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Automobile%20 Industry%20 Updates%20 %20 April%202009

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  • 1. India Automobile Industry Updates Automobile Industry Updates Issue No 2 April 2009 In this issue: Press Release Press Release Mahindra Posts Highest Ever Monthly Utility Vehicles Sales Mahindra Posts Highest Ever Monthly Utility Vehicles Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.) announced domestic sales of 25748 units in Sales March 2009 - its highest ever automotive sales figures. These figures also denote the Mahindra in JV with Chinese highest ever monthly sales this year. The company sold a total of 26209 vehicles firm (Domestic + Exports) in March 2009, as against 24682 vehicles (Domestic + Exports) M&M sees gains for tractors sold in March 2008. in farm loan push Specialized vehicles demand More drives CV market: F&S survey Mahindra in JV with Chinese firm Chinese biggies want to enter Indian car market Mahindra Group in association with China-based Jiangsu Yueda Yancheng has rolled out its 125 HP tractor at Yancheng, China, recently. Mahindra Group Vice Chairman Mahindra gets order for 15,000 Xylo in three months and Managing Director Anand Mahindra and Yueda Group Chairman Hu Youlin M&M Ltd signs pact with inaugurated the new JV company, Mahindra Yueda Yancheng Tractor Company, SBBJ for vehicle finance (MYYTCL), Mahindra stated in a release here. Huge idle capacities now haunt carmakers More Tata Motors still counting Nano booking numbers M&M sees gains for tractors in farm loan push Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), India's top tractor manufacturer by volumes, is Indian carmakers miss the highway to China anticipating a revival in demand in FY10 on the back of wider disbursal of farm credit Ford to source engine blocks by public sector banks, low interest rates and good monsoon. The company sees a 3- from domestic vendor 5% growth for the domestic tractor market during the current fiscal as against flat Vectra, Russian co Kamaz in growth in the last fiscal heavy-duty truck JV More Maruti chalks out Rs 1,200-cr KB engine up gradation plan Specialized vehicles demand drives CV market: F&S survey Hema Engineering in JV with Verlicchi Group The commercial vehicles market in India is set to experience significant changes with Daimler Trucks buys out the hub and- spoke model of transportation. With burgeoning road infrastructure Indian JV partner Hero development, commercial vehicle (CV) sales would be driven by a focus on Tata, Maruti looking for application specific CVs such as medium and heavy commercial vehicles (medium engineers at Auto Congress and HCVs) for long distance transportation and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), Radial tyre brands ride ban typically the sub-3.5-tonne vehicles, for last mile connectivity. on Chinese imports
  • 2. Firm natural rubber may spur More imports Speculation’ stretches Chinese biggies want to enter Indian car market rubber to Rs 100/kg The Chinese dragon has set its eyes on the Indian car market. Two biggies Chery JK Tyre To Go Ahead With Automobile and Great Wall Motors are planning to enter India soon through joint Rs.500 Crore Expansion Plans ventures, senior company officials told TOI at Shanghai Motor Show. Chinese Tyre makers seek Govt help carmakers are shifting focus from their main markets like US and Europe as volumes to check rubber prices there are shrinking due to the global slowdown. At the same time, India's rising status Soaring rubber price worry as one of the fastest-growing car markets in the world, spells opportunities. Tyre companies More New Product Mahindra unveils Bolero Mahindra gets order for 15,000 Xylo in three months Stinger at Autocar Performance Show news Auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has received huge bookings for its multi- Mahindra-Renault looking at utility vehicle Xylo in the last three months, a top official said here on Wednesday. expanding beyond Logan "In the last three months, 15,000 Xylo were booked. In the last month alone, we have Audi introduces new Audi A6 in India sold 2,954 units," Vivek Nayer, senior vice-president (marketing-automotive sector) of Honda to launch Jazz in M&M, told reporters. June at Rs 5.5 lakh onwards More Tata’s' 'world truck' to roll out by May-end M&M Ltd signs pact with SBBJ for vehicle finance The Ritz' heart rolls out! Auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Tuesday said it has entered into an Industry Competition agreement with the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) for vehicle finance. The Toyota small car may sport bank would finance the entire range of M&M vehicles including utility vehicles, pick- Rs 5-7 lakh tag ups and passenger cars. Leyland may review LCV JV with Nissan More MRF bags HAL order for helicopter tyres Huge idle capacities now haunt carmakers Apollo Tyres to invest Rs The failure of Indian car market to expand in size has left many car makers with huge 700cr in FY10; net slips 50% idle capacities. After a year of flat sales in the domestic market along with grim in FY09 exports, the huge expansion plans executed in the past three years, entailing a $5 Apollo Tyres offers to buy Dutch tyre maker billion investment, are heading for a tailspin. While all car makers are grappling with idle capacities, the mid-rung companies like Honda Siel Cars, Ford Motor India, International Updates General Motors and Mahindra Renault are hit hard, though market leader Maruti Navistar First Truck and Bus Maker to Receive Hybrid Suzuki and others such as Hyundai Motor India also remained moderately unutilised. Certification from California Air Resources Board More Volkswagen Golf bags World Car of the Year Tata Motors still counting Nano booking numbers The booking for the world's cheapest car Nano launched by the Tata has ended but Bridgestone to increase radial passenger tire the numbers are still being counted, a Tata Motors spokesperson said. The market production capacity in China estimates on the bookings vary from as few as a couple of lakhs to over one million. Bridgestone to pay fine over Tata motors itself has not given any information so far. The spokesperson said the int'l price cartel company is still compiling the number and the exercise may take a few days. More
  • 3. Indian carmakers miss the highway to China In the middle of the action, a major Chinese carmaker is holding a press conference in a packed hall, full of mainly Chinese journalists. The carmaker is outlining its plans for growth and a new venture with a western company. The Chinese journalists clap at the end of the hour-long war-like speech in Mandarin. The handful of western journalists looks bewildered. As does a senior official of the Chinese carmaker‘s new western partner. More Ford to source engine blocks from domestic vendor FORD India has identified a domestic vendor to produce engine blocks for its brands like Fiesta, Ikon and the upcoming small car. This move would substantially reduce its import dependence. More Vectra, Russian co Kamaz in heavy-duty truck JV The $800-million Vectra Group, which makes the Tatra range of trucks, has formed a joint venture with Russian truck maker Kamaz to manufacture the latter‘s range of heavy duty trucks in India at an initial investment of $13 million (around Rs 65 crore). Vectra had picked up majority stake in Czech Republic-based Tatra in 2007. Vectra will produce 5,000 trucks over the next 2-3 years at its Hosur plant, which will be partly modified to make the Kamaz range. More Maruti chalks out Rs 1,200-cr KB engine up gradation plan Maruti Suzuki, which makes every second car sold in India, is investing Rs 1,200 crore to replace engines of existing models with a new light-weight fuel-efficient one that will conform to a new national emission standard to come in place next year. The new fuel-efficient engine will also help Maruti to compete with new cars like Honda‘s Jazz, Volkswagen's Polo and Fiat's Grande Punto, which will be launched in the domestic market soon. More Daimler Trucks buys out Indian JV partner Hero Daimler will pay 16 million euros ($21.2 million) for the remaining 40 per cent in its Indian heavy truck joint venture after dwindling finances forced local partner Hero Group to focus on its core business of motorcycles. More Tata, Maruti looking for engineers at Auto Congress India's top two car manufacturers are scouting for auto engineers at the World Congress of the Society of Auto Engineers (SAE) in Detroit next week. The SAE in a media release on Thursday listed out Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki as among the ten companies which would be talking with prospective candidates at the SAE 2009
  • 4. World Congress Career Fare in Detroit on April 20-21 More Radial tyre brands ride ban on Chinese imports The restriction on imports of radial tyres from China by the government has come as blessing for the Indian tyre industry. Leading tyre manufacturers, such as Ceat Tyres and JK Tyres, among others, have ramped up production during the fourth quarter ended March 31, and are expecting more than 15 per cent growth in sales volume in the truck tyre segment. More Firm natural rubber may spur imports With natural rubber prices witnessing a sharp spiral, the tyre industry is planning to import the commodity in a major way. Natural rubber prices have jumped 33 per cent in just five weeks. The gap between the global and domestic prices has widened as the current Indian price for the benchmark RSS-4 grade is higher by Rs 13-14 per kg than the global one. So, import is an attractive option for tyre majors to expand inventory in the light of an improvement in car and two-wheeler tyre sales. More Speculation’ stretches rubber to Rs 100/kg As prices for RSS-4 (ribbed smoked sheet grade 4) rubber hit Rs 100 a kg during the weekend, there was a unanimous opinion about the current run in the commodity. That is, prices of natural rubber have been driven up 48 per cent in two months and 36 per cent in a month by sheer speculation. More JK Tyre to Go Ahead With Rs.500 Crore Expansion Plans The fast growth of Indian economy and increasing disposable income among the consumers has stimulated exceptional growth in the passenger car industry. India is now Asia's fourth largest vehicle market which is doing much better than its global peers. More Tyre makers seek Govt help to check rubber prices Alarmed by the increase in speculative activity in natural rubber futures trading, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) has sought immediate intervention of the Government. More Soaring rubber price worry Tyre companies Natural rubber prices are soaring to Rs 100 a kg level again. And nobody knows why. That is the most surprising factor as far as rubber prices are concerned. If you talk to market analysts, the fundamentals are the same and the demand is also without much change. Still natural rubber prices climbed up to Rs 100 a kg this week from Rs 70 in March first week. More
  • 5. New Product Mahindra unveils Bolero Stinger at Autocar Performance Show news Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) today unveiled the Bolero Stinger – a customised concept at the `Autocar Performance Show 2008' in Mumbai. Built on the Bolero platform, the Bolero Stinger combines its striking exterior with powerful performance. The vehicle is powered by a 97hp CRDe engine and is available in the 2WD BS3 variant. M&M also created a special 4x4 track at the show to demonstrate the superior offloading capability of Mahindra's utility vehicles. More Mahindra-Renault looking at expanding beyond Logan Renault and Indian auto major Mahindra and Mahindra, which jointly manufacture the sedan Logan in India, will expand their product portfolio to better utilise the capacity at their Nashik plant in Maharashtra. "We are currently assessing the viability of four to five Renault cars to be manufactured in the facility and will finalise the models with Mahindra," Ashish Sinharoy, Renault India's senior vice president of corporate affairs, told IANS. More Audi introduces new Audi A6 in India German luxury car-maker Audi on Thursday launched its business sedan Audi A6 in the Indian market. Audi A6, with four engine variants, would be available at Audi dealerships pan-India from May 4 onwards, the statement said. More Honda to launch Jazz in June at Rs 5.5 lakh onwards After a decade long operations in India, the largest player in the mid-size cars, Honda Siel Cars (HSCI) is entering the high volume hatchback category with its small car Jazz, a top company executive said. The car will have a new 1.2 litre engine developed exclusively for the Indian market, carrying highest fuel efficiency in its segment. More Tata’s' 'world truck' to roll out by May-end TATA Motors is understood to be working full throttle on the global launch of its high- profile ‗world truck‘ by the end of May 2009. The Country‘s largest CV maker is expected to gradually phase out its existing heavy and medium-range trucks, replacing them with the world truck, two officials close to the
  • 6. development said. More The Ritz' heart rolls out! The Maruti-Suzuki Ritz may still be a short while away from being launched, but it's power plant is live and kicking already. On April 14 2009, the Indian car maker revealed the brand new K12M engine to the world. Manufactured within Maruti's Gurgaon facility in a special new engine plant, the K12M is the second of a family of modern engines. Its smaller sibling, the K10B was the first - and now does duty in the ultra-compact A-Star small car. More Industry Competition Toyota small car may sport Rs 5-7 lakh tag Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant, has revealed the pricing segment for the compact car it plans to launch next year. In an exclusive chat with ET, the company, which is the Indian venture of Toyota Motor, the world‘s biggest car manufacturer by volumes, also plans to jack up its production to 5,000 units a month by July, and double sales and servicing manpower by 2010. More Leyland may review LCV JV with Nissan With the commercial vehicle segment showing very little signs of a revival, Ashok Leyland, India‘s second largest truck maker, is ―reviewing‖ its collaboration with Nissan Motor of Japan to manufacture light commercial vehicles. Last year, Ashok Leyland struck a deal with Nissan to form three joint venture companies to manufacture light commercial vehicles, power trains and for technology development for a total investment of Rs 2,400 crore. The project was supposed to have a debt-equity ratio of 1:1 with each partner bringing in about Rs 600 crore each. Under the revised plan, which is currently at the works, the capital investments are likely to be downsized sharply. More MRF bags HAL order for helicopter tyres In a major boost to its technical capabilities, MRF is set to be the first Indian tyre company to produce helicopter tyres for the Indian defence sector. The company has secured orders from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), military aircraft manufacturer, to make tyres for Chetak range of military helicopters. More
  • 7. Apollo Tyres to invest Rs 700cr in FY10; net slips 50% in FY09 Undeterred by an over 50 per cent fall in its net profit in the last fiscal, tyre maker Apollo Tyres today said it will invest Rs 700 crore in 2009-10 mainly for completion of its Chennai Greenfield facility. More Apollo Tyres offers to buy Dutch tyre maker Delhi-based Apollo Tyres, the country's second-largest tyre producer, has offered to acquire 100 per cent stake in Vredestein Banden B.V, a Netherland-headquartered premium tyre making for an undisclosed sum. More International updates Navistar First Truck and Bus Maker to Receive Hybrid Certification from California Air Resources Board Navistar continues to blaze new trails through the hybrid landscape, becoming the first truck and bus manufacturer to receive total hybrid vehicle certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for improving fuel economy and overall emissions. The innovative integration of an optimized engine and hybrid system makes total vehicle certification of the International Dura Star Hybrid box van and utility truck, and the IC Bus CE Series hybrid bus a reality. More Volkswagen Golf bags World Car of the Year During a ceremony at this year's New York Auto Show, an independent jury of 59 handed the prestigious World Car of the Year award to Volkswagen's new MK VI Golf. The VW Golf was first introduced back in 1975 as a compact family car. It has had an illustrious life spanning 35 years so far, and has gone on to become the third largest selling car in the world. More Bridgestone to increase radial passenger tyre production capacity in China Bridgestone has announced that it will increase radial passenger tyre production capacity at Bridgestone Wuxi Tire in China, in response to the expected medium-to- long term increase in demand for radial passenger tires in the Chinese market. More
  • 8. Bridgestone to pay fine over int'l price cartel Japan's top tire maker Bridgestone Corp. said Thursday it will pay a fine of 58.5 million euro‘s as ordered by the European Commission in January for forming a price cartel to sell marine hoses used to transport oil. More Back to Top Press Release Mahindra Posts Highest Ever Monthly Utility Vehicles Sales 3 April 2009 ZIGWHEELS Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.) announced domestic sales of 25748 units in March 2009 - its highest ever automotive sales figures. These figures also denote the highest ever monthly sales this year. M&M automotive sector's total domestic volumes, not including the joint ventures, for the month of March 2009 stand at 25748 units, as against 23128 units in March 2008. This translates to a whopping 30 per cent jump in sales as compared to the same period last year. This includes the highest ever monthly sales for the Scorpio, Bolero and the Pik-Up which stood at 19973 units for March 2009 as against 15366 units for the same period last year. Apart from this, the newly launched XYLO has also showing a great response by recording impressive sales of 3171 units for March 2009. The company sold a total of 26209 vehicles (Domestic + Exports) in March 2009, as against 24682 vehicles (Domestic + Exports) sold in March 2008. M&M's YTD domestic volumes for the period up to March 2009 stand at 220215 units, as against 218977 units for the same period last year. Back to Top Mahindra in JV with Chinese firm 7 April 2009 The Economic Times Mahindra Group in association with China-based Jiangsu Yueda Yancheng has rolled out its 125 HP tractor at Yancheng, China, recently. Mahindra Group Vice Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra and Yueda Group Chairman Hu Youlin inaugurated the new JV company, Mahindra Yueda Yancheng Tractor Company, (MYYTCL), Mahindra stated in a release here.
  • 9. "This JV between M&M and Yueda Groups will combine Indian entrepreneurial and managerial skills with Chinese competitiveness and efficiency and will contribute substantially towards realising our ambition to be the leading tractor manufacturer in the global market," Mahindra said. The JV has a plant with a capacity of manufacturing 38,000 tractors at Yancheng. This is the second tractor venture of Mahindra in China, in addition to Mahindra's current tractor business namely, Mahindra China Tractor Company Ltd (MCTCL). With MCTCLs Feng Shou and MYYTCLs Jinma brands, Mahindra's tractor operations in China position it well to exploit the fast growing market, the release said. Back to Top M&M sees gains for tractors in farm loan push 8 April 2009 DNA Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), India's top tractor manufacturer by volumes, is anticipating a revival in demand in FY10 on the back of wider disbursal of farm credit by public sector banks, low interest rates and good monsoon. The company sees a 3-5% growth for the domestic tractor market during the current fiscal as against flat growth in the last fiscal. Anjanikumar Choudhari, president, farm equipment sector, M&M, said, "The availability of farm credit by public sector banks and low interest rates have given a big stimulus to the tractor demand. The good monsoon is an added advantage. The economic boom is also reflected in the rural economy. These factors have and will lead to a decent growth this fiscal." Choudhari sees the domestic tractor market rising at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-8% in the next five years. He said rising labour costs in rural areas due to migration of labour to urban areas is also pushing up demand for tractors, which are a substitute for labour. A lot of alternative professions have come up in rural areas due to government-run rural employment schemes, resulting in diversion of farm labour."Due to these factors, tractors and other farm equipment will do well and see revival. Though there are uncertainties due to elections it's only after June that we can see a change," he said. According to an analyst who did not want to be named, the demand for M&M's tractors will rise in this fiscal as a lot of farmers had deferred purchase due to a lag in the farm credit reaching them. Choudhari said that the ownership of tractors in India is still low. "Less than 10% of farmers own tractors and more than 35% of them hire them. The government is
  • 10. spending a sizeable amount on farm mechanisation which will help in lifting demand," he said. M&M enjoys a 42% market share after acquisition of Punjab Tractors Ltd. Its standalone market share is around 20%. M&M operates only in the small tractor market (up to 80 horsepower). Despite an upbeat domestic front, M&M witnessed an 82% decline in exports in the last fiscal due to the slowdown in the US, which is its major export market, Africa, Middle-East, Turkey and SAARC countries. M&M has started tractor assembling plants in African countries such as Gambia and Chad. Continuing its focus on the Chinese market, M&M has entered into another joint venture with YYueda Yancheng Tractor Company (MYYTCL). Its first Chinese joint venture is Mahindra China Tractor Company Ltd. (MCTCL). With MCTCL's Feng Shou and MYYTCL's Jinma brands, Mahindra's tractor operations position it well to exploit the fast growing market. MCTCL produces specialised low HP tractors, and now with MYYTCL, M&M will be present in 16-125 HP segment as well. Choudhari said, "The Chinese tractor industry (domestic and export) has grown from about 56,000 tractors in 2003 to 2,22,000 tractors in 2008. The agriculture policy introduced by the government in 2004 has played a major role in this growth with a number of positive measures including abolition of tax on agriculture. The introduction of subsidy for tractor purchase to support farmers has gradually increased to $ 10 billion in 2009 which will provide a major boost to the tractor industry." Back to Top Specialized vehicles demand drives CV market: F&S survey 30 April 2009 ENS Economic Bureau The commercial vehicles market in India is set to experience significant changes with the hub and- spoke model of transportation. With burgeoning road infrastructure development, commercial vehicle (CV) sales would be driven by a focus on application specific CVs such as medium and heavy commercial vehicles (medium and HCVs) for long distance transportation and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), typically the sub-3.5-tonne vehicles, for last mile connectivity. The sub-3.5-tonne LCV segment is expected to capture a significant share of the overall CV market and to witness intensifying competition with the entry of more participants. According to a Frost and Sullivan‘s ‗Commercial Vehicles Market in India‘ report, the
  • 11. production of CVs in India stood at 417,126 units in 2008 with sales of 384,122 units in the same year. Production, domestic sales and exports dropped in 2008 due to the economic slowdown. Primarily, the 1-tonne goods carrier sub-segment of the sub-3.5-tonne LCV segment was driving growth. ―The rising demand for specialized vehicles, due to the creation of the hub-and-spoke model is driving the CVs market in India,‖ said Frost and Sullivan industry analyst, Sanjay Vasudevan. ―Growth in segments such as retail and intra-city goods transportation need has contributed to the increase in demand for the sub 3.5-tonne LCVs.‖ The National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) for improving road infrastructure and national highways would also impel the demand for CVs with a significant rise in goods and passenger transport by road, due to enhanced connectivity. Consolidation and increasing maturity of the transportation sector in India, because of improved infrastructure, has resulted in a shift in the segment sales of CVs. Truck sales are on an upswing because of fleet replacement and the establishment of a new segment of sub-1 tonne. The contribution of LCVs to the total demand for CVs has been increasing due to the rapidly expanding usage of smaller vehicles, intra-city transportation and the creation of a new segment of small CVs, following the introduction of the ‗Tata Ace‘. New product introduction, coupled with significant technology changes and features would be observed in the LCV market. LCV products for executive mass transport would occupy a niche segment with a significant growth in demand expected. Accordingly, the CV market is reorganizing its product portfolio in consonance with the changing demand pattern. However, growth in the next three years is likely to be moderate compared to the blistering growth witnessed in the last two to three years. ―Domestic companies, with a significant three-wheeled goods carrier portfolio are expected to rush into the sub 3.5 tonne four-wheeler CVs, to keep abreast with the market trend,‖ said Vasudevan. Back to Top
  • 12. Chinese biggies want to enter Indian car market 30 April 2009 TNN The Chinese dragon has set its eyes on the Indian car market. Two biggies Chery Automobile and Great Wall Motors are planning to enter India soon through joint ventures, senior company officials told TOI at Shanghai Motor Show. "We are looking at a joint venture partner for India as it holds a good potential for car sales in the coming time," Chery Automobile president Yin Tongyao said. He termed India as a "very important" market and said the company was looking at "several proposals" for finalising a local partner. Chinese carmakers are shifting focus from their main markets like US and Europe as volumes there are shrinking due to the global slowdown. At the same time, India's rising status as one of the fastest-growing car markets in the world, spells opportunities. Chery was believed to be in talks with tractor maker Sonalika's car venture, International Cars & Motors Ltd (ICML), around three years back to roll out its small car in India. But the talks never fructified into a joint venture. Chery, famous for its small car QQ, is eyeing sales of 4.19 lakh units in 2009, an 18% increase over 2008. The QQ comes in two petrol engine sizes 0.8-litre and 1.1-litre. Gavin Chen, marketing specialist with Chery's international division, said the company plans to sell cars in India by 2010. "While initially we will look for a distributor, the final plan is to build a factory in India." Chen said the company saw India as a big market due to its huge population and thus wanted to develop some specific models. "The plan is to make cars at good price with good quality," he added. Great Wall Motor (GWM) listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is China's largest privately-owned car maker and specializes in SUV and utility models, while recently expanding into the multi-purpose vehicle and hatchback segment. Chris Guan, GWM's South Asian region GM, said the company wanted to launch at least one or two models in India this year. "We are currently evaluating partnerships. Initially, we are looking for a distributor for which we have been contacted by some companies," he said. Back to Top Mahindra gets order for 15,000 Xylo in three months 29 April 2009 IANS Auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has received huge bookings for its multi- utility vehicle Xylo in the last three months, a top official said here on Wednesday. "In the last three months, 15,000 Xylo were booked.
  • 13. In the last month alone, we have sold 2,954 units," Vivek Nayer, senior vice-president (marketing-automotive sector) of M&M, told reporters. He was here to unveil a customised Scorpio, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) from the company, for soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia. M&M sold 3,200 Scorpio vehicles last month, Nayer said. Asked about the outlook for the current financial year, he said: "It's difficult to speak about the outlook. We are looking at month-to-month performance. Current month is going fine. Let's wait and watch how the situation unfolds." Back to Top M&M Ltd signs pact with SBBJ for vehicle finance 28 April 2009 PTI Auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Tuesday said it has entered into an agreement with the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) for vehicle finance. M&M customers can avail of a loan up to 85 per cent of the on-road price of the vehicle with repayment tenure of up to seven years. Interest rates of 12 per cent would be charged on passenger vehicles and 11.75 per cent on commercial vehicles, M&M said in a statement. "Low interest rates and low processing fee are some of the benefits of opting for State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur as a preferred financier," M&M Senior Vice- President K Chandrasekar said in a statement .The bank would finance the entire range of M&M vehicles including utility vehicles, pick-ups and passenger cars. M&M's Automotive Sector offers a range of vehicles including three-wheelers, light commercial vehicles and multi-utility vehicles. It also manufactures the Logan passenger car through a joint venture with Renault SA of France Back to Top Huge idle capacities now haunt carmakers 28 April 2009 The Economic Times The failure of Indian car market to expand in size has left many car makers with huge idle capacities. After a year of flat sales in the domestic market along with grim exports, the huge expansion plans executed in the past three years, entailing a $5 billion investment, are heading for a tailspin. While all car makers are grappling with idle capacities, the mid-rung companies like Honda Siel Cars, Ford Motor India, General Motors and Mahindra Renault are hit hard, though market leader Maruti Suzuki and others such as Hyundai Motor India also remained moderately unutilised.
  • 14. With only 60% of the total installed auto capacity utilised, the impeding slowdown in the domestic market is forcing the makers to rethink on the future strategies. Indian car market was expected to reach 2.5 million cars by 2009-10, but the economic slowdown is likely to reduce that target by half-a-million units. In FY‘ 09 18.38 lakh vehicles were produced against their 30-lakh units combined capacity. The beleaguered American car major General Motors‘ fully owned Indian subsidiary tops the chart for unutilised capacity. Its barely utilised a-fourth of its plant capacity in FY ‗09. ―We have build-up capacities keeping in view the future demand. Our capacities are split in two plants, the smaller Halol plant will be utilised for bigger cars, while the bigger Talegaon factory is reserved for small cars. We will launch two new cars, Cruze and a compact hatchback, to improve our capacity utilisation,‖ said GM India CEO Karl Slym. While Maruti and Hyundai who had good sales run in the domestic market by clocking their highest domestic sales ever in FY09, many companies like Mahindra Renault failed to utilise their capacities as they did not receive good market response. Mahindra Renault‘s Nasik plant rolled out just 14,404 cars against the installed capacity of 50,000 cars, while only 13,423 Logans were domestically rolled out. It‘s CEO Nalin Mehta clarified: ―We are putting the idle capacity in use for other Mahindra products such as XYLO and the Scorpio. The economic downturn has impacted us like most of the auto industry and we are examining several possibilities to utilise the capacity which we will share at an appropriate time‖. Back to Top Tata Motors still counting Nano booking numbers 26 April 2009 PTI The booking for the world's cheapest car Nano launched by the Tata has ended but the numbers are still being counted, a Tata Motors spokesperson said. The market estimates on the bookings vary from as few as a couple of lakhs to over one million. Tata motors itself has not given any information so far. The spokesperson said the company is still compiling the number and the exercise may take a few days. Enquiries with some of the banks with which the company has tied up for booking and financing of the car also failed to reveal any information on the number of bookings. However, carwale.com, one of the websites which accepted online booking for Nano, said it has done 10,000 bookings of Tata's Nano car. "We have secured 10,000 bookings of Nano across 500 cities," carwale.com Vice-President Tufail Khan told
  • 15. PTI. He said 50 per cent of the booking has been done through credit cards and the rest through cheque payment. About 55 per cent of the bookings have been for the top- end version of the Nano, 25 per cent for the middle version and the remaining 20 per cent is for the base model. Back to Top Indian carmakers miss the highway to China 26 April 2009 TNN In the middle of the action, a major Chinese carmaker is holding a press conference in a packed hall, full of mainly Chinese journalists. The carmaker is outlining its plans for growth and a new venture with a western company. The Chinese journalists clap at the end of the hour-long war-like speech in Mandarin. The handful of western journalists looks bewildered. As does a senior official of the Chinese carmaker‘s new western partner. The scene illustrates all the difficulties of doing business in the Chinese market. Language is a barrier. As are the seemingly-restrictive entry rules for foreign companies, which require a local partner upfront and commitment to invest and research and development. Why is anyone but the Chinese excited? ―It‘s the only market that is growing globally,‖ says the official of the carmaker which has entered into a new western joint venture. China, he says, is ―the last hope for carmakers in the face of shrinking demand and volumes across developed markets of Europe and the US.‖ Welcome to the new freeway of the global car industry. As sales crash across developed western markets, the call of the dragon gets louder. The frenzy is at such a pitch that marketing wizards are predicting that carmakers that are not in China must be ―prepared to stay off the highway and watch the action from the fringes.‖ In contrast to China‘s ‗new-frontier‘ status, Indian companies seem all but absent from China, one of the few countries in the world where the automobile market is growing. This is at odds with Tata Motors‘ and Mahindra‘s proclaimed strategies of expanding beyond India. Automakers from around the world — including ailing ones such as General Motors and Chrysler — put 870 cars on display in Shanghai. Why did the Indians stay away? Is there a China phobia because of all the stiff competition that comes with a rapidly growing market? Or, are the Indians deterred by stiff entry barriers? Or, are they failing to recognize the new world order for the car industry? Pawan Goenka, automotive president of Mahindra & Mahindra, denies the Indians are running scared. He points to Mahindra‘s impending entry into the tough US market and blames China‘s ―difficult‖ market entry rules. ―They have very stringent
