2200 Ashok Leyland buses for Sri Lanka Transport Board’s 35% share

Ashok Leyland’s overseas business has surely had a shot in the arm with the latest order of 2,200 buses from the Government of Sri Lanka. The purchase order is one of the largest by Sri Lankan Transport Board (SLTB). Sri Lanka has for long turned to Indian manufacturers to meet the country’s transport needs, whether in commercial vehicles or passenger cars.

Sri Lanka Transport Board Ashok LeylandSri Lankan government looks forward to modernise its existing fleet and improve its public transport network. All 2200 buses will be supplied to the island nation within the next 6 months, which would keep Ashok Leyland busy through H2 2014.

Ashok Leyland thus strengthens its market share in Sri Lanka playing a pivotal role in Sri Lankan transport. The new order also reflects a positive sentiment in Sri Lanka’s commercial vehicle registrations. CV sales, especially trucks sold in April 2014 were down when compared with April 2013 across mini trucks, LCV’s and H&MCV’s. Tractor sales too suffered in April 2014.

Only recently, Sri Lankan government decided to appoint a high level committee comprising Treasury as chairman, Secretary to Ministry of Transport or a nominee, Secretary to Ministry of Private Transport Services, Chief Secretary of Western Province, and Chief Secretary of Southern Province to approve permits for buses operating on expressways to do away with limitations in open tender processes. A separate committee is in charge of scrutinising applications. Permits will be awarded to those with the ability to operate super luxury buses, maintain them and have trained drivers. Government’s Expressway Transport Company (Pvt.) Limited will operate public transport services.

The state-owned company falls under the Treasury and all decisions are subject to Treasury approval. 15% of public transport services on expressways would be operated by Expressway Transport Company, 35% by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), and 50% by private sector operators.

Ashok Leyland Managing Director, Vinod K. Dasari applauded the huge order, which has come into being as India’s domestic market is limping its way back to higher sales as the slowdown compacts, and will help enhance Ashok Leyland’s sales outside India. Indian commercial vehicle segment reported 19.69% sales decline for April-May 2014 over April-May 2013. 13.81% sales decline was reported for Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles and 22.59% for light commercial vehicle sale sthrough April-May 2014.