Renault has finally decided to introduce its all new electric car concept in India - the K-ZE. Even though the company has not confirmed it yet, the images of the concept car confirm that it is based on the Kwid small car which is available for sale in emerging markets such as India and Brazil. As per the Chairman and CEO of Groupe Renault, Carlos Ghosn, the company is the European leader in the electric vehicle segment. The company is planning to introduce the affordable, urban, SUV-inspired electric Renault K-ZE, by combining the best of Groupe Renault - expertise in affordable vehicles, ability to form strong partnerships, and leadership in the electric vehicle sector. While the new Renault Kwid has recently made its global debut, the first country to receive the Kwid electric will be China wherein the test mules of the car have already been spotted being tested. After that, the company might launch the car globally including the Indian market. Several countries who are also global leaders in terms of car sales, are pushing for an electric car future. Since Renault is one of the first car manufacturers to launch an electric car on a mass scale, it is looking to cater to these markets as well.
The Renault Kwid electric car is expected to be developed by a joint venture between Nissan and Dongfeng - a Chinese state-owned vehicle manufacturer - namely e-GT New Energy Automotive Co. The first production version of the electric version of the Renault Kwid will go on sale sometime later next year.
30 October 2018
Hyundai India has released its official sales numbers for the month of September 2018, during which time it has witnessed a cumulative growth of a marginal 1%. The cumulative sales figure of the company, including exports, was at 62,757 units for the month of September 2018. In comparison, the total number of cars sold by the South Korean car manufacturer in September 2017 was 62,285 units. According to Hyundai, the best-selling cars of the company, the Grand i10, i20, and Creta, outperformed the achieved record sale by selling more than 11,000 units each during the month of September 2018. However, similar to several other car manufacturers, the company faced a tough time in the domestic market. The domestic sales of the company stood at 47,781 units as opposed to the 50,028 units that were sold in September 2017, marking a decline of 4.5%. Hyundai managed to achieve an impressive growth of 22.2% in exports with 14,976 units as opposed to the 12,257 cars that were exported during the same month last year. According to the National Sales Head at Hyundai Motor India Ltd., Vikas Jain, the company registered a cumulative volume of 62,757 units during the month of September 2018 with strong demand in export markets with a growth of 22.2% compared to the year-ago period. While the Hyundai Grand i10, Elite i20 and Creta outperformed in their respective segments, they marked a record sale of over 11,000 units each in the month of September 2018. This has not only raised the industry benchmark in terms of quality, performance, and new-age technology, but also led the company to exceed the expectations of its customers. He further added that even though the company is facing some market challenges, it expects that this festival season will induce positive sentiments among customers causing the industry to grow positively.
29 October 2018
Datsun has begun taking pre-bookings for the new models of the Go and Go+. the booking amount has been set at Rs.11,000.
Nissan Motors, Datsun’s parent company, is confident that the new models will be well received by its Indian consumers. The Go and Go+ claim to offer customers the complete package with regard to performance, power, and exterior design.
The Japanese carmakers have confirmed that the deliveries for the Go and Go+ will be made from Datsun’s authorised dealerships from October 10th onwards.
26 October 2018
The new Hyundai Grand i10 is likely to be launched in India in October 2019. The car is expected to be launched globally sometime next year. The Grand i10 is very popular among Hyundai’s Indian consumers and has significantly higher sales when compared to the units sold abroad.
The new model has several similarities to the Hyundai Elantra facelift in terms of its exterior design. Some of these features expected are a hexagonal front grille and wider tail lamps and headlamps. The Next-Gen model is expected to replace the manual transmission gearbox with an automatic one.
The Grand i10 is expected to compete with Maruti Suzuki Swift and is likely to be priced in the Rs.5-7 lakh range.
25 October 2018
The much-awaited affordably priced electric car built by Renault is expected to get launched in China first, which will be followed by India. Top associates of the French carmaking brand recently stated that the vehicle will hit China’s roads sometime this year, however, India will have to await its launch.
The reason why the Kwid EV cannot hit India’s roads at the moment is because of the country’s undetermined electric vehicle policies. Kwid EV has, however, been designed in the Indian subcontinent and will supposedly have a range of about 200 kms.
In order to stay in accordance with the crash regulations of China, multiple modifications have been made in the chassis and body frame of the EV.
24 October 2018
Hyundai Motor Company - a multinational car manufacturing company based in South Korea - is planning to introduce the latest model of the iconic Santro in India on 23 October 2018. This car is likely to be positioned between the Eon and the Grand i10 in the entire range of products offered by the company. The new Santro will be available in 5 variants - Magna, Sportz, Era, Asta, and Dlite. Powered by a 1.1-litre petrol engine coupled with a 5-speed MT, the 2018 Hyundai Santro will be capable of generating a maximum power of 69 PS along with a peak torque of 99 Nm. This upgraded model will also feature the option for a 5-speed AMT and a factory-fitted CNG kit which will only be available with the Magna and Sportz versions. Other features of the car will include several segment-first features such as rear AC vents, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a reverse parking camera with sensors. However, these features might be available only in the top-spec Asta variant. In terms of safety, the new Hyundai Santro will sport driver airbag, ABS, and EBD as a standard for all the variants. On the other hand, the top-spec variant is speculated to receive dual front airbags. Apart from this, this updated car will be available with a standard warranty of 3 years per 1 lakh km along with 3 years of RSA (roadside assistance) as standard. The price of the 2018 Santro is expected to start from Rs.3.75 lakh. This car will compete against the likes of the Maruti Celerio, Maruti WagonR, Tata Tiago, and Datsun GO.
23 October 2018
The Ford Aspire facelift was launched in India on 4 Oct 2018 with a rather exciting launch event. The update will feature not only cosmetic, but also component upgrades to the sub-compact sedan which will also sport a new engine.
On the exterior, the sedan will now sport a new grille, redesigned bumper and fog lamps up front. On the sides, the alloy wheels of the car seem to have gotten an upgrade as well. The rear of the vehicle has also undergone some changes as well, such as, the redesigned bumper and boot-lid. In terms of exterior changes, there’s not much to talk about, as there is in terms of the tweaks to the interiors of the sedan.
Inside the cabin, the Aspire facelift continues to feature black and beige themed interiors. However, the dashboard has been redesigned and now houses a larger touchscreen infotainment unit which supports SYNC3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Under the hood, the compact sedan is likely to feature the 1.2-litre Dragon series petrol motor delivering 95 bhp. The diesel variant of the Aspire will continue to feature the 1.5-litre diesel delivering 99 bhp. The Aspire facelift will be up against several competitors in the segment such as the Volkswagen Ameo, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze, and the Hyundai Xcent, to name a few.
Prices of the new 2018 Ford Aspire facelift are expected to start from Rs.5.55 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the base petrol variant. The Aspire facelift automatic petrol variant is likely to retail for Rs.8.49 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the top-most diesel variant i.e. Titanium+ diesel will retail for Rs.8.14 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Also, in terms of cost of ownership and maintenance, the annual maintenance bill of this newly launched compact sedan is expected to be in the range of Rs.3500 and the vehicle is also expected to come with a 5-year warranty, which is a first in its segment.
22 October 2018
The launch of a newly established in-depth research mechanism known as Motor Insurance market has recently been announced by Market Research Store that essentially delivers a systematic and detailed analysis of the future prospects of the Motor Insurance Market.
The data used in the research study is extremely important and crucial to analyse the market condition of the Motor Insurance sector. This research tool, therefore, makes it all the more efficient for analysts and data researchers to study the existing market scenario in the sector of motor insurance. Attached with the research are significant graphs, and substantial information that help people grasp the trends of the market in a better manner. One can also understand the challenges that are existing in the market currently.
The research and subsequent data also covers the present market size of the Motor Insurance along with rate of growth it has witnesses over the last couple of years. The data also includes the company profiles of multiple firms, product snapshots, their information, overall revenue, market share, contact information of the key manufacturers of Motor Insurance, some of which are Allianz, AXA, Ping An, Assicurazioni Generali, China Life Insurance, Metlife, Nippon Life Insurance, Munich Reinsurance, State Farm Insurance, Zurich Insurance, Aetna, MS&AD, HSBC, Old Mutual, Samsung, Aegon, Sumitomo.
The motor insurance market is growing at a steady yet fast pace and has recently witnessed the entry of multiple regional and local vendors.
18 October 2018
The Indian Government is working on a mandate to ensure that all cars in India feature the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). This move is to be the solution for the ongoing issue of lack of car safety in the country. At present, all new cars that are launched in India need to meet stringent safety norms. It is expected that by next year, even existing cars would be required to meet these standards. The Minister for Road and Highway Transport, Mr Nitin Gadkari announced that the ministry is working on the mandate to ensure all vehicles in India have this feature by 2022.
Some safety features are being made standard in cars, such as airbags, Anti-Braking System (ABS), speed reminders, and reverse parking sensors. Currently, only few car makers, such as Mercedes Benz and Volvo offer advanced assist systems that include automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assistance. But the usage of such features is restricted due to lack of good road conditions, proper road markings, and traffic signs. Though car manufacturers are ready to implement such features in their vehicles, the government also needs to work along with them to improve the road infrastructure to utilise these systems effectively.
17 October 2018
A proposal has been made by the Road Transport and Highway Ministry to make the use of 70% galvanised steel mandatory for all car manufacturers. The zinc coating added to steel makes it less susceptible to corrosion, thereby making the structure much safer.
At present, Indian automakers use 30% galvanised steel for vehicles that are sold within the nation’s borders, but uses 70% galvanised steel for products that are exported. The global average galvanised steel proportion is 50%.
The proposal put forth has been aimed specifically for cars that are priced under Rs.10 lakh and is based on a study conducted by IIT-Mumbai on corrosion and durability. The move has been seen as a means of enhancing the road safety standards in the country.
16 October 2018
MG Motor has partnered with IIT Delhi to develop applications and technologies that will help improve the in-car child safety. With this project, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi are currently working on a project to develop an application that will help track child safety through ECU, according to a statement released by the company. This application will help the owners of MG cars in the country to alert and track the whereabouts of their children when they are traveling in a car. This will include their exit and entry to the vehicle and also the seating position of the child in the vehicle. The owners will also be alerted if the car takes a road that is beyond the route map that was defined beforehand. Engineers from IIT Delhi will also be working to conduct research and development activities to further explore more features that will boost child safety in the vehicle. MG Motor is looking to provide an opportunity to students, innovators, and startups to develop technologies and features that will be used in the upcoming models of MG Motor cars in the country. The first vehicle of MG Motor India is expected to be launched sometime in the second quarter of 2019.
15 October 2018
India is one of the countries which leads the list of road fatalities consistently. The basic need at the moment is to make the roads safer. Global NCAP is the organisation that is responsible for bringing crash test results for cars made in India. It is planning to launch the ‘Stop The Crash’ campaign soon. The campaign will be promoting the early adoption of passive safety systems such as electronic stability control and anti lock brakes as standard across all four wheelers. The campaign will be launched at the annual NCAP Global World Congress which is being held in India this year. It will be partnered by IRTE - Institute for Road Traffic Education.
The campaign will also push the installation of anti lock braking systems (ABS) in two wheelers as a standard. The introduction of ABS as a standard in motorcycles is likely to be very helpful in reducing road accidents as more number of motorcycles are sold in India in comparison to four wheelers. This will also reduce the number of fatalities on the Indian roads.
9 October 2018
The domestic arm of the German Euro 60 billion luxury automaker, Audi India, is expected to launch the first ever electric SUV e-tron in the country by next year, according to a top executive. The much-anticipated launch of the vehicle has been advanced by a year by Audi as it aims to keep the momentum going with regard to electric vehicles. Audi India’s Country Brand Head, Rahil Ansari, said that the initial plan of the company was to release the e-tron by the year 2020. However, thanks to accelerating infrastructure, the vehicle will be launched earlier than expected. He also said that the vehicle has a lot of potential for sales in the country. Mr. Ansari went on to add that the company has trained its manpower internally, saying that manpower will also be trained by the dealer partners.
08 October 2018
CEAT, the Indian tyre maker has launched a series of high-speed tyres called SecuraDrive. This range of tyres was specially designed for the premium sedan cars launched in India. These tyres have already been a success in the European automobile market, hence the same technology is now being launched in the Indian market. The SecuraDrive tyres are available in 7 different sizes namely 175/65R15, 185/60R15, 195/65R15, 195/60R15, 195/55R16, 205/55R16, and 215/60R16. This new range will compete against the likes of tyres from Bridgestone, Michelin, Apollo, Pirelli, etc. These tyres would provide safety and comfort at high-speed levels. They will feature wide longitudinal grooves for aquaplaning resistance and a superior grip. The new tyres come with an optimised tread pattern that lowers the tyre noise. Mr Nitish Bajaj, the Senior Vice President, Marketing of CEAT India stated that this new range of tyres is hoped to create a benchmark, especially in the high-speed tyre range. He also stated that the launch of these new tyres shows the company’s intention to strengthen its vision of safe and smart mobility. He also confidently said that this range of SecuraDrive tyres would become the first choice for people who seek superior control at high speeds due to its exceptional braking capability on both dry and wet road surfaces.
05 October 2018
Mercedes-Benz is all geared up to launch the entire C-Class models in India starting first with the sedan and then following it with the coupe, AMG-tuned version and then finally the cabriolet with the facelift. The C-Class sedan is expected to be priced from Rs.40 lakh to Rs.45 lakh (ex-showroom price) in India. It will feature visual changes with the inclusion of new gizmos and gadgets. Some features of the sedan would be a new steering wheel with touch control buttons and a new 12.3-inch digital instrument display system over the standard cluster.
Exterior features of the car would include new LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights, the signature diamond-studded grille, new front bumper, new alloy wheels, new LED tail lamps, and revised ORVMs. Safety features include Active Emergency Stop Assist and Active Lane Change Assist. The sedan would be powered by an upgraded and powerful engine. The petrol version would feature a new 1.5-litre engine whereas then diesel version would feature a 2.-litre oil burner. The C-300 petrol variant would feature a 2.0-litre engine capable of producing a high power of 258 bhp and a peak torque of 370 Nm. The C-300 diesel variant would feature a 2.-litre engine capable of producing a high power of 245 bhp. The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Facelift would compete with the likes of Audi A4 series, Jaguar XE, BMW 3 series, and the upcoming Volvo S60.
4 October 2018
The launch of Mahindra’s flagship SUV, which is codenamed Y400, will be delayed. The launch was slated for 9 October 2018. However, it has been pushed back due to requests from dealers who wanted more floor space for the Marazzo MPV, which was launched on 3 September 2018.
The Y400 is a replacement for the SsangYong Rexton. It has a four-cylinder, 2.2-liter, turbo-diesel engine. It has automatic transmission via 7-speed torque converter. Higher spec variants will have an all-wheel drive option. The company has managed to keep the beginning price at Rs.22 lakh due to a fair degree of localization. The new Mahindra Y400 SUV will compete with the Ford Endeavour, Isuzu MU-X, and Toyota Fortuner.
03 October 2018
German automobile giants, Audi has recently unveiled its first all-electric series production car. It has been named as e-tron. The e-tron will be launched in the US and Europe by the end of this year. It will be launched in the other countries in a phased manner. Audi as also confirmed that the Audi e-tron will be launched in India as well by the end of the next year.
The Audi e-tron has a sitting arrangement for five. Reports suggest that the car will come with a price tag which is likely to be slightly higher than the Audi Q7 SUV. This also implies that the price for the top variants of the SUV is likely to cross the Rs.1 crore line. On the basis of dimensions, the Audi e-tron will be placed between the Audi Q5 and the Audi Q7. The e-tron is powered by a set of two electric motors which can deliver a combined power of 360 PS. The peak torque delivery is 561 Nm. The SUV also offers a boost mode. This mode pushes the maximum power delivery to 408 PS for eight seconds. The e-tron can clock 0-100 kmph in just 5.7 seconds in the boost mode. The top variant of the SUV is able to clock a top speed of 200 kmph.
01 October 2018
Multiple car manufacturers are offering various discounts for their vehicles in September due to the festive season. Mahindra Group is planning to launch its updated Rexton in October, so it is offering a huge discount on the existing model to clear its stocks. The discount is up to Rs.8 lakh. It is also offering a discount of Rs.1 lakh on its current XUV500 MT (pre-facelift) model. At the same time, there is a discount of Rs.65,000 on its existing TUV300 and TUV300 Plus models. The Mahindra Scorpio is also sold with a discount of up to Rs.70,000.
Honda India is ready to launch the new fifth-generation CR-V in October. So, it is offering a discount on its current CR-V model which is a 5-seater with either a 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 2.4-litre petrol engine. The discount is up to Rs.1.5 lakh. Simultaneously, Honda is also offering discounts ranging from Rs.60,000 up to Rs.1 lakh on its BR-V model. There is also a discount of Rs.45,000 on the current Honda WR-V model.
BMW is offering a discount on its X1 SDrive 20D Expedition due to the launch of its new competitor, the Volvo XC40. The discount offered by BMW on this model is up to Rs.1.5 lakh. Nissan is offering a discount of up to Rs.75,000 on its Terrano model. Maruti Suzuki is offering a discount of up to Rs.75,000 on its existing Ertiga model due to the launch of its new Ertiga later. Tata is offering a discount of up to Rs.65,000 on its Hexa model which comes with a 2.2-litre diesel engine.
28 September 2018
Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi stated that India will launch a new policy to promote hybrid vehicles. This policy is to boost the production and usage of hybrid vehicles and vehicles powered by alternative fuels in India while trying to cut down its huge bill on oil imports. He stated that clear energy should power clear mobility to fight against climate change across the nation. This statement was made at an industry event in New Delhi. He also stated that India wants to drive investments in manufacturing electric vehicles, smart charging, and batteries.
27 September 2018
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is finally set to make its debut in the Indian market on 20 September 2018. The facelifted version of the car is already out in the international market and has a lot of cosmetic updates in addition to a new powerful engine. The C200 model will come with a 1.5-litre engine while the C220d will be powered by a 2.0-litre engine.
The C300, on the other hand, will receive its power from a 2.0-litre engine that will deliver 258 bhp of power and a peak torque of 370 Nm. The C300d will come with a 2.0-litre diesel engine that will juice out 245 bhp of power and 500 Nm of torque. With the brand new face, the sedan will have the signature diamond grille on the front end. It comes with LED headlamps and DRLs. It also has revised bumpers and ORVMs and a pair of new LED tail lamps.
26 September 2018
After the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) suggested all general insurance companies offer new vehicle owners multi-year third party insurance policies, is likely to increase the prices of privately owned vehicles.
The new rule by the Supreme Court requires all new cars to be insured for a minimum period of 3 years and two-wheelers to be insured for a minimum of 5 years. The cost of the insurance premium will be added to the cost of the vehicle at the time of purchase.
There has been a trend of third-party premiums rising over the past few years. The current Supreme Court ruling is likely to have a higher impact on individuals purchasing two-wheelers than those purchasing cars.
25 September 2018
The 2018 Hyundai Santro compact hatchback will be launched on the 23rd of October this year. The official name of the vehicle will be revealed on the 9th of October. A naming contest was held for the vehicle, and it closed on the 25th of September. The launch of the vehicle will coincide with the festive season. The new hatchback’s exterior details were hidden because of heavy camouflage, but the tall-boy design of the vehicle will mean that the car will come with a roomy cabin. It is reported that the new vehicle will be placed between the Grand i10 and the Eon. Its competition will be the Tata Tiago, Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, and Maruti Suzuki Celerio. There are a number of online reports that suggest that the vehicle will be available either with a 1.2 or a 1.1-litre petrol engine. It will also have a five-speed manual transmission, according to reports. The Santro was first released in India in 1997 and challenged popular cars such as the Tata Indica and the Maruti 800 at the time.
24 September 2018
The festive season from October to December has been a very good time for automakers in India for a long time. This the time when the demand witnesses a boom and the sales figures rise up very fast. This is the sole reason that most automakers try to launch their latest models during this time period. The festive season of 2018 will also witness the launch of some great automobiles from different automakers. Here are the top 5 new cars that you might look forward to.
The Hyundai Santro, the most anticipated entrant from the production line of Hyundai, is all set to make its debut this festive season. The Santro was the first car with which Hyundai had started their Indian journey. After a long time, a brand new Santro is on the way and the consumers have a lot of expectations. The Ford Aspire Facelift is next on the queue. The expected launch date is October 2018 for the new sedan. The next car is an MPV - the new generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. As per the sales figures, the Ertiga is the most popular MPV in India (more than 4,500 units sold every month). The new-gen Ertiga is also expected to hit the market during the festive season. The next 2 cars on the queue are the new-gen Honda CR-V and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Facelift.
21 September 2018
Anand Mahindra has recently gifted a brand new Mahindra Marazzo to the fisherman who had helped a number of stranded people during the Kerala floods. He has been known for his generosity and this is yet another example. The Mahindra Marazzo is the latest entrant in the MPV segment in the Indian market from the production line of Mahindra. The MPV was handed over to the man at the Eram dealership in Calicut by the Minister for Labour of Kerala T P Ramakrishnan.
The Mahindra Marazzo has steadily sported some bold external feature and aggressive styling even after having a large dimension. The car is inspired by the shark and it has received its styling on the same theme. On the front end, the car is fitted with a stylish chrome-toothed grille which is accompanied by double barrel headlamps and pilot lamps, eye-shaped fog lamps, and large ORVMs. On the rear end, the car gets a pair of tail lamps which is inspired by the shark theme and are connected by a thick chrome slat. The Marazzo is powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine which can deliver 121 brake horsepowers and a peak torque of 300 Newton-metres. The engine is clubbed with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The automakers are not offering an automatic transmission model at this moment. However, Mahindra & Mahindra are working on a petrol variant of the Marazzo which will come with automatic transmission. This variant is expected to be launched in 2020 after the implementation of the Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) emission norms.
20 September 2018
The launch date of the new generation of the Honda CR-V in India has been revealed by the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese automobile giant, Honda Cars India. The Honda CR-V will be launched on 9 October 2018. This is the fifth generation of the SUV and it is expected to give a tough fight to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Skoda Kodiaq, Ford Endeavour, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The cosmetic changes on the SUV comprise of a sharper and angular design. On the front end, the CR-V will now come with a signature thick chrome grille and will be equipped with LED headlamps and LED fog lamps. The car now offers a bigger cabin space and is packed with top of the line quality materials for upholstery, panels, and in-car controls. The dash will be sporting a TFT LCD instrument cluster with a 7-inch touchscreen display mounted in the centre. The infotainment system will also have an inbuilt navigation system powered by Garmin. The SUV will now come with a 7-seater module and that plays a huge role in getting the Honda CR-V registered as a dominant player in the segment. Earlier, the CR-V had two different petrol versions. However, the latest iteration will be coming in two variants - a 2.0-litre petrol variant that is capable of producing 154 bhp of power and 192 Nm of torque. However, the main attraction of the latest iteration is the 1.6-litre diesel engine which will be offered for the first time on the Honda CR-V. The diesel engine is capable of delivering 120 bhp of peak power and 300 Nm of peak torque. It will be clubbed with a 9-speed automatic gearbox and will have paddle shifters as a standard. While the diesel version will get all-wheel drive as an option, the petrol version will get only front wheel drive.
19 September 2018
The new Mahindra Marazzo MVP has finally been launched in India. The starting price of the car is Rs.9.99 lakh all the way up to Rs.13.90 lakh. The car is Mahindra’s largest passenger vehicle to date.
Mahindra is offering 4 variants of the Marazzo. The features of the car include a prominent grille, tail light and shark fin antenna. Projector lens headlamps, LED fog lamps, and diamond-cut alloy wheels are also notable features.
The interiors are clear and free of clutter in terms of design. A multi-functional steering wheel, aircraft-style handbrake, and a dual-pod instrument cluster. The Marazzo is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine that can reach a power of 121 bhp at 3500 rpm and a torque of 300 Nm. The car also has a 6-speed manual transmission.
18 September 2018
Starting this month, new vehicle owners will be required to purchase motor insurance when purchasing a vehicle. New owners of four wheelers and two wheelers will be required to purchase insurance policies for a minimum of three and five years respectively.
The rule passed by the Supreme Court mandates that vehicles that do not have third-party insurance will not be permitted to ply on roads after 1 September. Additionally, this rule will ensure that vehicles have a long-term insurance cover rather than getting their policies renewed every year.
The initial premium is expected to be a bit higher for new buyers since the payment will be made for multiple years.
17 September 2018
With more than 4,500 units sold on an average every month, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is one of the most popular and most successful Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) in India. Although the vehicle is 6 years old, the sales are still up. That has prompted the vehicle-makers to bring in some updates in the car to take on the likes of the newer MPVs that were recently launched, such as the Mahindra Marazzo. The second generation Ertiga MPV has already been unveiled internationally. It is yet to make its debut in India. As per some sources, the new generation of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is likely to be launched in India around the last week of October - during the festive season around Dussehra and Diwali.
The new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga will not be a NEXA product. It will be sold through the standard Arena network of dealers. Although the second generation of the Multi Purpose Vehicle will replace the current version, the current generation of the Ertiga will, however, be continued to be made for the Indian market and will carry the ‘Tour’ tag just like the older version of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire. While the official bookings for the second generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga have not been started by the Maruti Suzuki dealers, some dealers have started taking an unofficial booking of Rs.11,000 for the same. The new Ertiga is larger than the current generation offering more space inside the cabin. It will now be available in a petrol variant as well which will be powered by a 1.5-litre engine, which is found in the updated Ciaz. The current generation 1.3-litre diesel engine will be continued. The MPV will come with the options of manual and automatic transmissions.
14 September 2018
From 1 September 2018, while buying a car, the car owner has to pay a part of the motor insurance premium which represents the third-party (TP) liability for three years beforehand. New two-wheeler owner has to pay the premium for third-party liability of five years beforehand. All general insurance companies are asked to offer long-term third-party insurance policy by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), followed by the Supreme Court order.
For new buyers, there is three options of the insurance policy available.
Option 1. Long-Term Package Cover: (TP=3 Years Plus OD=3 Years)
This option covers both motor third-party insurance and own damage insurance for three years or five years. As this option allows the buyer to pay at one go, the cost is high and also switching to a new insurance company in the next year with lower premium of own damage is not possible.
Option 2. Bundled Cover: (TP=3 Years Plus OD=1 Years)
Bundled Cover offers insurance of third-party liability for three or five years and own damage insurance for one year. Vijay Sinha, CEO, DHFL General Insurance suggests on the basis of the first two options that, "Customers purchasing a car using the financing option need to keep in mind that the interest charged on vehicle finance is in the range of 11-15 percent p.a. While insurance companies do provide credit for interest in their long-term pricing, it is usually in the range of 6-8 percent p.a. Accordingly, there is an additional burden on the customer of financing the 3 year insurance upfront, which over a 3 year policy can work out to be in excess of 10 percent of the premium. This impact can be mitigated by deferring the purchase of future years own damage cover which means going for Option 2."
Option 3. Standalone Third-Party Only cover: (TP=3 Years without OD)
This is an existing standard option applicable to anyone while buying a motor insurance which offers only the third-party liability not the own damage insurance. The only change is that the owner has to pay the third-party liability premium for three or five years in advance now. Animesh Das, Head of Product Strategy, ACKO General Insurance says, "In case of standalone TP Only policy, while it saves premium, you will end up without insurance cover for your vehicle damage which may turn out to be a big loss in case of major accidental damage or theft of the vehicle,"
12 September 2018
Headquartered in Nishi-ku, Nissan Motor Company Ltd. has come up with a new strategy for the Indian markets that covers its product offerings, strengthening of the Nissan and Datsun brand, flexible manufacturing optimisation, and dealership expansion. Under this strategy, the company is also planning to strengthen its R&D facilities along with its alliance partners in the country. As per the reports, Nissan Kicks compact SUV will be the first car to launched following the new plan. This car will make its way to the Indian market by the end of first quarter of 2019. While competing against the likes of Jeep Compact and Hyundai Creta in the segment, the Nissan Kicks is likely to be positioned above the Terrano in the entire lineup of the company.
According to the statements of the Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Co. and Chairman in Africa, Middle East, and India regions, Peyman Kargar, the company is looking forward to take on the Indian market and has already built the foundations foreseeing its success by strengthening both the brands in the country. The Nissan Kicks will be first product in the range to bring the best of products and technology that is globally offered by the company for the Indian customers. For the Datsun brand, Nissan aims to combine together value, connectivity, and Japanese engineering into its compelling products across segments. As per the latest strategy of the company, the carmaker has announced that it plans to bring the best from its worldwide lineup to reinforce Nissan as a premium mainstream brand while enlarging its appeal. On the other hand, in terms of the Datsun brand, the company is looking to focus on offering progressive mobility by offering high-value products that are packed with connected technologies and modern features. Furthermore, expanding from the current 270 outlets, Nissan also plans on doubling its sales and service touch points along with strengthening its dealership network within the next 3 years. Along with hiring 500 employees at the Global Digital Hub of the company in Kerala, the company also intends to incorporate more regional marketing and sales operations teams in the 4 key areas in India. Along with focusing on mobility innovations, the Digital Hub will also work towards expanding access to the products and services offered by Nissan with the help of e-commerce and e-commerce.
11 September 2018
The largest car manufacturer in Britain, Jaguar Land Rover, has approved the production of an electric version of its e-type sports car. The initial round of deliveries has been planned for summer 2020, according to a statement released by the company. One of the automaker’s units – Jaguar Classic, which undertakes restoration of Jaguar cars, is set to convert the cars to electric power at its Coventry-based Classic Works facility. No details regarding the price was mentioned by the company, but current e-type owners are offered the option to convert their vehicles to an electric vehicle. The most recent version of the new e-type Zero was first seen at the Monterey Car Week in California at the end of August 2018.
7 September 2018
A few sightings of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga have been recorded already. Following Suzuki’s Indonesian unveiling of the facelifted Ertiga MUV at the International Motor Show, the company was expected to release the much-anticipated MPV in India come the end of 2018. Details regarding the vehicle have been updated on the Suzuki Indonesia website. Sales have been quite good for the Toyota Innova Crysta, and since the previous facelift of the Ertiga happened a long time ago, an update was on the cards. The 7-seater MUV is expected to hit Indian markets come the end of this year. The brochure shows that the new vehicle has all-new head LED lamps along with DRLs that are fitted on each side of a revised grille.
6 Sep 2018
Even though Mitsubishi - a car manufacturing company based in Japan - has failed to make its mark in the Indian four-wheeler industry, the company is planning to take another chance by introducing a few new cars during the upcoming years. As per the statements of the Managing Director at Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation (HMFCL), Mr. Uttam Bose, the first car that Mitsubishi is planning to launch in India will be Eclipse. This mid-market sports utility vehicle (SUV) is expected to compete against the Jeep Compass by Fiat Chrysler which has already sold more than 25,000 units since its launch in July 2017. While the Eclipse is primarily sold in the US markets at present, it is likely to suit the Indian market as well since the car complies with most of the emission and safety norms including BS-IV guidelines that are followed in the country. Therefore, according to the comments made by Mr. Bose during the recent launch of the fourth-generation Mitsubishi Outlander in Mumbai, the car will not require many changes to make its debut in India. The company management is planning to introduce the Eclipse in India by the end of 2020.
Mr. Bose further commented that Jeep Compass targeted the highly price sensitive Indian market by performing maximum localisation before the launch and passed on the benefit of the low cost to the buyers. This helped the car become one of the most popular choices of car enthusiasts in the country. Additionally, the likely candidate for the second launch by Mitsubishi in India is the Expander. This multi utility vehicle (MUV) is expected to go up against Toyota Innova, Maruti Ertiga, and the soon-to-be-launched Mahindra & Mahindra Marazzo. Even though this car is already available in Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, it is slated to become available in India at least 2 years later after getting a number of updates to fit the norms established for the Indian market. Currently, 3 car models of Mitsubishi are available in the Indian market - Montero, Outlander, and Pajero Sports.
5 September 2018
Hyundai has revealed the launch date for the new edition of the Santro. The hatchback which has been codenamed AH2 will be launched on 23 October, 2018. Hyundai will officially unveil the car and reveal its name to the public on 9 October 2018.
The car manufacturer has been testing its newest model on Indian roads for a while now, and customers have an idea of what to expect in terms of the car’s exterior. The car has retained its basic design and also has its signature cascading grille.
The car’s interior is most likely to have a dual tone colour scheme of black and beige. A small MID unit, twin-pod instrument cluster and three-spoke steering wheel are also likely to be part of the car’s interior design. The car is likely to be powered by a 1-litre petrol engine and a 5-speed manual gearbox. There is talk of the car coming with an AMT gearbox.
The new Santro will replace Hyundai’s Eon, which did not sell particularly well in the Indian market. The new Santro will compete with the Maruti Alto K10, Tata Tiago, and the Renault Kwid.
4 September 2018
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has announced that there was a marginal fall in the sales volumes of domestic cars in the month of July this year. The sales figures for July 2018 was 136,636 units while that for July 2017 was 137,548 units. These figures are not inclusive of the sale of Eeco vans, Omni, and the commercial vehicle Super Carry.
During the month of July 2017, there was high inventory stocking as there were deferred purchases from consumers in the preceding months (due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime). The compact car segment saw a sales growth of 17.8% on the basis of demand for the 2018 Swift, Dzire, and Baleno. There has been growth of more than 20% in this segment in the past.
The segment of sports utility vehicles (SUV) reported a decline in sales by 4.9% in the month of July, when compared to the same month last year. The sales figures of entry-level cars such as WagonR and Alto have also declined by 10.9%.
3 September 2018
Japanese car manufacturer, Honda Motor Company, is planning to introduce the fifth-gen CR-V in India by the end of October 2018. The company initially unveiled this car at the 2018 Auto Expo along with announcing that the four-wheeler will be make its debut in the country featuring a 1.6-litre diesel engine and a seating capacity for 7 people. Honda has revealed more specifications of the car which is expected to be locally assembled in India. While the 1.6-litre engine of the latest-gen CR-V available in the international markets offers 160 PS, the version of the car which will be launched in India is expected to generate 120 PS and carry both AWD and 2WD drivetrains along with a 9-speed transmission. This 7-seater will also be available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine along with a CVT automatic only and front-wheel drive that will be capable of generating a maximum power of 154 PS. However, the petrol version of the new Honda CR-V will have a seating capacity for 5 people only and might feature either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed AT (torque converter).
While the 2018 Honda CR-V won’t come equipped with the Honda Sensing package for the Indian market, the car will sport a reversing camera and a lane-watch camera. The lane-watch camera will capture footage from a camera that will be mounted on the passenger side outside the rearview mirror and project it onto the infotainment screen of the car. This will happen automatically every time the turn indicator on the left side is used, and the driver has the option to switch the camera on otherwise as well. The prices of the new-gen Honda CR-V is expected to go up with the increase in proportions along with the introduction of the 7-seater diesel engine variant. The price of this car is likely to start from around Rs.27 lakh with the top-spec variant going over Rs.30 lakh.
31 August 2018
One of the newest entrants from the production line of Tata Motors, the compact SUV - Nexon has been tested by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP). Taking this test was part of its #SaferCarsForIndia campaign. The results are highly satisfactory as the vehicle has scored a 4-star rating. It is now the second Tata after the Zest and the Toyota Etios clan and the Volkswagen Polo.
The crash was tested at 64 kmph and the rating of the protection offered by the vehicle to the head and neck of the driver and front passenger has been rated as ‘good’ by the Global NCAP. That is the highest rating that a car can receive. The chest protection for the driver and passenger in the front was rated as ‘adequate’ and the protection offered to the knees have been rated as ‘marginal’. The Isofix child seat anchors have helped the vehicle to score a 3-star rating for protection of child. However, this feature is available only on the top-spec XZ trim of the vehicle. The best part is that none of the areas of the test has received a ‘weak’ or ‘poor’ rating. The SUV is offered with dual-front airbags, front seatbelts with load limiter and pre-tensioners and ABS with EBD as standard across the entire lineup.
Reportedly, none of the cars that are made in India has received a 5-star crash test rating under the #SaferCarsForIndia campaign.
30 August 2018
The expected date for the launch of the new Honda CR-V in the Indian market has been fixed for October 2018. The CR-V made its first appearance at the 2018 Auto Expo. It is going to be an all-new product. The vehicle is going to be based on a new platform and is going to be bigger than the current version of the car. The current iteration of the CR-V is a 5-seater version whereas, the upcoming mode is going to be a 7-seater version. The CR-V will also be receiving a diesel engine which is being introduced by Honda in the CR-V in India for the first time. As per reports, the new Honda CR-V will be targeting the well-established models in the market such as the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. Honda anticipates that the diesel engine will also make a great impact on the sales of the upcoming CR-V.
The new updated CR-V will be powered by a 1.6-litre iDTEC engine which can generate a maximum power of 120 Bhp and 300 Nm of peak torque. The petrol trim will be coming with a 2.0-litre engine that can pump out 154 horse and 189 Nm of peak torque. Although the new CR-V will offer a 4WD system, the petrol version will get an FWD system only. The current generation offers a 4WD system along with a 2.4-litre petrol engine. The new CR-V will be assembled in India.
29 August 2018
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) will soon be entering the multi-utility vehicle segment by launching the Marazzo. The 7-seater will be based on a new platform and will be the widest and longest offering from the automaker. The launch of the car during the festive season is expected to help the company arrest the fall it has witnessed in the domestic market recently.
The share of SUVs to passenger cars in India is one of the highest in the world at 29%. Mahindra has ventured into the large SUV segment because it is popular among the people, said the managing director of the company.
28 August 2018
Mahindra made an announcement about Marazzo, the company’s upcoming multi purpose vehicle in July 2018. The carmaker has been slowly revealing more details about the multi purpose vehicle since then, including details about the dashboard, seating layout, tail lamps, front grille, instrument cluster and much more. Mahindra has now officially confirmed that the Mahindra Marazzo will go on sale in the country on September 3 2018. From some of the released images, it is expected that the Mahindra Marazzo will be getting a chrome toothed front grille, tail lamps with LED elements, shark fin antenna, and dual barrel lamps with projectors. When it comes to the interiors, the multi purpose vehicle will be getting a dual tone dashboard that comes with a black-beige them with contrasting silver colour inserts to go with it. The vehicle will be getting the conventional touchscreen infotainment system which will be placed under the AC vents. The steering wheel of the Marazzo will have a lot of resemblance to the steering wheel in the TUV300 and KUV100. The lower part has a glossy black finish. The instrument cluster of the vehicle was revealed along with the name of the multi purpose vehicle. It will be having a twin dial setup that will house a multi-info display. The instrument cluster will also have a purple and blue backlit illumination. It is expected that the Marazzo will offer two seating configuration options, a 7 seater and an 8 seater. There will be two captain seats in the second row of the seven seater variant and the eight seater variant will come with a bench type seat.
27 August 2018
The updated version of the Kwid has been launched by Renault India and is the same price as the previous version. The new Kwid comes with a few added features including a reverse parking camera, emergency locking retractors (ELR), rear seat armrest and rear seatbelts.
The car is available in both automatic and manual transmission with a 1-litre SCe 800cc petrol engine.
The car produces a maximum power of 68ps and 91 Nm torque. The car also gives a mileage of 24.04 kmpl. The new Kwid comes in 6 colour options: Planet Grey, Fiery Red, Ice Cool White, Electric Blue, Outback Bronze, and Moonlight silver.
24 August 2018
Road tests for the new Hyundai SUV, temporarily named as QXi, have begun in India. Even though the launch date of this SUV is fixed in 2019 sometime before Diwali, Hyundai has already started testing it on the roads. Earlier, this car made its global debut in India in the Auto Expo 2016. This is the first sub 4 meter SUV from Hyundai claimed to be based on the Carlino concept. Hyundai is going to launch this SUV as a part of its ambitious plan to launch 8 new cars by 2020. Immediate after its release it will be rival to Tata Nexon and Maruti Brezza, Mahindra 201, and Jeep Renegade based small SUV.
As per the latest spy shots, the Hyundai QXi will be loaded with lots of features. On exterior it will have projector headlamps, diamond cut alloy wheels, and LED DRLs and in the interior it will have steering mounted controls, climate control, and a large touchscreen with latest connectivity. While the petrol variant of QXi will be powered by a 1.0 liter T-GDi turbo petrol engine offering 120 PS power and 170 Nm torque along with an additional 1.2 liter 4 cylinder VTVT Kappa petrol engine, the diesel variant will come with a 1.4 liter CRDi U2 4 cylinder diesel engine delivering 90 PS power and 224 Nm torque.
23 August 2018
Maruti Suzuki will be launching the facelift version of the Ciaz will be launched in the Indian market on the 20 August 2018. Despite Maruti not officially making the announcement for the launch date, a number of Nexa dealerships have already begun accepting bookings for the new Ciaz.
The new version of the Ciaz has a much sleeker front-end design and a thinner grille. The chrome in the new model is more muted than the previous version. The sedan also features new LED headlamps and front bumper. The facelift Ciaz will come with a 1.5 litre petrol engine much like the Suzuki Ertiga.
Apart from minor changes to the wheel design, the new Ciaz silhouette looks very similar to the older version.
22 August 2018
Mahindra has announced the launch of their upcoming MPV, the Marazzo, in September 2018. Only the diesel version of the car will be available for purchase. The car is expected to be positioned above the TUV300 Plus.
The car will be available in 7 and 8-seater variants, and since it is built on a monocoque platform, will be a very spacious MPV. Other features of the car include projector headlamps, roof-mounted air conditioning, and a touch-screen infotainment system.
Mahindra has not yet revealed the car’s powertrain options, but it has been speculated that the car will come with both automatic and manual transmission.
21 August 2018
Suzuki Vitara, the flagship SUV from the auto manufacturer, will be facelifted and launched later this year. Prior to launch, the images of the car have been revealed online, indicating a host of updates to the exteriors.
The leaked images of the car show that it may be referred to as the “Vitara Series II” once launched. Some of the updates include revamped styling of the exterior, including a new front grille. There are changes to the bumper of the car as well.
On the inside, the car is expected to have new upholstery, a SmartPlay infotainment system with software upgrades, and a revamped MID unit. The car may continue to have the same engine options, i.e., the 1.6 litre petrol and 1.4 litre turbo petrol engines generating 118 bhp and 138 bhp of power respectively. The car may be available with a 1.6 litre diesel motor that produces 118 bhp of peak power as well. The SUV will have a 6-speed automatic transmission option and a 5-speed/6-speed manual transmission unit.
The launch date of the car in India is not confirmed as yet.
20 August 2018
The Hyundai Carlino sub-4 metre SUV was first unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo. The car manufacturer has now confirmed that the SUV will be launched in India in April 2019.
Hyundai Carlino will have a 1 litre turbocharged petrol engine that creates 120 PS of maximum power and 171 Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine will be the same as the car manufacturer’s existing 1.4 litre diesel motor. The SUV is most likely to be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission unit.
The car was recently found testing with camouflage in the US.
