Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland is ready with its electric vehicle strategy even as it prepares to shift its entire model line to conform to BS-VI emission norms from April 1, 2020, chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja said.
In a message to shareholders in the company's Annual Report for 2018-19, Hinduja said the firm is also in the process of launching new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) starting April next year. "Our electric vehicle strategy and roll out plan is in shape. A competent team has been put in place to pursue this thrust area vigorously," Hinduja said.
Last year, the Hinduja group flagship firm had bagged its first major electric bus order for supply of 50 buses to the Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit System.
On the company's preparedness to upgrade its model lineup to BS-VI emission norm standards, he added, "Our state of readiness is next to none in emission conformance and fuel performance."
Hinduja said the company also plans to roll out a modular vehicle programme from April next year in order to meet customer needs in a cost efficient way. "Building on the success of the current LCV range, a suite of new products in a new platform is being readied for launch from April 2020," he added.
Hinduja said the company is also taking steps to stay relevant in an industry witnessing various disruptions in terms of products, technology among others. "We intend to take our success in the Indian market to new international frontiers with a wide array of products in trucks and buses," he noted.
On business outlook, Hinduja said a stable government assuming office augurs well for the Indian business and industry. "In the short to medium term, we anticipate continuance of investments in infrastructure, revival in spending of defence mobility spending, and much needed relief to the liquidity challenges of NBFCs (Non-Banking Finance Companies)," he added.
While the company expects a pre-buy surge towards the second half of this year on account of the introduction of BS-VI norms from next year, it is important that the government and the industry bodies consultatively provide a long term direction or policy guideline to the auto sector that include policy pronouncements such as vehicle scrappage, cab code or bus body code, Hinduja said.
"This would provide the impetus to the Indian commercial vehicle sector to transit to the global premier league and also help optimise resources," he added.