Ashok Leyland’s non-executive vice chairman Dr. Sumantran resigns

Ashok Leyland’s non-executive vice chairman Dr. Sumantran resignsIndian commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland Ltd. confirmed on Thursday that its Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Non-Executive Vice Chairman Dr.  V.  Sumantran.

Mr.  Sumantran, one of the most prominent faces of Hinduja Automotive Ltd. as well as Ashok Leyland Ltd, will step down as non-executive vice chairman of the truck maker on 31st of March this year.  He has also stepped down from the role as vice chairman of Hinduja Automotive Ltd.

His resignation came at a time when Ashok Leyland, the manufacturer of commercial vehicles, is under increasing pressure of declining sales due to persistent economic slowdown.  Ashok Leyland has been suffering heavy losses for the last three quarters.  Nevertheless, the announcement of his resignation took automobile industry observers by a great surprise.

Speaking about his sudden resignation, he said, "We've done quite a few launches in the past one or two years.  We've seen the completion of the first phase with our partnership with Nissan.  I don't think there was anything specific or sudden that has prompted my departure."

He added the he had plans to write a book and travel a lot to collect material for the book after his imminent retirement.

Dheeraj Hinduja, Co-Chairman of Hinduja Automotive Ltd., wished Mr.  Sumantran all success in his new pursuits, acknowledging that he played a vital role in further expanding Ashok Leyland's product range and in fostering a strong partnership with Nissan.

Mr.  Sumantran will continue to advise the Hinduja Group, even after his departure.