Awarding electric bus contracts to Chinese companies against Govt\'s purpose, says Ashok Leyland\'s Vinod Dasari

作者:Debbie 時間:2018-04-22 14:39:04 標籤: 分類:

Ashok Leyland has lined up a series of investments for the year ahead that will be used to develop new vehicles and enhance technology. The Chennai headquartered automobile giant recently started construction of a new plant in Andhra Pradesh where it will manufacture buses and trucks. Managing Director Vinod Dasari revealed the companies plans in an interview with Moneycontrol. Read on for edited excerpts.

Q. How much capital are you investing this year?

A. We are investing around Rs 1,000 crore. There are lots of capabilities we are building across, such as BS-VI, debottlenecking of plants, electric vehicle development and development of modular vehicle.

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Q. What vehicles are scheduled to be launched by Ashok Leyland this year?

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A. This year you will see many new trucks. The highlight will be a 41 tonne truck, which will have the world’s first patented lift technology. It will be ready by the second half of the year.

Q. Can you elaborate on the electric bus order you bagged?

A. We focused only on Ahmedabad. There were other state transport undertakings (STUs), but we went only after one. We did not want to pursue every STU. These are trial orders, we would want to focus on one customer at a time.

Q. Has the model for procurement of electric buses changed?

A. We have focused on pay-per-kilometer basis, where buses will be owned by Ashok Leyland, but run by a private operator.

Q. Chinese manufacturers have won many contracts for supplying electric buses. How has this impacted you?

A. Indian manufacturers are strong enough to compete with any company in the world. One problem we face is that all the buses that STUs are buying are under the FAME scheme. That means that 65 percent of the cost of the bus is subsidised using tax payers' money. And then some other country subsidises the price of its vehicles to beat prices of an Indian manufacturer. Why is the Indian government providing subsidy under the FAME scheme? Is it to teach Indian manufacturers how to do it? If somebody comes and dislocates the process then it does not serve the purpose. What will the government of India learn from it if let’s say, every contract is won by a Chinese company?

Q. How much growth are you expecting this year?

A. We are expecting at least double digit growth this year in revenues.

Q. In defence business you clocked Rs 800 crore last year. Your vision is to achieve Rs 5000 crore cumulatively over the next 5 years. Which segments will you target?

A. We will focus only on mobility. Al types of mobility, not just troops movement, but movement of equipment like guns, radar and ammunition.

Q. Will you look at tie-ups if need be for your defence business?

A. Yes, we will. But the technology needs to be indigenised. The LSV vehicle we have today is actually a licensed vehicle from Lockheed Martin, but 98 percent of it has been indigenized. It's based on our engine and our gearbox and is currently under trial.


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