Dubai: Commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland on Friday announced expansion of its Ras Al Khaimah plant in the UAE with a fresh investment of $10 million where it plans to double bus production capacity and also introduce new product lines.
The Hinduja Group company said it will make its Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) plant a centre of excellence for its overseas expansion and the establishment of the new design and service training centre is a move in this direction.
The foundation stone for the capacity expansion and the Design and Service Training Centre at the plant was laid by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and Member of the UAE Supreme Council.
Commenting on the development, Ashok Leyland managing director Vinod K Dasari said: “This plant is key for the supply of buses to address the needs of GCC countries, and with Ashok Leyland’s ambitious plans for Africa, we foresee further expansion of the facility.”
He said Ashok Leyland is making a fresh investment of $10 million in the RAK plant to expand production of current models and introduce new models into the regional market, which will include midi buses and trucks.
The current output of RAK plant is 12 buses a day and with the new investments it will increase to 20 buses – apart from the production of trucks from the factory.
Inaugurated in December 2010 the plant will more than triple its annual installed capacity to 6,000 units a year, the company said.
Mr Dasari said Ashok Leyland has successfully created a vendor hub in Ras Al-Khaimah and the nearby Emirates to increase localisation levels.
“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 per cent owing to our robust design and enhanced safety features,” he added.
The RAK stone-laying ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, as also Hinduja Group’s top executives including G P Hinduja and Dheeraj Hinduja.
The RAK manufacturing factory in Ras Al Khaimah is a joint venture between Ashok Leyland, a $2.2-billion company with presence in over 50 countries, and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA).