Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bridgestone to invest Rs 2600 crore in Pune

Bridgestone India Private Limited, (BSID) has announced that it will be investing Rs.2600 crores towards building a new manufacturing unit near Pune's Chakan Industrial Area in Maharashtra. The company also announced that it has reached an agreement with the Government of Maharashtra for accquiring approximately 8.288 million sq ft of land. The factory will be used for manufacturing passenger car radial tyres along with radial tyres for buses.

Bridgestone is planning to start the production of radial tyres for passenger cars by January 2013 and that of radial tyres for buses by August 2013. The demand for these tyres have gone up cosiderably and is expected to further aid economic growth. The company expects production capacity of passenger car radial tyres and bus radial tyres to reach 10,000 and 3,000 units per day by 2020 respectively. The demand for tyres is further expected to grow owing to the development of road infrastructure and increase in automotive sales.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chevrolet to showcase 2011 Cruze RS

Chevrolet has announced that it will be showcasing its 2011 RS appearance package for the Cruze at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The RS appearance package will be offered as an exterior option on the Cruze LS, LT and LTZ variants to potential buyers. With the RS package, the Cruze gets a more sporty and butch look in comparison to the plain model. The Cruze RS gets fog lamps, rocker panel extensions and a spoiler on the exterior. It will also feature an upgraded interior package including backlit instrument cluster and chrome accent rings.

As of now Chevrolet has not announced any plans of offering the RS appearance package as an option to potential buyers of the Cruze in India. Though we seriously hope that Chevrolet does offer the RS package as an option in India. This RS package seriously enhances the sporty appeal of the Cruze as evident from the pictures. The Cruze is already notching up numbers on the sales chart owing to its refreshing good looks and powerful diesel mill. This appearance package will further enhances the exterior appeal of the car, giving customers a reason to cheer about and bring one home.

Ford sells its Volvo brand to Geely of China

Ford has finally decided to get rid of its Volvo brand. The American company got into an agreement to sell Volvo and related assets to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China for Rs 815 crore. The sale is officially expected to be closed by the third quarter of 2010. Much of this time will be consumed in getting permissions from governments in countries where the Swedish brand has presence.

Ford is completely selling off the Volvo brand, and will not keep any of the shares with it. Ford, that bought Volvo in 1999 hasn’t been able to make much of the deal, as the Swedish brand has not made any money since 2005.

As a part of the deal, Ford will keep supplying Volvo critical components. Ford will also reportedly provide support in terms of engineering, IT and other areas before the Chinese company could manage these things all by itself. The deal also includes the use of some of Ford’s intellectual property rights by Volvo and Geely.

Commending on the development, Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO said “Volvo is a great brand with an excellent product line-up. This agreement provides a solid foundation for Volvo to continue to build its business under Geely’s ownership. At the same time, the sale of Volvo will allow us to further sharpen our focus on building the Ford brand around the world.”
Geely Chairman Li Shufu, on the occasion, said, Shufu said: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Ford, enabling us to safeguard and strengthen Volvo's renowned brand heritage. This transaction will ensure Volvo's continued leadership in the premium segment, where it enjoys a global reputation for safety and environmental-friendly technologies. As part of the proposed transaction, Zhejiang Geely Holdings will maintain the strong collaborative relationships that Volvo has built with employees, unions, suppliers, dealers and above all, customers. On completion, Volvo Cars will be a separate company with its own management team based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and a new board of directors."

Geely has raised the loan for this deal from banks in China, USA and Europe, and loans guaranteed by the governments of Sweden and Belgium. First impressions suggest that production of Volvos will continue in Sweden and Belgium to stay closer to the supplier chain and the main market.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Several cars to be phased out due to BS IV norms

The Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emission norms will be applicable from the 1st of April, 2010. However, the entry of the BS IV norms has marked the exit of various old car models including the Skoda Octavia, Fabia (petrol) and Chevrolet Tavera. Maruti had taken the decision of not upgrading its Maruti 800 to suit the BS IV norms after which Skoda has decided to do the same for a few of its car models including the Octavia and Fabia (petrol). The Octavia’s 1.9 TDi Pumpe-Duse engine along with the Fabia petrol engine will be spared from being upgraded to the BS IV requirements making it face the similar fate of the once-legendary Maruti 800. These cars will now not be available in 13 cities across the country.

