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Ashok Leyland pitches for maintenance contract for Defence vehicles

M. Ramesh

Chennai , July 14

ASHOK Leyland has sought annual contract for maintaining Defence vehicles. A suggestion to this effect was made by an official of the company to Vice Admiral P Jaitly, Chief of Material, Indian Navy, at a meeting organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

In reply, the Vice Admiral assured further scope for interaction on this. Ashok Leyland has a substantial Defence business, which, in the recent years, has been in the form of kits.

The company has developed a high mobility vehicle with the latest 260 hp J series engine and "further upgraded versions of the current portfolio of Defence vehicles and new vehicles developed to addressed specialised needs are undergoing field trials."

But maintaining trucks on behalf of customers is something that the company has been attempting to do in the last one year.

The company's annual report for 2003-04 makes a passing reference to this effort.

"Initiatives with regard to product life cycle management and customer relations management solution will commence," it says.

Ashok Leyland has also indicated its intention to get into auto components trading in a big way — more than selling spare parts to its customers.

The company's Managing Director, Mr R. Seshasayee, has been saying that getting into auto components business is a long-term plan, still under evolution.

On this subject, the annual report says: "The company is actively discussing with several domestic and international OEMs for supply of components and aggregates. The focus will be on high value added components such as engine components, gears and SGI castings, besides fully built-up engines and gearboxes. The company's infrastructure, wherever possible, will be used and existing vendor base will be accessed to execute business enquiries."

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