The light commercial vehicle (LCV) joint venture of Ashok Leyland and Nissan has expanded its offerings with the launch of two new feature-packed vehicles. The new products are hitting segments that have not seen roll out of modern vehicles for over two decades. The new launches, one each in goods and passenger categories, are expected to take on vehicles of Tata Motors and Eicher in their respective segments.
The company, on Thursday, launched Partner, a truck with 6.6 tonne GVW (gross vehicle weight) and MiTR, a 27-seater bus. Both the products, developed based on F24 LCV platform that is being used by three global brands, including Nissan, will be powered by a ZD30 common rail diesel engine. Partner will target application areas such as retail, freight forwarding, refrigerated transportation, among others, while MiTR will target both staff transportation and school bus segments.
“The primary focus on these products is driver comfort and driving ergonomics like we did in Dost. The products have been completely retuned for the Indian market with about 97 per cent localisation,” said V Sumantran, Vice-Chairman, Ashok Leyland.
Both Partner and MiTR are priced 7-8 per cent higher than competition, but the LCVs promise 8-12 per cent higher fuel efficiency.
Power steering is the standard option in both the vehicles. Partner will come in two wheel base options with an optional AC system and the price range will be from Rs.8.89 lakh to Rs.9.49 lakh depending on the wheel base, AC or non-AC options. MiTR is priced at Rs.12.49 lakh.
“Since 1985, these two categories have not seen roll out of any modern vehicles,” said Nitin Seth, Executive Director (LCV)-Marketing, Ashok Leyland.
Tata Motors and Eicher are presently dominating the categories. The annual market size for Partner and MiTR segments are estimated at 30,000 units and 35,000 units, respectively.
Market launch of the products will be on a phased manner starting with southern region.