Monthly Archives December 2008

Volkswagen cars to roll out from Chakan one year ahead of schedule

VW is said to be developing an all-new Polo hatchback and sedan for India, for which the styling may be based on this VW Scirocco

Volkswagen, which had earlier announced that it would start rolling out cars from its new manufacturing facility at Chakan (near Pune) by the first quarter of 2010, has had a change of heart. Seeing other German and Japanese companies getting too much of a headstart, VW now plans to launch its Chakan-made cars by April 2009, almost one full year ahead of schedule.

VW, which is already assembling some of its cars (Passat, Jetta…) at group company Skoda’s plant in Aurangabad, sold 16,695 cars in India in the January-October period this year...

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Mahindra to launch low-cost tractor by mid-2009

In a manifestation of what seems to be ‘the Nano effect,’ M&M is looking at launching a low-cost tractor, which may well be one of the least expensive tractors in the world. To be launched by June/July 2009, this low-cost tractor – which is yet unnamed – is expected to be priced at around Rs 1.5 lakh and is aimed at farmers who may be on a tight budget and/or who have smaller tracts of farm land.

The low-cost tractor, prototypes of which are already being field tested, will not compete against any other existing tractor in the M&M line-up, or indeed, against any tractor from other manufacturers, and is expected to create a new niche in the market...

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Maruti, Honda and Toyota cars rank highest in J.D. Power’s 2008 India APEAL Study

Maruti cars rank highest in the 2008 India APEAL study…

Four Maruti Suzuki cars, as well as cars from Honda and Toyota, each rank highest in their respective segments in new-vehicle design and performance in India, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2008 India Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study released today.

Now in its tenth year, the APEAL study provides an analysis of what excites and delights owners about their new vehicle’s performance and design during the initial two to six months of ownership...

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BMW reports 100% growth in sales in India in 2008

Recession? For BMW, certainly not!

While the worldwide economic slowdown has brought many carmakers to their knees, that’s certainly not the case with BMW – at least not in India. The German company says it has recorded a 100% growth in the sales of its cars here in 2008. BMW, which had already delivered 2,700 cars in India by the end of November this year, plans to get to the 2,800 figure by the end of this month

Given that BMW had only sold 1,387 cars in India last year, the above figures are certainly commendable. And while the company does expect sales to dip in 2009, it still plans to increase its dealership network, spreading to relatively smaller cities like Ludhiana, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur and Coimbatore.

BMW’s plant in Chennai has an annual production capacity of 3,000...

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Suzuki Motor Corp. buys out Satya Sheel’s stake in SMIPL

Confirming a move that had been anticipated a few months ago, Suzuki has bought out its partner’s stake in Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd. (SMIPL) Satya Sheel and family, who had partnered with Suzuki for its two-wheeler joint venture in India, have sold their 26% stake to Suzuki for an estimated Rs 190 crore. With this, SMIPL becomes a fully owned subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), Japan.

Strangely enough, when Suzuki returned to the Indian two-wheeler market in 2006, it chose to go with Satya Sheel, who was earlier on the board of directors at Maruti Suzuki – not, perhaps, something that immediately qualifies him to head Suzuki’s motorcycle business in the country...

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