Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, is expanding its production capacity in Ras Al Khaimah plant.
Most of the design and development work for left-hand drive vehicles needed anywhere in the world and electric buses will be sourced from the expanding plant, which currently produces 36 vehicles per day, according Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. The Indian plants mainly make right-hand drive vehicles.
Dheeraj G Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland, said the company, recently invested $1 billion to enhance its engine capacity and for the first time in 67 years, Ashok Leyland board meeting was held in Ras Al Khaimah. He said the RAK plant is the first and only original equipment manufacturing plant in the GCC for any automobile company, and that the group’s opening of the plant in 2010 was an adventurous step in the growth and expansion of Ashok Leyland.
The plant will roll out two new bus models for the region soon and will start manufacturing heavy trucks suitable to the hot humid climate of the Middle East. “We will make Ras Al Khaimah the global hub of our operations because it is easy to travel to anywhere in the world from here. We are also planning to develop and design electric buses from the plant.”
K M Mandanna, International Assembly Operations Head, said the company reported an increased turnover and profitability and the low oil prices will help create more demand. The local content in the vehicles produced here is more than 60 per cent and for the first time the company got a new tender from Emirates Transport Company. Many schools and transport companies are using the vehicles assembled at the RAK plant, he added.