  • 16. regulations for investment and branding. For Mahindra, we prefer to go in a small way and then grow. This option is not there in China,‖ he says. But he insists ―we would never say never.‖ At present, Mahindra has tractor operations in China. Back to Top Ford to source engine blocks from domestic vendor 23 April 2009 The Economic Times FORD India has identified a domestic vendor to produce engine blocks for its brands like Fiesta, Ikon and the upcoming small car. This move would substantially reduce its import dependence. Ford India president and MD Michael Boneham told reporters on Wednesday that the company would source the aluminium-cast engine blocks from Pune-based Jaya Hind. ―We are the first company to localise by sourcing engine blocks from an external vendor. This (such a use of technology) has never been done by a vendor in India,‖ he said, adding the sourcing plans would be finalised in two months. The objective is to make Ford‘s global operations perceive India as a country that has a robust supplier choice. ―This will increase the localisation of our cars. We would be using these engine blocks across the Ikon, Ford Fiesta and the small car, which we are launching next year,‖ he added. Though he did not reveal the value and quantity of sourcing, he said the volume of engine blocks would be Back to Top Vectra, Russian co Kamaz in heavy-duty truck JV 22 April 2009 The Economic Times The $800-million Vectra Group, which makes the Tatra range of trucks, has formed a joint venture with Russian truck maker Kamaz to manufacture the latter‘s range of heavy duty trucks in India at an initial investment of $13 million (around Rs 65 crore). Vectra had picked up majority stake in Czech Republic-based Tatra in 2007. Vectra will produce 5,000 trucks over the next 2-3 years at its Hosur plant, which will be partly modified to make the Kamaz range. Trucks over 13 tonnes are classified in the heavy-duty category, and include tippers, side board trucks, and tractors. The Kamaz range will be multi-axle 6X4 and in the 8X4 class, which are not currently made in India. With this alliance, the company makes an entry into the segment between the trucks made by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland on one hand, and Volvo
  • 17. on the other. The company is targeting the $1-billion mark by 2011. ―We plan to sell around 1,000 of these trucks this fiscal,‖ said Akhat Urmanov, deputy director-general, (sales and servicing), Kamaz. The JV plans to corner around 10% of the Indian market in the next couple of years, he said. Key to this is the pricing of their vehicles. ―We will price it between the existing Indian players and Volvo,‖ he said. The group is going in for 30% localisation right from the start. This localisation will include gearboxes and later, engines. The JV company also plans to sell some of the multi-axle trucks to the armed forces, which already are buyers of Tatra trucks made by Vectra. ―The offset policy has also helped us get new orders from Israel, Russia and other countries,‖ said RK Rishi, director, Vectra. The new JV will therefore not just target the Indian armed forces, but those of the countries to which it will be exported. ―India will be a hub not just for neighbouring countries, but also for Africa,‖ said Denis Trifonoff, regional director, Asia Pacific, Kamaz. ―The main competition will be existing Indian players,‖ said Mr Rishi. Since Kamaz also makes CNG city, intercity and suburban buses in Russia, talks are on to bring that into India as well. ―Maybe we can finish negotiations by the year end,‖ said Urmanov. This entry is not just another business, but an urgent need to generate more revenue streams and comes as Russian auto firms face a tough environment back home. ―Conditions are certainly better in India than in Russia,‖ said Urmanov. ―We see the slowdown in India getting over by the end of the year,‖ said Urmanov, adding that heavy-duty vehicle projects in emerging markets remain cornerstones for the division‘s long-term growth targets. Not surprisingly, more investments are lined up to take the production to around 15,000 units in the next five years. ―We are here because here lie the sales,‖ he said. Back to Top Maruti chalks out Rs 1,200-cr KB engine up gradation plan 19 April 2009 The Economic Times Maruti Suzuki, which makes every second car sold in India, is investing Rs 1,200 crore to replace engines of existing models with a new light-weight fuel-efficient one that will conform to a new national emission standard to come in place next year. "While all our new launches will be on the new engines, in the long term, we plan to gradually replace our existing series of engines with the fuel efficient KB series engines," said Maruti Suzuki India MD & CEO Shinzo Nakanishi.
  • 18. Maruti's popular models Alto, WagonR, Zen Estilo, Versa and Swift will be strapped with new engines by April 2010 when new Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emissions comes into place. These five cars account for a bulk of Maruti's 7.22 lakh cars sold in India. The new fuel-efficient engine will also help Maruti to compete with new cars like Honda‘s Jazz, Volkswagen's Polo and Fiat's Grande Punto, which will be launched in the domestic market soon. Maruti's small car A-Star is BS IV complaint as it is exported to Europe, while Korean car maker Hyundai's cars such as Santro, i10 and i20 that are made in India are already BS IV compliant. Santro came strapped with the new engine when Hyundai relaunched it as Santro Xing. The all-aluminium 1.0 litre engine may replace the current line of F-series engines fitted in the Alto, while the bigger 1.2 litre engine is likely to power the WagonR and Zen Estilo. This new engine may also power the Swift and the Versa, currently running on the G13 series, in the near future. The installation of new engines could also see prices of these select models going up. "We are working on different combinations. We will continue to have both F and KB series engines on different vehicles meeting the emission regulatory requirements. The KB series engines are highly fuel efficient and carry a higher cost then the current series of engines," MSI executive officer (R&D) IV Rao said. The company will not change its popular multijet diesel engine in Swift and DZire and the M-series engine in SX4, as both are capable of meeting BS IV emission norms. The company has a staggered implementation plan to load the engines in different cars to meet the April 2010 emission norms deadline. Back to Top Hema Engineering in JV with Verlicchi Group 16 April 2009 TNN Hema Engineering Industries Private Limited have signed a 50:50 Joint Venture with Verlicchi Group, Italy to set up design and manufacturing facilities for two wheeler frames, exhaust systems and fuel tanks in India. Back to Top
  • 19. Daimler Trucks buys out Indian JV partner Hero 16 April 2009 REUTERS Daimler will pay 16 million euros ($21.2 million) for the remaining 40 per cent in its Indian heavy truck joint venture after dwindling finances forced local partner Hero Group to focus on its core business of motorcycles. Referring to the significance of India as "a key to a completely new generation of products", Daimler Trucks said on Wednesday it would invest more than 700 million euros over four years to enter and eventually use the subcontinent as a bridgehead to other emerging markets. The two partners had originally planned to divide the investment in proportion to the size of their stakes. "I really regret the Hero Group's decision, but Daimler Trucks will nonetheless enter the truck volume market in India," said Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler in a statement on Wednesday. "Nothing has changed regarding our plans to manufacture trucks in Chennai. I'm counting on continued good relations with the Hero Group, whose expertise regarding the Indian market is very important for us." Daimler, the world's largest commercial vehicle maker, had hoped its JV with Hero would allow it to compete better against rivals like Volvo, which has a deal with India's Eicher Motors, as well as Tata Motors Ltd, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra. Daimler agreed in December 2007 to locally produce light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles with the Hero Group, which controls 26 per cent of India's leading motorcycle maker Hero Honda. The German group had forecast market potential of 500,000 units by 2018, translating to annual growth rates of 7 per cent on average versus 2006 -- almost twice as much as the global truck market. Demand for heavy duty vehicles weighing over 16 tonnes would rise by an even faster 10 per cent per year. Daimler plans to use to low cost base to export a type of premium commercial vehicles tailored for emerging markets. Back to Top
  • 20. Tata, Maruti looking for engineers at Auto Congress 17 April 2009 PTI India's top two car manufacturers are scouting for auto engineers at the World Congress of the Society of Auto Engineers (SAE) in Detroit next week. The SAE in a media release on Thursday listed out Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki as among the ten companies which would be talking with prospective candidates at the SAE 2009 World Congress Career Fare in Detroit on April 20-21. The Congress attracts hundreds of auto engineers from the US. At a time of economic recession when a large number of them have lost their jobs, the SAE career fair is expected to help them in their reemployment. Reflecting a sense of the crisis the US auto industry is in right now, the mainstream auto makers are missing from this job fair. Besides Tata and Maruti, the other eight companies participating in it are Aerotek Automotive, BAE Systems, Delta Staffing, GTA - Professional Staffing, Mercedes- Benz Technology, NAVAIR Special Recruitment Branch, Northwood University, Pratt & Whitney and Transonic Combustion. Back to Top Radial tyre brands ride ban on Chinese imports 5 April 2009 Mydigitalfc.com The restriction on imports of radial tyres from China by the government has come as blessing for the Indian tyre industry. Leading tyre manufacturers, such as Ceat Tyres and JK Tyres, among others, have ramped up production during the fourth quarter ended March 31, and are expecting more than 15 per cent growth in sales volume in the truck tyre segment. Radial tyres imported from China are nearly 30 per cheaper than those manufactured in India —had captured over 10 per cent market share. After the ban on import of Chinese bus and truck radial tyres since November 2008, domestic sales have improved. The present market price of a light truck radial tyre is over Rs 20,000 in India. ―We are expecting over 15 per cent growth in sales volume on quarter-on-quarter basis for truck tyres. Positive sales of passenger cars in past three months have also helped us,‖ said Arnab Banerjee, vice president — marketing and sales, Ceat Tyres. JK Tyres‘ director-marketing of AS Mehta said, ―Benefit of ban on import of Chinese radial tyres started reflecting in our sales from March. But actual figures can only be predicted by the month-end. We expect this to continue till the second quarter of
  • 21. 2009-10.‖ Mehta, however, was concerned about many traders still importing radial tyres under bias and cross ply tyres. ―We (at the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers‘ Association) had taken up the issue with the Centre, after which it had issued licenses to serious importers of tyres from China,‖ he said. The government issued licenses to Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Eicher to import radial tyres by paying anti-dumping duty. However, analysts expect only a marginal change due to the ban on the bottom line of tyre companies in fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009. Unless the demand for commercial vehicles pick up in India, there will be hardly any change in the results of these companies, they say. Demands for commercial vehicles (CVs) have fallen by 20-25 per cent in the past year, an analyst, who did not wish to be named, said. Karvy Stock Broking vice-president Ambareesh Baliga expects demand for CVs to pick up from the second quarter of financial year 2009-10, which would boost the demand for radial tyres. But as the prices raw materials such as rubber and crude oil have started moving northwards, companies are wary about being able to sustain the momentum in next quarter. Rubber prices have gone up from Rs 50-70 to Rs 85 a kg, while crude prices have moved up to $51.83 per barrel from $41 in January. Back to Top Firm natural rubber may spur imports 8 April 2009 Business Standard With natural rubber prices witnessing a sharp spiral, the tyre industry is planning to import the commodity in a major way. Natural rubber prices have jumped 33 per cent in just five weeks. The gap between the global and domestic prices has widened as the current Indian price for the benchmark RSS-4 grade is higher by Rs 13-14 per kg than the global one. So, import is an attractive option for tyre majors to expand inventory in the light of an improvement in car and two-wheeler tyre sales. According to the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), natural rubber prices are currently ruling around Rs 94 per kg from Rs 69 on March 1. Globally, rubber prices are showing a stable trend, while Indian prices are appreciating by almost Rs 2-3 on a daily basis and may hit the Rs 100 level soon. For instance, in Thailand, the largest producer of natural rubber in the world, prices moved up by only four per cent during March, from Rs 74 on March 1 to Rs 77 on March 31. In India, however, the rise was a whopping 23 per cent during the same period, from Rs 69 on March 1 to Rs 85 on March 31. Even the market experts are not in a position to put up a convincing reason for the current trend. The RSS-4 grade today quoted at Rs 94 in Kottayam, while the current global prices are ruling around
