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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:03   #1
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Default Ashok Leyland launches U-truck platform-based vehicles

Ashok Leyland launches U-truck platform-based vehicles
Ashok Leyland on Tuesday rolled out 10 models of tippers and tractor trailers in the 16-tonne to 49-tonne segment built under a brand new U-truck platform.
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The price of tractor trailers will range from Rs.16.32 lakh to Rs. 23.41 lakh, depending on the tonnage capacity and comfort features. The price of U-truck tippers will range from Rs. 14.43 lakh to Rs. 31.81 lakh.
Initially, these vehicles will be available in Chennai. Pan-India sale will begin in the next six weeks. Ashok Leyland is also planning to storm the market with 15 more models on the U-truck platform in the next 12 months.
The Hinduja flagship company has also come out with a host of first-in-the-industry innovative service care packages to give a big push to the U-truck platform vehicles in the marketplace.
A four-year driveline warranty on tractors, a two-year-warranty on trippers, an ‘all cover' insurance for cashless repair against accidents, extension of Tatkaal (a scheme to attend distress calls) to cover the entire Golden Quadrilateral are among the customer-centric initiatives that the commercial vehicle maker has announced.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Managing Director R. Seshasayee said the launch of U-truck platform-based vehicles was “a definitive kind of a change for the company'' and would revolutionise the experience on the roads. These were not premium products, he said.
“These are products for all and products for every market, giving customers value and comfort at affordable price,'' he added.
Initially, these vehicles would be made at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand. Over a period, all plants would make U-truck platform vehicles, he added. The Managing Director said the U-truck platform was a flexible one and could facilitate a variety of options. The U-truck platform could undergo changes “as we go along,” he added.
Mr. Seshasayee said all the plants would move away from legacy vehicles to new U-truck platform-based ones in the next one-and-a-half years. On the potential, he said the entire volume in the medium and heavy vehicle segment was available for the U-truck vehicles. The tipper and tractor constituted about 30 per cent of the medium and heavy vehicle segment, he added. The Managing Director said Ashok Leyland was hoping to sell 5,000 to 6,000 U-truck vehicles in the next three months. By the middle of 2012-13, he said, the company would have fully moved away from legacy to the U-truck platform.
Source : The Hindu : Business / Companies : Ashok Leyland launches U-truck platform-based vehicles

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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:34   #2
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What's "brand new" in the U series? The cab design is still the same as NEWGEN series. The NEXTGEN series is probably still under development. Interesting to note the statement that they are not premium trucks since the premium ones don't sell much in India, Tata Novus and Prima being good examples. I believe these new trucks use Tata-style cranked chassis and that's what distinguishes them from traditional AL trucks that use flat/straight chassis. Interesting to note that legacy series will be phased out by 2012-13. No information is given about the engines. Is the Neptune also being offered?
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Old 3rd November 2010, 12:05   #3
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What's "brand new" in the U series?
Wider tracks,
heavy duty suspension/axles for a wider service frequency.
AC cabs etc

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
The cab design is still the same as NEWGEN series.
Though it looks same the cabs in U series are fully suspended. The earlier ones were fixed. This will also be available with tiltable option in near future
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I believe these new trucks use Tata-style cranked chassis and that's what distinguishes them from traditional AL trucks that use flat/straight chassis.
whats cranked chassis- can you explain plz

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No information is given about the engines. Is the Neptune also being offered?
No Neptunes on offer right now.. but they will eventually be offered in due course
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Old 3rd November 2010, 12:11   #4
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How do the prices of the U-series compare with the existing Al range and those of the competition?

And only tippers and tractors - what about the rigid trucks?
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Old 3rd November 2010, 13:09   #5
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Though it looks same the cabs in U series are fully suspended. The earlier ones were fixed. This will also be available with tiltable option in near future
What type of suspension is used?


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whats cranked chassis- can you explain plz
Variable cross section is perhaps the right term. In AL trucks, the chassis cross section is the same from the front end to the rear end whereas in Tata trucks, the cross section is lesser in the front and rear overhang portions. It results in weight saving without sacrifising rigidity or load carrying capacity.

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No Neptunes on offer right now.. but they will eventually be offered in due course
So even the 49 tonner uses only a 6 litre engine?
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Old 3rd November 2010, 13:46   #6
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How do the prices of the U-series compare with the existing Al range and those of the competition?

