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Automobile Newsletter - November 05 to November 09, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | November 09, 2012 19:04 IST

Tata Motors Ltd has posted a net profit after taxes, Minority Interest and Share of Profit / (loss) of Associates of Rs. 20747.30 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 18773.30 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Top Stories 

Maruti Suzuki's Manesar workers plan hunger strike: reports

Maruti Suzuki's workers from Manesar plant are planning a hunger strike and other peaceful protests to force  management to take back the 548 employees sacked after this year's July's violence, according to reports.

Reports stated that these workers have formed a new provisional working committee under the aegis of the now defunct Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU).

The functionaries have served a notice to the Haryana government for a hunger strike at the Gurgaon deputy commissioner office on November 7 and a mass rally on Thursday, reports said.
Maruti Suzuki India reopened its Manesar plant amid tight security.Maruti said that it will start producing 150 cars a day instead of 1,500-1,700 units earlier.

Maruti declared an indefinite lockout at Manesar on July 21 following the violence on July 18.The lockout since July 18 has cost Maruti ~Rs 800mn a day. The company lost US$500mn in production in 2011 because of frequent labour unrest.

The July 18 violence killed a HR manager and injured more than 100 other employees.
Maruti has sacked 500 workers from the Manesar plant and abandoned its policy of hiring contract workers, reports said.

Earlier Maruti Suzuki Manesar facility was rocked by labour violence on July 18, 2012. A General Manager, Awanish Kumar Dev, was burnt to death by the mob of workers inside the plant facilities.
 Nearly a hundred managers and supervisors sustained serious and critical injuries and had to be hospitalised.


Auto Industry struggle continues

Production

The cumulative production data for April-October 2012 shows production growth of only 4.12 percent over same period last year. The industry produced 1,829,490 vehicles in October 2012 as against 1,596,500 in October 2011, which grew by around 15 percent.
 
Domestic Sales

The overall growth in domestic sales during April-October 2012 was 5.26 percent over the same period last year. However, in October 2012 overall sales grew by 14.81 percent over October 2011.
Passenger Vehicles segment grew at 10.53 percent during April-October 2012 over same period last year. Passenger Cars grew by 2.84 percent, Utility Vehicles grew by 60.54 percent and Vans grew by (-0.85) percent during April-October 2012 as compared to same period last year. However, in October 2012 passenger car sales grew by 23.09 percent over October 2011. Total passenger vehicles sales grew by 33.65 percent in October 2012 over same month last year.
 
The overall Commercial Vehicles segment registered growth of 4.26 percent in April-October 2012 as compared to the same period last year. While Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCVs) registered negative growth at (-13.99) percent, Light Commercial Vehicles grew at 18.19 percent.
Three Wheelers sales recorded growth at 2.57 percent in April-October 2012. Passenger Carriers grew by 6.48 percent during April-October 2012 and Goods Carriers registered de-growth at (-12.19) percent during this period.

Two Wheelers registered a growth of only 4.47 percent during April-October 2012. Scooters, mopeds and motorcycles grew by 22.27 percent, 3.67 percent and 0.32 percent respectively over same period last year. However, in October 2012 Scooters, Mopeds and Motorcycles grew by 32.39 percent, 23.21 percent and 6.71 percent respectively over same period last year.
 
Exports

During April-October 2012 overall automobile exports registered negative growth at (-4.94) percent compare to same period last year. While Passenger Vehicles grew by 5.74 percent and Commercial Vehicles grew only by 1.63 percent. Two & Three wheelers declined by (-3.77) and (-26.35) percent respectively in AprilOctober 2012 compared to the same period last year. In October 2012 car exports grew by 29.16 percent compared to last year October and two wheelers exports declined by almost 4 percent during the same period.

Results

CEAT Q2 revenue up 6%

CEAT Limited, an RPG Group company, announced its unaudited results for the second quarter ending September 30, 2012. On a standalone basis, the India operations reported a revenue growth of 6% Year on Year at Rs 1164 crores.

