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The unexpected exit AL secures orders for 3600 buses Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL L & T’s floating dock for navy Mercedes-Benz sales continue to zoom When small is not so beautiful… Dish TV – subscriber additions encouraging From the toughest to the best year Daimler grows sales and share in India TVS Srichakra plans capacity expansion New India Assurance posts impressive show Back in growth mode Chinese smart phones flourish in small towns too! TN government keen on revival of operations at Nokia complex He excels in the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship AL introduces Guru & Partner Vellayan is back, after 150 days Carnival Films acquiring 3000 screens pan India Increasing market share Gamesa to set up a plant in Nellore PSU non-life firms seek to protect share Rane targets Rs.5500 crore topline by 2018-19 Eyes strong growth in 2016-17 Are they really independent? Record two-wheeler sales PPP model for infrastructure development L & T set bigger ambitions in defence business Solar installations exceed 2015 capacity in five months Housing demand revival Is this a generation gap? Land wars Aurobindo Pharmacy: good turnaround M & M unveils driverless technology for tractors Emami – a new growth mantra Last stages The gainers and the losers Tata Motors bets on new launches Forging industry worried over lower supply of steel and its price It takes two to tango A welcome initiative-even critics are recognised Titan Company – sales recovery to kick in Smooth sailing of SAIL Kone India eyes further growth in elevator market Sundram Fasteners rejigs international TI Cycles plans retail expansion to drive sales for premium bicycles Preparing for the next growth curve ITC – steep excise hike V-Guard launches app-enabled water heater system Michelin to double Chennai capacity Consolidating leadership position in smartphones Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp sign MoU to merge European units Ponni Sugars (Erode) Ltd: not so sweet 2012-13 AL wins Deming prize again Bajaj Finserv – Q1: fare well Tata Motors joins compact SUV bandwagon with Nexon E.I.D Parry (India) Ltd: another sweet year TVS Automobile invests Rs.75 crore in start-up firms Sivasankaran enters taxi space to take on Uber and Ola Daimler’s truck exports from Chennai cross 5000 units A niche in FMCG business... L&T bags the Mumbai Trans-harbour link order Yamaha unveils scooter boutique Welcome focus to improve rural India... Tata Motors charts investments in PV and CV businesses Hyundai India achieves 7 mn production at Chennai factory HPCL plans Rs.61,000 crore capex over 5-years RoC in the dock... Wabco launches safety system Right to privacy – now it’s fundamental! Maruti – for young buyers LVB posts 31 per cent growth in Q1 net profit IOB on turnaround path Tata gets 4-star rating for Zest Shriram Life clocks more than Rs.1000 crore premium in 2015-16 Hyundai to focus on SUVs and AMT variants CAPITAL NOTES 29 per cent jump in TCS revenues ITC chairman calls for policy impetus to transform agriculture Ode to Ratan Tata L&T profit up by 11 per cent Tata Motors aims to be among the Top 3 global CV & PV firm Toyota and Suzuki to introduce EVs in India by 2020 Hindalco – re-rating Singur minus Nano – victory or folly? Smartphone onslaught by Chinese brands
 
Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL

Ashok Leyland  Ltd (ALL) has opted to terminate its partnership agreement with the Japanese Nissan Motor Company. A part of the Hinduja Group, ALL has opted to buy all the shares of Nissan in the three joint venture companies that were set up in 2008- Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Pvt Ltd, for the manufacture of vehicles, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Pvt Ltd for the manufacture of power trains and Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies Pvt Ltd for technology.

Ashok Leyland was set up in a 1955 collaboration with British Leyland, with the latter having the majority stake. Over the initial two decades, ALL focused on medium and heavy commercial vehicles with progressive indigenisation. The Hindujas acquired the British interest and took charge in 1987. At the time of acquisition, they also inducted Iveco, Italy, as a partner with a 10 per cent stake. This was a major attempt to induct state-of-the-art techno-logy. The Hindujas announced that they would endeavour to produce commercial vehicles capable of being exported to G8 countries. Till then ALL’s focus was on indigenous technology appropriate for India and other developing countries.

The collaboration with Iveco did not last long. Unlike competitor Tata Motors, in-house R&D was also weak until the end of the 1990s. But, in the new millennium, a strong focus was made on R&D. A handsome step up of R&D spend was made and scientists and engineers in hundreds were assembled. Then MD, R Seshasayee, Dr V Sumantran (ex-General Motors and R&D leader who was also instrumental in Tata Motors, engineering its passenger cars) and Vinod Dasari, embarked on catching up with technology. Apart from the three joint ventures with Nissan, ALL made extensive forays into technology, acquisitions/partnerships in Europe. These included KMW, German manufacturer of defence equipment, Avia Ashok Leyland Motors (AALM), Prague, Alteams Group, Finland, Optare Plc, Continental AG, Albonair GmbH, Defiance Technologies...

With the boom in the economy from 2004 the Hindujas expanded these collaborations which included a joint venture with the American construction equipment giant, John Deere.

But the slowdown of the economy post 2008-09 severely impacted the company’s growth plans. The John Deere collaboration was terminated and the more recent one relates to the Ashok Leyland-Nissan JVs. In recent months the commercial vehicle sector has been recording handsome growth. With the recent plans of the Central government to phase out old vehicles aged 10 years and more, the market looks promising. However, with the entry of other large players like Daimler, competition is bound to intensify.

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