17 August 2018
Mercedes-Benz - one of the most renowned luxury car manufacturer - has launched a new bespoke programme known as Circle Elite for Mercedes-Benz owners to offer deluxe services and exclusive offers at select locations. Mercedes-Benz has tie-ups with numerous luxury brands from different sectors such as entertainment, healthcare, travel, sport, and hospitality. With these connections, the company will offer a host of services to Mercedes-Benz car owners to provide an indulgent lifestyle that matches the luxury quotient of the car. All customers who buy a car from the company in 2018 will be automatically enrolled into the programmer without any additional charges. Customers who are enrolled under this bespoke programme will receive exclusive services along with extra offers and benefits as part of the initiative. These facilities can be availed by customers by just dialling a hotline number.
The services that will be available for Mercedes-Benz owners under this programme are:
Golfing services: Complimentary golf lessons will be available under this programme for the customers and his/her family members.
Dining delight: Customers will receive discounts as well as other benefits at more than 100 premium restaurants in the country.
Global travel and medical assistance: This facility will help car owners with travel essential tasks such as telephonic medical advice, inoculation, and Visa information.
Staycation: Customers can avail exclusive getaway offers for over 45 exotic properties located in the country.
Under this programme, Mercedes-Benz owners can receive lifestyle, retail, and luxury benefits at nearby events along with exclusive offers.
Bespoke requests: This will allow customers book slots for RSVP events using the special hotline number and place special bespoke requests for assistance anywhere in the world.
16 August 2018
Maruti Suzuki declared the inauguration of its 450th driving school in India on 31 July 2018. With this new Maruti Driving School which will be opened in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, the Maruti network will get extended to 212 cities all across India. As per the claim of the company, till date, more than 5.3 lakh individuals from various parts of the country been trained by the instructors of Maruti Driving School from which only in 2017-18 more than 1.75 lakh people received training. Moreover, as per the company, among the trained people, 46% are women drivers only. These centres of Maruti are specially designed to offer practical training to the students along with classroom theory lectures as well. Maruti Suzuki trains people in the schools with an intent to improve their quality of driving for reducing the number of road accidents in India.
14 August 2018
Mercedes Benz has debuted their entry level sedan, the 2019 A-Class Sedan. The pricing of the vehicle is yet to be released but it is expected that the car will be the least expensive Mercedes that will be on sale. The car is expected to the most aerodynamic sedan and has a drag coefficient of 0.22. The production of this vehicle is expected to begin at the Mercedes-Benz Rasatt Plant in Germany next year. The A-Class Sedan will be available as an A220 4MATIC in four wheel drive and as an A220 in two wheel drive. Both will be equipped with a 2.0 litre inline-four cylinder turbocharged engine. The car is expected to boast 188 hp power and 300 Nm of torque. The models come with seven speed transmission and is expected to have a top speed of 210 km/hr. The A-Class will use optional 19-inch wheels which will the give the car a sold road presence. The car is expected to launch in India sometime in 2019.
13 August 2018
As the teaser images of the Porsche Macan were revealed earlier this year, it started a world-wide anticipation conquest amongst the Porsche fanatics in the universe. Putting that anticipation to rest, Porsche finally unveiled its 2018 Macan Facelift - and the vehicle is a sight to behold!
The Porsche Macan facelift was initially launched in the year 2014 and since then it has created a wave of enthusiasm amongst car enthusiasts. However, the Porsche had to undergo some upgradations. The updated model has finally been launched and people could not be more excited. The styling imparted in the Porsche Macan facelift has been updated and matches the styling incorporated in the new-generation Cayenne, which will supposedly get launched in India, sometime during the course of the running year.
Along with cosmetic updates in its styling, the Porsche Macan has also been upgraded with effortless and cutting edge features. These features, as claimed by Porsche, are certain to bring high levels of comfort to the users, along with enhanced connectivity, and improved driving dynamics. With its upgraded modernised interior and exterior, Porsche is evidently referring to the Macan as a ‘sports car that is masquerading as a compact SUV’.
For the visual appeal, the typical Porsche DNA can be traced in the looks of the Macan Facelift. The vehicle has been equipped with a horde of premium features, both on the interior as well as the exterior. The front portion of the Porsche Macan has undergone complete redesign, wherein it has been imparted with wider features and standard LED headlights. The rear portion of the car, on the contrary, is comparatively sleeker and features a three-dimensional LED tail light strip, also a standard fitment.
You, as a buyer of the Porsche Macan will have the liberty to customise your vehicle according to your needs and desires.
9 August 2018
Essel Infraprojects (EIL) has inaugurated charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in Lucknow under Essel Green Mobility Limited. The investment in this project is in the range of Rs.1,750 crore. 1,000 battery swapping stations and 250 charging stations are planned for launch in 20 cities in UP. The honourable PM laid the foundation stone for the project.
The project is expected to boost the overall electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. The company is also looking to introduce 25,000 e-rickshaws which will result in the creation of 50,000 new jobs in the state.
EIL is also expecting that the project will reduce the overall cost of charging batteries and bring EVs on par with vehicles operating on alternative fuels. The last mile connectivity issue will be addressed through this project as well.
The operations will commence from Ghaziabad and will be extended to Kanpur, Lucknow, Noida, Agra, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, and Meerut.
8 August 2018
According to a Supreme Court Mandate, all automobile companies will have to provide a third-party insurance cover for all the two-wheeler and four wheelers sold after 1 September 2018. Four-wheelers would have to be provided with a two year policy, while two-wheelers would have to be provided with a five year policy.
Statistics show that nearly 66% of two-wheelers and four-wheelers do not have third party insurance. Insurance companies have also raised concerns over the chances of providing long term insurance policies on automobiles in one go.
The Central Government has elucidated the fact that most automobile owners are apprehensive of buying third-party insurance as it would increase the insurance premium of their vehicle.
7 August 2018
After having brand new fruitful collaborations with more than 45 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Hyundai Motor India until recently joined hands with the Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC).
ASDC is essentially responsible for developing manpower that is skilled and highly qualified for the Indian automotive industry. ASDC is a joint industry and government initiatives that is solely focused on developing the manpower in the automobile sector.
ASDC as an institution and entity has been established jointly by the industry bodies of SIAM, ACMA, FADA and the government of India. Their united initiative is creating approximately 25 million manpower in India by the year 2020. This will cover the requirement all across the automotive chain and also in other related domains. The activities include manufacturing, service and sales of multiple vehicles, aggregates and components, and driving also, per se.
Students and other individuals who are keen to enter the automotive industry are expected to undergo training at the centers that have been established by ASDC. The course of the trainings are expected to be 50-day long and they will evidently take place in almost six of the ASDC training centers.
The structure of the course will evidently be decided by ASDC by staying in accordance with the Skill India guidelines, however the eligibility criteria of the students will rest entirely on the elements of age, and an education qualification upto the 8th standard.
Ever since its talks commenced with ASDC, Hyundai Motor India has successfully opened more than six training centers in its dealerships in the cities of Ahmedabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Kochi.
Maruti Suzuki India hopes to offer the same service to non-Nexa users by the end of the year. The Rs.9,999 charge for the ‘Suzuki Connect’ will be for 3 years of services.
6 August 2018
Getting updated alerts on mobile phone sets and laptops from within the comforts of one’s home is undoubtedly the ultimate feeling of accomplishment. Staying in line with this feeling, Maruti Suzuki has launched a new initiative that will essentially help commuters get emergency alerts, track vehicle status, and so on.
The newly launched telematics solution system is known as ‘Suzuki Connect’ and it is applicable for Nexa branded cars only, for the time being. Suzuki Connect is essentially an advanced integrated safety and connected car solution that offers a range of benefits to its users. The many benefits offered by Suzuki Connect are vehicle tracking, checking live vehicle status, emergency alerts, analysis of driving behaviour, and preventive maintenance calls.
The organisation - Maruti Suzuki India has claimed this initiative to be one of its kind as it is a telematics control unit aka TCU based solution that has been designed to enhance the experience of the customers by providing improved security, safety, and an overall user-friendly connected car experience. Currently, Suzuki Connect in India stands at the price of Rs.9,999 and it is an option that people can choose to purchase with any of the following cars - Ignis, Ciaz, Baleno, and S-cross.
3 August 2018
All new vehicles in India need to be sold with a 3-year third-party insurance with effect from 1 September 2018 as notified by the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme court has taken this decision due to the increase in the prices of insurance in the country. Currently, a new car insurance comes with a 1-year third-party cover which is the total duration of the new car insurance policy as well.
As stated by the Supreme Court, most of the vehicle owners in India skip to renew their insurance policies after the end of 1 year thus completely ignoring the law. According to a report, around 6 crores out of the 18 crores registered vehicles in the country, don't have a valid insurance policy. Hence, with an intent to control this situation, the court has decided to increase the duration of third-party vehicle insurance cover.
2 August 2018
Maruti Suzuki India has launched a the ‘Suzuki Connect’, a thematics solution for its Nexa outlet customers. The service is priced at Rs.9,999 and includes a number of safety features.
Some of these features include, live tracking and notifications to family members in cases of airbag deployment. An extensive machine should be installed by the customer prior to availing the facilities. This equipment, available at Nexa outlets, utilises a TCU which transmits information via a cellular network that is connected to a Nexa server.
Maruti Suzuki India hopes to offer the same service to non-Nexa users by the end of the year. The Rs.9,999 charge for the ‘Suzuki Connect’ will be for 3 years of services.
1 August 2018
The crash test results of Renault Kwid have been released by the ASEAN NCAP and the car model has received an overall score of 24.68 points. The NCAP’s safety parameters in terms of safety assist technologies include the ABS, seat belt reminders, ESC, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning system, amongst others. The Kwid scored 10.12 points out of 36 points in AOP (Adult Occupant Protection) and 14.56 points out of 49 in COP (Child Occupant Protection). The India-made car has seen marginal improvements in the safety features in recent times.
31 July 2018
Hyundai Motors plans to launch India’s first electric SUV towards the second half of 2019. The e-SUV will be launched only in a few Indian cities and will be the country’s first electric SUV.
The plans seem to be well on their way to fruition since Hyundai has also working towards building their team for the after sales services. The e-SUV will be sold at Hyundai dealerships alongside the car maker’s current range of vehicles.
Hyundai is prepared for the initial customer apprehension that is likely for first-time EV users. The car maker plans to apply their ‘Modern Premium’ sales approach to the new e-SUV as well.
30 July 2018
Tata Motors has recently announced the name for the highly awaited production version of H5X SUV. The carmaker has named the car model as Tata Harrier. The five-seat SUV will be launched in early 2019 and will pack a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine. Before the launch, Tata Motors has been working on to building a strong sales network and enhancing the makeover of its dealerships in India to deliver a better customer experience.
26 July 2018
The Volkwagen group has launched the Porsche 911GT2RS in India and has priced the sports car at Rs.3.83 crore.
The new sports car can achieve a top speed of 340 kmph and can go from 0 to 100 kmph in 2.8 seconds. The car is powered by a 3.8 litre bi-turbo engine that can achieve a power of 700bhp and a torque of 750Nm.
Director of Porsche India, Pawan Shetty, has stated that the demand for sports cars in India has seen an increase in the recent past. According to reports, Porsche has sold a suprisingly large number of 718 sports cars and the Cayenne-turbo.
24 July 2018
The launch of Jeep Compass Trailhawk in India has been pushed towards the end of the year, disappointing off-road enthusiasts who were eagerly waiting for the launch.
Jeep is currently calibrating the vehicle’s engines to be in compliance with the Bharat Stage VI emission norms that were effective from 2020 onwards. The diesel automatic engine gearbox option is likely to be the one that will be first launched in India. The vehicle will have the same 173 hp, 2 litre diesel motor with a different gearbox.
The Trailhawk will be characterised by its improved off-road ability. The bespoke design for the alloy wheels of the vehicle, anti-glare bonnet decal, red recovery hooks, and skid plates will be distinguishing features of the Trailhawk.
The vehicle will be priced Rs.2.5 lakh more than the current top-spec version. This implies that the price of the vehicle will be in the range of Rs.24.5 lakh to Rs.25 lakh.
24 July 2018
The new Honda Jazz premium hatchback is all set for its India launch come the end of July 2018. The vehicle was initially unveiled about a year ago, and its public debut took place at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. The vehicle is expected to have some more features and the company has ensured that it focussed on this part instead of making styling tweaks. The vehicle is also set to have additional equipment such as a high-quality touchscreen infotainment system and other features. There will be no mechanical updates to the vehicle, and the 1.5-litre diesel engine and 1.2-litre petrol engine options will have no changes. The new Honda vehicle is expected to compete with Maruti Baleno and Hyundai i20 so far as the Indian market is concerned.
23 July 2018
Hyundai Motors plans to launch 6 new models by the year 2020. Hyundai already offers a range of different cars that are priced as low as Rs.3.65 lakh to more expensive models priced as high as Rs.21.3 lakh.
Hyundai is planning to launch a small hatchback, a compact SUV and an electric variant of the Kona. Additionally, a few upgrades on the Elantra, the Tucson and the Kia are likely to be unveiled as well. Hyundai is also testing the i30 hatchback but the launch date is yet to be revealed.
Apart from the new models, Hyundai has plans to increase production capacity in its Chennai plant by 50,000 units.
20 July 2018
After the surge in auto sales from the month of May 2018, the number of sales made in the following month have only grown further. Maruti Suzuki’s sales were the highest out of other automakers with a 45.32% jump in sales of the same month in 2017, recording a growth rate of 76.6%. Maruti Suzuki sold over 1.2 lakh units in June 2018.
Hyundai Motors was in second place with a 20.8% growth rate as compared to June 2017. Hyundai recorded a sale of over 45,000 units for June 2018. Tata Motors recorded a growth of 62.9% with a sale of over 18,000 units.
19 July 2018
The Skoda Auto Group has been placed in charge of Volkswagen's Indian market and plans to launch 12 new cars in addition to a few mid-size SUVs. Volkswagen will be investing Rs.7,900 crore in the Indian market in order to expand its customer base.
The project has been titled India 2.0 and has been developed with the aim of Volkswagen and Skoda holding a market share of 5% in the Indian market. Skoda will be given the responsibility of developing the MQB A0 platform that would be required for the Indian market. Skoda will produce most of the equipment locally. In doing so, Skoda hopes to be the third-largest car market in India by 2025.
The mid-size SUVs will compete with the Hyundai Creta and the Mahindra XUV500. Skoda will also launch a few electric vehicles (EVs) and compact cars.
18 July 2018
The facelifted version of the Isuzu MU-X has been spotted testing in India before its launch in the latter part of the year. The car will have a series of updates to the exterior and interior. It will also be equipped with new safety features.
The Isuzu MU-X UV was initially launched in May 2017, priced between Rs.24.79 lakh and Rs.26.76 lakh for the two different variants.
The updates to the exteriors of the car in the facelifted version could include new integrated LED DRLs, projector headlamps, LED guide lights, and a revamped grille. The front and rear bumpers will also be upgraded and there will be refreshed fog lamps. The car is expected to get 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, in addition to new LED guide lights and tail lamp cluster.
The engine is likely to remain the same as the outgoing model. The car will compete with the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner in the market.
17 July 2018
Mahindra has recently launched the nine-seater elongated version of the TUV300. Priced between Rs.9.67 lakh and Rs.10.86 lakh (Ex-showroom price, Mumbai), the vehicle will be available in three variants namely P4, P6, and P8. All the version use the 2.2 litre, four-cylinder mHawk D120 engine. The turbo-diesel engine produces a maximum power of 120 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Nm. The motor that gets a micro hybrid technology is mated to a 6-speed gearbox as standard.
16 July 2018
The petrol version of the Audi Q5 has been launched at an ex-showroom price of Rs.55.27 lakh. The 2-litre TFSI engine used in the car can churn out a maximum power of 248 bhp and a maximum torque of 370 Nm. Packing a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, there are 6 driving models to choose from. The newly launched Audi Q5 is equipped with advanced features such as smartphone integration, wireless charging, cruise control, climate control, matrix LED headlamps, electrically adjustable leather seats amongst others.
12 July 2018
Skoda Auto India confirmed that it is currently working to build an MQB A0 platform for the Indian market. As a matter of fact, this news was hinted by this automaker long back in the month of January at the time of the appointment of Gurpratap Boparai, the MD of Skoda Auto India. Apart from that, the company also declared that it will be handling the operations of Volkswagen in India.
Skoda has named this project as 'India 2.0' and all the technical developments on the A0 platform under this project will be conducted in India. In the future, the cars which will be designed and manufactured in India will be done on the MQB platform with A0 which is a sub-compact platform essential to the development process. The company further confirmed that the first model built on the A0 platform will be launched in the India market by 2020.
12 July 2018
Toyota Kirloskar Motors launched the Toyota Yaris in June 2018 and sold 13,088 units within the first month. This has significantly boosted sales for Toyota when compared to the sales for in the same month the previous year.
In addition to the success of the Yaris, Toyota has also exported 1,014 units of the Etios—bringing total sales to 14,102 units for June 2018. When compared to the previous year, Toyota has recorded a growth rate of 23% from January to June 2018.
Representatives from Toyota have stated that the numbers from the previous year could be attributed to the GST implementation since the car manufacturers have now achieved a triple-digit growth in number when compared to the same time period the previous year.
11 July 2018
After the success of the Compass, Jeep India has confirmed the launch of two new UVs—a midsize 3 row SUV and a sub 4 meter SUV. The cars will be manufactured in India and will be launched in 2022.
The sub 4 meter SUV will be part of the premium B-SUV segment and will be placed below the Renegade. Reports suggest that the car will be based on the Fiat Panda platform. The car is likely to rival the Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon, and the Mahindra TUV300.
The midsize 3 row SUV will rival the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavor and will be positioned above the Compass.
9 July 2018
Honda Cars have posted the sales report for June 2018 which when compared to the sales report from June 2017 shows a 37.5% increase. Domestic sales of Honda cars for the month of June 2018 stands at 17,602 units.
A large contributor to Honda’s sales is the rise in sale of the Amaze which sold 9,103 units in June 2018 and 9,787 units in May 2018. The Honda Amaze has overtaken the Honda City in terms of popularity.
At the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year, Honda Cars have reported an overall growth rate of 10.5% .
9 July 2018
Even though the Suzuki Jimny 2018 has been displayed to a selected group of people head of its official launch, the leaked images of this new SUV are doing rounds on the web. From the images it is obvious that this upcoming SUV will be offered in two different models namely Jimny and Jimny Sierra. With this latest SUV, Suzuki is targeting the young buyers who are between the age group of 25 to 30 years. Moreover, in an attempt to attract the audiences belonging to this age group, Suzuki will be offering Jimny in 12 bright colours which includes 9 monotone and 4 dual tone colours. While the Jimny will be available in 3 different variants XG, XL, and XC, the Jimny Sierra version will come in 2 variants namely JL and JC. Coming to its price, it is expected that the price will stand to Rs.9.02 lakh for the base model Jimny XG and can go up to Rs.12.49 lakh for the premium Jimny Sierra JC variant.
6 July 2018
The images of the new fourth generation model of Jimny has been officially released by Suzuki. As apparent from the new images of the car, this new model is designed following the feedback of the existing Jimny owners. However, since the hardy nature of this vehicle was its main selling point, this has been the focus of the developers while designing. The new design of the car reflects 4x4 status which draws its inspiration from the earlier-generation model of Jimny. Even though Suzuki has not officially revealed the launch date of the Jimny in India, upon its arrival it is anticipated to be a good replacement for the Gypsy which is selling in the country since 1985.
4 July 2018
Toyota has recently unveiled the new Century, which is a redesigned version of the Japan’s highly popular chauffeur-driven car. Powered by a V8 engine, the newly launched sedan is supplemented by an electric motor that creates a hybrid system that produces a maximum power of 430hp. The Japanese carmaker plans to sell 50 units if the hand-built car every month in Japan. The newly launched sedan packs an advanced technology that consists of an adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system, automatic lights and road signal recognition, and lane departure warning.
3 July 2018
To accelerate their plans to make all-electric vehicles, Honda and General Motors plan to collaborate for advanced battery components for the same. As per the agreement, Honda is going to source battery components from GM. The next-gen batteries are said to have faster charging capabilities, higher energy density, and smaller size. The two automakers together have also joined hands to produce a hydrogen fuel cell system by 2020. The research and development teams of both the companies are working towards creating affordable and environment-friendly commercial solution for fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems.
2 July 2018
Volkswagen India has recently announced its plans to launch the special editions of Volkswagen Ameo, Volkswagen Polo, and Volkswagen Vento. The upcoming edition gets a stylish side foil, black roof foil, carbon finish OVRM cover and black glossy rear spoiler. These design upgrades will be offered at no extra cost. The carmaker is also inviting customers to follow #BeASport and participate in writing a slogan for the upcoming edition. The winner will get a chance to win the sports edition of Volkswagen car. The sport editions will be available in dealerships across India at no additional cost.
28 June 2018
Jaguar Land Rover has recently indicated to its plans of bringing technology integrated fully automatic off-roading cars to the market. The technology which is currently referred to as ‘Project Cortex’ will be tested in the UK on off-road tracks. The sensors and algorithms required to make the technology work are being updated on a constant basis. It would use video sensors, sound sensors, Lidar sensors, and radar to analyse the surroundings that allow the vehicle to overcome the challenges encountered in difficult terrains. The two brands that the company plans to bring have showcased capabilities of level 4 autonomy.
27 June 2018
Mitsubishi has launched the new Outlander and it has been priced at Rs.31.54 lakh. The SUV was launched internationally in 2015 by the Japanese car manufacturer but has been brought to India 3 years later as a CBU.
The new Outlander has a 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine. The naturally aspirated engine runs at 167hp and 222Nm torque. Additionally, the car also has a six-step automatic CVT that permanently powers the wheels.
The back seat of the 7-seater SUV can be folded if more room is required for luggage. The car also comes equipped with automatic headlights and wipers, electronic sunroof, electric parking brake, and keyless go.
26 June 2018
Ford has launched the new Figo sedan in South Africa ahead of its India launch. The new Figo is slightly longer than the Aspire that is currently available in the Indian market. Both the Aspire and the new Figo are both manufactured in Gujarat and are exported to other countries.
The Figo twins were originally launched in 2015 and the new editions come with a host of exciting features. The upgrades are identical for both the sedans and hatchbacks including larger headlights, chrome bezel, and a C-shaped brushed silver inserts.
The dashboard comes in a silver and black finish and is identical to the new Ford Freestyle. The Figo sedan comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 118 bhp and 150 Nm peak torque.
25 June 2018
The 2018 Bentley Bentayga V8 has been launched in India at a price of Rs.3.78 Crore (ex-showroom price, Mumbai). The newly launched luxury SUV packs a smaller V8 engine that churns out a maximum power of 542 bhp and a maximum torque of 770 Nm. Buyers get options to choose from the wheel size options of 20 and 22 inch while the 21-inch wheels come as standard. The car can touch a speed of 100 kmph in just 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 290 kmph.
22 June 2018
Jaguar has now launched the F-Type Coupe and Convertible in India and has priced the cars at Rs.2.65 crore and Rs.2.80 crore respectively.
The car is powered by a 5-litre supercharged V8 engine and can go from 0-100kmph in 3.7 seconds. Additionally, the cars also come with a lightweight titanium exhaust, cooling options for the seats, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The F-Type SVR is the first Jaguar to be designed by the Special Vehicle Operations and is now open for bookings. The SVR Coupe would rival the Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Nissan GT-R.
21 June 2018
With more than a year left for the India launch of the Kia Tusker, the Korean car manufacturer has announced its plans to launch another SUV in 2020.
Kia Motors showcased the SP concept-based SUV at the Auto Expo in 2018 and announced that the car would be first launched in India. Kia plans to launch more cars at regular intervals in the hopes of breaking the Indian market.
In addition to the Tusker and a second SUV launch in 2020, Kia also plans to launch the Sportage SUV and Carnival MVP. There are also rumours of smaller cars being launched in the next couple of years and could be similar to the Rio or Picanto.
20 June 2018
Mercedes-Benz will be launching the S 63 Coupe on 18 June 2018. The car will have the same engine as the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ that was launched last month.
The engine is a V8 unit that generates power of 612 hp and torque of 900 Nm. The previous model of the car also had exceptional performance figures. The car’s engine is coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission unit. In the international markets, the S 63 Coupe is placed below the S 65 Coupe.
The car has a Race Start function that helps it reach 100 kph within 3.5 seconds. The exterior updates include a new front design with bigger air intakes. The vehicle also has 19-inch alloy wheels.
In India, the S 63 Coupe will cost Rs.3 crore, ex-showroom. The car will compete with the Bentley Continental GT and Porsche Panamera Turbo in the market.
19 June 2018
In order to surpass operators such as Ola, Uber, and Zoomcar and to drive economic growth, Mahindra Electric has commenced focusing on the sale of vehicles. This act has come at a time when electric cars are set to be the next revolutionary thing in the market.
The CEO of Mahindra Electric stated that the company’s vehicle sale is all set to take a tremendous hike this year as the core team has began to focus purely on this aspect. In the year 2017, Mahindra Electric was reported to have sold close to 1,500 vehicles. This number is expected to double itself this year.
CEO, Mahesh Babu also attributed the sale of EV vehicles to commercial vehicles and fleet operators like Uber.
18 June 2018
French automaker Group PSA could enter the Indian market in India with an imported Citroen model. The aim behind launching this SUV in the country is to build brand image before the company enters into the phase of mass production. The company also plans to import the Citroen C5-Aircross or Citroen C84 in the days to build a strong brand image in the country. PSA may also consider assembly of vehicles at its Chennai plant. With the upcoming launches, the French carmaker envisions taking on some of the well established brands in the market such as Hyundai Tuscon, Jeep Compass, and Skoda’s upcoming SUV Karoq.
14 June 2018
Maruti Suzuki is India’s biggest carmaker not only in terms of volume of production but also in profit generation than its close rivals Hyundai and others. The carmaker that holds over 50% market share in the Indian market sells every second car in the country. The Suzuki backed company made a record sale of 1,779,574 units and also made a record profit of Rs.77.21 billion last financial year. A significant part of the units sold were the newly launched light commercial vehicles.
13 June 2018
In line with the government’s mission of rapid electric mobility adoption, the Maharashtra government signed an agreement with Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra to deploy 1,000 e-vehicles across the range of commercial and passenger vehicles in the state. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra last year won an order of 10,000 and 9,500 electric vehicles respectively. As per the agreement, the government and the two automakers will work in unison with logistics companies, taxi service providers, and others to deploy electric vehicles in the coming year.
12 June 2018
With the Indian government’s vision to make the country an all-electric vehicle driving nation by the year 2030, electric two-wheelers are gaining significant demand in India. With stricter pollution norms coming into place and rising awareness, the demand for electric two-wheelers and cars is expected to rise further. The automakers including Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra too sense the emerging trend and are working towards bringing electric vehicles to the market. However, till the electric vehicles reach the state of mass consumption, the cost of their parts are going to remain high. The same will also affect the insurance premiums in a significant way.
11 June 2018
Kia is planning to bring its SP Concept SUV to India in the mid of 2019. It has recently organised a competition called ‘Fame for Name’ in which potential customers could suggest original names for the new Kia SUV. Out of the all the entries, Kia selected four best names. The final name will be selected based on an Internet poll. As of now, the name ‘Trazor’ is leading among the four. The winners of the competition have a chance to win exclusive merchandise of the company.
8 June 2018
With changing market dynamics and change in Tata’s automobile design strategy, Tata Motors has recently decided to pull the production plug and discontinue the production of Tata Indica and the Tata Indigo eCS. First showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998, Tata Indica established itself as one of the iconic cars in India. As the country’s first indigenously developed car, there were over 1.18 lakh bookings received for the car within one week of its launch. In the financial year 2017-18, Tata Motors manufactured 1,686 units of Tata Indica and 556 units of Indigo CS Sedan.
7 June 2018
Following the success of its E-Class model in India, Mercedes-Benz has recently launched the E-Class 220 d in India. The launch of this car also marks the introduction of OM 654, Mercedes-Benz’s globally popular diesel engine in the country. The E 220 d version of the ‘World Luxury Car of the Year’ packs a four-cylinder diesel engine and brings along better safety, technology, and comfort features. The production of the newly launched car will be done from the Pune manufacturing facility.
6 June 2018
BMW AG’s 98th Annual General Meeting that concluded only recently saw the chairman of the company reveal that the BMW X5’s successor is certain to hit Indian markets in late 2018. The chairman did not reveal the exact date on which it will be launched, but automobile industry insiders said that the vehicle will most likely be on display at one of the motor shows this year or early next year. Enthusiasts can rest assured that the new generation vehicle will be available for purchase come mid-2019.
5 June 2018
To strengthen its performance car line-up, BMW India is looking to bring two new offerings in India – the M2 Competition and M5 Competition. The automaker has launched multiple cars in 2018 ranging from the new M5, 6-series Gran Turismo, the new version of M3 and M4, and the X3. The M2 Competition will bring the 2-series in India which has existed in the markets abroad for some years now. M2 Competition is the new version of M2 which produces a maximum power of 410 hp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. It can go from a speed of 0-100 kmph in only 4.4 seconds.
4 June 2018
India saw the launch of the 2018 Mini Countryman just a few weeks back, and the company has gone on to launch the 2018 Mini Cooper models in the country. Come June 2018, enthusiasts will be able to purchase the Mini Convertible Cooper S (Petrol) for Rs.37.10 lakh, the Mini 5-door Cooper D (Diesel) for Rs.35 lakh, the Mini 3-door Cooper S (Petrol) for Rs.33.2 lakh, and the Mini 3-door Cooper D (Diesel) for Rs.29.7 lakh.
1 June 2018
In a recent announcement, Swedish car manufacturer Volvo committed that all the new car models launched in 2019 will either be completely electric or partly electric (plug-in hybrid). All cars sold by Volvo henceforth will have gone through some electrification and Volvo is targeting to sell at least 1 million electrified cars by the end of 2025. Out of the total sales, Volvo expects 50% of it to be from fully-electric variants. This naturally means that India too will have more of these electric and hybrid models.
Volvo Auto India had recently brought the plug-in hybrid variant of the XC90 T8, its flagship SUV to the market and will soon launch the plug-in version of S90 T8 and hybrid variant XC60.
31 May 2018
Two decades after its launch, Tata Motors has discontinued its first passenger cars—the Indica and Indigo. The models have lost popularity as customers now prefer the trendier car models offered by Tata’s rivals.
A dealer for Tata Motors has stated that the production for both models has stopped and only supplying the last few cars. A spokesperson for Tata Motors has confirmed the decision stating that the product has run its lifecycle and will be phased out.
Tata Motors has seen a 22% growth in sales as of March 2018 with the Hexa, Nexon, and the Tiago contributing to the increase in sales. The Indica and Indigo sales have been steadily declining. According to data, Tata Motors sold 1,756 units of the Indigo and 2,583 units of the Indica in the last financial year. The carmakers have added that they would continue to extend their customer support services for Indica and Indigo consumers.
30 May 2018
Volvo, the Swedish automaker has recently established a new National Parts Warehouse (NPW) in Bhiwandi. The warehouse is aimed at bringing down the supply time of Volvo parts throughout the country. The company hopes that the availability of parts in India will boost customer confidence and will contribute in doubling the market share of the car manufacturer in luxury car space by 2020.
29 May 2018
The new-gen Maruti Suzuki Ertiga was spotted testing recently. The upcoming version seems to have gone through a bunch of changes. It is expected to come with a new six-speed manual transmission as against the existing model that has a 5-speed gearbox. The new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga might feature a four-cylinder, 1.5 litre engine that will replace the 1.3 litre Fiat sourced diesel engine. The 4-speed automatic torque converter may also be replaced with the AMT system. The car also gets a new design with dual tone shade, newer dashboard, touchscreen infotainment system, and more.
28 May 2018
At the recently concluded ASEAN NCAP crash tests, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid sedan was awarded a 5-star rating. The car scored 91.98 points and had great scores for child and adult occupancy. The vehicle also has almost all the essential safety features that the NCAP prescribes.
The Ioniq received scores of 46.34 points for the protection of adult occupants and 21.48 points for the protection of child occupants. As per the frontal offset test assessment, the car provides protection to the front passenger and driver and the passengers in the rear. The side impact test was also in favour of the car.
The Ioniq was due to make its entry into India before the stringent taxation norms on hybrid vehicles were implemented. The launch of the vehicle in India was put on hold by Hyundai following that.
25 May 2018
Volvo has taken the first step in its long-term goal of diesel-free engines with the launch of the S60. The sedan will be launched later this year and will be Volvo’s first car to be produced without a diesel engine.
In the 2018 Beijing motor show, the car manufacturer further strengthened its goal by stating its target of having 50% of their sales come from electric cars by 2025. Chief Executive and President of Volvo, Håkan Samuelsson stated that Volvo hopes to phase out cars with internal combustion engines to full electrification. Volvo hopes to achieve this goal by using petrol hybrid versions as a point of transition.
The new S60 is a sports sedan whose architecture is similar to the 90 series and 60 series cars. It will initially be available in a range of four-cylinder Drive-E petrol engines and two petrol-plug hybrids. Volvo’s manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina will be manufacturing the S60.
24 May 2018
‘NEXA Journeys On Asian Highway 1 Driven By S-Cross’ is all set to start this month. The show covers the entire Asian highway stretch and will highlight the less explored territories that have generated significant curiosity among the travellers. The show will premier on three Discovery Channels on 21st May 2018 at 7.30 p.m and will feature five celebrities taking cross country trip via the Asian Highway 1 (AH1). A total of 10 celebrities have been chosen based on their strongest passions in the areas of cooking, acting, photography, singing, and passion for cars. The show consisting of 7 episodes will highlight the journey of these 10 people covering a distance of 4325 kilometres across 3 nations.
23 May 2018
Toyota has finally launched the much awaited Toyota Yaris in India at a starting price of Rs.8.75 lakh (ex-showroom price, Delhi). With this launch, Toyota plans to compete with the likes of Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid, Maruti Suzuki, and the Ciaz in the Indian market. Available in 4 variants, the newly launched car is segmented further into 8 iterations. The top-end version of the car has been priced at RS.14.07 lakh (ex-showroom price, Delhi).
22 May 2018
Honda unveiled the all new Amaze in India at a starting price of Rs.5.59 lakh (Ex-showroom price, Delhi). The much awaited car made its first public appearance in the 2018 Auto Expo. The new model is available in four different variants and has a similar design as the new Honda Accord. While the bookings for the newly launched car started a little earlier, the deliveries will be made starting from the next month. The price for the top model of the car will go up to Rs.8.99 lakh (Ex-showroom price, Delhi). The current pricing is valid only for the first 20,000 customers as a part of an introductory offer. The prices are expected to be raised thereafter.
21 May 2018
The Hyundai Creta Facelift 2018 which is going to be released in India by 22nd May 2018 has already arrived at dealerships across the country. Even though this 2018 Facelift version of Hyundai Creta will not receive any mechanical alterations and changes in engine specifications, it is likely to get minor cosmetic revamps in its exterior, dual tone colour options along with other additional features. It is expected that the price of this updated 2018 edition of Creta will receive a price hike of around Rs.20,000 to Rs.30,000 based on its variants.
18 May 2014
Maruti Suzuki has recently unveiled a newer model to join its Ertiga MPV series. The limited edition model gets some cosmetic changes in its design and is available in three colour variants-Silky Grey, Exquisite Maroon, and Superior White. The all new model also features roof mounted spoilers, limited edition badges, and new alloy wheels. While the diesel version is priced at Rs.9.71 lakh, the petrol version is priced at Rs.7.80 lakh (ex-showroom price, New Delhi). The Japanese car maker also plans to launch in India its second-generation Ertiga that recently made its debut in the Indonesian market.
17 May 2018
BMW is expected to launch the M2, its smallest ‘M Car’ in India in a few months. The BMW M2 Competition offers better styling and performance upgrades and is positioned to compete with the Porsche 718 Cayman S. It uses the 3.0 litre engine similar to its bigger siblings, the M3 and M4. The car packs a twin-turbocharged engine that churns out a maximum power of 405 bhp and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. The M2 can go from the speed of 0-100 kmph in 4.2 seconds and can hit a top speed of 250 kmph. There is also an optional ‘M2 Driver’s Package’ that can increase the top speed of the car to 280 kmph.
16 May 2018
The much-anticipated new-gen Maruti Suzuki WagonR is set to be launched in India around Diwali this year. The new WagonR will be third generation of the popular hatchback and will be powered by a 1.0-Litre K-series engine. It will be mated with a 5-speed gearbox and will be available in AMT gearbox option as well. The car will lock horns with rivals like the Tata Tiago, Renault Kwid, and the upcoming Hyundai Santro.
The present WagonR has been on the leaderboards as one of India’s best selling hatchbacks with about 14,000 units sold every month. That makes the car the fifth bestseller. The Indian carmaker is expecting the new WagonR to climb up the ladder further with an expected sales figure of 18,000 cars a month.
15 May 2018
The new generation MINI Countryman is finally here in India and it will be assembled locally at the Chennai plant of BMW. The car is available in 2 petrol variants and a diesel variant. They are priced between Rs.34.90 lakh and Rs.41.40 lakh. Although the car is built on a brand new platform, it is very close to the origin preceding model which was launched here in 2010. On the exterior, the Countryman offers optional LED lighting upfront and vertical tail lamp cluster on the rear.
The petrol variants are powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0-Litre engine that juices out 189 bhp of maximum power and 280 Nm of peak torque. The diesel variant, on the other hand, is powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0-Litre engine that can produce a maximum power output of 188 bhp and a peak torque of 400 Nm. Both the variants are clubbed with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. The petrol and diesel trims can clock 0 to 100 kmph in 7.5 seconds and 7.7 seconds, respectively. Other in-cabin features include Navigation system, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
10 May 2014
American automobile-maker, Ford is ready to launch the new EcoSport S, in India next month. The new EcoSport S is claimed to be the sportiest version of the popular subcompact SUV. A completely undisguised EcoSport S was spied in India few days back and is supposed to be placed above the Titanium+ variant of the current line-up. The SUV’s 1.0 litre petrol engine, clubbed with a 6-speed manual transmission, will churn out 124 bhp of maximum power and 170 Nm of peak torque. Expected cosmetic changes include a sunroof and new set of alloys. The cabin contains black upholstery with orange accents and will feature a floating touchscreen infotainment system.
11 May 2018
It has been found that most of the vehicles on the roads do not comply with the mandated requirement of being equipped with a third-party liability insurance policy. Concerned over this fact, the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety has asked the IRDA to start offering mandatory 3-year insurance policies for cars and 5-year insurance policies for motorcycles. The purchase of insurance should be done at the time of sale and registration.
As per the Motor Vehicle Act, driving without a valid third-party liability insurance policy can attract a penalty of up to Rs.1,000 and even a jail term. Vehicles without the minimum level of insurance pose high risk on the roads, because if these are involved in a collision, the accident victims may receive inadequate compensation.
Own-damage cover and personal accident cover for the owner-driver are not mandated by the law in India.
The cost of the 5-year third-party insurance policy may be slightly higher than that of a comprehensive insurance policy that offers coverage for 1 year.
10 May 2018
Mitsubishi Motors has started accepting bookings for the new improved Outlander SUV in India. The website of the company is updated with this information. The model is likely to launch next month.
The car is currently in the third generation and it has been upgraded midway. Deliveries of the booked cars will start next month.
The car will be made available with a 4B12 2.4 litre MIVEC petrol engine that produces 165 bhp of peak power and 222 Nm of maximum torque. The engine is coupled to a CVT unit that has a 4-Wheel Drive system. The car will also have significant exterior and interior upgrades, along with improved safety features.
The Outlander is expected to have a price tag of Rs.30 lakh, ex-showroom. It will compete with the Skoda, Toyota Fortuner, Kodiaq, Ford Endeavour, and Volkswagen Tiguan in the market.
9 May 2018
The much anticipated mid-size sedan from the fleet of Toyota, the Toyota Yaris has been launched in India. Prices start at Rs.8.75 lakh for the base variant and go up to Rs.14.07 lakh for the top-spec variant (all prices ex-showroom). The car has four variants based on the specifications - J, G, V, and VX. All the variants come with optional CVT transmission.
The Yaris is powered by a 1.5 litre, four cylinder engine that delivers 107 horsepower and 140 Newton-metre of torque. You can choose from an option of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission. The car also offers some first-in-segment features like gesture controlled infotainment system, tyre pressure monitoring system, roof-mounted rear AC with ambient lighting, power seat for driver, and front parking sensors. The higher spec CVT version also offers paddle shifters. On the safety front, the Toyota Yaris offers seven airbags, Hill-Start Assist, all-wheel disc brakes, front and rear parking sensors, ABS, EBD, and ESP. The Yaris will lock horns with the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, and Skoda Rapid.
8 May 2018
The G4 Rexton SUV, sold by Ssangyong motors worldwide, is to be sold in India but will be badged as a Mahindra product. The SUV is set to be Mahindra’s next flagship product and the test mule has been spotted in India recently. Although the exact launch date has not been announced yet, some reports on the public domain suggest a festive launch.
The Mahindra G4 Rexton will be powered by a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine clubbed with 7-speed automatic gearbox. The engine is capable of juicing out 178 bhp of maximum power and a peak torque of 420 Nm. The cabin was not visible on the test mule but the SUV gets a sleek grille upfront accompanied by horizontal slats and LED projector headlamps and LED DRLs. Other features include a two-zone automatic climate control, navigation, GPS, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, etc. ABS, EBD, and electronic parking brake will be offered as standard. The G4 Rexton is a direct competitor to the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner.
4 May 2018
The environment ministry has recently released a draft of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and has also invited stakeholders to provide their comments on the same. The programme proposed several measures to fight air pollution in the country.
The proposal has received criticism from Greenpeace India, as it does not contain pollution reduction targets of 35% for the upcoming 3 years and 50% for the coming 5 years.
Non-attainment cities are those that have lower air quality than the national ambient standard. The Union Environment Minister said that the ministry is expecting to reduce the menace of pollution in 100 non-attainment cities by up to 50% in 5 years under the National Clean Air Programme.
3 May 2018
The third-gen BMW X3 has been launched in India with the price tags of Rs.49.99 lakh for the xDrive 20d Expedition and Rs.56.70 lakh for the xDrive 20d Luxury Line (both prices, ex-showroom). The revamped X3 now comes with larger kidney grille, full LED headlamps, larger air intakes, LED fog lamps, and 3D LED tail lamps on the exterior.
The SUV also gets an updated interior which includes the sixth generation iDrive infotainment (touchscreen and voice control) system with smartphone integration (iOS and Android). The X3 is powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine that delivers 190 bhp of maximum power and 400 Nm of maximum torque. It is clubbed with an 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. Other notable features offered by the third generation BMW X3 are the Harmon Kardon audio system, Automatic Differential Brakes, BMW ConnectedDrive, Adaptive suspension, Dynamic Traction Control, and Hill start and descent controls. BMW has also confirmed that the petrol variant will be hitting the market later this year.
2 May 2018
A top executive of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) stated that Indian passenger cars should be levied taxes on the basis of emission levels, not the size, ground clearance, or engine capacity. The company has been looking forward to the decrease in the rate of taxation on green vehicles, so that it can supply more of these models to the Indian market.
Under the current system of taxation passenger vehicles are levied the maximum GST, at the rate of 28%, with 1% cess on petrol cars less than 4 metres in length. SUVs that are more than 4 metres long are levied 22% cess.
