Friday, August 29, 2008

The third generation Honda CR-V

The third generation CR-V is powered by the latest version of Honda's standard K-series 2.4 L 4-cylinder engine, similar variants of which can also be found in the current-generation Honda Accord and Honda Element. In North American markets, this engine's power is rated at 166 hp @ 5,800 rpm and 161 ft·lb @ 4,200 rpm. A 2.2 L i-CTDI diesel is offered in the European and Asian markets. The European market Honda CR-V offers a new R20A 2.0 L engine, based on the Honda R-series i-VTEC SOHC engine found in the Honda Civic, as opposed to the previous CR-V offering the K20A. The manual transmission has been dropped from the US market, leaving the five speed automatic as the sole unit.

The 2007 CR-V features a rear liftgate, unlike previous models. There is no longer a spare wheel attached to the back door. The new CR-V is lower, wider, and shorter than the previous models; the length decrease stems mostly from the fact that the spare wheel no longer adds length to the back of the vehicle. A lowering of the center of gravity is another benefit of the spare wheel being located underneath the rear floor. A feature unique amongst SUVs is the center rear seat pass-through.

Honda is also offering an integrated Navigation option on the EX-L model. The navigation unit is made for Honda by Alpine and includes voice activated control, XM radio, in dash CD player that can play MP3's and WMA's. It also has a 6 Disc CD changer in the center console and a PC Card (PCMCIA) slot in the Nav unit for flash memory MP3 or WMA files. A second CD player is behind the navigation screen, this CD player plays MP3/WMA cds. A rear backup camera is also included.

The 1999 European, Australian, and Asian model CR-Vs featured more drastic changes. Exterior alterations included a new front bumper, smoothed off rear bumper, and a smaller plastic radio antenna on the rear of the roof. "Nighthawk Black" was added to the list of paint choices, while the unpopular "Passion Orange" disappeared. A new, deeper blue pearl and red pearl replaced their old metallic and enamel equivalents. European models received an enlarged Honda emblem on the front grille, and a new metallic yellow paint in certain countries.

An iPod adapter was to be an available option on US models, but is currently only available as an add-on accessory. Even so, all CR-V models still have the auxiliary audio input jack, which is either on the head unit itself (LX) or on central tray (EX) or inside the center console (all versions of the EX-L, with or without navigation).

In the United States, the Honda CR-V became the number-one selling SUV in the US for 2007, a title previously held for fifteen years (1991–2006) by the Ford Explorer. To meet the high demand, Honda shifted some Civic production from East Liberty, Ohio to Alliston Plant #2 (where some Pilot, Ridgeline, and Odyssey production was located until production was consolidated at Honda's Lincoln, Alabama facility) to free up space for additional CR-V production.


Hyundai tucson!!!

The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV launched in 2005 by the Korean automaker Hyundai. It shares its Elantra-based platform with the redesigned 2005 Kia Sportage. The Tucson is slotted below the Santa Fe in the lineup. Tucson is known as a worldwide success in most countries because of its balance between comfort, space, and price.

Powertrains are a 2.0 L I4 with a five-speed, front-wheel drive manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic transmission with "sport shift" manual shifting capability or a 2.7 L V6 available with the automatic only. Four wheel drive is optional with a Borg-Warner torque controller system. In some markets, the Tucson is also available with a 2.0 L diesel engine equipped with common rail technology. The earlier diesels had 113 bhp, and the later ones 140 bhp and a 6 speed manual gearbox. These later models are capable of returning over 45 mpg with almost the same performance as the 2.7L petrol engined models.

In the United States, the Tucson is offered in base GLS, mid-line SE, and top-tier Limited (formerly LX) trim levels for 2007 models. Earlier 2005 and 2006 models were offered as GL/GLS/Limited. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, six airbags, electronic stability control, a CD player, alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, and premium cloth seats. The SE adds to the roster with contrasting gray body cladding, a different alloy design, an AM/FM/Cassette/CD as well as fog lights and a front windshield wiper de-icing grid. The Limited adds leather seating surfaces, a 6-disc in dash CD changer, body-colored cladding, automatic climate control, and heated seats. The SE and Limited are only available with the 2.7-liter V6. The GLS comes only with the 2.0-liter four cylinder.

The Tucson offers modest cargo space but its easy-to-fold seats can expand this volume. Even the front passenger seat folds flat for extra-long cargo. All Tucsons come with this feature.
One major selling point of the Tucson is its safety feature content. There are dual-stage frontal impact airbags, torso side-impact airbags built into the front seats, and curtain airbags for side-impact protection for front and rear passengers. The front passenger airbag has a deactivation feature where if the seat is unoccupied, the airbag will not deploy in the event of a frontal collision, saving on repair costs.

The Tucson received accolades from Canadian Car of the Year Best New Crossover award for 2005.
Changes for 2006 were minimal. The LX became the Limited and got color-coded cladding, automatic climate control, and a high-performance sound system . The GLS retained the gray cladding but 'HYUNDAI' is no longer branded into the cladding on the front doors. The GLS also got improved cloth seats with the option of a heating element. Both GLS and Limited got redesigned alloy wheels. The base GL remains unchanged.
Changes for 2007 were also minimal. The GL and GLS trims were renamed to GLS and SE, respectively, to match the standard for all new Hyundai vehicles.
Changes for 2009 is the replacement of the GLS to the 25th Anniversary Edition. It includes a powered sunroof and a new Kenwood audio system with a Garmin GPS unit.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ford Fiesta 1.6S

The mid-size sedan market badly needs a miracle. High interest rates and rising input costs had already slowed down its growth drive. But the government excise whammy has pretty much slammed down the brakes. Which is why nearly all mass market car companies are looking to revitalise their mid-size portfolio.

Hyundai has launched a dual fuel Accent and Ford has revamped its entire Fiesta range. The makeover includes cosmetic changes like headlamps and a new face not to mention fabric and leather, now offered in a wider variety of colours, and improvements in quality and finish.

The Fiesta offers both Duratec (petrol) and Duratorq (turbodiesel) engines though in the past sales have been predominantly diesel for the model. At the unveiling of the new Ford Fiesta last week, Michael Boneham, president of Ford India said, “The bold styling of new Fiesta indicates a clear move toward European design cues and is a true reflection of the Ford Fiesta's exciting on-road character.”

The new Ford Fiesta model range includes three petrol variants, 1.6 EXI, 1.6 ZXI and 1.6 SXI, and three turbodiesel variants, 1.4 EXI, 1.4 ZXI and 1.4 SXI. In addition, Ford India has introduced the Fiesta 1.6S sport variant. “We see a growing niche in the Indian market, a discerning set of customers who enjoy driving and want a car to reflect their individual personality and style.

We've developed the Fiesta 1.6 S with its body kit and performance for that customer. This niche wants a Fiesta with more agility and athleticism,” said Nigel Wark, executive director, marketing, sales & service, Ford India. The Ford Fiesta range is priced from Rs 6.2 lakh for petrol variants and from Rs 7.1 lakh for the turbodiesel models. The Fiesta 1.6 S, available only with the 101PS petrol Duratec engine, is priced at Rs 7.15 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Equipped with five-spoke, 15-inch alloy wheels, the Fiesta 1.6 S offers ‘unique’ bumper treatments, a sports body kit which extends from the bumpers through the bodyside rocker moulding, a new rear spoiler and chrome tipped exhaust. Morello and Thunder are new colour choices for the Fiesta range, joining Panther Black, Diamond White, Brush Steel, Paprika Red, Moondust Silver and Platinum.

The Fiesta 1.6 S is also offered in bright, eye-catching Aquarius. As for the interiors, apart from the fabric, the new instrument cluster, featuring a honeycomb graphic theme and bezel highlights, are also an added style cue. The top-end Fiesta SXI offers beige leather seats and new dark mahogany centre console surround.

The Fiesta 1.6 S offers Ebony and Jasper Blue interiors combined with a liquid metal audio surround and central console. The Fiesta 1.6 S and SXI series feature CD audio units with MP3 capability and a dedicated audio input jack for iPods and similar MP3 players. The new Fiesta range incorporates an array of active and passive safety features. The SXI and the 1.6 S offer ABS along with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) for optimal vehicle control during extreme braking in all weather and road conditions.

The Ford Fiesta SXI and 1.6 S also provide driver and passenger airbags as standard equipment. The load-limiting inertial safety belt technology is designed to limit chest loads on impact. And to make the model India friendly, features such as heightened water wading, where the vehicle is tested to 450mm in depth in dynamic and stationary driving scenarios, have been included. Fiesta’s superb HVAC system also is calibrated to cool the interior rapidly in extremely hot conditions to take care of Indian summers.


Hyundai verna,the beast!!!

Okay, before you ask, this car is not replacing the Accent. What you are looking at is the new Hyundai Verna, launched in september 06'.
In Europe and in the US, the Verna is known as the Accent because it just replaced the facelifted version of the one that's still doing sterling service in India.
In India however, the Verna is positioned at a segment above the Accent... which means it will take on the invincible Honda City, while also facing off with the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Aveo. So does the new Verna have what it takes? Let's have a look.
The Verna is larger than the Accent in all aspects, but more importantly, it comes with a longer wheelbase than the above-mentioned competition. Which translates to better room, especially for rear passengers. Dimensionally, it is similar to the City, though it does not look as funky as the Honda.
In terms of appearance, the new Verna will not exactly set your pulse racing, but it is neat and well-tucked in like a well-groomed schoolboy.
While the Honda looks avant garde, the Verna looks contemporary, almost a generation ahead compared to the architecture of the Fiesta and Aveo. If you remove the Hyundai logo, and fit the Toyota badge, it won't look out of place either, it's that safe when it comes to design. And comparable in build quality too.
Hyundai's now putting together cars better than ever before, and the Verna comes through as a quality product with tight shutlines and an attention to detail.
The overall layout of the interiors are not that exceptional, but the quality of materials used in Hyundais has been substantially improving. The look of the entire dash is more Korean rather than European (like in the Getz and Sonata), but expect it to be comprehensively equipped.
But a contemporary design language, quality materials and better engineering tolerances is not enough for the Verna to grab some market share.
What's critical is the drivetrain package, and it looks as if Hyundai has done its homework in this area. Two all-new four-cylinder engines are on offer, a 1600cc CVVT petrol and a 1500cc CRDi.
A new five-speed manual gearbox will transfer the power to the front wheels, that promises to be much more crisp than the one in the Accent. The 1599cc all-aluminium gasoline motor is from Hyundai's new Gamma family and features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and Continuous Variable Valve Technology.
Which means a free-revving engine that, with CVVT, will save fuel at lower revs and offer better performance at higher rpm. Developing 110 bhp at 6000 rpm and 14.8 kgm of torque at 4500 revs, this engine looks quite fit and ready to take on the City VTEC and the 1.6 variants of both the Fiesta and Aveo.
Still, the engine to watch out for is the new CRDi motor. The Accent, with the three-cylinder CRDi engine was no shrinking violet, and now, the Verna's diesel version will just put that in retrospective.
Firstly, it is now complete, with the addition of a cylinder. Then, it incorporates a variable geometry turbocharger, which makes it less wild than the three-cylinder CRDi, allowing for seamless and virtually lag-free performance.
And boy, will it be torquey! Displacing 1493cc, this new CRDi motor develops 108 bhp at 4000 rpm, and a whopping 23.8 kgm of torque between 1900 and 2750 rpm.
That's better than the turbodiesel that all performance enthusiasts love, the Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi, and comes close to the Laura's 25 kgm. If Hyundai manages to keep these figures intact without having to modify them to adapt to Indian fuel quality and operating conditions, then we'll have a diesel car for petrolheads indeed.
The suspension setup on offer includes McPherson struts at front and torsion beam axle at the rear. Of course, the whole setup will be modified to adapt to Indian conditions, in terms of being able to tackle bad roads, while keeping the ride comfortable for the rear passengers.
The new Verna has spent some serious time at Hyundai's proving grounds at Namyang in South Korea to get its ride and handling sorted, while its architecture is stiffer than the Accent - allowing it to give a more integrated feel. But we'll wait for a full test in India to tell you how good its dynamics are.
So will the new Hyundai Verna manage to garner some marketshare at the expense of the strongly entrenched competition?
A safe reply would be it depends on the pricing. Expect the Verna to be competitively priced - between Rs 6.5 and Rs 7.5 lakh - and loaded with plenty of equipment too, including safety features and other modern conveniences.


