News 060204 AUTO NEWS BULLETIN Weekly News reports from February 17 – 23 February , 2006 MURAD BAIG ASSOCIATES R-8 Hauz Khas New Delhi – 110016. SIAM Sales Report for Passenger Vehicles, M&HCVS and LCVS from April 2005 – January 2006 A. Passenger Vehicles (PVs) Cum Apr- Cum Apr- % Market % Change Exports Jan 04-05 Jan 05-06 Share Apr - Jan 05-06 Maruti Udyog Ltd. 3,39,854 3,72,088 52.6 9.5 27,266 Hyundai Motor India Ltd. 1,16,038 1,26,435 17.9 8.9 84,884 Tata Motors Ltd. 1,16,516 1,19,097 16.8 2.2 14,882 Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. 29,112 32,727 4.6 12.4 39 Ford India Pvt. Ltd. 20,051 18,475 2.6 -7.9 12,693 Hindustan Motors Ltd. 11,909 11,584 1.6 -2.7 0 Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. 9,121 7,938 1.1 -13.0 0 SkodaAuto India Pvt Ltd. 5,955 7,963 1.1 33.7 0 General Motors India Pvt Ltd. 13,485 9,411 1.3 -30.2 0 Daimler Chrysler India Pvt. Ltd. 1,369 1,304 0.2 -4.7 0 Fiat India Pvt. Ltd. 4,972 879 0.1 -82.3 0 Total PVs… 6,68,382 7,07,901 100.0 5.9 1,39,764 B. Utility Vehicles (UVs) Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 65,235 68,057 43.2 4.3 2,128 Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. 28,208 31,107 19.7 10.3 0 Tata Motors Ltd. 26,534 29,177 18.5 10.0 1,239 General Motors India Pvt Ltd. 10,312 15,621 9.9 51.5 0 Bajaj Tempo Ltd. 5,052 5,779 3.7 14.4 46 Maruti Udyog Ltd. 3,410 3,304 2.1 -3.1 74 Hyundai Motor India Ltd. 262 1,159 0.7 342.4 0 Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. 1,296 1,685 1.1 30.0 0 Ford India Pvt Ltd. 1,908 1,438 0.9 -24.6 0 Hindustan Motors Ltd. 267 135 0.1 -49.4 1 Total UVs… 1,42,484 1,57,462 100.0 10.5 3,488 C. Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) Maruti Udyog Ltd. 53,619 53,897 100.0 0.5 899 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 13 0 - - 0 Total MPVs… 53,632 53,897 100.0 0.5 8,99 Total Passenger Vehicles… 8,64,498 9,19,260 6.3 1,44,151 Analysis: The growth rates in personal vehicles has been steady rather than brilliant and the segment leaders dominate their market. But value wise, the sales are higher than the bare numbers’ indicate. March sales should be high with post budget expectations and the financial year ending. Domestic News February 17 GM India has soft launched Chevrolet Aveo saloon, the first of three new Chevrolet products that will debuting in the first six months of 2006 It will be following by the Aveo U-VA hatchback and sporty looking Optra SRV. The vehicle has a power-assisted steering with a variable-rate rack-and-pinion steering gear mounted on the front suspension. The Aveo models are powered by 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre 16- valve DOHC petrol engines. Its exterior features, including three-dimensional detailed headlamps that extend into the hood, available front fog lamps, and bold round tail lamps set within jeweled bezels, highlight the Aveo’s look. The vehicle has 2.5 mile per hour bumpers in front and back and is equipped with dual front sir bags, safety belts and height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors. The Two-wheeler industry is worried these days and does not want to be left out, if the finance minister cuts the excise duty on four-wheelers. If the duty structure of four-wheelers, now at 24%, is brought down, and indications are that it will be, then that will impact the two wheeler segment. February 18 Kinetic Engineering Ltd (KEL) is developing an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), a four-wheeled quad bike. ATV is an open motorized tricycle or quadricycle bike or buggy designed for off-road use like recreational and sports activities including hunting, hill climbing and dirt-track/ice racing. The ATV, Runner, being developed by Kinetic, is a four-wheeled, 170 cc bike with a four-valve engine. It is being designed at Kinetic-Hyosung platform. Hyosung Motors is the Korean collaborator of Kinetic for its GF range of motorcycles. The company is gathering market information on the market acceptability of the product, market size, customers. The final cut of research is expected to be completed in three months. February 19 Tata Motors has announced the launch of Tata TL 4x4 pick-up, a sturdy 1.2 tonne workhorse with sport and contemporary features smooth ride and handling. The vehicle is being introduced in Tamil Nadu in its second phase of rollout. The TL 4x4 runs on tubeless tyres and include power steering with tilt adjustable steering wheel, central locking, adjustable bucket seats and demisting feature and a wiper with a spoiler blade to work smoothly even during storms. The rang offers three derivatives consisting of a 4x2 double cab, 4x4 single cab and a 4x4 double cab in colors of quartz black and artic silver. February 20 Tata Motors has launched its last mile transport vehicle, 'Ace' in the Delhi and said it would spread the penetration of the vehicle to other cities of the northern region after June this year. Ace is tagged at Rs 2.43 lakh (ex-showroom) in Delhi for the Euro III version. The company is yet to finalise setting up a new facility in Uttaranchal. February 21 Xenitis Group has announced a two-wheeler project in West Bengal in technical collaboration with Guangzhou Motors Company. The project will cost between Rs 200 and Rs 300 crore and will be located at Chinsura in Hoogly district. The company will unveil the motorcycles under the brand 'Xoom' in mid April. The motorcycles will be produced in three variants, 100cc, 125cc, and 150cc. The project would be complete by June 2006. Initially the bikes will be imported in semi-knocked down form. In the first six months the capacity of the plant would be around 35,000 units which would be scaled up to 50,000 to 60,000 units per month. Global Automobiles (P) Ltd, the motorcycle company of the group expected to sell 1.56 lakh units in 2006 and achieve a turnover of $80 million during 2006-07. Volvo has opened a new technology centre and a product development unit in Bangalore, and said it would step up sourcing of services from India. Volvo 3P will make India a base for development of Volvo trucks, while Volvo IT will step up sourcing of services from India. Ford India has introduced its new 2006 Ford Ikon Flair targeting young professionals. Priced at Rs. 