The Tavera from Chevrolet’s stable too is ready with its bags packed to bid good bye to all the BS IV cities. The MPV contender’s 2.5-litre diesel engine will not be upgraded by the firm to meet the BS IV requirements which will make the car unavailable in BS IV cities.
However, all the four cars mentioned above will be available in the showrooms of BS III cities across the country. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kanpur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Agra are a few amongst the cities which will bear the BS IV emission norms from the 1st of April.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Volkswagen - Pune Plant’s first anniversary

Volkswagen’s Pune plant is one of its most modern plants amongst the Volkswagen group. The plant was inaugurated on the 31st of March, 2009. Very soon, the plant will complete a year of functioning in the City of Pune. To cherish this special occasion for Volkswagen, the firm has organized a grand celebration starting from the 27th of March, 2010. “Volkswagen India. Building Cars. Winning Hearts,” will be the theme of the celebration.

The firm has decided to share its joy amongst with the city of Pune by distributing muffins with a 1 year candle. This will be a symbol of the 1 year birthday cake and will be distributed during the screening of the IPL matches at Inshanya Mall on the 27th and 28th of March.

On 30th of March, as a part of the celebrations, the works of the Artist Lala who is a German residing in Pune will be unveiled at the Volkswagen India plant. Around 20 paintings which display the cultural exchange between Germany and India will be displayed as a part of the exhibition at the Chakan plant.

On the 31st of March, which is exactly a year after the inauguration of the plant, an art competition will take place for the children of the employees who serve at the Volkswagen Pune plant. The theme of the competition for children within the age limit of 6 to 12 years will be “Volkswagen Employee Children. Winning Hearts with Polo.” The firm will reward all participants after which all the paintings will be displayed at the plant. On the same day, there will be an after-work dinner for all the employees at the plant. During this part of the celebrations, the efforts of the Volkswagen employees will be recognized and appreciated. “Volkswagen People. Winning Hearts,” will be the theme of this party.

The Pune plant has proved to be a catalyst for the firm in achieving its sales targets in the Indian subcontinent. With a maximum production capacity of 110,000 vehicles annually, the plant is technically advanced with all kinds of facilities. The plant covers all stages including the press shop, body shop, paint shop and final assembly. Along with the Volkswagen Polo, the Skoda Fabia is also built at the Pune plant. The Pune plant is reportedly the largest investment (Rs 3,800) by a German company in India.

AMG - Reportedly developing an entry level performance saloon?

Automotive websites are once again abuzz with reports of AMG developing a super sports saloon based on the future generation B-Class. According to Autocar, this new entry level AMG offering will borrow styling cues from the Mercedes Benz F800 Style Concept which was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show. Autocar has further said in its report that this new AMG will be powered by a new engine based on the 3.5 liter turbocharged V6 mill that was actually developed for the CLS350.

The report also says that the engine will be downsized to 3.2 liters and utilize an electrically operated pressure wave supercharger. It further reveals that maximum power output will be close to 400bhp and there is a possibility of the power being delivered to all four wheels with more bias towards the rear. To the non-performance engine enthusiast, a pressure wave supercharger is one which utilizes the exhaust gases generated by an internal combustion engine to generate pressure waves which compress the intake air.

AMG is developing this entry level performance saloon to in order to increase the chances of attract more customers especially in the young age group to its brand. Once launched, this new car will face stiff competition from the likes of BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf R. We will keep you posted as and when more information surfaces.

Images: These Images are of the Mercedes-Benz F800 Style Concept

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Virgin All Set To Fly - Australian GP

It’s no secret that the Virgin Racing team had quite an abysmal time at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Initially the pre-qualifying practice sessions and the qualifying sessions at the Bahrain Grand Prix did show some amount of hope and promise for the debutants. However, much of their hopes and aspirations were extinguished when both their cars retired within just a few laps of the race.

Both their drivers and the technical director were disappointed and understandably so. After all, the pre-season had started off with much promise for them and it was to be seen how the only team on the grid to have boldly used only CFD design and technology would perform.
Having said all that, all those problems, and the woes of Virgin Racing at Bahrain are all in the past and were not necessarily related to their CFD designed aerodynamics. The cars suffered from hydraulic and transmission problems which made the sun set rather quickly on their weekend in Bahrain.
This time round at the Australian Grand Prix, Virgin Racing certainly hopes to make an impact. It is a rather interesting race, being a street circuit and will require the drivers to use their technical skill. Good speed and lap times will be crucial during the qualifying sessions as the new regulations do seem to have made over-taking a little too difficult.

The Virgin Racing team seems to be rather upbeat about this weekend and one hopes they can certainly do better than the Bahrain Grand Prix. In my opinion, I am certain that they will. After all, let’s not forget that this is a young team with young drivers and there may certainly be a few technical glitches at the start; but nothing that can’t be fixed.
My prediction for the race is that Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi will both complete the race this time round and see the much desired chequered flag. I think that would be a good goal to achieve and as long as the team manages that, this race will be a successful one. I believe that one must climb the ladder to success slowly but surely and a step in the right direction would be to finish the race this street circuit.

Timo Glock is said to like the race track and conditions at the Australian Grand Prix and it would be exciting to see the young Lucas di Grassi race on this circuit for the first time. I certainly look forward to the race this weekend and to Virgin Racing being competitive. I am sure that they will do much better as the season progresses. But my prediction for this weekend is that both the cars make the chequered flag.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ajith's entry confirmed - 2010 F2 (Formula2) Championships!

Motorsports seems to be climbing the slope of popularity in India. The number of Indian names in the list of racers taking part in International races is substantially increasing year after year. One of these names is Ajith Kumar. Mr Kumar has just confirmed his entry for the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship. Ajith Kumar is a South Indian film Star and a motor racing enthusiast. However, this is not the first time Ajith will be burning rubber on the race track. This makes it his third season in the International Racing scenario after his debut in 2003 in the Formula BMW Asia Championship. His best results were in Korea where he qualified 4th and finished 6th. The other best results achieved by him were in 2004 races in British Formula 3 Scholarship Class, where he managed two podium finishes.

Ajith is one of those many enthusiasts in the country who believe motorsports in India very well needs a wakeup call. The other prominent Indian names in the field of International Motorsports are Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. Ajith is not the only Indian to take part in the Formula 2 Championship. The other Indian names in the championship are Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaran. Ajith hopes that the Indian youth is inspired by his as well his fellow Indian racer’s entry into the International Motorsports scene.

"I have the confidence of achieving some success in this year's FIA Formula 2 European Championships. I have already done some testing in Malaysia recently and am looking forward to more practice runs in Snetterton & Silverstone before the event kicks off on April 16th. I hope my participation along with the other two Indians, Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaran will create the right amount of interest in the sport in India," says Ajith Kumar.

F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer said, "I am delighted to welcome Ajith to F2. To have a well known Indian film star who has demonstrated such ambition now racing in F2 is very exciting for the championship, and I really admire Ajith's determination and enthusiasm. Paul Newman demonstrated that international celebrities can be competitive in international motorsport - and late in his career. Ajith on the other hand is several years younger than both Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. The F2 team and other drivers look forward to giving maximum support to help Ajith become increasingly competitive."

Managing a professional approach towards motorsports along with an ongoing acting career may not be a piece of cake. We hope Ajith’s efforts bear the sweet fruits in form of inspiration to the rest of the enthusiasts back in the country who may restrict their entry into professional motorsports citing career related issues. Ajith intends to be a professional racer alongside his acting career.

5 variants of BMW 3 series + No more M3 sedan

Platform technology is something car makers love making use of. Take for instance the luxury segment where Mercedes-Benz has the E-class in various forms like sedan, cabrio and estate. Or our very own Tata Indica platform which has a hatchback, a sedan, an estate, a sub 4m sedan and a limousine made on the same platform. But having a Beemer in 5 different body styles based on the same car is a little hard to digest. The hard working guys in Munich however, who slog day and night to provide us 'Sheer Driving Pleasure' dont think the same way. They are about to create yet another landmark in BMW's history by making 5 variants of the same car!

Automobile claims that the new 3er which is likely to be launched in 2012 will hit the market in 5 body styles. The new 3-series, codenamed F30, will be available in coupe, sedan, estate and a convertible. Each variant will be launched at a gap of 6 months (so that means Q2 2014 for the 5th variant). These are just four variants, the biggest surprise comes in the form of the fifth variant. The fifth one is going to be the Gran Turismo version which was first seen in the 5er family. Though it wont be getting the two piece hatch as found in the bigger 5-series GranTurismo, it will be sportier than the 5er GT. The wheelbase would be bigger than the normal 3-series for its GT variant. A full size panorama glass roof will be available as an option.

The new coupe will be donning a sportier design with a lower roofline while the convertible sibling will get a hardtop instead of a canvas one. And for all the sideways action lovers,the M3 will get a heart transplant. The newer powerplant is going to be an inline 6 which will manage to produce 450 horses, a clear increment of 30 over the current V8. Rumors suggest that a speedster might also get a place in the line up but chances are slim. But they might bring the shooting brake avatar of the 3 maybe to offer some competition to the E-Concept Fascination. This will make the 3er one of the most driver oriented sedan err platform among its peers. We will have to wait till 2012 to see all the action. Hope it is worth the wait. But another sad aspect of the new 3-series is that there won't be a M3 sedan anymore! All that you can lay your hands on is a M3 coupe or a M3 convertible...

SJOBA Thunderbolt Rally 2010 - Results

The Indian Army team of Major Amrinder Brar and Captain HDS Brar finished First in the Gypsy category of the 23rd SJOBA Thunderbolt sub Himalayan rally on monday. The duo of Harpreet Bawa and Inderpreet Singh Brar finished second while the team of Sameer Pande and Honey Narula bagged the third spot.W+K racing team won the team trophy prize.

In the car category,the team of Udaibir Sangha and Jasmohan Singh were declared winners and the team of Dhirender Kumar and Anish Agarwal finished second.At thrid postion was the team of Udaibir Sidhu and Tusar Marwaha.

In the bikes category Sandeep Matharu emerged as the winner of rally while Saajanpreet Singh and Rajan Sidhu finished second and third respectively. After garbbing the position, Sandeep said, "I always compete within my limits, I dont push myself or my bike unnecessary."

The winners were presented their cash prizes and trophies by Pradip Mehra,advisor to UT administrator.

Words by Harkamal Singh

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Nano perishes in flames!

Good things never come cheap including cars. A case in point is the world's cheapest car a.k.a Tata Nano. Since its launch a few honest automotive journalists and majority of customers have cribbed about the poor quality of materials used in the Nano's construction. Here's the picture and a short write-up of true life incident which provides one more reason for not buying, driving, or hitching a ride in one.

Mr.Satish Sawant who works as an insurance agent took delivery of his brand new Nano from Tata's Concorde Motors showroom located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. After taking delivery of the car, Satish requested the showroom to give him a driver to take the car home as he can't drive. The showromm obliged and they drove off towards LIC Colony in Mulund(W) where Satish stays.The duo drove off from Prabhadevi at 3pm and after crossing Bhandup reached the Navgher signal located on the Eastern Express highway around 40 minutes later. At the traffic stop, they were overtaken by a biker who signalled them to look towards the rear of the Nano. When Satish turned back, he saw the rear of the car was bellowing smoke as it had caught fire.

Satish and the driver got out of the car immediately and are safe. While speaking to the media later on about the incident, Satish said that he had no idea about what had happened and didn't realize that the car was on fire until the passing biker pointed it out to him. This is not the first incident of Nano catching fire while being driven. We can only hope that this incident is the last. As of now the police investigation is on and Tata Motors have not issued any comment pertaining to the incident.
Picture Source: Autoblog
News Source:

Subaru Impreza WRX - 2011 Preview

Subaru has previewed its 2011 Impreza WRX at New York in the United States. For the uninitiated, the WRX is basically a tubocharged Impreza and is offered to buyers in both sedan and wagon variants. The 2011 Impreza WRX (both 4 and 5 door models features a widebody design borrowed from its STI cousin which wraps around a 1.5 inches wider front and rear track . It has also been subjected to a few cosmetic changes which include a re-styled front spoiler lip with 3D detailing, a larger blacked-out grille and air intakes on the bumper.

