Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maruti becomes first company to make 1 million cars in India

: March 23, 2010, is a momentous day in the history of India’s auto revolution, as the homegrown Maruti Suzuki India would enter the select club of auto manufacturers to have produced and sold 1m vehicles in a single financial year. Well, the homegrown prefix to Maruti is not out of place since the Indian government was a 50% partner with Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp for a long time, long before the word disinvestment came into political usage, and in a way had provided this joint venture agreement protection from scrutiny by Parliamentary and several other committees. Despite these luxuries, Maruti had to face obstacles from the government babus in its 26-year long journey.

Maruti’s success also brings home a larger point that India’s bureaucrats can be some of the most able managers, as the company has largely been steered by former bureaucrats—V Krishnamurthy, RC Bhargava and Jagdish Khattar. Of the three, Bhargava’s relationship with the company continues as he currently serves as its chairman. The enterprise of these individuals was best tested because they fought on two fronts—joint secretaries housed in Udyog Bhawan and the marketplace.

The year Maruti achieves the 1m tag in a single year is, doubtless, going to be one of the best years for the country’s auto sales, breaking its previous record in the year 2006-07. Though the final figures are yet to come, it is quite clear by now that the auto industry is expected to break its boom year sales record of 10m units this fiscal at a conservative growth estimate of 10% projected by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nissan to launch compact car Mirca in July

Japanese carmaker Nissan on Tuesday said it plans to sell 100,000 vehicles in India by 2013, for which it will launch nine models in the next two years, including the sedan version of its latest compact car Micra – slated to be available in the country by July.

In order to achieve the sales target the company will enhance its dealership network to 82 by 2013 from eight at present.

"Our target is to sell one lakh units in India by 2013," Nissan Motor India Pvt ltd MD and CEO Kiminobu Tokuyama said a day ahead of the inauguration of a manufacturing plant developed by the Renault-Nissan alliance.

On increasing the number of dealers, he said, "We will have 82 dealers by 2013 from 8 dealers currently."

The company, which sells only imported models like sedan Teana and SUV Xtrail in India, will launch nine models by 2012, of which five will be locally produced and four will be completely built unit (CBU) imports, he said.

"The second model in 2011 will be a sedan based on V- platform, on which Micra is built and the third will be a multipurpose vehicle on the same platform in 2012," he said.

Tokuyama said India will be a key export hub for Nissan, shipping both CBUs as well as parts.

"For CBUs, exports target is 110,000 units by 2011 to over 100 countries and it will rise further to 1.8 lakh units later on," he said, adding that the firm will also export components to its other plants in China, Thailand and Japan.
Source : PTI

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ford Launches Figo in Small car segment of Indian Market

US carmaker Ford today launched its much anticipated global small car 'Figo' in the Indian market, priced at Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4.48 Ford Figo

Other Brands in the same category are
Volkswagen Polo

Nissan Micra

Maruti Ritz

Chevrolet Beat

The company said it will be exporting the car from India to various markets across the globe, with South Africa being the initial target.

"For years, we have been seen as offering only premium priced products in India, and that has kept us as a small player operating in only 20 per cent of the market. With Figo, customers will see a premium product offered to the mainstream market at an affordable price," Ford India executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Nigel Wark told reporters here.

The car would be available with a 1.2 litre petrol and a 1.4 litre diesel engines. While the entry-level version of the petrol variant will come at Rs 3.5 lakh, the diesel one is priced at Rs 4.48 lakh.

The company claimed that the car would give a mileage of 15.6 kilometre and 20 kilometre in every litre in the petrol and diesel versions, respectively.

The company is also looking at making India an export hub for the small car.

Source : ET

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ashok Leyland Opens its Largest manufactuirng base in Uttarakhand

CHENNAI: Ashok Leyland’s new commercial vehicle plant at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand, flagged off on Friday, is said to be its largest manufacturing

facility. Set up on 190 acres with a built up space of two lakh sq mt, it is also one of the most integrated manufacturing facilities in the Indian commercial vehicle industry.

" Best in class industrial architecture combined with the latest manufacturing technologies has created a truly modern facility that is also ecology sensitive as reflected in the selection of machinery and processes", the company said.

The company has pumped in an investment of over Rs 1100 crore to create a capacity of 75.000 vehicles on top of the current one lakh capacity in the existing plants. Due to the tax concessions in the new State, it will enjoy a cost advantage of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per vehicle.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal inaugurated the plant on Friday in the presence of Union Minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, Vilasrao Deshmukh and company officials.

Hinduja group chairman, S P Hinduja said , " We will continue to support Ashok Leyland in its investment and growth plan. The quick economic recovery augurs well for the auto industry. We are committed to continued expansion in the future. The plant is an example of this".

ALL MD, R Seshasayee said, " With the opening of this plant, Ashok Leyland’s centre of gravity will shift from south to North India. We will further consolidate our north India base when we transform Alwar ( in Rajasthan) bus body making unit into an integrated bus manufacturing plant in the next 3 to 4 years.

Company officials said the plant has the latest generation equipment sourced from global leaders in Japan, US and Europe and India. It is highly energy efficient and designed to be operator friendly. It is also designed on lean manufacturing principles and process control for high quality of outuput.

ALL has created a large capacity water body for water harvesting with water treatment and recycling to ensure zero discharge. Over 75 acres have been earmarked for green cover area and over 10,000 trees have been planted.

The company intends to maximise local value utilisation and create employment for local population. It will open a new career for the youths by sponsoring them for a three to four year courses in association with a reputed technical training institute.

It also plans to achieve over 50% local procurement by this year end. This will translate into excise duty exemptions and VAT rebates which can be passed on to the end customer. Several key vendor partners of the company, accorded preferred supplier status, have accepted the invitation to set up facilities in the State. This will lead to better supply chain management for the company obviating the need for stores and enable " produce to deliver".
Source : ET

Hyundai i10 - In the series of Indian small cars

Upcoming car models in India - A video

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maruti Swift - In the series of Indian small cars

Maruti suzuki - ALTO- In the series of Indian small cars

Nissan to tie up with Ashok Leyland for small cars

Japanese car firm Nissan is in talks with Hinduja group company Ashok Leyland for developing a small car that will operate in the segment currently dominated by the Maruti Suzuki Alto.

Speaking to Indian journalists here on the sidelines of the Geneva Auto Show, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan & Renault, said: “We are studying the possibility of tying up with Ashok Leyland and some other manufacturers in China and Indonesia for a small car project.”

In India, the car could be positioned between the Tata Nano at the lower end and Maruti Swift at the upper end of the small car market.

The tie-up with Bajaj Auto for an ultra low-cost car in the Nano price bracket continues. While Nissan said no fresh progress had been made on this alliance, Ravi Kumar, vice-president, business development, Bajaj Auto, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the company today launched its fourth-generation car, Micra. Production begins later this month at Nissan’s new plant in Chennai and the car goes on commercial sale in May. It is likely to be positioned in the B-segment and priced between Rs 3.8 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

According to the agreement with Bajaj Auto in November last year for the ultra low-cost car, Bajaj will be responsible for the design, engineering, sourcing and manufacturing and the Renault-Nissan alliance for marketing and selling.

Nissan Motor Co-Executive Vice-President Collin Dodge said: “We have a formal agreement with Ashok Leyland for making light commercial vehicles in India. In addition to that, we also use Ashok Leyland’s engineering services for various purposes. At the moment, we are talking to them and many other partners.”

He said the global small car is aimed at tapping the price bracket of $4,500-5,000, which is set to grow substantially and account for around “20 per cent of the total global car sales in due course of time”.

Source : Business Standards