Ashok Leyland is an Indian automobile manufacturing company based in Chennai, India. Founded in 1948, it is the 2nd largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in India, 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world and 16th largest manufacturer of trucks globally. Operating six plants, Ashok Leyland also makes spare parts and engines for industrial and marine applications. It sells about 60,000 vehicles and about 7,000 engines annually. It is the second largest commercial vehicle company in India in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment with a market share of 28% (2007–08). With passenger transportation options ranging from 19 seaters to 80 seaters, Ashok Leyland is a market leader in the bus segment. The company claims to carry over 60 million passengers a day, more people than the entire Indian rail network. In the trucks segment Ashok Leyland primarily concentrates on the 16 ton to 25 ton range of trucks. However Ashok Leyland has presence in the entire truck range starting from 7.5 tons to 49 tons. With a joint venture with Nissan Motors of Japan the company made its presence in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment. History
Raghunandan Saran, Founder of Ashok Leyland
Ashok Leyland was founded in 1948 by Raghunandan Saran, a freedom fighter from Punjab. After Independence he was persuaded by India’s first Prime Minister Nehru, to invest in modern industrial venture. Thus Ashok Motors was incorporated in 1948 as a company to assemble and manufacture Austin cars from England, and the company was named after the founders only son Ashok Saran . The company had its headquarters in HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajaji_Salai,_Chennai" \o "Rajaji Salai, Chennai" Rajaji Saalai, Chennai (then Madras) with the plant in HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ennore" \o "Ennore" Ennore, a small fishing hamlet in the North of Chennai. The Company was engaged in assembly and distribution of Austin A40 passenger cars in India. Under Leyland
Sometime later, the founder Raghunandan Saran passed away in an air crash, prior to that he had been negotiating with Leyland of Britain for assembly of commercial vehicles as he envisioned commercial vehicle were more in need at that time than were passenger cars. The company later under Madras State Government and other shareholders finalised for an investment and technology partner and thus the British based Leyland Motors joined in 1954 with equity participation byLeyland Motors, changing the name of the company to Ashok Leyland. Ashok Leyland then started manufacturing commercial vehicles. Under Leyland's management with British expatriate and Indian executives the company grew in strength to become one of India's foremost commercial vehicle manufacturers. The collaboration ended sometime in 1975 but the holding of British Leyland, now a major British Auto Conglomerate as a result of several mergers agreed to assist in technology which continued until the 1980s. Post 1975, changes in management structures saw the company launch various advanced vehicles and pioneering innovations in the Indian market, with many of these models continuing to this day with numerous upgrades over the years. Under Iveco and Hinduja partnership
In 1987, the overseas holding by Land Rover Leyland International Holdings Limited (LRLIH) was taken over by a joint venture between the Hinduja Group, the Non-Resident Indian transnational group and IVECO, part of the Fiat Group. Ashok Leyland’s long-term plan to become a global player by benchmarking global standards of technology and quality was soon firmed up. Access to international technology and a US$200 million investment programme created a state-of-the-art manufacturing base to roll out international class products. Hinduja Group
In 2007, the Hinduja Group also bought out IVECO's indirect stake in Ashok Leyland. The promoter shareholding now stands at 51%. Today the company is the...
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