Indian truck and bus maker Ashok Leyland has acquired Czech truck manufacturer Avia's truck business unit for an undisclosed amount. 

The acquired unit manufactures trucks in the medium truck segment for sale in the Czech Republic, Hungary, UK, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Spain.

Chennai-based Ashok Leyland, part of the Hinduja Group, is hoping the strategic location of Avia opens up possibilities of using its facilities to assemble and market some of the company's own future products. 

Ashok Leyland managing director R. Seshasayee said: "Avia is part of our inorganic growth plan and is a significant step in securing a beachhead in the European Union and the Eastern European markets. The acquisition will also give us a modern, international vehicle for our light and medium commercial vehicle range of trucks for India and other export markets."

Prague-based Avia, 98.4% owned by Czech investor Odien Group, had commence restructuring and launched new products over the past twelve months in a bid to attract a long-term strategic partner.

The company opted to extend its D-Line range from 6-9 tonnes to 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight in time for last month's Autotec 2006 trade show.

Avia chairman Michael Saran said: "It is a very compelling fit. Ashok Leyland will gain a modern truck, design capabilities, and access to the European market and Avia Truck Business Unit will gain a strategic parent resulting in significant savings in purchasing and access to Ashok's existing markets. The strategic rationale and the combined capabilities under Ashok ownership have the potential to make Avia Trucks a global player."