Auto stocks are trading firm. Escorts and Force Motors are the biggest gainers. According to a leading financial daily, Ashok Leyland is expecting its newly launched light commercial vehicle "Dost" to clock in a sales of 55,000 units annually. Dost is a 1.25 tonne truck and is priced between Rs 0.38 m - Rs 0.44 m. It is meant for truck operators who deliver fruits and vegetables. Dost is a product of joint venture between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company Limited. The launch for this LCV was delayed because of economic slowdown in the global economies. Dost is expected to help compensate the fall in sales of medium and heavy vehicles by Ashok Leyland.
Steel stocks are trading strong. All stocks in the sectoral index are trading in the green. Jindal South-West Steel (JSW Steel) and Tata steel are the biggest gainers. According to a leading financial daily, India's largest public sector steel maker Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is planning to invest more than 1% of its gross sales on Research and Development (R&D) activities in order to facilitate acquisition and development of appropriate technologies. The company plans to undertake technology missions which will be aimed at reducing raw material and energy consumption. This involves beneficiation and pelletisation of low-grade ores and increasing the use of medium and non-coking coal in steel making. The company's plan also involves production of cold rolled grain-oriented (CRGO) electrical steels, development of alternative iron-making technologies and carbon dioxide reduction. The company would also set up center of excellence at individual steel plants in partnership with key customers and suppliers to focus on product development and improvement.