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Automobile Newsletter - December 10 to December 14, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Mercedes-Benz India indicated that prices of all its models will be revised upwards effective January, 2013.

Top Stories     


Domestic car sales down 8%: SIAM


Domestic car sales fell by 8.25% to 1,58,257 units in November this year compared to 1,72,493 units in the same month last year, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers reported.


SIAM also said that motorcycle sales last month went up marginally to 8,67,518 units from 8,67,088 units in November, 2011.


Reports stated that total two-wheeler sales in November, 2012 was up by 1.23% to 11,75,429 units from 11,61,176 in November, 2011.


Total sales of commercial vehicles were down by 7.31% to 61,410 units from 66,254 units in the year-ago period, SIAM reportedly said.


Cyrus Mistry to be appointed Chairman of Tata Motors


The Board of Directors of Tata Motors today announced the appointment of Cyrus P. Mistry as the Chairman of the Board with effect from December 28, 2012, on the retirement of Ratan N. Tata. 


The Board conferred on Mr. Tata the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.



Maruti Suzuki launches limited edition A-Star Aktiv


To bring vibrancy and excitement to the market, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, has introduced limited edition of A-Star, christened as A-Star Aktiv. The limited edition A-Star Aktiv is available in Vxi & Vxi AT variants.


The A-star, which primarily targets the youth, has been launched in this limited edition attractive new avatar to entice its young customers. The A-Star Aktiv is packed with new features and is all set to offer its customers supreme comfort, style & utility that will complement their personalities.


The smart and energizing exterior combined with an equally suave and revamped interior will offer a whole new refreshing, trendy & sporty package to its driver. On the exteriors, the A-Star Aktiv sports both Side Body Graphics, Front, Rear and Roof Graphics, A-Star Aktiv Logo, Red ORVM, Red Spoiler, Red Bumper, Bold Back out film on B-Pillar and Bright Red Fog Lampover plate.


In the cabin area, the A-Star Aktiv is adorned with new stylish Seat Covers, slick Steering Wheel Cover, Classy Floor Mats, Handy Rear parcel tray, Door Sill Guard and a keyless Security system.


The exciting 14 new features on the A-star Atkiv have been valued at an attaractive Rs 14,990. Read more…


In Focus News


IIFL on Auto: Sri Lanka: Duty hike raises volume concerns


IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, one of the leading players in the Indian financial services space, in a recent report on Auto said that, Sri Lanka (SL) has once again raised import duty on select vehicle segments with effect from November 2012.


According to IIFL Institutional Equities, Recall that SL had increased import duty on vehicles sharply in April 2012. The recent duty increase will result in an estimated 4% price increase for three-wheelers (3W), 10-15% price increase for trucks and 10-20% price increase for low-end cars.


Duty has been reduced in case of single-cab pickups, which should result in a 10% price cut. Among Indian auto companies, we see highest negative impact for Ashok Leyland and Bajaj Auto, the brokerage added.


The report was published by IIFL’s Institutional Equities Research desk.


SsangYong Rexton: Namaste, Gangnam style!


Korean automobiles and electronics have been popular in India for years now, and the reliability of the various machines from their stables has been well established. So since the time Mahindra completed the takeover of the struggling SsangYong in 2011, one was waiting with bated breath as to what products would come to Indian shores. The 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi in January gave us a sneak peek into the SUVs on the anvil. However, neither was SsangYong a brand well known here, nor had it invested into R&D for a long while. Moreover, while this lack of investment in product development made SsangYong’s product portfolio dated, Mahindra has been enjoying stupendous success with the launch of the XUV 5oo last year. This resulted in heightened expectations from every launch.

Read more…


Domestic News


BMW India announces opening of Navnit Motors in Mangalore


The new Navnit Motors dealership is located at Survey No 48, Padil, Kannur Village, Mangalore, Karnataka and is headed by  Navnit Kachalia, Chairman and Managing Director, Navnit Group.

Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “As part of our vision for sustainable growth, BMW India is committed towards the development of a BMW dealer network of international standards at all important commercial centers across the country. 


Mangalore is one of the fastest growing non-metro cities in South India and will play an important role in BMW’s market offensive in India. With the launch of Navnit Motors, we will continue to set new standards in the premium car market in the region and provide high quality services to our customers and prospects in Mangalore and the Karnataka region.”