EBITDA for the quarter stood at 6.7% compared to 5.6% in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The consolidated EBITDA margin stood at 7.2% compared to 5.9% in Q2 last year.
Anant Goenka, Managing Director, CEAT Limited said, Q2 is historically a sluggish quarter for the tyre industry on account of the seasonal impact of monsoons. Conversely, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we closed the second quarter of this fiscal year on an optimistic note.

We have continued to grow market share in the 2 / 3 wheeler and UVR. We will continue to focus on improving our product mix and improving operational efficiencies, added Mr. Goenka
Mr. Manish Dugar, Chief Financial Officer, CEAT Limited said, This quarter has witnessed a change in the sales mix with higher growth in OE segment. Exports have been a challenge as the global environment remains an enigma. In spite of the challenges, change in the policy of recognizing provision for warranty from actual claim basis to expected cost based on past trends and investments for strategic initiatives and brand building, we have not only observed a revenue growth in Q2, but also improved our margins and reduced our leverage.


Motherson Sumi Q2 net profit at Rs 1375.80 mn

Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd has  posted a net profit of Rs. 1375.80 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 where as the same was at Rs. 242.60 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Total Income is Rs. 58943.60 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 where as the same was at Rs. 23419.50 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The Company, through its subsidiary, Samvardhana Motherson Polymers Limited (SMPL) and Samvardhana Motherson Global Holdings Limited (SMGHL), completed the acquisition of 80% stake in Peguform GmbH and Peguform Iberica, SL including subsidiaries and joint ventures together with 50% stake in Wethje Entwicklungs, GmbH and Wethje Carbon Composite,GmbH (together referred to as SMP Group) on November 23, 2011 (the completion date).

The Company and Samvardhana Motherson Finance Limited (SMFL) hold directly or indirectly 51% and 49% respectively in SMPL and SMGHL under joint venture agreements. The consolidated results include financial results of these acquired entities from the completion date, hence the figures are not strictly comparable with previous periods


Bosch Q3 net profit down 29.6% at Rs 2.028bn

Reflecting a moderate growth of 3.3%, Bosch Limited registered a sales revenue of Rs.20.303bn in the third quarter of 2012 over the same period of last year. Growth is relatively lower, primarily due to the continuing economic slowdown and negative performance of the automotive segment.

Profit Before Tax (PBT) stood at Rs. 2.791bn for the third quarter - accounting for a decline of 31.2% as compared to the same period of 2011. This fall was largely due to (i) Higher material cost caused by adverse exchange rate movement and (ii) Increase in depreciation on account of higher capital base, as anticipated earlier. Profit After Tax (PAT) at Rs. 2.028bn also saw a corresponding decline of 29.6% over the same period last year.
 
Starter and Generator division continued its impressive growth by 52.6%, as compared to the same period of 2011, on the back of higher sales from new base line generators to both local and export customers.
 
The sales in Diesel Systems business has declined by 5.0%. Domestic sales have grown by 4.1% despite negative growth in the heavy commercial vehicle and tractor segments in the third quarter of 2012. The growth in domestic sales was offset by a sharper decline in the export segment on account of the economic slowdown in the European region. Read more


Tata Motors Q2 net profit at Rs20.75bn

Tata Motors Ltd has posted a net profit after taxes, Minority Interest and Share of Profit / (loss) of Associates of Rs. 20747.30 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 18773.30 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Total Income has increased from Rs. 363674.20 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 436097.00 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.


Infocus

NV Subramanian, Co-founder, Sharedcab.com

NV Subramanian, Co-founder, Sharedcab.com has rich experience in managing large scale, fast-growing Consumer / Retail / Private Equity in premium and value domain businesses. He has an engineering degree from BITS Pilani and MBA from IIM Lucknow. Over the past 10 years, he has successfully grown start up / small size businesses into medium to large scale (USD 150 200 MM). In his last assignment, NV Subramanian was a business head with Future Group (Big Bazaar). He brings rich experience in sourcing, distribution & logistics, marketing and operations.

Sharedcab.com, Mumbai's taxi service committed to make daily travel a leisure offering AC taxi rides is available for less than auto & taxi rates. Sharedcab.com, opened a month back, offers regular travelers the comfort of a chauffeur driven AC taxi at less than taxi and even auto fares. One can travel regularly to work and back, with superior comfort and savings. With a fleet of over 200 taxis, Sharedcab.com is ready to revolutionize the way people travel. Sharedcab.com is the only company that offers an assured AC taxi for regular, day to day travel to daily commuters (be it for work or study or any other regular reason).

