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Automobile Newsletter - 08 April to 12 April, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Honda Cars India Limited launched its much awaited family sedan, the Honda Amaze for the Indian market. The Amaze marks Honda’s entry into the diesel segment in Indian car market. Honda Amaze, offered as a perfect package for the current customer preferences, embodies the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver great performance with unparalleled fuel efficiency in a spacious, comfortable and attractive looking form.

Top Stories 

SIAM expects FY14 sales growth of 3.5% 

SIAM is expecting FY14 sales growth of 3.5%, report says.

I am optimistic that auto sector will grow in FY14, but moderately, SIAM reported.

SIAM also said that two wheeler sales growth will revive iof monsoon is normal.

The cumulative production data for April-March 2013 shows production growth of only 1.20 percent over the same period last year. The industry produced 1,685,355 vehicles in March 2013 as against 1,845,868 in March 2012, which declined by (-) 8.70 percent.

The overall growth in domestic sales during April-March 2013 was 2.61 percent over the same period last year. While in March 2013 overall sales fell by (-) 7.76 percent over March 2012. During April-March 2013, overall automobile exports registered de-growth of (-) 1.34 percent compared to the same period last year.

What autos are IIFL betting on? 

Indian Auto OEMs witnessed weak volume performance in Q4 FY13 when compared with Q4 FY12. The macro situation remained challenging with fuel prices remaining high and little respite on interest rates. M&HCV space remained the most impacted, but Ashok Leyland clocked in a much better relative volume performance when compared with the market leader Tata Motors indicating market share gains. LCV’s continued to grow in robust fashion benefiting both the players. Two wheeler space also weakened, especially the motorcycle segment.

M&M continued to ride well on growth in UV and pick-up truck segments, which was partially offset by slowdown in the tractor segment owing to weak demand from southern and western regions, resulting in total volume growth of 6.5% yoy. Discount levels remained high during the quarter owing to general weakness in auto industry. The trend remained prominent in M&HCV and petrol car categories. Read more…

Honda Cars launches first diesel car Honda Amaze

Honda Cars India Limited launched its much awaited family sedan, the Honda Amaze for the Indian market. The Amaze marks Honda’s entry into the diesel segment in Indian car market. Honda Amaze, offered as a perfect package for the current customer preferences, embodies the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver great performance with unparalleled fuel efficiency in a spacious, comfortable and attractive looking form.

The Amaze is available in 4 grades offered in Petrol and Diesel variants –E, EX, S and VX with Manual Transmission. Additionally, the Amaze will be available in Automatic Transmission in S and VX petrol grades.

Honda Amaze will be available in six exciting range of colors – Majestic Blue Metallic (New and exclusive), Carnelian Red Pearl, Urban Titanium Metallic, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl and Taffeta White. It comes with a 2 years or 40,000 kms warranty as standard value for all customers.

Honda Amaze has been developed at Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. located in Bangkok, Thailand following extensive market surveys in India on people’s driving needs and lifestyles. India is the first country to launch the Amaze with Honda’s latest i-DTEC diesel engine technology. The petrol model of the Amaze will be equipped with the acclaimed i-VTEC petrol engine.

With a view to give the Amaze customers, a transparent and quality service experience, HCIL has offered an attractive Honda Care maintenance package for 2 years or 40,000 kms (whichever is earlier) for  Rs 9,996for Amaze Petrol and Rs 15,375 for Amaze Diesel.

Infocus Stories

EU FTA to negatively impact Indian autos: SIAM 

On-going FTA negotiations between India and EU have been a matter of deep concern for the automotive industry in view of EUs insistence to include Automotive CBUs trade in the FTA at significantly lower Import Duty than the currently prevailing MFN rates.

Globally all countries have encouraged and stood beside their automotive industry during its development phase. Recently, when the automotive industry in the developed world went through severe hardships, these countries announced huge bailout packages to sustain their automotive sector and helped them to survive.

The company specific bailout packages by US or the ‘cash for clunker’ schemes in Europe gives evidence of how critical the automotive industry is to the economic well-being of industrialised countries. And the extent to which Governments are prepared to go to protect and nurture their automotive industry and protect jobs. Read more…

Domestic News

TVS Motor signs Cooperation agreement with BMW 

TVS Motor Company and BMW Motorrad have signed a long-term cooperation agreement. The aim of the cooperation is to join forces to develop and produce a new series of motorcycles that will cater to the segment below 500 cubic centimeters. This was announced at a press conference in Chennai.

The various stages through to the finished serial production motorcycle will be planned by both partners but implemented with different focus areas on each side leveraging the strengths of both companies. The cooperation agreement involves the two companies each offering their own vehicle derivatives, which will be sold through their own distribution channels in India and across the globe.

Both contractual partners commented on the future cooperative venture at the press conference.