According to Subaru, the widebody design makes the 2011 Impreza WRX look more agressive apart from housing the wider track and tyres which improves grip. Compared to the 2010 model, this variant weighs only 33 pounds more. Speaking on the ocassion, Tom Doll, Executive Vice-President and COO, Subaru America, said that the new wide-body design marks another major step on the continuous evolution of the WRX to give driving enthusiasts an even more compelling all-wheel drive performance package.

The 2011 Impreza WRX will be powered by the same 2.5 liter turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine which develops a max power of 265PS which was introduced on the 2009 model.Along with a 5-speed transmission it also gets Traction control, Vehicle Dynamics Control, continuous All Wheel Drive, rear subframe bushings borrowed from the STI model, wider 235/45 section rubber on 17' inch rims and Incline Start Assist. Both 4 and 5 door variants of the 2011 WRX will be available in showrooms across America by this summer.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maruti is all set to roll out its millionth vehicle

After 26 long years of existing in India, Maruti Suzuki is all geared up to roll out its millionth vehicle on the 23rd of March, this financial year. Suzuki Motor Corp’s chairman Mr. Osamu Suzuki is keen to be a part of the celebrations which is why he will soon be on his way to India. It may not be great news for international biggies like Toyota, GM and Suzuki itself since they are wide spread in the international market. It is rather an achievement for Maruti Suzuki since most of its major operations take place in the Indian Market only.

“It (the roll out of the millionth vehicle) is indeed a very satisfying feeling, as it marks the culmination of a journey that started 26 years ago,” said Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava. “Maruti Suzuki will now rank among a select few companies which would be producing a million units in a year,” he added.

Maruti Suzuki was born when the country witnessed the production of mere 40,000 cars in a year. The firm’s first car, Maruti 800 which was launched in 1983 proved to be a legend which brought success for almost two decades.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Volvo XC60 arrives - Homologation commences

Delivering on its commitment, Swedish luxury car maker Volvo Auto India brings Volvo XC60 to India as per plans. The car arrived on the Indian shores last week and has been handed over for homologation.

Volvo XC60, expected to be launched in India in the first half of the year, is the first vehicle in a new generation of the contemporary cross-over segment. The Volvo XC60 brings together all the safety knowledge which the company has built up over more than 80 years - making it one of the safest car across all categories.

According to Mr. Paul de Voijs, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India, "As a concentrated step towards building our brand in India, in the first two years, we focussed our efforts towards laying a strong foundation. 2010 is the year wherein we will strengthen our position further and the launch of Volvo XC60 is a step in that direction."

The new Volvo XC60 boasts of an exciting mix of two car styles - down below the capable XC muscles are pumped up, creating a strong athletic body mated with high ground clearance and large wheels. Up above, the flowing lines create the sporty charisma. It is charged with more emotive form and more energy than any other Volvo. The company has elevated its design DNA to an entirely new level by literally turning up the visual volume.

Mahindra Xylo Mileage Marathon

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), the market leader in the utility vehicles segment in India, recently organised for the third consecutive time, the 'XYLO Mileage Marathon' in Chandigargh. The event is a unique customer – centric initiative focused on the XYLO’s fuel efficiency and was intended to highlight the vehicle's superior mileage feature.

The drivathon saw participation from 30 XYLO families of Chandigarh. The day started with XYLO customers top up their fuel tanks before driving their cars on a pre-determined 79 km route. The key achievements of this marathon was - 100% of the participants achieved fuel efficiency figures of over 15 kmpl, 90% of the vehicles returned fuel efficiency figures greater than 20 kmpl and the overall fuel average of the entire group was 24.7 kmpl.

Mr. Vivek Nayer, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said, “We are absolutely delighted to see the enthusiasm of our proud XYLO owners and my congratulations to all the winners. The XYLO has been a runaway success since its launch over a year ago, reflecting high customer satisfaction levels. This Mileage Marathon is a unique customer-centric effort which will not only give the owners an idea of the vehicle’s fuel efficient nature but will also help them understand their XYLO experience better."

