Hinduja group flagship company Ashok Leyland is set to open on Friday its largest manufacturing facility at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand that would roll out 75,000 vehicles at full capacity utilisation.

The Rs. 1,500-crore plant boasts latest generation equipment and has been so designed as to accommodate further expansion in terms of capacity and future models.

“With the opening of the new plant, Ashok Leyland's centre of gravity will change from South to North India. We will further consolidate our North India base when we will transform Alwar bus body making unit into an integrated bus manufacturing plant in the next 3-4 years,” said Ashok Leyland Managing Director R. Seshasayee in a statement.

The 190-acre facility would initially roll out its latest U-Truck, and produce various medium and heavy duty vehicles in the later stages.

Duty sops

Apart from tax benefits being given by the Uttarakhand Government and increase in procurement and utilisation of local resources that would translate into excise duty exemptions and VAT rebates, each product being rolled out from the plant would be cheaper by Rs. 30,000-50,000, he added.

Future plans

About the company's future plans, Mr. Seshasayee stated that it would invest Rs. 3,000 crore in the next three years on various projects, including their light commercial vehicle joint venture with Japanese automaker Nissan.

“We had cut back our investment due to the market conditions. Now, we are activating the investment again as the market has come back. We will invest Rs. 3,000 crore in the next three years for various activities. Investments will include Ashok Leyland's share in the light commercial vehicle joint venture with Nissan, the construction equipment business joint venture with U.S.-based John Deere and overseas bus facility at Ras-Al-Khaimah (UAE),” he added.

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