Excerpts: What, according to you, is the overall market sentiment right now?
There was robust demand for ICV which was leading the way and it continues. Tippers, on the other side also started picking up right from September onwards and demand has been growing month-onmonth. In fact, continues to grow where February was a growth over January this year. So ICV and the tippers were the saving grace for this year although the overall volumes are still lower than last year. But the demand has been quite stable as far as ICVs are concerned and tippers have also done well. In January this year, for the first time, we saw that demand for the multiaxle vehicles and the tractor trailers have also started looking better than what it was in Q3. The growth in the heavier vehicles segment, especially tippers, can be attributed to the infrastructure development.
Is it mainly the e-commerce boom, especially during the lockdown last year, that has been the growth driver for the ICV segment?
E-commerce has definitely improved the demand but there are other segments too which have been doing good. One of them which deserves a special mention is the POL segment. Going by how the fuel dispensing is being driven differently – many bowsers are being built on the ICV platform - be it the 6KL bowser which is built on a 10-tonner ICV vehicle or the 4KL one over a 6.5-tonne partner vehicle.
The Ecomet has been a highly successful model of Ashok Leyland for a long time. The model seems to have touched the customers and has become a proven one. How is it performing in today’s scenario?
The ICV segment can be divided into three sub-segments – the 10-, 12- and the 14-tonner. In 2014-15, the 14-tonner segment, or what we call as the 1615 HE now, did not exist. In fact, we have created the segment. Ecomet in its earlier avtar as the 1214 is what we have brought into the market. It is called as the Ecomet 16-15 HE in the BS 6 era. Now, the 1615 is a star product because it offers several benefits. If it were to be compared with our own BS 4 product, which is the 1214, the fuel efficiency that we are getting in the BS 6 version, is far superior including when we factor in the cost of the diesel exhaust fluid cost or the AdBlue. The customer will get at least more than a rupee and a half per kilometer savings on the operating costs. For example, if the vehicle runs for 10000 kilometers in a month on an average, the customer will surely save close to Rs. 15000 in a month.
This is being noticed about our 1615 HE, which also has the ability to carry the bestin-class load. It has become highly popular with segments including the last mile cement distribution, for example. There are various other applications for which the 1615 is being used.
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