The winner of the event was Mr. Pankaj Chanana with the highest mileage figure of 36.4 km/litre of diesel and received an exclusive gift hamper. The other winners were Mr. Anuraj Agnihotri with a fuel average of 34.8 Km/litre and Mr. Mohan Singh with 32.79 Km/litre fuel average. It was a fun filled occasion for the XYLO families who enjoyed a special entertainment programme which included quiz & games for the children.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mercedes-Benz GL 350 CDI BlueEfficiency launched

Mercedes-Benz India today launched the most premium SUV in Indian market- the New GL 350 CDI BlueEfficiency. Powered by a three litre V6 diesel powerplant, the new GL is able to churn out 510 Nm of max torque and achieves the 0 to 100 figure in 9.5 seconds. The top speed claimed by the company is 210km/hr and consumes 10 litres of petrol per kilometer.

Dr Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. Ltd. along with Mr. Chandravadan Bhandari and Mr. Deven Bhandari, Directors, B. U. Bhandari Motors Pvt. Ltd. at the launch of two new variants of the New GL 350 CDI BlueEfficiency (Luxury & Executive edition) in Pune

The new GL- Class is equipped with an off- road pro- engineering package, 7 G- Tronic gearbox, a 4Matic Permanent all- wheel drive, Electrically folding third row of seats, panoramic sunroof and a host of other entertainment and luxury features. There is also the AIRMATIC air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the ADS Adaptive Damper System fitted as standard. The new SUV also dons special off-road features such as Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), hill-start assist and off-road ABS to assist the GL-Class driver off road.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said “The GL-Class is clearly head-and-shoulders above competition and sets benchmarks in areas of luxury, safety and performance. It is built for ensuring extraordinary performance both on and off the road. In its segment the GL-Class is largest SUV and the only one that offers full size third row seats with independent with AC vents. Its on-road poise, muscular appeal and attractive 19” alloys coupled with a enhanced ground clearance of 307mm- the best in its segment, makes the GL-Class a very attractive proposition, while BlueEFFICIENCY tag is a statement of its environmental compatibility.”

The new GL- Class is positioned with two varaints- the GL Executive and the GL Luxury priced at Rs. 63.57 lakhs and Rs. 68.48 lakhs respectively.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two more variants of the Punto Launched!

Auto Major Fiat India, launched two more variants of its Grande Punto range- the Fiat 1.2 Fire Dynamic and Fiat 1.2 Fire Emotion, priced at Rs. 4.57 lakhs and Rs. 4.87 lakhs respectively. (ex- showroom Delhi.) Both these variants are par with the emissions norms of the BS4 and are expected to give a mileage of 15.2 kilometers to a litre.

Apart from the standard goodies which comes equipped in the Fiat Grande Punto, the 1.2 Dynamic variant will also offer rear power windows and central locking system. As an introductory offer, the 1.2 Dynamic will also come fitted with an exclusive CD/MP3 player for a period of one month. The 1.2 Emotion variant will have an integrated audio system with 4 speakers, electric mirrors, fog lamps, dual tone dashboard and split seats in addition to the above mentioned features of the 1.2 Dynamic.

The 1.2 Fire Dynamic and Emotion will be available in eight colours- Bossa Nova White, Exotica Red, Minimal Grey, Hip Hop Back, Medium Grey, Electric Blue, Fox Trot Azure and Tuscan Wine.

by Motoroids
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Monday, March 15, 2010

New Variants of Santro and i20 expected in April

Come April 2010, as soon as BS4 kicks in, Hyundai will be launching a new variant in the Santro range as well as in the i20 1.2! The new variant will actually be a Santro GLS with a Hyundai Music System (AUX port, USB support and 4 speakers) plunked in. The car will be called 'SANTRO GLS W/H Audio' and will sell at less than Rs. 10,000 over the GLS.

