Ashok Leyland - Nissan joint venture to launch three new vehicles in three years

The Ashok Leyland-Nissan LCV joint venture is progressing on schedule with the roll-out of the first wave of products to start next year.

''We plan to launch three new vehicles in three years in the Indian market. This is an ambitious plan that will allow Ashok Leyland to expand their business at home and in other markets. It will also mark the entry of Nissan in the India's LCV sector, a market with an enormous potential for growth,'' Nissan Motor senior vice-president and Ashok Leyland-Nissan Vehicles chairman Andy Palmer told reporters in Chennai yesterday.

The production of the vehicles will be taken up using some of the existing assets of the two partners and the production of the first vehicle bearing the Ashok Leyland badge is set to start at the Hosur plant of the Hinduja flagship in the summer of 2011. The second vehicle a Nissan, would roll-out of from the facility in Ora-gadam in the second half of the same year he added.

The third vehicle would be produced in the Hosur plant, again for sales by Ashok Leyland in 2013, he added.

In 2008, the two joint venture partners signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu government, committing an investment of Rs4,150 crore into their projects.

When queried about the small car, Palmer said Nissan was still at the concept development stage with customer needs being assessed.

He added that owing to the Ashok Leyland relationship, the company is exploring other avenues for the extension of the production partnership.

He added that the pact with Bajaj would continue for products that do not compete with Ashok Leyland.