And only tippers and tractors - what about the rigid trucks?
The price differance will be from 40K to 100K for existing products of AL. This mainly due to BS3 versions and for other upgrades.
Rigid trucks in the second phase.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 22:14   #7
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No Neptunes on offer right now.. but they will eventually be offered in due course
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Rigid trucks in the second phase.
Looks like very early stage...This announcement is more to illustrate that AL got some thing to match with TML Prima range and Navistar range from Mahindra. Nothing more. Also, It being offered only TN. Let us see who are the early adopters...
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Old 3rd November 2010, 22:58   #8
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AL has already said these U-Trucks are not premium segment products. I believe AL is targeting AMW, MAN and Tata 2523LPK(Construck range and not prima at least for now!). For example in kerala MAN has made its presence felt with in a short period of its launch. There are more than 200 MAN (tippers & trucks) in kerala alone. MAN & AMW represent a class just above the usual AL or TML models and also below premium models of Volvo & MB. These vehicle offer better driver comforts, stronger & bigger aggregates, powerful engine etc. Mahindra has not yet started its pan india sales. The Mahindra M25 and this AL 2523U was launched during the autoexpo2010. And the most intresting fact is, in kerala, both Mahindra & AL are sold by the same dealer - TVS & Sons!
As Teamveevee said, lets wait and watch how AL plays the game.
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Old 5th November 2010, 19:03   #9
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The U-truck series is definitely not in comparision with the Prima range of trucks from TML, which can pretty much compete with the best the international market can throw at it.

Rather these trucks will rather slot in inbetween the Prima range from TML and the old standard chasis that TML and ALL sell now, directly in competition with MAN, Mahindra Navistar and AMW.

TML will need to bring in all its export products into the domestic market with full force and with improvements to be able to compete in this newer segment, as its Prima range will be too costly to compete with these models.
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Old 8th November 2010, 11:28   #10
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The U-truck series is definitely not in comparision with the Prima range of trucks from TML, which can pretty much compete with the best the international market can throw at it.

Rather these trucks will rather slot in inbetween the Prima range from TML and the old standard chasis that TML and ALL sell now, directly in competition with MAN, Mahindra Navistar and AMW.

TML will need to bring in all its export products into the domestic market with full force and with improvements to be able to compete in this newer segment, as its Prima range will be too costly to compete with these models.
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AL has already said these U-Trucks are not premium segment products. ......
MAN & AMW represent a class just above the usual AL or TML models and also below premium models of Volvo & MB. These vehicle offer better driver comforts, stronger & bigger aggregates, powerful engine etc.
Accepting the fact that U trucks are a higher spec products to existing products I disagee that prima is only a whole range of premium product.
They are also targetting a mass volume segment. The cost of Prima range of Tractors and Tippers are not high enough or highly spec'd to call them as Premium product to Volvo. Its only a perception that they are premium.
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Old 8th November 2010, 13:08   #11
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The U-truck series is definitely not in comparision with the Prima range of trucks from TML, which can pretty much compete with the best the international market can throw at it.

Well, can you "educate" me with the features found on the Prima ,and the relationship to international models ?

Rather these trucks will rather slot in inbetween the Prima range from TML and the old standard chasis that TML and ALL sell now, directly in competition with MAN, Mahindra Navistar and AMW.

The first person to think ,Prima is much better than MAN or Navistar ( internationally )

TML will need to bring in all its export products into the domestic market with full force and with improvements to be able to compete in this newer segment, as its Prima range will be too costly to compete with these models.
Well, you answered your doubts . The prima if it is too costly how will a truck operator get back his ROI ?
What about the operating costs ?
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Old 8th November 2010, 13:12   #12
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AL has already said these U-Trucks are not premium segment products. I believe AL is targeting AMW, MAN and Tata 2523LPK(Construck range and not prima at least for now!). For example in kerala MAN has made its presence felt with in a short period of its launch. There are more than 200 MAN (tippers & trucks) in kerala alone. MAN & AMW represent a class just above the usual AL or TML models and also below premium models of Volvo & MB. These vehicle offer better driver comforts, stronger & bigger aggregates, powerful engine etc. Mahindra has not yet started its pan india sales. The Mahindra M25 and this AL 2523U was launched during the autoexpo2010. And the most intresting fact is, in kerala, both Mahindra & AL are sold by the same dealer - TVS & Sons!
As Teamveevee said, lets wait and watch how AL plays the game.