“Five years ago, BMW changed the face of Indian luxury car segment and set a decisive course with introduction of world-class premium dealerships that presented an unparalleled experience to the premium clientele. BMW India continues to invest in its entire Dealer Network to cater to the growing clientele in India. By end of 2014, BMW India will aggressively expand its dealer network by increasing the number of sales outlets to 50 across major metropolitan centers and emerging markets in India.”  Philipp von Sahr further added. Read more…


Nissan India plans to increase prices from January 2013


Nissan announced its plans to increase prices across all its vehicle models w.e.f. from January 01, 2013. The price increase is being contemplated to offset the rising input costs and currency fluctuation prevailing in the Indian market. The revision of prices will soften the negative impact and help the company stay competitive. 

Nissan delivers cutting-edge technology, innovative design and a rewarding experience to all its customers. In India, Nissan has been constantly expanding innovative and exciting product offerings across hatchback, sports car, SUV and sedan segments. Today, Nissan has strongly positioned three locally produced models – Micra, Sunny and Evalia. Nissan products will continue to represent outstanding value within the Indian market.


Mercedes-Benz India signals price hike from January 2013


Mercedes-Benz India indicated that prices of all its models will be revised upwards effective January, 2013. A constant increase in input costs and unfavorable exchange rates coupled with inflation has posed severe strain on margins.


Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, “Significant level of cost escalations have been absorbed by us till now, but beyond a point we cannot continue to sustain such levels. 


We have made substantial investment in our India operations and are responsible for the growth of our employees and dealer partners. We aim for a sustainable profitable growth maintaining our premium appeal and hence, we are going to substantially increase the prices of all Mercedes-Benz cars from January 2013.”


Mercedes-Benz India carries an investment of Rs 850 crores in its production facility in Chakan, Pune apart from an investment of Rs. 480 crores made by its dealer partners in its network. Read more…


Suzuki "Like It to Win It" contest winner rides Swish 125


Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL), a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading two-wheeler manufacturers Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan,  presented a Swish 125 to Delhi College of Arts and Commerce student Akanksha Jain, the winner of “Like It to Win It” contest.


The contest, which was launched in association with Atelier’s Campus Theatre (ACT) Festival 2012, gave college students an opportunity to win the Swish 125 by uploading videos where they said “Be there in a Swish” in the most creative way. 


The contest ran for 16 days and saw a participation of over 100 contestants. Akanksha’s video received maximum likes on Facebook page of Suzuki Motorcycle India, making it the winning video. Suzuki two-wheelers had collaborated with the Youth Theatre Festival with Suzuki Swish 125 as the title sponsor of the event.


Ms. Anu Anamika, National Head – Marketing, SMIPL, said, “Social networking is a great platform to connect with today’s youth. Facebook being extremely popular with college students offered the opportunity to connect with the tech-savvy youth.  We are very happy with the response received to the contest.” Read more…


Tata Motors ‘Ultimate December offer’ on Passenger vehicles


Tata Motors has announced the ‘Ultimate December offer’, ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 150,000, including cash benefits and exchange offers.

These offers are also applicable on accessories, extended warranty and on a host of other value added services. The scheme is valid till December 31, 2012.


The ‘Ultimate December offer’ comprises -

Benefits of up to Rs 50,000 on the newly launched Manza Club Class

Benefits of up to Rs 45,000 on the Indigo eCS

Benefits of up to Rs 60,000 on the Indica Vista

Benefits of up to Rs 35,000 on the Indica eV2

Benefits of up to Rs 25,000 on the Nano

Benefits of up to Rs 50,000 on the Sumo Gold

Benefits of up to Rs 150,000 on the Aria


Atul Auto November sales up 31%


Atul Auto Ltd, a leading three wheeler manufacturing company has recorded a sales growth of 31% in the month of November 2012. The sales for the month of November 2012 were 2997 units as against 2286 units in November 2011.


Moreover, the company has also seen a rise of 20% in the sales of past eight months as compared to the eight months of the last year. Atul Auto has made a sale of 20748 units in 8 months (April to November 2012) against 17183 units of the last year’s 8 months (April to November 2011). 


Mr. Vijay Kedia, Director, Atul Auto Ltd says that “We have seen a good increase in the performance of Atul Auto. The festive season this month has helped in reviving the sales. We look forward to see a similar performance in the remaining part of the year.”


