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Chennai, NFAPost: Ashok Leyland Ltd, India’s second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and flagship company of the Hinduja Group, announced that Optare Group Ltd (“Optare”), its majority-owned UK subsidiary, has been renamed Switch Mobility Ltd (“Switch”) as part of its drive towards electrification and new mobility services.

Unveiling the new logo and name, Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited Dheeraj Hinduja said Optare is adopting a new identity and logo as “Switch”, which signals our strategic ambitions in Electric and Green Mobility.

“Towards this, Ashok Leyland is examining various options to bring the entire EV initiatives of Ashok Leyland under Switch Mobility Ltd. This strategy reflects the clear growth opportunities in the global LCV &Bus EV market, which is projected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of more than 25%,” said Dheeraj Hinduja,

He said its market will worth in the region of $50 billion by 2030. To capture part of that market, Dheeraj Hinduja said the company is considering EV initiatives through Switch that could include financial participation and strategic tie-ups.

Switch will build on the success of Optare in the UK, where it is a leading player in electric buses with more than 150 of them currently operating successfully in its home market. Optare, the forerunner of Switch, was recently named OEM of the Year (Bus/Commercial Vehicle) at the prestigious 2020 EVIEs Awards.

Following the successful delivery of 30 Electric Double Decker buses to Metroline in London, the company is currently fulfilling orders for operators including Tower Transit, London and First York. This will create a foundation for the expansion of Switch’s operations in Europe and growth in India and other parts of the world.

Ashok Leyland Ltd Managing Director & CEO Vipin Sondhi said Ashok Leyland is a pioneer in delivering innovative commercial vehicles and mobility solutions. 

“With our proposed new structure, Switch will be positioned to become the potential global arm of Ashok Leyland focused on Electric Vehicles and Green Mobility Solutions. This proposed step will enable Ashok Leyland to focus on the development of new electric vehicle platforms through Switch including next-generation Buses, PODs and E-LCVs and swiftly scale up the EV business,” said Vipin Sondhi.

Optare plc Chairman Andrew C. Palmer commented that Optare plc has a well-deserved reputation for class-leading products and customer service.

“The reorganisation of the Optare group both allows us to continue to serve customers with the portfolio of products we have today, whilst positioning Switch Mobility Ltd at the forefront of the commercial EV space, which should benefit the entire organisation,” said Optare plc Chairman Andrew C. Palmer.

Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, is the second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India, the third largest manufacturer of buses in the world, and the fourteenth largest manufacturer of trucks.

Headquartered in Chennai, 9 manufacturing plants gives an international footprint – 7 in India, a bus manufacturing facility in Ras al Khaimah (UAE), and one at Leeds, United Kingdom.

A $ 2.3 billion (2019-20) company, and a footprint that extends across 50 countries, the company has product range from 2.5T GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) to 55T GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) in trucks, 9 to 80 seater buses, vehicles for defence and special applications, and diesel engines for industrial, genset, and marine applications.

Optare is a leading British manufacturer of urban buses with a modern assembly facility on Sherburn, near Leeds, Yorkshire.  The company employs more than 300 people. Its award-winning range of buses feature an integral design, zero emission electric drives and low emission efficient diesel drivetrains utilising the latest low carbon technology. The Optare Group Limited is part of Ashok Leyland, one of the world’s top three bus producers, and part of the Hinduja Group.

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