Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland is pinning hopes on exports and non-truck segment to sustain business as it struggles to overcome slump in the commercial vehicles category.
“Outside India we are growing very well. Exports to west Asia and Bangladesh continue to perform very well. Sri Lanka in the first quarter... you saw last year it did very badly but now you can see there are very large orders from the Sri Lankan government,” Ashok Leyland MD Vinod K Dasari said after the company's 65th AGM in Chennai.
“We are working on a few other things also. We want the exports and non-truck business to grow very fast. That will sustain the business and on top of it, we have done enough to reduce our cost, reduce our break-even so that even if our truck business does not come back very quickly, we should not be in trouble,” he said. The company is focusing on other non-truck business that is growing fast. “The five other businesses—buses, light commercial vehicle, power solutions, spare parts and defence—all are growing very fast,” he added. Asked if the heavy commercial vehicle segment had seen some recovery in the last couple of months, he said, “Well, compared to the previous year, it has done slightly better, partly because we corrected the inventories in our southern dealers that made an improvement.” “But if you look at overall inventory on a sequential basis, it is still early signs to say that it is coming back (market). The decline has slowed down. So I am hoping that it is going to stop and I believe that in next 4-5 months, things should come back,” he said.