Lohia Auto Industries, the automotive division of the Lohia conglomerate, is all set to launch its diesel three-wheelers in the African market. Its products, which include electric two-wheelers, electric rickshaws and diesel three- wheelers, are available in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Lohia may consider selling the other products also in Africa. “Africa is an unchartered territory. We sense huge growth opportunities in that continent and hence we plan to supply to that market,” Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto Industries, told AutoParts Asia.
Lohia Auto is planning to launch new variants and new product categories. “We will launch new variants in the existing product portfolio as well as add new categories in the coming years. We have created a research and development as well as manufacturing base in Kashipur,” he said.
The R&D team of the company is working on developing an electric auto. The product is in validation stage and is expected to be ready in 2017-18. The company, with less than Rs 100- crore turnover, has a 20 people R&D team which is working on electric vehicles.
With a capacity for 100,000 units, Lohia Auto manufactures the entire range of its two-wheelers and three-wheelers at Kashipur, Uttrakhand. While it sells the electric two wheelers, electric rickshaws and diesel three wheelers in the northern part of India, in the South it supplies only the diesel three- wheelers. The company plans to increase the number of its dealers to 200 throughout the country during the current fiscal from the current 100. “It is important for our growth,” Lohia added.
It has recently inaugurated a new state-of-the-art showroom in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, in association with Vandana Motors. The showroom spread across 4000 sq ft is well-equipped with trained staff and service centre for maintenance and repairs.
Lohia is an established player in the diesel three-wheeler categories. This product line contributes close to 60 percent of the company’s turnover followed by electric rickshaws which 30-35 percent. The contribution of electric two-wheelers is in single digit.
Electric two-wheelers as a category could not grow to its potential, according to Lohia. He attributed the dismal performance of the category to the poor manufacturing ecosystem for electric vehicles in the country. There is poor supplier base and critical components have to be imported. Some non-serious, fly-by-night players also damaged the growth potential, he said.