Fiat 500-cinquecento

Let's talk what is mighty about the Cinquecento first: stunningly styled modern take-off on a much loved original which was the Fiat Nuova 500 from 1957.
It is a car which identifies with the old and the young in one compact package without making either feel ashamed of getting in and using it in the urban European environ. Heck it would work wonders in crowded Indian streets just as well. It is a triumph of Fiat's engineering and design capabilities, using established hardware and floorpan to spin off an all-new, all-different product at ridiculously low development costs.
It is mega in its essence as a city car, great in today's socially conscious times where to have less is great. For a car so small (just 3546mm long and built on a short 2300mm wheelbase) it has impeccable manners and agility.
Mighty in its employment of the famous Fiat 1.3 Multijet diesel engine with killer fuel efficiency to set it apart from the rest.


Jaguar,landrover to be expanded in india!!!

Tata Motors on Tuesday said it would expand the footprint of Jaguar and Land Rover in India within a span of one year.

Rajiv Dubey, President (passenger car business), TML, told reporters at the launch of the Indica Vista here that the two premium European car brands definitely have a market in India. He said that TML, which acquired the brands from Ford Motor Company earlier this year, would introduce the models in India through a separate distribution network.

Dubey said that in the current fiscal, the company would face severe challenges due to rise in input costs which had put pressure on margins. Talking about Indica Vista, Dubey said that the new model would increase the sales of Indica which had seen a decline unlike other models of TML.
In the last 10 years, about one million Indicas had been sold by TML.


Worlds most expensive car by Aston martin!!!

Aston Martin has released scant details and sketches of its new super car codenamed One-77 that will sell for at least 1.3 million euros excluding tax ($1.95 million), making it the most expensive car on the market.

Each of the 77 limited edition Aston Martins will be tailored to the individual buyer and the engineers and designers will work out the exact specifications with the future owner.

The car's aluminium body will be handcrafted and the owner will even be able to choose their own exhaust note. The V12 engine has a top speed of 354 km/h accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, producing around 700 hp.

Aston Martin has identified around 500 potential customers, offering to bring a demonstration model to wherever the customer wishes to see it - either at a reclusive villa, luxury hotel or yacht club.

The first cars are expected to be delivered to customers at the end of 2009.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The all-new TATA indica vista..

Tata Motors, the company that got into making of passenger cars about 10 years ago, launched Indica Vista, the next generation of its pioneer car Indica, to enhance its market share in the most competitive hatchback segment.

The New Indica will replace seven out of the 14 variants of the existing Indica. The company plans to start export of its new car in around six months.

"We will rationalise the Indica portfolio by correcting some overlapping price points," said Rajiv Dube, president (passenger car business unit), Tata Motors.

The entry-level petrol variant of Indica Vista has been priced at Rs 349,000 ex- showroom Delhi. Indica was the second-largest selling model in the Indian car market in 2007-08. In the last 10 years, the company has made about 900,000 Indica cars.

"We expect to sell more cars with the new generation of Indica," said Dube, who did not wish to disclose sales target.

The company has invested Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion) in various facilities that will make new line of products including the new Indica, new Indigo and some of other joint venture products with Fiat. It took almost three and half to four months for Tata Motors to develop the new car.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Skoda turns out to be india's popular car!!

For a second time in a row, Skoda, a unit of German car maker Volkswagen, topped the customer satisfaction survey in JD Power Asia Pacific 2008 India Sales Satisfaction Index study.

The study, in its 9th year, surveyed 5,416 new passenger car owners in 20 Indian cities having an ownership tenure of two to six months. Forty-one different passenger car brands were assessed in the study.

On a 1,000-point scale, Skoda scored 799 points.

Tho know more about these carmakers who top the customer satisfaction list, read on. . . .

Skoda Auto is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic. Skoda became a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 1991.

The company originated in early 1890s and initially it used to manufacture bicycles and motorcycles. By 1905, Skoda started manufacturing cars. During World War I, Skoda was engaged in war production.

At present, Skoda has several manufacturing and assembly plants across the globe. In India, the company has an assembly plant at Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The unit, which was established in 2001, is known as Skoda Auto India Private Ltd.

Ford: Ford stood second in the customer satisfaction survey with a score of 792 points.

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation, founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903.

The company started with a capital of $28,000 pooled in by 12 investors.

During its early years, Ford produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.

Groups of two or three men worked on each car from components made to order by other companies.