Sharedcab.com offers AC car rides at Rs. 8/km for a week and Rs. 7.5/km for a month. Sharedcab.com will now provide a simple solution for millions of Mumbaikars who have to travel to work every day. All one has to do is share your travel details and time of regular daily pick up, and Sharedcab.com gives an AC car ride for you along with other commuters who travel on the same route daily. By combining, the demand of thousands of commuters, Sharedcab.com is able to give less than taxi and auto rates. Sharedcab.com has been co-founded by IIT IIM graduates, NV Subramanian & Prakash Sikaria who met while working at a Private Equity fund. They founded Sharedcab.com with a vision of making daily travel a pleasure for urban travelers at pocket friendly rates.Read more


IIFL Institutional Equities recommends 'Buy, on Apollo Tyres

IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, one of the leading players in the Indian financial services space, recommends Buy Apollo Tyres.

According to IIFL Institutional Equities report, Apollo Tyres (ATL) 2QFY13 results were above expectations, primarily due to better-than-expected performance from the European subsidiary.

Sales increased 18% YoY to Rs33.7bn against our expectation of Rs32.2bn. Revenue was higher for the India operations by 23% YoY against our expectation of 13% YoY growth; the higher growth was primarily led by higher volume.

Ebitda increased 53% YoY to Rs3.7bn against our expectation of (Rs3.5bn); the beat was due to higher Ebitda from international operations underpinned by better mix. Ebitda for India was in line with our expectation; benefit from higher-than-expected volume was negated by lower-than-expected margin expansion with YoY realisation growth coming lower than expectation (realisation declined QoQ; we believe that ATL resorted to discounts to boost volumes), IIFL Report stated.

We increase our estimates for FY13 by 7% and FY14 by 6% to factor in higher margins in Europe, the brokerage added.

The report was published by IIFLs Institutional Equities Research desk.


IIFL Institutional Equities recommends 'Buy' on Exide Industries

IIFL Institutional Equities, a part of the IIFL Group, one of the leading players in the Indian financial services space, recommends Buy Exide Industries.

According to IIFL Institutional Equities report, Our recent interaction with Exides management revealed a strong pick-up in replacement demand in both 4W and 2W batteries. The industrial segment also remains extremely strong.

Although 2Q margins were lower than estimates, management expects better margin performance in 2HFY13 and stuck to its medium-term target of 16-18%. We cut our FY13 EPS estimates by 7% as we build in the 2Q disappointment but retain our FY14 EPS and TP, the brokerage added.

The report was published by IIFLs Institutional Equities Research desk.

Domestic News

Fuel efficiency woes credit negative for Hyundai Motor : Moody's

Moody's Investors Service says that a US agency's finding that Hyundai Motor (Baa1 stable) and its subsidiary, Kia Motors (Baa1 stable), have overstated the fuel efficiency of their latest car models is credit negative, as this incident will damage their brand recognition and result in additional expenses.

However, there will be no impact on the Baa1 ratings and stable outlooks, because Moody's believes both companies have adequate financial cushions and the impact on their competitive positions will be manageable.

On 2 November, the US Environmental Protection Agency said that Hyundai and Kia had overstated the fuel mileage of around 900,000 vehicles sold in the country since 2011. Following this announcement, the companies said in a statement that they will compensate the affected US and Canada customers for the losses stemming from the difference between the stated and actual fuel efficiencies.

Moody's estimates that Hyundai Motor (including Kia) will incur additional annual costs of about $100 million until the affected models are largely scrapped, which is less than 1% of its adjusted EBITA.

"However, the impact on the companies' brand recognition and sales performance in North America could be more material, given that high fuel efficiency has been one of their key selling points and the region is the group's largest market," says Chris Park, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Office. Read more


TABcab to charge Rs. 17/- per Km till Meters are recalibrated

TABcab, which is the largest phone fleet taxi service in Mumbai, with its fleet of 1600 on road cabs has announced that they will charge the old fare of Rs. 17/- per Km and Rs. 24/- for first Km on its 1200 Toyota Etios (TABcab), and Rs, 19/- per Km and Rs. 26/- for first Km on its 400 Maruti Suzuki SX4 (TABcab Gold).

