Ashok Leyland which is the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India and fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world is planning to construct a US$ 5m assembly plant in Kenya that will help in the expansion of the commercial vehicle market.
The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Gopal Mahadevan confirmed the reports and said that they are aiming at constructing at least three assembly plants in Africa, Kenya being a prime location.
“We’re looking to set up two to three assembly sites in Africa. We are devising East African and West Africa strategies and we have short-listed Kenya as a possible market for setting up our first assembly unit,” Mr Mahadevan was quoted saying.
It is anticipated that the company will commence business in their new plant with assembling buses, the trucks assembly line will start later.
This initiative will come in handy by boosting Kenya’s economy as several other multinational companies have set up their offices in the country; Earlier this month, German motor vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG opened an office in Nairobi aiming to use it as an entry to East, Central and West Africa’s truck and bus market.
Another company, Tata, which is India’s largest automaker, opened two new dealerships — one targeting farmers in Narok with tractors and another in Ruiru to sell heavy commercial vehicles such as tippers, prime movers and concrete mixers.
Ashok Leyland trucks and buses are currently distributed in the country by TruckMart East Africa.
Operating six plants, Ashok Leyland also manufacturers spare parts and engines for industrial and marine applications. It sells about 60,000 vehicles and approximately 7,000 engines annually. It is the second largest commercial vehicle company in India in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle.