Monthly Archives December 2008

Honda Siel defers operations at Rajasthan facility

According to a press release issued by the company, Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) has postponed capacity enhancement and assembly operations at its second plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan. Initially scheduled for Q4-2009, capacity expansion has now been deferred in view of the current economic slowdown and a drop in demand.

According to Takeo Fukui, President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., the company is taking ‘swift and flexible measures to counter the sudden and expansive weakening of the marketplace in all business areas.’

In view of the negative growth in the Indian automobile industry and in the interest of maintaining lean operations, Honda Siel has also decided to reduce production at its plant in Greater Noida...

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First pics: Volvo S60 Concept

The very stylish, very cool Volvo S60 Concept

With Ford looking at selling off its Volvo cars brand, the Scandinavian carmaker may be in serious trouble these days, but that has not stopped the company from working on new cars. And the newest, coolest Volvo seems to be the S60 Concept, which will be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2009.

These first photographs of the S60 Concept provide a glimpse at what the next-generation Volvo S60 sedan will look like when it’s launched in 2010. ‘The all-new S60 will be one of the strongest players in a segment where the competition is razor-sharp,’ says Stephen Odell, President and CEO, Volvo Cars. ‘The driving properties are better than in any previous Volvo,’ he adds.

With its striking, coupe-ish styling, high-tec...

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BYD Auto launches plug-in Hybrid in China

Looks like an old Toyota Corolla, but the BYD F3DM is a fully functional, made-in-China plug-in hybrid. The Japanese, Koreans and Americans don’t have anything like it yet!

The Chinese seem to be steaming ahead with development on hybrids, beating American, Japanese and Korean carmakers to the punch. For example, while Chevrolet is still at least two years away from launching the Volt, Chinese carmaker, BYD Auto, has already launched China’s first plug-in hybrid – the F3DM sedan. The vehicle, which was recently launched in China, will be showcased at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2009.

While the Chevy Volt is expected to cost around US$40,000 when it goes on sale in 2011, the F3DM will be priced at the equivalent of around US$21,900 in China...

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Chevrolet OK: GMI to launch used car business in January 2009

General Motors India (GMI) plans to launch its used cars business – to be branded ‘Chevrolet OK’ – by the 15th of January next year. This will initially start with only 10 outlets, which will be part of existing GMI dealerships, across metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

‘We will provide customers with certified used cars guaranteed by Chevrolet. The cars will undergo a 110-point check-up and certification,’ says Karl Slym, President and MD, GMI. The organised used car market is growing in India, with many carmakers setting up their own used car business divisions.

Apart from launching Chevrolet OK, GMI will be introducing an LPG-powered variant of the Spark hatchback and a CNG-powered variant of the Aveo sedan between April-June 2009...

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TKM cuts December output by 30%, no change in investment plans

Given the slowdown in car sales in India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is scaling back production by 30% for the month of December. TKM, which produced 2,886 units last month, will only be making around 2,020 units this month and based on its performance in December, the company will decide on its production figures for the next 2-3 months.

TKM, which had earlier announced a sales target of 60,000 units for 2008 (against 54,181 units sold in 2007), posted a decline of 48.55% in its sales in November this year, selling only 2,087 units as against 4,056 units sold in November 2007.

However, Toyota is holding firm on its investment plans for India, which will entail pumping in around Rs 3,200 crore...

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