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Ashok Leyland debuts first GCC-made rollover-protected bus

Ashok Leyland has unveiled Oyster, the first GCC-made rollover- and front-crash compliant bus.

Designed and manufactured in the UAE, the commercial vehicle was launched in partnership with the Indian automaker's authorised UAE dealer, Swaidan Trading.

The Oyster bus was unveiled at Ashok Leyland’s newly built sales, service, and spare parts (3S) aftersales facility in Al Quoz, Dubai.

The facility itself has been established in partnership with Swaidan Trading, the commercial vehicles and heavy equipment division of Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE).

The model was designed and is now being manufactured at Ashok Leyland’s four-year-old bus assembly plant in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), which currently has an output of 16 buses per day. The manufacturer stated its intention to double the model's construction in the near future, in response to rising demand in the UAE market.

Vinod Dasari, chief executive officer and managing director of Ashok Leyland, said: “We will have an entirely new product portfolio of trucks and buses in the GCC within two to three years, and leading this expansion is the Oyster, a premium mid-sized bus equipped with best-in-class features for maximum safety and comfort.”

Both the launch of the Oyster bus and the 3S facility are the result of long-term UAE investment by Ashok Leyland into establishing locally-based, world-class manufacturing facilities and aftersales support networks, and designing solutions tailor-made for local market demands and requirements.

The premium Oyster bus comes with 33 fixed seats and is compliant above and beyond the standards set by both Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the UAE’s federal Department of Transport, according to its designers.

Dasari continued: “We have always believed, at Ashok Leyland, in setting benchmarks in everything we do. The Oyster bus is testimony to this commitment. As GCC’s first rollover and frontal crash complaint bus, the Oyster is the safest way to travel and make the on-road journey stress-free.”

The launch of the 3S aftersales facility also comes a year after Ashok Leyland moved its head office for international sales from its headquarters in Chennai, India to a location in Business Bay, Dubai.

Ashok Leyland and ANGE have been working together in the UAE for over 35 years, and have become one of the largest supplier of buses in the transport sector. Today, more than a million passengers in the country travel in Ashok Leyland buses every day.

Ashok Leyland debuts first GCC-made rollover-protected bus