Coming to the i20, Hyundai will be launching 3 new variants in the 1.2 range. The order will be: Era (Base) , Magna (Currently available), Sportz, Sportz with alloy wheels, Asta and Asta O.

by Motoroids
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Bentley Mulsanne in India

British Luxury carmaker, Bentley launched its all new flag-ship grand tourer the Bentley Mulsanne which was unveiled by Sir Richard Stag, the Bristish High Commissioner and Chris Buxtom, Regional Director, Bentley in New Delhi. Powered by a 6.8 litre twin turbo V8 petrol engine, grand tourer generates an impressive 505 bhp of max power and a gargantuan 1020 Nm of max torque at barely 1750 rpm. The luxury car will be accompanied by a whooping price tag of Rs. 2.9 crore.

Mulsanne will be available in over 625 colours and trims and can be personalised as per customer choice. Each car takes 660 hours to be built compared with 5-6 hours for a normal car.

The super-luxury car maker will produce 600 units annually for the global demand , although it is not decided how many will be assigned for India. Deliveries in India will commence by October- November, 2010.

Besides Mulsanne, the company also plans to introduce the GTC Supersport, which was launched at the Geneva Auto Expo recently.

by Motoroids
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Mahindra’s Chakan manufacturing plant inaugurated

Mahindra’s new future-ready auto manufacturing plant in Chakan near Pune was inaugurated early today (13th March, 2010). The Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Ashok Chavan inaugurated the manufacturing facility spread across 700 acres. Also present during the inauguration were Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group and Dr Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Hon’ble Minister for Transport & Ports, Shri Ajitdada Pawar, Hon’ble Water Resources Minister, Shri Sachin Ahir, Hon’ble Minister of State for Environment, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Shri Dilip Mohite Patil, Hon’ble MLA and Chairman Estimates Committee, Maharashtra Legislature were also present to witness the inauguration.

The firm has invested about Rs. 5000 crore for the project which they believe will set new standards for Mahindra and the Automotive industry. The plant will be able to cope up with the global demand in due time with an initial production capacity of 3 lakh vehicles. The vehicles manufactured in the plant will include the range of products from the 0.75 tonne Maxximo to the 49 tonne Mahindra Navistar truck, the SUV and Pik-Up range and also the product line for the US market. The facility also boasts of a state of the art press shop and paint shop. Along with its technological prowess, the plant also boasts of its eco-friendliness.

“Our new state-of-the-art facility at Chakan incorporates a flexible and agile approach to manufacturing which will ensure that it is future ready and able to respond rapidly to changing customer needs. Key focus areas include people, the environment, connected manufacturing and operational excellence. The plant has been envisioned as the hub of innovation and technology for the Mahindra Group, with several new products, including our new SUV and Pik-Up line rolling out from here. The Government of Maharashtra has worked closely with us to enable completion of this plant in a record time span of 22 months and may I thank them for their unstinted support,” stated Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd

by Motoroids
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2010 Lincoln Mark LT

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2010 Daihatsu Mira Cocoa

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2010 Lincoln MKT

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2010 Lincoln MKZ

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2010 Lincoln MKZ Interior2010 Lincoln MKZ Interior

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Compare the Top Movers & Shakers - Polo, Punto, Swift and Figo - Which one is for you?

With the B-segment flooding with offerings from various manufacturers, a war of hatchbacks to capture the market is just about to begin…

Click here to read the full analysis.

Never before in the Indian car industry have we seen such carnage in a segment. The B-segment is suddenly loaded with quality contenders which not only boast great engineering and features, but incredible pricing as well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honda Accord V6 Launched

Honda Siel Cars India has launched its latest version of flagship sedan Accord 3.5L V6 in the Indian market today. The Accord's V6 3.5-liter i-VTEC engine with 275 PS makes it the most powerful Accord ever built by the company.

The new Accord engine features an advanced Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system that switches between six-, four-, and three-cylinder combustion depending on the driving conditions and thereby delivering maximum power of 275 PS during six cylinder operation. To achieve the same quietness and smoothness, as when running on all six cylinders, new Active Control Engine Mounts (ACM) and Active Noise Control (ANC) systems have been designed to complement the VCM technology.

