Ashok Leyland, as planned, recently introduced a new vehicle in the Indian automobile market called the Stile. At present, Ashok Leyland has a wide range of products that includes buses, trucks, light vehicles, defence logistics and power solutions. Now, with the introduction of Stile in the market, the auto company seems to be all set to establish itself in the passenger car segment. Dr. V Sumantran, Vice Chairman, Ashok Leyland, while speaking at the launch, was upbeat about the new vehicle and explained the prospects of the same.
“We are extremely delighted to launch the second product from the Ashok Leyland Nissan JV, which we believe, will change the dynamics of Indian MPVs. With Stile, our mission was clear – to deliver to the Indian customer, a contemporary MPV with lots of space, contemporary styling, comfort features and most of all, class-leading fuel efficiency. Stile is developed on a trusted and reliable vehicle platform that reflects our continued focus on offering Japanese Technology and Quality at Indian Cost. With the Stile also in our portfolio, we are now better positioned to cater to a wider customer base and range of transportation needs,” he said.
The Hinduja Group flagship launched Stile on 7th October, 2013 with a price ranging between Rs.7.49 lakh and Rs. 9.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Stile marks the entry of Ashok Leyland in the multi utility vehicle (MUV) segment of the Indian car market. Unveiled by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, company’s brand ambassador, the all-new Stile follows the highly successful DOST as the second product in the firm's portfolio of light vehicles. Developed by the joint venture between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company, this utility vehicle is being produced at Nissan’s manufacturing plant located at Oragadam, near Chennai. Stile comes with 2 years or 50000 km warranty and is being sold through 130 Light Commercial Vehicles outlets across the country. The auto company is also planning to launch the CNG variant for attracting domestic customers.
Ashok Leyland Stile is a stylish Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) that is powered by a 1.5-litre dCi common rail diesel engine, generating power and torque levels of 74 bhp and 185 Nm, respectively. Furthermore, the engine is mated to an efficient five-speed manual gearbox. The best part of this advanced and globally acclaimed Common Rail diesel engine is that it has been tuned for an excellent driveability and low NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) level. This utility vehicle offers a best-in-class fuel efficiency that is equivalent to 19.5 kmpl (as certified by ARAI). As regards to the fuel economy, Nitin Seth, Ashok Leyland's Executive Director of Light Commercial Vehicles and Defence Businesses had earlier said, “Stile is not a vehicle aimed at personal buyers; it is aimed at the value seeker fleet operator. In India, people want a balanced vehicle, with focus on functionality of fuel efficiency and cost of running than on the performance of the car, and Stile intends to deliver that.”
According to company claims, Stile addresses to varied applications like 7-8 seater people transport in the urban and rural areas, taxi services, hotel shuttles, ambulances, courier services, panel vans, inter-city and intra-city travel. Designed in accordance with modern global styling trends, Stile features a monocoque body construction that makes for a lower weight. A drive in this vehicle is highly apt for passengers to an extent that it translates into car-like comfort, enhanced ride quality and safety. Interiors are impressive with superior ergonomics. Doors slide on both sides allow easy parking even in tighter spaces. Ample legroom and headroom makes for an enhanced comfort level of travelling passengers. Dual rear air conditioning vents for effective air conditioning at the rear further add to passengers' comfort. Moreover, there is abundant space in this utility vehicle for keeping luggage while going on a trip.
With the launch of Stile, Ashok Leyland also plans to establish its network in the eastern region of the country. Nitin Seth also hinted about the expansion plans when he said, “We are looking to enter East India by November this year. Between November and March, we plan to have 200 outlets across the country, which will also include expanding the network in smaller cities.”
In light of whatever has been discussed till now, one can say that the auto maker has put in lot of efforts while developing the newly launched Stile. For instance, every feature that has been incorporated in this utility vehicle will only help to enhance convenience and comfort level of passengers. The price range is just right for this light vehicle and the fuel-efficiency apt to account for a low travelling cost. Furthermore, the plan to reach out customers in East zone of India is suggestive of intended expansion plans. So, in a nutshell we can say that by making Stile as its base, Ashok Leyland has every intent to a mark a special niche in the passenger car market of India and thereby, explore opportunities for a pan-India establishment.