The origin of Ashok Leyland, a Hinduja group company can be traced to the urge for self-reliance, felt by independent India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister persuaded Raghunandan Saran, an industrialist, to enter automotive manufacture. In 1948, Ashok Motors was set up in what was then Madras, for the assembly of Austin Cars. The Company's destiny and name changed soon with equity participation by British Leyland and Ashok Leyland commenced manufacture of commercial vehicles in 1955.
Since then Ashok Leyland has been a major presence in India's commercial vehicle industry with a tradition of technological leadership, achieved through tie-ups with international technology leaders and through vigorous in-house R&D. Access to international technology enabled the Company to set a tradition to be first with technology. Be it full air brakes, power steering or rear engine busses, Ashok Leyland pioneered all these concepts. Responding to the operating conditions and practices in the country, the Company made its vehicles strong, over-engineering them with extra metallic muscles. 'Designing durable products that make economic sense to the consumer, using appropriate technology', became the design philosophy of the Company, which in turn has moulded consumer attitudes and the brand personality.
The Hinduja Group is a transnational conglomerate that provides a wide range of products in over fifty countries worldwide. Today, the Hinduja Group has become one of the largest transnational business conglomerates in the world with diversified operations, spanning all the continents. The Group employs over 25,000 people and has offices in many key cities of the world and all the major cities in India.Ashok Leyland vehicles have built a reputation for reliability and ruggedness.
In the populous Indian metros, four out of the five State Transport Undertaking (STU) buses come from Ashok Leyland. Some of them like the double-decker and vestibule buses are unique models from Ashok Leyland, tailor-made for high-density routes.
In 1987, the overseas holding by Land Rover Leyland International Holdings Limited (LRLIH) was taken over by a joint venture between the Hinduja Group, the Non-Resident Indian transnational group and IVECO. (Since July 2006, the Hinduja Group is 100% holder of LRLIH). The blueprint prepared for the future reflected the global ambitions of the company, captured in four words: Global Standards, Global Markets. This was at a time when liberalisation and globalisation were not yet in the air. Ashok Leyland embarked on a major product and process upgradation to match world-class standards of technology.
For over five decades, Ashok Leyland has been the technology leader in India's commercial vehicle industry, moulding the country's commercial vehicle profile by introducing technologies and product ideas that have gone on to become industry norms. From 18 seater to 82 seater double-decker buses, from 7.5 tonne to 49 tonne in haulage vehicles, from numerous special application vehicles to diesel engines for industrial, marine and genset applications, Ashok Leyland offers a wide range of products. Eight out of ten metro state transport buses in India are from Ashok Leyland. With over 60 million passengers a day, Ashok Leyland buses carry more people than the entire Indian rail network!
Product range of the company includes:
1966 - Introduced full air brakes
1967 - Launched double-decker bus
1968 - Offered power steering in commercial vehicles
1979 - Introduced multi-axle trucks
1980 - Introduced the international concept of integral bus with air suspension
1982 - Introduced vestibule bus
1992 - Won self-certification status for defence supplies
1993 - Received ISO 9002
1997 - India's first CNG powered bus joined the BEST fleet
2001 - Received ISO 14001 certification for all manufacturing units
2002 - Launched hybrid electric vehicle2003 - Dheeraj Hinduja Elected Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Board
2004 - The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and Ashok Leyland signed an agreement for setting up a 'state-of-the-art' Driver Training Institute at Burari
2005 - State-of-the-art Driver Training Institute opens in Delhi
2006 - Ashok Leyland and Bosch have joined hands with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to set up the Ashok Leyland and Bosch Centre of Excellence in Engineering Design at the IITM campus
2007 - The company unveiled 4921 TT, a 6x4 tractor with a gross vehicle weight of 49 tonnes
2008 - The company signed an agreement for a joint venture with John Deere, for manufacturing and marketing of construction equipment.
2009 - Ashok Leyland and Bank of Baroda signed a MoU wherein Bank of Baroda will fund Ashok Leyland’s end-customers as well as finance its dealers’ inventory
2010 - Ashok Leyland has bagged an order for 600 vehicles from VRL Logistics that comprise 500 numbers of 3123 Multi-Axle Vehicle (MAV) in the 8x2 configuration, a newly developed, first of its kind for the Indian commercial vehicle industry, along with 100 nos. of the Company’s 12-metre buses
- 2011-Ashok Leyland forays in small commercial vehicle segment; launches “DOST” in JV with Nissan Motor.
- 2013- Launched the STILE, a stylish Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) based on a contemporary, award-winning vehicle platform.
