Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Ashok Leyland, has launched the Bada Dost, reinforcing its offering in the LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle) range. Through this, the company aims to increase its domestic LCV market. The Bada Dost will be offered at a segment above the regular Dost.
It comes equipped with the latest BS-VI compliant engine. It will be offered as two different variants, i4 and i3, with a segment-leading payload capacity of 1,860 kg and 1,405 kg, respectively. Bada Dost is being launched initially in 7 states and will gradually be available pan-India over the next 3 months, in a phased manner. The booking is now open on both physical and digital platforms. The (ex-showroom Mumbai) prices for the Bada Dost are Rs 7.75 Lakh & 7.95 lakh for the base i3 LS and LX variants, and 7.79 & 7.99 lacs for the i4 LS and LX variants.
Mr Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland said, “Today marks a milestone for us as we move towards our Vision of being amongst the Top 10 Global CV Makers. The new in-house developed platform is a key part of our long-term LCV strategy aimed at positioning AL as a serious and significant player in the segment. Bada Dost i3 and i4, the first two vehicles being launched on this new platform, along with other current offerings, close the gap in our LCV product portfolio. Our range will now be available in both right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive options, enabling us to look at international markets more aggressively. Plans are also on for the introduction of electric versions in due course.”
Until now, the pick-truck segment was dominated by the Mahindra Bolero Pick-Truck. Ashok Leyland’s flagship series of Dost is aimed at grabbing a major chunk of this market share. The new Bada Dost comes with 2.49 and 3.49-tonne gross vehicle weight (GVW), while the regular Dost comes with a GVW of 2.5 and 2.8 tonnes. The new Bada Dost is powered by an 80 bhp BS-VI compliant diesel engine.
The main selling point for this new light truck, as per the company is that it has three seats instead of the usual two certified by the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). Ashok Leyland also claims that the Bada Dost will arrive with several ‘car-like features’, which will be the first for the segment and come out to be the unique selling point of the Bada Dost.
Some of these features include a dashboard-mounted gear lever, provision for music system along with USB provision for mobile charging. The pickup truck will come with a new digital instrument cluster, dual-tone dashboard, doors equipped with bottle holders, dual glove box, reverse parking assist and LED tail lamps, to assist the long inter and intra city drives with a fully loaded trunk. The vehicle is also equipped with power steering and customers also have an option of AC, that makes long trips a more pleasurable experience.
Mr Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “LCV segment holds huge potential for us. The recovery of the CV industry is being led by this segment in the current market. With BADA DOST, we will now address an important part of this market which has tremendous promise. LCVs is one of our growth businesses accounting for about 40% of our sales volume in FY20, it continues to grow this year as well. With the new, robust BADA DOST product offering, we are sure to expand our family of customers worldwide who is looking for quality and profitability.”
Mr Nitin Seth, COO, Ashok Leyland, said, “Our DOST LCVs are some of the most successful vehicles in their respective segments. Since the launch of first DOST in 2011-12, we continued to win market share, despite a lean portfolio. DOST brand with its car-like experience and customer-centric approach has earned customers’ trust. I am confident that BADA DOST is just the right product at the right time, and one which will take the legacy of DOST brand to greater heights. It will be built at our newly installed, state-of-the-art, first fully robotic cubing line at Hosur. Backed by 24×7 service support and best customer experience, this will truly be an example of our Brand Philosophy ‘Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet’.”