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Old 14th September 2011, 22:08   #76
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

Today I visited one of the two NEW ASHOK LEYLAND LIGHT VEHICLES showroom at KOCHI. It is 'MALAYALAM MOTORS' between Mamangalam and Edappally High
School Bus stops, on the same side as 'Mamangalam Popular Maruti Showroom'. (The second showroom is at VYTTILA by INDUS MOTORS, I understand). There were two white DOSTs displayed. The showroom is under the final touches. Looks good with very prominent 'ASHOK LEYLAND' illuminated board, No NISSAN name in the board. Since the time was 8 pm and I was busy in another issue, I could spend only 10 minutes in the showroom. I collected the brochures (in Malayalam and English), but unfortunately, my scanner is given for repair . The color of both vehicles were white. One was the variant with Power Steering (mid variant - LS, I think). The front seats are having contours, unlike maxximo. But no head rests !! The engine bay also looks neat. Engine is a little back to the front row-seats, in between the driver and co-driver. The co-driver seat has to be folded up for accessing the engine. They told that the test drive vehicle will come next week. Since I will be in Bangalore for a couple of days, I will visit the showroom again sometime next week.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:08   #77
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

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. The front seats are having contours, unlike maxximo. But no head rests !!
No Neck-Restrains? For a vehicle trying to carve a new niche is the SCV segment this omission does not gel with the emphasis given to driver comfort, ergonomics and safety during the launch. One can only hope this is an oversight (for demo vehicles) and that all trim versions will have some from of neck restrain, a feature that can be a life saver in the event of a rear ender.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:19   #78
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

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But no head rests !!
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No Neck-Restraints... One can only hope this is an oversight
Sad but true. Going by the pics of DOST from the launch function, I do not see head restraints in any of the models. Bad.
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Old 15th September 2011, 17:18   #79
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

had a chance yesterday to try out the AC in DOST. and it was really good. nice powerful throw and good chillness. actually it looks a lot more good in person than seen in the photos
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Old 15th September 2011, 19:06   #80
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

Dost - Test drive by Overdrive
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Old 15th September 2011, 19:24   #81
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

The review is pretty positive in terms of the product itself. From this point it certainly looks like commercial success of the DOST will depend on pricing, marketing, distribution & after sales support. AL must review internal archives on 'lessons leant' after the not so successful cargo episode. I thought it would be worth mentioning this to highlight the fact that a good product & an acclaimed global JV partner does not necessarily guarantee commercial success.
Im keen (and im sure so are many others) to see this product succeed in the market & mark a positive start to ALs second foray (in the recent past) into the LCV segment.
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Old 15th September 2011, 20:21   #82
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

Nice recap Zed!
Wrt JV with International partners, what Indian partners do is IMHO, leave the entire game to their counter parts and concentrate on Marketing alone - This makes the product sometime unsuitable for Indian terms. That's what has happened with Cargo range and many other similar products like DCM Toyota Dyna.
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Old 17th September 2011, 17:49   #83
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

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Quotes from the test drive report :

"How is it to drive then? Start the vehicle and the engine is surprisingly low on noise and sounds refined"

Thanks a lot. The high levels of engine noise inside and outside the cabin was one of the major points I disliked in Mahindra Maxximo. It is not the level of noise alone, the type of engine sound is also important. While riding on a bullet motor bike, I loved its sound and when riding alone in night, I was feeling that the loud and clear sound is my companion !!! Instead, remember the engine noise of the Premier Padmini 138 D car. The diesel motor sound was exactly like a sumeet grinder !!! I was all the time allergic to that kind of sound.

"the gearbox position is good and the shift quality is the best Iíve come across in an LCV"

Yes, I do agree. I did not get a chance to drive the vehicle. But, while stationary with engine off, the gear shift was very smooth, instantly reminding me of my beloved 118 NE car which housed the Nissan Gearbox. Evan after owning many cars after my 118 NE, even now, the gear shift of my II8 NE is sweet and fresh in my memories. You may not believe, When driving 118 NE, I was liking even the traffic blocks for the sole reason of getting chance to shift the gears more number of times. (But, finally, the all-body rusting threatened me and I was afraid that the driver seat may fall to the road below, and I had to sell the car)

Coming back to DOST,

"I even managed to cross the three digit mark while the engine feels happy cruising at 90kmph."

The brochure says that the maximum speed of the vehicle is 90 kmph. But, recently, I have observed that many new vehicles are capable of attaining more speed that what is printed as maximum speed in the brochure !!!

"Potholes and bumps are soaked up well too, most LCVs have a stiff suspension setup but the Dost offers a softer setup which in turn aids in good ride quality and passenger comfort. LCVs generally feature leaf spring suspension, the Dost on the other hand features a unique independent double wishbone front suspension with a transverse leaf spring. The company claims that this offers a combination of ruggedness of a leaf spring with the ride quality of an independent suspension. Leaf springs make do at the rear. The Dost is light too with a kerb weight of just 1250kg."

The "leaf springs" at front was one my concerns. It is nice to see the comment that the vehicle is comfortable. When the minivan is launched based on the dost platform, I hope, AL will make the vehicle more comfortable.

The test drive says that the engine is an all-new one developed for India. I think, AL should offer a warrantee on the engine for 3 lakh kms like Tata motors did for their 407 engine, which will easily win customer's confidence.
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Old 8th October 2011, 17:19   #84
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

AL has upgraded its DOST website. <http://www.leylanddost.com/>

AL seems to be doing some serious homework on how to move this product in the market. New concepts (in this segment) of offering "aftermarket applications" as OE is interesting. Not sure how AL will generate volumes in these offering, otherwise, competition will highjack these concepts and flood the market for sure.
(pictures@AL)
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Old 8th October 2011, 20:58   #85
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

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AL seems to be doing some serious homework on how to move this product in the market. New concepts (in this segment) of offering "aftermarket applications" as OE is interesting. Not sure how AL will generate volumes in these offering, otherwise, competition will highjack these concepts and flood the market for sure.
(pictures@AL)
That's a really good move by Ashok Leyland. They were late in entering into the LCV segment and they seem to be hell-bent on grabbing a bigger piece of the pie at the earliest. IMO, its a win-win for the customers and Ashok Leyland as the customers can expect good quality fit and finish as OE and Ashok Leyland in turn can get considerable volumes on these special aftermarket applications.
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Old 8th October 2011, 22:47   #86
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

Dost launch event:
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Old 9th October 2011, 03:58   #87
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Old 12th October 2011, 01:33   #88
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

the images make it look better than it is live. when i sat in one it just felt very bare(my vocabulary fails me, cant think of an appropriate word), too much empty space.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 14:06   #89
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

How's the market response to the DOST? Haven't seen many on the roads yet. However the ones that I did see, were silent and look more planted compared to the MAXXIMO and ACE
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Old 22nd November 2011, 14:10   #90
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Default Re: Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost from Hosur facility

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How's the market response to the DOST? Haven't seen many on the roads yet. However the ones that I did see, were silent and look more planted compared to the MAXXIMO and ACE
Same here - have seen very few of them on road till date. But the ones I've spotted were mostly hauling heavy loads with ease. The headlamps doesn't seem to be as "eye-straining" as the ones in the Ace - the headlamps of the Ace are an absolute pain during the night (for drivers in the opposite direction).
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