TKM is also not keen on bringing too many hybrid cars into the country due to stringent taxation norms. Currently, hybrid cars attract 15% cess above the maximum GST rate.
Toyota is also willing to offer the hybrid technology to Indian companies that do not have access to it presently. Further, the company is looking to partner with Suzuki for model sharing purposes. TKM may also introduce new models in India that are BS-VI compliant.
30 April 2018
The government has ascertained that setting up of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will not require any specific licenses under the Electricity Act of 2003. This statement has given a boost to the EV plans of the nation.
There was initially some confusion on whether charging electric vehicle batteries would amount to transmission or distribution of electricity (that needs a separate license under the Act). The automobile industry has welcomed this notification and stressed on the fact that there will now be a level playing field for stakeholders.
Stakeholders were in confusion on the type of business model to choose for the EV infrastructure. Now, it is possible for the private companies, PSUs, and equipment manufacturers to get into a partnership and create a robust charging infrastructure in the country. This is crucial for encouraging the citizens of India to shift to electric vehicles.
27 April 2018
American automobile giant, Ford, has finally announced the launch date for their much-anticipated crossover, the Ford Freestyle. The Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) is set to hit the Indian market on 26 April 2018. The car is a crossover of the Ford Figo and the Ford EcoSport.
The CUV will be available in two variants - petrol and diesel. The petrol variant will be powered by a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder, Dragon series engine which juices out 95 brake horsepower @ 6,500 rpm and 120 Newton metre of torque @ 4,200 rpm. The 1,498 cc diesel engine, on the other hand, delivers 99 brake horsepower @ 3,750 rpm and 215 Newton metre of torque. Both the variants are clubbed with a 5-speed manual gearbox and does not have an automatic transmission variant at this moment. The crossover will have four primary variants - Ambiente, Trend, Titanium, and Titanium+.
On the exterior, the Ford Freestyle sports a lot of black. The mesh grille, wheel arch claddings, ORVMs, bumper inserts, and underbody cladding host a lot of black design elements. The Freestyle will also come equipped with keyless entry, parking sensors with camera, ABS with EBD, and Ford MyKey.
26 April 2018
Ford India has hiked the price of the Ecosport by up to Rs.20,500. The updated car prices are now available on the company website. The company has also announced a host of new and updated features for the subcompact SUV. The Titanium, Trend, and Trend+ models will now come with a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with a rear parking camera. Ford has made many of the features like dual airbags, parking sensors, speed sensing door lock, ABS, EBD, and passenger seat belt reminder standard across all the Ecosport variants. There are no major changes to the car exterior. The price of the Titanium manual diesel variant remains unchanged.
25 April 2018
The Maruti Suzuki WagonR has been in need of a comprehensive upgrade for a while now. It looks like the company has decided to launch an updated version of the hatchback in the near future. A development mule was recently spotted in Shimla. From the looks of the test mule, the car is expected to house a larger rear windscreen. The company is expected to bring several updates to the WagonR ranging from cosmetic changes to modifications to underpinnings for providing better structural rigidity. It is also expected that the car will be BS-VI compliant to ensure that it meets emission norms in the near future.
24 April 2018
Followed by the launch of the 1.0 litre petrol version of the Polo, Volkswagen has launched a 1.0 litre petrol version of the Ameo as well. The new variant of the Ameo is being called the Ameo Pace and is powered by a three cylinder, 999 cc engine which is capable of generating a maximum power of 76 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm and a maximum torque of 95 Newton-metre @ 3,000 - 4,300 rpm. The company claims the engine to be BS-VI compliant.
The shift to a 1.0 litre engine from a 1.2 litre engine will contribute towards better fuel efficiency and thus make the Ameo Pace a strong player in its segment. On the exterior, this mid-spec Comfortline comes with a faux carbon fibre spoiler, black ORVMs, cruise control, and alloy wheels. The Ameo Pace comes with price-tag of Rs.6.10 lakh (ex-showroom).
23 April 2018
The new Mahindra XUV500 is all set to hit the Indian market on April 18. The facelifted XUV500 comes with a set of new features along with some significant cosmetic changes. The engine is expected to be more powerful in this much-needed and much-anticipated update.
The Mahindra XUV500 will be delivered with variant names like W5, W7, W9, and W11, depending on the combination of engine and transmission systems. The SUV will be powered by the existing 2.2 litre mHawk diesel engine which will be tuned in two options: the existing 140 bhp option and an updated 157 bhp option, likely to be offered in the top variant. However, the petrol variant of the car is not expected to have any major change in the technical front. The cabin is updated with tan upholstery, new dashboard setup with updated infotainment system, and revised interior design. The safety features have been updated as well along with external features. On the exterior, the Mahindra XUV500 sports a larger grille, updated headlamp cluster, LED-integrated ORVMs, and new fog lamps upfront, while the rear end gets new wraparound LED tail lamps and a new tailgate.
20 April 2018
Ford India has decided to open pre-launch bookings for their upcoming car, the Ford Freestyle. The car is expected to launch by the end of April. The Ford Freestyle is expected to offer the option of both petrol and diesel. It has an all new three-cylinder Dragon engine, the 1.5L TDCi diesel engine, and the 1.2L TiCVT petrol engine. The Freestyle has been built on the Figo hatchback platform. It is likely to be placed in between Figo and the utility vehicle Ecosport.
19 April 2018
Hyundai is all set to launch the Creta facelift in India. A production version of the facelifted edition was spotted recently. Visible cosmetic changes in the image indicate that it is the facelifted Creta.
There are plenty of cosmetic changes that can be expected from the new facelifted Creta. The new Hyundai Creta will come with a larger cascading grille and a revised set of headlamps. The car also comes with integrated LED daytime running lamps and a redesigned front bumper with restyle foglamps. The car is likely to continue using the same 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines used in the previous version of the Creta.
18 April 2018
State Bank of India(SBI) and Wipro Limited have committed to switch to electric vehicles(EVs) in its global fleet by the year 2030. They have now joined The Climate Group’s global EV initiative EV100, becoming the first of many Indian businesses to join the cause. Wipro has decided to roll out the plan in Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad initially. In order to increase the use of EVs, SBI is planning to set up charging stations in many of the major residential spaces. Wipro is planning to increase the use of EVs to 500 in the next 3 years and has a target to reach 1,000 by the year 2023.
17 April 2018
German automobile giant, Volkswagen, has posted the highest sales figures ever in the first quarter of 2018 with more than 15 lakh vehicles sold worldwide. In comparison to the same period last year, the sales figure has gone up by 5.9 percent. In India alone they have sold 10,350 vehicles in this quarter.
The company saw a significant growth in the USA and China although the sales figures have taken a hit of 0.8 percent in their home country, Germany. In the month of March, Volkswagen has sold a record 5,84,700 units all over the world.
Skoda, Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Seat which are part of the Volkswagen Group, have also seen a huge growth in this quarter.
16 April 2018
The 2018 Audi RS5 Coupe is all set to enter the Indian market on 11 April 2018 and it was spotted on the Indian roads prior to its launch. The car, which is already on sale in the international market, will come with a new and updated engine, exterior, and interiors, and will pose as a direct competitor for the BMW M4.
Externally, the car will come with 19-inch wheels along with wider wheel arches than its predecessor. It will also sport the signature single-frame grille upfront. Internally, the RS5 Coupe gets a digital instrument cluster and will carry over a lot of other features from the Audi A5.
The RS5 Coupe is powered by a 2.9-litre TFSI twin-turbo V6 engine that is capable of producing 444 brake horsepower and 600 Newton-metre of peak torque. The Coupe can go from 0-100 kmph in 3.9 seconds and can clock a top speed of 250 kmph. In addition to that, the RS5 Coupe can be clubbed with an RS Dynamic Package which further pushes the top speed to 280 kmph.
13 April 2018
Honda Cars will soon be launching its new Honda Amaze sub-compact sedan in the country. Bookings for the car are now open at dealerships for a token amount of Rs.21,000. The car is expected to be launched in the market in May 2018.
Honda Amaze is a frontrunner in the sub-compact space in the Indian automobile industry. The new Honda Amaze has an aggressive styling with a neat front and rear end design. The car also has a larger grille in chrome.
The car manufacturer may hike the price of the car in order to stay with the competition in the market. The petrol variants are likely to cost around Rs.5.70 lakh to Rs.8.20 lakh. The diesel variants will cost between Rs.6.50 lakh and Rs.8.70 lakh. The launch of the new Amaze is one of the most anticipated ones this year.
12 April 2018
The State-run Energy Efficiency Services(EESL) has decided to invest Rs.2,400 crore to acquire 20,000 electric vehicles for government use. EESL issued a tender last month for 10,000 e-vehicles in order to cater to the demands in various government departments. The usage of these vehicles is expected to save over 5 crore litres of fuel every year which will in turn result in the reduction of more than 5.6 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually.
11 April 2018
German Auto giant- BMW has launched a limited edition model of the very popular 3-series in India. The limited edition vehicle is christened as the ‘Shadow Edition’. The iconic ‘Shadow Edition’ is being offered for the 330i M sport trim and the 320d sport trim. The 330i M is priced at Rs.47.3 lakh and the 320d is priced at Rs.41.4 lakh (both prices- ex-showroom, India). The ‘Shadow Edition’ is all about the internal as well as external cosmetic changes and BMW has made no changes to the engine or the performance of the cars. The petrol variant 330i M-Sport comes with a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 252 brake horsepower and 350 Newton-metre of peak torque which helps it clock 0-100 kmph in 5.8 seconds. On the other hand, the 320d diesel comes with a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine that produces 190 brake horsepower and 400 Newton-metre of torque giving it the ability to hit 0-100 kmph in 7.2 seconds. Both the cars come with an 8-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
The iconic BMW grille on the ‘Shadow Edition’ sports a gloss black finish now and the headlamps and tail-lamps get a smoked finish. The exhaust tips get a black chrome finish, justifying the name ‘Shadow Edition’. The interior of the ‘Shadow Edition’ sports a new red and black upholstery and a 10.5 inch instrument cluster along with M-Sport leather steering wheel and M-Sport door sills. The only other change to look for is the redesigned alloys, which is different for both petrol and diesel variants. The other features like the infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, reverse parking camera, etc. remain standard for the ‘Shadow Edition’.
10 April 2018
Automakers in the country are joyous after registering an all-time high sales across segments in FY18. Many analysts believe the trend is likely to continue in the next fiscal year. The past year saw cumulative domestic vehicle sales growth at 13-15%. It is the first time this has hit the double-digit mark since 2012. The industry is expecting a high single-digit expansion in passenger vehicles for fiscal 2018. The commercial vehicle segment recorded sales of more than 8.8 lakh units in the last fiscal year. This is a 23% growth from the year before. Industry executives believe the introduction of GST and other policy changes are the main reasons for the increase in sales.
9 April 2018
Indian automobile giant, Tata Motors, ended the financial year 2017-18 on a good note by registering a growth of 23 percent in sales. This helped them to register a cumulative growth of 35 percent last month (March 2018).
The motor company has witnessed steady growth in all of it’s segments. The passenger vehicle sales has gone up by 31 percent with the advent of cars like the Tiago and Tigor. The Utility Vehicle segment has also seen a mammoth growth of 223 percent with the mass acceptance of SUVs like the Nexon and Hexa. Tata Motors also sold 49,174 units of Commercial Vehicles in March 2018 as opposed to 35,876 units in March 2017, thus showing a growth of 37 percent in sales of CVs. The M&HCV truck segment and the I&LCV truck segment also saw a growth of 21 percent and 97 percent respectively. Even the SCV cargo and pickup segment has reported a growth of 52 percent over last year.
6 April 2018
The Hyundai i30 was seen testing near the Chennai plant of the car manufacturer. If the car is launched in the country, it will be placed between the i20 and the Creta in the Hyundai lineup. The i30 was launched in Europe in 2017 after it was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 2016.
The current generation of the i30 has a 1.6 litre petrol motor that creates 125 bhp of maximum power and 155 Nm of peak torque. There is also a variant with a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine that generates 201 bhp of power and 265 Nm of maximum torque. The 1.6 litre diesel engine variant makes 93 bhp of power and 280 Nm of peak torque. The 2.0 litre petrol engine creates maximum power of 207 bhp as well.
The i30 has several attractive features including a high resolution TFT instrument cluster, electric driver seat adjustment facility, and reverse parking assist, to name a few. The driving modes in the car include comfort, normal, and sport. The car is also equipped with ample safety features such as auto emergency braking, blind spot alert, cross traffic alert, hill assist, seven airbags, and adaptive cruise control. The car manufacturer has not yet mentioned whether the i30 will be introduced in India.
5 April 2018
In a move which could change the automobile landscape of the country, Suzuki Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. inked an agreement to manufacture and sell cars for each other. In essence, this would mean that Suzuki will manufacture and supply cars from its stable to Toyota and vice versa.
Reports indicate that Suzuki is likely to provide mid-range cars like the Baleno and Brezza to Toyota, with Toyota in turn providing its highly successful model, the Corolla to Suzuki.
The partnership will enable Suzuki to add high-end products to its portfolio, which is currently limited to smaller cars. It will also help it get access to the R&D done by Toyota, something it currently lacks.
For Toyota, the partnership will help it get access to popular Suzuki cars, helping it expand its portfolio in the compact segment. While the company’s bigger products have done well in India, its smaller offerings like the Etios and Liva have failed to live up to expectation.
While Maruti Suzuki commands the first position in the Indian market, it is listed in the top ten globally. Toyota on the other hand is among the top three manufacturers globally but has failed to replicate the same success in India.
Maruti Suzuki’s market share last year was around 50 per cent, while Toyota had a share of around 5 per cent.
Under the deal Toyota will provide Suzuki around 10,000 vehicles, with Suzuki providing around 50,000 vehicles for Toyota.
4 April 2018
Recent reports indicate that the Ford Aspire sedan will undergo an upgrade soon, and the launch date of the updated car will be in June 2018. Bookings for the sedan will be open close to the launch date; deliveries are expected to start by early July.
Spy images indicate that the car will get new front and rear bumpers and an updated alloy wheel design. There will be a touchscreen infotainment system with Sync3, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The new Ford Aspire is likely to get a new 1.5 litre, 3-cylinder Ti-VCT Dragon petrol engine that generates maximum power of 150 Nm. It will be coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission unit. The car will also be available with its existing diesel engine.
The sedan will compete with the Hyundai Xcent, Volkswagen Ameo, Honda Amaze, and Maruti Suzuki Dzire in the market.
3 April 2018
Jaguar Land Rover has introduced India’s first SUV convertible, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, at an ex-showroom price of Rs.69.53 lakh in India. The car has a Z-folding convertible roof that can be lowered in 18 seconds and pulled back up in 21 seconds.
Although convertibles are not suited for the tropical weather and pollution in India, there has been an increase in companies launching these cars in the country.
The car has a 4-cylinder petrol engine that can generate maximum power of 240 PS and peak torque of 340 Nm. It is coupled to a 9-speed transmission and is equipped with a Terrain Response System that makes the SUV suitable for off-road driving. The car can wade through water, has hill start assist, and is equipped with the Torque Vectoring by Braking system that increases its speed and stability when it turns corners.
There is also a display that shows vehicle speed, navigation directions, and gear position. Other attractive features of the SUV are Wi-Fi hotspot and surround camera facility.
2 April 2018
Ford and Mahindra have confirmed that they will jointly develop new electric vehicles for the Indian market. The MOU between the two companies state that they will be developing compact and mid-sized SUVs along with a new electric vehicle. The new SUVs will have the Ford badge and body but these will work on a platform that will be developed jointly by Mahindra and Ford.
It is also understood that the next gen Mahindra XUV 500 will be based on the same platform as the SUV from Ford that will be introduced in India in the near future. The new SUV will be placed between The Ford Ecosport and the Ford Endeavour.
The MOU indicates that the companies will co-operate with each other for a period of 3 years. Ford is looking to get access to low cost structures and economies of scale while Mahindra will be exposed to the engineering prowess of the American automobile giant.
30 March 2018
Porsche has been focussing on the production of electric vehicles and the first contribution from the company to the electric mobility market will be the Mission E. Although the production version of the car has still not been released, Porsche has showcased the car in a recent teaser. The car appears in the prototype guise in the teaser. There is also a preview of how the road-ready model will look.
From the teaser, it is evident that the Mission E prototype is similar to the concept. The only difference is the suicide doors not being present in the prototype. The styling of the car is also impressive.
Porsche has revealed that the car will generate 600 hp of maximum power that will help the vehicle achieve a speed of 100 kmph in 3.5 seconds or less. The car will be able to travel 500 km in one charging. The sedan can charge up to 80% in 15 minutes as well. It should be noted that these are the specifications of the high-end model in the range.
The production model of the car will be built in Stuttgart. The auto manufacturer will supply 20,000 units in a year initially and hike the production figures based on demand. The Porsche EV is expected to be launched in India by 2020 as a completely built unit.
29 March 2018
The third generation of the Bentley Continental GT will be launched in India on March 24th this year. The car was first showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017.
The car will have a revamped version of GT’s 6 litre twin-turbo W12 petrol engine that will generate maximum power of 634 PS and peak torque of 900 Nm. The car will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 3.7 s and can attain top speed of 333 kmph.
The weight of the car has now reduced to 2250 kg, a drop of 85 kg. The vehicle has an 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system. The price of the car in India will be Rs.1.5 crore, excluding duties and taxes.
The exterior of the vehicle is now sharper and looks more aggressive. The car has crystal-cut LED headlights and LED tail lamps as well. The interiors will have high-quality leather upholstery and technical finishes. This is a significant upgrade to the vehicle since its launch in 2003. Through this upgrade, the car will offer tough competition to its rivals, the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and Aston Martin DB11.
28 March 2018
MG Motors India has announced that it will be launching its first car in the Indian market in the second quarter of 2019. The UK-based carmaker inaugurated its first manufacturing plant in Halol, Gujarat last year. The company has confirmed that it will make a total investment of Rs.5,000 crore in India in the upcoming 6 years.
The first car from MG Motors will be an SUV, and it is likely to be the GS or the ZS. The company has also confirmed that it will adhere to the Make-In-India model leveraged by the government. The company has revealed that it is looking at 80% localisation level on its first SUV. The car manufacturer has plans of launching 1 new car each year starting 2019, and it has already recruited 1,000 new employees at the plant.
MG Motors has said that it will implement plug-in hybrid, electric, and fuel cell technology in the Indian market after feasibility studies are done. The expansion plan of the company includes opening up 300 customer touchpoints in the coming years.
26 March 2018
Ford India has launched the Ford Ecosport Titanium+ compact SUV in the petrol variant. The price of the car is Rs.10.47 lakh, ex-showroom. The car will have the company’s latest 1.5 litre Ti-VCT petrol engine with a 5-speed manual transmission system.
The petrol variant of the car is also accompanied by the first major facelift the vehicle has witnessed. The company has also introduced updates to the exteriors, interiors, and mechanicals.
As far as the exteriors are concerned, there is a new bigger grille and a revamped bumper. The engine has been assembled in India for use on a global scale. The 1.5 litre petrol motor generates maximum power of 120 bhp and a peak torque of 150 Nm. The engine is coupled to a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The company stated that the car has received immense popularity since its launch and customers have been demanding a petrol manual variant of the Titanium+ with enhanced safety features. The vehicle now has 6 airbags offering protection to the driver and passengers alike.
The interiors of the vehicle feature premium upholstery, flat bed seats, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, paddle shifters, glove box illumination, and cruise control, apart from several other attractions.
23 March 2018
MG Motor is likely to launch its first vehicle in the Indian automobile market in the financial year 2018-19. The auto manufacturer had confirmed that the first car will be produced at its facility in Halol in 2019. But the dates for the launch of the company’s first SUV has been advanced to 2018.
MG Motor had bought the Halol manufacturing facility from General Motors in September 2017. Since then, the company has been revamping the plant for its upcoming cars.
It is understood that MG Motor will start operations in India with its compact SUV, the MG ZS. This SUV has been launched in China, UK, Thailand, and Australia in 2017. The ZS would compete with the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, and Renault Duster in the Indian automobile market.
9 February 2018
MG Motor is likely to launch its first vehicle in the Indian automobile market in the financial year 2018-19. The auto manufacturer had confirmed that the first car will be produced at its facility in Halol in 2019. But the dates for the launch of the company’s first SUV has been advanced to 2018.
MG Motor had bought the Halol manufacturing facility from General Motors in September 2017. Since then, the company has been revamping the plant for its upcoming cars.
It is understood that MG Motor will start operations in India with its compact SUV, the MG ZS. This SUV has been launched in China, UK, Thailand, and Australia in 2017. The ZS would compete with the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, and Renault Duster in the Indian automobile market.
9 February 2018
The Auto Expo 2018 will witness the new generation Honda Civic. The car is expected to be launched in India in 2019. The Honda CR-V and Honda Amaze will also be showcased along with the Civic at the Auto Expo Motor Show.
On a global level, the Civic is available in 3 body types, i.e., the sedan, coupe, and hatchback. The sedan is the only model likely to make its entry into India. The appearance of the Civic is sporty, and the car has stylish headlamps with LED. The alloy wheels and LED taillamps are other attractive features of the vehicle. The front side of the car has a new chrome wing design as well.
The vehicle comes with multiple engine options in the international markets:
Once the car is launched in the Indian automobile market, it will compete with the Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, and Toyota Corolla Altis.
8 February 2018
There have been reports of the Audi Q8 SUV testing on Indian roads. The vehicle was disguised in a signature black cover. The car is expected to make its debut in the latter half of this year. The Audi has been testing the vehicle in other countries with minimum camouflage.
The new Audi Q8 has the MLB platform as its base. The vehicle resembles the Urus in appearance but with a less dramatic look. The Q8 will be the flagship product in the SUV range from Audi.
As far as features are concerned, the vehicle will have a 360 degree parking camera facility. It will also have all-LED daytime running lamps, headlamps, and OLED taillamps. The SUV will be equipped with spoilers mounted on the roof and black alloy wheels.
The vehicle will be powered by a 3.0 TFSI 6-cylinder engine that has an electric compressor and a mild hybrid setup. The motor will produce 469 bhp of maximum power and 700 Nm of peak torque. The engine is also mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
7 February 2018
Maruti Suzuki India will be introducing around four new products in the upcoming 12 to 18 months to improve its sales in the country. The car manufacturer has observed double digit growth of sales in the last 5 years at a rate that is higher than the industry as a whole.
The company’s sales in the domestic market grew by 15.5% between April and December 2017. Maruti sold 12,26,418 units in this period, as opposed to 10,61,873 units the same time last year.
At the upcoming Auto Expo this year, the car manufacturer will be showcasing the upgraded version of its evergreen hatchback Swift. Apart from the new Swift, the company will also introduce a refreshed version of the Ciaz and Ertiga in the coming months.
It is also understood that the Wagon R will be updated soon, but there are no launch dates fixed for the same.
The company is looking to end the financial year on a double digit growth wave.
23 January 2018
Volkswagen has stated that it is studying the electric vehicle segment in India and it will be offering a range of products when the market is ready. The car manufacturer has adjusted its strategy to come on board e-mobility and has also made huge investments for the same.
The Volkswagen (VW) group has several brands such as Skoda, Volkswagen, and Audi in the Indian market. With the government’s push towards e-mobility, various auto manufacturers and MNCs are preparing to enhance their product lineup.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has proposed that the sale of new vehicles in India should be purely electric by 2047. The same for the public transport facilities between cities will be achieved by 2030. SIAM also aims for 40% of new vehicle sales in the country to be purely electric by the year 2030.
22 January 2018
2017 is expected to be a landmark year for electric vehicles (EVs) in India. After the government’s notification of replacing the entire fleet on the roads to EVs by 2030, most of the leaders in the Indian automobile industry have kickstarted their EV transition plans.
Niti Aayog has come out with a roadmap that aims to electrify all cars in India within the next 15 years. Cab aggregators like Uber, Ola, and Zoom have been getting into partnerships with auto manufacturers to upgrade their fleet to EVs. The framework for charging stations in the future will be laid down by the Bharat Stage Protocol for Charging.
Mahindra & Mahindra stated that institutional buyers, cab aggregators, and the government will constitute a major portion of the initial users, as EVs will not be as popular among personal buyers in the beginning. However, it is only a matter of time before private users find the benefits of the system. The company is drafting its EV strategy for the future.
Other companies that are following suit include Mercedes Benz, Tata Motors, Honda Motor, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Volvo, and BMW.
Considering India’s power deficiency, there would be challenges in executing the proposal. However, the future is bright as EVs are expected to emit 30%-40% lesser carbon dioxide that traditional vehicles.
It is also believed that hybrids would help in cutting down the oil imports of the country in the future.
16th January 2018
The Indian wing of the German automobile manufacturing company, Volkswagen, has produced more vehicles than the landmark figure of 1.5 lakh units in a year. This was accomplished at the company’s plant in Pune. The ever-popular sedan Vento held almost half of the total production figures.
The company produced 1,50,150 units for domestic and export purposes in 2017. The production figure for 2016 was 1,45,145 units. The auto manufacturer has two plants, one at Pune and the other at Aurangabad. These facilities produce sedans Vento and Ameo, and hatchback Polo for the company. In addition, the Skoda Rapid is manufactured at these plants for Volkswagen’s subsidiary company, Skoda India. The 1.5 litre diesel engine offered by the company is also assembled here. The Pune plant has seen a growth in production by almost 3.5%, the highest since its inception. The company said in a press release that the increased production volumes are a result of higher demands from export and domestic markets. The cars with the ‘Made in India’ tag have also taken off well for the company.
15th January 2018
The utility vehicles segment in India has risen to 27% of the total market share for passenger vehicles, according to the sales figures for FY2018. Utility vehicles include compact SUVs and crossovers that have gained a lot of popularity recently. Between April and November 2017, the cumulative sales figure for UV stood at 5,97,157 units, marking a 20% growth from the previous year.
Maruti Vitara Brezza, Gypsy, S-Cross, and Ertiga hold 28.59% market share in the segment. Honda Cars India has sold 40,238 units between April and November 2017, and observed a growth in market share to 6.74%.
The Nexon and Hexa have contributed to the increase in sales for Tata Motors, with sales figures standing at 25,338 units during the same time period. This accounts for 4.24% of the market share for UVs. The Creta crossover from Hyundai Motor India has sold 8,528 units till November 2017 and observed a growth of 25%. The current market share of the company is pegged at 12.2%.
12th January 2018
The third generation of the Maruti Suzuki Swift is expected to be launched in 2018, and this is slated to be one of the biggest launches this year. The car will intensify the competition in the Indian automobile market for the segment.
The new Swift will have the same engine as the outgoing model, 1.2 litre K-Series petrol and 1.3 litre DDiS diesel motors, that are refined for better fuel economy. The car will also have the auto gear shift (AGS) facility and a standard front airbag. The ex-showroom price of the revamped model of Swift is expected to be between Rs.4.99 lakh and Rs.7.99 lakh.
The vehicle will be showcased at the Auto Expo to be held in February 2018. The next biggest launch after the Swift will be the introduction of the new Hyundai Santro (that will be referred to as AH2) in the latter half of the year.
9th January 2018
Maruti Suzuki will stop the production of the current generation of the Swift, one of the most popular models from the auto manufacturer’s stable. A photograph of the last rollout of the car has surfaced with a note printed on its hood, indicating the end of the car’s glorious journey. The current-gen Swift will be replaced by the third generation of the car that will be launched in 2018. Maruti is expected to give a clear confirmation on the matter early next year.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift was first launched in India in 2005. The current version in the market is the second generation of the vehicle that got a facelift in 2014. The car comes with a 1.2 litre K-Series engine that meets the new BS-IV norms. The upcoming version of the car is more rigid and lighter than the current-gen Swift. There are projector headlamps, sporty alloy wheels, a new cabin, and so much more. The vehicle will get an updated 1.3 litre diesel engine and a 1.2 litre K-Series petrol engine that provides better mileage. The vehicle will also have 5-speed manual and automatic transmission units.
8th January 2018
Mercedes-Benz will be launching the Maybach S 650 at the Auto Expo in February 2018. The auto manufacturer will also showcase the Concept EQ, the company’s new brand for electric mobility at the event.
Mercedes-Benz is looking to strengthen its position in the luxury car market in India by offering more than 10 new products next year. In 2016, the company sold 13,231 units to retain the pole position in terms of sales for the second consecutive year. In 2017, between January and September, the company has sold 11,869 units and recorded a growth of 19.6% from the previous year.
The company is also launching an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that makes use of AI to answer customer queries on Mercedes-Benz offerings.
5th January 2018
Bajaj Allianz has cut the cost of its car insurance policy by 5%-15%, effective 1 January 2018. The company said that it has been able to reduce the cost of insurance through savings from digitisation, improvement in the efficiency of distribution channels, and the effect of GST. The benefits will be passed on to all new and existing customers of the insurer.
The company has stated that the rate cut was not done for increasing the market share, as the insurer is already growing at a healthy rate of 30%. The reduction in premium is timely, as it would help Bajaj Allianz in staying with the aggressive competition in the car insurance market following the commencement of operations of two new entrants, Digit and Acko General Insurance.
4th January 2018
While the end of 2017 saw auto manufacturers declaring big discounts on car models, insurance companies are also following suit.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has recently indicated that it will be lowering the premium rates on private car insurance for new and existing customers. The new rates will be effective from 1 January 2018. The drop in premium will be in the range of 5% to 15%. The managing director of Bajaj Allianz said that this move will create more value for money for the company’s customers.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance has also announced premium cuts up to 15% on car insurance. The executive director of ICICI Lombard said that the company has already started reducing the premium rates. It has been able to achieve this due to the cost savings from operational efficiencies and GST.
When buying car insurance, it is advisable to buy the required amount of coverage. In case you have bought a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can amplify the coverage through appropriate add-on covers. If your car is not used too much, you can purchase third-party liability cover, which is the minimum level of car insurance mandated by law.
3rd January 2018
Mahindra had announced that the company will be launching a new SUV in India that is based on Tivoli. Prototypes of this SUV have been found testing on several occasions. Mahindra is currently at the end of development and testing as the prototype is seen with production-ready LED taillamps.
The SUV is expected to be a sub-4 metre SUV with a stylish pair of taillamps. A new set of dual 5-spoke alloy wheels are also seen in the vehicle. Moreover, the vehicle will be equipped with new petrol and diesel engines.
Not much has been revealed on the styling front but the vehicle is expected to have projector headlamps with LED lights, beefy bumpers, and a chrome grille. There is no confirmation on the powertrain options as well.
2nd January 2018
Cab aggregator company, Ola, has entered into a partnership with Bajaj Allianz to offer a comprehensive insurance programme for its partner vehicles. The coverage provided under the insurance is up to Rs.5 lakh.
Ola stated that its insurance programme has been customised to be more robust and locally relevant based on the feedback it received from driver partners.
The company has more than 9 lakh driver partners in its network. In September 2017, competitor Uber had introduced a similar insurance protection facility for its driver partners in India by entering into an alliance with ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
The comprehensive cover offered to the driver partners of Ola will provide daily benefits for hospitalisations wherein the driver incurs business losses. Children’s education and outstanding car loans are other areas covered by the insurance.
29th December 2017
Porsche will be launching the third generation of its Cayenne SUV in India. The launch date is expected to be in June 2018. The vehicle will be available in the market with an extensive range of engine options.
The Cayenne range in India will include petrol and diesel variants. The diesel version of the vehicle will have the mainstay 3.0 litre, V6 oil burner. The auto manufacturer may also offer the SUV with a 4.0 litre, V8 Cayenne S diesel engine.
The petrol variant of the standard Cayenne will have a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 unit that generates 340 hp of power and 450 Nm of peak torque. The Cayenne S will have a 2.9 litre turbo V6 engine that generates 440 hp of power and 550 Nm of torque.
The Cayenne Turbo will have a 4.0 litre V8 engine that generates 550 hp of maximum power. Porsche is also considering the launch of the hybrid version of Cayenne in India.
The exteriors of the new SUV are similar to its predecessor but the interiors have been upgraded. The Cayenne has been a popular model in the country and the carmaker is looking to expand sales in the Indian market with the new launch.
27th December 2017
The 2018 Hyundai Creta Facelift has been spotted testing in India. Although the vehicle has been camouflaged to conceal its identity, the silhouette of the vehicle indicates that it is indeed the Hyundai Creta facelift. With new rivals in the market, such as Renault Captur and Jeep Compass, the time is ripe for Hyundai to introduce the Creta in a new form.
The Hyundai Creta facelift is expected to come with redesigned headlamps and a brand new bumper in the front. There will be new fog lamps and some fresh styling elements. There may be changes at the rear of the vehicle too.
The interiors are expected to get a makeover with an updated touchscreen infotainment system. Mechanically, the Hyundai Creta will remain unchanged. The vehicle will be available with 1.6 litre Gamma Dual VTVT petrol engine, 1.4 litre U2 CRDi oil burners, or 1.6 litre U2 CRDi VGT engine.
The engine will be coupled to a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. There will also be an option of a 6-speed automatic gearbox in both the petrol and diesel versions.
26th December 2017
Volvo India has announced the launch of the 2017 version of the premium SUV, XC60, in the country. The vehicle will be priced at Rs.55.90 lakh, ex-showroom. The new-gen Volvo XC60 is based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and is available in one variant, Inscription. The SUV will compete with BMW X3, Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz GLC in the market.
The vehicle will have a 1,969 cc, four cylinder diesel engine that generates maximum power of 233 bhp at 4,000 rpm. The peak torque developed is 480 Nm at 1,750 - 2,250 rpm. The engine is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission that distributes the power to all four wheels. The company may launch the petrol variant of the vehicle later on.
Some of the attractive features of the SUV include heated/cooled front seats with massage function that are being offered for the first time in this segment. The car also has a 9 inch Sensus touch-screen system, semi-automatic parking facility, and driver assist features. Visually, the SUV is more stylish than its predecessor and is designed like the XC90, the flagship SUV from Volvo.
22nd December 2017
Urus, the “super SUV” from Lamborghini, will be launched in India on 11 January 2018, following its unveiling at Sant’Agata Bolognese in Italy. The basic model of the vehicle is expected to be priced under Rs.3 crore.
The Urus will have a 4 litre twin turbo V8 engine that generates maximum power of 650 hp at 6,800 rpm. The maximum torque generated is 850 Nm at 2,240 - 4,500 rpm. The rear wheel steering system that is seen in the Aventador S will be seen in the Urus as well. The automaker has stated that the Urus will be the fastest SUV in the world as it is capable of attaining a speed of 100 kph in 3.6 seconds.
The vehicle will play a crucial role in expanding the global sales of the auto manufacturer. Lamborghini’s sales in India are expected to triple after its launch. The automaker has been accepting bookings for the vehicle and all the units allocated for the Indian market for 2018 have been taken. The automaker is also planning to expand its coverage in the country by setting up 2 more dealerships in 2018, to take the total to five.
20th December 2017
Car manufacturers in the country are re-launching old brands with improved features, as they see an ability to connect with their customers by doing so. A report by Jefferies Equity Research & Strategy mentioned that only eight among every 35 new model launches have been successful between FY14 and FY17.
Hyundai Motor India Pvt. Ltd. will be bringing back the Accent for the same purpose. Xcent from the company did not fare as expected. Similarly, Maruti Suzuki did not find success after the launch of Zen Estilo. The company had also stopped the production of its popular brand Zen in 2006.
Experts are of the opinion that the revival of old popular brands help carmakers in saving on input costs. The instant connect that is established with the buyers is also unparalleled.
19th December 2017
It is raining year-end deals in the automobile market with top carmakers like Maruti, Audi, and Tata Motors offering several discounts to clear stocks before the start of the new year.
The discounted cars also include the top sellers of these companies. Deals include exchange bonuses, free insurance protection, lower interest rates on car finance, free accessories, gold coins, discounts on annual maintenance, and cash discounts. It is rumoured that the negotiating capacity of the buyer will make the deals sweeter.
The deals from Maruti Suzuki are on the Wagon R, Alto, Ciaz, Ignis, Swift, Celerio, and Ertiga. The savings could range from Rs.35,000 to Rs.90,000. The Baleno, Dzire, and Brezza are not on offer.
Hyundai has a ‘December Delight’ scheme for its customers under which all its models except the Creta are offered at discounted prices. Savings can range from Rs.55,000 to Rs.90,000. An infotainment system is also provided with all variants on offer. The Hyundai offers are valid till December 25th only; so hurry if you would like to avail it.
If you are looking to buy a car from Tata Motors this winter, you can get discounts that range from Rs.26,000 to Rs.1.87 lakh. Customers can also choose to make a downpayment of Re.1 and drive home a Tata vehicle. Discounts are also offered for PayTm payments.
18th December 2017
Land Rover will be introducing the Range Rover Autobiography by SVO Bespoke in India with added luxury features, style, and unique characteristics. The Bespoke edition can be personalised based on customer needs as well.
Land Rover has set aside only 5 units of the Autobiography by SVO Bespoke for the Indian market. Ex-showroom price of the vehicle starts at Rs.2 crore.
Customers can place orders through the company’s retailer or by taking an appointment at the Bespoke commissioning facility in UK. The vehicle comes in two unique colours - The Bespoke Satin Petrol Blue and Bespoke Gloss Black with Copper Flake. The mirror caps on the vehicle are also body coloured. The interiors of the vehicle have Bespoke detailing and badging along with exclusive seats and a cooler box at the rear.
The car is powered by a 4.4 litre diesel engine that generates maximum power of 350 bhp. It is also available with a 5 litre supercharged petrol engine that creates 543 bhp of maximum power and 680 Nm of torque. The vehicle will compete with Maserati Levante and Bentley Bentayga in the Indian market.
15th December 2017
Lexus has announced that it will be introducing the LS 500h sedan in India at the beginning of 2018. The original LS sedan from the company was a prominent addition to the market of luxury cars in 1989. The latest model of the vehicle was first showcased at the Detroit Motor Show in 2017.
The sedan is characterised by a dynamic design and an oversized grill shaped like an hourglass. The interiors are also more sophisticated now, with a better dashboard and multiple screens. The adjustable electric seats will have cooling, heating, and massaging functions and the rear seats will be truly luxurious with 48 degree recline facility. The presence of an ottoman at the rear amps up the appeal of the interiors.
The LS 500h will have a powertrain with a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine and two motors that produce a combined power of 354 hp. The rear-wheel drive version of the vehicle will be sold in India next year.
The car will be priced higher than its rivals Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, and is estimated to be in the range of Rs.15 crore and above. Bookings for the car are now open.
14th December 2017
A top company official stated that Volvo is looking to launch BS-VI compliant cars in India before April 2020. Volvo said that it will introduce various models of such vehicles as long as compatible fuel is available.
The government has recently allowed the use of BS-VI fuels in the capital in an attempt to curb air pollution. Volvo had indicated that it has been waiting for compatible fuels to be available in India before the introduction of BS-VI compliant vehicles.
The company has also announced that after 2019, all models of their vehicles will have electrification. This could mark the end of cars that work on an internal combustion engine (ICE).
The aim of Volvo Cars is to have a fleet of 1 million electric and electrified vehicles by 2025. The company stated that India will play a huge role in realising this ambition.
As of now, three oil PSUs, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. (BPCL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. (HPCL) are slated to supply BS-VI grade diesel and petrol to Delhi-NCR starting April 2018.
13th December 2017
For the first time ever, a high court has ruled in favour of the accident victims when the incident occurred outside the geographical limits mentioned in the insurance policy. The said accident happened in Nepal in 1995 and resulted in the loss of lives of 54 Indian pilgrims.
The auto insurance policy of the vehicle in which the pilgrims were travelling clearly states that the insurance is valid within India. The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal where the case was heard had directed the owners of the bus to pay compensation to the victims. The tribunal was of the opinion that the insurance company will not be liable to pay for the loss, as the accident occurred outside the geographical limits.
However, the bus owners filed an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court subsequently ruled against the insurance company, stating that the insurer will have to pay compensation, as insurance of a vehicle should cover it across all geographical areas where it is authorised to travel.
12 December 2017
Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is tapping into the potential of Tier II and Tier III cities through a programme that focusses on customer centricity. The initiative, titled Mercedes-Benz Brand Tour, has seen the expansion of its customer base across Tier II and Tier III cities where there are limited dealerships.
As part of the initiative, the company provides discounts on bookings and several other perks. The company has said that the programme also increases awareness among customers and offers them the facilities that are usually offered in Mercedes-Benz dealerships.
The first phase of the programme commenced in October from Agra, Jalgaon, and Salem. It will be extended to Kottayam, Shillong, Patiala, Ahmednagar, Bhopal, Kolhapur, Rajmundry, and Jodhpur by the end of the year. The auto manufacturer mentioned that these cities were selected based on the market demand for luxury vehicles there.
11 December 2017
Jeep has unveiled the latest version of Wrangler at a private event that preceded the ongoing Los Angeles Auto show. The 2018 version of the vehicle will be introduced in India in both diesel and petrol variants.
The exteriors of the vehicle have been upgraded with a new angled grille that makes it look more aerodynamic than the previous models. The headlamps are also now completely LED based. The fender flares of the vehicle have more detail and the windscreen has a more aerodynamic look as well.
The rear of the vehicle has also undergone a complete revamp. The new tail gate is more contoured and appears larger than before.
The interiors of the vehicle have also been revamped as there is a large touchscreen infotainment system present in all the variants now. The top spec models will be equipped with Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, Android Auto, and satellite radio. The vehicle now seems more spacious and comes with several colour choices for the interior package.
The engine of the vehicle will be a 2.2 litre, 4 cylinder petrol motor with mild-hybrid technology. The four-wheeler also comes with a 3.6 litre Pentastar petrol engine. The international markets will have variants with 2.2 litre and 3 litre diesel engines as well. Additionally, the vehicle will have an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
8 December 2017
Toyota has announced that the second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system will be a part of some of the production models from 2018. The auto manufacturer said that the technology used in TSS will be similar to that in Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus. The company has indicated that its customers will benefit from safety features such as pedestrian detection system that is currently not available in low-priced models.
One of the significant features of the second generation Toyota Safety Sense facility is the pre-collision feature. The system provides better braking response and adaptive cruise control for more accurate detection of vehicles in front of the car. Additionally, the system includes Lane Tracing Assist facility that makes steering corrections to keep vehicles in the centre of the lane. The Lane Departure Alert facility has been upgraded as well. The Road Sign Assist feature has a camera mounted to the front of the vehicle. The signs in front of the car are displayed either on a monitor or a dashboard in front of the driver.
More details on the facility will be revealed by the company at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show.
7 December 2017
Hyundai Motor India has announced that it has traversed the 50 lakh production milestone for the Indian market. The 5 millionth car from the Hyundai manufacturing facility was a next gen Verna. Hyundai mentioned that their meeting the 5 million production mark was the fastest in the market and it reinforces their commitment to the Indian automobile industry.
Hyundai had reached the 1 million landmark with a Santro in 2007. This was just 8 years after it commenced production in India. The company has since expanded its portfolio and ventured into new segments. This has strengthened the service delivery network and sales of the company.
The most successful models from the Hyundai portfolio in India are Santro, Creta, Eon, Verna, i20 Active, i10 Grand, and Hyundai Elite i20.
