Ashok Leyland, the world’s fourth-largest bus maker, has won a big-ticket order from major fleets for a total of 1,400 school buses in the UAE. This constitutes the Chennai-based commercial vehicle manufacturer’s largest ever supply order for school buses to the UAE.
According to a PTI report, the supply order for the GCC-produced buses is valued at AED 276 million (Rs 600 crore / US$ 75.15 million) and has been bagged by Ashok Leyland’s UAE distribution partner, Swaidan Trading - Al Naboodah Group. Most of the buses will be supplied to Emirates Transport and the STS Group.
The 55-seater Falcon and 32-seater Oyster buses will be supplied from Ashok Leyland’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, which is the only certified local bus making facility in the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
The Ras Al Khaimah plant is a joint venture between Ashok Leyland and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), UAE, and has an installed capacity of 4,000 buses a year. Since commencing operations in 2009, Ashok Leyland has thus far rolled out 25,500 buses from the plant, which also exports buses to African countries.
Made in UAE, for the GCC market
Dheeraj Hinduja, executive chairman, Ashok Leyland said this is a historic moment for Ashok Leyland in UAE. “This is a testament to the reliability, durability, and robustness of our buses and reaffirms the faith that our customers have on our buses being the safest for transporting school students. These products are made in the UAE assembly plant. The product concepts originate in the UAE, the designs are done by our engineers in UAE and are assembled in the factory in UAE, with more than 55 percent of parts sourced in UAE. It will be apt to call it “The Emirati Bus’— Made in UAE, for the GCC,” said Hinduja.
Amandeep Singh, Head- of International Operations said Ashok Leyland is one of the fastest growing brands in the Middle East with a growing market presence in UAE. Our lowest total cost of ownership and strong aftersales support differentiates us and has helped us win these orders. We are excited about the growth we are seeing in the UAE economy and the opportunity it provides. We have aggressive plans to further enhance our portfolio in the light commercial vehicle space.”
In March 2021, Ashok Leyland had launched the passenger-carrying Falcon Super and Gazl in Oman. These buses roll out of the company's Ras Al Khaimah plant.