Atul Auto Ltd has recently sent an approval to the Sri Lankan Board for the investment in Srilanka. The company is still waiting for the approval. Company is doubling its capacity to 48000 vehicles.


Honda Motorcycle Scooter India factory installs GEs gas engines


Facing soaring diesel fuel prices and intense competition in India’s two-wheeler sector, the Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Private Limited (HMSI) factory in Manesar in the state of Haryana has installed two of GE’s ecomagination-qualified, natural gas-fired Jenbacher cogeneration units that use less expensive natural gas to generate 4 megawatts (MW) of reliable on-site power. HMSI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Japan.


HMSI installed the Jenbacher units to lower energy costs at the flagship Manesar factory as the company prepares to dramatically expand production in India. The Manesar facility opened in 2001 and manufactures about 1.6mn scooters and motorcycles annually. HMSI’s Tapukara plant produces 1.2mn units while a third factory under construction at Bangalore will produce another 1.2mn unit. HMSI aims to build up its capacity to 10mn two-wheelers annually by 2020.


The Manesar factory has a total power requirement of about 14 MW, and in order to ensure reliable power supply, HMSI originally installed a battery of 1-MW diesel generators to supply the factory’s power. However, in 2011, to counter soaring diesel fuel prices, HMSI decided to replace four of the diesel generators with GE’s more efficient, natural gas-fueled CHP units. Read more…


AMW wins two awards from CII for Excellence in Water Management


AMW Motors Ltd. (AMW), India’s third largest heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer bagged awards in two categories at the CII National Award 2012 for Excellence in Water Management function held in Jaipur, Rajasthan on December 6 & 7, 2012.

AMW received awards for the Most Useful Presentation and the Most Innovative Rain Water Harvesting Project. The 10-member jury recognized the success of AMW’s Rainwater Harvesting Project in industrial use due to high usage of Rain Water harvested for Process and Domestic water and enabling Zero Discharge of the precious resource. Yuvaraj Manickam, Deven Adesara and Anubhav Apoorva represented AMW at the competition.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has initiated ‘Excellence in Water Management’ award in order to recognise and Award “Excellence” in Water Management in Industries and to facilitate sharing of information by excellent Water efficient companies. One hundred and sixty eight companies had participated in the competition out of which, based on the questionnaire, top forty companies were short-listed. These short-listed companies were invited to make presentation at the competition. Based on the presentation the panel of judges selected the best amongst the short-listed and awarded at the end of the second day of the award competition.


Carazoo.com introduces online intelligent used car price calculator


In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Carazoo.com (www.carazoo.com), India’s #1 interactive automotive portal, developed an intelligent used car price calculator which helps users calculate the value of their cars before selling them & an Enthusiast Center which features high end cars and accessories for car enthusiasts.


The new additions to Carazoo.com attains added significance in the light of a survey by Internet search giant Google, which revealed that one out of every two buyers have researched online before visiting a car dealer. More than half of those who did online research said that the information prompted them to change their choice of car brands before buying.


“The New Carazoo.com price calculator app and Enthusiast Center would add significant value to the portal, and make it even more customer focused”, said Mr. Sanjay Soni, Managing Director. “While the Intelligent pricing app assists prospective car sellers to arrive at their perfect selling price, the Enthusiast Center will enhance the browsing experience of car enthusiasts and make it more immersive, with hot updates on high-end cars as well as accessories.”


In India, the Internet is playing a major role today in influencing the buying decisions of a growing number of car buyers. Carazoo, a world-leader in automotive media and interactive solutions, is a pioneer in interactive automotive animations and accessories solutions. Carazoo is India’s only automotive portal that offers an immersive experience to visitors, with virtual showrooms and interactive vehicle walkthroughs.


Discovery Turbo explores world’s most rare and exotic cars on Chasing Classic Cars


All bets are off when Discovery Turbo roars across the starting line this November with its new series CHASING CLASSIC CARS.  Discovery Turbo follows Ferrari expert and master car restorer, Wayne Carini, as he takes viewers on his personal mission to uncover the world's most classic and exotic cars.  Filmed entirely in high definition, CHASING CLASSIC CARS gives its audience a true insider's look at the elite club of car restorers and collectors as Wayne buys, restores and sells vintage rides, and the owners of the most exclusive and secret garages open up their doors only to Wayne.