6 December 2017
Mahindra & Mahindra has announced that it will be introducing two new electric vehicles in the Indian automobile market by the year 2019. This is in line with the government’s plan to launch green mobility options so that only e-vehicles are sold by 2030.
The two new vehicles are likely to be based on the existing models from the stable of Mahindra. The managing director of the company stated that the first e-vehicle will be launched in 2018 and the second one will follow in 2019. The electric mobility wing of the company, Mahindra Electric, is expected to invest around Rs.300-400 crore in the project.
It should be noted that Mahindra is the only company in India that has electric passenger cars in its portfolio. Mahindra Electric markets eVerito and e20 Plus electric cars today. The e-Alpha Mini commercial e-vehicle and Supra minivan are also part of the company’s portfolio. The current financial year saw Mahindra selling a total of around 6,000 electric cars.
5 December 2017
Uber will soon enter into a partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra to launch electric vehicles on the Uber app for the Indian market. The initial launch of electric vehicles will be concentrated in the cities of Delhi and Hyderabad. The pilot will then be expanded to other cities.
Madhu Kannan, chief business officer for Uber India, said that the company will be able to put forth an expansion plan only after it has observed progress in the initial markets.
Uber’s local rival Ola had launched electric cars in Nagpur earlier this year. Ola is looking at a full-fledged expansion by 2019. According to the deal, Uber will offer electric vehicles to its drivers at subsidised costs. Mahindra will also provide car financing options, car insurance facility, and after-sales service to its customers. Both companies are planning to work along with private and public firms to set up the infrastructure required for e-vehicles, including the arrangement of charging stations, in Hyderabad.
4 December 2017
Manohar Bhatt has taken over as the head of sales at Kia Motors Co., which is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. Bhatt will be joining Kia after his stint at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance as president.
Bhatt comes with ample experience in the domain, serving as head of marketing at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. before Bajaj Allianz. He has also worked with Hyundai Motor India Ltd. in the sales and marketing vertical.
Kia is all set to inaugurate its first manufacturing plant in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The company will also make its debut at the Auto Expo 2018, showcasing its compact SUV and compact sedan.
Kia’s entry into the Indian automobile space comes when most auto manufacturing companies are observing a decline in sales. So, the South Korean company will have to create a space for itself amidst tough competition from industry leaders such as Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki.
1 December 2017
The Maruti Suzuki Swift, one of the most popular vehicles in India, will be receiving an upgrade in 2019. In the meantime, the auto manufacturer has launched a limited edition version of the vehicle. The Swift Limited Edition will be showcased at the much-awaited Auto Expo 2018.
The price of the limited edition model is Rs.5.45 lakh (petrol variant), ex-showroom Delhi. The diesel variant costs Rs.6.34 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. There are prominent feature upgrades along with cosmetic changes in the limited edition model.
There is a new touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The engine options of the vehicle remain the same as the existing model. The 1.2 litre petrol engine generates 83 bhp of peak power and 115 Nm of maximum torque. The 1.3 litre diesel motor makes 74 bhp of peak power and 190 Nm of maximum torque. The vehicle is also equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
30 November 2017
Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) has confirmed that it would wait for adequate technology to be in place and assess the market conditions before the roll-out of hybrid and electric vehicles. The company indicated that it is working on the strategy and infrastructure changes for the same. The strategy will focus on price, customer acceptance, and market suitability.
HCIL also confirmed that it would be rolling out 6 new models in India over the next 3 years. This would include the upgradation of existing cars and introduction of new variants.
29 November 2017
After announcements from Maruti Suzuki and Toyota on their intentions to tap into the e-vehicle market, Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) has announced its entry into the electric vehicle industry. Auto manufacturers are looking to tap into the potential of this segment after the Modi government announced that all vehicles in India will be electric by 2030.
HCIL is looking at manufacturing battery-run electric vehicles in India, hence improving affordability and being more suitable for the roads here.
Honda anticipates that about 65% of its sales will be from electric vehicles in the year 2030. In Honda R&D (Japan) there is an Electric Vehicle Development Division with a specialised team that works on the development of the entire vehicle. Honda has not yet decided on the launch timelines and models for the Indian market. The company has indicated that their schedule will be based on the evolution of the infrastructure and technology in the country. The acceptance of e-vehicles by consumers will also bear a huge part in the schedule of the company. The CEO of Honda Motor has indicated that the company will introduce 6 models in the upcoming three years in India, and all of them may be hybrids.
28 November 2017
The Korean automaker, Hyundai is set to showcase its refreshed i20 model at an upcoming Auto Expo in February next year. The i20 facelift will come in a new design theme along with some innovative features - a modified front end with a front bumper, a new grille that will make way for a Cascade layout. This will be similar to the one offered on Hyundai Grand i10. This apart, the headlamp cluster may be slightly tweaked and the bumper may get a new look.
However, the refreshed i20 will have the same set of engines, that is, the 1.2 litre petrol, the 1.4 litre diesel, and the 1.4 litre petrol respectively.
27 November 2017
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has announced that it will be launching a battery-run car by 2020. This is based on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that Suzuki Japan signed with Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan). The MoU focusses on a business partnership for introducing electric vehicles in the Indian market by 2020.
Suzuki will manufacture electric vehicles for the automobile market in India, and Toyota will offer the necessary technical support. Both companies also plan to organise a comprehensive study of the technology for use in India. This includes setting up charging stations and imparting training for technicians who work on after-sales support.
Suzuki said that India is looking to transition to electric vehicles under the leadership of PM Modi. Suzuki has announced that it will be constructing a lithium-ion battery plant similar to its automobile plant in Gujarat. The company said that it will also be procuring electric motors and other main components locally to be in alignment with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
24 November 2017
Volkswagen, the German automotive giant, has eventually revealed the latest version of the Virtus sedan that will replace the Volkswagen Vento internationally. The Virtus sedan works on the highly flexible MQB platform. The car will be available for purchase in the international markets, but its launch in India has not been announced.
As per the official unveil, the Virtus is wider and longer than the Vento. The car is equipped with LED headlights, taillights, and a sloping roofline. The interiors are characterised by a touch-screen infotainment system and a digital display for the instruments. The upholstery has also been upgraded.
There are two petrol engine options in the vehicle:
The 1.6 litre, 4-cylinder unit produces 115 bhp of peak power and 162 Nm of maximum torque. This is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission as well.
The 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder petrol unit generates 126 bhp of peak power and 200 Nm of maximum torque. This is mated to a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission.
23 November 2017
Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. has signed on the dotted line for a comprehensive bancassurance pact with YES Bank. The company will distribute its wide range of insurance solutions through the branches of the bank to its customers.
The tie-up is expected to reinforce the distribution network of Reliance General, which is a subsidiary of Reliance Capital Ltd. The company is looking to capitalise on the selling power of 1,040 YES bank branches spread across 7 union territories and 29 states in India.
This is the first bancassurance pact signed by YES Bank after the introduction of the open-architecture norms from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
22 November 2017
Renault has recently revealed the upgraded version of the Duster SUV. The front of the SUV displays a new grille and the vehicle appears taller than the previous model. The design of the alloy wheels are also different now. At the rear of the vehicle, the license plate gets a chrome trim.
The inside of the vehicle also has several changes, including a different steering wheel and a chrome trim on the air conditioner buttons and dashboard. The new Renault Duster will be launched in India only after a few months, as the company has recently introduced the Captur crossover in the Indian SUV segment. The Captur is directly above the Duster in the Renault line-up in India.
21 November 2017
Ford has introduced the new 2018 EcoSport in India and the price of the petrol version starts from Rs.7.31 lakh. The diesel version is priced Rs.8.01 lakh onwards, ex-showroom Delhi. Bookings for the new model of the EcoSport has already begun in Ford dealerships across the country. The new Ford Ecosport has updated projector headlights and a new grille. The car is now equipped with new 17 inch wheels. The side and rear of the vehicle retains the same silhouette.
The interiors boast of an 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system, a new centre console, and an updated steering wheel, rendering the interiors a more sophisticated look.
The Ford Ecosport has a new 1.5 litre 3-cylinder Dragon petrol engine that has replaced the former 4-cylinder system. The diesel engine generates 100 PS/205 Nm and is coupled to a 5-speed manual unit.
The Ford Ecosport will compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Vitara, Honda BR-V, and Tata Nexon in the market.
20 November 2017
Renault has launched the SUV Captur, a premium sports utility vehicle, in India. The petrol variants will be priced between Rs.9.99 and Rs.11.69 lakh and the diesel variants cost between Rs.11.39 lakh and 13.88 lakh. The Captur stands above the company’s SUV Duster, but is priced lesser.
The Captur is expected to improve the sales figures of the company with its high ground clearance and urban look. The Duster is more rugged, has multiple engine options, and has all-wheel drive and automatic variants. The company does not see any threat to the sales of the Duster with the introduction of the new SUV, and has indicated that both products co-exist globally.
17 November 2017
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has announced that all policyholders will be required to mandatorily link their existing insurance policies with Aadhaar. When new insurance plans are purchased, it will be necessary to furnish Aadhaar as well.
On 1 June 2017, the Central Government had made Aadhaar and Form 60/PAN necessary at the time of purchase of financial services such as insurance. Linking Aadhaar with existing policies was also necessitated by the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017.
The IRDA had said in a statement in September 2017 that the authentication of policyholders through their Aadhaar numbers will be on a voluntary basis. A recent circular from the regulator states that life and general insurers will have to abide by the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, without further delay. This is applicable to standalone health insurance companies as well. IRDA has, however, not provided any deadline for the linkage.
16 November 2017
HDFC ERGO General Insurance has unveiled a self-inspection application for motor insurance. This application will enable policyholders to renew their existing motor insurance plans instantly without having to wait for an authorised surveyor to inspect their vehicles.
The facility is currently available for Android users. The application for iOS users will be launched shortly.
15 November 2017
Mercedes-Benz announced the launch of two AMG cars in India, i.e., the AMG CLA 45 sedan and AMG GLA 45 SUV. These are the 6th and 7th performance cars that have hit the markets this year. Both models are being offered in an ‘aero edition’ with an updated cosmetic package. The price of the AMG CLA 45 starts from Rs.75.2 lakh and that of GLA 45 begins at Rs.77.85 lakh, ex-showroom across India.
14 November 2017
The initial public offer (IPO) of New India Assurance Company was seen to be subscribed 1.19 times on the third and final day of the bidding. The IPO was intended to raise Rs.9,600 crore and has received bids for 14,333,25,792 shares. The total issue size of the shares is 12,00,00,000, as per data from the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
For the public offer, the price bank fixed by the company was Rs.770-800 per equity share. The issue of shares ended on 3 November.
New India Assurance Co. Ltd. (NIACL) has a prominent presence in the motor insurance industry in India. With the implementation of the GST regime and introduction of new emission norms, there is a probability of rise in motor insurance premiums.
13 November 2017
Third-party motor insurance has now started bringing in considerable profits for insurers in the country, owing to increased premiums and motor safety regulations. The IRDA had raised the third-party insurance premium by 28% for vehicles with engine capacity in the range of 1,000 cc to 1,500 cc and above.
According to the data published by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA), general insurance companies have collected premiums worth Rs.26,523 crore through the sale of third-party liability insurance. The premiums collected for own-damage insurance was Rs.23,727 crore.
The head of reinsurance at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Sanjay Datta, mentioned that the increase in the premiums collected through liability-only insurance was mainly due to the hike in premium for this insurance cover and the reduction in own-damage claims.
Private sector insurers such as Reliance General Insurance, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance, and Shriram General Insurance have recently sold more liability-only insurance plans than own-damage plans.
The IRDA had raised the premium for third-party liability insurance so that the prices are in sync with the loss ratio in the insurance industry.
10 November 2017
In an attempt to improve the after-sales service of the company, Maruti Suzuki has introduced an extended warranty programme, Forever Yours, for all its cars. Currently all Maruti Suzuki cars have a 40,000 km or 2 year warranty. This can now be extended using the Forever Yours programme.
Apart from improving the service experience of Maruti Suzuki owners, the scheme looks to reduce the cost of ownership of vehicles from the Maruti stable.
The Forever Yours plan can be availed in three variants:
Gold scheme - warranty for 3rd year service or 60,000 km
Platinum scheme - warranty for 3rd and 4th year services or 80,000 km
Royal Platinum scheme - warranty for 3rd, 4th, and 5th year services or 1,00,000 km
The packages cover several parts of the car and its replacements. This includes compressor, high-pressure pump, turbocharger assembly, Electronic Control Module (ECM), suspension struts, steering assembly, and some engine parts.
Cars that are sold through Maruti Suzuki showrooms can avail all three packages of the scheme, while the vehicles sold through Nexa outlets will be offered only the Platinum and Royal Platinum plans.
9 November 2017
Last week, the Supreme Court came out with a historical verdict on the way accident claim compensations should be computed by car insurance companies. The court said that the compensation offered to the beneficiary should depend on the ‘future prospect’ of the victim of road accident. A standard criteria for calculation of the compensation was also laid out.
The constitution bench comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with 4 other judges.
The bench confirmed that while the insurer determines the income of the deceased, 50% of his/her actual salary should be added to the income towards ‘future prospects’. This is applicable for a victim who had a permanent job and was below 40 years old.
The addition will be 30% if the victim was aged between 40 and 50 years and had a permanent job.
In case the deceased was between 50 and 60 years old the addition will be 15%, provided that he/she had a permanent job.
If the victim was self-employed or had a fixed salary the addition is calculated as below:
If the deceased was below 40 years of age, the addition will be 40% of his/her established income.
In case the victim was between 40 and 50 years of age, the addition will be 25%.
The addition is 10% when the deceased is between 50 and 60 years old.
8 November 2017
Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) has announced that the City has reached the sales milestone of 7 lakh units. The car was introduced in 1998 and was recently revamped.
The sale of Honda City in India is more than 25% of the total sales of the model worldwide. From 2014 until now, the company has sold 2,69,941 units of the City.
President and CEO of HCIL, Yoichiro Ueno, said that the City is the most popular model from the Honda stable in India. It also happens to be the only sedan in the premium category that has achieved cumulative sales of 7 lakh units in India.
Within the first three months of its launch, the 2017 version of the City had received more than 25,000 orders. It was also seen that maximum bookings were made for the ZX variant of the car that is priced at Rs.13.52 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.
7 November 2017
Automobile manufacturers have an exciting line-up of cars that are all set to be unveiled during the month of November this year. Here is a roundup of the cars that will hit the markets soon:
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and GLA 45 facelift - These models will be launched on 7 November 2017. Both cars will have a 2 litre in-line 4-cylinder engine that generates maximum power of 375 bhp and peak torque of 475 Nm. The motor will be paired to a 7-speed DCT AMG speedshift transmission as well.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio X - The model has a visual upgrade over the existing Celerio, rendering a more rugged look. There will not be any mechanical changes to the car.
Renault Captur - This car will be launched on 6 November and it will be Renault’s rival for the widely popular Jeep Compass. It will have the same 1.5 litre petrol and diesel engines coupled to 6-speed manual transmission as the Duster.
2017 Ford EcoSport facelift - The upgrade is prominent in the interiors of the EcoSport, with a new infotainment system and upholstery. There will be a new 1.5 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine at the heart of the car that produces 110 bhp of peak power and 140 Nm of maximum torque. The motor will be coupled to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as well. The car will be launched on 9 November this year.
Lexus NX300h - The smallest car from Toyota’s Lexus range, this vehicle will be launched on 17 November. The car will have a 2.5 litre petrol-hybrid engine that generates 194 bhp of peak power.
6 November 2017
Ford has revealed the details of the EcoSport facelift which will be introduced in the Indian market in November 2017. As per reports, there have been updates to the interiors and exteriors of the car.
The engine will continue to be the 100 hp, 1.5 litre diesel motor with 5-speed manual gearbox. The car will also be available with a 123 hp, 1.5 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine that will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. An optional 6-speed automatic transmission will be offered in the petrol variant.
Ford has mentioned that the ownership costs of the car have reduced to a large extent due to localisation of the car parts. The vehicle is now available in new colours such as blue and red.
The interior of the car is equipped with an 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system in the centre console. This system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. New upholstery, automatic climate control facility, dual USB ports, and audio controls on the steering wheel are some other features of the facelifted EcoSport.
The security system in the car has seen an upgrade with even the base model being equipped with 2 airbags and anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic brake force distribution (EBD).
3 November 2017
Honda Cars India is looking to introduce 6 new models in the upcoming three years. This does not include the facelifts that have already been planned. All the new models are expected to be assembled in India and the company will focus on increased use of local technology in these vehicles.
Takahiro Hachigo, President of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said that the company has not planned to bring electric cars to the country, but have been considering the introduction of hybrid vehicles.
Honda also clarified that it will be adhering to the BSVI norms in India.
Hachigo mentioned that 65% of Honda cars will have electrification by the year 2030. While 15% of the models will be electric, 50% will be hybrid as these are more usable and sensible from the perspective of the customer. Honda also confirmed that the company will continue to work on gasoline engines and endeavour to make these more efficient.
2 November 2017
The Renault Captur will be launched in India on 6 November 2017, and the company has already begun dispatching the car to its showrooms. The car will be available in 2 engine options, i.e., the 1.5 litre K9K diesel and the 1.5 litre petrol versions. The diesel model generates power of 110 hp and the petrol variant churns out 106 hp of power.
The vehicle has various safety features like dual front airbags, brake assist, and ABS with EBD. The car is also certified for lateral and frontal crash.
The Captur will be available in several variants, and Renault is offering a set of personalisation options as well. Bookings for the car have commenced already.
31 October 2017
The latest version of the Ford Ecosport has been introduced in India. This 2017 version has a prominent facelift, tech updates, engine and gearbox upgrades, and fresh styling. The formal launch of the vehicle will be sometime next month. The updates to the vehicle include a trapezoidal chrome grille that makes the vehicle appear bigger. The car has daytime running lights, bigger fog lamps, and a redesigned front bumper. The roof rails have also been upgraded.
The wheels of the car are larger now with a new alloy pattern. The boot has a floor that can be dropped down to enable additional storage of cargo.
The interiors of the car have also got prominent updates. Apart from the new dash design, there is an 8 inch touchscreen on the central console for the top two variants of the car. The infotainment system in the car works with Sync 3, providing Apple CarPlay, mobile navigation, and Android Auto. Through this, you can play music and make phone calls effortlessly.
The car will be available in petrol and diesel models. The new petrol engine generates 120 bhp of peak power and 150 Nm of maximum torque.The car will compete with Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra TUV 300, and Tata Nexon in the market.
30 October 2017
Maruti Suzuki, the leader in the compact car segment, is now targeting the top position in the utility vehicles segment. The company is likely to launch more than 6 crossovers and utility vehicles, 3 of which are lined up in the next 4 years.
Maruti Suzuki will be introducing its new cross-over utility vehicle that has been codenamed YHB derivative. Also, a three-row Wagon R MPV and a premium SUV will be launched.
Along with the existing utility vehicles from Maruti, the portfolio will be expanded to reach a total of 8 models. The S-Cross and Ertiga will be refreshed and the new versions are likely to get the new 1.5 litre diesel engines. A petrol version of the Brezza is also expected to be released soon.
Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, R C Bhargava, mentioned that the company lacked a model in the big SUV segment and this void will be filled by the end of 2019.
27 October 2017
In the first half of the ongoing financial year, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has reached the pole position in terms of passenger car exports from the country. This spot was held by Hyundai Motor India Ltd. previously. Hyundai Motor has now moved to the fourth position behind General Motors and Volkswagen.
In the first half of this fiscal, Maruti Suzuki has exported 57,300 units of passenger cars as opposed to 54,008 units last year. As per the records from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), this is an increase of 6%.
Hyundai Motor has shipped 44,585 units this year during the same period, as opposed to 63,014 units the previous fiscal. This is a decline in export by 29.25%.
During the same period, Volkswagen India has exported 50,410 units, growing by 16.92%. In the first half of the previous fiscal, Volkswagen had exported 43,114 units only.
26 October 2017
Maruti will be introducing the new Ertiga MPV in the Indian market in August 2018. The current model of the car has been on sale since 2012 and has been revamped once in 2015.
The new Ertiga MPV has been spotted road-testing in Delhi. The latest version seems to be longer and wider than the previous generation. The additional space will allow more room for cargo.
The main reason for the increase in the vehicle’s dimensions was to make the car more competitive and practical as far as interior room is concerned. The car will continue to have the 1.3 litre diesel and 1.4 litre petrol engine. The company is also developing a 1.5 litre diesel engine that could be added to the vehicle at a later point in time.
The new Maruti Ertiga will compete with the soon-to-be-released Mahindra U321 MPV in the market.
25 October 2017
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has stated that they have stalled the production of the Toyota Camry hybrid from their manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, owing to drop in sales from high GST and cess.
The assembling plant was only producing the hybrid version of the Camry, as the model was highly popular. But after the revision of the tax structure in the country, the price of the vehicle had gone up due to the levy of 28% GST and 15% cess.
The ex-showroom price of the vehicle in Delhi has shot up to Rs.38 lakh from Rs.32 lakh within a short timespan. This has led to a 73% reduction in sales of the car when compared to the same time last year.
The company has stated that an investment of Rs.15 crore was made for setting up the Camry hybrid production facility in Bengaluru. In addition to that, Rs.24 crore was spent on training staff, creating of campaigns, and offering service facilities. The change in the tax structure has altered the course of the parent company’s plans to introduce a series of hybrid vehicles in the country.
24 October 2017
The pioneer in personal transportation in India, Maruti Suzuki, has reinforced its pole position in the industry by recording stellar sales of five of its top-selling models. Maruti Suzuki now stands at the top position in domestic car sales. The company has dominated rivals through its innovative products, improved marketing strategies and services, and network expansion.
Maruti Alto is still the leader in terms of sales, observing sale of 132,380 units between April 2017 and September 2017. This is closely followed by DZire, Baleno, Swift, and WagonR. Maruti Suzuki is placed at seven of the top 10 spots in the list.
It has been observed that Maruti Suzuki’s recent launches, Brezza and Baleno, have found great success in new segments. The company now has a wide range of products that span the Rs.3 lakh to Rs.10 lakh spectrum and is a leader in most of these segments.
23 October 2017
Maruti Suzuki’s service application, Maruti Care, has been upgraded to take into account the requirements of its customers. The app has been enhanced to provide utility support and convenient service to users.
Some of the new updates in the app include:
The facility offered to customers to book their cars for service.
The ‘On-Click Service Booking’ module also allows customers to monitor the status of servicing of their vehicles, either from their workplace or from home.
Additionally, the app provides customers GPS-enabled on-road assistance on an emergency basis.
The user can also pay bills digitally through an integrated payment module that offers secure payment facility from anywhere.
Maruti Suzuki is of the opinion that the app will add to customer satisfaction as it is easy to use and offers transparency in operations. The app is also available in Android and iOS versions.
18 October 2017
India Inc. is preparing for significant investments on e-vehicles (three-wheelers and cars), charging infrastructure, and batteries. The government has confirmed that extensive discussions have been held in this regard with more than 50 domestic and foreign companies. The main focus now is on setting up the charging infrastructure for the ambitious e-vehicle project.
Several taxi aggregators like Ola are considering purchasing electric three-wheelers in bulk and leasing them to expand their networks.
It has been confirmed that Tata Power, Acme Industries, ABB, and some Dutch companies have been thinking of establishing vehicle charging stations for the project. Amron Batteries, Exide Industries, and Microtek have been in discussions with top officials for the supply of batteries. They will also consider setting up of shops that swap drained batteries for charged ones.
Chairman and MD of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd., Praveer Sinha, said that an area of 3km would require around 300 charging stations, each with 4-5 charging slots. Considering the unit cost for each charging station, the entire project in Delhi would cost around Rs.3,300 crore over the first 5 years.
The government envisions an all-electric fleet of vehicles on the roads by the year 2030.
17 October 2017
While the Supreme Court was granting a verdict for a case in which a truck was stolen, it stated that insurance claims cannot be rejected solely for delay in filing the claims. A bench comprising of justices R.K. Agarwal and S. Abdul Nazeer mentioned that claim rejection in a mechanical manner on purely technical grounds will lead to policyholders losing confidence in the insurance system altogether.
The bench was observing the appeal of a man against the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commision (NCDRC). The commission had ruled that insurance companies could deny claims on the basis of delays in filing them.
The court has ruled in favour of the policyholder and Reliance General Insurance Co. is liable to pay Rs.8.35 lakh to him.
The bench also said that if the claim was delayed for a valid reason, then it cannot be rejected for delay. Also, a genuine claim that has been verified by an investigator cannot be rejected on these grounds.
16 October 2017
Ford will soon be launching the Ford Ecosport facelift that will be powered by a new petrol engine. Ford revealed the new 1.5 litre Ti-VCT engine with 3 cylinders at its manufacturing plant in Sanand, Gujarat. The motor has been referred to as a “dragon engine” on the internet, and it will be used for export and domestic purposes.
The new engine will also feature in Ford’s latest petrol line-up. The engine is configured to produce peak power of 120 bhp and maximum torque of 150 Nm. It is tuned to deliver quicker throttle response and greater fuel efficiency.
The motor uses 80% of components that are sourced within India, making it a cost-effective piece of equipment. Ford claims that the new motor will ensure a 7% reduction in emissions as well.
13 October 2017
Skoda has announced the launch of its new 7-seater SUV Kodiaq across the country. The vehicle is assembled at the company’s manufacturing plant at Aurangabad and it will be priced at Rs.34,49,501.
The first 7-seater SUV from Skoda is equipped with a 2.0 litre diesel engine. The vehicle will compete in the market with Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, and Isuzu MU-X.
The company currently has three models in the Indian automobile market, i.e., Octavia, Superb, and Rapid. It has a presence across 67 dealerships in 52 cities as well.
Skoda has announced that bookings are open for the Kodiaq and deliveries will commence from November.
12 October 2017
The facelifted Celerio and the Celerio X variant have been spotted at dealerships lately, indicating the impending launch of these models.
The Celerio facelift has a modified front bumper, sharp headlamps, and a new grille. There will be modifications on the inside of the car as well, including a SmartPlay infotainment system for the model with top specifications. The car will continue to have the 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that generates 68hp of peak power and 90Nm of maximum torque.
The Celerio X will be similar to the standard Celerio. The difference between the two will be the introduction of a black cladding, bumpers with silver garnish, and faux roof rails in the latest model. The option of orange exteriors will also be offered. There may be multiple variants of the Celerio X.
The Celerio hatchback competes with Hyundai Eon, Renault Kwid, and Datsun Redigo in the market. The Celerio X will rival the Renault Kwid Climber and Mahindra KUV100.
11 October 2017
Nissan announced that it will be offering a host of benefits for customers who purchase Datsun and Nissan models during its four-day festive season sale prior to Diwali.
The offer includes free car insurance, lowest cost for car loan, and an attractive exchange bonus, among others. This amounts to savings of up to Rs.15,000 for the owners of Datsun models and Rs.50,000 for Nissan owners.
Additionally, all Datsun and Nissan dealerships in the country will remain open continuously for 100 hours from 7 October to 10 October, stated Nissan India Motor Pvt. Ltd. (NMIPL).
The Nissan portfolio in India includes two brands, namely Nissan and Datsun. The company said that the benefits offered during the Diwali Carnival will delight prospective customers.
The company expects to receive assured cashback worth Rs.4 crore throughout the four-day sale.
10 October 2017
Nissan announced that it will be offering a host of benefits for customers who purchase Datsun and Nissan models during its four-day festive season sale prior to Diwali.
The offer includes free car insurance, lowest cost for car loan, and an attractive exchange bonus, among others. This amounts to savings of up to Rs.15,000 for the owners of Datsun models and Rs.50,000 for Nissan owners.
Additionally, all Datsun and Nissan dealerships in the country will remain open continuously for 100 hours from 7 October to 10 October, stated Nissan India Motor Pvt. Ltd. (NMIPL).
The Nissan portfolio in India includes two brands, namely Nissan and Datsun. The company said that the benefits offered during the Diwali Carnival will delight prospective customers.
The company expects to receive assured cashback worth Rs.4 crore throughout the four-day sale.
10 October 2017
The auspicious time of Dussehra and Navaratri have encouraged aspiring car buyers to actually take the plunge, as indicated by the soaring car sales figures in September. There were also several new launches last month that contributed to the sales hike.
Car sales are expected to stay this way in October as well, owing to the Diwali festival. It is believed to be auspicious to purchase automobiles and consumer durables during this time. Once the festive season wanes in November, the demand is predicted to fall.
The sale of automobiles have risen in spite of an increase in cess and subsequent price hike on high-end cars, rising fuel prices, and increase in car insurance premiums.
9 October 2017
With the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) granting license to three more general insurers, Go Digit General Insurance Ltd. has started operations as a full-fledged insurance company in the country.
The introduction of telematics in the car insurance space has grabbed the headlines lately. The chairman of Go Digit, Kamesh Goyal, recently stated in an interview that telematics will not have a significant impact on car insurance premiums in India. This is primarily due to the fact that third-party liability premiums are fixed values, regulated by the IRDA. Goyal said that in other countries, telematics had a bearing on the third-party premiums, but that will not be applicable in India.
He also stated that high-end cars in our country are usually driven by drivers. In our culture, a car is used by multiple drivers as well. This will not be tracked effectively by the telematics system that recognises the driving behaviour of a single driver who uses the car.
Further, he said that the cost involved in getting the device fitted to the car is a discouraging factor as well.
6 October 2017
While Hyundai Motor has been clearly focussing on the premium car category, it has now decided to widen its portfolio in the compact car segment with two new models in the pipeline. The company is looking to regain market share and build growth.
Hyundai Motor has seen a dip in sales over the last 2 years. The company plans to make up for this by introducing its new sub-4 metre SUV and hatchback, AH, in 2019. Hyundai expects these vehicles to draw in 5-7% of the market share, said the Managing Director of Hyundai Motor India, Y K Koo.
Koo is known for having played a key role in establishing the ever-popular Santro in the country. Hyundai is targeting double-digit growth from 2019 to 2020 on the basis of its aggressive product line-up. The company also plans to sell 1 million units in the upcoming 5 years.
Koo mentioned that the presence of compact cars in the company’s portfolio will lead to acceleration of growth.
5 October 2017
Acko General Insurance has received the final license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India to operate as an independent online insurance broking website. The company will start selling auto, health, and travel insurance products by December this year.
The company is backed by Catamaran and Accel Partners, among others. The initial capital invested in the venture is Rs.200 crore, and it will not require additional capital for the coming 2 years.
The company had filed an application with the IRDA in November 2016, and has received the license within a year. Acko plans to start operations with four branches initially.
Varun Dua, the CEO designate of Acko General Insurance had founded Coverfox, an aggregator and distributor website that focuses primarily on health, life, and motor insurance.
The general insurance sector is comparatively less cash-intensive than the life insurance market. The companies operating in this sector turn profitable within 5-7 years of starting operation.
Recently, the government has been pushing for the propagation of personal accident insurance and crop insurance in the country. This has promised fresh avenues for general insurance companies.
4 October 2017
The latest version of Maruti Suzuki’s Dzire was announced to be the best-selling model in India in the month of August 2017, overtaking the evergreen Alto. The latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) revealed that out of the top ten best-selling passenger cars in August, seven were from the stable of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI).
The new Dzire was launched in May 2017, and has recorded sales of 26,140 units in August. Alto stood in second place, in terms of sales, with 21,521 units being sold. The third position was taken by MSI’s Baleno with sales of 17,190 units.
MSI’s Vitara Brezza, Wagon R, Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, Hyundai Elite i20, Hyundai Creta, and MSI’s Celerio took the subsequent positions in that order.
The Renault Kwid that was part of the top ten selling passenger cars last year failed to seal a spot in the top ten this year.
3 October 2017
Hybrid cars and e-vehicles will continue to get incentives under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme for at least another 6 months. The programme offers incentives to hybrid and electric vehicles for up to Rs.29,000 on bikes, and Rs.1.38 lakh on cars. This helps in lowering the price of these vehicles for buyers. The extension of the timeline was communicated by the Department of Heavy Industries. The notification mentioned that the period of the FAME India scheme will be extended till 31 March 2018 or the launch of Phase-II of the programme offered by Niti Aayog. The scheme needs the joint effort of several departments of the government, including the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Power Ministry, and Heavy Industries Ministry for smooth operation.
29 September 2017
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the only electric carmaker in the country mentioned that the business case for the technology of electric vehicles promises a big opportunity and will take off in a big way.
The company announced a partnership with Ford Motor Co. recently and they are looking to cooperate in the realm of driverless and electric automobiles. The chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Anand Mahindra, said that the electric vehicle industry has not been making money until now, but the tipping point for the EV sector seems to have reached.
The global demand for electric cars has not been very motivating, partly because these vehicles are more expensive than automobiles powered by diesel and gasoline. Bloomberg New Energy Finance had predicted that prices will reach parity in the coming years and a large part of the global fleet of automobiles will be battery-powered or plug-in hybrid by the year 2040.
Mahindra mentioned that electric vehicles are the biggest business opportunity for the next few decades and companies that do not tap into its potential will miss out on growth.
27 September 2017
Renault Captur is all set to launch in India today. The automaker will start accepting bookings for the car across all Renault showrooms in the country. The car is expected to go on sale in October, before the festive season kicks in. The Renault Captur will come in two options with a 1.5 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engine. The petrol version will generate 105 bhp of peak power and 142 Nm of maximum torque and will be coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox. There will also be an optional CVT unit in the car.
The diesel engine is expected to generate 108 bhp of power. The transmission will be done by a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The new Renault Captur works on the same platform as the Renault Duster. It will offer a bouquet of modern features, such as keyless entry, Media Nav system with multimedia functionality, ignition and locking, and Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming. It will compete against Hyundai Creta, Mahindra XUV500, and Jeep Compass in the market.
The car is expected to be priced between Rs.11 lakh and Rs.16 lakh (ex-showroom).
26 September 2017
The sale of cars in India will grow by 9% in 2017 due to the introduction of the GST regime and new product launches, said a global report from Moody’s Investors Service. The sale of cars is expected to grow by 7% in 2018, as per the report.
The growth in car sales for the year 2017 was primarily due to the lowering of prices of passenger vehicles by automakers in the country, following GST implementation. This encouraged dealers to restock their models and triggered a boost in sales.
The report also mentioned that new launches slated for this year by domestic and foreign car manufacturers and a second half that is seasonally stronger make the growth of auto sales look optimistic in 2017. It could even touch the 3.6 million unit mark, stated the report.
Additionally, the report mentioned that auto sales will decline by 3.6% on a global scale in the year 2017 and 0.6% in 2018. The weakening global demand will get some relief from replacement demand initiated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The report added that Chinese car sales will see a growth of 3% in 2017 and 2% in 2018.
25 September 2017
ICICI Lombard began the issue of its initial public offer (IPO) and became the first general insurance company in India to do so. The company expects to raise Rs.5,700 crore through this IPO. ICICI Lombard’s parent companies ICICI Bank and Fairfax Financial will dilute about 19% of their overall stake in the company and issue them to the public.
During this IPO, ICICI Lombard stock is likely to be priced in the range of Rs.651 to Rs.661 per share. The IPO will begin on September 15 and close on September 19. With this IPO, ICICI Lombard expects to increase its market valuation to Rs.30,000 crore.
Other industry players are likely to follow suit by issuing their own IPOs in the upcoming days. Last year, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance raised Rs.6,000 crore through IPO and became the first private life insurance company to issue IPO.
22 September 2017
Karnataka became the first state in India to establish a clear e-vehicle policy with the approval of the Karnataka Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy for the year 2017. With this approval, Karnataka focuses on promoting research and development in this sector and becoming the electric vehicle capital of the country.
The government aims to raise Rs.31,000 crore in investments and create about 55,000 jobs through this initiative. The state’s industries minister RV Deshpande said that this approval will help the electric vehicle sector to bloom in the state. The government also plans to provide various incentives for establishing manufacturing plants throughout the state to produce various components and accessories for electric vehicles.
The government will also make amendments to existing building by-laws to incorporate mandatory charging points in all high-rise buildings. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be created to work with various state government agencies and incorporate a more comprehensive charging infrastructure in the capital city of Bengaluru.
Honda Cars India said that it has raised the prices of the BR-V, CR-V and City due to extra cess under the GST regime.
The price of the City has been hiked by Rs.7,003 - Rs.18,791. The BR-V has seen a price hike of Rs.12,490 - Rs.18,242, and the CR-V has become costlier by Rs.75,304 - Rs.89,069. The revised prices are effective from 11 September 2017.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) had recently raised the prices of its models following the increase in cess.
The government had announced a raise in cess of mid-size to large-size cars from 2% to 7% recently. This has led to an increase in the prices of several models of cars in this segment.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) clarified that the ban imposed on diesel vehicles that are above 10 years old in Delhi-NCR in 2015 will remain as is. The NGT rejected the Centre’s appeal to modify the ban. NGT reinstated that the emissions from diesel vehicles are carcinogenic and one diesel car could pollute the environment to an extent that 40 CNG vehicles or 24 petrol vehicles do.
The NGT order will help clean up the toxicity in Delhi to an extent. But owners of old diesel vehicles will be negatively affected, as they will find it difficult to sell these unusable vehicles as well.
The ban on old diesel vehicles is expected to promote petrol cars and lower the demand for diesel cars. If you are looking to buy a diesel vehicle, you can wait for a while, as the prices are also expected to plunge. However, you should be aware of the fact that these vehicles will have a low resale value in Delhi-NCR.
In case you already own an old diesel car, you can look out for exchange schemes from auto manufacturers. Another option would be to sell off the vehicle in another state where the ban has not been effective.
Car accident insurance claim settlement now possible in just one hour with video proo
With the advent of technology, it is now possible to receive accident claims for car repairs in just one hour. Rapid settlement of auto insurance claims has become one of the latest add-ons in car insurance. This change has become possible after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) started allowing the use of videos in car accident claims.
IRDAI also allows policyholders to do self-assessment for accident claims to the amount of Rs.50,000. Users can simply take the video of the vehicle damage and upload it to the mobile app of the insurance service provider.
The data analytics used by insurance service providers help them estimate the amount of damage and provide an immediate quote to the user. If satisfied, users can accept the quote and get reimbursement immediately. More and more users are now opting for this type of insurance cover when they renew their motor insurance policy. This new method is expected to make the insurance claim process a lot easier.
Audi has launched the petrol variant of its flagship model Q7 for the Indian market. The Audi Q7 petrol will be sold alongside the diesel variant, which is already available in the market. The petrol variant of Q7 is priced at Rs.67.76 lakh (ex-showroom).
Audi Q7 petrol will feature a 2.0-litre, four cylinder engine that operates through turbo fuel stratified injection (TFSI) technology. The engine delivers an output power of 252 bhp and torque of 370 Nm. This all-wheel drive vehicle comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The petrol variant of Audi Q7 can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 6.9 seconds, and it can achieve top speed of 233 kmph. Audi has declared that the petrol variant will have fuel efficiency of 11.68 kmpl, and it has been approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
Jaguar has added a new model to its portfolio for the Indian market with the launch of F-Type SVR. The Jaguar F-Type SVR is available in both convertible and coupe models. The coupe version is priced at Rs.2.45 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the convertible version is priced at Rs. 2.63 crore.
This high-end car comes loaded with a 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine that delivers an output of 567 bhp at 6,500 rpm. The engine also produces a torque of 700 Nm at 3,500 rpm. The 8-speed automatic gearbox fitted to the engine produces smooth transmission. The Jaguar F-Type SVR also features all-wheel drive with torque vectoring.
The coupe model of F-Type SVR can clock top speed of 322 kmph, while the convertible has a top speed of 314 kmph. The vehicle can propel from 0-100 kmph in just 3.7 seconds. The vehicle is also visually appealing with LED headlights and taillights along with 20-inch alloy wheels. In addition, the vehicle is also loaded with standard features like anti-lock braking system (ABS), dynamic stability control, brake assist, airbags, navigation assistance, and parking sensors.
The Indian car market will witness the launch of plenty of new cars in September, 2017. A number of new models are joining the Indian market with special editions and facelift versions. The upcoming launches for this month are as follows.
Tata Nexon - Tata’s upcoming subcompact SUV will feature a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. This model is likely to be priced around Rs.6.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
Range Rover Velar - This new luxury SUV model will come in both petrol and diesel engine variants, and it features an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Tata Tiago Wizz Edition - There is a rumour that the Wizz edition of Tata’s hatchback model will hit the market this month.
Maruthi Suzuki S-Cross Facelift - The facelift variant of this compact SUV model will be launched this month. The launch date is yet to be confirmed.
Audi Q7 Petrol - The petrol variant of Audi Q7 will be launched soon in India. This is a high-end model that is likely to priced around Rs.75 lakh (ex-showroom).
Skoda Octavia RS - Skoda Octavia RS is the performance variant of Skoda Octavia, one of the popular sedans in the Indian market. This model will feature a 2-litre TSI petrol engine for the Indian market.
Japanese car manufacturer Suzuki is expected to unveil Suzuki Jimny at 2017 Tokyo Motor Show to commence on 25th October 2017. The third generation Jimny was launched two decades earlier in 1997 while the second generation Jimny was introduced in India as Maruti Suzuki Gypsy in 1985.
As of now, there is no clarity on the specifications of the upcoming model. However, some early reports suggest that the new Suzuki Jimny will not switch to the lightweight HEARTECH platform and will stay true to its rough and utilitarian purpose. It will utilise a ladder-frame chassis and will feature the ALLGRIP PRO all-wheel drive system to preserve the robustness it is known for. The upcoming model is expected to be launched in India next year.
The Hyundai Elite i20 has witnessed a great demand over the past three years. Continuing the legacy, Hyundai i20 Facelift is expected to be launched at the 2018 Auto Expo as revealed during the recent launch of the 2017 Hyundai Verna.
The latest model is said to have undergone significant changes to make it look similar to the design that the Hyundai line of cars is known for. In April 2017, some spy shots revealed a heavily camouflaged test model of i20 Facelift. Hyundai I20 Facelift is expected to get Hyundai’s signature ‘Cascading’ grille. It may also get re-profiled headlamps and a more chiselled front bumper
Celebrating its 50 years globally, Mercedes-Benz opens two new AMG Performance Centers each in Kochi and Chennai. With an expanded footprint in South India, Mercedes-AMG aims at offering exclusive and personalized services to customers with certified AMG personnel to help them with the sales and service. The newly inaugurated centers display an exclusive range of AMG cars as well as demo vehicles for performance car enthusiasts.
Located at Rajasree Motors, India’s sixth and Kochi’s first AMG Performance center has a dedicated space of 2,000 sq. ft. at the showroom. While the seventh center in the bustling metro of Chennai is positioned at Transcar India. With these two additions, Mercedes-AMG now has 7 AMG Performance Centers in India, namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kochi and Chennai.
Renault celebrated the second year anniversary of Kwid by launching a special edition of the model. The new model named Kwid 02 comes in two different colour options - red and white. The company is yet to confirm when this new version will be available for sale in the market.
The changes made in the new version are mostly cosmetic, and Kwid 02 remains mechanically the same compared to its previous version. The highlights of the new version are made in contrasting colours with the red car having white highlights and the white car having red highlights. Another notable change in this second anniversary version is the number 02 appearing on the side of the car. In addition, the special edition also comes with new upholstery and floor mats.
