Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Ashok Leyland to invest $10 million to expand plant in United Arab Emirates

The investment will lead to a near doubling of bus production capacity and see the introduction of new product lines

Chennai: Ashok Leyland Ltd on Friday announced an expansion of its unit in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an investment of $10 million.

The investment will lead to a near doubling of its bus production capacity and also see the introduction of new product lines.

The domestic commercial vehicle major said that RAK will serve as a centre of excellence for its overseas expansion plans and the establishment of a new design and service training centre is a move in this direction.

“This plant is key for the supply of buses to address the needs of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and with Ashok Leyland’s ambitious plans for Africa, we foresee further expansion of the facility," said Vinod K. Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland.

The RAK unit, a joint venture between Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) and Ashok Leyland, was inaugurated in 2010. The unit, which currently produces 12 buses a day, will step it up to 20 buses, apart from producing trucks. The firm also aims to more than triple its annual installed capacity to 6,000 units a year.

The commercial vehicle manufacturer is also targeting an increase in the levels of localization.

“We will be foraying into the value-premium segment of the automotive market of UAE and the GCC region this year as part of enhancing our product portfolio. This would be in addition to our predominant presence in the school bus segment of the UAE, with a market share of over 70% owing to our robust design and enhanced safety features," Dasari added.