Ashok Leyland won the 2016 Deming Prize for its Pantnagar manufacturing facility. The Deming Prize is a global quality award awarded to companies that have established Total Quality Management (TQM) in their business operations. Ashok Leyland Pantnagar has become the first truck and bus plant in the world and also the only commercial vehicle manufacturer of non-Japanese origin to win the Deming Prize. Speaking of the win, Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director of Ashok Leyland mentioned that the Pantnagar plant, a fully-integrated plant, is capable of manufacturing all future-ready products across trucks and buses. “Consistent quality, technology, innovation and robust processes are the pillars which have helped us garner international recognition and customer satisfaction,” he added. R. Sivanesan, Senior Vice President – Quality, Sourcing and Supply Chain of Ashok Leyland drew attention to plant being the youngest for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and that the recognition was only befitting. The Deming Prize was established in 1951 by Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) to honor W. Edwards Deming, who contributed greatly to Japan’s proliferation of statistical quality control after World War II. The selection procedure of the winner involves a tedious process. It is known to be very intense and time consuming effort both for the company and the examination body. The applicants are not provided with any criteria or issues to be addressed. They are expected to identify and address important issues based on the business objectives which in turn allows quality methodologies to be further developed. Every factor such as the applicants’ attitude toward executing Total Quality Management (TQM), their implementation status and the resulting effects are taken into overall consideration before deciding upon the final winner.
After severing ties by exiting the joint ventures established few years ago, Ashok Leyland and Nissan are said to be renewing ties. They are claimed to be in the process of signing a new restructuring agreement, which will enable both companies to enter into a new phase of business interaction. As per the new agreement, Nissan would agree to sell to Ashok Leyland all of Nissan’s shares in three joint venture companies formed in 2008. The joint ventures focus on technology development, and manufacturing of powertrains and vehicles, and will henceforth be wholly-owned Ashok Leyland subsidiaries subject to necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities in India. As part of the new arrangement, Ashok Leyland will continue to build, under a licensing agreement, the Dost and Partner in Light Commercial vehicles based on Nissan’s design, engineering and technology. Servicing and parts availability, claim industry sources, will be via a technical support arrangement. The restructuring agreement is also said to touch upon procurement of parts.
Registering a 39 per cent increase in turnover at Rs.18,882 crore as against Rs.13,562 crore turnover the year before, Ashok Leyland has hinted at some very interesting products it is looking to introduce later this year. Expecting the positive growth momentum to continue, the company is looking at 15 per cent growth in FY2016-17 according to Vinod K. Dasari, MD, Ashok Leyland. Stating that an increase in vehicle cost to meet the BS IV emission norms, which will be rolled out pan-India in 2017, will likely impact growth. Dasari stressed upon the stupendous profit growth of 115 per cent (with Rs.722 crore profit after tax) that his company has achieved. Profit after tax last year was Rs. 335 crore. About introducing some very interesting products, Dasari touched upon the 40-seat Sunshine school bus that was displayed at the Auto Expo 2016. Having sold 98,809 vehicles during FY2015-16, Dasari expressed that Ashok Leyland is poised to seize the opportunity the market presents in the immediate future. He opined, his company would continue to invest in new products, technologies as well as enhance the domestic and global network in pursuit of profitable growth. The international thrust would see the company setting up an assembly plant in Bangladesh.
Ashok Leyland has bagged orders for 3600 buses from various State Transport Undertakings. The company is looking at executing the orders promptly in this fiscal. Increasing its market share in India’s bus market from 33.2 per cent in the last quarter of the last fiscal to 35.9 per cent in the first quarter of current fiscal, the company, according to Vinod K. Dasari, MD, Ashok Leyland Ltd., will continue to expand its network, launch new products, and introduce customer centric initiatives which would help it to maintain its lead. Drawing attention to the overall M&HCV volumes of Ashok Leyland increasing by 18.6 per cent over the industry growth of 14.5 per cent, Dasari mentioned that they are continuing to maintain growth in the domestic M&HCV market and believe that the industry would post 15 per cent to 20 per cent growth in the current fiscal.
A flag-off ceremony was held at the Mumbai Port Trust on June 28, 2015 on the occasion of shipment of vehicles and spare parts by Ashok Leyland Ltd. to Zimbabwe. Ashok Leyland Ltd. has been awarded the contract for supply of 633 vehicles and spare parts to the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Government of Zimbabwe. Under the contract, Ashok Leyland Ltd. will also provide training to the buyer’s technical staff in operation and maintenance of the products.
The above contract is being financed by Exim Bank under its Buyer’s Credit [BC] under National Export Insurance Account [NEIA] to the extent of USD 49.92 mn extended to Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Government of Zimbabwe. These vehicles will be utilized by the Ministry for Tourism and Hospitality activities, especially for promotion of domestic tourism, and supporting international tourism, disaster management, anti-poaching activities, peace missions and other related purposes.
The flag off ceremony was attended by Exim Bank’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur, Deputy Managing Director, Mr. David Rasquinha and General Manager, Harsha Bangari in the presence of officials from Ashok Leyland Ltd., and authorities from Shipping Line, Port authorities’ etc. During the ceremony, Exim Bank’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur mentioned that Exim Bank’s BC-NEIA programme is an unique financing mechanism that provides a safe mode of non-recourse financing option to Indian exporters and serves as an effective market entry tool to traditional as well as new markets in developing countries. The Programme is aimed to serve India’s national interest of export promotion and furthering the nation’s economic objectives. The current supply of vehicles to Zimbabwe will enhance the bilateral ties between India and Zimbabwe.
Ashok Leyland rolled-out the 100,000th DOST. They also unveiled Dost and its RUV’s (ready to use vehicles) such as Ambulance, Refrigerated container, Steel Container, Service-at-Site Van etc.
In less than 4 years, DOST has become the 2nd largest brand in its category; making it one of the fastest growing brands. It is today the largest volume brand in the Ashok Leyland portfolio, with customers, not just in India, but across countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Male, and UAE.