These old fares will be charged from passengers till Meters are recalibrated in taxis, which will start from this week and will take 2 to 3 weeks to get completed in 1600 Cabs. Thus Customers will only pay what the fare meter reads and the receipt prints.

TABcab will hence continue to charge customers with fare with utmost transparency. However fare rates for Phone Fleet Taxi has been changed as per this fare difference chart:Read more


Volkswagen starts pre-owned car business Das WeltAuto in Mumbai

Volkswagen Europes leading car manufacturer announced the commencement of operations of its used car business Das WeltAuto. by inaugurating its dealership in Mumbai.

Das WeltAuto. is the global pre-owned car business of Volkswagen and to reach out the customer burgeoning demands for pre-owned cars across India company has commenced its operations with 15 dealerships across the country. The brand plans to end the year with 21 dealerships.

Volkswagen had announced the introduction of the Das WeltAuto. brand in the country earlier this year at the New Delhi Auto Expo 2012.

With the commencement of Das WeltAuto. operations, Volkswagen aims to change the existing experience of the pre-owned car buyer. The brand will lay emphasis on understanding and customising the requirements of its customers, which has been its hallmark across the world.

Commenting on the occasion, Arvind Saxena, Managing Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd. said We believe that every customer is important even if it is a pre-owned car buyer and we are committed towards providing our customers the same experience that of a new car. At Das WeltAuto.

we have stringent systems and processes that ensure every pre-owned car undergoes a 160 point checklist which is part of our standard protocol ensuring a hassle free driving experience
Das WeltAuto. dealerships will trade in car models from all manufacturers and will not be restricted to Volkswagen car lines.


Mahindra First Choice Services announces "Diwali Dhamaka"

Exclusively for Diwali, Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS), Indias leading multi-brand car workshop, has announced multiple service packages to delight car owners. Customers can get their cars ready for Diwali by availing of any one of the companys crackling packages aptly named Rocket, Rassi Bumb, Phuljhadi, Chakari, etc. to reflect the festive spirit.

As explained by YVS Vijay Kumar, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Services, These packages have been devised based on specific customer insights. They will not only cover the full range of car maintenance but will also enhance the overall car driving experience.

These exclusive offers range from regular paid service, wheel alignment and balancing, protective coating, underbody antirust treatment, dashboard polishing, exterior wash, general check up, upholstery cleaning and interior vacuuming, etc. Mahindra First Choice Services has announced that these Diwali packages will be available across their entire network. The packages start at an attractive price point of Rs 449.

These special packages are our festive gift to our consumers. We have kept the price range attractive so that all car owners, irrespective of the brand of car they own, can avail of these services,  Vijay Kumar added.

The Mahindra First Choice Services value proposition

Mahindra First Choice Services Ltd. (MFCSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., is a leading chain of multi brand car workshops across major cities in India like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Nashik, Hyderabad, and Vapi.

YVS Vijay Kumar, CEO, MFCSL, explained that the company was established in 2008 and aims to offer a world class car servicing experience at value for money prices. The company employs well trained technicians who can cater to the various servicing needs of multi-brand cars.

Only quality spares procured at competitive rates are used. MFCSL also follows stringent quality measures and a mandatory 50 point First Choice First Check which is performed on all cars. The company also offers cashless insurance facilities with leading insurance companies.


MFCS announces Diwali Dhamaka packages for all car owners

Exclusively for Diwali, Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS), Indias leading multi-brand car workshop, has announced multiple service packages to delight car owners. Customers can get their cars ready for Diwali by availing of any one of the companys crackling packages aptly named Rocket, Rassi Bumb, Phuljhadi, Chakari, etc. to reflect the festive spirit.

As explained by YVS Vijay Kumar, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Services, These packages have been devised based on specific customer insights. They will not only cover the full range of car maintenance but will also enhance the overall car driving experience.