At present, Ford is the world's fourth largest automaker based on worldwide vehicle sales, preceded by Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Honda: Honda (782 points) shares the third position in customer satisfaction survey along with Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Honda Motor Company, Limited is a multinational corporation, engine manufacturer and engineering corporation headquartered in Japan.

To start with, Honda was a racing company. Honda Racing Corporation was formed in 1982. The company combined participation in motorcycle races throughout the world with the development of high potential racing machines.

In 1964, Honda entered Formula One as a constructor at the German Grand Prix.

At present, the company manufactures automobiles and motorcycles, trucks, scooters, robots, jets and jet engines, ATV, water craft, electrical generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment, and aeronautical and other mobile technologies.

The company has recently ventured into mountain bikes as well.

Honda is the fifth largest automobile manufacturer in the world and the second largest in Japan behind Toyota and ahead of Nissan.

Toyota: Headquartered in Aichi, Nagoya and in Tokyo, the company manufactures automobiles as well as robots.

Toyota Motor Co. was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 and vehicles were originally sold under the name 'Toyoda'.

The company name was later changed to simplify the pronunciation.

Toyota provides financial services through its division Toyota Financial Services. Toyota Industries and Finance divisions form the bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.

Mahindra & Mahindra: Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is part of the $6.7 billion Mahindra Group.

M&M is an automotive, farm equipment, financial services, trade and logistics, automotive components, after-market, IT and infrastructure conglomerate.

The company was set up in 1945 and christened Mahindra & Mohammed. The name was later changed to Mahindra & Mahindra.

Initially set up to manufacture general-purpose utility vehicles, M&M is one of the oldest manufacturer of heavy jeeps in India.

The company later branched out into manufacture of light commercial vehicles nd agricultural tractors.

At present, M&M is the leader in the utility vehicle segment.

Maruti Suzuki: Maruti Suzuki came fourth with 775 points in the customer satisfaction survey.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (formerly Maruti Udyog Limited), a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan, is India's largest passenger car company, accounting for over 50 per cent of the domestic car market.

Headquartered in Gurgaon, the company was established in February 1981, though the actual production commenced in 1983.

Maruti Suzuki annually exports more than 30,000 cars and has an extremely large domestic market in India selling over 500,000 cars annually.

Cars similar to Maruti (but not manufactured by Maruti Suzuki) are sold by Suzuki in Pakistan and other South Asian countries.


Friday, August 22, 2008

New honda stunner launched!!!

For specifications and price information visit this post

Targeting youth, world's largest manufacturer of two-wheelers Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd on Thursday launched its latest offering 125 CC 'CBF Stunner' here.
"The 100 per cent owned two-wheeler subsidiary of Japan's Honda Motor Company, HMSI is all set to charm the Indian youth with its high speed performance, sporty, stylish motorcycle at an affordable price,"Honda
Vice-President Mohan Deepak said.
Addressing a press conference before the launch of the bike, Deepak said Bhopal provides huge opportunity for expansion and the company is looking forward to introduce and promote its range of products in the city.
With increased choices now available in the market, he said Indian youth today were actively on a look out for brands that have a high "style and attitude" quotient.
'CBF Stunner', inspired by CBR 1000 from Europe aptly fits into the category with its design, high performance and style," the HMSI Vice-President said, adding, the bike with its high-on-style features promises to provide its customers an ultimate experience of a true Honda bike.

The new bike would be available in three variants -- Self Disc Alloy, Self Drum Alloy and Kick Drum Alloy, he said.

The Self Drum Alloy and Kick drum Alloy will be available in four colours while Kick Drum Alloy will be available in two colours.

The company also announced it was working on a 1000 CC bike likely to be unveiled early next year


New TATA INDICA VISTA to be launched soon!!!

The second-generation Tata Indica will be called Indica Vista. The car that was previewed for the public at the Auto Expo, New Delhi this year will carry the new tag to differentiate itself from the Indica that is currently in production.

Tata Motors had indicated that the current and new models of the Indica will co-exist and that the new Indica might be positioned higher to take on the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Getz and i10.

Built on an all-new platform, the Indica Vista will be slightly larger than the original Indica.

For the first time, the car will feature engines from partner Fiat.

A new 1.2-litre petrol engine called Saffire and the 1.3-litre common-rail diesel called Quadrajet will be part of the lineup, apart from Tata's own 1.4-litre turbo diesel engine.

The Quadrajet is also called the multijet and is also being produced by Maruti Suzuki Powertrain for the Swift and Swift Dzire models.

The engines along with the cars will be assembled at Tata-Fiat's Ranjangaon facility that boasts of an annual production capacity of 200,000 cars and 300,000 engines.

A total investment of Rs 4,020 crore is being made by the 50:50 combine in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.

The Indica Vista will be launched at the dealer level on Saturday followed by a market launch in the coming weeks.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The new K-Series engines by Maruti Suzuki!!!

In what would be a generational change in its engine technology, India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has decided to introduce the new K-series petrol engine in all its cars in India in the next three to five years, according to the company's annual report for 2007-08.

The new engine is being produced at Manesar in Haryana initially for the global car A Star, which will be launched in the last quarter of this year. It will be manufactured in India and sold in Europe. The engine, apart from being Euro 4- and Euro 5-compliant, is also highly fuel-efficient, though the company is not ready to disclose its mileage.

"The K-series engines are the most advanced in the car manufacturer's stable of engines. They will be fitted in all existing models of cars over the next 3- 5 years," said a company spokesperson. In India, the Bharat 4 norms (which are derived from the Euro 4 norms) of emission are to be implemented by April 2010.

The company executive also said that the engine would have a CO2 emission of 109 gm/km and could be further cut down, while the figures for Europe norms would require 120 gm/km in the years to come. Apart from being the most advanced green car engines in their class, the K-series engines deliver greater fuel-efficiency.

