Monthly Archives February 2009

GMI launches Spark Music, looks at introducing mini commercial vehicles from Wuling

The new Chevy Spark Music. Did they really have to stick on those pink-and-blue graphics on the car for it to be considered ‘cool’…?

General Motors India (GMI) has launched a new variant of its small hatchback, the Spark. Called the Spark Music, the new variant is priced at Rs 3.27 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and comes with a 2-DIN, 4-speaker music system, new seat fabric, remote keyless entry, body-colour door handles, turn indicators integrated into the outside rear-view mirrors and some stick-on graphics…

GMI, which is looking at launching the Cruze sedan and a bigger hatchback that would take on the Maruti Swift and Hyundai i20 in India over the next few months, is not restricting its India game plan to cars alone...

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TCS, Saab in tie-up to develop fighter jet

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has tied up with the aeronautics division of Swedish company, Saab, to co-develop a new version of the Saab Gripen fighter jet. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is said to be looking to buy 125 new fighter jets, in a deal that could be worth around US$12 billion and TCS-Saab would be bidding for the supply contract.

The Saab Gripen is included in the list of fighter jets shortlisted by the IAF and trials are expected to begin in April this year. If TCS-Saab beats the other contenders and gets the order, the IAF will buy about two dozen units in flyaway condition and manufacture the remaining 100 or so aircraft at a State-run facility near Bangalore.

Other contenders which are in the running for the IAF contract are US-based Lockheed Martin’s F-16, Boeing’...

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Green ratings to measure cars’ efficiency, manufacturers express concern

By the end of this year, a new law will require car manufacturers in India to get ‘green ratings’ for their cars, which will measure the overall fuel efficiency and environment friendliness of their cars. On their part, carmakers are said to be worried about the implementation of this law, with major concerns being voiced about accuracy of the testing that would lead to the aforementioned green ratings.

This ‘green ratings’ move is aimed at encouraging carmakers to enhance the fuel efficiency of their vehicles and make them more environment-friendly. The ratings system would apply to locally produced as well as imported cars and would be supervised and might be administered by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which already has a similar system in place for things like air-cond...

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Harley-Davidson bikes to come to India by end-2009

Harley-Davidson, the American motorcycle manufacturer which bought over the iconic Italian sportsbike company MV Agusta last year, is now looking at expanding its operations worldwide and also wants to bring its bikes to India.

Harley-Davidson is in talks with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in India, with regard to securing permission for setting up its retail outlets in the country. At a later stage, Harley may even set up an assembly unit here – its third overseas facility after Singapore and Thailand.

Harley-Davidson bikes imported to India as CBUs will cost anywhere between Rs 6-20 lakh because of the heavy import duties levied on imported bikes, though prices will come down significantly if the company sets up a manufacturing/assembly plant in India.

Harle...

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Hyundai to reveal all-new SUV concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009

The all-new Hyundai HED-6 SUV concept

Hyundai is all set to unveil a brand-new concept car – a compact SUV – at this year’s Salon International de L’Automobile, in Geneva, on the 3rd of March this year. This new compact SUV concept, codenamed HED-6, was styled at Hyundai’s European design headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Equipped with LED daytime running lights and powered by a 175bhp, 1.6-litre GDi turbocharged engine, the HED-6 will provide a glimpse at the future of Hyundai SUVs.

Hyundai will also unveil a three-door version of the i20 hatchback, and a new version of the i30 blue, with stop-start technology. This will be the first usage of this technology (which Hyundai calls ISG – Idle Stop and Go) on a Hyundai production car anywhere in the world.

Hyun...

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