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Old 24th September 2013, 20:56   #31
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Just as I was saying a 14 seater on something like the Dost seems like overkill, Tata seem to have come up with exactly the same thing on the SuperAce platform.

Take a look at the SuperAce Angkot, made for the Indonesian market and showcased at the Indonesian auto show IMS 2013. This is a 14+D seating passenger carrier, which even has a 19in LCD screen in the back for entertainment.

Attachment 1142388

Attachment 1142389

Hope Ashok Leyland take note and try to make a proper passenger version of the Dost.

Pic and story Courtesy: Indian Autos Blog

BTW, those seem like Innova tail light clusters on the SuperAce Angkot.

Seriously a superb Job by Tata. I wish if AL had spend some half the time Tata engineers spend on designing the products, an even better product can come out of the line.

Come on Ashok Leyland, please live in today's world and bring out a wonderful dost express rather than a "dibba" express as showcased in the pics.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 16:20   #32
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Default Specific details of the Ashok Leyland Dost Express in a Team-BHP scoop

Link to News Section

Ashok Leyland will launch the Stile MPV, a badge engineered version of the Nissan Evalia, on the 8th of October. Soon after, the Hosur based Indian utility vehicle maker will begin selling the Dost Express, a passenger carrier version of the Dost mini pick up truck. Team-BHP has scooped images of the Dost Express at an Ashok Leyland Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) showroom in a western city of India.

Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly-dost-express-passenger-van-spyshot-1.jpg

Team-BHP has also gathered specific information related to the Dost Express, in terms of the people carrier's seating capacity, engine options and body shell design. The Dost Express features a fiber passenger cabin that's mounted onto the Dost's chassis, which comes with a driver cabin as a factory fit. The half cowl equipped Dost is sent to body builders (situated in various parts of the country and each serving a specific region) contracted out by Ashok Leyland.

Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly-dost-express-passenger-van-spyshot-2.jpg

The body builder fits the fiber passenger shell, which has been designed by Ashok Leyland, to the Dost's half cowl and dispatches the Dost Express to the dealer, who then sells it to the customer. The fiber body shell encloses space for 12 passengers in a 4 seat layout. The 4 seats are placed opposite to each another in a square layout. Entry to the passenger cabin is through a single door located on the left side of the Dost Express.

Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly-dost-express-passenger-van-spyshot-3.jpg

The driver and co-passenger sit in a separate cabin. Passengers sitting in the rear cabin can communicate with the driver through an opening between the two driver and passenger cabins. A high roof and large sliding windows give the Dost Express an airy feel. However, the passenger carrier is strictly a no-frills option meant to serve as a basic people mover with minimal comforts on offer. A tube light in the passenger cabin is the only creature comfort offered on the Dost Express.

Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly-dost-express-passenger-van-spyshot-4.jpg

The Dost Express is likely to feature an on-road price in the whereabouts of 6-7 lakh rupees. The 1.5 liter-triple cylinder turbo diesel engine of the Dost, which outputs 58 Bhp-157.5 Nm, will be carried over to the Dost Express without any changes. A CNG variant of this engine on the Dost Express is likely in the coming months as Ashok Leyland has lined up the CNG powered Dost mini pick up truck for a launch shortly.

While the pick up truck version of the Dost is equipped with air conditioning as an option for the driver and co-passenger, such an option might not be offered on the no-frills passenger carrier version of the Dost. The passenger carrier variant will sit between the Tata Ace Magic/Mahindra Maxximo and the Tata Winger in terms of positioning. The Dost is a re-engineered version of the Nissan Vanette pick up truck sold in Japan. Ashok Leyland and Nissan have collaborated in order to develop and launch a range of small commercial vehicles in India.

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 2nd October 2013 at 16:22. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 2nd October 2013, 16:59   #33
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

Sadly, this ugly contraption with a factory-approved fiberglass body from a coach-builder turns out to be the real Dost Express

Even if the looks can be barely tolerated after much scorn, why did they put in side facing seats? Sitting on side-facing seats is a highly uncomfortable way to travel. And the square/rectangular layout must have been inspired by a dining table. Coming to think of it, this kind of seating may actually work - put a small table in the middle and all the passengers of the Dost Express can play a game of cards on the move

Jokes apart, this contraption was the last thing I expected from the very promising Ashok Leyland-Nissan JV. Waiting for Stile on the 8th now. I hope they get the pricing and variants/equipment levels on the Stile right. I read on Overdrive that AL would mainly target fleet operators, but would welcome private buyers as well. If true, the Stile can turn out to be a good alternative to the Enjoy and Ertiga.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 19:10   #34
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

Come on Ashok Leyland, I did not expect such a people mover from you . Imagine 12 people moving in a closed fiber shell like this one. Looking at the driving style of our drivers, I feel it is a potential safety hazard. By the way we can not consider a tube light is not a comfort feature. It is in essential feature.