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the new 1.3 litre Ikon Flair has sporty features. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has launched a new variant of its popular MUV Innova, christened as G4. The 8-seater 2.5 litre diesel G4 variant is priced Rs 8.56 lakh and 2.0-litre petrol is priced at Rs. 7.96 lakh while 7-seater G4 2.5 ltr diesel comes at a tag of Rs 8.50 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The new 8-seater version in V Grade is primarily aimed at families who prefer closeness to exclusivity. In addition to the new variant, TKM has also introduced 7-seater models in entry-level and mid-level variants, while introducing 8-seaters in high-end Innovas February 22 The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved sale of 39,777 equity shares in Maruti Udyog to its employees, after which the government holding would fall to 10.27 percent from 20.28 percent. Maruti Alto, Esteem, Honda City, Skoda Octavia and Toyota Innova have been ranked the number one in their respective segments by JD Power Asia Pacific in its annual ‘Initial Vehicle Quality’ survey for 2005. GM India is targeting to sell 1,800 Tavera in Gujarat this year and capture 27 percent market share in the MUV sector. Tavera is fuel efficient, has low maintenance and good load capacity. Its maintenance cost is just 29 paise up to one lakh km. Also with the Tavera, comes a guarantee of 1.5 lakh km or up to five years. It also gives a healthy average of 20 km in highway and 14.3 km in city, 21 percent more than its competitors. The vehicle is priced between Rs 5.8 lakh and Rs 8.7 lakh. Tata Motors has launched the petrol variant of Indica in Agra. The new car, named Indica V2 "Xeta" has been unveiled at Siyaram Motors. The new Indica V2 Xeta offers the best fuel economy and power ratio for a petrol car with an engine of 1396 cc. The car has been specifically designed to cater to both the urban as well as the rural driving conditions, which made it ideal for the quality of roads that Agra and its surrounding towns had to offer and at a cost between 2.77 to 3.72 lakh. February 23 Hyundai Motors' three-day car show is expected to provide considerable impetus to the company's sales for 2006. The show drew around 20,000 visitors and 10 cars were booked during the Hyundai car show, totaling to Rs 60 lakh. The exhibition showcased the entire range of Hyundai vehicles sold in India, the Santro in the B segment, Getz in the B+ Segment, the Accent in the C segment, the Elantra in the D segment, the Sonata Embera in the 'E' segment and the Tucson and Terracan in the SUV segment. Two cars, the ultra-luxury sedan Azera and the sports Coupe Tuscani, were also showcased. GM’s weak finances may impact its Indian operations, as it beared losses worth $8.6 billion in 2005. The real problem will be in the company’s pipeline, as GM is nowhere close to break even point, it will need to make investments over the next few years. The company said that it will not have any bearing on GMI’s operations and is on track with its product and capacity expansion. GM’s Greenfield operations will cost around $400-500 million but its internal accruals in the past two years will be able to contribute $100 million as the first phase of investments. Its small car Greenfield project is close to finalisation, which would be wrapped up by the first quarter of the next financial year. Even if GM files for bankruptcy protection, it would consider a package that insulates its good markets from the bad ones and to that extant, Asia will not suffer much. Carmakers are launching New Year models with price and feature variants, due to discounts hitting an all- time high in the auto industry. Ford has cut the price of Ikon Flair to Rs 4.69 lakh while Toyota has launched a new seven-seater variant. C-segment discounts range from Rs 8,000 – 35,000 depending on the variant. Ford has added some features to the 2006 Ikon Flair variant including fog lamps, gear knob, and parking lever with chrome inserts. The variant has a rocham engine, power steering and front and back power windows. Toyota has launched a new variant of the Innova and has also come out with seven- seater models in the entry level and mid sized segments. International News February 18 Chinese company Lifan is to buy a car engine plant from Brazil, take it apart and then put it back together in China. Buying the technology from overseas would put China’s auto industry solidly in a position to produce roomy cars that can also get more than 30 miles to the gallon. The company wants to start production of the engines in 2008. February 22 Volkswagen may look at introducing its highly fuel-efficient diesel sedan, Jetta and compact car s Fox or Golf in India, with a relatively high level of localisation. Volkswagen has not firmed up the location for its plant. Andhra government has indicated that Volkswagen after evaluating Tada in Nellore district is considering Vishakapatnam as the location for the proposed $1.2bn plant to make cars and LCVs. February 23 Honda Motor plans to sell a low-cost hybrid-car, a version of its popular Fit subcompact. The company aims to sell the Fit hybrid as early as next year for around 1.4 million yen ($11,790), or about 200,000 yen more than the gasoline-only version. The model could be launched in the business year starting April 2007 and would be sold globally.
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