Kolkata: The joint venture of Ashok Leyland and Nissan for manufacturing light commercial vehicles (LCVs) would become operational during the current financial year, executive vice-chairman of Hinduja Group India (HGI), Subir Raha, said.
“We are hopeful to operationalize the agreement this year,” he said.
Raha said the exact nature of the JV would be finalised first, following which the new company would scout for land for setting up a new plant to manufacture LCVs.
He told reporters last night this was the first time the Hindujas were entering the LCV space.
Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of HGI, is already in the heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) and bus segments.
Asked whether talks were on with various states for selection of site for the new plant, Raha said “we have sounded out several states. We will go for the best deal.”
Raha said that it was the policy decision of the Hindujas not to enter the passenger car segment as a new line of activity.
The Nissan tie-up would not only produce LCVs, but also provide technology transfer, he said.
Ashok Leyland, which has its manufacturing plant in Chennai, was also putting up a new plant at Uttarakhand.
Raha said that the company was manufacturing one lakh HCVs a year and was running full capacity.
Asked whether Ashok Leyland was looking at further acquisitions, Raha said that the company was looking at targets for getting access to technology and design.
“Our prime aim is to manufacture vehicles which will conform to Euro IV and Euro V emission standards,” he said.
Ashok Leyland was exporting vehicles to the countries in the Middle East.
Talking about Hindujas’ operations in India, Raha said that the group was in the process of re-structuring.
HGI, whose chairman is Ashok Hinduja, was being developed into a corporate centre which would centralise activities for treasury management and HR.
Raha said the policy of the Hindujas was that their shareholding in the various companies in India would not go down below 51%.