India’s heavy vehicles manufacturer, Ashok Leyland has started production at new plant in Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
The plant is located at Vijaywada and is focused on production of busses. The plant has the capacity to produce 4,800 busses in a year and will make the entire range of busses under the Ashok Leyland brand. The same facility will include an electric vehicle development centre for the production of EVs. The location of the plant is strategic to meet demand from central, eastern and south Indian markets.
Demand and output for bus segments continues to lag in India while passenger cars, farm segment and two-wheelers have significantly improved since Q3.
The company reported a drop of 69pc in bus sales in January with 820 units sold compared to 2,680 units in the prior year. From April 2020 to January 2021, the company has reported a drop of 82pc in bus sales to just 3,662 units from 19,950 units in the prior year.
Lockdown has hurt demand as bus commute was restricted for school and office goers. The situation could change soon with some schools and offices opening.
Ashok Leyland has previously commented that they want to stay ahead of the curve by ensuring that they meet rising demand for commercial vehicles not only for busses, but also for trucks.