CHASING CLASSIC CARS airs every Monday at 9 pm on Discovery Turbo. 


As owner of F40 Motorsports in Connecticut, Wayne Carini is a master restorer to the rich and famous. He is also the Indiana Jones of the collector car world and will travel to the ends of the Earth to find a particular car. Each episode of CHASING CLASSIC CARS follows Wayne, a go-to guy for high rolling clients, on a whirlwind chase to find, restore and sell rare automobiles at prestigious Concours shows and auctions around the world.


In each episode of CHASING CLASSIC CARS, Wayne Carini purchases the treasured finds from their current owners and returns them to his shop in Connecticut, where each car is restored to its original specs and then sold at auction. From an iconic Mercedes Gullwing valued just shy of a cool million, to a duo of silky customs from legendary hot rodder Boyd Codington, the sales are red hot and buys are not too shabby either, especially when Wayne ignores own advice and cannot control self when it comes to buying cars, especially at auction. He even catches the motorcycle bug and refuses to lower paddle until the hammer falls. Read more…


International News


JLR sales up by 14% in November


Jaguar Land Rover sold 29,893 vehicles in the month of November, an increase of 14% versus the same period last year. During the first 11 months of the year, Jaguar Land Rover sold 324,184 vehicles, up 32%. 

November sales increased in almost every major market with sales up in China (43%), Asia Pacific (26%), the UK (15%) and Europe (12%). In North America, sales were down 7%, reflecting model year changeover effects and increased competitive conditions. 

Since the start of the year, Jaguar Land Rover has seen strong sales performance across all of its major markets, with increases in China (73%), Asia Pacific (37%), the UK (20%), Europe (37%) and North America (12%). 

Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Group Sales Operations said, “Both Jaguar and Land Rover brands continue to deliver strong sales globally. The record breaking performance in our home market, the UK, is great news.  The Jaguar XF is starting to gain traction in the market place, while the continued success of the Range Rover Sport and Evoque is encouraging as we are launching our new Range Rover to customers.” Read more…


JLR signs letter of intent with Saudi Arabia


Azzam Yaser Shalabi the President of the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) Saudi Arabia and Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer formally signed a Letter of Intent today paving the way for an automotive partnership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s leading manufacturer of premium vehicles and Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) will now begin a detailed feasibility study together, to determine the viability of setting up an automotive facility.

HRH Prince Faisal Bin Turki bin Abdul Azi Al Saud and the Saudi Arabian Government has expressed its intention to initiate, develop and support the automotive industries and see Jaguar Land Rover as a potential partner to help strengthen their industrialisation plans.

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are committed to further international partnerships to meet record demand for our highly sought after vehicles. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an attractive potential development option, complementing our existing advanced facilities in Britain and recent manufacturing plans to expand in other countries including India and China.” Read more…


Team from Thailand declared winners of 9th Yamaha ASEAN Cup Race 2012


The 9th Yamaha ASEAN Cup Race 2012, an exciting yet grueling One Make race championship organized by Yamaha Motor Co., the world’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer, concluded yesterday at the SM City Santa Rosa in the Philippines. 


The team from Thailand was declared the winner of the 9th Yamaha ASEAN cup race 2012. A total of 45 motorcycle riders from six Asian countries namely India(3), Philippines(10), Thailand(10), Indonesia(10), Japan(2) & Malaysia(10) competed against each other for the top prize at a specially prepared 1,025 meter long race course at the SM Santa Rosa, Laguna.


The 9th Yamaha ASEAN cup race had contestants compete with each other in two categories- MT Class & AT Class. Each Class comprised of both Novice Riders and Mixed Experts. The race machine for the MT Class was the T135 premium sports moped and the AL125 was the AT Class machine.


This year, the winners of the YZF-R15 One Make Race Championship held in India, represented India Yamaha Motor at the Yamaha ASEAN Cup 2012. All the three Indian contestants namely Mr. Shankar Sridharan, Mr M. Sudhakar & Mr Arun Muthukrishnan competed in the MT class. Read more…


Kia Motors sales up 6.4% in November


Kia Motors Corporation announced its global sales figures (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants) for passenger cars, recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for November 2012, recording a total of 234,069 units sold. This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 6.4%.

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