Ashok Leyland to focus on core areas, set up plant in Bangladesh

Chennai:  Exiting non-core areas, Ashok Leyland Ltd on Tuesday said it will be focused on its core business of commercial vehicles in the domestic and overseas market including a new assembly unit in Bangladesh. In his message to the company shareholders, Chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja said: "A portfolio rationalisation which is already in the process would see the progressive exit from non-core and non-performing businesses." He said the company will have a renewed thrust in international markets in target clusters with dedicated products. "The capacity of the Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) plant is almost getting doubled this year. To cope up with increasing demand, a new assembly unit in Bangladesh is in the offing and further units in Africa are under active consideration," he said. According to him, the company is reappraising the defence business with two-pronged strategy- growing the traditional tactical vehicles as well as broadening the offerings to address the government's 'Make in India' requirements. Last fiscal, Ashok Leyland, after studying the intrinsic value of investments in joint ventures/associates/subsidiaries, made a total impairment provision of Rs 558 crore - Rs 107 crore towards Albonair, Germany, Rs .5 crore towards Albonair India, Rs 150 crore towards Optare Plc, UK and Rs 296 crore as carrying value of investments in its three joint ventures with Nissan Motors Limited, Japan. According to Ashok Leyland, discussions are on with Nissan Motors to resolve the uncertainty on continuing the three joint ventures - Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Ltd, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd and Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd. Ashok Leyland has also sold off its stakes in Ashok Leyland John Deere at a loss of Rs 233 crore.