One major catch, however, is that full benefits of this next-generation engine could be realised only when the quality of fuel available in the country is also scaled up and brought to global standards.

Suzuki might have been a little behind its key competitor Hyundai India, which has already introduced Euro 4-compliant engines across its range of models in India.

A senior executive of Hyundai says: "We have the Kappa engine for the 1.2 litre i10, Epsilon for the Santro and a range of other petrol engines for bigger cars up to 5 litres. Considering the fact that we already export to Europe in a big way, we have to have Euro 4-compliant engines, which are also being used in Indian cars."

Currently, Maruti Suzuki has five types of engines used in its different models. The F-series engines in the Maruti 800, Omni, Wagon R and Zen Estillo, the G-series (two variants) in the Swift, Dzire, Esteem and Versa, the M-series in the SX4, and the K-series in the soon-to-be-launched A Star.

While the A Star, kitted with the 1-litre K-series engine, will be available only in the petrol version, the Splash (3-litre engine), scheduled to be launched next year, will be available in the petrol and diesel versions. For the A Star, the car manufacturer has announced an export target of 100,000 units and domestic sales of 50,000 units per annum.

Maruti Suzuki's domestic sales for the 2008 fiscal stood at 711,818 cars and it exported about 53,000 units. By 2010, the car manufacturer hopes to sell one million cars domestically, and export about 200,000 cars, annually.


Volkswagen "Beetle" to be launched in india!!!

Come 2009, Indians will have the chance to own the original 'people's car' -- the Beetle -- as German carmaker Volkswagen has firmed up plans for its introduction in the country.
"Beetle will come here. After strengthening our dealership network, it will come next year," Volkswagen India president and managing director Joerg Mueller said in New Delhi on Monday.

The company has been looking at using the Beetle as a brand building tool for Volkswagen as it prepares to get into the highly competitive Indian compact car segment by 2010.
Beetle is now manufactured in Mexico for VW's worldwide supplies and could come to India through the completely built unit import route.
VW is investing 580 million euros (approx Rs 3,600 crore) in setting up a manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra from where it would roll out is small car for the Indian market.

It plans to launch its compact car based on the Polo platform in two variants -- hatchback and sedan -- once it starts production at its Chakan plant in Maharashtra.
"The car based on Polo platform will be rolled out from our upcoming plant (in Chakan) by the first half of 2010," Mueller said.
From next year, the plant would also produce group firm Skoda's new Fabia, he added.

The company is also on a dealership network expansion. It currently has eight dealers in the country and plans to increase to 15 by the end of this year.
"We are planning to have 15 dealers this year and it will go up to 120 by 2011," Mueller said.
Besides, the company is also planning to introduce its sports utility vehicle Touareg in India by early next year.

"We are already selling it (Touareg) in India on order. The SUV will be officially launched in the first quarter of 2009," Mueller said while handing over the SUV to the German Ambassador in India, Bernd Muetzelburg.
Earlier the company had said it was looking at bringing in a number of other products, like Passat CC, Phaeton and its SUV range.
The company currently sells Passat and the newly launched Jetta in the Indian market.


Monday, August 18, 2008

10 new small cars in india by 2010

Come 2010 and the Indian small car market is all set to hit fourth gear. Close to a dozen new small cars from big names, including Maruti-Suzuki, Honda, Volkswagen, Fiat, Ford and Toyota, are expected to hit the road, rejuvenating a market that accounts for as much as 75% of car sales.

As a fallout, the current lot of small cars could possibly be headed for a phase-out, aided by hefty discounts as manufacturers try to reduce their stocks to make way for the new entrants.

The new cars, many of which would also have variants loaded with latest features like automatic drive, ABS and airbags, will flow from almost the entire spectrum of carmakers present in India and be available in the Rs 3 lakh-Rs 5 lakh bracket (excluding the Rs 1 lakh wonder Tata Nano). To take advantage of the special subsidized excise duty for small cars, the under-4m models would sport engines below 1200cc in petrol and below 1500cc in diesel.

Competition to heat up in small-car segment

While Maruti-Suzuki will introduce Splash and A Star by year-end, Hyundai, will bring in i20 by the same time. The Fiat Grande Punto is also expected before the year runs out. Tata Motors is also set to offer an all-new version of its Indica, that has been the mainstay of the company for the last many years.

Many new players would also make an entry into the small segment. Prominent ones include Honda with much-awaited 'Jazz' and Volkswagen, the European numero uno, who will also join the bandwagon as it will roll out an Indianized-version of its popular Polo compact in 2010.

Another biggie falling for small cars would be Toyota, a company that leads globally but lags in India. Toyota will launch small cars in both petrol-diesel options and company officials said perhaps, more than one small car will roll out. And that's not all. After 2010, many more launches are expected from Skoda, one each from Honda and Hyundai and a Rs 2 lakh car from General Motors.


AUDI R8 to be launched in oct-november!!!

German luxury car manufacturer Audi would launch its acclaimed sports car R8 in India in October-November as it seeks to build the brand in this market, a top official of Audi India said.

"We will launch R8 in October-November in the last quarter. We already have the first order (in India)', Audi India's Vice-President marketing, Martin Birkner, told PTI here.

Audi sold 350 cars in India 2007 calender year and has a target to nearly triple that number, mainly driven by A4 sedan that it launched in India this month.

"As we target sales of 1,000 cars in India by the end of this year, the new Audi A4 will be a crucial product to help us achieve this goal", Birkner said.

The Audi model range in India is: A8, Q7, A6, A4 and TT.

He said Audi expects to sell 1000 units of A4 in vhe first 12 months of its launch, indicating that the sedan would be a main driver of growth for the company in the near term.

