Ashok Leyland plans Rs 2,000 cr capex over two years

Chennai: Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland Ltd has lined up a capex plan of Rs 2,000 crore spread over two years for rolling out BS VI emission norm compliant vehicles, as well as new and modular vehicles, a top company official said on Friday.

Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja also told reporters here that the company is not looking to collaborate with any car manufacturers and that there have been no talks with the US electric car maker Tesla.

“This year the capex planned is Rs 1,000 crore and next fiscal another Rs 1,000 crore will be invested for rolling out a new light commercial vehicle, modular vehicle and also for making vehicles that are BS VI emission norm compliant,” he said.

Queried whether Ashok Leyland is in talks with the US-based electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla, Hinduja said: “We are not looking for collaboration with any car manufacturers.”

He said the electric vehicle space is a new and fast developing one and the company is open to have discussions with people who are in this space.

Company Director and Chief Financial Officer Gopal Mahadevan also said the company did not have any discussions with Tesla.

According to Mahadevan, the company is planning to fill up the gaps in its product portfolio under its Project Phoenix.

Currently, he said, the company’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) Dost addresses the 2.5-3 ton capacity segment, while under Project Phoenix the vehicle range will be 5-7.5 ton capacity.

According to Hinduja, the LCV business – domestic and exports- are important for Ashok Leyland as the segment has a big market in most countries, while the company was restricted in this regard due to the right hand drive feature of the Dost LCV model.

“When the launch of new model happens in March-April 2020, we can look at various markets. Two years down the line, the LCV will be a major contributor in the international market,” he said.

According to Hinduja, a strong new Central government is good for investors.

“Next two quarters should be strong. This will be a good year for us. The objective is to log double digit growth,” Hinduja said.

Queried about the defence business, Hinduja said the company was the L1 bidder in 12-13 defence tenders.

“We expect defence orders with the new government coming into place,” Hinduja said.

The company had reported a revenue of Rs 29,055 crore for the last fiscal, as against Rs 26,356 crore logged the previous year.

The company registered and a net profit of Rs 1,983 crore last fiscal, up from Rs 1,745 crore logged the previous year.

The company board has recommended a 310 per cent dividend for the last fiscal, that is, of Rs 3.10 per share.


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