In one way our auto industry is adopting latest technologies, but on the other side we are getting such designs. In my opinion SIAM should come out with some guidelines for their member companies about the minimum safety requirements.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 19:24   #35
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

As RSR has said, this weird box on wheels looks more like a dining room, or even a doctor's waiting room, than an automobile. Or it could be used as a mobile office for government departments, banks and NGOs.

Come to think of it, with a few modifications, it could be used as a caravan.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 19:59   #36
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

Does it look like the fiber body has a metallic structure???

I ask because to me, it doesnt look like having any metal body structure of any sort. What is the level of safety inside a shell like this?? Will the roof hold up to a reasonable degree in case of a roll over, or will the whole thing cave in?? The Ace Magic for example may be draped in fabric, but actually has a pretty good body structure under it.

Like I said before, I would much rather walk than take a ride in this.

Last edited by julupani : 2nd October 2013 at 20:05.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 00:03   #37
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
it doesnt look like having any metal body structure of any sort. What is the level of safety inside a shell like this?? Will the roof hold up to a reasonable degree in case of a roll over, or will the whole thing cave in?? The Ace Magic for example may be draped in fabric, but actually has a pretty good body structure under it.
May not be meant for highway/high speed usage. Just a replacement for the Vikram autos and vehicles where people are transported on flat beds (very common in rural areas).
This kind of vehicles (bigger in size) are common in developed countries also for small distance usage, such as airport terminal to parking lot etc.
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Last edited by teamveevee : 3rd October 2013 at 00:06.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 10:56   #38
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
May not be meant for highway/high speed usage. Just a replacement for the Vikram autos and vehicles where people are transported on flat beds (very common in rural areas).
Even for such rural use, DOST is too powerful. I've seen many fully loaded DOST goods carriers doing 3-digit speeds on the highways. To think of it, the DOST Express vehicles would be manned by people who graduated from ricks and other 3 or 4-wheeled contraptions, so expecting even a minimum level of discipline or concern for other road users would be asking too much.

A bit OT, the Tata Magic-Iris Auto-taxis in Kerala have good headlights, but all of them drive around with the highbeams on. On the 4-lane highway, they hog the right lane and chug along at 30kmph.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
This kind of vehicles (bigger in size) are common in developed countries also for small distance usage, such as airport terminal to parking lot etc.
True. It can still be put to a similar use in urban areas, but then there has to be better seats and aircon inside the passenger cabin.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 12:33   #39
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Even for such rural use, DOST is too powerful. I've seen many fully loaded DOST goods carriers doing 3-digit speeds on the highways.
Whether it is a Nissan-derived engine or one developed in-house, Ashok Leyland have got a very good motor in the form of the 58PS 1.5 TDCR. It's quite refined on the outside, torquey for load-carrying applications, doesn't struggle on inclines and manages good speeds on the highway.

I've seen Dosts effortlessly overtake me and other cars on the highway when I was cruising at ~ 85 kmph. Ashok Leyland claim a top speed of 90 kmph, but that is at the rated GVW of 2.5 tons (must be with the A/C switched on). Unloaded or partly loaded Dosts without A/C should be able to do well over 100 kmph.

Last edited by RSR : 3rd October 2013 at 12:35.
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Old 6th October 2013, 01:09   #40
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by urzdeepu View Post
Seriously a superb Job by Tata. I wish if AL had spend some half the time Tata engineers spend on designing the products, an even better product can come out of the line.....
Leave away Angkot, regular Venture itself is an excellent attemp by Tata. Another great job of maximizing the economies of scale. A space occupied by Omni for decades together and Tata targeted it. But reality was something like this..
Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly-20130924_214859.jpg

It should have been this way (I wished the same)
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I don't deny the product going to multiple segments, but it should not be like product gets ended up this way. Other side is neither it has not made a mark here nor in private segment. So its yet an another example of Operation Success but patient died.
If you look at the numbers, Venture is hardly selling in just 3 digits aganist ~8k to 10k sales of Omni/Eeco. This is insptite of the fact that Venture is the only diesel van in this segment. So what is the fun in making excellent concepts with out making money for company? These kind of glitches I am finding it repeatedly with in Tata portfolio, first one being Winger and now Venture (ofcourse Grande). The product gets attraction heavily in initial days, but slowly they move away from site in couple of years. (Thank fully, Super Ace has shown some positives after initial slow sales).

