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Ashok Leyland renames UK arm Optare as Switch Mobility; unveils global EV plans

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The commercial vehicle maker has renamed its UK subsidiary, Optare Group, to Switch Mobility as part of its drive towards electrification and new mobility services.

Unveiling its new logo and name, Dheeraj Hinduja, the chairman of Ashok Leyland, said: "Optare is adopting a new identity and logo as "Switch", which signals our strategic ambitions in Electric and Green Mobility. Towards this, Ashok Leyland is examining various options to bring the entire EV initiatives of Ashok Leyland under Switch Mobility. This strategy reflects the clear growth opportunities in the global LCV & Bus EV market, which is projected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of more than 25% and to be worth in the region of USD 50bn by 2030. To capture part of that market, we are considering EV initiatives through Switch that could include financial participation and strategic tie-ups."

Switch will build on the success of Optare in the UK, where it is a leading player in electric buses with more than 150 of them currently operating successfully in its home market. Optare, the forerunner of Switch, was recently named OEM of the Year (bus/commercial vehicle) at the prestigious 2020 EVIEs Awards. Following the successful delivery of 30 electric double decker buses to Metroline in London, the company is currently fulfilling orders for operators including Tower Transit, London and First York. This will create a foundation for the expansion of Switch's operations in Europe and growth in India and other parts of the world, the company said.

On a consolidated basis, Ashok Leyland reported a net loss of Rs 96.23 crore in Q2 September 2020 as compared to a net profit of Rs 69.95 crore in Q2 September 2019. Net sales declined 23.8% to Rs 3,835.85 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019.

Shares of Ashok Leyland advanced 3.60% to close at Rs 92.10 on BSE on Friday, 27 November 2020. The stock has jumped 173.29% from its 52-week low of Rs 33.70 attained on 25 March 2020.

Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja group, is among the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India and also among the biggest manufacturers of buses and trucks globally.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, November 30 2020. 12:04 IST