Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland has launched its first LCV, the Dost, in Maharashtra and Gujarat with a starting price of Rs 3.79 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for the BSIII variant.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr V Sumantran, executive vice chairman of Hinduja Automotive Ltd said, “We have attempted to pack a lot into the Dost – increased payload, improved fuel efficiency as well as class-leading performance, comfort and safety, all aimed at offering a uniquely superior experience at a very competitive cost of ownership.”
The Dost can carry a payload of 1.25 tonnes. It has a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged common rail diesel engine producing 55bhp and 15.3kgm of torque. It is available in three variants - LE, LS and LX. The top-end LX will get air-conditioning while both the LS and LX will come with power steering and dual-tone interiors.
The Dost is Ashok Leyland’s first LCV and also the first vehicle produced in a joint venture with Nissan Motor Company. The manufacturer is ramping up production of the Dost to its capacity of 55,000 units and its launch is being synchronised across the country based on the availability of units. Earlier this month, the Dost was launched in four Southern states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. These states, along with Maharashtra and Gujarat, are expected to account for nearly 60 percent of the Dost’s sales, according to Dr Sumantran.
Ashok Leyland is planning to open 60 dealerships in the next 6-7 months to sell the Dost. The company is also offering various ready-to-use applications on the Dost platform, such as refrigerated containers, steel containers, ambulances, aluminium-fixed side decks and service-at-site vehicles. Keeping in mind the nature of this segment, Ashok Leyland will also service vehicles at night so that it doesn’t hamper businesses.
Dr Sumantran also confirmed at the launch that a CNG and passenger vehicle variant is under development and can be expected by next year. Adding on, he said, “There are two more platforms coming up – one in 15 months and the next in 30 months. The third product will have a 3.5 tonne payload capacity.”
Prices in Rs (lakh)
Variant BSIII BSIV
LE 3.79 3.93
LS 3.95 4.07
LX 4.27 4.37
All prices ex-showroom, Mumbai