The revamped new version boasts of enhanced exterior styling with an electric sunroof and few additional luxury and desirable features based on its customers feedback. It also features Ambient Light and Footlight which accentuates the style and enhances visibility during night driving. In addition, the new Honda Accord is also equipped with two sets of Keyless entry for convenience purpose and also has a provision for mobile phone with bluetooth interface.The Footlight and 2 sets of Keyless entry has also been introduced in the Honda Accord 2.4L MT and AT variants.

The new Accord range will come with a price tag of Rs.18,52,000 for 2.4L MT, Rs.19,27,000 for 2.4L AT and Rs 26,15,000 for 3.5L V6. (ex- showroom, Delhi.)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chevrolet Corvette may soon burn rubber on Indian roads!

There might be very few people who seldom dream about owning a sports car. For the rest, who have the Chevrolet Corvette in the hit list may seem to have a reason to be a bit happier now. The US car manufacturer may soon introduce this sports car in India along with a few other models from its stable.
Business Standard stated recently that Timothy E Lee, President of international operations of General Motors revealed GM’s plans to sell internationally popular sports cars from its stable, in India. He specifically stated that the Camaro and the Corvette would be made available via special boutiques in small quantities owing to the high import duties levied on these CBUs. “The import duty required selling the other kinds of Chevy vehicles like Corvette or Camaro is quite extensive to do it for the buying public. We will have a boutique offering for those kinds of brands but those will never be the volume products for India. Every one of those products will create its own space in India, but it will be very small in numbers,” said Mr. Lee.

The Corvette is one of the sports cars from the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The car originally took birth from its plant in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri. The present day Corvettes are rolled out from GM’s Bowling Green assembly plant, Kentucky. The sixth and the current generation Corvette built for the 2005 model is the Chevrolet Corvette C6. Its 6.0 liter LS2 V8 heart has the capacity to produce 400 horses at 6000 rpm and torque of 542 Nm at 4400 rpm. If this beast hits the Indian streets, it is bound to burn some rubber. So let’s sit and hope with our fingers crossed.


Ford Figo to be exported to South Africa

The reworked previous generation European Fiesta, in the form of the new Ford Figo which was launched in the country just yesterday, will also be exported to South Africa as announced by Mr. Michael Bonehan, Managing Director, Ford India at the launch.

Ford Motors has infused an investment of US $ 500 million to double the annual production capacity to 200,000 units at its Chennai manufacturing facility making it a regional centre of for small car engineering and production. This facility will also produce diesel and petrol engines for local market and also will export to the Asia Pacific and Africa region.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ford Figo launched, prices unveiled!

A couple of months back we got our hands on the Ford Figo and returned impressed with Ford India’s new creation. You can read our first impressions here. Today however, we have a new reason to be impressed – not because the small car has finally been launched today, but because we simply love the competitive price tag that the Figo boasts of. Here’s the reason for our smile:

The 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 71.35 PS @ 6250 rpm and 102 Nm @ 4000 rpm which isn’t exactly class leading. Ford further claims that the petrol mill will return 15.6 kmpl with its ideal gear ratios developed for Indian traffic conditions. The 1.4-litre Duratorq diesel engine from the other Fords in the lineup will be available for Figo with outstanding fuel efficiency of 20 kmpl. Power is rated at 69 PS @ 4000 rpm while the torque is equally impressive with 160Nm @ 2000 rpm.

Everyone is claiming the Figo to be a game changer for the market segment that its going to cater to (which is largely dominated by the army of Maruti Suzukis). But the Figo’s success won’t rest on pricing alone. Ford India’s legacy may turn down a lot of prospective customers of this segment. What Ford needs is the right kind of ASS (after sales service) backing up their vehicles (Ford claims that they are jacking up the number of service stations and dealerships to support the Figo). If the cards are played right, the Figo has the potential to be a game changer for Ford India’s future operations atleast, if not the market as a whole.

1.2-litre Duratec (Petrol)

LXI – Rs. 3,49,900
EXI – Rs. 3,81,900
ZXI – Rs. 3,99,900
Titanium – Rs. 4,42,900

1.4-litre Duratorq (Diesel)
LXI – Rs. 4,47,900
EXI – Rs. 4,72,900
ZXI – Rs. 4,96,900
Titanium – Rs. 5,29,900

Source: Motoroids