The company sold 470 cars in the January-June period of this year and "with Audi A4 will definitely cross the 1,000-mark".

Audi builds its A6 model at its Aurangabad assembly plant on a completely knocked down unit and plans to do the same with A4, which is currently being imported, by October.

The prices of the new Audi A4 start at Rs 29 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai wihtout C.S.T., transportation etc).

According to Birkner, the company's small car A3 is not an option (launch) for India "at the moment".


Next gen honda city to come in september!!!

Honda is planning to change the rules of the sedan game with the launch of its next-generation City, the most popular mid-size car in India. The new City-2008, loaded with a host of jazzy features, will hit the market by mid-September. Sources, however, say that the new avatar will be pricier than the current version.

Honda’s largest selling car till date in India, City’s third new avatar will have a newly-designed and shaped G-CON structure sporting a toned new line-up of powertrain. As far as the new features are concerned, Honda is likely to introduce paddle shift gear option (where you don’t need to use the clutch pedal) on steering —a first in the segment—multi-airbags, integrated music system with steering mounted controls, anti-lock brake system (ABS), temperature control and electronically adjustable front seats.

Honda is looking at standardising such advanced features on all products. “We are looking at standardising the G-CON body, ABS, I-Vtec engines and few other technical features in all our future cars. It’s part our commitment to provide world-class products to the Indian market,” Honda Siel Cars India president and CEO Masahiro Takedagawa had told ET at the launch of 8th generation Accord in May this year.

When contacted by ET, the Honda spokesperson clarified that there are no such plans. “The so-called news of a new City is mere media speculation and we would not like to comment on it. The current Honda City is the only model available globally, and is doing very well in the Indian market. The Honda City ZX continues to maintain its leadership position in the premium sedan segment, even in the current slowdown,” the spokesperson said.

According to sources in the vendor industry, the local market launch will follow the City’s launch in Thailand, expected sometime in early September. The new City will be priced much higher than the current model and could be available in three-to-four trims at different price points carrying different configurations.

However, the competitively priced current City model will complement the new car for some time. “Honda is following a two-pronged strategy. It will continue to sell the current model, which will serve as its entry-level premium car, while the new City will cater to the upper premium sedan market,” said a vendor source. Honda has sold 2.3 lakh units of the current City model in India.

The new City will be pitted against the yet-to-be-launched Fiat Linea, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota’s new Corolla, which is also expected to hit the market soon. The new City is expected to reinforce Honda’s top slot in the 2.25-lakh mid-size car market in India.


3 lack honda cars on road!!!

Japanese auto major Honda, which entered the Indian car market in 1997, has crossed the three lakh customers milestone in the country and is introducing a limited edition sports variant of its sedan Civic priced at Rs 12.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) to mark the occasion.

Honda had entered into a joint venture with Siel Limited, a Siddharth Shriram Group company, in 1995 to form Honda Siel Cars India Ltd (HSCI) and launched its first car in 1997.

"We have crossed three lakh units since inception in India. To commemorate this achievement, we are launching a sports variant of sedan Civic," an HSCI official said.

The new sports Civic will be powered by the same 1.8 litre petrol engine as in the existing model but would have additional features such as front and rear spoilers, white alloy wheels with sports badging.

"The sports Civic will be of limited edition," the official added.

Currently, the Civic is priced between Rs 11 lakh and Rs 12.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

Till date HSCI has made an investment of Rs 1,620 crore with a further investment of Rs 1,000 crore being pumped in for setting up its second plant in Rajasthan, from where it will roll-out its compact car. The company has a current production capacity of manufacturing 100,000 cars.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Japanese superbikes at indian costs!!!

In an attempt to steal the two-wheeler market from the three Indian giants Hero Honda, Bajaj and TVS Motors, which collectively account for almost 85 per cent of sales, Japanese bike manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki will launch scaled-down Indian versions of their international superbike models.

Superbikes are motorcycles that have 800cc engines and can cost upwards of Rs 10 lakh if they are bought in India. Japanese manufacturers plan to offer re-engineered versions with much smaller engines and fewer trimmings at prices ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

The superbikes that are being considered for such an overhaul are Yamaha YZF R1, Honda CBR 1000, Suzuki GSX R and the Kawasaki Ninja.

The re-engineering exercise involves putting in a lower-capacity and fuel-efficient engine and building a new chassis on the lines of the parent model using cheaper, lighter material. Other components built by using best-in-class material in the high-end bike will be replaced by aluminum and rubber components for the Indian version.

Expensive meter console units, twin disc brakes and wide tubeless tyres all basic features that contribute the high price tag of a superbike will not be available in the cheaper version.

"There are some superbikes in our international line-up of motorcycles that can be fine-tuned for India," said Naresh Rattan, divisional head (sales and marketing), Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.

HMSI and Yamaha Motor India launched a product each in the local market, CBF Stunner and R 15, respectively, which are directly inspired from their CBR 1000 and YZF R1. The Indian re-engineered versions, which were launched over a month ago, are up for sale at Rs 53,000 for the 125cc Honda CBF Stunner and Rs 97,000 for 150cc Yamaha R 15.

Suzuki Motorcycle India is also gearing up to launch a similar model, which will be based on the GSX R series (priced at Rs 13-14 lakh), before December this year. The Indianised version will have an engine capacity of about 250cc, and is expected to cost close to Rs 1 lakh.

"We will launch two bikes before the end of the calendar year, of which one will be a mass-market premium model and the other a superbike," said Atul Gupta, vice-president (sales and marketing), SMIPL.

"The premium model will be a model which will be inspired by the GSX R range of superbikes," he added.


yamaha R15 launch in india!!!

