Ashok Leyland’s much-awaited product in the intermediate commercial vehicles (ICV) category — the Boss — was launched commercially here on Thursday.

The vehicle promises to combine the strength and ruggedness of a truck with the comfort of a car. Manufactured at the company’s Pantnagar plant in Uttarakhand, it boasts of features like an air-conditioned driver’s cabin, height-adjustable seat, tiltable telescopic steering, automated manual trans mission, mobile phone charger, music system, magazine pouch, cup and bottle holders and LED lights. Ashok Leyland’s Managing Director Vinod K. Dasari unveiled the vehicle along with R. Dinesh, Joint Managing Director, TV Sundram Iyengar and Sons, one of the major dealers of Ashok Leyland vehicles.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Dasari said that the company was proud of having built a world-class vehicle in the ICV category in India and exporting it to Europe and the U.S. Already, around 1,000 vehicles had been shipped to the U.S.

While the cabin, chassis and suspension remain the same for domestic as well as overseas markets, it would be sold as an electric vehicle in the U.S. and with a Cummins engine in Europe. Everywhere else, including Dubai, it would be sold with Ashok Leyland’s BS-III compliant engine with an in-line fuel injection pump.

Priced between Rs. 10.41 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh in the country, the Boss comes with offers such as a five-year replacement guarantee on rear LED lights and three-year anti-perforation warranty for the cabin apart from a two-year full vehicle warranty that could be extended further.

Asked why the company was launching new products when the market was not doing well, Mr. Dasari said: “In a bad market, my customer is struggling very much. So, this is the best time to give him products which are state-of-the-art and best-in-class. Only then, he will make some money and give us more revenue.”

Stating that the company had been launching a new product almost every month, he said that the Jan Bus, a single step entry, front engine and fully flat floor bus, would be launched commercially in another 45 days from now. It would be followed by the N-truck.

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