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Ashok Leyland Nissan to roll out LCVs in mid-2011

Chennai, June 1 (IANS) The Hinduja Group’s Ashok Leyland and Japanese Nissan Motor Company Tuesday said their joint venture will roll out light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in mid-2011.

The joint venture company, Ashok Leyland Nissan, is a 51:49 partnership between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor.

The company will make two models at Ashok Leyland’s plant at Hosur in Tamil Nadu and one model at Nissan Motor’s facility at Oragadam near here.

‘The three models will cater to different segments of the market- trucks, passenger carriers. The vehicles will be in the 5-7.5 tonne gross vehicle weight (GVW) range,’ executive chairman of Hinduja Automotive V. Sumantran told reporters here.

As Ashok Leyland Nissan was not able to get 380 acres at Sriperumbudur near here to set up a new plant, the two promoters decided to leverage their existing production facilities to hit the growing 350,000 units per annum LCV market at the earliest.

‘The joint venture is moving forward at full throttle now although we had been forced to slow down a bit during the recessionary phase last year,’ Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor and Chairman of Ashok Leyland Nissan Andy Palmer said.

Ashok Leyland Nissan is expected to touch a total output of 150,000 units by the year 2013.

‘The production split between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor will be in 60:40 ratio,’ Sumantran told IANS.

He said the engines and gear boxes will also be made at the respective plants where the LCVs are to be rolled out.

The BS (Bharat Stage) III and IV compliant 3 litre, 4 cylinder common rail diesel engines and gear boxes will be made by Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd, a 51:49 joint venture between Nissan Motor and Ashok Leyland.

Sumantran said the decision on the new plant will be taken at the end of Phase I by which time the land issue is expected to be resolved.

About the research and development joint venture between the two companies, Sumantran said: ‘The company has around 250 engineers and had provided the required support for the LCV project.’

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