The new model has both 0.8-litre and 1.0-litre engine variants. As far as pricing is concerned, Kwid 02 is priced Rs. 15,000 higher than the regular model. The RXL 0.8L variant will cost Rs. 3.43 lakh (ex-showroom), the RXT 0.8L variant will cost Rs. 3.76 lakh, the RXL 1.0L variant will cost Rs. 3.64 lakh, and the RXT 1.0L variant will cost Rs. 3.98 lakh.
Hyundai had previously discontinued the distribution of its evergreen hatchback, the Santro, in the Indian market. Now the car manufacturer has decided to launch the next-generation Santro in India by 2018. The car will also be showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo.
YK Koo, the MD and CEO of Hyundai India has stated that the company is looking to launch the compact family car by mid-2018 in the Indian automobile market.
The next-gen Santro is likely to have a brand new design in comparison to the previous model. The car will also be more spacious than the old Santro.
The vehicle will have two engine options, a 0.8-litre and a 1-litre motor, that is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The interiors of the hatchback will also have a host of new features.
With the launch of the new Hyundai Santro, the Korean carmaker is trying to regain its authority in the small car segment. The next-gen Santro will compete with the likes of Renault Kwid, Tata Tiago, Maruti Suzuki Alto K10, and Datsun redi-GO in the market.
Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) has announced the ‘Privilege Edition’ of its premium hatchback, Honda Jazz. The model comes with enhanced interiors and exteriors, an advanced infotainment system, and attractive safety features.
The car is equipped with DIGIPAD, a revolutionary 17.7 cm infotainment module with the following features:
- In-built satellite-linked 3D navigation facility
- My Storage with 1.5 GB internal media memory
- Mirror Link support for smartphones
- Internet access
- Voice commands for navigation, media, and calling
- Bluetooth for hands-free audio and telephone facility
- Micro SD Card slots for media and maps
The car also has safety features like rear parking sensors and the Honda Connect app. The vehicle is priced Rs.5,000 more than V Grade models. The ex-showroom prices for the car in New Delhi are:
- V MT Privilege Edition - Petrol : Rs.7,36,358
- V CVT Privilege Edition - Petrol : Rs.8,42,089
- V MT Privilege Edition - Diesel : Rs.8,82,302
5 September 2017
Studies performed by two institutes in the US revealed that safety systems that prevent cars from moving into different lanes and those that issue a warning to the driver regarding vehicles in blind spots can actually reduce the occurrence of crashes.
However, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that drivers may not be as vigilant when they rely on automated safety systems. The research also indicates that drivers may even be distracted by the buzzing or beeping sounds of the safety systems.
Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping, and automatic braking functionalities are the main areas of focus of the technology of self-driving cars. So, it is critical that drivers are aware of the capabilities and limitations of the safety system installed in the vehicle before they start driving it.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance and L&T General Insurance have been merged on 16 August 2017, following an approval from the National Company Law Tribunal and IRDAI. This is the first merger in the non-life sector and reinforces HDFC ERGO’s position as one of the top private insurers in the country. HDFC ERGO had bought L&T General Insurance last year and it operated as a fully-owned subsidiary of the company till the merger was approved.
The net worth of the stand-alone company HDFC ERGO is Rs.1,812 crore as on 31 March 2017. The merged entity has a net worth of Rs.1,485 crore as on 31 March 2017. The drop in the net worth is due to the accumulated losses of L&T General Insurance.
Through the merger, HDFC ERGO has got access to an agency business and fresh distribution channels. The products of L&T General Insurance will be retained by HDFC ERGO, including its top-up mediclaim cover that is highly popular. The company has also stated that it would redeploy and reposition resources without any retrenching.
After the merger, HDFC ERGO will focus on the growth of its auto insurance solution that is currently 29% of its business. The aim is to bring the share of the motor insurance business to around 41% to echo industry levels.
31 August 2017
Skoda has announced the launch of the Octavia RS in the Indian market on 30 August 2017. The car will have a 230 hp, 2.0 litre TSI motor that is coupled to a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The vehicle will also have an aggressive body, updated suspension system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Additionally, there will be LED headlamps, tail-lamps, daytime running lights, fog lamps, and a tailgate spoiler. A 9.2 inch touchscreen system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink will be part of the infotainment module. The car will also have 9 airbags, a park-assist system, and ESP.
Bookings for the Octavia RS have commenced and deliveries are expected to start in the month of September.
30 August 2017
Tata Motors has provided confirmation that it will be launching two new SUVs in the financial year 2018-19. One of the new launches will be a 5-seater SUV that will compete with Renault Kaptur and Hyundai Creta in the market. The other model, a 7-seater SUV, will square up against the Jeep Compass.
Both the new launches will be based on the L550 platform and will share structural elements with the Discovery Sport. The 2.0 litre Multijet II engine will develop 170 hp of power in the 7-seater SUV and 140 hp in the 5-seater. The development of these models have been progressing for a couple of years and test mules have been seen on the roads at several occasions.
29 August 2017
Add-on covers are used to amplify the coverage offered by a car insurance plan. Listed below are some of the most popular add-on insurance plans that can be used along with a comprehensive car insurance policy.
- Zero depreciation cover - Also referred to as a bumper to bumper insurance plan, this is one of the most popular add-on covers available. This insurance cover enables you to get the full cost of replacing your car parts without having to pay any part of the amount.
- Return to invoice cover - If your insured car is stolen or involved in an accident, you will receive its original invoice value that is inclusive of road tax and registration.
- No-Claim Bonus (NCB) protection cover - This cover enables you to preserve the accrued NCB even if you raise a claim.
- Engine protect cover - This add-on cover offers protection to the electronic circuit and engine of the vehicle. This is very useful for vehicles that are parked in areas prone to waterlogging.
- Roadside assistance cover - This add-on cover enables you to avail round-the-clock services like towing, refuelling, tyre change, mechanic’s assistance, etc. in the event of a car breakdown.
- Key replacement cover - If you lose your car key, this cover will help you get a replacement key.
28 August 2017
At the opening of the ‘Happy with Nissan’ campaign, Nissan India introduced the ‘Waterless car cleaning’ facility for its customers. The program was kicked off at the new Nissan workshop in Gurgaon.
After the eco-friendly solution is applied on the surface of cars, there is no requirement for additional water to get the car in sparkling condition. The service is expected to save around 2.8 million litres of water during the campaign. The system, if opted for by Nissan customers, could save up to 130 million litres of water per annum.
The company stated that this initiative is in alliance with its ongoing efforts to delight customers with superior after-sales service. The company is committed to bringing innovations and diversity in services to match the unique needs of its customers.
24 August 2017
ICICI Lombard has introduced a video inspection facility, the InstaSpect, for car insurance claims that is nothing short of a phenomenon in the Indian insurance domain. A first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry, the live video inspection facility allows policyholders to record instant claims through the ICICI Lombard mobile app, ‘Insure’.
Through the DIY app, the policyholder does the survey of the damaged car for expedition of the claim approval. The customer opens the InstaSpect option of the ‘Insure’ app and connects to the claims manager instantly. The manager guides the customer on performing a survey of the vehicle and streaming the video in real-time. The policy documents will also have to be uploaded following the survey.
The claims manager then assesses the damage to the vehicle on the basis of the video and notifies the policyholder of the liability and next steps. A rough estimate of the liability and damage will also be calculated and conveyed to the customer.
If the customer agrees to the estimate, the claims manager can approve the claim immediately. The repair of the car will commence after this approval. All other notifications and approvals will be provided to the network garage within a few hours.
This spot-on vehicle inspection facility reduces the waiting time and boosts the transparency of the entire claims process. ICICI Lombard has taken a survey to assess the acceptance of the InstaSpect feature and has received an overall positive response from the participants.
23 August 2017
Rohit Suri, President and MD of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) India, said that the government’s proposal to increase the GST cess on luxury cars will result in higher costs, and hence, lower sales. JLR India termed this move as disturbing, as it could have an overall negative impact on job creation that the company had planned to undertake through expansion.Suri mentioned that the company will re-look at its expansion plans if sales volumes are not as expected.
The GST Council had recently approved a hike in cess on luxury cars from the existing 15% to 25%, over the 28% GST tax rate. This proposal is now awaiting legislative approval.
Suri stated that the company usually employs around 50 people at a single dealership, including sales, workshop, finance, and logistics personnel. So, around 400-500 people would have been hired based on the company’s expansion plans. However, the expansion may be frozen following the GST cess amendment.
Other players in the market, i.e., Audi, Mercedes Benz, and Toyota have also criticized the new GST amendment.
22 August 2017
Government-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL) has invited global bids for 10,000 electric cars that will be operational for up to 150 km on a single charge. These sedans will be used by the government departments. This is in alignment with the government’s vision of replacing cars running on fossil fuels with electric cars on Indian roads by 2030.
EESL was instrumental in popularising energy-saving LED bulbs by reducing the price of the same. The company now plans to acquire e-vehicles in 2 phases. 1000 cars will be bought in the first phase, and these will be primarily used by the government in Delhi and NCR.
The company has also floated tenders for 1000 direct current (DC) charging points and 3000 alternating current (AC) ones. 400 chargers are likely to be provided in the first phase across Delhi and NCR. The deployment of these chargers will be carried out by PowerGrid and NTPC, based on demand.
The use of e-vehicles will be a significant initiative in reducing environmental pollution. Several states are in talks with manufacturers for the introduction of electric buses for public transport use as well.
21 August 2017
Tata Motors announced that PB Balaji will replace C R Ramakrishnan, the current Chief Financial Officer of the company. Ramakrishnan will be retiring by September 30 after serving an extended tenure in the organisation.
Balaji started his career in 1995 with Unilever and has worked in several Asian markets, the UK, and Switzerland. Since 2014, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Hindustan Unilever. He has also worked in London as the Chief Accountant of the Unilever Group. He is a graduate of IIT Chennai and he also holds a post-graduate management degree from IIM Kolkata.
Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD of Tata Motors, stated that Balaji will be a significant part of the company’s transformation journey. The company now has renewed focus on market share growth, improvements in efficiency, and cost reduction techniques and targets profitability and better financial performance in the coming years.
Balaji will take up his new role in November 2017.
18h August 2017
In an attempt to restrict pollution, the Supreme Court has issued directions to insurers to disallow the renewal of insurance for vehicles that are not tested for pollution. The court said that if a driver is unable to produce a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate, he/she will not be allowed to renew car insurance.
The bench also requested the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to make sure that the fuel refilling stations in NCR (National Capital Region) have centres that perform pollution check.
The court has granted 4 weeks time for the system to be in place.
The bench has taken into consideration the suggestions offered by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to arrive at this decision.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by an eminent environmentalist in 1985 that dealt with the various facets of pollution.
17 August 2017
The US-based online vehicle auction company is looking to replicate its model in the Indian market. The firm already has a foothold in the country and is now targeting to open up more “yards” to tap the potential.
The Executive Vice President of the firm, Will Franklin, mentioned that the company has been auctioning cars in Delhi on a small scale. Copart is looking at alternative options by setting up yards in other Indian cities as the demand increases.
Currently, the company facilitates the auction of around 20 lakh vehicles each year. The firm predicts that there is an opportunity to double this figure in the next 7-10 years.
Copart has been liaising with public and private sector insurance companies to discuss the products that will be made available in India. The probable locations of the yards have, however, not been revealed.
The Copart India Technology Centre (CITC) will be launched shortly in Hyderabad. This facility will focus on software development, testing, and quality assurance activities.
16 August 2017
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had requested insurers to send in their assessment of the usage of the telematics technology and its pricing. IRDAI had released a draft report on August 3 for use as reference, as well. The regulator had also requested insurers to explore alternatives to the telematics technology, such as dongles, smartphones with apps, bluetooth devices, black boxes, etc.
As per IRDAI, some of the disadvantages of using the telematics technology are:
- If a good driver clocks up many miles with his/her insured car, he/she will still have to pay higher premium.
- When a policyholder decides to shift to a different insurance company, there should be provision for the new insurer to take the previous driving record of that individual into account.
- The cost of the telematics device is also expected to be a problem in India.
- There could be issues related to data privacy.
- Getting the device fitted in the car and not adversely impacting the vehicle’s performance would be a challenge as well.
- The implementation of telematics would involve a cost that may be included in the insurance pricing structure.
The exposure draft is expected give a better understanding of the product pricing and design. It is also understood that the pilot telematics projects implemented earlier would be useful for data analysis on customer driving patterns and behaviour.
14 August 2017
In the future, car insurance premium may be decided on the basis of real-time monitoring of the car owner’s driving habits, distances covered, and the usage of the car. This was recently proposed by the IRDA, and public comments have been invited for the same. Currently, the price of auto insurance in India is based on the model and make of the car, its geographical use, engine capacity, etc.
Telematics is the use of IT and telecommunications in an integrated manner to monitor vehicles. Real-time navigation is possible using telematics, in addition to vehicle tracking and roadside assistance. Telematics insurance is also referred to as GPS car insurance, Pay-as-you-drive insurance, black box insurance, smart box insurance, and usage based insurance. The technology was successfully used in the US, UK, South Africa, and Italy. Easier installation process and the use of smartphones will make the technology cheaper in the future.
The IRDA stated that telematics will help insurers in segmenting customers in a better manner through accurate risk assessment, and also reduces fraud.
11 August 2017
If you have been thinking of purchasing a luxury sedan or a high-end SUV, you should make up your mind soon. The Goods and Services Tax Council has now decided to increase the cess imposed on luxury cars to 25%. Previously, the cess was 15%.
However, the rates may not increase immediately, as such a reform would have to be introduced as an amendment to the GST compensation law.
Under the GST regime, cars have been placed in the tax bracket of the highest degree, i.e., 28%. The GST Council has also set the maximum levy (including cess) to be at 40%.
As per the prevailing GST regulations, small cars (up to 4 metres in length and 1,200 cc engine capacity) running on petrol are levied 1% cess. Diesel cars of the same length and up to 1,500 cc are levied 3% cess. Midsize cars, large cars, and SUVs are charged 15% cess. In a nutshell, there was a reduction in levies on some car models, while others saw an increase.
The government is of the opinion that the industry would eventually benefit from input tax credit that should bring down the overall prices.
10 August 2017
Nexon, the new compact SUV from Tata Motors will make an entry into the Indian automobile scene in the coming months. It is expected to be priced between Rs.6 lakh and Rs.10 lakh. The Tata Nexon will compete against Ford Ecosport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza in the market.
Tata Motors have made the official India website of Tata Nexon live before the actual launch of the SUV. Bookings for the Nexon are also open at Tata Motors dealerships for a token amount of Rs.11,000. There is an indication that work has commenced on the AMT variant of the Nexon that will launch in India in 2018.
The Tata Nexon is equipped with a host of attractive features such as:
Split LED tail-lamps
Daytime running LEDs
16 inch machine cut alloy wheels
6.5 inch touchscreen that is a part of the infotainment system
Ceramic coloured highlights on the boot lid and window panels
Automatic climate control feature
Harman Kardon enabled speakers
The Nexon will have 3 driving modes, i.e., Sport, City, and Eco that is controlled by a dial. The petrol variant of the SUV has a 1.2 litre Revotron engine that generates peak power of 108 bhp and maximum torque of 170 Nm. The diesel version has a 1.5 litre Revotorq motor that produces 108 bhp of peak power and 260 Nm of maximum torque. A 6-speed manual transmission system is present as well.
9 August 2017
Karthik Srinivasan, Senior VP and Group Head Financial Sector Ratings of ICRA Ltd. has mentioned that crop and motor insurance are likely to spearhead the growth of the non-life insurance sector this financial year. The growth is estimated to be around 20%.
He said that the public sector insurance companies have observed a dip in their solvency indicators due to higher number of claims and low investment earnings. Two of the public sector insurers have also reported solvency levels below the regulatory minimum.
Further, he mentioned that the initiatives adopted by the government for improving density and penetration of insurance along with the industry’s ability to utilise technology effectively are likely to bring in more business over the long term. He also stated that health and personal accident insurance has grown at 4.2% in the financial year 2016-17, and is all set to grow at a faster pace.
ICRA has released the documentation of its study on the country’s general insurance sector in FY2017.
8 August 2017
In July 2017, the automotive industry witnessed a number of exciting launches. However, the highlight of the month was the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime that brought in a lot of benefits to the industry.
The GST implementation reduced the tax levied on cars; and automobile manufacturers decided to pass on these benefits to customers. The reduction in prices further triggered increased sales.
Maruti Suzuki sales
Maruti Suzuki India Limited sold a total of 165,346 units in July alone, observing sales growth of 20.6% when compared to the same period last year.
The main driver of growth was the Compact segment where the Ignis and Dzire were launched. Baleno also contributed to a significant chunk of the sales last month. The Alto and Wagon R in the Mini segment also raked in a lot of profits for Maruti Suzuki through increased sales. Additionally, the Utility vehicles segment saw a significant growth as well.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor observed a 43% hike in domestic sales, selling 17,750 units in July 2017. The Innova Crysta MPV and Fortuner were the frontrunners in sales.
Tata Motors sales
The sales of Tata Motors grew by 7% in July 2017, as they sold a total of 46,216 units. The sales growth was spearheaded by Tigor, Tiago, and Hexa.
Hyundai recorded a domestic sales figure of 43,007 units in July 2017, a definitive growth from the same time last year. The Grand i10, Creta, and Elite i20 contributed to majority of the sales.
In addition to the above, Ford India, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Honda Cars India also observed significant sales growth last month due to price slashes post GST.
7 August 2017
Karoq, the new compact SUV from Skoda, has gone into production at the manufacturing plant at Kvasiny, Czech Republic. The Superb luxury sedan is also produced here.
The Skoda Karoq is a 5-seater SUV that will be first released in Europe, followed by several other countries. The Karoq is likely to be released in India mid 2018.
The Karoq will be the first entry-level premium SUV that will compete with Jeep Compass in the segment. Although Skoda’s Yeti is in this space currently, the demand for the SUV has been diminishing.
The new Karoq will use the MQB platform and will have an all-digital centre console. The car will also have the signature moustache grill, sleek headlamps, and wide air-dams. The inside of the SUV will be packed with features.
The engine set may include petrol and diesel variants along with automatic and manual transmission options. There are reports that there may even be a performance-oriented version and a hybrid version later on.
4 August 2017
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has appointed Raghavendra Kulkarni to head its after-sales operations in India. He will be reporting directly to the President and MD of FCA India, Kevin Flynn.
Kulkarni will be responsible for handling the operations post sales. This involves offering support to Jeep and Fiat customers across the country, expansion of Mopar workshops, and bringing about innovations in service operations. With 32 years of experience in after-sales, Kulkarni has previously worked with automobile giants like Toyota, Bentley, M&M, General Motors, and Volkswagen.
3 August 2017
After the implementation of the GST regime, Renault India has brought down the price of several cars in its stable, including the Kwid. The reduction in price of Kwid is between Rs.5,200-Rs.29,500, based on the model.
The base variant of the Kwid is available at a price of Rs.2.62 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the 1.0 RXL trim is offered at Rs.3.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The website of the company has been updated with the revised prices.
The Kwid comes with a 799 cc petrol engine and 999 cc petrol engine, the latter being a part of only the higher variants of the hatchback. The 799 cc petrol engine is coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission.
There are drum brakes at the rear of the vehicle, and at the passenger and driver sides. There are also ventilated discs at the front. Additionally, the car is equipped with front impact beams, hazard warning switch, automatic door locks that sense speed, and driver airbag. Other features include power steering, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, front power windows, and a touchscreen infotainment system.
2 August 2017
Among the cars exported by Volkswagen India, Vento has been the most popular one. It was also the 2,50,000th car to be exported by the car manufacturer to Mexico. The Vento is the third highest selling car in Mexico, in the passenger car segment.
The President and MD of Volkswagen India Private Limited said that the popularity of Volkswagen cars (made in India) in markets like Mexico shows the company’s focus on quality and manufacturing prowess.
The Pune manufacturing plant of Volkswagen has got an investment of more than Rs.5,720 crore. The localisation achieved by the plant is close to 82%.
1 August 2017
Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will be entering the FIA Formula E Series for the 2019-20 season. The German automaker was expected to join the series in Season 5 (2018-19), but has extended its debut to understand more about the championship.
The company also announced that it will leave DTM racing at the end of 2018.
The Formula E championship will be an optimal channel for marketing of Mercedes-Benz products. The other factory teams participating in Formula E are Audi AG, ABT Schaeffer, Jaguar, and Renault e.Dams.
The Formula E Championship offers car makers a platform to bring the electric car technology to the audience through racing that is different to any other.
Mercedes-Benz had been an integral part of DTM since 1988. After its departure, the only German manufacturers in the series will be Audi and BMW.
31 July 2017
The Baleno hatchback range in India has been extended with the launch of the new Baleno Alpha in the petrol variant. The vehicle will have an automatic transmission and will be priced at Rs.8.34 lakh, ex-showroom. With this launch, Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be available in 3 automatic models, i.e., Delta, Zeta, and Alpha.
The new Alpha petrol automatic will have a 1.2 litre engine that generates a peak power of 84 hp and a maximum torque of 115 Nm. The engine is coupled to Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), unlike the other automatic offerings from Maruti that come with Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT).
The interior and exterior features of the new Baleno Alpha automatic are unchanged. The safety features in the car include automatic headlamps, reverse parking sensors and camera, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), dual airbags in the front, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
28 July 2017
Audi has announced a worldwide recall of 8.5 lakh vehicles with V8 and V6 diesel engines. The markets exempted from this recall are Canada and US. The purpose of the recall is understood to be the implementation of a software upgrade that will prevent the cars from being involved in the diesel car ban in Germany.
The upgrade will improve emissions from cars and it will be done free of cost. The upgrade is expected to include the Porsche and Volkswagen models that use the V8 and V6 engines, as well.
Recently, Mercedes-Benz had also announced a recall of more than 3 million vehicles in the European market to reduce nitrogen oxide emission. The company will invest $255 million for the update of the Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles in the diesel variant.
27 July 2017
Renault had temporarily stalled the production of the Scala sedan and Pulse hatchback in 2015, owing to low demands. Since the demand for these models have not seen an increase, Renault has now decided to discontinue these cars in the country. The confirmation was provided by a Renault dealer.
The company has also revealed the costs of Duster, Kwid, and Lodgy post GST implementation. The Renault Clio hatchback is all set to be launched in India as well. It will be positioned above the Kwid and will compete with Honda Jazz, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Fiat Punto, and Volkswagen Polo.
26 July 2017
Luxury vehicles have benefitted greatly from the GST implementation, as indicated by the reducing ex-showroom prices. The latest manufacturer to announce a reduction in price is Jeep.
As per the earlier tax structure, SUVs were taxed at around 55.3%, and this included National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD), excise duty, Central Sales Tax (CST), infra cess, and Value Added Tax (VAT). After GST implementation, the tax has come down to 43% that includes a new flat tax rate and added cess.
- The base version of Wrangler Unlimited that was priced at Rs.56 lakh (ex-showroom) retains the same price. However, the Wrangler Unlimited diesel model has seen a price drop of around Rs.6.14 lakh.
- The diesel Limited version of the Grand Cherokee had prices starting from Rs.93.64 lakh earlier. Now these models are priced at Rs.75.15 lakh (ex-showroom).
- The petrol Summit variant of the Grand Cherokee was priced at Rs.1.03 crore before GST. Now it costs Rs.85.15 lakh.
- The Grand Cherokee SRT has seen a price cut of Rs. 5 lakh.
- Compass, the company’s first locally assembled vehicle has benefitted from the GST regime, and its basic model will be priced at Rs.18 lakh (ex-showroom).
25 July 2017
The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is likely to be passed in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session. If implemented, the Bill will bring about a host of changes to the penalty for traffic offenses and a ten-fold increase in the compensation offered to minors and families.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in April 2017.
Key features of the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 are:
21 July 2017
The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is likely to be passed in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session. If implemented, the Bill will bring about a host of changes to the penalty for traffic offenses and a ten-fold increase in the compensation offered to minors and families.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in April 2017.
Key features of the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 are:
21 July 2017
The transport ministry has opposed Niti Aayog’s suggestion of allowing taxi aggregators to rope in private vehicles to increase car availability. The argument of the ministry is that commercial vehicles are registered as such and the Motor Vehicles Act prohibits the use of private cars for commercial purposes.
A government official stated that the employment of taxi drivers would be endangered if private vehicles are introduced for the purpose. The official also mentioned that commercial vehicles are levied higher duties, permit charges, and insurance premiums than private cars. He further stated that legal aspects and safety of passengers should be kept in mind before implementing the proposal.
Niti Aayog, an association chaired by the PM, has been looking to reduce car ownership in an attempt to curb traffic issues in metros. Their proposal could also dent car sales in the country, where the ownership ratio is already dismal.
20 July 2017
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation has brought down the costs of most cars in India. The price reduction is more prominent in cities like Mumbai where cars were levied higher taxes before GST.
The Renault Kwid falls under the small car category, and it enjoys a significant price drop in Delhi and Mumbai. The pre and post GST prices of the Kwid have been tabulated below:
|Variant||Pre-GST cost||Post-GST cost||Difference||Pre-GST cost||Post-GST cost||Difference|
|STD||Rs.2.64 lakh||Rs.2.61 lakh||Rs.3,000||Rs.2.98 lakh||Rs2.71 lakh||Rs.27,000|
|Climber 1.0 AMT||Rs.4.56 lakh||Rs.4.49 lakh||Rs.7,000||Rs.4.97 lakh||Rs.4.55 lakh||Rs.42,000|
From the table above, it is evident that the price drop of Kwid in Delhi is not as steep as that in Mumbai. However, the costs indicated above are the ex-showroom prices only. The on-road price of these vehicles would include other variables like registration cost, insurance premiums, etc. Since car insurance premiums have seen a hike post GST, the reduced ex-showroom price would be nullified by the rise in insurance cost.
19 July 2017
Skoda’s Octavia facelift has officially been launched in India and is priced at Rs.15.49 lakh to Rs.22.89 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The new car rolls out in three options – Style, Ambition, and Style Plus with eight various iterations which are based on transmission and engine options. The new Skoda Octavia comes with a new grille design with a split headlamp system which the company calls “Quadra”. The car runs on a 178bhp, 1.8 litre TSI engine which is mated into a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The car also comes with 4 airbags, EBD (electronic brake distribution), traction control, and ABS (anti-lock brakes). Insurance companies are rolling out new car insurance plans to help potential Octavia owners secure the safety of their car.
18 July 2017
According the director of Hyundai in India, said that Hyundai has emerged the biggest winner following the GST roll out amongst their competitors. Rakesh Srivastava, Director, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, said that We have been one of the biggest gainers during the last month, as our market share grew to 19 per cent compared to 16.7 per cent in May. We have gained largely because we took proactive steps. We offered customers an opportunity to own a Hyundai car at the best price value by giving them year-end discounts (which actually happen during December) in June itself. He added by saying that in the post-GST implementation period, we believe there will be a unified seamless market with challenges of border stoppages of goods disappearing. We believe that logistics issues will be addressed, as goods movement will be faster and the costs, therefore, will come down. In addition, tax on tax has been withdrawn now. So, the prices are coming down, which means affordability will now be better for customers, especially for companies like ours that have products ranging from Rs. 3-30 lakh.
17 July 2017
In a case against National Insurance Company which denied compensation payment in a motor vehicle accident case, the Bombay High Court at Goa held that an insurance policy becomes effective from the day the premium is paid by the vehicle owner, and not at a later date as stipulated by the policy document.
The case in focus was a motor accident case for compensation, where the insurance company claimed that the policy effective from 15 June 2006, did not cover the accident which occurred at 8.45 p.m. on 14 June 2006. However, the owner of the vehicle made the insurance premium payment on 14 June 2006. The accident resulted had resulted in disability of the injured, and the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) held that the NIC was not legally obliged to pay compensation, citing that the accident occurred before the policy was effective. The legal heirs of the vehicle owner filed a petition in HC against the MACT order to pay Rs.17 lakh compensation.
The High Court noted that NIC had not obtained the policyholder’s express consent for the policy to come into effect from a future date. The HC judge observed that in absence of such consent, it can be assumed that the policy cover starts on effecting payment.
The High Court has set aside the MACT order of payment of Rs.17 lakh by the private party, and returned the case to MACT to redetermine the insurance policy validity.
14 July 2017
Following the GST roll out, prices for cars like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and JLR are said to decline by 10% making it much more affordable for the middle class and working class in the country. Roland Folger, Managing Director at Mercedes-Benz, was quoted as saying that there may be teething issues but we are confident that there will be promising long-term gains. We are encouraged with the rising enquiries and increased footfall at our dealerships, and are confident of continuing with our positive growth momentum. He added by saying that as prices become more attractive and more people seek to own brands like ours, the market will surely expand. Despite the tough market, we grew by 6%. This year, we expect a double-digit growth.
10 July 2017
Bajaj Auto has reported that there is a decrease of 23% in the total sales in June. It has dropped to 2,44,878 units. In the same month of 2016, the motorcycle manufacturer sold 3,16,969 units totally.
The motorcycle sales of the company also dropped by 25% to 2,04,667 units. It was 2,73,298 in June 2016.
The sales of the company’s commercial vehicles segment reduced by 8% from 43,671 units last year to 40,211 units this year.
The exports of the organisation declined by 4% in the month of June from 1,23,252 units to 1,17,903 units.
6 July 2017
Goods and Service Tax (GST) has been implemented in India from July 1st onwards. As a result, GST on all hybrid cars is now 43%, which is 3 times more than the previous tax rate. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Ertiga are diesel variants that had been previously enjoying a boost in sales as they come under hybrid vehicles. Due to the impact of GST, costs of Ciaz and Ertiga are said to be up by Rs.1.5 lakh. Both these models are available in petrol and diesel variants. The cost of the petrol variant will not be affected by GST. Maruti may discontinue the diesel engine with Suzuki’s SHVS mild hybrid system and relaunch the diesel variant without the SHVS tech. Camry, Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, and BMW i8 are some of the other vehicles that will see a rise in cost due to GST.
5 July 2017
Prices of popular high-end cars are coming down with the onset of GST regime. However, hybrid cars are set to cost more with GST being levied.
What GST does is that it brings a parity in tax across India, clearing the way for a 'one nation, one tax' tax regime. A major factor in the car prices coming down is the abolishing of Octroi with the new GST rate.
Most automotive companies are planning to announce new prices for their products this Saturday, with the remaining joining them on Monday.
Auto companies will have to make changes in their pricing mechanisms and software programming to factor in GST. The new rates will also impact manufacturing units and supply value-chain, like auto part manufacturers and dealers. Companies have to factor in all these to come to decide the final price of each car.
Sedans and large SUVs are most likely to see maximum price reduction. Smaller cars, on the other hand will become marginallycheaper.
4 July 2017
SAIC has issued an official statement confirming its debut in the country. The car manufacturer will set up its plant at the Halol facility of GM India. Its first product will be under the MG Motor India badge and it is expected to be launched at the beginning of 2019. The British brand of sports cars, MG, is completely owned by SAIC Motor Corporation. Although SAIC has not revealed its product portfolio in India, it has stated that the focus will be on developing ‘New Energy Vehicles’. The company has declared that its aim is to offer best-in-class vehicles to the Indian customer base, integrating sophisticated design and top-notch quality.
SAIC Motor Corporation had recently launched their connected car technology, in partnership with Alibaba. So, their product portfolio in India could feature connected cars as well.
3 July 2017
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Ertiga are likely to be affected by a price hike post GST implementation on 1st July 2017. Both cars have Suzuki’s SHVS mild-hybrid technology and have been successful models in their segments.
Under the new GST regime, hybrid cars will be charged 43% tax, as opposed to the earlier tax rate of 12.5%. Cars that are over 4 metres in length with engine capacity up to 1500cc will be levied excise duty of 28%.
Although the exact price hike of Ciaz and Ertiga are unknown, it is expected to be around Rs.1.5 lakh. It should be noted that the petrol variants of both cars will not be affected by GST tax rates.
29 June 2017
Honda is likely to launch the CR-V SUV in a diesel version next year. Although the car has been in the market for more than 10 years, it always had a petrol engine. The new version of the vehicle will have a 1.6 litre diesel engine that will be coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Honda CR-V 2018 will have a 7-seat layout, unlike the current 5-seater model. The vehicle will also include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment deck installed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heated wing mirrors, dual zone climate control, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, and 4-way adjustable passenger seat are other new features.
The vehicle will have a 1.6 litre diesel engine that provides an output of 158 bhp at 4000 rpm and 350 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. The engine is coupled to a ZF 9-speed automatic gearbox with a good transmission unit.
Honda CR-V 2018 will also have the options of AWD and front-wheel drive. The legroom and cabin space is likely to increase as well. The new motor will be sourced locally to keep a check on the price. Honda CR-V 2018 will compete with Hyundai Tuscon, and the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan and Jeep Compass.
28 June 2017
In recent months, a few Indian insurance companies have started using chat and email bots, powered by A.I. (artificial intelligence) with the aim to improve customer experience. Joining the bandwagon is Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd which recently introduced its chatbot ‘Boing’ to answer customer queries on health and motor insurance.
4 other insurers have already been using these bots - HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Ltd, PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd, and Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd, either for sales or customer support.
The senior vice president and industry head of financial services at Infosys Ltd, Ajay Vij, said that chatbots or VAs (virtual assistants), now are the most used form of AI application in the sector of financial service. The growth of NLP or natural language processing has led to chatbots becoming capable of following voice commands, answering queries, and even make recommendations.
The CEO & co-founder of the A.I. company Senseforth Technologies, Shridhar Marri, said that currently available technology can be used automate several human intensive but repetitive contact points to pull up efficiencies in operations with over 80% accuracy. Some insurance companies are not keeping the use of A.I. confined to automated replies on chat, but they are also using it to send emails from customer-care. Vice president of hub operationsin HDFC Life, Uzma Rushdi, said that HDFC Life’s Spok email bot will soon able to send policy documents to customers.
ICICI Lombard is also using their chatbot for selling policies. In the last 6 months since their chatbot MyRA became operational, more than 60,000 customers used the chatbot, out of which 10% went on to get a insurance quote from ICICI. The chatbot also helped issue around 850 policies.
27 June 2017
Rumour has it that the Hyundai Verna 2017 edition will be launched in India on the 22nd of August, and will compete with the likes of Honda City and Maruti Ciaz. The South Korean automaker has been testing the new car on Indian roads for a while now. The vehicle is expected to overshadow the mid-sized space by sporting a new exterior design that takes inspiration from the present generation Hyundai Elantra.
The Hyundai Verna 2017 will be based on Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme and is expected to not only be bigger, but also lighter in comparison with the present model. In terms of dimensions, the third generation vehicle will measure 17299 mm in width, 4385 mm in length, 2580 mm in wheel base and 1450 mm in height. The length of the vehicle will be extended by 15 mm and the width will be raised by 29 mm while the wheel base will increase by 10 mm to make the vehicle roomier in comparison with the present model.
22 June 2017
Rumour has it that the Hyundai Verna 2017 edition will be launched in India on the 22nd of August, and will compete with the likes of Honda City and Maruti Ciaz. The South Korean automaker has been testing the new car on Indian roads for a while now. The vehicle is expected to overshadow the mid-sized space by sporting a new exterior design that takes inspiration from the present generation Hyundai Elantra.
The Hyundai Verna 2017 will be based on Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme and is expected to not only be bigger, but also lighter in comparison with the present model. In terms of dimensions, the third generation vehicle will measure 17299 mm in width, 4385 mm in length, 2580 mm in wheel base and 1450 mm in height. The length of the vehicle will be extended by 15 mm and the width will be raised by 29 mm while the wheel base will increase by 10 mm to make the vehicle roomier in comparison with the present model.
22 June 2017
Ford Australia’s Everest, which is better known as Endeavour in India, is getting a facelift. The facelift version is currently under tests, but reports suggest that it’s going to be launched soon in 2018, competing with Toyota Fortuner and Izuzu MU-X for market share. Some enterprising spy shots taken by the popular car blog, Car Advice, the new Endeavour is set to get some updates in its front like the DRL LED lights, a new stylish grille in the likeness of the Ford F-150 truck. The Australian version or Everest is set to get cruise control on radar with AEB or autonomous emergency braking. The Indian facelift, however, might not have these safety features.
Endeavour 2018 will most likely use the powertrain already in the current generation. It is powered by two diesel engines of 2.2 litres and 3.2 litres. The smaller engine has automatic transmission and a manual mode of 6-speed, while the larger unit comes only with an automatic transmission of 6-speed.
Ford India had previously updated the infotainment system of the Endeavour with SYNC 3 tech, to be compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The facelift, as such, isn't going to have much changes introduced inside the cabin.
The current generation of Endeavour is sold at Rs.25.49 lakh to 31.50 Lakh, ex-showroom price at Delhi. It is available in 2 variants - Titanium and Trend.
21 June 2017
Volkswagen, the automaker from Germany has revealed that its new Polo car is set to be unveiled on the 16th of June. The unveiling is expected to actualise in Berlin and interested people can also check out the new vehicle on the company’s website. Most people, however, will have to make do with watching the unveiling online as only a few personnel from the media have been invited for the official unveiling at the venue. Thee public debut of the car is expected to actualise at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, on the 14th of September.
20 June 2017
The automobile industry claims that 43% tax rate on hybrid cars is too high for fuel efficient vehicles. Anant Geete, Minister of Union Heavy Industries on 12th June, 2017 said that he will talk to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about lowering the 43% tax rate (28% GST plus 15% cess) on hybrid vehicles under GST. Girish Shankar, Secretary in the Department of Heavy Industry said that lowering tax on hybrid cars will boost sales.
Shekhar Vishwanathan, Vice-Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor said that the government has to be clear about the definition of hybrid vehicles. According to him, high taxes on hybrid cars will force consumers to revert back to petrol and diesel cars. It may take another decade before electric cars are in place. Car manufacturers are hoping to reduce tax rate on hybrid vehicles to 18%. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the demand statistics presented by the automobile industry doesn't match the data obtained by a study conducted by the government and hence the rise in tax rate from 30.3% to 43%.
19 June 2017
Nissan’s 2017 Micra Facelift is going to be launched in India on 2 June, 2017. This is the second 'facelift' launch from Nissan India after the earlier launch of the Terrano facelift. The sales of Micra hatchback has been dwindling for a while now, and the company has decided to add some new and advanced features to the 2017 Micra facelift to counter this fall.
However, this is not the launch car enthusiasts have been waiting for, as Nissan is still to launch the 5th generation Micra in the country. Chances are that the car which had global launch is set to miss India as a destination.
According to some Nissan tweets the Micra facelift will have new features like rain-sensing wipers, auto headlamps, touchscreen infotainment system and camera for reverse parking. The exterior look might also undergo some changes with LED DRLs a possibility. The engine configurations, however, remain unchanged.
Nissan India is expected to increase prices of 2017 Micra Facelift by a few thousand INR. The current ex-showroom prices of the Nissan Micra car range in Delhi starts from Rs.5.99 lakh to Rs.7.10 lakh.
16 June 2017
India is the 5th largest car market in the world. There will be new participants in the 2018 Auto Expo according to Sugato Sen, the deputy director-general of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) who are the organisers of the expo. Auto Expo is India's largest automobile show that takes place once every 2 years. New automobile brands such as Peugeot, MG, and Kia will be entering the show next year while old regulars like GM (General Motors) and Volkswagen will not be participating. The 14th editions on Auto Expo will take place at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida from 9th to 14th, February, 2018.
Kia, a Korean car manufacturer announced an investment of $1.1 billion in a manufacturing unit at Andhra Pradesh. The production is set to start in the second half of 2019. Peugeot SA, a French car manufacturer has announced a joint venture with Hindustan Motors. MG SAIC, the first Chinese car manufacturer to enter Indian car market will acquire GM's Gujarat plant. Lexus has decided to import fully built units to cater to the local market. Maruti Suzuki and Renault are in need of a much bigger space in the Auto Expo, namely 4,000 sq metres and 3,000 sq meters, respectively. In addition to fossil-fuel run vehicles, the focus will be on electric mobility from two-wheelers to personal and commercial vehicles at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Indian government aims to turn the car market into an electric vehicle only market by 2030.
15 June 2017
Canara Bank has joined forces with The New India Assurance Company in an effort to sell policies via its branches. The public sector lender, headquartered in Bengaluru, has revealed that the corporate agency distribution partnership will help in making available general insurance policies from more than 6000 Canara Bank branches across India.
In a release, the bank revealed that “Under this strategic agreement, The New India Assurance Co Ltd will offer leading general insurance products to the customers of Canara Bank.”
14 June 2017
The India launch of Skoda Octavia facelift is set for July 10, 2017.
Skoda is going for this facelift to make the Skoda Octavia a more upmarket car. To achieve that, the car will come equipped with more substantial features than ever before.
The sedan will sport updated cosmetic features on the exterior, including a quad-headlamp system similar to the ones on the old Mercedes E-class cars. It will also get a new 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system, all-LED lights, smartphone integration via WLAN connectivity, 2 umbrellas tucked in the car doors, colour adjustable ambient lighting, a system to detect driver fatigue, system for hands-free parking and rear-view camera.
Mid-level variants will have additional airbags, bringing the total number of airbags to 6 from the 4 now present. The facelifted Octavia will also have 17-inch alloy wheels compared to the 16-inchers in the current models.
Engine options for the Octavia facelift will remain unchanged.
The price of the new Octavia will be announced at the launch, with expectations that the new GST will reduce the price of the updated model.
13 June 2017
The shares pertaining to auto and auto-related companies remain in top position for the 10 day consecutively. Both S&P BSE Auto and Nifty Auto indices have reached their record highs this week.
The S&P BSE Auto and Nifty Auto indices have reached 6% as compared to 2% rise in the benchmark values, the S&P BSE Sensex and Nifty50.
From the auto index individual stocks, Maruti Suzuki India, Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Eicher Motors, Tata Motors, Bharat Forge, and Ashok Leyland have gained more than 6% during this period.
The rise in automobile stocks are attributed to good monsoons, Government’s backing of rural and agricultural sectors, and higher incomes in the rural areas. The trend is likely to continue in the forthcoming quarter as well. Rating agency ICRA forecasts domestic two-wheeler volumes to see a growth of 8-10% during the financial year 2017-18.
However, after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill introduced by the Government takes effect from 1st July 2017, most vehicles will come under the highest tax bracket of 28%, plus additional cess. So auto companies will have to evaluate their strategies and see if they can adjust the total price of the automobiles, so that the impact of GST is minimised.
12 June 2017
Lexus is evaluating bringing NX, its entry-level crossover, to India. The revamped NX which was revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year has new suspension tuning and an adaptive variable suspension system, similar to the LC 500 sports coupe. There are changes to the exterior and the internal infotainment system as well.
The crossover is available in the international market as the Lexus NX Turbo, equipped with a 238 hp, 2 litre petrol engine. Another variant available internationally is the Lexus NX 300h with a 196 hp, 2.5 litre petrol-hybrid powertrain like that in the ES 300h.
The NX for India is expected to be assembled locally. It will compete in the market with similar-sized Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA. It will also be the entry point to the SUV line-up of Lexus.
