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Ashok Leyland ready to ride on Elon Musk's India dream
Posted on 20th May 2019
Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has been moving back and forth on his India dream for couple of years and unable to take the next big step now has an invitation from commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland.

Musk wants to make India his next big market but the question lingers: Will the electric car ever run on the bumpy 'desi' roads?

According to Venkatesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Ashok Leyland, the company is open to Musk for a partnership to finally let Indians experience his path-breaking autonomous Tesla electric cars.

"We are open to Musk's offer. I truly believe that it's not just one partner who can contribute to the electric car dream in India. There are multiple agencies who will be involved in this. We will be lucky to be part of that consortium," Natarajan told IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded AWS India Summit here in the financial capital.

"I go back to the organisation's philosophy and culture. Whenever we see new technology, we like to try it out, just like a small kid who sees a new toy and wants to experiment. We are open in terms of technology adoption -- anything that adds value to our customers," Natarajan noted.

The company, flagship of the Hinduja Group, reported a revenue of ₹6,325 crore in Q3 (FY 2018-19). Year-to-Date (YTD) revenues touched ₹20,209 crore, up 15 per cent over corresponding period last year.

Rating agency ICRA recently upgraded the long-term rating of fund-based limits of Ashok Leyland to AA from AA with stable outlook. The agency believes that Ashok Leyland's financial profile will remain healthy supported by stable demand outlook for the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments.

Touted as India's largest bus manufacturer and the fourth largest in the world, the company reported 10 per cent rise in the domestic vehicles sales at 13,141 units in April 2019. The commercial vehicles company had sold 11,951 vehicles in domestic market during the same month last year.

"Ultimately, we need more money. We are in the business of making money. As long as we are able to make more money and help our customers generate more money, we are game to every new technology," Natarajan emphasised.

Ashok Leyland's offer must be a sweet news to Musk's ears. Breaking his silence over India plans after 10 months, Musk tweeted in March that he would love to be in India in 2019 or next year.

"Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next! India," Musk tweeted to a user.

Musk earlier blamed the Indian government's policies for giving up on his India dreams. He also blamed the FDI norms for the delay in the electric car maker's entry into the Indian market.

"Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately," Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter user who wrote "No Tesla in India" on his Twitter handle.

Earlier this year, Tesla's Indian-origin Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the firm, bringing Musk's India dream to a halt again.

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California and met Musk who gave Modi a tour of the company's electric car plant.

In January this year, Musk laid the foundation of Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai -- the first-ever outside the US -- that is expected to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year and double the production capacity.

Related Companies: Ashok Leyland Limited   

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Posted on 17th August 2019
Drug major Cipla on Saturday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore through issuance of equity shares or other securities convertible into equity shares.

Drug major Cipla on Saturday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore through issuance of equity shares or other securities convertible into equity shares.


Two RCom promoters pledge 11.5% more stake in Axis Trustee services
Posted on 17th August 2019
Two promoter entities of Reliance Communications (RCom) have pledged 11.5 per cent more stake in favour of Axis Trustee Services, according to regulatory filings.

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M&M sets up first car assembly plant in Sri Lanka with Ideal Motors
Posted on 17th August 2019
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), along with its local partner in Sri Lanka Ideal Motors, has set up the island nation's first passenger car assembly plant.

The Indian carmaker has set up a joint venture with Ideal Motors, its dealer partner in Sri Lanka for 10 years. The 65:35 JV between Ideal Motors and M&M is christened Mahindra Ideal Lanka Private Limited, which will operate the assembly plant at Welipenna, about 60 km from Colombo.


Sebi imposes restrictions on mutual fund investments in short-term bank deposits
Posted on 17th August 2019
NEW DELHI: Mutual fund houses should ensure that banks -- where a scheme has parked funds in the lender's short-term deposits -- do not invest in that particular scheme, according to Sebi.

The markets watchdog has issued a clarification regarding 'parking of funds in short-term deposits of scheduled commercial banks by mutual funds -- pending deployment'.


Restrictions lifted, landline services partially back in Valley
Posted on 17th August 2019
Srinagar: Restrictions on the movement of people in the Kashmir Valley were eased on Saturday, with landline services restored in some areas of the city, even as stringent security arrangements continued to be in place, officials said.

Seventeen out of a little over 100 telephone exchanges were made operational. These exchanges are mainly in Civil Lines, Cantonment and the airport area of Srinagar district.


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