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Ashok Leyland and Deere joint venture launches backhoe loader

Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company, an equal joint venture (JV) between Ashok Leyland Limited and Deere & Company, announced the roll-out of its first construction equipment product in the fast-growing and competitive backhoe loader segment. Powered by Ashok Leyland’s Bharat Stage III engine, the first product of the joint venture, the 435 backhoe loader, will be marketed under the brand Leyland Deere across India. The product was rolled out of the brand new state-of-the-art Gummudipoondi facility of the joint venture company. At a press conference, V. Sumantran, chairman of the joint venture company, said the product was re-engineered and re-oriented for Indian customers. Asserting that the launch of its maiden product โ€œis the start of an important chapter,โ€ he said the approach of the joint venture was oriented towards meeting customer needs, bringing in all relevant innovations in technology and providing reliability and dependability. He said investment in the first phase of production was in excess of Rs200 crore (US$38.4 million). The first phase of the project would last till March 2012, he said. He hinted at a capacity of 10,000 units in the initial phase. He expects the joint venture to come out with its second product in 2013. (November 22, 2011)