Ashok Leyland, the flagship of the Hinduja Group on Thursday launched a premium fully-built bus aimed at the staffing and tourism markets.
The domestic bus market is around 40,000 units a year of which the staff bus category accounts for 10 percent.
With its new offering Oyster which is what they call an AC ‘midi bus’, the Chennai-based commercial vehicle manufacturer is looking to enlarge its pie in the overall bus segment, chief operating officer Anuj Kathuria said.
Designed and built in-house at its Alwar facility, the 41- seater bus comes on a BS-IV-compliant engine. “With Oyster, which is already a huge success in the
international market, we intend to further our leadership positioning,” Kathuria said. The company, however, did not disclose the price.
Sanjay Saraswat, head of medium and heavy commercial vehicles business said, “increasingly commuters are spending more time on commuting and there is a need for comfortable and safe transport solutions. We hope to address this with the Oyster.”
Recently, Ashok Leyland was also looking at partnerships in electric vehicles segment in future in a bid to cut huge costs involved in developing new technologies in this space, a top company official said. In the traditional internal combustion engine segment, the Hinduja group flagship firm, however, would like to go on in its own, having built a strong portfolio of engines over the years.
“We have our own team working on electric vehicles (EVs) but the segment is a new area and there are many changes happening over there. If we see possible opportunity whether it is on batteries or different aspects of EV programme, I think we will keep our mind open,” Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja told PTI.
One of the foremost reasons for keeping the option open for collaboration in the EV segment is to keep development costs under control, he added.
Last year, the company had bagged its first major electric bus order for the supply of 50 buses to the Ahemdabad Bus Rapid Transit System.
(With inputs from PTI )