These exclusive offers range from regular paid service, wheel alignment and balancing, protective coating, underbody antirust treatment, dashboard polishing, exterior wash, general check up, upholstery cleaning and interior vacuuming, etc. Mahindra First Choice Services has announced that these Diwali packages will be available across their entire network. The packages start at an attractive price point of Rs 449.
 
These special packages are our festive gift to our consumers. We have kept the price range attractive so that all car owners, irrespective of the brand of car they own, can avail of these services, Vijay Kumar added.

The Mahindra First Choice Services value proposition
Mahindra First Choice Services Ltd. (MFCSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., is a leading chain of multi brand car workshops across major cities in India like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Nashik, Hyderabad, and Vapi.

YVS Vijay Kumar, CEO, MFCSL, explained that the company was established in 2008 and aims to offer a world class car servicing experience at value for money prices. The company employs well trained technicians who can cater to the various servicing needs of multi-brand cars. Only quality spares procured at competitive rates are used. MFCSL also follows stringent quality measures and a mandatory 50 point First Choice First Check which is performed on all cars. The company also offers cashless insurance facilities with leading insurance companies.


Scania launches new range of on-road trucks for trial runs in India

Scania, one of the worlds leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, has launched a new range of on-road trucks for trial runs in India. Through the launch of these trucks, Scania will continue with its heritage of offering customers world class products and services and being a trusted transportation partner, also for India.

Scania has undertaken extensive research prior to launching these new trucks in India. This is in line with Scanias strategies to bring in innovative products and services, offering value through lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The Scania truck models - the R 500 6x4, the G 460 6x4, the P 410 6x2 and the P 360 4x2  are being made available to customers in the Indian on-road haulage segment.
Scanias foray into the on-road haulage segment of the Indian market is completely customer focused on providing reliable, fuel efficient transport solutions with lesser impact on the environment.

This will cater to the needs of diversified and growing segments in India such as long haul container handling, steel, chemical, special bulk transportation and Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) transportation.

Nekzad J. Parabia, Director J.H. Parabia (Transport) Pvt. Ltd., Baroda said: We value this relationship with Scania. Our expectations on the V8 engine truck are not only based on the high torque rating, but also that it should be a better powertrain for tough transportation assignments. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. Read more


The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe arrives in India

The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the first four-door coupe in the history of BMW, was launched in Mumbai during an exclusive event. The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe was unveiled through Visions of Beauty, an exclusive collection designed by Manish Malhotra, the leading Indian fashion designer.
 
The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is available at all BMW dealerships across India as a CBU (Completely Built-Up) unit and the deliveries will start from November 2012 onwards.
 
Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, BMW has reinvented the coupe, creating a four-door car with irresistible dynamics and aesthetics that reawaken the joy of driving every day. The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe has achieved an unusual synergy between pioneering design, uncompromising sportiness and exclusive elegance which is distinguished by its spaciousness and functionality. A BMW has never been seen in this form and it will be the first choice of the discerning customers who believe only in the best.  Read more


India Yamaha Motor launches limited editions of FZ-S and FAZER bikes

India Yamaha Motor, Indias premium two wheeler manufacturer, has launched the limited edition versions of the bestselling FZ-S & FAZER bikes to boost sales and create more excitement amongst customers during the upcoming festive season. Both the limited edition FZ-S and Fazer bikes have undergone cosmetic changes involving new logo and paint finishes across the motorcycles.

Both the bikes come in striking blue color with Limited edition logo on it. The 2012 Yamaha FZ-S Limited Edition model is priced at INR 73,030 while the Fazer will cost INR 78,130, both prices reflecting ex-showroom Delhi figures.

Since the launch of FZ series in 2008, these bikes have gained immense popularity amongst customers, especially youngsters. It has been Yamahas constant endeavour to bring further excitement and variety to its style conscious customers.

Yamaha launched the limited editions of the FZ-S and Fazer bikes keeping in mind these young and enthusiastic customers who are always looking to upgrade to a more stylish product to suite their ever changing fashion statement and personality. Yamaha is confident that these variants will be instrumental in catapulting its sales to a new level during the festive season.

