Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ashok Leyland eyes business in Brazil

Ashok Leyland has approached the Brazilian government to sell its heavy defence truck Stallion MK-IV (above), under a joint venture agreement.

eavy trucks maker Ashok Leyland has approached the Brazilian government to sell its heavy defence truck Stallion MK-IV, under a joint-venture arrangement. The move comes as the terrain of Latin America requires heavy trucks for logistic purposes, and currently the ones being used in countries like Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Equador are US and China made, which are expensive. Brazil however, was scouting for a cheaper option. These Ashok Leyland vehicles can perform the same tasks and are cheaper.

The tie-up between Ashok Leyland and the Brazilian company would meet the logistic requirements of neighbouring countries like Columbia, Peru, Equador, as well, but the main assembly plant will be in Brazil. As of now it is not yet known which Brazilian company will tie up with Ashok Leyland, which has offered its vehicles at almost one-third the price of the US and Chinese vehicles.

Over 70,000 of these trucks are already in use in the Indian army to supply logistics in far-flung areas. The proposal was forwarded through the Ministry of External Affairs recently, to the Ambassador of Brazil, in the form of a presentation.

These heavy vehicles will be all-weather and all-terrain vehicles. According to a source, the terrain in and around countries like Peru, Brazil, Columbia and Equador is such that heavy vehicles are required, because of which this is being seen as a win-win situation for both nations. Partnership is still unclear, but most probably a private company from Brazil will enter into partnership with Ashok Leyland for assembling the 4 into 4 truck, which has automatic integral power steering. The truck with an overall height of 3000 mm has a rear and pneumatic brake at the front, and a fully floating steerable driven axle. Powered by a maximum speed of 85 kmph, it can carry a payload of 5000 kg. With an overall width of 2500 mm and length of 7395 mm, the truck has an angle of approach of 35 degrees.

Still in the initial stages, the deal is yet to be finalised but is being looked at very seriously by Brazil. The numbers are not yet known as to how many of these would be required by Brazil and other countries.

Apart from Stallion Ashok Leyland also makes other models like the Colt and Super Stallion for defence purposes, along with which serve as Rapid Intervention Vehicles, Field Artillery Tractors, Water Bowsers, Truck Fire Fighters etc. for the Indian armed forces, to meet their mobility and logistic needs.

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