A truck operator does not go by this logic . He is more interested in how much he can overload than normal capacity , the cost of spares, avaliability , mechanics to service , etc .
Man , Tatra they are more into niche segments like mining , tipping , where operators prefer those vehicles , but apart from that the regular truckkers would prefer something cheap and easy to run and maintian
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:35   #13
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He is more interested in how much he can overload than normal capacity , the cost of spares, avaliability , mechanics to service , etc .
Man , Tatra they are more into niche segments like mining , tipping , where operators prefer those vehicles , but apart from that the regular truckkers would prefer something cheap and easy to run and maintian
The whole industry is changing...overloading, cost of spares service etc are not the only concerns today. Products from MAN, AMW etc are in no way inferior to these considerations. They offer better productivity, faster turn-around-time, better driver comforts (incl. A/c) etc.
Tatra is only in the niche segments. But AMW & MAN are not so. Today we find fuel tankers on MAN chassis ferrying petrol from BPCL kochi refinary to pertol pump in Ponnani (Kerala)(a segment where TML ruled!). Similarly AMW multiaxle trucks & MAN tractors have become a common site at Cochin port.
As the CV industry changes, so do customers.
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Old 8th November 2010, 18:02   #14
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A truck operator does not go by this logic . He is more interested in how much he can overload than normal capacity , the cost of spares, avaliability , mechanics to service , etc .
Overloading is getting its age and no more this will be an USP( though officially cant spelt out by a manufacturer) for a product. Now the USP is Faster TAT. Now Products with higher engine specs are prefered rather than just load carrying capacity.
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Man , Tatra they are more into niche segments like mining , tipping , where operators prefer those vehicles , but apart from that the regular truckkers would prefer something cheap and easy to run and maintian
Tatra have almost vanished. Indian mines are completely occupied with Volvo, MB and Scania's, purely for the higher engine specs ( upwards from 300 HP) which translates into faster TAT.
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Old 8th November 2010, 19:05   #15
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The Prima range of trucks is not exactly very cheap. It's present on sale models are the 4028S and 4928S, which are not exactly the top of the line products in the range. In fact these will be the lowest powered tractors in the Prima range. The 4028S costs no less than 21laks, for just the tractor, and the 4928 costs 31laks for just the tractor. And these are sold mostly with a trailer which adds another 8-10 lacks to the cost.So you cant compare them with the normal range of trucks or even with the MAN and Navistar trucks that are sold in India.

The standard drivetrain is much better than normal trucks. The trucks will be powered by engines ranging from 150hp to 560ps. The tractors that are already on sale, shall be available, with options of 280, 380, 420 and 460 hp engines. The 75ton GVW truck will be available with the 560hp engine. If you remember, even the 11ton GVW truck on display at the Auto Expo was powered by the 280hp engine. The on-sale models are equipped with 10-speed(8 forward, 1 crawler and 1 reverse) gearboxes imported from ZF. Future models will feature 14-speed and even automatic gearboxes. All the drivetrains parts will have electrical interfaces, for full on-board diagnostics and limited on-board solutions as well. The cabin is very much comparable with any of the international truck brand like Volvo,Renault, DAF, MAN ( European and not Indian version ) and Mercedes-Benz. There are four-different kind of cabins available, with two-different widths and heights to choose from. All these cabs will have options for both day and sleeper versions. The seats are fully-suspended, so as to provide the most comfort to the driver and co-driver. The seats will be fully-electronically adjustable and with a steering column adjustable for both rake and reach. Most trucks sold will have electric-windows and electrically adjustable ORVMs. Trucks will also be enabled with fully-automatic air-conditioning, with separate controls in the sleeping bunks of the sleeper cabs. The sleeping bunks will also get the controls for the audio-system. GPS tracking systems and inbuilt messaging system is also provided for truck-fleet owner communications. The cabins have also been designed to pass European safety regulations considering that the range will be introduced there as well in a few years time.

These are but a few-features of the Tata Prima range. These trucks are not aimed, as of now, for the normal truck buyer with 2 or 3 trucks let alone one, but at really really large fleet operators.For example Siddhi Vinayak transport from Maharashtra has ordered around 200 Tata Primas in a staggered manner. Similarly Linfox Logistics, with their special red-yellow trucks, has ordered 250 Primas. The Linfox trucks are being painted a special colour as requested by the company. The ROI of these trucks is not achieved by overloading, but by keeping the truck on the road for much longer. These trucks can be used to travel upto 800kms perday. Tata Primas have been used to do the Mumbai to Delhi stretch in just over two days. These are but a few of the many-features of the range.

I hope these doubts have cleared up what kind of market Tata is looking to capture with its Prima range of trucks. Tata is not at all looking to replace its present normal range of trucks with the Prima range for even the whole next decade if not more. While ALL has said that its U-trucks will replace its traditional trucks in just a few years time.
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Last edited by julupani : 8th November 2010 at 19:12.
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