The engine specs of both limited edition Yamaha FZ-S as well as the Yamaha Fazer remain unchanged with the same 153cc, air cooled-single cylinder four stroke engine doing duty. The engine generates maximum power of 14 Bhp at 7500 rpm with maximum torque of 13.6 Nm at 6000 rpm. This engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and accelerates 0-60 kmph sprint in just 5.5 seconds.Read more

Baba Kalyani conferred "Cross of the Order of Merit" by Federal Republic of Germany

Bharat Forges CMD accorded Germany's highest honour for exemplary service to the nation
Mr. Baba N. Kalyani, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Forge was today honoured with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the German Ambassador to India, His Excellency Mr. Michael Steiner at an award ceremony organized at the Trident Hotel, Nariman Point at Mumbai.

The Cross of the Order of Merit is the highest honour awarded to individuals for their admirable services to the Federal Republic of Germany. The recognition is granted to those who make a significant contribution in social, intellectual, economic or political departments.

Awarding the distinction to Kalyani; Ambassador Steiner said, Mr. Kalyani is an individual who has played a major role in strengthening the business and economic ties between India and Germany. He has made significant contributions in setting up business operations in Germany and collaborating with German Universities to develop next generation technology, which has and will continue to benefit both of our countries and global customers alike. He is a true world citizen; at the same time he has remained a true Indian. Kalyani is a living role model for initiative, creativity and business vision.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Baba Kalyani said, It is a great honour and privilege to be recognised by the Federal Republic of Germany with the Cross of the Order of Merit. I would like to thank all the members associated with this award. Our association with Germany was a logical decision given its technological prowess, technical education and innovation, large markets and well-qualified workforce. A decision which has proven to be beneficial to all in the long run.
Through this high order, Germany acknowledges the outstanding contribution of Baba Kalyani in the field of business and promoting bilateral relations between India and Germany.

 Bharat Forges relationship with Germany began when it acquired the German operations of Carl Dan Peddinghaus GmbH & Co. KG (now renamed as CDP Bharat Forge GmbH) in early 2004. In just a span of 8 years, CDP Bharat Forge has plants in Ennepetal, Daun and the Bharat Forge Aluminiumtechnik facility is at Brand-Erbisdorf, making some of largest forging footprints in Germany. Kenersys, another group company of the Kalyani Group also has a plant at Muenster.


India Yamaha Motor adopts unique door to door approach

India Yamaha Motor, Indias premium two wheeler manufacturer, has come up with a very unique initiative to attract its niche target audience of young urban women for its new scooter RAY. The company has come up with an exciting 9 day campaign to promote its scooter RAY during the festive season.
The campaign was flagged off on Nov 1st from the India Yamaha Motor office by Mr Jun Nakata, Director, Sales & Marketing, IYM and Mr Roy Kurian, National Business Head, IYM. The campaign tries to give a new definition to driving the stylish and peppy Yamaha RAY by reinstating the RAY Life is an Adventure campaign message.
 
The campaign which started with a group of 6 girls forming a cavalcade of scooters with 6 RAYS will travel through various locations in New Delhi. The cavalcade of scooters will start from a particular dealership at one point in the city, travel through the city for the entire day and culminate at another dealership at the end of the day. The cavalcade of scooters in turn will cross and halt at key junctions like markets, colleges and schools to create buzz, excitement and maximize awareness about the scooter RAY.
 
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Roy Kurian, National Business Head, India Yamaha Motor said, We launched the RAY in India due to the huge demand that this segment was witnessing in the country, with college students and young working women showing increased affinity to purchasing light weight and highly efficient scooters. The new RAY has been designed and engineered to answer the needs of this growing class of young female customers who want a scooter that is stylish, compact, easy to use and has a fresh new appeal. Through this campaign we are trying to enthuse further excitement amongst our target audience. The campaign will showcase the spirit of adventure that is associated with the RAY and which it promises to deliver to its customers. Read more
 

Hyundai Motor restarts production at Chennai plant

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL),  said that production at its two plants at Sriperambadur near Chennai continued to be on schedule even as the number of workers who abstained from work dropped significantly  on the fourth day since the illegal disruption of production on Tuesday, 30th October 2012.