  • 22. Rs 80-81. According to some experts, the absence of farmers in a daily appreciating market is the main reason for the present rally. Earlier, the growers waited for the prices to rise to Rs 80 from Rs 65 in last December. But when the prices breached the Rs 85 level, they waited for a price tag of Rs 90. A majority of growers are now holding their stocks, awaiting the prices to cross Rs 100. ―Certain speculators in the futures segment are causing a huge distortion in the market and even the availability of natural rubber has become an issue. What is most unfortunate is that the rally in rubber prices is devoid of any fundamental shift in actual demand or supply situation,‖ said Rajiv Budhraja, Director General of ATMA. The rise in circuit limit in natural rubber trading on commodity exchanges has also played a role. The circuit limit has been successively raised over the last few months and, currently, it stands at four per cent from two per cent earlier. ATMA has urged an immediate roll back of the circuit limit to two per cent. Dealers said that the flow of the commodity to the terminal markets was too low, affecting bulk supplies to end users. According to the Rubber Board estimates, as on February 28, the total stock in the market was 224,600 tonnes as against 198,000 tonnes in the same period in 2008. But even in this case of such a huge stock, it was very hard to mobilise 10,000 tonnes of rubber, they said. So, the availability of the commodity is a serious concern. Another set of dealers have the opinion that a sudden spurt in demand by the tyre manufacturers has contributed much in the rally. Increasing sale of passenger cars has enthused the tyre manufacturing sector and major tyre companies are now trying earnestly to expand the inventory. Till February, the total import was 73,53,0 tonne as against 82,11,6 tonne in the same period of 2007-08. In February 09, the import was 2,100 tonne and it is likely that there would be a sharp increase in imports in March and April. Meanwhile, extreme summer heat has affected the yield of rubber trees. The production is expected to pick up by mid-May at the beginning of monsoon. Back to Top Speculation’ stretches rubber to Rs 100/kg 13 April 2009 Business Line As prices for RSS-4 (ribbed smoked sheet grade 4) rubber hit Rs 100 a kg during the weekend, there was a unanimous opinion about the current run in the commodity. That is, prices of natural rubber have been driven up 48 per cent in two months and 36 per cent in a month by sheer speculation. Revival of futures in the commodity is also pointed out as another reason for the current run. ‗No reason for price rise‘
  • 23. ―There is no fundamental reason for rubber to hit Rs 100 a kg now. Compared with last year, we have an exceptionally good production. On the other hand, consumption is almost stagnant by tyre and non-tyre sectors. With ending stocks last fiscal nearly double that the previous year, rubber is not worth the price the market quotes now,‖ said Mr Rajiv Buddhiraja, Director-General of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers‘ Association (ATMA). He represents the body that is seen as a voice for eight large tyre companies that produce 90 per cent of the country‘s output. According to the Rubber Board, ending stocks on March 31 were 2.05 lakh tonnes against 1.08 lakh tonnes a year ago. Rubber production during 2008-09 is estimated at 8.65 lakh tonnes, up five per cent over a year ago. Consumption was up at 8.65 lakh tonnes from 8.61 lakh tonnes a year ago. Exports slipped 15 per cent to 45,430 tonnes but imports increased to 78,030 tonnes (68,826 tonnes). ―It is speculation by 10-15 dealers, who trade in rubber and also take part in futures trading, that is driving up the prices. We don‘t think this price is sustainable,‖ said Mr N. Radhakrishnan, President of the Cochin Rubber Merchant Association. Rubber makes up 41 per cent of the tyre companies‘ input costs. The manufacturers consume 57 per cent of the rubber produced in the country. A Re 1 a kg rise in rubber prices translates into an additional cost of Rs 450 crore for the tyre sector in the country. ―This situation is not healthy for tyre companies as the economy is yet to revive. Also, global prices are Rs 13 a kg lower than domestic prices. This means, we have no option but to resort to imports,‖ Mr Buddhiraja said. Mr Radhakrishnan agreed that the tyre companies had little option under these circumstances but to resort to ―huge imports‖. Tapping low ―But we have to see other reasons too for the rise in prices. Tapping was low during February and March due to extremely hot conditions. Since there were no new rubbers coming, the growers have held back old stocks, leading to tight supply,‖ Mr Radhakrishnan said. ―These speculators too added fuel, telling growers that prices will touch Rs 125 a kg. Therefore, the growers have found another reason to hold back stocks,‖ he said. While rumours are afloat on sales default, Mr Radhakrishnan denied any default took place. ―Tyre companies usually give orders on Tuesday for a week‘s requirement and delivery has to be made in seven days. They are not having much by way of inventories,‖ Mr Radhakrishnan said. ―The tight supply has forced us to import around 20 per cent of our requirement during May-July,‖ Mr Buddhiraja. Arrivals to begin May Tyre companies are reported to have contracted to import about 25,000 tonnes. ―Arrivals are set to begin from the first week of May,‖ the ATMA official said. ―But prices cannot rule at these levels without any fundamentals. The growing areas are experiencing rains and tapping is scheduled to resume soon. In a week or 10 days,
  • 24. arrivals will improve and, naturally, prices will have to come down,‖ said Mr Radhakrishnan. ―In fact, at that time there could be even panic sales of rubber. Needlessly, speculators and players in the futures market have raised the hopes of the growers,‖ he said. Back to Top JK Tyre to Go Ahead With Rs.500 Crore Expansion Plans 14 April 2009 News.infibeam.com The fast growth of Indian economy and increasing disposable income among the consumers has stimulated exceptional growth in the passenger car industry. India is now Asia's fourth largest vehicle market which is doing much better than its global peers. Several auto giants like General Motors Corporation, Nissan Motor Company, Hyundai Motors, and Volkswagen et al are pumping in huge sums of money to expand their manufacturing facilities in India. JK Tyre & Industries plans to go ahead with its Rs 500-crore expansion program in the next 18 months, according to a top company official. It would be speeding its overall production capacity of nine million tyres in phases in India. It is widely believed that the company will fund the expansion through a combination of internal build-up and debt. A senior representative of JK Tyre Industries said that it sees immense potential in its Off-the-Road (OTR) tyre business, which has propelled the company to go ahead with its expansion program of scaling up the output of truck and bus radials, OTR and specialty tyres at a capital outlay of Rs 500-crore. JK Tyre & Industries is India's leading four-wheeler tyre manufacturer, and the 13th largest tyre manufacturer in the world. It has achieved innumerable feats including the top honours such as The Brand Equity Award, Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award, CII-Exim Bank Award, and several others. It is first Tyre Company in India to be chosen as a Super brand. The company has also acquired Tornel - a leading Mexican tyre manufacturing company. JK Tyre is equipped with 4,000 dealers and over 120 stocking point. The company has left a mark across every Indian road; treading into every nook and corner of the country. JK Tyre is a preferred OEM supplier and continues to be ranked among the top three companies by the JD Power Asia Pacific Tyre Customer Satisfaction Index (TCSI) study. Back to Top
  • 25. Tyre makers seek Govt help to check rubber prices 14 April 2009 Business Line Alarmed by the increase in speculative activity in natural rubber futures trading, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) has sought immediate intervention of the Government. 36% increase As far as rubber consuming interests are concerned, it is a matter of concern that despite no major change in fundamentals of demand and supply, domestic natural rubber price has increased from Rs 70 a kg on March 1 to Rs 95 on April 9, an increase of 36 per cent in just about a month‘s time. The unwarranted increase of natural rubber price has also led to tightness on the supply side. The current supply situation is also out of sync with the encouraging stock level of over two lakh tonnes of natural rubber, as reported by the Rubber Board. Mr Rajiv Budhiraja, Director General, ATMA, said in a release that international rubber availability is good and with global prices ruling at much lower levels (currently at Rs 82.5 a kg), the domestic tyre industry has stepped up its import volumes. ‘Side-stepped’ This is yet another spell wherein the interests of domestic rubber growers and consumers are being side-stepped by the intermediaries with a view to making short- term speculative gains,‖ he said, adding that large volume of rubber imports is bound to depress the domestic demand for rubber in the near future. According to the association, aberrations by way of domestic rubber price being higher by over Rs 12 a kg in comparison to the international price, disrupt smooth functioning of tyre companies, besides leading to large scale imports. Meet on April 20 To take stock of the situation as it has developed and to evolve appropriate course of action for the tyre industry, Heads of Purchase Departments of leading tyre companies and members of ATMA are meeting at Kottayam on April 20. The ATMA delegation would also meet the Rubber Board Chairman and apprise him of the concerns of the tyre industry and seek the Board‘s intervention to restore normalcy by isolating the speculative interests and ensuring adequate and timely availability of natural rubber for domestic consumers. ‘Reduce intra-day limits’ As an immediate step, ATMA has sought reduction in intra-duty limits for futures trading in natural rubber to be confined to two per cent in comparison to the existing enhanced limit to 4 per cent. It has further urged that at volatile times like this, futures