Yamaha will roll out two motorcycles in the 150cc class, a fast-growing segment dominated by Bajaj Auto, and price them higher than a Bajaj Pulsar 150 or a Hero Honda CBZ.

Yamaha hopes to take on the competitors with the launch of R15 and FZ 150. Consumers will have to shell out 50-55 per cent more than a regular Pulsar 150, which is priced at Rs 60,000.

The new motorcycles will carry a price tag of close to Rs 100,000. This will make the models the most expensive bikes in India, ahead of Eicher Motors-controlled Royal Enfield-makers of Bullets cruisers, Bajaj Pulsar 220 and Hero Honda Karizma, which are priced below Rs 90,000.

"We are upbeat about the launch of the R15 and FZ 150, which will happen later this year. Price-wise it will come at a premium to any of the Bajaj or Hero Honda close of Rs 100,000. We are confident that the two (models) will be a huge hit among youngsters," a company source said.

The models are designed on the lines of the company's successful super bikes - YZF R1 (1000cc) and ZF1 (1000cc). "R15 and FZ 150 are trimmed down versions of the R1 and ZF1," added the source.

Their advanced technology, sourced from Yamaha's bigger bikes, and features such as 6-speed gearbox and a Delta Frame have pushed the end price of the vehicles.

The company is looking to tie up with the Levis brand, a premium denim wear, as a joint promotion strategy. Under the promotion campaign, Yamaha's showrooms are likely to have a dedicated corner for the jeans.

Yamaha Motor India has seen a downswing in sales in recent times following poor demand. Its sales for the year so far (April-January) have fallen by almost 50 per cent to 96,303 units compared with the same period last year.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"cheap indian cars coming",warns canadian minister!!

Nano, Tatas' small car with a price tag of just $2,500, is already being viewed as a threat to the North America auto market even before its launch in India.
With BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations set to overtake them in production this year, North American auto giants may soon face challenge from cheap cars from India and China.
Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prestice gave this warning Wednesday when he said that unless steps were taken to cuts costs and delays in cross-border movement of auto parts, North American-produced vehicles will be outpriced by Indian and Chinese vehicles in their own market very soon.
``Not long from now, we will see the first Chinese - or Indian - manufactured vehicles arrive on North American shores, ready to be sold to eager consumers. These vehicles will have encountered a border delay only once,'' Prentice told the Council of the Americas in Washington.
In the post 9/11 world, he said, despite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) businesses in Canada, Mexico and the US were suffering because of ``the burden of new measures to enhance security, as well as more rigorous enforcement of existing rules.
``This means that businesses in all three countries are facing longer delays, higher inspection rates, additional fees, and more layers of security when they can afford it least.''
He said the costs and delays of an automobile part as it travels across national borders on its way to final assembly added several hundred dollars to the price of a North American-built vehicle.
Describing these problems as a `two-headed monster', the minister said, ``We want security and prosperity. Instead, we make it more difficult to have either. Not only do we hamper the legitimate trade and travel that provide the foundation for North America's prosperity, but we are also clearly misallocating resources.
"The dollars, hours and resources spent investigating legitimate travel and trade are dollars, hours and resources that would be better spent targeting the areas of highest risk.''
The unveiling of Nano a few months ago made headlines in Canada, with dealers and buyers expressing interest in the world's cheapest car.


India,the small car hub for hyundai!!!

The $75-billion Hyundai Motors, the world's fifth largest auto maker, has decided to make India its global hub for small cars, the company's chief executive for the Indian market has said.
'We have a very clear picture about the Indian market. We want to use India as our small car hub. India will be used for manufacturing and export of our small cars,' Heung Soo Lheem, managing director of Hyundai Motors India Ltd said.
'Our upcoming i20 model, which will debut in the Paris Motor Show in September, will be solely manufactured in India,' Heung, whose company is India's second largest car maker after Maruti Suzuki, told IANS in an interview.
The automaker, which sells its cars in as many as 193 countries, had launched the i10 - its new offering in the 'A' segment - last November. This car, too, is exclusively manufactured in India, he said.
The Hyundai executive said i20 is a hatchback sedan offering in the 'B' segment. 'This car will hit the Indian market in November,' he said, while rubbishing reports that the company will phase out the Santro and Getz, post i20 launch.
Santro, which is sold as Atos in Hyundai's other markets, was used as the launch pad for the South Korean giant's foray into the Indian automobile market over ten years ago.
'When i10 was launched, it was tagged as a successor to Santro. We will continue to have the cars in our 'A' segment. Similarly, i20 is not a successor to Getz. We will strengthen our line-up giving more options to our customers.'
Heung did not disclose the price at which the new car from the Hyundai stable will be sold in India, but indicated that it will compete with Skoda's Fabia and Ford Fusion.
'We haven't yet decided the pricing. It'll be a little more than the Getz,' he said about the car which sells at between Rs.400,000 and Rs.600,000 in the Indian market.
The South Korean automobile giant sold 327,160 vehicles in India in 2007 and had doubled its assembly line at the Chennai plant to 600,000 units annually this January.
'We have set a target of 530,000 vehicles for the domestic as well as export market for this year,' Heung said. 'But rising fuel prices and inflationary pressures are taking a toll on sales,' he added.
'June, especially, was a tough month for us. Issues like inflation, economic slowdown and skyrocketing oil prices led to slow sales. Credit was denied to our prospective customers because of tight monetary policy,' he said.
'Things are not particularly bright even right now. But we hope after Tuesday's vote in the parliament, economy will pick its pace up.'
Hyundai Motors India - which counts actor Shahrukh Khan and tennis ace Sania Mirza as its brand ambassadors - is part of South Korea's Hyundai Kia Motors Automotive Group, formed after the merger between Hyundai and Kia in 1998.
Kia - the official sponsor of the Australian Open grand slam tournament - has a presence in the European and North American markets apart from the domestic market in South Korea.
Kia and Hyundai do have overlapping interests in certain markets, but the group has no plans to launch the Kia brand in the India, Heung explained.