Now Tata is offering 100% finance for taxi operators with just identity proof, to promote it in share auto segment. But mainly due to reduced number of seats and fuel performance in comparison with Magic - it has not really taken off well. But if the product issues are sorted out and if repositioned this will still be a Stalwart. But will it be?

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Originally Posted by MaxTorque View Post
Come on Ashok Leyland, I did not expect such a people mover from you .
That too with Stile launch around the corner. With Dost Volume so much to be tapped in other markets, I think Dost Express could have taken some more time so that an acceptable design to Passengers could be arrived.

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Originally Posted by MaxTorque View Post
Imagine 12 people moving in a closed fiber shell like this one. Looking at the driving style of our drivers, I feel it is a potential safety hazard. ...
In one way our auto industry is adopting latest technologies, but on the other side we are getting such designs. In my opinion SIAM should come out with some guidelines for their member companies about the minimum safety requirements.
Its ARAI with its CMVR regulating automobiles in India, and all these are passed for rollover test, frontal collision test, lane changing test etc. Remember even Magic with its completely side open windows and soft top have also passed.

Last edited by Ashley2 : 6th October 2013 at 01:13.
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Old 6th October 2013, 07:08   #41
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Leave away Angkot, regular Venture itself is an excellent attemp by Tata.

...........


I don't deny the product going to multiple segments, but it should not be like product gets ended up this way. Other side is neither it has not made a mark here nor in private segment. So its yet an another example of Operation Success but patient died.
If you look at the numbers, Venture is hardly selling in just 3 digits aganist ~8k to 10k sales of Omni/Eeco. This is insptite of the fact that Venture is the only diesel van in this segment. So what is the fun in making excellent concepts with out making money for company? These kind of glitches I am finding it repeatedly with in Tata portfolio, first one being Winger and now Venture (ofcourse Grande). The product gets attraction heavily in initial days, but slowly they move away from site in couple of years. (Thank fully, Super Ace has shown some positives after initial slow sales).
..........
I dont think the Venture though a great product, had much future in India. Despite its diesel engine, nobody buys it compared to the Omni/Eeco is that its just too costly. The Venture is about 2-2.5L costlier than a Omni and about 1.5L costlier than an Eeco. And its fuel efficiency advantage is just not big enough.

The lower end of the segment, always preferred to take the Magic thanks to it being cheap, and quite a good bit more mileage thanks to a 2-cyl engine.

But by going to SE Asia, the Venture may still pay off for Tata.


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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Its ARAI with its CMVR regulating automobiles in India, and all these are passed for rollover test, frontal collision test, lane changing test etc. Remember even Magic with its completely side open windows and soft top have also passed.
Somehow I am just not convinced that this meets all minumum safety requirements. By going in with a body built on the chassis, they may have found some loophole in the regulations to not have to make the body go through all the rigorous tests.
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Old 6th October 2013, 08:24   #42
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

Perhaps, we may get to see many Ambulance version of the Dost Express and could be a success with the oodles of space in there compared with Omni for that vital transit medical aid.
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Old 6th October 2013, 09:09   #43
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

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Its ARAI with its CMVR regulating automobiles in India, and all these are passed for rollover test, frontal collision test, lane changing test etc. Remember even Magic with its completely side open windows and soft top have also passed.
I was aware of that, in my opinion our certifications are still following outdated standards to asses/certify vehicles. But our manufactures are better placed compared to those organizations. I always think if SIAM adopts guidelines their own, manufactures will follow.That was the reason behind my reply.
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Old 7th October 2013, 17:56   #44
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

I had great expectations about "Dost Express".According to me it can be rightly called as "Dakota Express". ( we call old, red colored, KSRTC buses as "Dakota Express"). Also "hats off " to the wonderful brain behind the "Dost Express" project of Ashok Leyland..!!
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Old 20th October 2013, 22:13   #45
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland to launch Dost Express passenger van and CNG version shortly

Friends..

Give me a minute.

I happened to see this vehicle which was a registered dost with a full body not like that of the so called dost express dibba body.

Am very sorry for this pathetic picture that i could capture during but am still posting this for your information.The vehicle had this full body unlike the cabin+body cofig of the express.

Now what model Dost is this? Any aftermarket modification or a company specimen?

Spotted at Anchal near of Kollam.
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