Captain_BQ Talking about the new Captain Series, What is the different from your other vehicles in heavy CV segment?

This is the first time you are seeing this cab. It was never shown before. This is completely new face of Ashok Leyland. This cab took us five years to develop, including designing in Italy, engineering of some parts in UK and Rs 600 crore of investment. What you see here is completely unique. There of course would be a few parts that are similar, which we would have learnt from previous projects. But this cab has not been used ever before. This has been designed specifically for Indian road and fuel conditions. For example, nowhere in the world will you see a plastic fuel tank covered in metal because you don’t want anybody to hit it. The driver’s seat is 40mm towards the window, because our guys like to keep their elbows on the windows. These are the small things that we have done for the Indian conditions. The frame has been designed keeping in mind the gross overloading situations in India

Q So this is a totally new platform all together? Will the Captain Series platform be used for other forthcoming products?
Of course, This platform will have about 18 products in the coming year based on it.

Q And what about the engine?
This vehicle is versatile and flexible and can take any kind of engine. In some parts of the world, people only prefer Cummins engine. There we will use that engine. It can take from 150 hp to 350 hp.

Q What are your expectations from this product sales number wise in India and abroad, especially in today’s poor market condition?
I can’t really put a number to it. The entire platform is nearly 300,000 vehicles a year and we have about 25 percent of it, that too in a very good year. So it is difficult to say how much exactly the captain will sell. But we need a product like captain which goes beyond current customer expectations and understands their future. We had nearly 300 drivers come and get in-and-out just to see if the vehicle will perform.
I hope this product does better than our existing product. We have other product in this category and we hope this will help us improve the market share that we have.

Q This is the election year. Post it, do you expect the policy paralysis to go away and the market to improve?
It depends on which government comes. Who Knows? We had thought this government which is there will be a very good.

Q How many dealerships do you have? Would you be adding more dealerships?
We will continue to add more dealerships. It is not a question of saying I must have so many dealerships. We map out whether a particular region needs a dealership depending on whether we are doing good or more works needs to be done there and we do that. In some cases where there is no dealer willing to take up a dealership, we put up our own dealership.

Q Is there any plans optimize your manufacturing operations?
Our only plan right now is to fill the existing plants up. We are using less than 50 percent of the installed capacity right now (END)


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