Stephan Schaller, President BMW Motorrad said "In view of changing motorcycle markets, demographic developments and increasing environmental demands we are expanding our product range so as to tap into fresh growth potential. We have a highly expert and experienced partner in the TVS Motor Company. This means that in future we will be able to offer vehicles in smaller capacity classes in addition to the BMW Motorrad core segments. Read more...

Tata Motors Group global wholesales at 116,521 in March 2013

The Tata Motors Group global wholesales in March 2013, including Jaguar Land Rover, were 116,521 nos. Cumulative wholesales for the fiscal were 1,196,416 nos.

Global wholesales of all commercial vehicles - Tata, Tata Daewoo and the Tata Hispano Carrocera range -- were 60,799 nos. Cumulative commercial vehicles wholesales for the fiscal are 595,416 nos.

Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles were 55,722 nos. Cumulative passenger vehicles wholesales for the fiscal are 601,000 nos.

Global wholesales of Tata passenger vehicles were 13,040 nos. Cumulative wholesales for the fiscal are 228,938 nos.

Vodafone announces strategic partnership with Mahindra Reva 

Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., a part of the US $15.9bn Mahindra Group, and Vodafone Business Services (VBS). The enterprise arm of Vodafone India Ltd - one of India's leading telecommunications service providers, announced a strategic technology partnership.

This partnership will enable Vodafone to provide Machine-to-Machine (m2m) communication services to power the recently launched electric vehicle, Mahindra e2o.

The e2o which has just been launched in India is a truly 'connected car' and is among a select few in the world to support telematics. Read more…

Fiat ends distribution alliance with Tata Motors: reports 

Fiat India has reportedly said that it is refocusing on the market with aggressive dealership additions and an all-out marketing push.

Fiat Chrysler India president and managing director Nagesh Basavanhalli reported "We will more than double out exclusive dealerships by the end of the fiscal from 51 and hitting the market with an aggressive media campaign from next week.

There are reports that the company also announced the end of the marketing and dealership alliance with the Tatas effective April 1.

Last December, Fiat had said announced its re-entry into the jeep market in the country.

Maruti Suzuki enters into MOU with RPG Life Sciences 

With reference to the news item appearing on news channel titled "RPG Life Sciences is in pact to sell on lease rights of Navi Mumbai land to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.", Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has clarified that as under:

"That Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RPG Life Sciences Ltd. in August 2012 for acquiring leasehold rights through Deed of Assignment in respect of land measuring 14148.90 sq.mtr. out of total land admeasuring 48632 sq.mtr. falling under Plot No. 25&25A situated at Trans-Thane Creek Industrial Area (T.T.C. Industrial Area) within the village limit of Pawne and within the limits of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Taluka & Registration Sub District - Thane and Registration District - Thane, Maharashtra together with any structure viz. Process Development Lab Standing thereon. This MoU is subject to conclusion on fulfillment of terms and conditions mentioned therein.

That as part of legal due diligence, MSIL has, through its advocate D. C. Daga, released a Public Notice in certain newspapers seeking comments and objections from any person to the proposed transaction. Read more...

Yamaha India plans to sell 0.71mn vehicles in FY14: reports 

Yamaha India unit is planning to sell 710,000 vehicles through domestic sales and exports in FY14, Chief Executive Hiroyuki Suzuki reportedly said.

Reports stated that the company sold about 448,000 vehicles in the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ended in March.

Hyundai Motor India elevates R Sethuraman, Rakesh Srivastava 

Hyundai Motor India Limited the country’s second largest car manufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter announced the elevation of R Sethuraman as Director Finance and Member of Board and Rakesh Srivastava as Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Prior to this elevation, R. Sethuraman was Senior Vice President, Finance and Member of the Board of Directors of HMIL, while Rakesh Srivastava was Vice President, National Sales and Marketing.
On the occasion, B S Seo, MD & CEO, HMIL said, “We are very delighted to announce the elevation of R Sethuraman and Rakesh Srivastava. Their vast experience has shown an outstanding ability to assess the challenging situations, understand market dynamics and set goals and objectives for driving Hyundai’s growth story. We are confident that they will continue to lead the HMIL team ably with their experience and dynamism in their new roles.”

Mahindra First Choice Services crosses 100,000th car service milestone 

Mahindra First Choice Services Ltd. (MFCSL), India’s leading multi-brand car workshop company, has crossed the 100,000 mark in terms of number of cars serviced. Established with the aim of offering a world class car servicing experience in India at value for money prices, MFCSL currently has 12 workshops in 8 Indian cities.

“This achievement is clear testimony to the trust reposed in us by our customers who have benefited from our world class service standards, strong process focus and quality spare parts policy. In fact, we constantly endeavour to provide our customers with services which will offer greater value and convenience.

Our workshops function as a one-stop-shop for any brand of cars which need to be serviced or repaired. This is part of our strategy to address the after-market requirements of the entire category of car owners, irrespective of the brand that they own,” said Rajeev Dubey, President (Group HR, Corporate Services & After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Read more...

