Ashok Leyland

It was quite obvious which ‘captain’ drew the crowds at the Ashok Leyland launch in New Delhi on Monday. Not the group’s new series of heavy commercial vehicles, labelled the ‘captain’, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni, brand ambassador and captain of the Indian cricket team.

The Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer owned by the Hinduja brothers has invested some Rs6bn ($96m) in the new products. That’s quite brave at a time when the beleaguered economy is dragging down the automotive industry. But it may well be necessary. 

Volvo plans to invest nearly $700m in its Indian operations, in a sign the Swedish company plans to compete in the country’s growing commercial vehicle market.