  • 26. trading in NR should be temporarily suspended to bring some balance and discipline in the market, which is imperative in the long-term interest of NR growing and consuming interests alike. Back to Top Soaring rubber price worry Tyre companies 16 April 2009 Commodityonline.com Natural rubber prices are soaring to Rs 100 a kg level again. And nobody knows why. That is the most surprising factor as far as rubber prices are concerned. If you talk to market analysts, the fundamentals are the same and the demand is also without much change. Still natural rubber prices climbed up to Rs 100 a kg this week from Rs 70 in March first week. This huge rise has caused concerns among the tyre manufacturers and they have decided to meet the Rubber Board chairman in this regard on April 20. Worried over the rising prices of natural rubber, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) has sought immediate intervention of the government to tackle the prices. The unwarranted increase of natural rubber price has also led to tightness on the supply side. The current supply situation is also out of sync with the encouraging stock level of over two lakh tonnes of natural rubber. According to a press note issued by ATMA, international rubber availability is good and with global prices ruling at much lower levels (currently at Rs 82.5 a kg), the domestic tyre industry has stepped up its import volumes. This is yet another spell wherein the interests of domestic rubber growers and consumers are being side-stepped by the intermediaries with a view to making short-term speculative gains, the ATMA said. The association said large volume of rubber imports is bound to depress the domestic demand for rubber in the near future. According to the association, aberrations by way of domestic rubber price being higher by over Rs 12 a kg in comparison to the international price, disrupt smooth functioning of tyre companies, besides leading to large scale imports. To take stock of the situation as it has developed and to evolve appropriate course of action for the tyre industry, heads of purchase departments of leading tyre companies and members of ATMA are meeting at Kottayam on April 20. The ATMA delegation would also meet Rubber Board chairman and apprise him of the concerns of the tyre industry. As an immediate step, ATMA has sought reduction in intra-duty limits for futures trading in natural rubber to be confined to two per cent in comparison to the existing enhanced limit to 4 per cent. Back to Top
  • 27. New Product Mahindra unveils Bolero Stinger at Autocar Performance Show news 14 April 2009 Domain-B Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) today unveiled the Bolero Stinger – a customised concept at the `Autocar Performance Show 2008' in Mumbai. Built on the Bolero platform, the Bolero Stinger combines its striking exterior with powerful performance. The vehicle is powered by a 97hp CRDe engine and is available in the 2WD BS3 variant. ''The Bolero Stinger epitomises Mahindra's ability to offer auto enthusiasts customised concepts of a high specification and detailing. It is a super stylish offroader which takes the rough and tough image of the Bolero to a new high. The Stinger is meant for the adventurous and fun loving driver who thrives on speed and the thrill of the open road," said Vivek Nayer, senior vice president - marketing, automotive sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. The Bolero Stinger boasts of a custom built guard with auxiliary lamps and rear roll cage in powder coated black, styled scoops & bezels on side and bonnet with built in mesh, styled body claddings, custom paint job for interiors & exteriors, modified body shell and re-panelling, cargo bay with cover, alloy wheels, custom built tail lamp bezel with LED lamps, SS. exhaust tail end in twin pipe, overhead amber indicator marker lamps, customised door trim pads with map pockets and bottle holders, upholstery in leather and suede combination and MP3 player with speakers, Mahindra also displayed the recently launched Scorpio Automatic which incorporates a fully automatic 6-speed gear box and the powerful 2.2 litre mHawk engine. ''Scorpio is the first Indian brand and the first SUV in its class to offer a 6-speed fully Automatic Transmission. This new edition of one of India's most loved SUVs has been designed to make driving an effortless experience and is equipped with in-built intelligent driving modes for an effortless drive and a wide array of smart features, giving the Scorpio an even greater competitive edge in its segment,'' M&M said in a release. The Scorpio Automatic has a fully electronically controlled automatic gearbox which results in shorter shift times and hence, improved drivability. This is a major technological improvement over earlier Automatics which were hydraulic controlled. M&M also created a special 4x4 track at the show to demonstrate the superior offloading capability of Mahindra's utility vehicles. This is the first time in India that an automobile manufacturer has created a 4x4 track to give visitors a firsthand
  • 28. experience of its vehicles in rough road conditions. Back to Top Mahindra-Renault looking at expanding beyond Logan 28 April 2009 IANS Renault and Indian auto major Mahindra and Mahindra, which jointly manufacture the sedan Logan in India, will expand their product portfolio to better utilise the capacity at their Nashik plant in Maharashtra. "We are currently assessing the viability of four to five Renault cars to be manufactured in the facility and will finalise the models with Mahindra," Ashish Sinharoy, Renault India's senior vice president of corporate affairs, told IANS. This comes as a U-turn for both car makers who had in the past ruled out expanding the product line-up in the joint venture in the short term. The scope of the current joint venture does not go beyond manufacturing Logan and integrating the distribution and sales networks. But two factors have worked towards the re-think: Logan's sales have plummeted, and the Nashik facility has been rendered under-utilised. Sinharoy said Logan, which did very well in the first year of its launch, has been a victim of the economic slowdown. Coupled with this, there was a lack of options in terms of other models available in the joint venture's stable; hence the decision to expand, he said. Mahindra-Renault managed to sell close to 26,000 units of Logan during the 11 months of 2007-08 since the car was launched, while the number nearly halved to only 13,423 last fiscal. "As a result, the plant has been under-utilised and the dealer network is also under-selling. So we are actively looking at optimising the utilisation and have decided to introduce new models in our line-up," Sinharoy said. "Although the numbers for the new vehicles won't be huge, it will definitely pep up the dealer network and induce demand." Back to Top Audi introduces new Audi A6 in India 23 April 2009 PTI German luxury car-maker Audi on Thursday launched its business sedan Audi A6 in the Indian market. "The Audi A6 is the most successful business sedan worldwide and one of our main contributors to our achievement in the Indian market. We believe the new Audi A6 will be one of the key players in the Indian luxury car market," Audi India Managing
  • 29. Director Benoit Tiers said in a statement. Audi A6, with four engine variants, would be available at Audi dealerships pan-India from May 4 onwards, the statement said. "India has been a significant growth driver for Audi and will be the car market of the future," Tiers said. Its price starts at Rs 38,57,000 (ex-showroom Mumbai) and offers a choice of four engines and six colours. Back to Top Honda to launch Jazz in June at Rs 5.5 lakh onwards 22 April 2009 The Economic Times After a decade long operations in India, the largest player in the mid-size cars, Honda Siel Cars (HSCI) is entering the high volume hatchback category with its small car Jazz, a top company executive said. The car will have a new 1.2 litre engine developed exclusively for the Indian market, carrying highest fuel efficiency in its segment. Jazz also called Fit in certain markets, is the only small car in Honda's global portfolio. To be launched in India in the month of June, Jazz is likely to be the most expensive petrol hatchback in the market with an expected base price of Rs 5.5 lakh. It will be pitted against Skoda's Fabia, Tata Motors' Indigo, Ford Fusion and Hyundai's Accent besides Ritz the upcoming product from Maruti's stable. Speaking to ET, HSCI managing director & CEO Masahiro Takedagawa said, "Jazz will have all the features found in a premium large car. Our survey shows that 80% hatchback customers feel that these cars lack legroom and headroom space which we have addressed in Jazz." He added, "We have designed a special engine for India to optimise fuel efficiency and power, which delayed the launch by one year. Jazz also comes strapped with a toughened suspension to meet stiff roads conditions in India." The car is based on Honda's City platform and will have a high 70% localisation. Jazz is likely to endorse Honda pioneered V-Tec technology for high fuel efficiency, which is already used in the Honda City engine. Jazz will also qualify for the concessional 8% excise duty under government's small car definition "We will try to pass the benefit of lower excise duty on Jazz but 30% of its components are imported and the weak rupee may lead to a higher price," Mr Takedagawa said. He however added that the company is not positioning Jazz as a volume generator and its best-selling sedan City will remain the largest car for Honda
  • 30. in India. Jazz will have customisation option for navigation system, in-car entertainment, sporty tyres and other gizmos at the dealer level. It will be launched with manual transmission and will be studded with an automatic transmission later. According to sources in the automobile market, Honda could also launch a diesel variant of Jazz in the next few years. The company is targeting smaller cities and towns for the new car and plans to add 10 more dealerships in the next one year to the current tally of 106 across the country news by end Back to Top Tata’s' 'world truck' to roll out by May-end 22 April 2009 The Economic Times TATA Motors is understood to be working full throttle on the global launch of its high- profile ‗world truck‘ by the end of May 2009. The country‘s largest CV maker is expected to gradually phase out its existing heavy and medium-range trucks, replacing them with the world truck, two officials close to the development said. ―As a policy, Tata Motors does not talk about its future product launches. An announcement will be made at an appropriate time,‖ said a Tata Motors spokesperson. ―The world truck will sport a more expensive price tag. Given the current slowdown in the commercial vehicle market, Tata Motors will continue producing the existing range till the market picks up,‖ said a person familiar with the development. Tata Motors is developing the world truck along with its subsidiary Daewoo Commercial Vehicles on a completely new platform. The trucks, powered with 185- 565 HP engines, will compete with the likes of Volvo, Nissan, Mercedes Benz and MAN. The world truck, having up to 300 horse power (HP), will be launched in India, while the higher HP models will be for the global markets,‖ said a senior company official. Price is a critical factor in the commercial vehicle segment and the company is keen to keep the prices of its new range as competitive as possible. The world truck will be priced at a premium of 5-10% compared to its existing range, as it will have far more features such as AC cabins. Although sales of commercial vehicles have started looking up this month, the company has put price hikes on hold for the moment. Every year, commercial vehicle majors increase prices in the range of 3-5% in April. During April to March 2009, CV sales have taken a 22% knock at 3.84 lakh units. Sales of Tata Motors for the last financial year fell by 22% to 2.33 lakh units. Back to Top
