Ashok Leyland launched its first passenger vehicle in Mumbai. We have seen the car at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo. Called the Stile, the MPV is a result of a 50-50 joint venture between Ashok Leyland and Nissan. It is the Evalia in the flesh but gets some tweaks to the exterior and interior.
Ashok Leyland has priced the car at Rs 7.49 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) which is less than the Nissan Evalia. 'The Stile' says Dr Sumantran, Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive, 'has a lot of competition in the segment it is currently placed in, but we are optimistic about the impact it will have in this segment'. The Stile will be up against the likes of the Mahindra Xylo, Nissan Evalia, Chevrolet Enjoy and even the Toyota Innova.
The Stile is squarely targeted at fleet operators and will be sold through Ashok Leyland's commercial vehicle dealerships. Ashok Leyland currently has 125 touch points which they plan to expand to 200 outlets by the end of this fiscal year.
The CV manufacturer knows that it will be difficult to persuade a private customer to buy the Stile but as Dr. Sumantran said, "I want to see people get off at any Airport in India and get into an Ashok Leyland Stile".
The Stile's ECU has been further tuned to improve fuel economy and drivability of the Renault DCi engine that powers this MPV and this has helped the Stile achieve an ARAI certified economy of 19.5km/l.
The Stile is part of a 4 car deal with the alliance. The Dost and Stile have already seen the light of day, after which the company will launch the Partner LCV. When asked whether the CNG variant will see the light of the day, Dr. Sumantran said that they have it in their plans and will bring it out soon.