The origin of Ashok Leyland can be traced to the urge for self-reliance, felt by independent India. India?s first Prime Minister persuaded Mr. Raghunandan Saran, an industrialist, to enter automotive manufacture. In 1948, Ashok Motors was set up in what was then Madras, for the assembly of Austin Cars. Company?s destiny and name changed soon with equity participation by British Leyland and Ashok Leyland commenced manufacture of commercial vehicles in 1955. Since then, Ashok Leyland has been a major presence in India?s commercial vehicle industry with a tradition of technological leadership, achieved through tie-ups with international technology leaders and through vigorous in-house research and Development. Access to international technology enabled the Company to set a tradition to be first with technology, which included full air brakes, power steering and rear engine busses, Ashok Leyland pioneered all these concepts. Responding to the operating conditions and practices in the country, the company made its vehicles strong, over-engineering them with extra metallic muscles. Ashok Leyland vehicles have built a reputation for reliability.