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Ashok Leyland to introduce passenger van with Nissan

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flagship company would introduce passenger van through its joint venture partnership with Japanese auto maker Nissan Motors, a top company official said here today.

The city-headquartered company through its JV with Nissan Motor Company earlier this year unveiled thier first Light Commercial Vehicle -- Ashok Leyland 'Dost'. The vehicle would be produced in Ashok Leyland's Hosur manufacturing facility.

"I am happy to inform that the first of the series under this cooperation, unveiled as Ashok Leyland DOST, is planned for launch this year in the three tonne category. This will be followed by six tonne range and subsequently by an award- winning passenger mini van," Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja said while addressing shareholders at their 62nd Annual General Meeting here today.

Besides, their first product from Ashok Leyland-John Deere to produce construction equipment would be rolled out during this financial year.

"The year 2011-12 should also see launch of the backhoe, first of the construction equipment range from the JV with John Deere. This will be followed by a wheel-loader," he said.

As part of enhancing its overseas presence,Vinod K Dasari, on his first AGM as the company's Managing Director, said they were developing several new markets particularly in Africa, West Asia, Russia. "Couple of months back, I visited Nigeria to explore the opportunities there," he said.

He said the company witnessed a 47% jump on sale of commercial vehicles at 94,106 units during 2010-11. Besides, he also claimed that Ashok Leyland unveiled as many as 750 new models from the usual 250 new models every year.

Exports also contributed 72% over previous year to 10,306 vehicles in 2010-11, he said.

The company also announced a 1:1 bonus shares on the occasion.

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