8 June 2017
After making a firm hold in the mobility realm with its first electric vehicle, Mahindra & Mahindra is all set to launch 5,000 e-vehicles a month by the year 2019. This year, Nagpur was recognized as India’s first city with a fleet of 200 e-vehicles including taxis, buses, and autos. Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, Pawan Goenka, said that the company which currently has a production capacity of 400 vehicles will intensify productions to touch the 5,000 mark by 2019. According to officials in the transport ministry the prices of electric vehicles have dropped by 30% in the last 10 months.
7 June 2017
India's largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India is aiming to sell 3 lakh automatic cars by 2020. These vehicles come with automatic transmission technologies. Currently, the company has been selling over 94,000 units per year. The vehicles come with Automated Gear Shift (AGS), Automatic transmission (AT), and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) technologies. The company is hoping that affordable Automated Gear Shift technology can bring about an increase in sales. By FY17-18, Maruti Suzuki India expects to sell around 1.5 lakh units and 3 lakh units by 2020.
Currently, Maruti Alto K10, Celerio, Wagon R, Dzire, and Ignis have AGS technology. Maruti Baleno has CVT technology while Maruti Ertiga and Ciaz have AT transmission. The company aims to penetrate rural India by bringing awareness about AT, AGS, and CVT technologies. Maruti Suzuki India has more than 47% market share in the domestic passenger vehicle market. By 2020, the company aims for an annual sale of 20 lakh units.
6 June 2017
Honda Cars India has collaborated with IBM Watson in order to launch its car platform. This is currently being introduced in India and it may get launched in other markets as well.
Both these organisations have had successful alliances in the past in fields such as manufacturing and research and development.
This project intends to link a high number of devices with this particular platform by the year 2020. The prevailing Honda Connect platform will be improved to add new facilities such as history, security, service booking, trip details, location of the automobile, etc.
5 June 2017
As customers are expecting a price cut when GST comes into effect on 1st July, 2017, many Indian-made luxury vehicle manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep the sales momentum going in the interim. Mercedes-Benz reduced the price of Maybach, CLA, C-Class, GLC, E-Class, GLA, S-Class, GLE, and GLS. The price reduction is from Rs.1 lakhs to 7 lakhs in Delhi and Mumbai. Rahil Ansari, the Head of Audi India said that the Audi dealerships are seeing some traffic due to competitive offers in sales and service.
BMW has been offering a string of benefits since 19th May. Customers can enjoy benefits ranging from financing at 7.90% and free insurance for the first year to buy-back option for first 4 years and complimentary service for 3 years. The President of BMW Group India, Vikram Pawah said that GST will strengthen and enable growth in India as well as benefit consumers. GST Council has put a tax slab of 28% on SUVs and cars. There is a cess of 15% on large cars and 1-3% on small cars. Roland Folger, the managing director of Mercedes-Benz India said that the implementation of GST will be beneficial to the Indian economy as well as the industry.
2 June 2017
56-year old Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Moto Co was fired this week. He is succeeded by Jim Hackett as the new CEO of Ford Moto Co. The announcement will be made on 29th of May. Mark Fields who had been with Ford for 28 years, initially took over from Alan Mulally, the then CEO of Ford for 18 years. Bill Ford, the Executive Chairman of Ford Moto Co has reportedly lost confidence in the leadership of Mark Fields. The entire top management of Ford Moto Co is said to be reorganised. From the time, Mark Fields took over as CEO, the share prices of Ford is said to have been down 40%. 62-year old Jim Hackett was a Chief Executive of Steelcase. He has worked with Steelcase for 30 years. During that time, he is said to have transformed the company into a globally renowned manufacturer of cutting-edge designer workplaces.
1 June 2017
With the new taxation format GST (Goods and Services Tax) soon to be launched in India, the the automobile industry is apprehensive about how it will affect the prices in the largest consumer vehicle section i.e. small cars.
The GST structure suggests that small cars less than 4 meters in length are set to get costlier. These cars with 1200cc petrol engines will attract 1% cess while diesel cars with less than 1500cc engines will attract 3% cess. Cars in the midsize segment, SUVs and luxury cars will all carry a 15% cess.
Under the current taxation system, smaller cars in the sub 4 meter category and with engine capacity upto 1200cc attract excise duty of 12.5%. 14% VAT and other levies taxes total taxes up to 27% while GST will bring with it an added 1% taking total taxes to 28%.
Luxury car makers on the other hand will have it better with GST. This is because GST puts them under a fixed slab of 28%, even the large luxury vehicles and SUVs. Vehicles in this category currently see taxes amounting to 41.5% to 44.5%. GST will see the base 28% tax and 15% cess taking total taxes on such models to 43% which is lower than current rate. This could end up reducing the prices.
Auto parts are proposed to be taxed at 28% GST. This could push up cost of after-sales service/ maintenance of vehicles, coupled with a possible increase in tax rate for services as well from 15% to 18%.
1 June 2017
There have been speculations for quite some time now regarding the release of Volkswagen’s new Tiguan, and it has all been put to bed as the company will reveal its SUV in the country on 24 May, 2017. The company had earlier disclosed that production of the vehicle was already in progress at its Indian plant, and that the Tiguan would be launched later in the year along with the new Passat.
The Tiguan is expected to boast a number of new features including LED projector headlamps, tail-lamps, LED DRLs, auto-rain sensing wipers, automatic climate control, multi-functional steering wheel, touchscreen infotainment system, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and leather upholstery among others, leading to a good amount of interest for the vehicle in the Indian SUV market.
31 May 2017
On May 16th, Mercedes-Benz India along with Daimler Financial Services India and Reliance General Insurance launched Advanced Assurance Program. It is an extended warranty program for Mercedes Benz products. Mercedes Benz customers can take advantage of the new extended warranty program which offers various benefits that are applicable after the completion of the standard warranty period of 3 years. Extended warranty programs have to be bought before the end of the standard warranty period. Similarly, the program can be exited within the standard warranty period. The cost of extended warranty is significantly reduced with Advanced Assurance Program. Non-commercial customers can benefit from the unlimited mileage warranty feature. The extended warranty program can be transferred to the next owner of the vehicle. Vehicle servicing can be carried out across India. The official website of Mercedes-Benz India has an online calculator that customers can use to determine the price of warranty based on the model and age of the vehicle.
30 May 2017
After Kodiaq, Skoda launched its second SUV, Karoq, globally. First launch is expect to be in the Indian market. From 58 kW to 140 kW, this compact SUV is available in 5 engine variants (2 petrol and 3 diesel engines). Its features include rear-seat, virtual pedal, VarioFlex system. Capacity of the luggage compartment is 521 litres. Long luggage can be easily transported in the interior of this compact SUV by folding the front passenger seat. There are 3 separate seats in the VarioFlex system that can be adjusted or removed to increase the load capacity to 1,810 litres. Skoda Karoq is 4,382 mm in length, 1,605 mm in height, and 1,841 mm in width. The vehicle has a 69 mm knee room.
The infotainment building blocks come with touch display, Wi-Fi hotspot, optional LTE module, and fast internet connection to surf the net or access emails. Skoda Connect is divided into 2 categories; Infotainment online for navigation and information, and CareConnect services for emergencies and breakdowns. Skoda Connect app can be used to remotely check for car parking using a smartphone. SmartLink+ is compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink TM. It can be used as a basic infotainment system. Phonebox has inductive charging and wireless charging option. There also various driver assistance systems such as Park Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Blind Spot Detect, Emergency Assist, etc. Cockpit displays can be customised to individual preferences. LED lights in the interior and exterior give it an attractive look. The Off-Road Mode improves the driving experience on rough terrain.
30 May 2017
The world renowned manufacturer of luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz, has made available to its customers a distinctive extended warranty product called Advanced Assurance Programme after joining hands with Reliance General Insurance and Daimler Financial Services. The aim of the product is to ensure a hassle free experience for vehicle owners. Launched by the MD of Reliance General Insurance India – Mr Rakesh Jain, the CEO and MD of Daimler Financial Services India – Mr Fred Weick, and the CEO and MD of Mercedes-Benz India, Mr Roland Folger, the Advanced Assurance Programme offers a number of features and benefits for customers for which they become eligible after their standard three year warranty has been completed. Through the extended programme, customers who own Mercedes-Benz vehicles and currently avail the extended warranty product up to the fourth year can extend the same up to six years thanks to the Advanced Assurance Programme. Customers will be eligible for the Advanced Assurance Programme in three options, namely the fourth year, the fourth and fifth year, and for the fourth, fifth and sixth year. The costs associated with the Advanced Assurance Programme will also reduce significantly through the Advanced Assurance Programme.
29 May 2017
According to experts, the new Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016 passed by Lok Sabha is going to help insurers in reducing their losses. For several years, the industry has been suffering losses due to a provision which permits policyholders or their family members to file insurance claims at any time, which could be 5 days, 5 months or even 5 years after the accident has taken place.
However, a new amendment that has been recently introduced to the existing Act specifies timelines to be follows for swift processing of third party insurance claims.
Likely to be passed in the next session of the Parliament, the Motor Vehicles Act shall direct motor accident victims or their families to file third party insurance claims in under 6 months from the date of the accident. Following this the insurance company will be required to make an offer to the claimant in under a period of 30 days after receipt of the claim. In case the claimant accepts the offer, the insurance company shall be liable to pay within a period of 30 days. If the claimant doesn’t accept the offer, then the claim will be sent to the claims tribunal for hearing.
With the exception of Bajaj Allianz General Company, Agriculture Insurance Company of India and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India which registered profits, as many as 27 general insurance companies did not report underwriting losses in the first half of 2016-17.
In addition to specifying the time duration for raising a claims, the Bill also proposes that claims be made non-payable for driver driving without a valid permit/driving licence or driving under the influence of drugs/intoxicants. In such cases, the drivers themselves will be asked to pay compensation to victims, without any assistance from the insurer.
26 May 2017
Speaking at the inauguration of a test track facility developed by Global Automotive Research Centre, Union Minister Anant Geete said that India's automobile industry may contribute 12% to the country's GDP, which stands at 7.1% at present, in the coming decade. The test track facility being inaugurated is likely to bring in greater investment in not only the automotive segments but also in the segment of automotive components.
Recently, India replaced China to become the number one two-wheeler market globally. Mr. Geete also mentioned that the country is seeking new and innovative ways to promote and adopt clean, safe, cheap and futuristic mobility services which in turn will bring about job creation in the sectors of research, development and manufacturing.
25 May 2017
33,000 bookings for Maruti Suzuki Dzire and waiting period goes up to 8 weeks
Maruti Suzuki’s Dzire of 2017 has got numerous bookings from customers. This new product manufactured by the leading car company in India has many advanced features.
The company has already started delivering the 2017 Dzire to several people. Maruti is selling this product in 8 types where 4 are petrol and 4 are diesel. People who are interested in this vehicle will have to go through a waiting period of up to 8 weeks. Customers can go for any of the 8 colour options for the car.
This new model is very similar to the older model of the car. The retail price of the base petrol model is Rs.5.45 lakh and the maximum price of the car can go till Rs.8.41 lakh. You can buy this car from any of the normal Maruti dealerships and not the NEXA dealership.
24 May 2017
Famed German automaker, BMW is planning to shift focus from small compact vehicles to coupes and luxury cars. At a recently held general body meeting, BMW Chief Executive, Harald Krueger said that the BMW 8 Series Coupe will make its debut next year. The company is refreshing their entire product portfolio and strengthening the performance side. The strategy moving forward will be to focus on the luxury segment. BMW will be shifting focus towards performance-oriented cars. However, whether or not these models will come to India, is a question that begs an answer.
In India, people are slowly warming up to the idea of performance-oriented cars. However, given it’s a growing economy and a price sensitive market, the audience is likely to be more receptive to a vehicle which offers them the best bang for their buck. Considering this, it will be a sensible move on BMW’s part to launch performance driven cars in India, but at what pries?
BMW recently launched a series of performance-oriented cars which are a lot more reasonable then existing models like the BMW M3, M4, etc. While BMW’s launch of the 8-series in India will raise newer opportunities for the automaker in India, but, before that can happen, there a lot remaining to be done by the Indian audience in preparation. This preparation specifically pertains to road safety, awareness and adherence of driving and road rules and self-preservation while riding a motorcycle or driving a car.
23 May 2017
Gasoline demand in Asia is expected to peak way before it was initially anticipated as millions of individuals across India and China are expected to purchase electric cars in the coming ten years. The shift from conventional vehicles to their electric counterparts threatens a major change so far as the oil industry is concerned, as revealed by auto and oil company executives. According to the experts, refiners should be ready for a future wherein gasoline, which is their most prominent revenue source, will not be the same cash cow it now is. Policy moves in China and India have prompted the change, and governments in both countries are making an effort to reduce the rampant pollution while competing for a chunk of the rapidly growing green car market and reducing oil imports.
China has already announced its intention in a “road map” that was disclosed in April this year, saying that alternative fuel vehicles should account for a minimum of 20% of the 35 million yearly vehicle sales predicted by 2025. On the other hand, India is taking into consideration a slightly more radical approach, wherein the government think-tank is making plans to electrify all vehicles come 2032, as revealed by industry and government sources.
22 May 2017
The Land Speed Cruiser from Toyota was showcased at the SEMA auto show in 2016 in the United States. Land Cruiser’s 2000 HP version was hyped up to be quite something, but few expected it to smash land speed records out the window. The SUV can hit 370 kilometres an hour, a feat that not many supercars can boast. The vehicle also possesses superior build quality that has the potential to withstand man-made as well as natural punishments to a great extent. Compared with supercars that are not built to deal with physical damage, this SUV leaves its competitors in the dust.
Carl Edwards, the retired NASCAR driver for Toyota, drove the Land Speed Cruiser and made it touch 370.2 kilometres an hour on a runway that was four kilometres long and set in California’s Mojave Desert. Previously, the SUV with the best record was 340 kilometres an hour, which Toyota’s SUV has put to bed and quite comfortably. The Land Speed Cruiser’s engine receives Toyota Motorsports expertise. It is a 5.7 litre V8 fitted engine that comes with two large Garrett turbochargers along with reinforced parts and custom transmission that give it the potential to hold up unreal amounts of pressure in addition to giving it a herculean power boost. Aerodynamics of the vehicle have been helped by a stiffened suspension while the high speed is maintained through the Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber.
19 May 2017
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is in discussion with Toyota Motor Corporation, its parent company to enhance their exports. The company, which is a joint venture between the Japanese auto major and Kirloskar group, is looking for better capacity utilisation from its second manufacturing plant in Bengaluru.TKM Director and Senior Vice- President, sales and marketing, N Raja, stated that they are seeking the support from their headquarters to expand their export market. He further stated that they are looking for other popular models like Corolla for exports as in most of the global markets there is local manufacturing of the model already.
18 May 2017
Following its success of the Vitara Brezza, in which the engineers of the make maneuvered the project, Maruti Suzuki is all set to give its development programme a push. According to CV Raman, the director, their engineers are able to learn how to develop a full model on a given platform, use the Suzuki global development process, understand engineering test standards, make own judgements and take decisions. The goal of the car manufacturer is to increase the volume and the overall quality of their makes - ensuring that Maruti engineers and the Suzuki engineers work on par.
17 May 2017
Having already launched the latest model of the Ford EcoSport, Ford is all set to roll out the Ford EcoSport sometime this year. With the ex-showroom prices rumoured to be between Rs.6.5 lakh and Rs.9 lakh, the Ford EcoSport 2017 comes with a 1.5-litre engine thumping out 115 bhp, and additional features such as a multi-functional steering wheel, driver’s seat height adjustment, automatic climate control, touchscreen multimedia system, and an engine push start-stop button.
16 May 2017
Sanjeev Jaiswal, Municipal Commissioner, stated that there are plans in place to set up charging stations for electric cars to promote the use of electric vehicles to minimise car emissions and help protect the environment. Jaiswal has ordered civic authorities to survey and identify locations where charging stations can be set up. The officials will finish the survey and will make a report stating possible locations for these charging stations. Pollution levels have been increasing and so have the number of automobiles on our roads. The project will soon take flight with the support of the International Finance Corporation.
15 May 2017
Auto manufacturers see a good start to the new financial year which is driven by the rise in car sales with the introduction of new models into the automobile market. Domestic sales of Maruti Suzuki have risen by 23.4% in April. This performance was driven by the robust growth across all categories where sales of compact cars rose by 39.1%, entry-level cars rose by 21.9%, and utility and mid-size vehicles rose by 28.6% and 23.2% respectively. Hyundai Motor India Ltd. recorded a rise in sales of 5.7% while Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. and Honda Cars India Ltd. saw sales rise by 52% and 38% respectively. Tata Motors Ltd., with the launch of the Hexa, Tiago, and Tigor, saw sales rise by 23%. Volkswagen Passenger Cars India Pvt. Ltd. and Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. saw a growth in sales of 38% and 39% respectively.
12 May 2017
The 4-wheeler automobile market in India went through a turbulent phase in the past couple of months. There were several factors that contributed to this scenario like demonetisation and the ban on BS 3 vehicles which hit a few manufacturers hard. But sales have been looking good in the month of April for most manufactures but a few companies have not been so lucky. Maruti Suzuki sold 1,51,215 units in April alone. This includes domestic and export sales. The automobile manufacturer recorded an increase of 23.4% in the domestic sector alone. This was mainly due to the sales of Maruti’s Alto, Wagon R, Baleno, and the Ciaz. Hyundai recorded a growth of 3.57% selling 53,368 units in the month of April. Nissan and Dastun combined, recorded a 20.5% drop in sales selling only 4,217 units in the month of April. Toyota, on the other hand, recorded a marginal drop of 2.61% in sales. Tata Motors sold 12,827 units recording a drop of 16.88%. Honda Cars India Limited saw a large growth of 42% in sales selling 14,922 units. Mahindra sold 37,829 units in the month of April recording a drop in sales by 3.88%. The ban on BS 3 vehicles was to blame for this poor performance in sales. Ford sold 25,149 units in the month of April recording a growth in sales of 1.27%.
11 May 2017
The Government of India plans on stopping the sale of electric vehicles in India by the year 2030. The move aims at replacing the current petrol and diesel fleet of vehicles with electric vehicles. The main objective behind this plan is to lower the running cost of vehicles, fuel import costs, and pollution. Piyush Goyal, Power Minister, stated that the NITI Aayog and Ministry of Heavy Industries are currently working on a policy that is aimed at promoting electric vehicles. The Minister also stated that the government plans on introducing electric vehicles into the automobile market on a large scale within the next 3 years.
Currently, the hybrid vehicle market is beginning to boom with car manufactures like Toyota, BMW, and Volvo offering either plug-in hybrids or conventional hybrids for people residing in India.
10 May 2017
What was once a rumor has soon turned a reality. By the end of the year, KIA Motors are all set to open a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh in the Anantapur district. Officials of KIA Motors confirmed the launch of their manufacturing plant after the South Korean manufacturers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Andhra Pradesh government. Covering 23 million square feet, the 1.1 billion dollar investment will roll out 300,000 units a year. Han-Woo Park, President of Kia Motors, was reported as saying that the plant establishment will enable us to sell cars in the world’s fifth largest market, while providing greater flexibility for our global business. He added by saying that worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing and this is our latest step towards becoming a leading global car manufacturer.
9 May 2017
Volkswagen India has launched the Polo GT Sport in the Indian automobile market. The car comes with a number of new changes to the interior and exterior look of the vehicle. The vehicle runs on a 1.5L TDI and a 1.2L TSI engine which produces 81kW/110PS and 77kW/105PS of power respectively. The Polo GT Sport emulates a dynamic and sporty guise equipped with 16” Portago alloy wheels, a new black spoiler, and leatherette finished seat covers. Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Sales India, Thierry Lespiaucq, stated that buyers who are looking for an efficient vehicle and a strong power delivery end up purchasing the Polo GT. The vehicle is priced at an additional cost of Rs.20,000 and is available at any Volkswagen dealership. The Polo GT TSI is priced at Rs.9.08 lakhs and the GT TDI is priced at Rs.9.17 lakhs.
8 May 2017
India is likely to take it slow on implementing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN-MVA) while keeping the interest of close neighbour Bhutan in mind as there is a section that belongs to the political establishment who are opposing the initiative. India are willing to adjust the speed of implementing the project for the sake of Bhutan. Changes to the connectivity of the project or to any other aspect related to it have not been ruled out. The Bhutanese government has been under pressure from truckers to withdraw a Bill that was introduced in parliament last year for the Regulation of Passenger and Cargo Vehicular Traffic. The BBIN-MVA was made to encourage smoother connectivity between the partner nations. New Delhi and Dhaka have already begun dry runs where cargo was shipped between the two countries. Bhutan has informed India that the Bhutanese government will require more time to educate local transporters on the various benefits of this deal.
5 May 2017
Honda has some good news for biking enthusiasts in India. The automaker is all set to launch it’s adventure motorcycle, the Africa Twin in India. The motorbike is expected to go on sale in mid-2017 and the trial assembly of it has already begun. The Africa Twin is likely to be brought to India as a CKD unit (completely knocked down) and will be assembled at Honda’s plant in Manesar.
The Honda Africa Twin made its debut appearance in India at the Auto Expo 2016. Honda had originally planned to launch the Africa Twin in India by the middle of 2016. However, the devastating earthquake that struck Japan caused the launch schedule to be delayed. As of now, the launch date of the adventure bike is confirmed.
The Africa Twin is fitted with a 998cc, parallel twin liquid-cooled engine which generates 94bhp of power at 7,500rpm and 98Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. Internationally, the Africa Twin is available in two variants - one with six-speed manual and another with six-speed DCT automatic transmission. Likely to be priced approximately at Rs.14 lakh, the Africa Twin will be competing against rivals like the Suzuki V-Strom, Triumph Tiger series and Kawasaki Versys 1000.
4 May 2017
Skoda on Wednesday announced its first ever electric car concept named Vision E Skoda, at the Shanghai Auto Show. This announcement is in line with the smart and clean mobility concept of its parent company Volkswagen. According to Skoda, its e-mobility concept aims to introduce fully-electric long range cars by the year 2019. The Vision E Skoda is a crossover utility vehicle with a Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) which supports emotive vehicle concepts. The vehicle runs on two electric motors with a combined power output of 225 kW. The maximum speed it can pick up is 180 kmph and it can go up to 500 km in one charge.
3 May 2017
The The much-awaited Mercedes S-Class facelift 2018 was revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show. Since its launch in 2013, the luxury car has been due for a few tweaks. The fresh look includes a new wider grille, larger air intakes on the bumper, and multibeam LED headlamps. The car also gets a road surface scan which has the ability to detect bumps. Under its hood, the car now comes in a variety of options. The new S 560 will replace the S 550 which will be equipped with a 4-litre V8 petrol. This model will be able to mill out 464 bhp and 700 Nm of torque. The S 400d 4MATIC also gets the same engine but can produce up to 336 bhp and 700 Nm of torque. The S 350d 4MATIC is fitted with a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder diesel that can churn out 284 bhp and 600 Nm of torque. Finally, the Mercedes-AMG S63 4MATIC 2018 will get the V8 as well, with the ability to touch 600 bhp and rated torque of 900 Nm.
2 May 2017
Reports suggest that Maruti is all set to launch its new edition of Swift Dzire by the last week of May 2017. However, no official statement has been released by Maruti Suzuki yet. You can book new Swift Dzire for a down-payment of Rs.10,000 to Rs.21,000 at dealership outlets. The new Swift Dzire will have the same 1.2 litre petrol and 1.3 liter diesel engine. The car is also expected to have a larger grille in the front, new tail lamps, and integrated boot spoiler. It will compete against Hyundai Xcent, Ford Aspire, Tata Tigor, etc.
28 April 2017
One of the leading car manufactures in India, Nissan has revised their prices for their luxurious sedan car. Nissan Sunny which is being manufactured in Oragadam, Chennai, is one of the most famous cars Nissan has manufactured. This Japanese car manufacturer has revised the prices for Nissan Sunny in India. The car is offered at a starting price of Rs.6.99 (Ex-showroom price in Delhi). This new price will come into effect from April 20th, 2017 across India. Not to forget, Nissan launched Sunny 2017 edition with minor upgrades this year.
27 April 2017
Vehicle owners can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) moderated the hike in premiums of third party motor insurance bringing it down from 40% to 28%. This revised rate is now applicable to most vehicle categories and will come into effect from the 1st of April. The Third Party Insurance works out to 28% for cars that have an engine capacity of 1,000-1,500cc. Premium rates are revised every year depending on the number of claims that are made every year and after accounting any loss incurred by the insurer. The hike of 28% remains the same for goods vehicles that are in the gross vehicle weight (GVW) category of 7,500 kgs-12,000 kgs, 12,000 kgs-20,000 kgs, and 20,000-40,000 kgs. There is no change made to the premiums paid for vehicles have a GVW that is lesser than 7,500 kgs.
26 April 2017
Maruti is all set to launch the new 2017 Swift Dzire, bookings for which have been opened recently. The new Dzire is expected to features several changes in terms of design details and comfort enhancements. Maruti dealers have started taking advance bookings in exchange for token amounts of Rs5,000 and Rs10,000.
In terms of design, the front of the new Dzire will carry minor changes. The rear has been designed with a bigger boot lid, resembling the one on the first-generation Dzire. Other additions include daytime running lights with projector headlamps, a redesigned bumper, front grille with chrome finish, shark-fin antenna and possibly LED tail lamps. The interiors of the car are expected to feature dual tone beige and black upholstery, a flat-bottom steering and Suzuki's new SmartPlay 7.0-inch infotainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Under the hood, the new Dzire continues to feature the same engine as is featured on thee outgoing model, which is a 1.2-litre K-series petrol engine or a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. The new Maruti Dzire will be competing against rivals like the newly launched Tata Tigor and the Hyundai Xcent.
25 April 2017
Ford India recently launched sports editions of the Aspire and the Figo. The hatchback, Figo Sports edition, has the option of petrol and diesel. While the diesel variant comes with a price tag of Rs.7.21 lakhs, the petrol variant is priced at Rs.6.31 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). Both the new releases have been enhanced with a number of new features designed to improve performance and comfort. The sedan, Figo Aspire, is also available in petrol and diesel options. The diesel model is priced at Rs.7.6 lakhs and the petrol bears a price tag of Rs.6.5 lakhs. Some of the features of these cars include ABS and EBD, driver and passenger airbags, and 15-inch alloy wheels.
24 April 2017
With changing times, customer preferences are also changing. This fact has been made quite evident with the changing sales figures which have been put forth by two of India’s biggest automakers. Both Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors, known for their affordable, compact vehicles are now gathering higher profits from their premium vehicles, most of which are priced in the range of Rs.6 lakh and above. For Maruti, 26% of its overall sales came from premium products in FY 2017, while Hyundai registered a contribution of 46% to its overall sales, which was attributed to premium vehicles, as compared to a 43% contribution from premium vehicles in the last fiscal year.
21 April 2017
Jeep made a grand entry with the introduction of Wrangler Unlimited and the Grand Cherokee range at an event in Jodhpur, India. However, many potential buyers were disappointed as it was carried an exceptionally heavy price tag of Rs.71.59 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. Despite the burdensome price tags, the American carmaker has decided to invest around Rs.1,800 crore at the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) facility at Ranjangaon, assuring the customers that the Jeep will be locally manufactured. As the aggressive pricing is expected to be a challenge for achieving good sales, the company plans to add over 50 features in the standard option. Those who are planning to bear the heavy price tag can start looking at car insurance options online and choose the best one by making a complete comparison.
21 April 2017
Tata Nano was launched in the midst of much fanfare in the year 2009, but Tata Motors Limited sold only 174 units of the automobile in the month of March. This has led to a dip in sales of 64%. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding the future of the Nano. Company officials remain to stay silent on the topic even as executives of suppliers to Tata Motors have stated that orders for various parts that go into the making of the Nano are erratic. After Cyrus Mistry was removed from the post of chairman after the company amassed losses to the tune of Rs.6,400 crore due to the manufacture and sale of the Nano, the company is uncertain about the future of the Nano. The Nano was a vision and pet project of Ratan Tata and was executed by Mistry, who was given the role of interim chairman after the formers ouster. The future of the Nano looks dull as people will look towards other models as the car does not meet the advanced emission standards, in its current form, that will be implemented in the year 2020.
20 April 2017
The luxury car market of the country will witness a massive growth, with BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes Benz, expected to launch a series of vehicles during 2017. The market is likely to expand by 10%, which will be the fastest in three years. The luxury vehicle segment had a retarded growth, especially due to the ban of diesel vehicles in the capital and demonetization. Audi has sold more than 7800 units of car in 2016, which is 30% lower than the 2015 sales figures. Meanwhile, Mercedes had the highest sales from Dec 2016 to March 2017. As the number of wealthy Indians grows at a rapid pace, the luxury cars market — which accounts for less than 1% of the overall sales — is likely to go up in the coming days.
19 April, 2017
Hyundai is all set to launch its new generation sedan Verna in India. The car is expected to be launched by mid-August this year and there have been rumors of Hyundai testing it on Indian roads. Hyundai is trying to regain its market position with the launch of this upgraded version of Verna. Going by the design, the car is expected to be wider with swept-back headlamps and a front-facing projector unit. It also features a sloping roof line and with bigger tail lights. The next generation Verna is likely to compete with Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and Volkswagen Vento.
18 April, 2017
The Lok Sabha has finally passed the Motor Vehicles Act of 2016 which includes a number of amendments. Some of the amendments of the Motor Vehicles Act are Rs.5 lakh compensation to the family of an accident victim within a month in the case of an accident, the contractor will have to pay a penalty if death is caused due to pothole or engineering fault, drunken driving penalty hikes, fine of Rs.100 crore for auto companies rolling out cars with faulty emission, etc.
17 April 2017
Auto manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, has made key changes to a number of top-level management positions in an attempt to make a stronger impact in the car industry. Rakesh Srivastava, Vice President of Sales and Marketing has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing. Vice President of Production, Ganesh Mani S., has been elevated to the position of Senior Vice President of Production. Vikas Jain, Senior General Manager of Sales, has been promoted to Assistant Vice-President of Sales. Y. K. Koo, CEO and MD of Hyundai Motor India, has urged them to strive to achieve Hyundai Motor’s long-term vision of providing innovative products, becoming a leader in the auto industry, and providing a suitable work atmosphere for their employees. With two manufacturing units located near Chennai, India, Hyundai Motor India exports car models across all segments to over 87 different countries.
17 April 2017
Insurance companies are all set to capitalize on the new government mandate which requires public transport vehicles to be equipped with location tracking devices. The rule will be applicable from 1 April, 2018, and it will be applicable to all public transport vehicles with more than a seating capacity of six and above. Companies have started insuring vehicles with telematics devices to track the driving pattern and engine conditions. Understanding the driving pattern can help the companies in providing specialized offers and discounts on premiums. The ‘Drive Smart’ vehicle tracking system launched by Bajaj Allianz has received positive response from customers.
14 April, 2017
Having launched a series of vehicles at affordable prices, Tata Motors finds that rural India contributes a significantly large percentage to the overall sales. Product and geography are the two key areas of focus for the company, says Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit. Tata, at present, covers 59% of the automobile market in the passenger vehicle segment. Having devised its strategy underscoring the rural sector, the company plans to raise the sales figures in the days ahead. Pareek also says that there is not much difference in the finance penetration in rural India when compared to that of urban India.
13 April 2017
Insurance companies will not cover accident related expenses if the driver is caught for drunk driving. The insurance companies in India has joined hands to implement this new rule. This was announced after the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill was passed recently in the Lok Sabha. As per this new rule, the insurance companies in India will not cover accidents that are caused due to drunken driving. If the insurance company finds out that the driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol while the accident occurred, they will reject their claim. In this case, the driver of the car will have to take care of all the expenses incurred due to the accident. Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Transport, stated that the idea behind this rule being implemented is to avoid road accidents in India that are caused by drunk driving.
12 April 2017
Tata launches its subcompact sedan, Tata Tigor, in India. The car comes in both petrol and diesel variants and houses a 5 speed gearbox. It comes in four variants namely, XE, XT, XZ, and XZ (O) respectively. The price starts at Rs.4.70 lakhs and it goes up to Rs.6.19 lakhs for the variant with higher specifications. Tata Tigor can be booked in dealership outlets across India for just Rs.5,000. The interior is adorned with superior quality plastics and fabrics. It is also fitted with halogen high beams and LED tail lamps. The petrol engine can generate up to 84 bhp of peak power and 114 Nm of peak torque. The diesel variant is turbocharged and can make 69 bhp of peak power and 140 Nm of peak torque. Tata is soon to launch an AMT version of the sedan.
12 April 2017
Following the slump in car sales following the demonetization move by the Modi-led Government, car sales have hit full throttle with a 10% increase in sales in the four-wheeler segment. In just 2017, car sales have already hit three million sales. Maruti Suzuki reported a domestic sale of 127,695 vehicles, growing at 7.4 per cent, while its competitors Hyundai grew 8% and Tata Motors by 82% in the month of March 2017 against March 2016.
11 April 2017
Tata Motors plans on expanding its sales and service sector from 700 to 1,500 centres by the year 2019. The company ranked 5th among car manufacturers last year. Mayank Pareek who is the president of the company’s passenger vehicle business unit has said that Tata Motors has a presence in 59% of the market and this is expected to increase to 95% by 2020. The company will be putting in a lot of time, effort, and focus into the domestic market until it reaches its goal of becoming the third largest manufacturer of automobiles in India by 2019-2020.
Currently, the company has had minimum impact in the car market due to the ban on BS-III vehicles on April 1st. The company observed a growth of 22% last year and is looking forward to doing better this year.
11 April 2017
Ford India reported an increase in total sales for March 2017 by 17.14%. The automaker sold 24,832 units in March, compared to 21,198 units in the same month last year. Ford has made efforts to address the perception of cost of ownership. The company took the direction to provide a differentiated and transparent process that helped Ford reach growth rates above industry level in the first quarter. Domestic sales rose by 15% with Ford selling 8,700 units in March compared to 7,560 units in March 2016. Exports also saw a rise by 18.29% with 16,132 units, a significant jump compared to 13,638 units last March.
10 April 2017
The second largest carmaker of the country, Hyundai Motor India is planning to enter the hybrid car segment of the domestic market with the introduction of the Ioniq. Hyundai intends to reveal the Ioniq hybrid sedan at the Delhi Auto Expo 2018. The show will be an ideal platform for the hybrid car’s official debut in the country. According to the Managing Director of the company, the Ioniq will be a CKD (Completely-knocked-down) unit and not a CBU (import). Hyundai India is planning to keep the price competitive at around Rs.25 lakh. The Hyundai Ioniq will be packed with a 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine generating of up to 105 PS of power and 147.10 Nm of peak torque. It will also carry an electric motor generating 43.5 PS of power and 170 Nm of torque. The Ioniq will work on a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The hybrid sedan is expected to return a fuel economy of 29.41 kmpl.
10 April 2017
In a bid to break into the top three largest passenger vehicle segment in the country by the end of 2017 and rise to the top three in the global commercial vehicles, Chairman Chandrasekaran is all set to change the game plan to make this happen. The Chairman said that business is about consistent success and that Tata Motors have been applauded in the past, but currently we are being criticised. It is upon us to change the game and get to a high, which we have seen in the past. He added by saying, the company has had successful launches in the last year, yet they need to look more deeply into product, quality and features to strive to be the best in class.
7 April 2017
Shuhul Motors has joined hands with Hyundai Motor India Limited to launch the Hyundai Free Car Care Clinic in its Srinagar facility. The camp was inaugurated at the fully-equipped state-of-the-art facility by Director of Shuhul Group, Bilal Guroo. The CEO and other senior officials were also present at the inauguration, along with the Customer Support Manager of Hyundai Motor India Limited, Chirag Arora. The 10-day Free Service Clinic provides the customers with a number of facilities and benefits. The checks includes an all-inclusive 90 point check-up of the cars, covering areas such as transmission, electrical parts, suspension, AC, underbody, and engine check-up. Customers can also avail a 30% discount on labour, depending on vehicle age. Additionally, there were 20% flat discounts on spare parts and labour charges, as well as 30% discount on extended warranty. Mr. Guroo spoke about Shuhul Hyundai’s commitment to provide top of the class services to its customers.
7 April 2017
An announcement was made by Tata Motors on Friday that the automobile giant will join hands with Jayem Automotives to design and produce prototypes of a range of special performance vehicles. The venture has been given the name JT Special Vehicles and will be explored at a dedicated production line in Coimbatore. The company is looking at producing the next level of enhanced performance and personalization vehicles by keeping the process of design, assembly, precision machining, and testing all under one roof. Guenter Butschek, Managing Director and CEO of Tata Motors, has said that the company is delighted with this partnership as Jayem Automotives is a company known for their concept creation and prototyping capabilities. Car insurance agencies are now coming up with new insurance plans that can offer comprehensive cover to those who opt to purchase these vehicles when they are ready to be sold.
6 April 2017
Recently, The Cabinet has made amendments in the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill which states that all vehicles will have a national registration. All the details of a vehicle like the chasis number, engine number, model of the vehicles, and the year of manufacturing will be available in the national registration very soon. When a person tries to sell or transfer the ownership of the vehicle, all the details of the vehicle will be verified from the portal. This will help greatly as people cannot steal vehicles from one state and sell it in another state. The Cabinet also fixed the immediate compensation to road accident victims. It is now set at Rs.5 lakh for death and Rs.2.5 lakh for serious injuries. They have also increased the compensation for hit and run cases from Rs.50,000 to Rs.2 lakh. The Bill also proposed a 10% annual increase in penalties for traffic and transport related offences.
6 April 2017
In what is a historical move to the aging Motor Vehicles Act, the cabinet has approved the newly issued amendments to the act. From now on, in order to increase authenticity and reduce duplicity of driving licenses, vehicle owners will now have to link their Aadhaar card to their drivers license. According to the cabinet members, the important aspects of the bill are 100 per cent e-governance to be brought in transport sector, adding identity verification using Aadhaar will be used, bad roads contractor to be liable for fine, drivers will included in third-party Insurance and Claims would be time bond.
5 April 2017
Driven by the sales of the new Fortuner models and Innova Crysta, Toyota has seen an 80% increase in sales in the month of March selling 13,800 units. For the fiscal 2016-2017, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has seen a growth of 11% selling 1,42,500 units. N. Raja, Director and Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, has stated that the increase in growth was driven by the sales of Innova Crysta and newer models of the Fortuner. The company was concerned when a ban on SUVs and diesel cars with an engine capacity of 2,000cc and above was implemented by the Delhi government due to concerns related to pollution. But the company has made up for their absence in the market after the ban was lifted in August last year.
4 April 2017
The Pune district consumer court recently announced a ruling following which will bring respite to many individuals. According to the ruling, a tie-up that has been established between an insurer and a vehicle dealer will not be binding on a customer who may purchase a vehicle from such a vehicle dealer.
This ruling came into effect due to a recent incident where the court directed the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company branch in Yerawada to refund the premium amount of Rs. 21,053, along with an annual interest of 9% calculated from September 20, 2014 and an additional fine of Rs. 5,000 to a resident of Daund. This verdict was given following an issue where the insurance company failed to renew the affected individual’s car insurance even though the individual had paid for the renewal premium via an online NEFT transaction. The interest component payable came out to more than Rs. 4,700. However, the company put forth the argument that the consumer failed to route the payment through the vehicle dealer via demand draft, as this was a requirement following the agreement between the company and the vehicle dealer.
The bench informed that there was ample documentary evidence produced by the complainant which brought to light the inaction on the insurer’s part. Despite the complainant supplying the insurer with documentary evidence regarding the payment of policy premium, the insurance company failed to renew the policy, which amounted to deficiency in service on the part of the insurer.
4 April 2017
According to reports, IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) recently submitted a proposal to hike premiums for third party insurance policies. The proposed hike will likely increase the existing premiums by as much as 50% for a majority of vehicle categories in the year 2017-2018. If the proposal is accepted, vehicles which have a capacity of 1000cc and above are more likely to attract a hefty premium going forward. For instance, vehicles with a capacity exceeding 1,500cc will likely be paying a premium rate of Rs 9,246, which is significantly higher than the present ate of Rs. 6,164. However, vehicles with a capacity below 1000cc will not have any rise in premium prices for third party policies.
As per the proposal draft, on an average, IRDAI is likely to hike the premium rates by 30 per cent for some categories, while for other categories, of private vehicles, the increase in premium rates could be as much as 50%. The 50% hike in premium rates will also be likely to be applicable on sports bikes and super bikes, which have a capacity of over 350cc. this category of vehicles will have the premium rates hiked to Rs. 1,194 from the current rate of Rs 796, which is almost a 50% rise. However, IRDAI has suggested that no change be made to premium rates for vehicles falling under the category of under 75cc engine capacity.
The proposal has also proposed an increase in premium rates for other categories of vehicle such as tractors, goods carrying public and private carriers (other than three wheelers). For tractors with a rating of up to 6HP, there will be no rise in premium. Vintage cars (vehicle which have been certified as vintage auto by Vintage and Classic auto Club of India) however, will be the likely beneficiaries of a 25% discount in premium rates.
3 April 2017
The month of February seemed to clear the skies for the automotive industry as car sales saw an increase of 4.9% while sales of passenger vehicles rose by 9%. According to the data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sales of domestic passenger vehicle rose by 9.01 per cent and reached 2,55,359 units in February, against 2,34,244 in the corresponding month last year. Sales of domestic cars went up by 4.9 per cent and touched 1,72,623 units, as opposed to 1,64,559 in February last year.
However, sales of motorcycles saw a decline since last year by nearly 3.13 percent. The sales figures for motor bikes were recorded at 8,32,697 units while the sales for the corresponding month last year were 8,59,582. Also, coactive two-wheeler sales have also dipped marginally to 13,62,045 units in February as compared to 13,62,177 in February last year.
There has been a rise in the sales of commercial vehicles by 7.34 per cent. Unit sales figures touched 66,939 in February. Sales of vehicle across categories recorded a slight rise at 17,19,699 units as opposed to 17,03,736 in February 2016.
3 April 2017
According to Suzuki Motor Corporation, India is all set to have the third-largest car market in the world by 2020. Considering that Maruti Suzuki has a hand in more than 50% of the passenger vehicle segment in the country, they wish to play a huge role in ensuring that India reaches the third spot by 2020. At the Geneva Motor Show, Kinji Saito, Executive General Manager and Managing Officer (Global Automotive Operations), Suzuki Motor Corporation, said that the company has begun operations on a new production facility - to meet the required demand. He expects the production plant to roll out 2 million units by 2020.
21 March 2017
Following a statement issued by the Transport Department, as of April 1, 2017, vehicles without a vehicle insurance will not be able to undergo a fitness test. The Transport Department has newly launched their new online data platform where individuals owning a vehicle would have to enter their insurance details. Now, owners of the vehicles have to present physical documents to the RTA office for fitness certificate and then the officials later would verify the papers before forwarding the application.
21 March 2017
MD Pawan Goenka, recently stated that they are planning to remodel the Mahindra Verito to cater to the Indian taxi market. After the disappearance of the most popular car Ambassador, Indian taxi market did not know which car to choose. Therefore, Mahindra and Mahindra LTD. has planned has planned to redesign Verito to fill the void. Ambassador was sold to a French company PSA Group this year which forced the automobile manufacturing company to redesign their existing car. Mahindra is taking all the possible steps to occupy the space left by the brand Ambassador.
