Ashok Leyland bags Bangla order for 50 vestibule buses
Ashok Leyland has bagged an order for 50 vestibule buses from the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) under the Indian line of credit (LoC) scheme offered for improvement of urban transportation in that country. Worth $6 million, this represents the company’s first order for such buses from an overseas market.
An agreement to this effect was recently signed by the BRTC Chairman, and Mr. Antony Lobo, Special Director – International Operations, Ashok Leyland, at Dhaka.
Commenting on winning the Bangla order, Mr. Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said: “This represents an important step towards achieving our vision to be globally among the Top 10 Truck and Top 5 Bus manufacturers. We were the first to introduce vestibule buses in India and are now excited about introducing this vehicle in Bangladesh and help take urban transportation there to a new level in partnership with BRTC.”
Over the years, the company has exported more than 9,500 vehicles of different models to Bangladesh through its sole dealer, Ifad Autos Ltd.
Last year, Ashok Leyland had bagged the single largest order for 290 double-decker buses worth $23.3 million from the country. This was one of the contributory factors in boosting the company’s exports to a new high of 12,852 vehicles, reflecting a growth of 25 per cent.
Falcon buses for Ghana
Meanwhile, the company has supplied 100 ‘Falcon’ buses to Ghana. These vehicles were inducted into the fleet of Metro Mass Transit Ltd., in which the Government of Ghana has 45 per cent stake, for both inter and intra-city applications on 360 routes throughout that country.
The buses were recently handed over to Mr. John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, by Mr. Arijit Dutta Chowdhury, RM -SEWA, Ashok Leyland, at Accra in the presence of Mr. Rajinder Bhagat, Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mrs. Dzifa Aku Attivor, Deputy Minister for Transport, and other dignitaries from Ghana.
“Africa has been one of our key focus markets and presents some very unique opportunities for a commercial vehicle manufacturer like us,” said Mr. Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. “This order is one more affirmation of the trust and acceptance of our vehicles in various parts of Africa, like for example our buses that hold a premium status in the Bus Rapid system in Lagos, Nigeria, which is the only such model in sub-Saharan Africa.”
All the 100 buses were specially customized into 57-seater, left-hand drive buses to meet specific customer requirements.
Ashok Leyland also becomes the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to introduce a mechanical inline fuel injection with an Euro 3 engine and electronic destination board in Ghana.
This is the second such major launch by Ashok Leyland in Ghana after the induction of 160 waste management trucks last year.
Further order for AC buses
The contract was recently signed by Mr. Antony Lobo, Special Director – International Operations, Ashok Leyland, and Mr. M.M. Iqbal, BRTC Chairman, in Dhaka.
Mr. Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said that winning this order is yet another significant step towards achieving the company vision to be among top 10 truck and top five bus manufacturers at the global level. “This also represents the company commitment to partner BRTC in the process of taking urban transportation in Bangladesh to a new level and underscores its pre-eminent status as the leading CV player in that country. “At this juncture, I would like to express my thanks to our Bangladesh dealer, Ifad Autos, of over two decades for their continued support and co-operation,” he added.
This order will add to the 11,000+ vehicles of different models that have been exported to Bangladesh. The order also continues the good story of the company’s international operations, volumes of which touched a new peak last year of 12,852 vehicles, reflecting a growth of 25 per cent.