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March 11, 2003

INDIA: Ashok Leyland to axe 1,000 staff

The Hindu Business Line reports that Ashok Leyland, manufacturer of commercial vehicles, said on Monday that it planned to reduce its workforce by around 1,000 during 2003-04. "We had reduced our strength from 15,300 six-seven years ago to 11,900 now. We will probably have to reduce by another 1,000," the managing director R. Seshasayee, told press on the sidelines of `Tele Trans 2003', a conference on telematics in transportation in Bangalore.

By bcusack

The Hindu Business Line reports that Ashok Leyland, manufacturer of commercial vehicles, said on Monday that it planned to reduce its workforce by around 1,000 during 2003-04.

“We had reduced our strength from 15,300 six-seven years ago to 11,900 now. We will probably have to reduce by another 1,000,” the managing director R. Seshasayee, told press on the sidelines of `Tele Trans 2003′, a conference on telematics in transportation in Bangalore.

“The Indian automobile industry has a very high level of manning,” Seshasayee said. He said the company was exploring new markets like Argentina and had already broken into the markets of Seychelles and Afghanistan during the year. “We have a robust plan for export in 2002-03,” he said.

The company plans to improve its productivity through better processes and standardisation and also plans to increase the content of telematics in its vehicles.

Seshasayee, who is also the president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said heavy and medium commercial vehicles were expected to show good growth during 2003-04 but might not match the 30% growth achieved in 2002-03.

He said the high growth rate was partly because of the replacement season in the north and also because of liquidity chasing demand at low interest rates. “This keeps the market growing and will continue into 2003-04,” Seshasayee said.

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