Hyundai to raise prices from September, Toyota in October<br /><ul><li>South Korean auto maker Hyundai will increase car prices in India by around 1.2% due to rising input costs. While the price of its popular small cars—Santro and i10—would go up Rs 3,500 for the entry-level variants, Sonata would become dearer by Rs 10,000.
This hike comes after Maruti raised prices by around 1.5% from August 1. It had hiked the price of all its models by up to Rs 7,500, except its entry-level product Alto.</li></li></ul><li>FMCG cos hire in small towns to fire up growth<br /><ul><li>Hindustan Unilever intends to triple its rural coverage to 15% in 2010. It is hoping the plan to hire ‘shaktimaans’ will help it sell products like Pepsodent toothpaste and Wheel detergent, which are losing share to rivals and smaller players in big towns and metros.
Daburhas already hired 150-180 additional ‘foot soldiers’ over the past 12 to 15 months. It has also increased the number of stockists by 11-12 % in rural and semiurban markets, who in turn, are serviced by superstockists in big cities. The company will sharpen its focus on small towns and villages in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana, with a population of at least 3,000.</li></li></ul><li>Nanocatches fire in Delhi<br /><ul><li>A Tata Nano burst into flames in south Delhi but no one was injured in the blaze, a fire on Friday around noon near Uphaar cinema hall in Green Park.
Tata Motors' low-cost car has earlier too been in the news for similar accidental fires on separate occasions. At least six Nano cars have been gutted so in various parts of the country, according to reports.
Back then, Tata had assured the customers that Nano was a "safe car" after an internal team, including a forensic expert, investigated the fire incidents.</li></li></ul><li>India may extend deadline on BlackBerry security row<br /><ul><li>India may extend an Aug. 31 deadline in its standoff with Research In Motion over access to Blackberry data, if the Canadian firm says it has a solution and asks for time.
India says it wants the means to track and read Blackberry's secure email and instant messaging services that officials fear could be misused by militants and anyone trying to create political instability</li></li></ul><li>Ford to storm Indian market with eight new models, create export hub<br /><ul><li>US auto giant Ford Motor said would storm the fast-growing Indian market with eight new models and turn the nation into an export hub for its popular locally made Figo hatchback.
Ford, which has invested one billion dollars in the country in the past decade, is seeking to overtake global rivals in penetrating the Indian market where car sales have been hitting record highs as the economy recovers.
They would be in high volume segments such as the popular small car category, which accounts for around 70 percent of new sales. </li></li></ul><li>Petrol prices set to rise by up to 70p per litre<br /><ul><li>Petrol price may go up by 50 paise if oil PSUs take a 15-day average of international prices and up to 70 paise if a one month average is taken,” an oil ministry official said .
As state-owned oil companies get ready to exercise their pricing freedom for the first time after the government decontrolled petrol prices on June 26.
The new rates will be announced only after August 31 after the Parliament session ends.</li></li></ul><li>Nestle to invest $487 million in coffee projects by 2020<br /> <br /><ul><li>Nestle, the world's biggest food group, said on Friday it would invest $487 million in coffee projects by 2020 to help the company optimize its supplchain.
The investment comprises $341 million for Nescafe products and $146 million for its high-end Nespresso, and includes distributing coffee plantlets to farmers, expanding technical assistance and buying directly from growers, the company said in a statement.
It would double the amount of Nescafe coffee bought directly from farmers and their associations, eventually buying an annual 180,000 tonnes from about 170,000 farmers. </li>