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