With the global economy coming out of the recession, and India showing strong growth, the Ashok Leyland-Nissan JV is fast-tracking plans for the light commercial vehicle (LCV) space, with an eye on changing product profiles. Dr Andrew Palmer, who heads Nissan’s LCV business, says: “Most markets evolve in reasonably similar manner. If you look at a market like Central Europe, for example, the use of LCVs has changed dramatically over the years from a truck or a van. Our NV200 is a good example, or the Kangoo or Caddy where it’s difficult to say whether it’s a passenger car or a three-row MPV. Over a period of time India will evolve in a same direction.”
Prior to that, India will see a slew of light trucks from Ashok Leyland-Nissan around June 2011.The JV plans to launch three models in the five to 7.5- tonne range during the first three years with an average sales target of 50,000 units annually. There’s no formal division of volumes between the partners for the 150,000 units planned.
The flagship offering will be the F24 platform that will feature trucks and buses in the five to 7.5-tonne GVW range. These vehicles will be powered by a 3-litre, 4-cylinder common-rail diesel engine which will be BS III and BS IV compliant. An estimated one-fifth will be exported. The first truck will be followed by one from Nissan’s Oragadam facility during the second half of 2011, and a third from Ashok Leyland’s Hosur plant in 2013. n