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India’s Ashok Leyland plans $25m UAE expansion

Commercial vehicle manufacturer to build new service training centre

PHOTO: Ashok Leyland executives at a press conference held to announce the expansion. Credit: Jerusha Sequeira/MEConstructionNews.com

Indian commercial vehicle giant Ashok Leyland plans to invest $25 million in expanding production capacity at its Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) facility and building a new design and service training centre.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, laid the foundation stone for the expansion in a ceremony on Thursday.

Ashok Leyland, the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India and the fourth largest bus manufacturer in the world, plans to expand production of current models and introduce new ones into the region from the RAK facility.

The output of the RAK plant currently stands at 12 buses a day. The new investment will increase production to 20 buses, in addition to truck production, the company said.

“This plant is key for the supply of buses to address the needs of GCC countries, and with Ashok Leyland’s ambitious plans for Africa, we foresee further expansion of the facility,” said Vinod K. Dasari, managing director at Ashok Leyland.

The brand will make a foray into the value premium segment of the automotive market in the UAE and wider GCC region later this year, he added. “This would be in addition to our predominant presence in the UAE school bus segment with a market share of over 70%.”

Inaugurated in December 2010, Ashok Leyland’s RAK factory is a joint venture between the manufacturer and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA). The expansion will see the plant more than triple its annual installed capacity to 6,000 units a year, the company said.

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