The number of workers who abstained from work dropped to 110 from 150 on Saturday.
On Saturday, the company will produce a record 2340 cars, up from 2176 cars produced on Thursday and Friday respectively.

HMIL has already recognized UUHE as the official union who have a majority membership of over 1300 permanent workers amongst a total strength of 2007 permanent workers. They have signed a historic wage agreement with UUHE on 18th Oct 2012 and the company is categorical that it will not recognize any other union. Further 400 employees who are not members of UUHE have signed and accepted the wage settlement


Olacabs launches services in Delhi NCR

Olacabs, Indias largest aggregator of car rentals and point-to-point cab services, today announced that their quick and efficient cab service, enabled through a smartphone tracking app, will now be available in Delhi NCR. Olacabs is Indias first smartphone-enabled cab service that helps a customer call for a taxi and track it till it reaches its destination, all on the mobile phone. 

To help the people who commute within the millennium city and lack reliable and efficient transport options, the company will run an inaugural offer, Gurgaon99, using which customers can book a point to point taxi within Gurgaon at a flat rate of Rs. 99. The offer goes live from November 9, 2012 and could be used by Gurgaon residents for multiple purposes; mall hopping, a late evening party, regular trips to and from office, mid-day meetings and anything else for that matter.

Delhi becomes the third city to host Olacabs, after Mumbai and Bangalore. Olacabs is already doing 3000 bookings every day. The company will expand operations to 4 cities by the end of the financial year. In the NCR region, the company will offer cabs for business, leisure or personal trips with flexible options for bookings and payments. Services provided by Olacabs include point-to-point services within the city, hour-based rental services and bookings for outstation travel. 

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Olacabs said, Olacabs hopes to become an integral part of the citys transport options with our prompt, customer friendly and consistent performance. We will leverage heavily on our inherent technology capabilities and stringent quality assessments to create the best cab experience in the country. Read more


e-parivartan: Maruti Suzuki celebrates Diwali in a different way

The young and enthusiastic employees of Maruti Suzuki are all set to celebrate Diwali in different way this year. Stepping aside from the usual activities of Diwali such as sharing expensive gifts and sweets, playing cards or just spending time with family and friends, they have decided to contribute their most valuable asset TIME in making this Diwali memorable for others rather themselves. Under the e-parivartan program, these youngsters are visiting volunteering centers to work towards this noble and more satisfying cause.

One such initiative undertaken recently was a diya decorating competition organized at a volunteering centre. The children at the center with great enthusiasm decorated the diyas using paints, crystals, glitters and other decorative items.

They were mentored by young Maruti Suzuki employees. Once the competition was over, the children gifted their creations to the volunteers. The fun filled day ended with volunteers presenting the children with surprise gifts and treating them with light refreshments.

The volunteers have further decided to celebrate Diwali at Sarhaul Government School, which is supported by the Company. Here, about 40 young Graduate Engineering Traineesof the company will spend a day with the students of the school, engaging them in Diya Decoration, counseling them to celebrate Diwali safely through poster making sessions and sensitize them on the ill effects of crackers through games, plays etc.

Explaining the outlook of such efforts,  Ranjit Singh, General Manager, CSR and Sustainability says, The young volunteers in the Company look forward to such programs as this is something different from routine life and brings a positive change in their lifestyle.

Overall, the initiative e-parivartan (e-implies employees), is a program for the employees of Maruti Suzuki wherein they act as catalysts for change by volunteering their time towards a social cause.This employee driven initiative was started four years ago and is run in partnership with several local NGOs.

The organizations (NGOs) make volunteering opportunities available to the employees and theyvolunteer their most valuable asset--- time and expertise, talent, skills for the benefit of the lesser privileged. Interestingly, it is the younger employees at Maruti Suzuki who have shown a lot of interest and enthusiasm towards the programme.

Currently, the program is supported by 400 change agents who have contributed a total of 4000 volunteering hours over the last four years. This, after working six full days a week, without expecting any benefit in terms of career or money, is indeed a significant effort to make a difference in society.

Going forward, the Company targets to strengthen and broaden such programmes aggressively by expanding it to other stakeholders like its business partners etc.Through these volunteering efforts, the company aspires to contribute regular, incremental change leading eventually to a big transformation in the society.