  • 31. The Ritz' heart rolls out! 16 April 2009 TNN The Maruti-Suzuki Ritz may still be a short while away from being launched, but its power plant is live and kicking already. On April 14 2009, the Indian car maker revealed the brand new K12M engine to the world. Manufactured within Maruti's Gurgaon facility in a special new engine plant, the K12M is the second of a family of modern engines. Its smaller sibling, the K10B was the first - and now does duty in the ultra-compact A-Star small car. The K12M is essentially a 1197cc petrol engine that is capable of putting out 85 PS of power at 6000rpm in its current state of tune. Torque figures stand at 113Nm @ 4500rpm - which should make the Ritz a sprightly performer when it hits showrooms soon. The K12M's technological superiority is showcased in its all-aluminium construction and the extensive use of plastic parts as was with the K10B as well. Maruti's engineers worked closely with the Suzuki boffins in India and in Japan to make the K12M as advanced as possible. The main aim for the team was to reduce losses and an innovative rocker-less DOHC camshaft, plastic intake manifold and offset crankshaft with low tension rings help do just that. All that weight saving also makes the K12M extremely fuel efficient too - and not at the price of performance! A high pressure fuel system and advanced injectors for better atomisation and combustion help this 1.2 litre unit pump out decent power and torque figures. Durability is also on the high side with the K12M as it employs a silent timing chain and clever tappet design along with an increased spark plug life. The K12M is also BS-IV compliant - which will make the Ritz the first ever passenger car in India to adhere to the new pollution norm when it rolls out. With the K12M, Maruti has taken yet another step forward to providing India with cutting edge technology in their cars. And if the smaller K10B powered A-Star is anything to go by, expect the K12M powered Ritz to be a huge pleasure as well! Back to Top Industry Competition Toyota small car may sport Rs 5-7 lakh tag 29 April 2009 The Economic Times Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant, has revealed the pricing segment for the compact car it plans to launch next year. In an exclusive chat with ET, the company, which is the Indian venture of Toyota Motor, the world‘s biggest car manufacturer by volumes, also plans to jack up its production to 5,000 units a month by July, and double sales and servicing manpower
  • 32. by 2010. ―The compact car will be priced in the B+ category,‖ said Sandeep Singh, deputy MD, revealing details of the much-awaited car for the first time. This category has cars, such as Maruti Swift, the Skoda Fabia and the Chevy UVA. The pricing of these cars is between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh. This means that the compact car will be priced between a Santro top-end variant and a Honda City entry variant. The model will be launched in both sedan and hatchback versions. Around 70,000 units of the so-called compact vehicle will be produced at its Rs 3,200-crore factory at Bidadi in Bangalore. The compact car will have a localisation of 65% to start with, and will gradually be taken to 90% by 2011, said Shekar Viswanathan, deputy MD (Commercial). That would make it one of the few foreign models with the highest percentage of local components. The Innova, which sold 3,900 units in March, and the Corolla have a localisation of 65% and 45%, respectively. ―We are looking to have 75% local components for the Innova and around 50% for the Corolla by next year,‖ said Mr Viswanathan. Higher localisation for the small car has made the company actively consider a new powertrain facility by the end of 2010. Still in the planning stages, the facility will be dedicated to producing engines and gearboxes for the compact car. The company is looking at expanding dealer network from the current 82 to 150 by 2010-end, said Mr Singh. ―With the compact car, we want to be in semi-rural and rural towns,‖ he said. By the end of this year, the number of dealerships will be around 95. With the rise in dealerships will come new hires, which will double the sales and servicing teams from the existing 2,800 people. The company, which had cut production in the first quarter, saw a 20% shortfall in supply for its models in March. This has led to a revision in sales targets, and now the company will be making 5,000 units from July, a rise of 35% from its current level. This figure includes both, the Innova, and the Corolla. ―We aim to sell 50,000 units of these cars this year,‖ said Mr Singh. The company is banking on the post-monsoon festive season for a turnaround in the automotive market. But, imports and the depreciation in the rupee are casting a shadow in its efforts to cut costs. The Japanese currency has appreciated 33% against the rupee since October last year, making imports from that country much more expensive in India, and thus increasing costs of production here. Toyota Kirloskar also imports parts from Thailand, paid for in the US currency, which has appreciated 21.6% since August. The company imports 30% of parts by value for
  • 33. its Innova utility vehicle and 55% for the Corolla Altis car. Back to Top Leyland may review LCV JV with Nissan 28 April 2009 The Economic Times With the commercial vehicle segment showing very little signs of a revival, Ashok Leyland, India‘s second largest truck maker, is ―reviewing‖ its collaboration with Nissan Motor of Japan to manufacture light commercial vehicles. Hinduja group sources told ET NOW that the review process is currently on and the two partners will work out the revised investment and capacity programme over the next few weeks. Industry insiders feel that the project, which was scheduled to go on stream over the next two years, could get delayed as a result. Last year, Ashok Leyland struck a deal with Nissan to form three joint venture companies to manufacture light commercial vehicles, power trains and for technology development for a total investment of Rs 2,400 crore. The project was supposed to have a debt-equity ratio of 1:1 with each partner bringing in about Rs 600 crore each. Under the revised plan, which is currently at the works, the capital investments are likely to be downsized sharply. While 51% of the vehicle manufacturing joint venture will be owned by Ashok Leyland, Nissan is set to have a 51% shareholding in the power train joint venture. Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies, which will be involved in technology development, will be equally owned by Ashok Leyland and Nissan. However, R Seshasayee, managing director of Ashok Leyland, told ET NOW that the joint venture plans are very much on track. ―There is no truth in the rumours that we are shelving our joint venture with Nissan,‖ he said. The buzz that Ashok Leyland is in two minds about going ahead with its joint venture with Nissan has been gaining ground since the Hero group announced earlier this month that it was exiting its truck joint venture with Daimler. The Hero-Daimler break- up was clearly due to the sharp slowdown in commercial vehicle segment, and industry insiders fear that the current demand situation could force other alliances to review their truck plans in India. The domestic commercial vehicle industry has been struggling in recent months with volumes down by almost 23% in the last fiscal ended March 2009. Analysts expect the industry to report a modest growth of 6-7% in the current financial year. There are also reports that Bajaj Auto and Renault are also reviewing their collaboration for developing the ultra-low cost car for India, although Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, maintains that the car joint venture is very much on
  • 34. track. Mahindra & Mahindra, which has joined hands with US-based Navistar, to tap the commercial vehicle segment in India, has also made it clear that their plans for the domestic track are intact. ―We are rolling out brand new platforms for the domestic market and there are no plans to delay the rollout,‖ Pawan Goenka, president (automotive sector), M&M, recently told ET NOW Back to Top MRF bags HAL order for helicopter tyres 13 April 2009 Mydigitalfc.com In a major boost to its technical capabilities, MRF is set to be the first Indian tyre company to produce helicopter tyres for the Indian defence sector. The company has secured orders from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), military aircraft manufacturer, to make tyres for Chetak range of military helicopters. Satisfied with MRF‘s products, the defence authorities have also asked the company to develop tyres for all fighter aircraft and other helicopters. ―We have got the first order from HAL and are executing the same. The order is for about 400-500 tyres for Chetak military aircraft,‖ a top company official said. However, other details such as order size and delivery schedule couldn‘t be obtained. ―It‘s a prestigious order. More than the size, the order validates our product performance and technology,‖ added the official.MRF will be selling its helicopter tyres, developed over a period of three years, under the brand name Aero Muscle. The Rs 5,000 crore plus MRF, which is already a supplier of tyres to the defence sector, will initially execute the order out of its Arakonam plant, near Chennai. It has invested a few crores in Arakonam to equip the facility to produce helicopter tyres. Later, it will shift production to its Medak unit (Andhra Pradesh), where the company proposes to invest more than Rs 120 crore in creating a separate assembly line for aviation tyres. Helicopter tyres for the defence sector are at present imported. There are over 30 different types of aviation tyres required by the defence forces, including navy, coast guard and others. MRF obtained all approvals from certifying authorities to manufacture and supply its indigenously developed tyres for Chetak helicopters last year. The defence sector contributes about 2-3 per cent to the company‘s top line. According to a document of Defence Research and Development Organisation, MRF tyres have been initially cleared for an operational life of 10 years with five years as storage life. Based on this clearance, HAL (helicopter division) placed an order on MRF for supply, which will result in foreign exchange savings. Based on the confidence gained in development, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification
  • 35. (CEMILAC), one of the certifying authorities, has initiated development of tyres by MRF for all fighter aircraft and other helicopters. Back to Top Apollo Tyres to invest Rs 700cr in FY10; net slips 50% in FY09 29 April 2009 The Economic Times, Undeterred by an over 50 per cent fall in its net profit in the last fiscal, tyre maker Apollo Tyres today said it will invest Rs 700 crore in 2009-10 mainly for completion of its Chennai Greenfield facility. The company's net profit for 2008-09 almost halved at Rs 108 crore compared to Rs 219 crore in the previous fiscal on account of high input cost and sluggish demand in the domestic auto market. Net sales rose by 10.18 per cent in FY'09 at Rs 4,070 crore compared to Rs 3,694 crore in the previous fiscal. For the quarter ended March 31, 2009, Apollo Tyres posted a 22.04 per cent dip in its net profit at Rs 46.20 crore against Rs 59.26 crore in the year-ago period. Net sales went up 10.89 per cent at Rs 1,110 crore against Rs 1,001 crore in the same period previous fiscal. "We have earmarked a capital expenditure of Rs 700 crore for 2009-10, of which 90 per cent will go for completion of the construction work of our upcoming Chennai facility, while the rest will be utilised for ongoing maintenance," Apollo Tyres Chief Financial Officer Sunam Sarkar told reporters. The company is setting up a Greenfield tyre producing facility in Chennai with an initial capacity of 150 tonnes per day, expandable up to 450 tonnes per day. It had announced to invest Rs 550 crore in the facility while starting the construction work in September, 2008. Back to Top Apollo Tyres offers to buy Dutch tyre maker 29 April 2009 Business Standard Delhi-based Apollo Tyres, the country's second-largest tyre producer, has offered to acquire 100 per cent stake in Vredestein Banden B.V, a Netherland-headquartered premium tyre making for an undisclosed sum. "The trustee in bankruptcy at the Almelo Court in the Netherlands has approved Apollo Tyres offer to acquire 100 per cent stake of Vredestein Banden B.V (VBBV)." The parties concerned will be in a position to disclose any further information, including price, only after certain conditions have been met and certain approvals including regulatory and statutory approvals are granted, wherever required, the release further stated.
