Ashok Leyland Keen To Get External Investment For Its EV Subsidiary
Reflecting its interest in attracting investment for its electric vehicle arm Switch Mobility, Ashok Leyland MD and CEO Shenu Agarwal said that the Hinduja Group flagship firm was keen to get external investments from ‘the right strategic partner’ and it will not shy away from funding on its own till such an ally is found.
While Switch India is likely to be cash neutral or cash positive going forward, on an operating level at least, for Switch UK some more investments may be required in FY25, with the European and UK markets still not going that strong, he told analysts.
“We are very keen on getting external investments also, but we want to make sure that we have the right strategic partner with us. I mean, we do it at the right valuation. So right now, the focus is to get Switch into a very, very strong mode by developing products, by maturing our technology on both the bus side and the LCV side,” Agarwal said.
“So, whenever we get a good offer from an external investor, we'll certainly look at that,” Agarwal said, adding that the Ashok Leyland board has approved an equity investment of ‘1,200 crore in Optare, which is the holding company for Switch UK and Switch India.
“We shall be inducting this equity in one or more tranches over the next three to six months,” he added.
Till the time a right partner is found, Agarwal said, “Until then, we won't shy from investing on our own from the Ashok Leyland side. The balance sheet of Ashok Leyland is pretty strong right now. We have no concerns as to whether or not we can fund this growth in Switch for the future”.
Earlier, Ashok Leyland launched seven auto vehicles in the Auto Expo 2023. Auto Expo 2023 was a six day show of India’s Auto Industry that was organised once in a two years. Most recent edition of the show, Auto Expo, was held in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic started. This 2023 edition was scheduled to commence on 11th January 2023 and end on 18th January 2023.
Ashok Leyland showcased seven products in the Auto Expo which are –
- Battery Electric Vehicle
- Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
- Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle
- Liquefied Natural Gas Vehicle
- Intercity CNG Bus
- A mini passenger bus