International News

China celebrates Maserati Trofeo MC World Series

The circuit of Shanghai, China, brought down the curtain on the 2012 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series. At the end of six gripping rounds held in three continents, (Europe, America and Asia) it was Renaud Kuppens, from Konvex Motorsport, who took the title. The season has been a remarkable one for the Belgian as he claimed the Overall and Team crowns, the award for notching up the most pole positions as well as pocketing the Trofeo Europa.

The year of intense racing saw an average of 24 cars line up at Jarama, Portimao, Imola, Paul Ricard, Sonoma and, fittingly, the cutting-edge Formula 1 circuit of Shanghai. In all 25 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos lined up and 35 drivers from 15 countries (Italy, Morocco, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Belgium, Monaco, Australia, Venezuela, Austria, Switzerland and China) took part. The final round was held in China; a first for this single-make series but not for Maserati: in 2004, 2005 and 2007 the Maserati MC12 turned out here in the FIA GT.

The Maserati Trofeo MC World Series closing ceremony was held at the Maserati Pudong Downtown Showroom, the marque's home in Shanghai. As well as Kuppens, awards were bestowed on: Riccardo Ragazzi/Alan Simoni (Trofeo), Richard Denny (Over 50), Adrien De Leener (Under 30), Eric Lo e Shaun Thong (Best Asian Drivers).

There was huge interest in a marque as famous as Maserati over the entire weekend, one on which the company organised a packed press conference at the circuit's hospitality suite. Clients were also able to try out models from the current range and visit the exhibition spaces devoted to merchandising, an area enriched by the inclusion of a few choice cars, among them a Maserati GranCabrio Fendi.

The enthusiasm for Maserati here is backed up by the figures with China now ranking as the marque second-biggest market after the US.Available footage includes an edited package.


Tighter US Fuel Economy will benefit some auto suppliers: Fitch

Fitch Ratings discusses the implications on auto manufacturers and suppliers of the new fuel economy and emissions standards enacted in August 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The new standards take effect for the 2017 model year and are projected to require the U.S. light-vehicle fleet to achieve a fuel efficiency of as high as 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025.

Fitch expects auto manufacturers will employ various solutions to meet the new standards, including the development of more efficient powertrains, an increased use of electrification and a greater use of lightweight materials. However, much of the development work will go towards increasing the fuel efficiency of traditional internal combustion engines, which Fitch believes will still be the primary form of propulsion for most light vehicles in 2025.

Although the new standards do not take effect for several years, auto manufacturers and suppliers are already investing heavily in research and development to meet the new requirements, making this a credit issue now. Achieving the new targets will be a significant challenge for auto manufacturers, but certain auto suppliers stand to benefit significantly from the new rules. In particular, suppliers of technologies that improve engine fuel efficiency, transmission and related components suppliers, and suppliers of technology used in hybrid and electric propulsion systems stand to benefit the most.


AUDI sales in Europe up by 4.2% in October

AUDI AG started the fourth quarter of the year with another double-digit increase in sales: Thanks in particular to the SUV models Q3, Q5 and Q7, together with the A5 model family, worldwide sales in October were up 13.9% year on year, to around 123,600 automobiles.

This means some 1,221,150 customers have already purchased a new Audi since January, a rise of 12.9% compared with 2011. In October, the Ingolstadt-based carmaker bucked again the market trend in Europe by achieving 4.2% growth. Audis deliveries continued to grow by well into double figures in the U.S. (+14.5%) and in China, where it gained 29.5% last month.

With the recent introductions of the compact SUV Q3, the A4 allroad quattro and the RS 5 Coup, Audi has successfully opened up new segments for the brand in China. Across all models, deliveries by the premium manufacturer increased by 31.2% since January to 332,959 units; this compares with a total of 313,036 cars for the whole of 2011. The 29.5% growth to 35,899 deliveries in October was spearheaded mainly by the Changchun-built models Audi A6 L and Q5.

October saw Audi also achieve clear increase in many other growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region: In South Korea, for example, sales compared with the same month of 2011 were up 62.5%; in India, the Q3 launched there in June contributed towards a 76.3% rise in sales.Read more


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