Ashok Leyland has displaced Tata Motors as the second largest player in the pick-up segment as the Hinduja flagship has bucked the small commercial vehicle (SCV – which includes mini trucks and pickups) - market trend in this fiscal.

SCV segment (sub-3.5 tonne) comprises mini-trucks [0-2 tonne GVW (gross vehicle weight)] and pick-ups (2-3 tonne GVW). Pick-up is a growing segment and has become the largest category not just in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment, but also in the entire CV category.

However, the SCV market has witnessed subdued market conditions during this fiscal due to a high base effect and some slowdown in the e-commerce market.

Total volume decline

For the 9 months of this fiscal, total volumes of SCVs (including mini trucks and pickups) reported a decline at 3.67 lakh units as against 3.86 lakh units during the April-December 2022 period.

Total mini truck volumes dropped to about 1.28 lakh units when compared with 1.45 lakh units, while pick-ups registered a marginal decline at 2.39 lakh units as against 2.42 lakh units.

While all leading companies reported a fall in their volumes during this period, Ashok Leyland recorded positive growth and sold more pick-up vehicles than Tata Motors to become the Number 2 player with a market share of 20 per cent in the segment.

Three-quarter sales

Ashok Leyland sold 47,098 units during the first 3-quarters of this fiscal when compared with 46,236 units in the same period the previous year, while Tata Motors’ pick-up volumes were lower at 44,874 units as against 48,193 units. Mahindra & Mahindra, the top player in the pick-up segment, sold 145,107 units as against 145,351 units.

Shenu Agarwal, Managing Director & CEO of Ashok Leyland told BusinessLine that a sharp focus on its two pick-up products – Dost and Bada Dost – along with network expansion helped the company gain market share.

He also indicated that going forward, the company would widen its portfolio in order to serve the requirements of customers in different application areas.

“We have tremendous potential in the LCV market, not just in India, but globally. This business is also vital in achieving our goal of becoming among the top 10 global CV players,” he said.

While the company unveiled two new electric small trucks, positioned in the pick-up segment, it is also planning to enter the mini truck as it aims to be a full-range player in the LCV segment (up to 7.5 tonne GVW).

Currently, the mini segment is dominated by Tata Motors with its Ace vehicle, followed by Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki (it sells Super Carry in this segment).

In FY23, pick-up volumes grew by 32 per cent at 3.32 lakh units when compared with 2.52 lakh units in FY22. Mini truck sales grew by 13 per cent at 1.93 lakh units as against 1.71 lakh units.

In exports, Isuzu Motors India ships more India-built pick-ups as the company exported about 14,500 units during the 9 months of this fiscal. M&M is the second largest exporter, which shipped more than 10,000 units in this fiscal