vinod K Dasari referred to the 'Boss' as a truck-car that would provide the transport capacity of a truck and the convenience of a car.

Dasari said the company has an 11-per cent market share in the LCV segment. This is lower than the 30-per cent share it commands in the medium and heavy commercial vehicles – trucks with a capacity to haul more than 16 tonnes.

The Boss will complement Leyland's current offering, the Ecomet, and expand its market share in the south and west of India, Dasari, said.

The Boss range is available in two variants - LE and LX. The LE variant is powered by a 120 hp engine with in-line fuel injection and 6 speed gear box. The LX variant has a 130 hp common rail engine.

The Boss is priced between around Rs10 and Rs12 lakh. Both the variants start upward of Rs10 lakh. The basic LE variant with trailer tonnage of 10 tonne with variants in the 9.6 tonne, 12 tonne and 13 tonne range will come with three years' warranty and two years' additional warranty on the drive train.

On Leyland's current market position, Dasari said that the heavy and medium vehicles segment has been stagnating amid the general Indian economic downturn.

The Ecomet over the last five years has helped the company double its market share in the segment. The domestic market for LCVs is estimated to have doubled to about 57,000 vehicles a year.

The Boss overlaps with Ecomet in terms of pricing. The Ecomet fell short ''in some features'' compared with the competition, Dasari admitted. But it has a wider range of models and has a strong market share in the north, going up to even 90 per cent in the hilly tracts.

The Boss will fill the gap in the South and West where it is being rolled out in stages. Initial indications based on sales in Madurai, in south Tamil Nadu, where it was first unveiled last month, show that it has helped the company double its sales in this segment.

The Boss is an adaptation of the European Avia with an updated chassis and a cabin that offers the driver the comfort of a car, with automated manual transmission and factory-fitted air conditioning. It also claims the highest mileage in its class.

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