M&M stops work at Igatpuri Plant 

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has announced that there has been a stoppage of work at the Company's Igatpuri Plant due to a tool down strike by the Union. This is post the suspension of two workmen on disciplinary grounds one of them being an union office bearer.

The Company is in constant dialogue with the union for an early solution of the issue.

The Company has currently sufficient stock of engines for production of its vehicles.

International News

JLR global sales up 16% in March 

With sales of 53,772 in March and 115,504 for the first quarter of 2013, Jaguar Land Rover has recorded its best ever monthly and quarterly global sales performance up 16% and 17% respectively versus the prior year.

Jaguar demonstrated strong growth with sales of 9,856 in March up 28% and sales for the quarter of 20,210 up 31%. Land Rover meanwhile delivered the best single month and quarter in its 65 year history with March sales of 43,916, up 14% and quarter one sales of 95,294, up 15% versus 2012.

Phil Popham, Group Sales Operations Director for Jaguar Land Rover said: "Jaguar Land Rover has had a record breaking start to the year reflecting the continued interest in our two great brands and our commitment to delivering desirable products that resonate with customers across the globe. Read more...

Porsche SE has very promising growth: Prof. Dr. Winterkorn 

Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart (Porsche SE), generated profit after tax of 7.8bn euro at group level in the fiscal year 2012. This result is mainly due to a positive non-recurring effect from the contribution of Porsche’s operating business to Volkswagen AG of 4.75bn euro. The remaining liabilities to banks were repaid in full. Porsche SE now has clearly positive net liquidity of 2.6bn euro. As of 31 December 2011, net liquidity had still been minus 1.5bn euro.

At annual press conference, Porsche SE’s CEO, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, emphasized the company’s good future prospects. “Porsche SE has very promising growth prospects with vast potential for increasing value,” said Winterkorn in Stuttgart. Not only Porsche SE but also its core investment, Volkswagen AG, and Porsche AG had emerged stronger from the creation of the Integrated Automotive Group in August 2012, the CEO stated.

By contributing its holding business operations to Volkswagen AG, Porsche SE generated income of 3.4bn euro on the one hand. On the other hand, this resulted in an increase in the profit from investments accounted for at equity totaling 1.3bn euro. Read more...

ŠKODA introduces 100% finance offer on the Rapid 

Owning a ŠKODA Rapid gets even more accessible as ŠKODA Finance Private Limited introduces a 100% finance offer. The new scheme will cover the Ex-showroom price as 100% of the loan amounts. For the consumers, buying experience gets eased as they do not have to pay any down payment and can avail the loan at exciting low interest rates. This is a limited period offer available from 8th April to 18th April, 2013.
Speaking about the offers, Kamal Basu, Marketing Head, ŠKODA Auto India, said that, “Continuing with our strategy of keeping consumer interests at the forefront, we have introduced innovative and exciting schemes in the recent past. Our latest offer on ŠKODA Rapid covers 100% of the ex-showroom loan amount which in itself is significant and makes the buying experience easy and convenient. We are also extending the Rapid EMI Holiday offer for an additional month owing to the great response from the customers.” Read more…

Ford expands global environmentally friendly 3-Wet paint capacity by 50% in 2013

Ford Motor Company is expanding its industry leading 3-Wet paint capacity by 50 percent this year, adding the environmentally friendly paint process to four more plants on three continents. The actions will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 30 percent at those facilities.

Ford, which was the first automaker to implement the 3-Wet high solids solvent borne technology in 2007, currently has eight plants in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe equipped for using the process to paint vehicles. That will expand to 12 plants in 2013, and then to additional facilities worldwide over the next four years.

“The 3-Wet paint process is significantly more advanced than conventional technologies in applying durable paints in a high-quality, environmentally sound and cost-efficient manner,” said Bruce Hettle, Director of Manufacturing Engineering. Read more…

Moody's: China ZhengTong's 2012 results within expectations

Moody's Investors Service says China ZhengTong Auto Services Holdings' 2012 results are within expectations, and sees no immediate impact on its Ba3 Corporate Family Rating and stable outlook.

"ZhengTong achieved strong sales in 2012, which had in turn improved its debt leverage", says Lina Choi, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst, and the international lead analyst for ZhengTong.

ZhengTong's revenue grew by 91% in 2012, as Top Globe, which was acquired in December 2011, made its full-year revenue contribution. Excluding the acquisition factor, organic growth was estimated at around 25%.

Such figures indicate that luxury car sales are still strong in China, although with a slower growth rate than in the last three years. BMW had reported that its sales in China grew by 40% in 2012, while Land Rover Jaguar reported 70%, and Audi 30%.

ZhengTong's debt leverage, measured by adjusted Debt/EBITDA, declined to 4.2x from 5.7x in 2011 as EBITDA increased 67% year-on-year from the high sales growth. Read more...

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