- 2013- Launched the BOSS, an intermediate commercial vehicle (ICV), that seamlessly combines the strength and ruggedness of a truck with the comfort of a car.
- 2014- Launched two new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) - PARTNER truck, India’s first air-conditioned LCV goods vehicle and MiTR bus, a LCV bus with best-in-class comfort. After the commercially successful Dost and the recently launched STiLE, now PARTNER and MiTR are the latest offerings from the Ashok Leyland – Nissan Joint Venture.
- - Launched MiTR - a new age LCV bus, ergonomically designed to offer superior comfort and utility to passengers & drivers. MiTR offers class-leading comfort with parabolic suspension in front & rear- an industry-first. It is powered by advanced ZD30 Common Rail diesel engine that ensures superior fuel-efficiency.
- CAPTAIN truck series launched.
- Ashok Leyland unveils the ‘CAPTAIN’ truck series in January.
- Powered by the advanced, efficient ZD30 Common Rail diesel engine in January.
- Ashok Leyland displays the full range of next-generation Commercial Vehicles at Auto Expo 2014.
- Ashok Leyland receives an order for 2,200 buses from the Government of Sri Lanka in June.
- Ashok Leyland dedicates its first JanBus to the City of Joy Kolkota in July.
- Ashok Leyland is the largest recipient of orders for buses under JNNURM-II scheme worth nearly Rs 1500 Crores in September.
- Ashok Leyland’s Pantnagar manufacturing plant rolls out its 100,000th vehicle in September.
- Ashok Leyland receives an additional order worth USD 17 mn from Sri Lanka in October.
- Ashok Leyland sign a MoU with Bank of Maharashtra for vehicle financing in October.
- -Ashok Leyland bags major projects from Africa worth USD 79.2 mn in November.
- Ashok Leyland introduces the CAPTAIN series in Telangana in December.
- Ashok Leyland inaugurates its 18th touch point and the revolutionary ICV vehicle, BOSS, in Uttar Pradesh in December.
- Ashok Leyland unveils its first zero emission, electric bus - Optare Versa EV - in India on January.
- Ashok Leyland signs MoU with Lakshmi Vilas Bank for Vehicle Financing in February.
- Ashok Leyland inaugurates a state-of-the-art workshop in Riyadh on February.
- Ashok Leyland opens a new dealership in Mangaluru, Karnataka in February.
- The first batch of the Ashok Leyland ‘Ashirwad Yojana’ – the 4-year diploma course for underprivileged youth of Uttarakhand graduates from their plant in Pantnagar in March.
- Ashok Leyland inaugurates its 7th dealership in Gujarat on May.
- Ashok Leyland wins order for buses worth 82 mn USD from Senegal on June.
- KOOH Sports launches ‘Jaipur Super League’ in July.
- Ashok Leyland opens a new dealership in Hosapete, Karnataka in September.
- Ashok Leyland signs MoU with The South Indian Bank for Vehicle Finance in September.
- Ashok Leyland expands its network in J&K in October.
- Ashok Leyland wins contract for 3600 vehicles worth $200Mn from Cote D'Ivoire in November.
- Ashok Leyland launches its next generation school bus – SUNSHINE-in Vijayawada in June.
- Nissan and Ashok Leyland to embark on new phase in business relationship in September.
- Ashok Leyland launches ‘Circuit’ Series – first Electric Bus Made in India on October.
- Ashok Leyland, Pantnagar conferred the 2016 Deming Prize for the successful implementation of Total Quality Management in November.
- Ashok Leyland acquires LCV business from Nissan Motor Corporation in November.
- Ashok Leyland’s ‘Tipper Mela’ showcases the entire range of Tipper Trucks in Ranchi on December.
- Ashok Leyland forms a Strategic alliance for electric mobility solutions with sun mobility on July.
- Ashok Leyland bags order for 3019 Buses from KSRTC in July.
- Ashok Leyland strengthens its presence in Bihar to cater to Increasing Demand in July.
- Ashok Leyland’s iEGR technology attracts INR 120 Cr Order from Rivigo in August.
- Ashok Leyland and IIT Madras sign an MOU for sponsoring ‘Centre of Battery Engineering’ in August.
In the journey towards global standards of quality, Ashok Leyland reached a major milestone in 1993 when it became the first in India's automobile history to win the ISO 9002 certification. The more comprehensive ISO 9001 certification came in 1994, QS 9000 in 1998 and ISO 14001 certification for all vehicle manufacturing units in 2002. It has also become the first Indian auto company to receive the latest ISO/TS 16949 Corporate Certification (in July 2006) which is specific to the auto industry.