Ashok Leyland Hopes Pre-Buying Due To New Emission Norms Isn’t Exponential
The Chennai-based automaker launches two new trucks in the light and medium vehicles space
With Bharat Stage-IV emission norms set to kick in from April 1, 2017 for commercial vehicles in the country, one can expect some pre-buying in the January-March quarter, as vehicle prices rise in the next financial year. But Chennai-based truck and bus manufacturer Ashok Leyland Ltd. doesn’t want to get its hopes up, according to the company’s president of the trucks division, Anuj Kathuria.
Kathuria said that pre-buying could result in a lull in sales if a lot of fleet operators were to meet their requirements for new vehicles with the Bharat Stage-III variants. He did add though, that the impact of demonetisation now seemed to be waning, and the company expects to clock better year-on-year numbers during the final quarter of the ongoing financial year.
Ashok Leyland is due to detail its earnings for the October-December quarter on Wednesday, and hence Kathuria did not answer questions on the financials related to the quarter. Speaking about the financial year as a whole, he said the company is expected to at least match the performance of the preceding fiscal, even as it hopes to marginally improve on the same.
The automaker launched a light commercial vehicle Partner and an intermediate commercial vehicle Guru on January 18, categories that Ashok Leyland is not very big in. Ashok Leyland has sold a total of 19,858 goods carriers in the LCV segment, in the first nine months of this financial year, when the industry together saw sales of 2,39,143 units, according to data provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Kathuria expects Guru to take the company’s market share in the intermediate commercial vehicle segment to 30 percent from 20 percent currently.
Guru and Partner, both, have been launched with options of Bharat Stage-III and Bharat Stage-IV variants, with the former being only for despatches up to March.
The company is holding to its target of doubling its revenue from exports by 2020, and Kathuria said Ashok Leyland hoped to sell one vehicle overseas for every two sold in India by then. Among the new models, the company plans to export the LCV, Partner, he said.