20 March 2017
To trim costs, Tata Motors will now offer VRS option to their employees. This is an initiative that is a part of company restructuring. A spokesperson from Tata Motors confirmed that they have already finalized the top two levels of their management and that a proposal on VRS package has been approved the board. So far the number of employees who will be offered Voluntary Retirement Scheme is not known. This is not the first time this Mumbai-based company is offering VRS option to their employees. They offered the same option in the year 2015. Currently, Tata Motors has more than 60,000 employees globally.
20 March 2017
Tata Motors will be participating, for the 20th time, at the International Motor Show to be held at Geneva. The company has been showcasing concepts and prototypes at the show since 1998. This year, Tata Motors will be introducing its sports car at the show.
The vehicle will be the first car to be launched under the new sub-brand of the company, TAMO. The new segment will have niche models incorporated with advanced technologies. Tata Motors stated that the introduction of TAMO will help in co-designing the automotive footprint of the country.
The Geneva International Motor Show has also witnessed the introduction of Pixel and Megapixel from Tata Motors. The last year saw the introduction of TIAGO, TIGOR, and HEXA Tuff.
17 March 2017
As per the law, it is mandatory for every vehicle owner to have third party insurance while own insurance cover is optional. For FY 2017-18, it has been proposed to raise the cost of insurance on most categories of vehicles by almost 50%. This means that the premiums for third party insurance will rise significantly. The reason behind this is that the government wants to take off the cap on the liability borne by insurers in the event of a claim that involves injuries and death due to road accidents. If the limit on the liability is removed, this means insurance companies will have to bear a higher risk and may have to shell out more on settling insurance claims. Certain categories have not been included in the premium hike that include smaller cars such as the Maruti Suzuki Alto, Tata Nano and the Datsun Go. Mini trucks and Pick-up vans have also been exempted from the hike.
16 March 2017
Reliance Jio has partnered with US-based AirWire for managing its backend ‘Jio Car Connect’ device. In an announcement made last year in September, Reliance Jio has also mentioned that it is also in discussion with automobile companies to integrate the devices in cars. Jio will be manufacturing the OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) device in India. This OBD module can plug in the device and track and record engine and other car related data. All the data is recorded and displayed through a mobile app. AirWire also offers other car IoT solutions such as an LTE mobile hotspot device, with LTE broadcasts, voice services, and WIFI, etc. The recorded vehicular data can be generate on-demand from a potential buyer or be shared with an insurance company or RTO. Car makers such as Tata Motors, Mahindra, and Honda have also launched their own connected car solutions.
14 March 2017
Maruti Suzuki, India’s leading auto manufacturer, is set to ramp up its product strategy by introducing four new models and facelifts for 2017-18. Two cars that will receive facelifts are the Dzire and the Swift. The Swift is expected to be unveiled at the Auto Expo 2018. The Vitara Brezza petrol will also be launched. Maruti Suzuki’s plan for 2016-2020 was to launch 15 new models and facelifts in its range. Eight out of the 15 models have already been revealed and launched.The number of launches this year will be double compared to last year. For the fiscal year 2016-17, by February end, the car maker had already recorded a growth rate of 11%. The company plans on outperforming itself next fiscal.
13 March 2017
Regulator IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) has proposed up to 50% hike in the mid-segment cards of 1,000 – 1,500, bigger cars, as well as SUVs. The proposal calls for an increase in premium to Rs.3,355 for cars up to 1,000 cc, while the increase proposed for bigger cars is Rs.9,246. However, there has been no proposal for increasing third party motor insurance premium for small cars that are up to 1,000 cc. There has been no change proposed for two-wheelers with engines up to 75cc. Meanwhile, IRDAI has proposed an increase in premium from Rs.796 to Rs.1,194 for sports bikes and super bikes with engines more powerful than 350 cc. The increase in premium has also been proposed for entry level bikes with engines ranging from 77 – 150cc and performance category bikes with engines from 150 – 350 cc. A 50% hike in premium rates has also been proposed for various categories of goods carrying vehicles. IRDAI has stated that proposed premiums have been based on accident related data from 2011-12 to 2015-16. This data has been provided by IIBI (Insurance Information Bureau of India).
10 March 2017
Microsoft and Tata Motors are working on a driverless car concept which could hit the markets in the near future. Tata Motors, India’s biggest vehicle manufacturer, will offer a number of features with its driverless cars from predictive maintenance, remote monitoring of different features of the vehicle, over-the-air updates, external mobile experience, advanced navigation, and vehicle centric services. Tata Motors and Microsoft have been working together from last year and have been striving to develop the technology required to make this concept come true. Microsoft plans on using their products like Outlook, Office 365, Skype for Business, and Power BI for India. Managing Director of Tata Motors, Guenter Butschek, has stated that the company is moving towards an “out of the box” thinking when it comes to developing this concept and improving products and services.
9 March 2017
Three IITs, IIT Kharagpur, Bombay, and Kanpur are reported to be working on the development of autonomous vehicles in India. The head of IIT Kharagpur’s Autonomous Ground Vehicle project stated that they are developing the technology for driverless cars for the Indian market. Toyota Prius and Tesla’s Model X have formerly introduced hybrid vehicles to India. The next stage of automotive evolution is expected to be the development of driverless cars. IITs have not disclosed the names of the companies involved in these projects, due to confidentiality agreements. At IIT Bombay, a team of students are working on developing the driverless technology. They have stated that the car will be built from scratch at the institute. The only components that will be outsourced are the sensors. IIT Kharagpur and Bombay are testing this technology on Mahindra’s E2O electric car. Also, Continental is reported to be helping students develop the technology through sponsorship.
9 March 2017
Mahindra and Mahindra saw a 5% beat on its Q3 EBITDA. The management has indicated an opportunity for growth when they didn’t provide a FY18 guidance for tractors. Mahindra and Mahindra is looking at a 12% growth factor for tractors in FY18 after a seeing a 20% growth factor in FY17. While rural demands have been misconstrued, there are indicators that point towards an improvement of ground realities post demonetization.
7 March 2017
Domestic passenger vehicle sales went up by 14.4%, by recording sale of 2,65,320 units in January from 2,31,917 units in the same time last year. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ (SIAM) data, domestic car sales rose 10.83% from 1,68,303 units in January last year to 1,86,523 units this year. Meanwhile, motorcycle sales dropped 6.07% from 8,72,323 units recorded last year to 8,19,386 units this year. Total two-wheeler sales also fell by 7.39% in January from 13,62,879 in the previous year to 12,62,141 units.
Commercial vehicle sales also dropped marginally recording 61,239 units in January. While, vehicle sales across categories recorded a 4.71% drop from 17,00,141 units last year to 16,20,045 units in January 2016.
6 March 2017
Mahindra & Mahindra have now initiated the process of investing a large sum of money amounting to Rs.700 crore which will be used to develop a new range of light commercial vehicles and intermediate commercial vehicles. The company is expected to launch around 15-16 different models of light commercial vehicles and intermediate commercial vehicles within the next two years. Mahindra & Mahindra have a 3.5% share and a 9% share in the heavy commercial and light commercial vehicles market respectively with Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors being their major competitors. Managing Director and CEO of Mahindra Trucks and Busses Ltd. Nalin Mehta has stated that the company’s bus and truck division could become a profit centre within the next five years or even sooner. He also mentioned that engines for intermediate commercial vehicles are in development in Chennai by the company’s highly skilled workers.
3 March 2017
Honda revealed the Honda WR-V 2016 at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show 2016 held in Brazil. The launch in India is expected to take place on 16th March 2017. Honda has two manufacturing units in India. The company recently purchased 380 acres of land located in Vithalapur, Gujarat, for a third facility which will handle the manufacturing of the upcoming compact SUV. The investment in the new plant amounts to Rs.1,000 crore. This plant will help reduce waiting periods for customers across all the Honda models. In January 2017, there was a decline in sales at 16,574 units compared to the same month of 2016 at 17,135 units, indicating a drop by 9%.
3 March 2017
Hyundai Motor will soon be expanding its product line in the domestic market through the launch of 8 new products by 2020.
Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO, Y K Koo, mentioned during the National Dealer Conference in Seoul that the company has announced new products in order to gain a strong leadership in the Indian automobile market. He stated that there will be 8 new launches, including segment products and full model changes, in addition to facelifts and product enhancements. The company is also expected to release new technology into the market, including automatic manual transmission, mild and full hybrid, and turbo gasoline engine.
The CEO further stated that the digital campaign following the release of the upgraded Grand i10 was an innovative method for a launch. The campaign was well received by the audience and has triggered 71,000 enquiries and around 8,500 bookings.
Koo also mentioned that the company has adopted 33 Government sponsored ITIs and 5 polytechnics, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Additionally, the company plans to adopt 60 villages in the future.
2 March 2017
The water ATM, which is capable of generating 1,000 litres per hour of purified water was recently inaugurated by Maruti Suzuki India. This water ATM will provide purified drinking water to the inhabitants of Bas Hariya village, Manesar. 96,000 litres of water is expected to be supplied to over 7,000 households in this area. This is the 4th such ATM set up by the automobile company with three others located at Dhana, Kasan, and Bus Khusla villages. Maruti Suzuki India Head CSR, Ranjit Singh, has said that after a study that shown that pure drinking water was absent in these areas, the company decided to set up these water ATMs which would provide safe drinking water to the community. Maruti Suzuki India has taken care of the initial cost of the project while the panchayat of Bus Hariya village will own the project and provide electricity and water which will be used to run the ATM.
1 March 2017
You might have seen them in Hollywood movies but autonomous cars are soon going to become a reality.
Google is about to complete work on its autonomous cars. Soon Tesla owners will be able to enjoy the "Autopilot" feature in their cars making their driving experience hassle-free. Residents of Pittsburgh will soon be able to book an Uber that will drive itself.
The autonomous car program of Google is in its final stage. Once done, it will enable its Tesla drivers to put their car on 'Autopilot' mode that will ensure easy motorway driving. The tech giant is coming up with an innovation that will avoid injuries in an accident. Google has already filed for a patent for the car that is being believed to minimize the force that another vehicle might feel once they collide with the car on autopilot mode.
This technology will have a computer device receive information that a driverless car is about to crash with another object. The device will then lead to the car's panels to move back which will absorb the force.
Interestingly, this device will be able to determine approximately how much force the car would need to handle the collision and reduce the damage to the other object.
28 February 2017
Toyota, a Japanese automobile manufacturing company, is now moving quickly towards the company’s goal of introducing the Corolla Hybrid sedan this year in India. The most common model in the market is the Corolla E170 which is more upmarket and larger. The hybrid vehicle will share the drivetrain with the recently launched Prius which runs on a 98 bhp VVT-I petrol engine that is coupled with a 71 bhp electric motor. Toyota claims that the car gives a 23 kmpl mileage but the Indian version will see a couple of changes and these specs will differs a little. The hybrid Corolla will meet a launch date set for the US market by 2018.
27 February 2017
Insurance repositories are now looking at servicing motor-vehicle and health insurance policies which would reduce the amount of time taken for a policyholder to receive their claims and also help in reducing the premium cost. According to a senior official with the Department of Finance Services in the Ministry of Finances, the government has held discussions with various insurance companies and have asked them to cater to the needs of customers more diligently. The government is said to be striving towards promoting digital services which could help in issuing insurance policies electronically. This can help curb the time taken to issue an insurance policy to a customer. Currently, CAMRep, Karvy, CDSL, and NSDL are the four insurance repositories that service close to six lakh life insurance policies. This is just a fraction of the 37 crore policies that have been taken out by the people from various insurance agencies. Surprisingly, none of these four insurance repositories have any no tie-ups with any public sector insurance company.
24 February 2017
The Ambassador, the iconic car brand owned by Hindustan Motors which was a trademark of the 90s, has been recently sold to French automaker, Peugeot. Hindustan Motors is owned by the C K Birla Group, who recently finalized the sale for Rs. 80 crore. the Ambassador itself went out of production about 3 years back. For those who grew up in the 60s and the 70s, the Ambassador was more than just a car. It was truly an inseparable part of the country’s urban landscape. Hindustan Motors introduced the Ambassador brand nearly 7 decades ago as a new avatar of the Morris Oxford series II (Landmaster). While obviously lacking pleasing aesthetics in terms of its design, the Ambassador served its purpose splendidly, considering there weren’t many car manufacturers in India in the early 70s and before. Remembered with fond memories or more innocent times and younger days, the Ambassador soon became a icon of national fame as it dominated the Indian roads until the Maruti 800 was launched.
With the launch of the Maruti 800, Ambassador sales started to go downhill from 24,000 units a year in the mid-1980s, to less than 2,500 units in 2013-14.
22 February 2017
Audio technology has gone a tremendous change as compared to older times. CD players and cassette players are obsolete and have given way to coin sized music players and storage devices which give you hundreds of gigabytes of storage. Considering this, it is only time that in-car audio tech also undergoes a transformation, which it rightly has. Leading automakers such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi and many more are working to provide car owners with a car ride which is not just comfortable and luxurious but also entertaining. Infotainment systems on cars now include features such as wireless streaming, cloud storage, and a host of other features to allow the driver to stay connected to the world around.
With changing ways of music consumption, more and more automakers are doing away with CD players for music playback, replacing it with USB and AUX ports allowing drivers the freedom to access their music. In global circles, app-based infotainment systems are gradually rising in popularity. Automakers like Kia and Ford integrate Sync and UVO to their vehicles, respectively. Need driving instructions? Text-to speech based on an AI interface for Audio-Visual control, speed-determined volume levels, video playback on neutral, several other similar features are now being included on cars.
21 February 2017
The sales of automobiles in January showed positive and negative trends across various segments. In the market of passenger cars, industry leaders such as Hyundai Motor India and Maruti Suzuki India have observed growth in double digits. However, companies like Mahindra & Mahindra and Honda Cars India continued to report reduction in sales. Maruti Suzuki sold around 1.34 lakh units in January this year, which is a 26% increment in sales when compared to the same time last year. Hyundai Motor India sold 42,017 units last month, observing a 10% increase in sales when compared to the same interval last year. Tata Motors observed a 21% increase in sales from the success of its small car Tiago, selling 12,907 units last month. Toyota Kirloskar Motor also achieved a 21% sales increase, riding on the success of the new Fortuner. They have sold 10,336 units last month. On the other hand, M&M recorded a 9% decline in sales this year, selling only 20,096 units in January 2017. They had observed sales of 22,088 units in January 2016.
The industry has hence, been seeing mixed reactions and the categories of commercial vehicles and the rural automobile market continue to see challenging times.
20 February 2017
On account of a weakening yen, Honda Motor Co. raised its annual profit forecast recently. Cost-cutting was another major factor in the rise in forecasts. Honda Motor Co is the third largest automaker in Japan. Honda has estimated that for this year through March, the company’s profit will reach 545 billion yen (approximately $4.82 billion). The operating profit forecast has also been raised to 785 billion yen, on account of its previous profit of 207.6 billion yen in October-December. Experts estimate that the company will post an annual net profit of 533.44 yen and an operating profit of 753.27 yen. Owing to the booming business in China with Civic and XR-V sales surging, the company has now invested in its 7th plant putting in $436 million.
16 February 2017
Tata Motors Ltd. intends to win back the competitive passenger vehicle market in India which seems to have been taken over by local rivals and foreign brands. Tata Motors has unveiled a dedicated vertical within its passenger vehicle business – TAMO, in an attempt to explore new business models and form partnerships for future innovative solutions. According to the company officials, Tata also aims at reducing the number of platforms from six to two in order to decrease complexities and bring down costs, and make the business more future ready. However, the officials did not comment on the plans for Nano
TAMO will serve as an open platform that will enable networking with global start-ups and leading firms to access latest trends, solutions, and innovation for future products and services. The first product by TAMO is expected to be a luxury sports car which will be premiered at the 87th Geneva Motor Show on 7th March. This sub-brand claims to have potential to transform Tata’s brand image and enable the company to connect with the gen-next consumers. Those interested in buying the latest from TAMO can compare car insurances online to bag the best deal.
15 February 2017
Private sector general insurer, Future Generali India Insurance has joined hands with Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) in a corporate agency tie-up. This tie-up will enable customers of BoM to buy products such as motor insurance, rural insurance, shopkeeper insurance, and home insurance from any of the 1,896 branches of the bank. MD and CEO of Future Generali India, KG Krishnamoorthy Rao stated that bancassurance is one of the significant avenues that help in distribution of insurance products to a wider audience. He also added that association with the Bank of Maharashtra will help the company in building a robust outreach network for its customers.
14 February 2017
Dun & Bradstreet has reported a steady growth in the auto industry which is said to continue into 2017. This growth is expected in all vehicle categories such as passenger and commercial vehicles and two and three-wheeler vehicles. The only factors that could pose a problem to this rise in growth is the status on society’s recovery from the recent note ban and the new reforms expected from the GST. Auto sales in India grew by 9.2% which was primarily because of the 9.6% rise in two-wheeler sales in 2016. Car sales saw a decrease of 7% in sales while the sale of commercial vehicles has grown by 7.8%. This positive sentiment follows the recent rise in demand for car and two-wheelers by the people in rural and semi-urban areas. Subsequently, insurance agencies have also seen a rise sales of car insurance and two-wheeler insurance policies.
13 February 2017
Maruti Suzuki plans on doubling the number of Nexa outlets in the country to 400 by 2020. This decision was made to meet the growing demand for the products offered by Maruti Suzuki. R.S. Kalsi, Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director of Marketing and Sales, has stated that by the end of FY 2016-2017, the number of Nexa outlets should reach a total of 250 to be on track with the company’s 2020 goal. Nexa has been used to sell Maruti’s premium products like the S-Cross, Baleno, and Ignis. Nexa showrooms have been conceptualized to entertain Maruti’s high-end customers. The premium cars are priced at affordable rates and if these rates seem too steep, car insurance agencies have come up with budget friendly policies to help you pick up your dream car.
10 February 2017
At the union budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not introduce any surprises for the automobile industry. According to the budget proposals, vehicle prices are unlikely to see any revisions in prices. The reduction in tax burden of individuals with income of Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.5 lakh is being looked at as a positive move for prospective two-wheeler, small car, and tractor buyers. A big hike in infrastructure spend might see a spur in the commercial vehicle segment, which has been in a volatile state off late. Demonetisation has led to a sharp fall in sales of two-wheelers in the third quarter. With the GST expected to be implemented soon, the Finance Minister has not changed the excise duty structure.
9 February 2017
Sales of Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has gone up 26% in January with its domestic year-on-year sales rising to 1.34 lakh units from 1.06 lakh units in January in the previous year. According to Maruti, the volume-wise sales were accelerated by its compact segment model such as the Baleno, Swift, Celerio, and Ignis. This segment sold around 55,817 units in January this year, when compared to 44,575 units at the same time, last year. Meanwhile, the mini segment comprising of the WagonR and Alto recorded sales of 37,928 in January, growing 11% year-on-year from 34,206 units last year. The utility segment car models such as the Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, and Ertiga more than doubled its sales from 8,114 units last year to 16,313 this year. The mid-size sedan also showed a growth of 20%, while ‘Super Carry’, its light commercial vehicle, launched last year sold 166 units. With increasing number of sales, insurance companies have come up with great car insurance deals for these models.
7 February 2017
Tata Motors is looking at increasing their popularity among the masses by unveiling a premium line of dealerships like the Nexa dealerships which has been made popular by arch-rivals Maruti Suzuki. Tata Motors, who has manufactured and produced vehicles like the Tiago, Indica, and Nano, is now working on new models in the premium hatchback, sports utility vehicle, and executive sedan departments. Currently, the company sells all its vehicles from the same outlet. The price range of Tata Motors’ entry products and top-end products is quite wide when compared to Maruti Suzuki’s products. Maruti sells the Alto at Rs.2.5 lakh while the Hexa is sold at Rs.3.59 lakh and is sold exclusively at the Nexa chain of outlets. Mayank Pareek, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicle Business Unit President, has stated that the company is working on opening Nexa-like outlets when asked about it at the launch of Hexa.
7 February 2017
After being seen at a recent TVC shoot, the upcoming Honda City facelift was spotted yet again in India at a dealership yard. The model spotted was the ZX variant of the Honda City, which is the top-of-the-line variant. The identification was confirmed as it was seen with all the necessary badging. Owing to its frequent sighting, the model is expected to be launched in the first half of 2017. Honda has made some extensive changes on the car’s exterior with its front receiving the most number of updates. The bonnet has also been redesigned and given two muscular subtle lines. Sportier alloy wheels, restyled LED taillamps connected to a chrome strip, and wide, sleek grille and reflectors on both sides, are some of the updates on the side profile.
The Facelift model seems like an automatic variant, from its images. Considering the launch of the new-generation Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento, later this year, it will be a good move if Honda introduces the City facelift as soon as possible. Car enthusiasts planning to buy the new City should start comparing car insurances online to bag the best deal when it is released.
6 February 2017
After the international launch of the new Hyundai Verna in September, last year and in China after a month, it is all set to be launched in India in April, this year. The latest Verna model is expected to receive a lot of changes in terms of features and exterior design. The premium look of the new Verna has taken inspiration from the new Elantra. Apart from being longer and sportier, the new Hyundai Verna has also been given a new dashboard, improved seats, a start/stop button, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Verna 2017 revealed in China has two engine options – a 100bhp pumping 1.4litre 4-cylinder engine and a 123bhp producing 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine. Options for transmissions is between a six-speed manual and automatic unit. The model to be launched in India may have the same options – 1.4-litre petrol, 1.4-litre U2 CRDi diesel, 1.6-litre petrol, and 1.6-litre CRDi diesel.The Hyundai Verna model released in China carries a price tag of Rs.7.20 lakh for the base variant and a price tag of Rs.10.45 lakh for the top variant. Buyers planning to own the latest Hyundai Verna can look for the best car insurance online for the same.
3 February 2017
At the 2016 Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil, Honda revealed the Jazz based Honda WR-V. Honda has started production of the WR-V in India at its plant in Tapukara in Rajasthan. Although based on the Jazz’s platform, it will be different in design and in terms of equipment. The ‘Winsome Runabout Vehicle’ or the WR-V will be quite smaller than the BR-V, thanks to its sub-4 metre compact crossover. The Honda WR-V is expected to carry a price tag of anywhere between Rs.9 lakh and Rs.15 lakh, ex-showroom price in Delhi. The expected launch in India is by February end or March of 2017. The model is all set to give some serious competition to cars such as Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport. With the introduction of this model, the car maker will make an entry into the compact crossover/SUV space in India. Buyers planning to own this winsome model from Honda have to start looking for good deals including a suitable car insurance policy.
2 February 2017
Tata Motors one of the leading automobile manufacturers in the country is expected to cut down its white-collar workforce to five layers from the current fourteen. If executed, this will become one of the biggest organizational revamp in the history of Tata Motors. The new organization structure plans to eliminate middle management and multiple reporting. However, for the passenger vehicle division, the product group will have a system of dual reporting. Tata Motors has roped in consultancy firms Accenture and Roland Berger to build market strategies as the company kept losing its share in Indian automobile market.
1 February 2017
Tata Motors is set to unveiled two SUVs in the next 36 months following the recent launch of the Tata Hexa. The compact SUV Nexon was revealed at the 2016 India Auto Expo in February. This model will be an entry level SUV and will be launched next year. Under its hood will be a 1.5L diesel engine. It is expected be priced at around Rs.7 lakhs.
The second SUV is a luxury one that is in the being shaped at design studios in Italy, India and the UK. It will most likely be based on the Land Rover Discovery Sport L550 platform. Under its hood is a 2L diesel engine. The price of this top-of-the-line SUV is expected to start at Rs.20 lakhs.
The SUV market in India is currently being dominated by Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors plans on taking a bigger slice of the pie. Currently Tata has two SUVs in the market, the Hexa and the Tata Safari Storme. The two upcoming launches will give Tata Motors are larger share of the Indian market.
31 January 2017
The popular Honda model, the City is all set to receive an update. Although it may just be a facelift, it is crucial for Honda as it is one of the best selling cars in the C-segment. As the Ciaz outsold the Honda City by 5,000 odd units in 2016, Honda intends to launch the updated City before the launch of the Ciaz facelift. Honda dealerships in Delhi have already started accepting bookings for the facelifted model as buyers have already showed interest. 2016 did not see much in the C-segment except the Skoda Rapid that went a major cosmetic revamp. However, this year the C-segment is all set to compete with the latest Hyundai Verna, which is expected to arrive in the market soon. With all the updated models expected to be launched this year, buyers need to prepare themselves and look for the best car insurance beforehand.
30 January 2017
A proposal was submitted by the non-life insurance industry to the government to establish a two-tier third-party liability cover for automobile owners instead of people taking up only a single car insurance policy on their vehicle. This system would ensure that the premium on the mandatory cover is kept under check and would also take accountability to ensure that people are covered under non-life policies. This scheme follows the move made by the government on amending the Motor Vehicles Act. Besides coming down hard on people committing various offences, the current amendment passed by the government also includes numerous measures to take care of victims of road mishaps. R. Chandrasekhar, secretary general of the General Insurance Council, stated that the new two-tier approach has been implemented by looking at the positive impact this kind of policy has had in Japan.
27 January 2017
Nissan launched the updated model of Nissan Sunny in India which starts from Rs.7.91 lakhs. This is the first launch programme announced by Nissan in India this year and the car is now available in dealerships across the country. The new sunny has fuel-efficient engines and more spacious interiors that adds to passenger comfort. The model is available in both petrol and diesel variants powered by 1,498cc engine and 1,461cc engine respectively. It also features enhanced safety options such as anti-lock braking, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, etc.
25 January 2017
According to a new inclusion proposed under the Motor Vehicles Act, the Transport Ministry will be another regulatory body other than IRDA to be consulted for finalizing the annual insurance premium rates. At present, the motor insurance premiums are taken care by IRDA which revises it every year based on certain factors like vehicle type, number of claims received for that particular type, engine capacity, etc. General insurance companies are against this proposed move and they want IRDA to be the only regulatory authority to decide on upward and downward revisions of premium rates. However, general public is of the view that with road ministry becoming a part of the process, chances are more that premium rates will go down.
24 January 2017
Renault, the French auto manufacturer, has recorded a 13.3% increase in group sales against the 4.6% in market sales in the year 2016. Renault benefitted majorly in the buoyant European market seeing an 11.8% increase in registrations when compared to a market share of 10.6%. This margin was not the same outside the European market, seeing a 15.3% increase against the 5.2% growth compared to the market share. Thierry Koskas, member of the Executive Committee and Group Executive VP of Sales and Marketing said that Renault had sold 3.18 million vehicles all over the world.
23 January 2017
A new audio system which can be used in cars has now been launched by Sony India which enables drivers to play music, communicate, and navigate using their smart phones. The new audio system comes with voice control and a touch panel. The XAV-AX100 is moderately priced at Rs.26,990. The audio system employs Sony’s “Extra Bass” feature and high-power sound to transform any vehicle that the system is retrofitted in into an intricate sound system. The system is compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto which will help commuters to enjoy their ride to their destinations keeping safety as a priority. XAV-AX100 is Bluetooth compatible and comes with a rear camera input to make parking easier.
20 January 2017
Automotive manufacturers are divided over the recent policy that was passed by the government that encourages the manufacture and sale of smaller cars (4 metre or less) by imposing lower taxes on these vehicles. With manufactures arguing that the new restrictions would lead to a compromise on safety, there are other manufacturers stating that safety regulations can be met even after keeping the length of a car to a 4 metre restriction. Passenger vehicles which meet the 4 metre cap and which come with a 1.5 litre engine or smaller will have a 12.5% excise duty tax levied on it whereas vehicles measuring more than the 4 metre cap will attract a tax ranging between 21% and 30%. The main aim of this move, to impose different taxes on vehicles, is to reduce to amount of fuel being consumed in a city by larger vehicles and reduce the amount of space that’s taken up in parking these long vehicles. Car insurance agencies are now coming up with new products to insure these models.
19 January 2017
The new motor vehicle insurance bill of 2016 will see an expected boost in sales of motor insurance due to the new motor vehicle bill of 2016 which proposes to impose heavy fines on people who violate traffic rules. K. Sanath, Chairman of the National Insurance Co., has said that people are violating the most basic rule which states that vehicles, especially two-wheelers, should be covered under risk cover, and this requirement is mandatory by law. Currently, it’s mainly car owners who are opting to pick up car insurance. He also said that vehicle owners might be prompted into insuring their vehicles. The motor bill is said to raise compensation of up to Rs.10 lakh to be given in the event of a road accident fatality and up to Rs.2 lakh in the case of a hit-and-run case. The bill was cleared by the union cabinet in August last year and will soon be presented during the Budget Session in the Parliament.
18 January 2017
With final rounds of testing to be completed, Tata are getting ready to start mass producing the Tiago-based sedan, Kite 5. While the exact launch date of the Kite 5 has not been revealed, rumour has it that the sedan is set to follow the launch of Tata’s Hexa in 2017. The compact sedan comes with a 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine which is equipped with a 1.05 litre three-cylinder diesel motor. The petrol engine produces a torque of 114 Nm at 3,500 rpm and develops 83.8 BHP of power at 6,000 rpm while the diesel engine churns out 69 BHP of power and a torque of 140 Nm. The Kite 5 is said to come with multi-drive modes. The Kite 5 is speculated to be called Altigo or Viago in its final form. Though the price tag has not been decided yet, market rumours have been speculating that the Kite 5 will be priced at Rs.4.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
17 January 2017
With the aim of being among the top three auto manufacturers in India by the year 2019, Tata Motors plans on setting up innovation centres all over the world to help meet this goal. Silicon Valley is the home of the first innovation centre. Seamless solutions to customers and the need to be future ready is the goal of Tata Motors according to Guenter Butschek, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Motors. The main reason for setting up innovation centres is to build up a presence and create a market for Tata’s products, to hunt for new technologies, and to build key relationships with players which include start-ups located in the vicinity. With a strong presence in Europe and India, Tata Motors plans on launching two new products every year for the next 3 years. The company sold 1,14,721 units within the April-November period which is an increase of 12.04% when compared to the same period of the previous year.
16 January 2017
Future General India Life Insurance announced that it will be collaborating with Vastu Housing Finance Corporation to provide a group credit life insurance called ‘Loan Suraksha Plan’. It is a plan that’s designed to cater to financial institutions to issue life coverage to new and existing borrowers. This will be a single premium plan which is said extend protection to the borrower to the amount of the home loan. The borrower will also have the option of extending his insurance coverage in case of additional loans and top-ups. Munish Sharda, Managing Director and Chief Officer of Future General India Life said that the company is looking forward in seeing their association with Vastu Housing Finance bloom and to offer their services through this new scheme.
12 January 2017
Future General India Life Insurance announced that it will be collaborating with Vastu Housing Finance Corporation to provide a group credit life insurance called ‘Loan Suraksha Plan’. It is a plan that’s designed to cater to financial institutions to issue life coverage to new and existing borrowers. This will be a single premium plan which is said extend protection to the borrower to the amount of the home loan. The borrower will also have the option of extending his insurance coverage in case of additional loans and top-ups. Munish Sharda, Managing Director and Chief Officer of Future General India Life said that the company is looking forward in seeing their association with Vastu Housing Finance bloom and to offer their services through this new scheme.
12 January 2017
While businesses across the country seem to be reeling following the demonetisation of high-value currencies, Volkswagen India looks to be striding while its competitors have been stumbling. Just in December, Volkswagen sold 4,348 units against 2,577 units in the same month last year - a tremendous 69% increase in sales. Michael Mayer, Director Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, credited the introduction of the Made-for-India Ameo and the GTI variants Polo and Vento for their boost in sales. To add to their glory, the Pune production plant recorded its highest production in a year. The production plant rolled out 1,451,45 units, a 12% increase from last year.
11 January 2017
Hyundai Grand i10 is performing really good in terms of sales in India. It is one of the best selling Hyundai cars in India. Hyundai stated that they have sold over 1 lakh Grand i10 cars in the financial year 2016-2017. During April to November 2016, they also exported around 33,500 units of Grand i10. Hyundai is now planning to launch Grand i10 facelift version in February, 2017. This version of Hyundai Grand i10 will come with cascading grille, revamped front bumper, and LED daytime running lights. Many banks are lined up to offer car loans and car insurance for the new Hyundai Grand i10.
10 January 2017
The German automaker, Volkswagen is preparing to launch the all-new Vento which will be based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB A0) platform. The launch is expected to take place in 2018-2019. The new Vento which was caught being tested in Brazil is rumored to have shed nearly 70 kg of its former weight and will feature sleek LED headlamps with daytime running lamps, along with alloy wheels. Other new features include increased interior cabin space, new LED tail lamps, freshly designed C-pillar and a new boot gate. The sedan is likely to be available in 3 variants which are a 1.4 litre MPI petrol, a 1.2 litre TSI petrol and a 1.5 litre TDI diesel engine. Buyers will have a choice between a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
9 January 2017
The new year has just begun but it will also bring with it, a number of automobile related issues which manufacturers must deal with. Revised emission norms, regulatory changes, and the demonetization drive launched by the government in Nov 2016 are just some of the issues that manufacturers must deal with in the coming months of 2017. Similar to last year, automakers are hopeful that once again, new launches will help save the day or year for them.
In 2016, the automotive industry has had to deal with a number of major hurdles. The ban on diesel vehicles and SUVs with an engine capacity exceeding 2,000 cc in the region of the national capital, the demonetization drive which commenced from November 2016 due to which deliveries of vehicle shipments plummeted following the cash crunch. The impact of demonetization is likely to last for much longer, experts predict.
Mr. Abdul Majeed from PricewaterhouseCoopers mentioned that the ambiguity concerning the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax is only going to add to the already bleak situation for automobile manufacturers in 2017. There could be plenty of knee-jerk reactions to the changes in the policy. Many other analysts are unanimous about the opinion that the first 3 months of the year are going to be quite a challenge especially for small cars, luxury cars and commuter two-wheeler segments, even if the latter half of the year may look up.
From April 1 onwards, Bharat Stage-IV emission norms will come into effect for commercial vehicles which may lead to a rise in pre-purchases of vehicles. However, given that the government has issued an advance announcement for the change, the spike in sales before April 1 may not entirely be likely. Other mandatory features such as anti-locking braking systems and dual front airbags for passenger vehicles are likely to be introduced from Oct 1 and may add another Rs 20,000 to vehicle prices.
Given that economic condition continue to be delicate in major importing regions such as South America, Africa, Middle East and developing parts of South Asia, cross-border shipments are not likely to improve in 2017 either.
6 January 2017
Maruti is going to launch a new generation Dzire by March, 2017. The production of Dzire Tour will stop to make way for the new generation Dzire. Currently, 3,000 units of Dzire Tour are being sold every month. Maruti is planning to introduce a striped down version of the new Dzire for the fleet segment. Maruti Suzuki also has the Ignis, Baleno RS, and an all new Swift to be launched in 2017. Suzuki owns 56% of MSI. It will supply 10,000 units of Baleno exclusively to MSI from the Gujarat plant. MSI has 2 units at Gurgaon, and Manesar with a total production capacity of 1.5 million units per year.
6 January 2017
The American automobile manufacturing company, Ford is all geared up to launch the all new 2017 Ford EcoSport Facelift in the beginning of next year. The new EcoSport has distinctive exterior design and come with one-piece hexagonal grille in place of the previous split grille. They have also redesigned the headlights, fog lamps, and the front bumper. Gaadiwaadi reported that the launch of this car is expected by the third week of January. Ford has a massive manufacturing unit in Chennai. It is from this unit Ford cars are exported to other countries and distributed in india. Manufacturing work for the new EcoSport will start soon and so will the launch.
2 January 2017
With hybrid and electric vehicles becoming increasingly popular worldwide, Japanese automobile giant, Honda, is likely to integrate the environment friendly trend in it’s business. According to reports, Honda is likely to soon roll out an electric powertrain for the Jazz, one of the popular hatchback’s from the manufacturer. The eco-friendly powertrain is likely to be part of the vehicle by the year 2020. Provided that the Jazz is also one of the highly popular hatchback’s in India, it could be one of the first model sold in India to include this eco-friendly feature.
30 December 2016
Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Tata Motors, has recently unveiled the all new 2017 range of its most popular SUV, the Range Rover Evoque. The most prominent change featured in the new 2017 Range Rover Evoque is the Ingenium Diesel engine, making this particular model the very first Land Rover SUV in India to be fitted with JLR's new engine motor. The recently launched Jaguar F-Pace is the only other car to feature engines from the Ingenium line.
Design details on the new Range Rover Evoque won't be too different from the previous variants and will continue to feature a bold exterior aesthetics while the interiors are plush and comfortable. Muscular shoulders, striking lines and a tapered roof feature on the outside, along with adaptive full-LED headlights and LED daytime lights.
The cabin of the Range Rover features strong lines, fine detailing and contemporary finishing which lends a luxurious yet comfortable look and feel. Speaking about the finer details, the interiors have been crafted using the finest of materials such as Oxford leather with twin-needle stitching and well-padded door inserts. Also included is an InControl Touch Pro infotainment system which enhances in-car connectivity and a 8 or 10 inch display, depending on the model. Prices for the new range of the Evoque start from Rs 49.10 lakh and go up to Rs 67.90 lakh for the top end variant (ex-showroom, Delhi).
28 December 2016
The Lexus brand is all set to debut its cars on the Indian roads come March 2017. A Lexus RX450 has already been sighted on the Mumbai streets. Around 50 to 60 cars have arrived in India to be used for test drives in order to entice potential buyers.
Lexus will be launching two hybrid models in March - the ES300h and the RX450. Along with the debutants, Lexus will also be launching Lexus dealerships at the same time. 4 showrooms are set to grace the cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi, with Delhi getting 2 and Mumbai and Bengaluru getting 1 each.
Lexus will be sharing dealership partners with Toyota in India. The dealerships themselves will be separate, although the service network will be the same. But there will be separate servicing bays for the Lexus cars.
By the time the year 2017 ends, we'll also see the LX 570 petrol, the NX, and the LX450 diesel being launched in India. The LS600h will arrive by January 2018.
The soon to be launched ES 300h will be valued at Rs 60 lakh and the RX450h will cost above 90 lakh (both ex-showroom prices). Lexus cars will invite import duties as they will be imported directly to India.
27 December 2016
In an attempt to reduce air pollution and worst smog in india, The Government of India might ask all the automakers and their agents to buy all old, pollution-causing vehicles and recycle them. Currently, India does not have a recycling policy for worn out vehicles apart from one unorganised vehicle scrapping company in Mayapuri in New Delhi. The new rule may be implemented once the Environment Ministry gives permission. This will make sure that the manufacture should take back the vehicles which are declared unworthy on roads and recycle them.If the new rule is implemented, ample time will be given to automakers to set up recycling centres across the country. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India had about 8 million end-of-life vehicles in the year 2015 and the number might go up to 21 million by 2025.
26 December 2016
Apple has invested heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems. In November, Steve Kenner, Apple's Director of Product Integrity, wrote to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the company is excited about the potential of automated systems in transportation. He urged the regulator not to restrict testing of such vehicles. He wrote that under the NHTSA's guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience by preventing car crashes, and fatalities each year, and giving mobility to the disabled people.
23 December 2016
A startup firm based in Kochi came up with the idea of combining entertainment system and GPS, thereby providing a medium for filtering distractions and enhancing connectivity while on drive. The Heads-Up Display (HUD) product of Exploride comes with offline mapping features that connects to your vehicle and smartphone at the same time. Another striking feature of Exploride HUD is the dashboard camera that allows the driver to record videos on the go. It also has a voice control that integrates Siri and Google Now. The product has an internal storage capacity of 16GB plus a cloud storage space of 5GB.
22 December 2016
Recently, the Finance Minister announced that online discounts will be provided on new insurance and not on renewals. The Government of India offers 10% discounts on motor and health insurance only if the customer switches insurance companies and if the insurance is brought from state-owned insurance companies. Life Insurance Corporation, a leading government insurance firm offers this discount only on online term policies. Meanwhile, all the leading public sector insurance companies, namely National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, New India Assurance, and United India Insurance have filed for changes to be made on discounted online policies. Chairman of National Insurance, Sanath Kumar stated that any new customer who comes into the insurance company is treated as a new customer as most of the policy ends in one year and if the customer chooses to switch companies post that, it will be treated as a new policy.
21 December 2016
One of the leading automobile manufacturing company in India, Maruti Suzuki is launching its first Boosterjet Engine model Baleno RS by February, 2017. The carmaker stated that they are thinking of using Booster Engine to other car models offered by Maruti Suzuki like Swift Dzire and the all new Swift of the market receives Baleno RS positively. The new Baleno Rs will have a 1.0 litre Boosterjet Engine. It will also have attractive interiors and exteriors such as Bi-xenon automatic headlamps with LED DRLs, side skirts, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, and new diamond cut alloy wheels. It will also come with excellent front and rear bumpers.
20 December 2016
Reportedly, the CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs.12,918 crores in 327 cases over the last 3 years till 30th November. On 9th December, Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), reduced the penalty on 4 insurance companies and 3 auto companies, reconsidered a case against DLF, and set aside an order against Lupin. National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance were found guilty of cartelisation and manipulating a bidding process by the Kerala government for selecting insurance service provider for RSBY. COMPAT reduced the Rs.671 crores penalty to just Rs.2 crores.
CCI had fined 14 car manufacturers for anti-competitive agreements and abusing a dominant position in the spare parts market. Following an appeal against the 2014 order, COMPAT reduced the penalties against Toyota, Nissan, and Ford. The tribunal has asked CCI to reconsider an ‘abuse of dominance’ case against DLF, filed by Ess Cee Securities and Signature Securities with regard to the company’s Capital Greens Phase-III project in Delhi.
19 December 2016
India’s most prominent private sector non-life insurance provider, ICICI Lombard recently announced a growth of 30% under its motor insurance segment. The growth which was recorded during the first half of the financial year, has been achieved by the company after a gap of nearly 8 years.
1 December 2016
Essar Steel India Ltd. (ESIL) stated that they are planning to use bulletproof steel in cars, and are in talks with vehicle designers for the same. The latest product from the company, bulletproof steel, absorbs the force of a bullet that travels at a speed of 700m/sec, without creating a dent on the vehicle’s surface. The steel is extremely durable, with hardness levels greater than 500 BHN.
These vehicles will be the first of their kind in the Indian market, and the increase in focus on personal security will result in greater demand for such cars.
28 November 2016
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has recently launched a service called as ‘DriveSmart’. With the help of this service, customers can buy car insurance plans. This service will also give information regarding the driving habits. The premium charges for each customer will be decided based on the data given by Telematics. According to Sourabh Chatterjee from Bajaj Allianz, the DriveSmart service is much superior when compared to other covers as it provides lot of additional benefits as well. It will monitor the driver and give data regarding vehicle diagnostics, navigation, statistics etc. Based on the feedback, the customers can reduce the rates by working on their driving styles. Ever since its launch in September, the service has become quite popular.
25 November 2016
According to data released by the General Insurance Council of India, it has come out clear that insurance premium collection has risen by a whoppin 32%.
This data, which analyses the business for the first 7 months of FY17, has reported that about Rs.76,607.92 crores have been collected by both public and private limited companies.