  • 36. VBBV is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Russia's largest tyre manufacturer Amtel- Vredestein N.V (AVNV).Earlier in the day, the board of Apollo Tyres gave their approval to the management to proceed with requisite approvals and compliance on the acquisition of VBBV. Back to Top International Updates Navistar First Truck and Bus Maker to Receive Hybrid Certification from California Air Resources Board 27 April 2009 Eastern Daylight Time Navistar (NYSE: NAV) continues to blaze new trails through the hybrid landscape, becoming the first truck and bus manufacturer to receive total hybrid vehicle certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for improving fuel economy and overall emissions. The innovative integration of an optimized engine and hybrid system makes total vehicle certification of the International Dura Star Hybrid box van and utility truck, and the IC Bus CE Series hybrid bus a reality. On Friday, April 24, 2009 the CARB voted to implement a $25 million voucher incentive program as part of California Assembly Bill (AB) 118 to accelerate the deployment of about 1,000 medium- and heavy-duty diesel hybrid trucks and buses in California. Purchasers of commercial hybrid vehicles under this program will receive incentives ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 per vehicle depending on weight class. In addition, purchasers of CARB-certified International Dura Star Hybrid models and IC Bus hybrid buses will receive vouchers worth another $5,000 per vehicle under the incentive. ―This is a win-win for everyone in California,‖ said Jack Allen, Navistar president, North American truck group. ―By working together we created the opportunity to put more clean diesel hybrid trucks and buses on California‘s roads, and we‘re proud that Navistar‘s hybrid leadership directly puts money back in our customers‘ pockets.‖ In addition to commercial hybrid trucks, Navistar is an industry leader in hybrid school buses. In August 2007, Navistar‘s IC Bus subsidiary delivered the first hybrid diesel school bus to the Napa Valley Unified School District in California. While most diesel- only powered school buses achieve an average of six to seven miles per gallon, the fuel efficiency of the IC Bus plug-in hybrid electric school bus nearly doubled the average to 13 miles per gallon. AB 118, authored and championed by former California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, aims to reduce greenhouse gases from California‘s transportation
  • 37. sector, and was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger on Oct. 14, 2007. Environmental Innovations For decades, Navistar has demonstrated a commitment to clean technologies that benefit the environment and its customers. In 1989, Navistar was the first original equipment manufacturer to release the smokeless diesel engine and, in 2001, Navistar was the first engine manufacturer to gain certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for meeting particulate and hydrocarbon emissions standards – six years ahead of schedule. Navistar was also the first to enter line production of commercial diesel hybrid trucks and school buses. Most Fuel Efficient Heavy Trucks In addition to hybrid-electric trucks and buses, the conventional line-up of International brand commercial trucks is among the most aerodynamic, fuel efficient in the industry. Navistar recently became the first OEM to receive dual certification through the U.S. EPA SmartWay Program for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Navistar produces two industry-leading Class 8 trucks with SmartWay certification — International LoneStar and International ProStar — a distinction they received for their superior aerodynamics and fuel economy. While the aerodynamic ProStar Class 8 tractor is the market leader in fuel-efficiency, in June 2008, the groundbreaking LoneStar became the first classic-styled Class 8 tractor to receive the SmartWay certification. Award-winning Environmental Leadership For its ongoing leadership, Navistar was honored with the 2007 Blue Sky Award from West Start-CALSTART for its contributions to the commercial development of diesel- hybrid technology. This preeminent award is presented each year by West Start- CALSTART, the nation's leading advanced transportation technology industry organization working to support and accelerate the growth of companies developing clean and energy-efficient transportation technologies. Back to Top Volkswagen Golf bags World Car of the Year 16 April 2009 TNN During a ceremony at this year's New York Auto Show, an independent jury of 59 handed the prestigious World Car of the Year award to Volkswagen's new MK VI Golf. The award comes with its own claim-to-fame. Unlike other 'Car of the Year' awards which are usually nation or continent specific, or at least affiliated to some sort of automotive media, the World Car of the Year award is often considered to be the
  • 38. most indisputable as its jury is entirely independent, composed of automobile journalists from 22 different countries around the world. And to back its authenticity, the rules which qualify any car for this award state that it must be on sale on at least 2 continents around the world. Of the four categories of this award, the latest iteration of the Volkswagen Golf was selected as the overall World Car of the Year 2009, besting out competition that came from the likes of the new Ford Fiesta and the much talked about Toyota IQ. The VW Golf was first introduced back in 1975 as a compact family car. It has had an illustrious life spanning 35 years so far, and has gone on to become the third largest selling car in the world. In its sixth generation now, the new Golf has made waves across the world by being the safest, most technically advanced and dynamic Golf yet. Though Volkswagen hasn't made any official announcements, the Golf is very likely to be India bound in the foreseeable future. Back to Top Bridgestone to increase radial passenger tire production capacity in China 13 April 2009 www.automotive-business-review.com Bridgestone has announced that it will increase radial passenger tire production capacity at Bridgestone Wuxi Tire in China, in response to the expected medium-to- long term increase in demand for radial passenger tires in the Chinese market. Bridgestone has applied to the Chinese authority for investment to increase production, and has decided to strengthen its production capacity after receiving the approval of the Chinese authority. The company intends to start increased production at the Wuxi plant in the second half of 2011. Bridgestone has said that it is planning a total investment of $98 million, which will enable it to increase daily production by 4,200 units, giving the plant an estimated daily output of 12,000 units once production capacity has been increased. Back to Top Bridgestone to pay fine over int'l price cartel 16 April 2009 www.tradingmarkets.com Japan's top tire maker Bridgestone Corp. said Thursday it will pay a fine of 58.5 million euro‘s as ordered by the European Commission in January for forming a price cartel to sell marine hoses used to transport oil. Bridgestone said it has decided to comply with the European Commission's order without taking legal action with a European Union court against the order. The company said it appropriated about 7.5 billion yen to pay the fine in its earnings
  • 39. report for the 2008 business year which ended in December. The European Commission in late January ordered Bridgestone and four U.S. and European companies to pay a total of 131 million euro‘s in fines for forming the price cartel. The five companies, which also include Parker ITR S.R.L. SpA based in Italy and the United States and Sweden's Trelleborg AB, fixed prices of marine hoses and exchanged sensitive information, including the names of customers, between 1986 and 2007, according to the executive arm of the European Union. Back to Top Home | Security | Legal | Privacy 12, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Opp. Shiv Sagar Estate, Worli, Mumbai 400 018 India. Deloitte refers to one or more Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its member firms. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in 140 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and deep local expertise to help clients succeed wherever they operate. Deloitte‘s 165,000 professionals are committed to becoming the standard of excellence. Deloitte‘s professionals are unified by a collaborative culture that fosters integrity, outstanding value to markets and clients, commitment to each other, and strength from cultural diversity. They enjoy an environment of continuous learning, challenging experiences, and enriching career opportunities. Deloitte‘s professionals are dedicated to strengthening corporate responsibility, building public trust, and making a positive impact in their communities. These materials and the information contained herein are provided by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited (DTTIPL) and are intended to provide general information on a particular subject or subjects and are not an exhaustive treatment of such subject(s). Accordingly, the information in these materials is not intended to constitute accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting, or other professional advice or services. The information is not intended to be relied upon as the sole basis for any decision which may affect you or your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that might affect your personal finances or business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. None of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, its member firms, or its and their respective affiliates shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on these materials and the information contained therein. These materials and the information contained therein are provided as is, and DTTIPL makes no express or implied representations or warranties regarding these materials or the information contained therein. Without limiting the foregoing, DTTIPL does not warrant that the materials or information contained therein will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. DTTIPL expressly disclaims all implied warranties, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability, title, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security, and accuracy. Your use of these materials and information contained therein is at your own risk, and you assume full responsibility and risk of loss resulting from the use thereof. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, its member firms, or its and their respective affiliates will not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages or any other damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, statute, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), or
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