Weekly News reports from February 17 - 23 February by jmeltzer


									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
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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