20110901

AL Nissan Dost undergoing final rounds of testing

The Ashok Leyland Dost that was unveiled to the public a couple of months back is significant in more ways than one. First of all, this is the first product to come out of the Leyland-Nissan Joint-Venture that was signed a couple of years back to make and sell Light Commercial Vehicles in India. Next, the Dost is yet another competitor to the super-successful Tata Ace that is still ruling the market even after the advent of a lot of competitors. Most importantly, it heralds the entry of Ashok Leyland into the LCV segment where it was conspicuous by its absence all these days.

The Dost has a lot of things going for it. The design is moderately attractive with the headlights with integrated indicators being the most impressive part. The protruding nose which gives the Dost slightly odd proportions takes some time getting used to though. With a 1.25 ton payload and bigger 14 inch radials, the Dost will be considerably bigger and ride better than the Ace and other sub-one ton LCVs. The cabin seems to be a nice place to be in and the company is even offering air-conditioning as an option in the top-end variant which is a first in the Commercial Vehicle segment.

The Dost will be powered by a 3 cylinder turbocharged common-rail diesel engine with a power output of 55 bhp. The company is planning to start full-fledged production of the Dost in the festive season after which the Dost will be available for sale through brand-new dealerships coming up across the country. Before the final launch however, the company is doing some final rounds of testing before pitching this all-important model in the market. This fully loaded test vehicle that looks alarmingly rear-heavy was spotted in the Chennai-Bangalore Highway a couple of weeks back.

Just like the U Truck did in the HCV segment and the Viking chassis did in the city bus segment, Ashok Leyland will be hoping that the Dost will create an impact and establish the brand in the LCV space. With more models from Nissan like the Atlas, Civilian and NV Series also being planned for launch in India, the success of Dost is extremely important for the very existence of this Joint-Venture between the two companies. From our side, here is wishing both the companies all success in their first endeavor. Maybe its time for Tata and the Ace family to roll up their sleeves further.

2 comments:

  1. @ priya - Thanks for the comment. Do keep reading the blog and send in your views.

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  2. Thanks Aravind for sharing this with us, Multix from Eicher and Polaris is tough mini truck.

    ReplyDelete