Ashok Leyland ‘looking at all options’ to make EV batteries

‘Outlook for FY22 positive, capacity utilisation improving’

Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland Ltd. (ALL) is ‘looking at all options’ for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles, according to chairman Dheeraj G. Hinduja.

Addressing the 72nd Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Hinduja said, “This is an area which goes hand in hand with our EV ambitions. I don’t want to disclose any plans at this moment except to say that .. very much looking at all options,” he said

Asked by shareholders whether the company would go in for production of electric cars on the lines of Tesla, he said ALL’s core competence lay in making intermediate commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles and medium & heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) and that the company did not want to (make cars and) compete with Tesla directly.

He said that the outlook for FY22 was positive, even while pointing out that the performance of the company was affected in FY21 due to volatility in the automotive sector, coupled with the global shortage of semiconductor chips.

He said there were reports about a potential third wave and that ALL was monitoring the situation closely. Referring to the improved scenario, he said capacity utilisation in the M&HCV segment was in the range of 52% to 70% at various plants, while for LCVs it was closer to 100%. “Demand is strong and we are doing de-bottlenecking wherever required.”

Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, informed shareholders that the performance of the company in the coming quarters would be better quarter-on-quarter.

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