Its time for hybrid cars in india!!!

There are more hybrid cars rolling out into the Indian market in 2008. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning to launch a start-stop option of its Scorpio diesel-electric hybrid by end of 2008. The company also has a hybrid version of the Bolero on the cards, which, to begin with, will also be a start-stop.

"We plan to launch the start-stop option of the Scorpio hybrid before the end of this year since it is fuel efficient without adding on too much cost," said Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

The start-stop option means that the the engine shuts off and restarts automatically. The other features in a hybrid vehicle include the electric launch, regenerative braking and torque supplementation by an electric motor. "Hybridisation offers many advantages, primarily the benefits of fuel economy and reduction in emissions," said Arun Jaura, chief technology officer, Mahindra Group and chairman, National Hybrid Propulsion Platform (NHPP).

Currently, the Honda Civic hybrid is the only fully hybrid version in the market. Priced at Rs 22 lakh, the car is imported as completely-built-unit (CBU) from Japan and is powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine and an electric motor that delivers 47%-more fuel efficiency than the regular 1.8-litre Civic. Tata Motors is also working on a hybrid version of the Indica. The Toyota Motor Corporation is also planning to launch its Prius hybrid in India by 2009-10. Also on the cards is the launch of the indigenously-developed hybrid called the Beaver which is expected to cost under Rs 3 lakh.

Indicating the presence of a a niche market for hybrids in India, Pinaki Mukherjee, lead analyst, Datamonitor, said, "Reduction in import duty and awareness about hybrids are seen vital by OEMs in a bid to kick off the product in the country." The recent budget announcement of an excise-duty cut on hybrid vehicles from 24% to 14% is seen as a step by the government to promote such vehicles in the country.


Volks wagen looking for 10% in indian car market!!!

Volkswagen, the biggest European car maker, is aiming to bag 10 percent of India's burgeoning market within five years, a director said Monday in the business daily Handelsblatt.
"We want to move quickly in terms of volume," VW's president in India Joerg Mueller said.
The group currently has less than one percent of the Indian market.
VW planned to move up the launch of its first wholly-owned Indian factory by six months to early 2009.
It is to invest 580 million euros (million dollars) in a site in Pune, near the financial capital Mumbai, to increase output of the Fabia car built by VW's Skoda unit to 50,000 vehicles per year.
In 2011, the plant is expected to raise that figure to 110,000.
VW also wants to launch its planned low-cost car "up" in India, which has become a priority market for boss Martin Winterkorn.
The Indian auto market is currently dominated by Suzuki and Hyundai.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

World's most dangerous roads!!!

Wheels spinning, tire tread searching for grip, Lee Klancher steered his motorcycle between two ruts before skidding to a stop. It was day No 2 of the Caravana festival, a weeklong expedition held semiannually in the wilds of South America, and Klancher, a veteran rider from St Paul, Minneapolis, had signed up to attempt a road rarely traveled through the Amazon Basin.
"We were 200 miles from anything resembling civilization," he said. "An all-out adventure."
Like dozens of wilderness roads around the planet, the Caravana route -- a 100-mile track in northern Bolivia -- is just barely navigable with motorized transportation. But that didn't deter the dozens of participants, including American tourists and South American dignitaries, who revved up at a remote start line to throttle north into the unknown.
Since the dawn of motorized transit, deep jungle and high mountains haven't stopped humans from trying to lay roads through the planet's most treacherous terrain. Some are primitive trails that evolved to accommodate four wheels and a motor, while others were forged by blasting through whatever nature put in the way.
These roads can be found all over the world. In the American West, where wagon tracks still scar sandstone in the desert, wild roads climb and dip along rivers and through canyons once used as waypoints for wilderness travel. And roads like the Karakorum Highway in Pakistan, a two-lane that climbs past 16,000 feet, have put pavement over parts of the historical Silk Route.
They're not always in the best shape. Despite the super highways of the Western world, roads in many countries remain vastly unimproved. Sometimes they're used by adventure travelers like Klancher. The Canning Stock Route in Western Australia, for example, attracts four-wheel-drive enthusiasts to motor in convoys for 1,100 miles in a sun-baked expanse as desolate as Mars . But, be it a public bus route in Africa or a farm-to-market track in the mountains of Mexico, the world's most dangerous roads were built first for transit and trade.
Either way, they can be heart-stopping -- and perilous to traverse. Bolivia's North Yungas Road, an archetype of danger dubbed the "Road of Death," is a mountain-hugging lane lined by 1,000-foot drops. Robin Esrock, a television host from Vancouver who has twice descended North Yungas on a bike, cites the jungle lane as the most dangerous road he's seen. "It's a winding narrow track that skirts huge drops with a near miss around every corner."
The Halsema Highway, an unpaved mountain road in the Philippines' Cordillera Central range, seems tailor-made for the likes of Indiana Jones. Here, foggy cloud forests and landslides could come up around any given turn.
Sometimes the risk isn't just topographical. Mark Jenkins, a staff writer with National Geographic, hiked the Stilwell Road, from India into Burma, in 1996 while researching a book. While traversing this infamous World War II supply line, Jenkins tiptoed unauthorized into the totalitarian regime, trekking for two nights in the jungle before eventually facing a military arrest. "It's not a road I recommend," Jenkins said.
The following 10 roads, from Klancher's Bolivia route to a forsaken highway in Russia , represent some of the planet's most harrowing. Ride, drive, or hike at your own risk.