Ashok Leyland sees export growth rebounding by year-end, but geopolitics a wild card
The CV maker is currently in discussion with governments in a few African countries, hoping to capture long term opportunities.
Ashok Leyland, which witnessed a marginal reduction in its exports during Q1 FY24, expects the growth to bounce back by the end of the year on the back of several initiatives the company is taking in the SAARC, Middle East, and African markets. Significantly, a lot will also depend on how the geopolitical situation pans out, the company's top management said on Friday.
As per Shenu Agarwal, MD and CEO, Ashok Leyland, his company is currently in discussion with governments in a few African countries, hoping to capture long-term opportunities by investing in CV manufacturing for the region. Notably, the African market, he said, is similar to India, with significant demand for used vehicles. "We want to convert that market into very new vehicles with very current technology that will address their requirements," Agarwal noted.
Secondly, focusing on the Middle Eastern countries, the top executive revealed that the market there has been able to hold on, with Ashok Leyland, in part, being able to grow with its share of business.
Commenting on the SAARC region, which is another important market for Ashok Leyland, Agarwal emphasised that though countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are facing their own challenges, they are not in a situation for the company to get too concerned about it.
Agarwal pointed out that the situation with regard to exports should be seen in the context of last year, when Ashok Leyland grew by about 3%, becoming the only CV manufacturer in India to do so. In contrast, the rest of the industry had declined by 30–40% during the same period. "So, we continue to perform better, and as the year moves on, the teams have a target to exceed the volumes of the previous year as well", he further added.
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