Automobile Newsletter - December 22 to 26, 2014

As per news reports, Mahindra & Mahindra are looking to introduce several new models of SUV in the market in the upcoming year.

Dec 26, 2014 11:12 IST India Infoline News Service

Top News
Mahindra sets up aggressive launch plans for 2015
As per news reports, Mahindra & Mahindra are looking to introduce several new models of SUV in the market in the upcoming year. The strategy is to counter the rise in demand of the vehicles of competitors like Renault and Ford in the SUV marketplace, as Mahindra has lost a little ground.
As many as seven new launches are planned in the coming year, which are likely to include soft roader (micro SUV), lifestyle UV (new Thar) and premium UV (facelifted XUV 500) as well as petrol and diesel hybrids and a proposed Bolero replacement codenamed U301.
The new launches are scheduled in a space of a month apart each, and are likely to increase the volume sales of Mahindra close to a 90,000 units.
Tata Motors launches Prima the World Truck, in Nepal
Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile manufacturer, launched four new next-generation PRIMA heavy commercial vehicles, for the very first time in Nepal, with partner Sipradi Trading Private Limited.
Setting new benchmarks in styling and features, the next-generation Tata PRIMA is a combination of power, world-class performance, fuel efficiency, superior technology and safety. The Tata PRIMA has been built with technical inputs from across the world – an Italian cab design, engine technology from the USA and Europe, gearbox expertise from Germany, chassis frame know-how from Mexico, sheet metal dies from Japan and Korea, combined with Swedish precision on a robotic weld line, hence is also referred to as the 'World truck’ by Tata Motors.
The launch of these new next-generation commercial vehicles marks Tata Motors continued efforts towards changing the trucking landscape in Nepal’ and consisting of a series of configurations on the PRIMA platform. In the Tipper segment, Tata Motors introduced the PRIMA LX 2523.K, whereas in the Cargo segment, Tata Motors introduced the PRIMA LX 2523.T, the PRIMA LX 3123.T and the PRIMA LX 4023.S, all of which have different combinations of drivelines, meeting end-user requirements for varied applications.
Bajaj Auto secures order of 50,000 units of Discover-125M motorcycles in Sri Lanka
Bajaj Auto Ltd has announced that the Company through its distributor David Pieris Motor Company Ltd. in Sri Lanka had secured, after a detailed evaluation process by the Government of Sri Lanka, an Order from them for supply of approx. 50,000 (numbers) Discover-125M motorcycles. The Company has already supplied 48,000 (numbers) successfully against this Order.
The Company has now secured a Repeat Order from them through the Company's Distributor in Sri Lanka for the supply of 1.25 lakh (numbers) Discover-125M, which the Company expects to execute in next 3-4 months.
Bajaj believes it can double exports over 4-5 years driven by growth in existing markets and entry into new markets. It sells in 48 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It plans to enter 28 new countries in the next two years and 22 countries more after two years. There are risks to export growth due to weak currencies in emerging markets and economic risks in oil-exporting countries such as Nigeria. An order for 125k Discover 125Ms from Sri Lanka, although one-time, may boost export volumes in next 3-4 months.
News Infocus
Deloitte India report: 50% Indian car buyers spend more than 10 hours researching cars to buy
Deloitte in India, released a report titled ‘Driving through the consumer’s mind: Steps in the buying process’, which sheds light on the process Indian car buyers go through when buying a vehicle. It elaborates on the information buyers look for, before making a purchase the time they spend researching, their choice of information sources, interactions with dealers and their openness to recommend products to others.
According to the report, social media and dealerships are the least important information sources for potential car buyers; word-of-mouth and car reviews are bigger influencers in the purchase process. Price / value and features of a vehicle are key research parameters in the purchase process. While test drives remain a highly important aspect of the customers’ research, a majority of them do not prefer spending more than 45 minutes at the dealership, including the time on test drives. The report also reveals that people recommend cars to potential customers regardless of whether they own it themselves or not; implying that manufacturers need to continuously engage with customers beyond sale of vehicles to create a positive buyer-seller relationship.
The research findings of this report are based on a survey conducted by Deloitte from 1813 respondents in India, of which 1066 respondents comprising 59% of the survey population belong to Gen Y (19-36 years), while 22% belong to Gen X (37-48 years) and 16% belong to the Baby Boomers (49-67 years) segment. The four wheeler owners also show a similar age profile.
In the overall population, almost 79% had purchased new vehicle during their last purchase. In the sample related to car owners, 91% had purchased a new car during their last purchase. In the context of the above, all the analysis and conclusions in the report are aligned to behaviour exhibited by consumers during new vehicle purchase.
Domestic News
Tata Motors opens online bookings for the all-new Bolt
Tata Motors announced the opening of online bookings for its much-awaited sporty hatchback, the all-new Bolt, from its passenger vehicle stable. After the success of Zest, Bolt is the second brand new vehicle in line under the company’s HORIZONEXT umbrella.
Bolt – with its name signifying speed, represents an attitude of winning and staying ahead. With the philosophy of ‘Confident Dynamism’, BOLT is set to create benchmarks in the industry by being miles ahead of competition in terms of Design, Drive and Connectivity.
The bold new stance and the well sculpted body of the BOLT put forth the new Tata Motors design semantics and it is a design culmination of best ideas from the three Tata Motors design studios – Pune (India), Coventry (UK), and Turin (Italy). Bolt comes with superior space and comfort. Featuring a forward pouncing stance, the car conveys a sense of power and agility even when it is standing still. The exterior design gives the impression of a larger hatchback and the floating roof and the blackened C-pillar provides the car with an extra sporty touch and aids in aerodynamics.
Maruti Suzuki planning a separate sales network for its upcoming LCV business
As per news reports, country's largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki is planning to establish a separate sales network for its light commercial vehicle business, which might start in the coming year. The report added that the company is of the view that the current sales network of Maruti should not be given the additional burden of the LCV business, as it requires a separate focus.
The company will launch the LCV next year and the vehicle will be available with diesel and CNG options. In a first for Maruti, the vehicle will compete with products like Tata's Ace, Mahindra's Maxximo, Piaggio's Ape and Ashok Leyland's Dost in the entry commercial vehicle space.
The manufacturing plant at Haryana will be the center of production for the new vehicles. The vehicle will be developed on the platform of parent Suzuki Motor Corp's 'Carry'.
Uber, Ola Cabs eye acquisition of radio taxi owners
As Uber and Ola Cabs are battling legal problems over the licencing issue, these tech companies are gradually eyeing to acquire companies who possess the elixir of their business - the licence.
As per news reports, the taxi-aggregators like Uber and Ola Cabs, who are in the eye of the storm after the rape of Delhi woman in the Uber taxi service, are looking out for services like gCabs and Supercabz for their radio taxi licence. It is speculated that the deals could be closed in a week.
In the aftermath of the incident, many states put a ban on the taxi aggregators because they lacked the licence to operate the vehicles. The companies can start their operation as soon as they acquire the licence, a process which might take months to complete. Therefore, the officials of these web-based services have decided to go on an acquisition mode, that would allow them to resume their business with much ease.
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