However, the data went on to suggest that private players had a way bigger hand in the money collected as compared to public companies.
Private firms like Bajaj Allianz, Reliance General, TATA AIG General Insurance, and ICICI Lombard among others racked in a growth of 32.5% to collect Rs.29,851.31 crores. On the other hand, public sector firms like National Insurance, United India Insurance Company, and New India Assurance among others saw a growth of 27% and collected Rs.34,754 crores as compared to the same period last year.
Experts in the industry cited the rising popularity of two-wheeler insurance as the main reason behind this massive growth
25 November 2016
Volvo is set to launch 5 new models in the near future in India. The company announced it will be introducing a new line of SUV’s and sedans in the Indian market following the success of its flagship S90 sedan.
Among the cars to be launched is the XC90 R-Design, an SUV from the Volvo fleet. The car comes with an edgier look and 20-inch alloy wheels, among others.
Volvo is also introducing the V40 and V40 Cross Country sedans, which are their most affordable cars. The two recently received an overhaul and now come equipped with design updates and daytime running LEDs.
The S60 Polestar is another new entrant. While the S60 sedan is already on the market, the Polestar comes with a more powerful engine, packing in 467 Nm of torque with 367PS of raw power.
The V90 Cross Country, launching mid-2017 is another SUV, combining speed with utility and comfort.
While Volvo does not provide in-brand car insurance policies for its fleet, customers can pick from a range of providers to ensure their car receives the maximum insurance protection.
21 November 2016
Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch more mild-hybrid cars in India. Introduction of hybrid technology for small cars will help the company to strengthen its market position further. According to RC Bhargava (Chairman), this is really a sensible move for India as it has not been done globally yet. The company is planning to launch Baleno SHVS next year as a mild-hybrid car. Soon, they will move on to other models as well. The good news is that getting hybrid technology is not expensive. It is cost effective and it has also helped the company to get subsidy benefits. The company is planning to introduce around 16 lakh units in the market for this fiscal.
16 November 2016
In an effort to decrease the number of road accidents due to driver’s negligence, Zoomcar has decided to install advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to its cars. The system has already been integrated in 40 vehicles in New Delhi. Now, the company is planning to branch it out to other cities as well. According to Greg Moran (CEO of Zoomcar), this new innovative technology will contribute a lot in reducing the number of accidents by giving real time assistance to the drivers. The system will provide different kind of warnings such as collision, lane departure etc in the form of audible alerts. ICICI Lombard will also pay a huge role as an insurance partner for this plan. Apart from this, Zoomcar has also launched some new technology enhancements such as speeding alert system, bluetooth based hardware etc to monitor the functioning of its vehicles.
10 November 2016
The implementation of the new GST regime is not going to turn luxury cars and SUVs any cheaper. The current rate of central and state taxes are 54% for larger vehicles. The new GST tax slabs will alter this value to stand at 28%. However, there will be an additional cess imposed to compensate for the difference in rates.
Experts are of the opinion that smaller cars, electric cars, and hybrid vehicles will be taxed differently from the sedans. This is done to promote the use of these vehicles, and is an attempt to relieve the population of pollution and congestion on the roads. Currently, the excise duty that a small car (less than 4 metres long) attracts is 12.5%. The next segment of cars (length of 4 metres) is charged 24% excise tax. When the length of the car is more than 4 metres and engine capacity is 1200 cc (petrol) or 1500 cc (diesel), the excise duty is 27%. The highest excise tax of 30% is charged on MUVs and SUVs that are characterised by lengths of over 4 metres and engine capacities of 1200 cc (petrol) or 1500 cc (diesel).
In addition to the excise tax, vehicles also attract VAT and road tax at a state level. These are also higher for sedans and luxury cars.
9 November 2016
While the automotive sector maintains its stance on self-driving vehicles, RC Bhargava, the Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, says that autonomous vehicles like these will not be well accepted in India. The main reason for self-driving cars not working in India, as cited by Mr Bhargava, is that driving rules are not obeyed by most people. Although he would not mind people’s efforts in putting the technology to use given the driving conditions in India, his views on self-driving cars in the country remain bleak. He added that “no technology will work when nobody obeys the driving rules.
8 November 2016
In an effort to increase sales, TKM(Toyota Kirloskar Motors) has joined hands with Uber. As per this new partnership, TKM will provide buying solutions to first time drivers in Uber. Not only this, the drivers will also be provided with 90% on-road funding on Etios Sedan and Etios Liva Hatchback. However, this scheme will be valid only till 31st December, 2016. According to N.Raja from TKM, this partnership will surely help in giving a boost to the ride-sharing market in India. It will help fulfilling the mobility needs of an Indian in a more efficient way.
25 October 2016
A recent report reveals that around 11,999 cars have been exported from Chennai in India by Nissan Motor. The total number of cars exported have risen by 20% when compared to last year. This has made the company’s Indian subsidiary an export hub. Nissan Motor has more long-term plans for its growth. They also have plans to start exporting cars such as Datsun redi-GO to Nepal, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
20 October 2016
Indian motorcycle manufacturer Mahindra has officially unveiled the Centuro Mirzya special edition bike called the ‘Centuro Mirzya’. This move has been decided upon in a bid to beef up the promotions of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s epic film Mirzya, which is set for release during the Diwali season.
To distinguish the design elements of the bike, Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd (MTWL) has gone with special graphics as compared to the standard motorcycle design. A Mirzya branding can also be found on headlight and the tail sections too.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Executive Officer, Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd. Vinod Sahay said that the company was delighted to announcing an exclusive partnership with the bollywood veteran Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film.
Mr. Sahay further exclaimed his optimism about the movie and the bike becoming a rage during the upcoming Diwali season.
Besides the upgrades on the design front, no mechanical change has been seen. Also, the company still is mum on the pricing of this special edition vehicle.
The bike produces the same 8.5 PS/Nm of power and torque and is equipped with the standard alloy wheels, LED tail lamps, and flip keys.
18 October 2016
The Delhi government and the police force are working on a scheme to prevent vehicles that do not have car insurance from plying on roads.
The scheme is the result of a ruling by the Centre-appointed Motor Accident Claims Tribunal which stated that merely punishing offenders for such a violation is not enough of a deterrent. This is especially true in cases where the uninsured vehicles cause accidents, as the victims would not be eligible for any sort of compensation.
In cases where the tribunal rules in favour of an accident victim, recovering the amount from the offender becomes difficult as there is no insurance.
In light of such difficulties and the increase of such cases and fatalities arising due to negligent driving, the Tribunal has directed the government to find a solution.
In cases where the insurance has not been renewed, insurance companies should maintain a database to reflect timely renewal of car insurance. In cases where the insurance has not been renewed, punitive action such as issuing notices to defaulters can be adopted.
14 October 2016
Nissan plans to release 8 new car models in India by 2021, according to a company source.
The move is aimed at increasing Nissan’s share in the Indian car market, which currently stands at just 2%.
The company will be releasing some cars from its existing stable as well as some new Datsun range cars that have been developed in India.
Nissan, who have generally worked alongside Renault to develop and release cars, will now be moving towards a more individual platform and structure, as opposed to sharing with Renault.
Nissan will be focussing on SUV (Sports Utility Vehicles) and crossover cars for India, with an emphasis on the car design and technology.
Nissan is also looking to gain a foothold before other Asian car manufacturers like KIA and Toyota also look to expand their base in India.
This would spell good news for car insurance companies and customers alike, as there would be a wider pool of vehicles and models to choose from.
12 October 2016
Skoda India has launched the MySkoda application which is expected to offer a single-window interface between the customers of Skoda and the company itself. Customers can download the application from the iTunes Store in case they use an Apple device, or the Google Play store in case they use a device powered by Android. The application offers several different benefits while aiming to enhance the transparency with Skoda in addition to offering the customer a trouble-free ownership experience.
In addition to the transparency, facilities such as the provision of billing record for each service, locating a dealer, booking service appointments and connecting to the customer care team of the company are also included in the application. The application is also expected to help customers is monitoring the service cycle of their vehicle, roadside assistance, insurance and vehicle warranty as all these details will be updated and can be referred to by the customer at will. All updates made via the application will be registered in the company’s database to make it relatively simple for customers to know exactly what kind of attention their car requires and when.
6 October 2016
With technological advancements taking place every single day, experts have predicted that by the year 2020, there will be nearly 61 million Wi-Fi connected vehicles being churned out by factories or present in the aftermarkets. The figure stood at 6.9 million in the year 2015 and is set to rise drastically in the coming few years. With the help of these services, drivers will be have access to more digital content like music, videos, navigation and location based services. However, the downside to this new wave of connectivity is the easy access of people’s personal info that will no be available to hackers.
5 October 2016
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance recently launched an ultra-smart device that can impressively assess diverse aspects of your driving and help reduce the cost of your motor insurance. As the industry’s first ever telematics offering, the device is plugged into your vehicle’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) and records information on factors ranging from acceleration and over speeding to braking. The device provides vital information to the insurance provider through long distance information transmission and helps to determine insurance costs for individual drivers. It will factor in overall usage and the manner of usage (how carefully/rashly one uses his vehicle) to arrive at an appropriate cost towards renewal or purchase of a new motor policy. The smart policy - termed DriveSmart - reflects a paradigm shift in determining the cost of vehicle insurance that was traditionally determined by four main parameters including year of manufacture, location, model and vehicle price.
4 October 2016
With the festive season round the corner, car manufacturers are looking to increase sale volumes. Keeping with the festive feel-good spirit, a host of car manufacturers are offering discounts on entire ranges of cars.
Nissan is offering up to Rs.80,000 on the Terrano and up to Rs.65,000 on its hatchback Micra.
Hyundai is offering discounts on a number of its models, with up to Rs.50,000 off on the i10 and up to Rs.91,000 off on the Grand i10. Among its sedans, the company is offering up to Rs.80,000 on the Verna and up to Rs.57,000 on the Xcent.
Maruti Suzuki’s Alto and Wagon R models have up to Rs.70,000 off the regular price, and the company is offering up to Rs.40,000 off its Swift and DZire models.
With the car buying bonanza sure to take place during the next month, car insurance should also be topmost on car buyers minds.
27 September 2016
With the festive season fast approaching, General Motors, the leading American automaker, recently announced the launch of special offers via discounts and benefits of over Rs 1 lakh the its various models like the Beat, Tavera, Cruze, Enjoy and Sail. This special offers include benefits like exchange bonus, free insurance and benefits on limited stocks. Beside the offer, Chevrolet is also offering an assured 4 gm gold coin with the purchase of every new vehicle. Having already introduced special schemes on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, the following months of October and November fall under the festive season, a time when most manufacturers will be luring customers with offers in order to boost sales.
23 September 2016
In an effort to ensure strict implementation of BSIV emission norms, beginning April 2020, the government has taken to compulsory testing of 50% of vehicle model samples which will be picked at random from specific plants from the dealer warehouse or locations. This random sample testing is being done as a part of a process called conformity of production (COP). The notice further mentions that vehicles or engines featuring up to 7% biodiesel blends will be tested with reference diesel (B7), while those featuring biodiesel blends above 7% shall be tested with respective blends.
Following the release of this notice, automobile manufacturers are reportedly unhappy with these new norms.
22 September 2016
For the benefit of Fiat customers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) India will be organizing the second nationwide service camp. To be held between September 19th to 25th, the camp will run at all Fiat authorized dealerships across the country. As a part of the camp, FCA plans to offer special discounts on labour (for mechanical repairs) and spare parts, along with free top-wash and car checkups.
21 September 2016
IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) is considering implementing two factor authentication for e-insurance policies. As part of this process, an OTP (One Time Password) will be sent to the policyholder’s registered phone number and this will be used to verify the request.
IRDAI will be making changes to existing rules governing e-insurance in line with this new directive.
The regulatory body has stated that this move will help prevent fraud and make online insurance policies more credible.
Currently insurers require one factor authentication for the sale of motor and life insurance policies online.
The new directive will mean more stringent verification through the OTP as well as digital and e-signatures to authenticate the policy.
20 September 2016
Following the roaring success of its most recent models, the Baleno and Vitara Brezza Indian automobile giant, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is in the process of shifting its focus to introduce premium cars in the Indian market. Kenichi Ayukawa, CEO & MD, MSIL, said that the plans are underway to add more premium cars to the brand’s existing fleet. The Baleno and the Vitara Brezza+ are currently on the list of the top 10 cars which have captured market share in the months of July & August 2016.
16 September 2016
A slew of automatic cars are set for release soon, with the Renault Kwid AMT leading the pack. This car, which comes with an 800 cc engine, will be releasing in a 1.0 litre engine variant as well.
The Tata Tiago AMT is set to provide stiff competition to the Kwid, with both cars set to release in time for the upcoming festive season. The Tiago will be equipped with both petrol and diesel engines. The Revotorq engines will churn out torque of up to 140N.
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis is the latest in the company’s automatic fleet of cars. The car, a mini-crossover, will come with petrol and diesel variants and feature Maruti’s AGS technology.
Car buyers looking to capitalise on the new releases should definitely consider getting car insurance to ensure a happy and safe festive season.
12 September 2016
In an attempt to expand beyond small cars in its portfolio, Maruti Suzuki is planning to add more number of bigger cars and SUVs to its fleet. However, the country’s largest carmaker is worried with the success of Renault Kwid. Maruti has also started work on its latest version of best seller Alto. Customers can choose from various car insurance policies when they buy a car from Maruti Suzuki.
The MD & CEO of the company, Kenichi Ayukawa, said that the company has received a healthy response to Brezza city SUV and Ciaz Sedan. He also added that customers in India are expecting to upgrade to more premium vehicles. Talking about the recent policy flip-flops and sudden changes in regulations, the MD said the internal strategies will have to be changed and a lot of investment plans will be impacted.
1 September 2016
South Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai would be soon introducing Kia Motors into the Indian automobile industry. This will be done at a rung lower, owing to which the Hyundai cars would be offered as premium products. The ideal small car for the Indian market would be the Picanto, which can be categorised between the Grand i10 and the Eon. Under the hatchback category, the Rio would be the right choice for Hyundai. The Rio sedan would be the right selection in the smaller sedan segment for the car manufacturer competing with the likes of Maruti Swift Dzire, etc. No car line-up is complete without an SUV and Hyundai might bring in the Sportage with a 2.0-litre diesel engine into the market. An MPV named Carens might also be added to the list by Hyundai. Hyundai customers can get a comprehensive car insurance policy for their new cars while purchasing the vehicle from any insurer across the country.
26 August 2016
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza diesel variant, known as the VItara Brezza AMT, is one of the most anticipated car releases this year.The car was recently showcased at the Indonesia Auto Show, which is currently underway.
The car is the first diesel-powered model for the Brezza range of cars and is expected to be launched shortly.
While the car will continue to have a 1.3 litre DDiS engine, the car could have some surprises up its sleeve, which would be revealed during its launch in India.
The car comes with projector headlamps, underbody plastic cladding as well as roof rails for added comfort and durability.
Upon its release, the car will be insured by all major car insurance providers.
22 August 2016
The traffic police in Nagpur are to raise fines for traffic violations from August 17th, 2016 in an attempt to deal with the growing numbers of offenders.
As per the new fine rates, motorists without a helmet will incur a fine of Rs.500 instead of the earlier Rs.100.
For offences such as speeding, driving a car without proper car insurance or registration and racing, the fine will now be Rs.2,000.
The penalties had been revised upwards at a meeting on August 4th, 2016, and were to be implemented from August 17th, 2016.
Additional fines have been added for the use of decorative number plates and rash driving, with offenders to be fined Rs.1,000 for such violations.
Making illegal modifications to vehicles and driving a vehicle without taillights or headlights will result in a fine of Rs.1,000 for each offence.
19 August 2016
The insurance industry will be embracing the digital revolution from October 1st, 2016. Electronic insurance policies will be issued to policyholders, with the policies stored in demat form after issue.
A number of insurance policies, such as motor insurance and travel insurance, will only be available in digital form after October.
In order to purchase or renew insurance, individuals will have to open e-Insurance Accounts (eIA).
Up to now, depositories to convert physical insurance policy documents to demat exist, but in future all policies will be issued in demat form.
E-insurance will be beneficial to policyholders as the process will be paperless and also reduce incidences of fraud as all documents will be digitally verified and tamper-proof.
The IRDAI has issued a grid for the issuance of policies in their electronic form, containing the sum assured as well as the annual premium payable.
18 August 2016
The number of traffic violations in the country has seen a sharp increase over the last few years, with lack of policing being a major reason for it. Traffic violators in the city of Nagpur, who might’ve previously escaped after such violations might be in for a rude awakening, thanks to a new proposal which could give constables the power to book them. The Home Department of the state has authorised constables to issue challans in cases of traffic violations, with helmetless riding being their primary concern. Earlier, only PSIs could issue such challans, but this directive is bound to give more teeth to the department, helping them reduce the number of violations in the city.
These powers have been introduced under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, which will help around 475 constables do a better task on the roads. With just 20 Police Sub-Inspectors in the city, booking offences took time, often leading to offenders escaping. This new move would help in better traffic management in Nagpur. Additionally, penalties for various offences have also been increased, aiming to hit offenders in their wallets. Helmetless riding in the city will attract a fine of Rs. 500, a fivefold increase in the old fine, while violations for speeding, rash-driving, etc. will attract fines ranging between Rs. 300 and Rs. 2,000.
10 August 2016
We could soon be paying more to purchase or maintain the third-party insurance for our vehicles, thanks to proposed changes to the Motor Vehicles Act. Amendments to this act could see the premium go up by around 10-15%, primarily on account of an increase in the proposed compensation for victims of accidents. Amendments to the Act could see the compensation for death go up to Rs. 2 lakh for hit and run accidents, while serious injuries will attract a compensation of Rs. 50,000. Other instances could see compensations of Rs. 10 lakh, which are the reason for insurance companies to hike premiums.
A hike could be implemented once the Act is passed by both the Houses of the Parliament. Current laws stipulate that 3rd party insurance is mandatory. The new amendments will make it binding on insurance companies to pay the amount within 30 days of an accident, with it possible for aggrieved individuals to approach the tribunal for higher compensation claims. The proposed amendment has attracted objections from some sections of the society who feel that the government shouldn’t be setting a cap on the compensation offered.
9 August 2016
Fiat, the renowned Italian automaker recently announced its plans to launch of the Urban Cross in the Indian market. Belonging to the crossover segment, the Urban Cross is similar to the Punto in some aspects but is likely to sport a host of premium features along with a slightly steeper price tag.
In terms of exterior aesthetics, the Urban Cross is going to sport a unique front grille, along with LED integrated head lamps and a remodeled bumper. The interiors of the vehicle have been designed in sporty hues and luxurious fabrics to lend a premium feel and will come fitted with several comfort enhancing features like multi-functional steering wheel, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, among plenty others.
The Urban Cross will be powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine, similar to the one on the Aventura Abarth. The engine delivers maximum power of 138bhp with peak torque of 210nm and comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Expected to retail in the premium category, the Urban Cross is likely be launched in the month of September and will be priced anywhere between Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh onwards.
8 August 2016
The worldwide rating agency S&P anticipates a surge in loan requirements in the Indian market to come down (ranging from 11 to 13 percent by the end of this financial year). In the last few months, it was already slashed by 70 to 90 bps by most lenders in the country. But the report also skates over the sharp decline of credit growth in India, which shows poor business credit requests and glitches related to capital faced by government lenders due to less resource application and high level of control in some sectors.
8 August 2016
In the next three years, the Government of India plans to roll out over 50 lakh electric and hybrid vehicles that run on no emissions and are fuelled by renewable energy. This is a move directed at reducing emission levels in cities like Delhi which recently made it to the top of the list of the most polluted cities in the entire world.
This move will be welcomed well by all and sundry as it is a very progressive and forward thinking move, and will be the first of many steps taken in the right direction – away from the burning of fossil fuels.
Buyers will most likely be benefitted by government schemes and subsidies, as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is currently reviewing proposals to incentivise the purchase and sale of these automobiles.
The government has finally heard the pleas of millions of Indians who are choking in over-polluted cities. The burning of fossil fuels has also caused the destruction of a lot of natural resources and the heat generated has been found to be responsible for missing / delayed rains in many parts of the country.
This is a move that will also hopefully open the eyes of the public to the menace of purchasing fuel guzzlers, and the notion that owning a car is the symbol of success.
Over 9,000 tonnes of fossil fuels will be saved if the country migrates to sustainable vehicles – saving a lot of money for the exchequer on importing fossil fuels – saving more money for developing the nation. The environment will benefit incredibly as well, as greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by over 2 lakh million tonnes – which is huge by any scale.
India currently stands at the cusp of being perceived as the most progressive or the most ignorant nation – and the proposal to incentivise or otherwise promote the purchase and sale of sustainable energy vehicles is the first step in the right direction.
Car loans and car insurance policies will fly off the shelves when these cars are finally launched.
4 August 2016
While it’s common knowledge that large insurance companies sponsor studies that report scary numbers in a way that will promote the sales of their insurance products, there’s no arguing with this one.
India has been found to lead the world in the number of fatal road accidents as of 2016, according to a study conducted by the IFTRT.
The number of people affected by road accident deaths is huge, and surviving family members of victims have only the solace of financial pay out from insurance companies. The insurance policies that pay out third party settlements also give the person behind the wheel a greater peace of mind, as no money will have to be directly paid out-of-pocket for any settlements.
Most cases of vehicular death are ruled to be accidental in nature and the person operating the vehicle generally walks free of any legal ramifications or charges of vehicular manslaughter / murder / etc. With an active third party insurance policy, the process of claiming and finishing up court formalities gets a lot easier, as the insurer will conduct its own investigation – the results of which can be presented in court.
Car insurance and bike insurance have never been more important or relevant than they are today.
2 August 2016
The number of cars on Indian roads has increased exponentially over the last few years, which, while making commute easier, has also led to an increase in the number of vehicle breakdowns. Roadside assistance is a key factor for most car owners, with most insurance companies offering this assistance. Availing these services, however, can be hard, with numerous procedures to be followed. All these hassles have led to the creation of a new genre of startups who cater exclusively to the needs of people who require on-road assistance. Some of the popular companies ensure that help can reach stranded individuals within 20 minutes, offering mechanical service to get them back on the road.
According to data available, less than 5% of owners choose roadside assistance, instead putting their trust in local mechanics. Even those who buy new cars do not avail the additional package for roadside assistance which is generally offered by car manufacturers. A number of these new companies also provide assistance to bikes, charging a certain minimum amount for each case. The advent of these On-Demand roadside assistance companies could bode well for people, helping them find a quick solution to all their vehicle breakdown issues.
1 August 2016
The month of June has been good for general insurance companies, with a 20.3% growth recorded by them on their gross premiums. The income from premiums stood at Rs. 8,522.22 crores, up from Rs. 7,082.57 crores for the same period last year. Private insurance companies registered a stronger growth compared to those in the public sector, with their premiums standing at Rs. 3,627.51 crore, a jump of around 30% over June last year. Public sector companies mopped by premiums worth Rs. 4,374.54 crore, a growth of under 14%.
The motor insurance segment also saw a good performance, with premiums worth Rs. 11,452.64 crores collected overall, with the private sector accounting for around Rs. 6,100 crores and the public sectors accounting for around Rs. 5,300 crores. Additionally, premiums of health insurance companies also increased by around 30% during the same period.
28 July 2016
The lucrative Indian car market could soon have a new entrant, with South Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors Corp all set to build a plant in the country. Kia, which has a tie-up with Hyundai is keen to cash in on the market, with the two companies aiming to strengthen their position. While Hyundai is India’s second biggest automobile company in terms of sales, the alliance of Kia and Hyundai is ranked 5th globally. The factory, which is likely to be completed in 3 years will have a capacity of 3 lakh vehicles, which could be a huge global boost to the company.
Internationally, the Kia-Hyundai alliance performed poorly in the last year, with sales falling below their annual target in 2015. Kia is currently scouting for a location for its plant, with three states, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh being the frontrunners for this factory. In all likelihood, this plant will manufacture small cars, catering to the huge demand in the country.
27 July 2016
There is a 17% increase seen in Tamil Nadu’s Motor third-party insurance premium. In 2015 the figures have shown Rs. 2,014 crore. In 2016 insurers are expecting a similar growth pattern due to Tamil Nadu’s growing economy.
Over 43% of the state's total income comes from motor insurance. Insurers are not surprised by this figure since Chennai is called the 'Detroit of South Asia.'
Car and two-wheeler sales are only expected to grow thanks to the higher disposable income, industrial growth in IT and automobiles as well as the thriving economy of the state. Higher sales in cars and two wheelers means higher insurance sales.
25 July 2016
German luxury automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is all set to showcase a new fleet of vehicles, with 12 new cars to be launched in the current year. The company which launched 12 cars last year is the preferred brand when it comes to luxury cars in India, beating competition from the likes of BMW and Audi. In a recent interview with Roland S Folger, the MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India stated that the brand will be launching 12 new cars, with the AMG SLC 43 expected to make a foray into the market soon. In addition to the launches, 10 new exclusive dealerships are also on the anvil, with two of them already functioning.
The last year saw 15 launches by the company, with its stable now consisting of over 23 models. With over 13,500 cars sold, Mercedes-Benz witnessed a growth of 32% when compared to 2014. Overall expansion saw the number of dealerships increase to 84 showrooms, with an on-road assistance system present in 953 cities across India. The current year will see the company focus on SUVs, with the Mammoth GLC already available to buyers. Additionally, a new service oriented scheme, ‘My Mercedes – My Service’ was also thrown open, with the primary objective of it being to connect better with its customers.
21 July 2016
The Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed companies to introduce more touch points for motor insurance. Customers will be able to easily purchase motor insurance policies now. Going forward, agency norms might be relaxed to easily distribute motor third party insurance at pollution-check centres. The IRDAI has also encouraged companies to launch over-the-counter products for customers. According to the regulator, agents should also have opportunities to source motor insurance. Now, there will be no restriction placed on agencies to source motor insurance, if they have a tie-up with a manufacturer or motor dealer. Insurers will not be able to include any clause or agreement with any dealer or manufacturer following this.
19 July 2016
Mahindra Insurance Brokers (MIBL) has launched the Pay-As-You-Can service to offer customers the flexibility of paying annual premiums according to their affordability. Currently, MIBL has signed a deal with Citrus Pay to offer short-term personal accident insurance using this model. This scheme is being offered from Religare Health Insurance. Customers can get this insurance scheme for a month against loyalty points to be used for shopping. The company is also planning to tie-up with other aggregators to offer short-term transit insurance, hospital cover and insurance cover for small and medium enterprises.
14 July 2016
Honda Cars India recently celebrated the first anniversary of its extremely popular hatchback, the Jazz. The current 3rd generation variant of the Jazz has gone on to become one of the most preferred cars in the Indian market, with the company selling over 47,335 units in the last year. A bold, youthful design coupled with enhanced features have made the Jazz the natural choice for youngsters, with the car imbibing Honda’s latest technology.
Available in both petrol and diesel, the Jazz was launched as a premium hatchback in July 2015. While the 1.5 litre diesel engine, i-DTEC was designed exclusively for the Indian market, Honda used an existing engine for its petrol variant. The company planned a series of events and promotions to mark this anniversary, offering exclusive offers and discounts to customers. The Jazz was one of the first hatchbacks to come with a paddle shift, with 1 in every 4 sold being a paddle shift. Available in 5 variants, the Jazz has offered the urban consumer a number of great options, helping them find a car which is perfectly suited for city roads.
12 July 2016
The IRDAI has initiated motor third party insurance sales at certain pollution check centres in Telangana. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has also asked State Governments to share motor vehicle data. After the initial phase in Telangana, the sale of motor third party insurance will be extended across all the states in the country. In India, own damage policies offer fixed cover for customers. Depending on the two-wheeler capacity, the premium for 75cc starts from Rs. 569, Rs. 796 for above 350 cc and for cars the premium ranges from Rs. 2055 for 1000 cc and Rs. 6164 for over 1500 cc.
11 July 2016
As per the latest Swiss Re sigma report, insurance penetration has increased by 3.4% for the financial year, 2015-2016. In India, the total insurance premiums increased by 7.9% with contributions from non-life and life insurance premiums. This is mainly attributed to the Jan Suraksha insurance schemes. Insurance penetration relates to premiums as a percentage portion of the GDP. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha Yojana offers term insurance, pension benefits along with accident insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. Term insurance benefits are offered for Rs. 2 lakhs with a premium of Rs. 330 and a personal accident cover for Rs. 12 lakhs per annum. Non-life insurance premium saw an increase by 8.1%, higher than 2014. This growth can be attributed to health insurance premiums, personal accident and The survey said that non-life premiums growth also picked-up, growing by 8.1%, compared to a growth of 2.2% in 2014. Growth was led by stronger health (including personal accident (PA)) and motor third party liability premiums.
1 July 2016
All the five registered insurance repositories are expecting to see slow business when policy digitisation happens in October. This will be due to insurance companies not having tie-ups with these repositories to issue e-policies. The insurance has fiver registered repositories, namely, SHCIL Projects, Karvy Insurance Repository, NSDL Database Management, Central Insurance Repository and CAMS Repository Service. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a notice saying that from October 1st, electronic insurance was mandatory for life insurance policies amounting to Rs.10,000 or above. Business is expected to increase once a lot of policies have been digitised. Car insurance policies will be issued in the digital format, regardless of the premium amount.
30 June 2016
According to the new ruling by the district consumer court insurance companies cannot deny claims for damages if the driver is not at fault (driver of the insured vehicle). A cost of Rs 5,000 has been imposed by the consumer court on New India Assurance Company. The company has been asked to reimburse a city-based lawyer Rs 40,897.
27 June 2016
Honda Car India has been very happy with how Honda BR-V SUV was received in the market. City and Amaze sedans have also been very successful. The company is planning to launch three more new products this year in order to increase it’s market share. There will also be at least one facelift version in the year 2016 – 17.
24 June 2016
A big digital push is planned for the year by United India Insurance Company (UIIC), a public sector general insurer. The company is aiming to increase its profit to more than two times of what it is now. From ₹221 crore, the company is trying for about ₹500 crore.
The company is looking into increase its bottom line by increasing online sales mainly. However, they are also looking at end-to-end offerings as well. Everything from claims settlement and grievance redress to sales will be facilitated online.
22 June 2016
Its Hyundai India’s 20th anniversary in the country and as part of the celebrations the company is offering massive discounts for the Hyundai Grand i10. The car’s petrol version buyers will benefit for up to Rs. 83,000. This means extended three year warranty worth Rs. 3,415, Rs. 22,585 under insurance, Rs. 30,000 as exchange bonus, Rs. 10,000 as cash discounts, Rs. 7,000 under Government employ scheme and Rs. 10,000 as loyalty bonus.
The diesel version of the Grand i10 will benefit from incentives which are worth up to Rs. 91,000. This amount includes Rs. 8,316 for three year extended warranty, Rs. 25,684 for insurance, Rs. 10,000 as cash discounts, Rs. 30,000 as Exchange bonus, Rs. 10,000 as loyalty bonus and Rs. 7,000 special benefits for government employees.
17 June 2016
General insurance companies across the country welcomed IRDAI’s proposal to sell and service policies using the online platform. Insurers are of the opinion that this would help increase overall sales of all types of insurance products. A draft of the proposal was issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), where the e-commerce platform would be used for selling products. The IRDAI also suggested the launch of an Insurance Self-Network Platform. The online process would help customers procure policies without a physical signature process.
16 June 2016
Insurance beneficiaries usually have to wait ages before they actually get to hold and use their insurance pay out. Right from the start of the insurance claiming process, the beneficiary has to run around and jump through hoops to have his / her case heard, and investigated by the insurer – who almost always finds a way to distance itself from paying the claim on some grounds or the other, irrespective of the need of the insured / dependants of the insured.
In the rare cases that the insurer cannot find a way to avoid the payment, the insured / dependants have to wait for the “claim process” to be settled, after which the sum promised is deposited with the court. At this stage, the claimant must file an application and wait for the court to respond to that application before the money is actually disbursed.
Lok Adalats hearing motor / car accident cases where insurance pay out becomes mandatory are being directed by the TNSLSA (Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority) to process and deposit compensation amounts straight to the claimant’s account, and not deposit the same in court.
14 June 2016
The booming Indian automobile sector has attracted the attention of global manufacturers, each trying to grab a piece of this lucrative sector. Nissan Motor Co. revived its Datsun brand to make a foray into the small car market, having launched three vehicles under this banner since its resurrection in 2012. While the response on previous occasions was sluggish, the company hopes that the new redi-GO will help revive its fortunes.
Nissan has launched an aggressive marketing campaign to create awareness about the new product, hoping to reach a wider segment of the population this time. Additionally, the company has also tied up with MyTVS to provide aftersales service, in addition to its own service network. Nissan hopes that the competitive pricing and attractive aftersales package will dispel apprehensions about the Datsun brand, helping the company finally solidify its position in the market.
13 June 2016
Following is a list of great deals that new car showrooms are giving currently. Discounts and exchange bonuses will be different across cities and depends on the dealer as well. Better deals can be availed if you can haggle well.
Audi A3: Get of a cash discount of Rs 3.5 lakh.
BMW 3 Series: Avail a cash discount of Rs 4 lakh.
Hyundai Eon: Free first year insurance on both the petrol and LPG versions of the Eon is being offered. Also an exchange bonus of Rs 10,000 as well as a free third year extended warranty.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800: Avail a cash discount of Rs 15,000 and an exchange bonus of Rs 20,000. Recently, the Alto 800 had a facelift, thus the company is offering an exchange bonus of Rs 20,000 and a cash discount of Rs 30,000 on the remaining stocks of the pre-facelift version.
10 June 2016
A distribution center for the government and a low-cost set up called CSC has been especially designed to provide e-governance services to Indian rural population. A noble initiative by a substantial number of digitally adept and trained people has led to the formation of common service centers (CSC) or Jan Seva Kendras in villages of rural India. Primarily the young and also teenagers have enrolled as Rural Authorised Persons (RAP) to seek business.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has specified a training program and exams for these individuals who wish to enrol themselves for the program. The subjects entails insurance products and other relevant topics. RAPs online exams is held by the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology or other approved institutes by Irdai. This happens from time to time and the centers spread across India.
9 June 2016
In a move to offer comprehensive car insurance policies to the BMW owners, ICICI Lombard General Insurance has formed a tie-up with BMW India Financial Services. BMW India Financial Services offers complete automotive solutions to meet financial requirements of their customers. Realizing the importance of a comprehensive motor insurance cover in the face of an unforeseen event, the company has partnered with the leading general insurance provider to enhance customer experience. ICICI Lombard assures quick claim processing within attractive TATs (Turn Around Time).
6 June 2016
In an attempt to curb the rising menace of youngsters in fast cars, a group of state transport ministers have approved the addition of a section in the Motor Vehicles Act.
The new section states that violators of traffic laws and offenders on the road indulging in street racing, rash driving, drunken driving, jumping signals, etc. will have to attend refresher training. This panel has also expressed its motive to immediately withdraw portrayals of rash / inconsiderate / fast / drunken driving on television and mass media in the form of advertisements, movies, etc. (which do not have a statutory warning).
Fines and punishments for offences are as follows:
For drunken driving / street racing / rash driving / using mobile phone while driving / jumping traffic signals / dangerous driving:
1. First time offenders: Fine of Rs.5,000 or 6 months in jail.
2. Subsequent offences by the same offender: Fine of Rs.10,000 or 2 years in jail.
3. Offenders who do not take crash victims to healthcare facilities: Fine of Rs.2,000 or 6 months in jail.
Driving without Motor insurance:
1. First time offenders: Fine of Rs.2,000 or 3 months in jail.
2. Subsequent offences by the same offender: Fine of Rs.4,000 or 3 months in jail.
Body builders, dealers, individuals who interfere with the damage control, construction, maintenance of vehicles will be fined between Rs.50,000 and Rs.1,00,000 depending on the severity of the offence. Spare parts dealers trading unauthorized parts will also be fined and penalized for unofficial tampering.
24 May 2016
Being in the insurance companies is extremely competitive, especially since many insurance companies are not only offering standard insurance products but are going the extra mile to please their customers. Companies are now offering facilities like doctors for second opinion, concierge services, gift delivery and day-to-day repair assistance for the home. What’s more, there are communities which share information about products so customers can compare their services.
Reliance General Insurance is an example of such an insurance company. It has been offering roadside assistance services for motor insurance, but now also offers specialized services to the home insurance customers. With this kind of service, the company expects that they will be the first port of call. They have taken steps towards a full-service by tying up with concierge services, electricians, people who will do tax filing etc.
23 May 2016
Recently in Thane there was a case reported of a school teacher that died in a traffic accident, and the school provided the deceased’s wife with a job on compassionate grounds.
The insurance company and the driver of the vehicle in question were ordered by the court to pay out a settlement to the deceased person’s family, but contested that they need not pay as they had provided the dependent with a job.
The court ruled that merely providing a job on compassionate grounds cannot be used as a reason to avoid honoring the insurance pay out under the Motor Vehicles Act.
A reputed insurance company has come under fire before for avoiding insurance benefit payment to grieving dependents of their policyholders who meet with unfortunate accidents. In this ruling, the judge ruled that Rs.12,00,000 must be invested in the name of the deceased’s minor daughter, Rs.2,00,000 should be invested for and Rs.6,00,000 given to his mother, and Rs.10,00,000 should be invested in an FD for his widow, and the balance amount should also be paid to the widow.
This claim was filed in 2011, and the case is being resolved 5 years later now in 2016. Insurance companies are under increasing pressure by the public and ethics groups to provide resolutions and process payments faster to insured parties.
20 May 2016
The private car and two-wheeler segment of motor insurance third-party premiums went up by 10% – 40% from the 1st of April this year, but once the heavy losses in the motor segment are taken into account, the rate hike is seen to be proportionally higher than was seen before.
Motor cars under 1,500 CC saw rates rise by 40%, but higher engine capacity cars saw rates rise by only around 25%.
Two-wheeler up to 150 CC can expect to see rises of around 10% - 15%, and higher engine capacity two-wheelers (150 to 350 CC) will see a rise of 25%.
The total incurred claims for non-life insurers was around Rs.49,179 crore in FY 2013-14, and Rs.55,232 crore in FY 2014-15. In FY 2015 incurred claims showed a rise of 12.31%.
Health insurance saw a claims ratio in the same time period of 96.83%.
Motor insurance, in the same time period, saw a claims ratio of 77.14%.
19 May 2016
Recent studies have indicated that the motor insurance industry is set to lose almost $20 billion worth of premiums by 2020 if driverless cars become more accepted in markets worldwide. According to a study published by Volvo, while crashes are set to decline by up to 80% by 2035, the motor insurance industry will see plummeting premiums and loss in revenue. The shaving off of premium collections for insurers could have been more were it not for the fact that emerging nations like India and China are leading the motor insurance market and will become largest motor insurance markets by volume by 2025.
16 May 2016
The Motor Vehicles Department in Kochi has discovered that many construction vehicles are being used without being registered.
The law states that all vehicles need to be registered within a maximum of 3 months from the date of purchase, and the MVD is now realizing that a lot of vehicles have slipped by and are being used without being registered.
The cost for registration is set at 8% of the cost of the vehicle being registered.
In the coming weeks, the MVD in Kochi plans to conduct a huge drive to check construction and other heavy vehicles to see whether they have been registered or whether they are skirting the law and using their vehicles illegally.
Vehicles must also mandatory have insurance coverage from any registered vehicle insurance provider.
Not having registered a construction vehicle and not being under any kind of insurance cover recently landed the owner of a road-roller a hefty Rs.1,45,000 fine – as the vehicle hadn’t been registered for 3 years after being bought.
Car insurance companies will see a huge influx of customers if and when the government decides to run a check on whether private vehicles have all been registered. For now, however, a lot of construction companies that are running their vehicular equipment without registration and insurance will have a lot to answer for if discovered.
13 May 2016
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the proposal to ban taxis that run on diesel fuel in the national capital.
Existing diesel taxis that have an all-India travel permit will be allowed to continue to operate until their permits expire. There will be no renewal of permits, or registration of new diesel taxis.
The Delhi Government and Center were forced to appeal the blanket-ban on diesel taxis following protests and agitation by many parties who were affected by the ruling.
Car insurance companies are scrambling to review, modify, and create new products that better suit the insurance needs of a large number of vehicle buyers who now only have petrol or electric options.
A gradual phasing out of the existing diesel taxis and total ban on the registration of new ones seems to be the ideal way to appease environmentalists, taxi drivers, unions, and the general public.
This has been a landmark victory not only in the effort to reduce air pollution in the NCR, but also to set the precedent for future bans on services that have a larger carbon footprint than necessary.
12 May 2016
There are enough cars out there with the option of petrol and CNG but none that offer the CNG option for diesel cars but now there may be. The technology, to make this conversion work, has been brought in from Italy but it is facing two major hurdles. The first is that implementation cannot take place without the government's permission and the second is that the system itself is quite expensive to install since a complete overhaul of the engine is a part of the process. The problem is that if the government decides to permit this change, it will also have to change the act that governs registration of vehicles since it currently says that only one fuel can be used in a particular car. If the technology is implemented, diesel vehicles will be able to run on CNG, albeit, a bit slow.
10 May 2016
A survey conducted by ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Google India has found that more people are now purchasing non-life insurance products like Motor Insurance online. 3007 people, aged 25 – 55, were surveyed offline in 18 cities. The survey found that 24% of people were purchasing Motor insurance policies online.
The sector director of Google India, Vikas Agnihotri, said that the Internet will play a very important part in the sale of insurance policies in India in the coming years. The survey also found that consumers search for insurance related information both on mobile devices and desktops. It further suggests that people across age groups were willing to purchase motor and other non-life insurance products online.
16 May 2016
In an experimental venture, the Indian Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has joined hands with country’s renowned insurance carriers, IFFCO Tokio General and ICICI Lombard General, to deliver cashless automobile insurance coverage to victims of road accidents (including third parties). Part of their service includes providing prompt ambulance services to get the victims to the nearest hospitals as well. The premium will be given out by the ministry. The claim sum is kept at a tentative INR 30 grand. ICICI Lombard is the insurance provider assigned for the Jaipur-Delhi route and IFFCO Tokio General does the same for mishaps occurring on the Vadodara-Mumbai highway. The policy protects over victims of any highways stretching for 150-200 kms.
07 October 2015
In order to provide emergency medical care to crash victims, the Indian government has proposed the introduction of a cashless treatment facility. This scheme would be applicable on areas such as the Golden Quadrilateral, East-West corridor and the North-South corridor, which covers around 13,500 km of national highways. An estimate of Rs. 250 crore has been considered as the initial funding that would be required in order to make this scheme possible, and the funding options are to come from road tax and also from car/motor insurance.
09 August 2015
Non-life insurance companies like ICICI Lombard General Insurance are dissatisfied with the hike proposed by the IRDA and through the General Insurance Council, they have requested for a higher premium rate for third party motor insurance offered by them. The proposed road transport bill would be affected by the change since the claims for policies issued in 2015-16 would come two years later by which time the proposed bill is expected to be in place. According to the managing director and CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance - Bhargav Dasgupta, the claims paid out do not reflect long term losses since claims are continuously paid over the years at varying frequency.
29 March 2015
GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017