New Suzuki Swift will be launched in the end of 2010

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 6:33 AM 0 comments
Suzuki Swift the G-next is due for autumn launch in 2010. The car has won many kudos and accolades since it was first launched in May 2005. Suzuki Swift was the car of the Year 2005.

Now with a model life of 6 years, the model is due for a makeover and will be launched late next year at the Paris Auto Show. It will go on sale in the UK by end of 2010.

The new Suzuki Swift will come in a range of 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6L petrol engines. Indian model is currently powered by 1.3l G13B engine which will be replaced by 1.2l K series of the Maruti Ritz version.

Suzuki has capacity of 20 km on battery power., hybrid model will be available only by late 2011 or early 2012. The new Suzuki Swift from the looks seems a lot bigger and spacious. In India, the model still remains the best seller in MSIL product portfolio. Volkswagen Polo and Chevrolet Beat are the upcoming cars in India.

What You'll Drive in 2010

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 6:25 AM 0 comments

Recession? Really? When?

With every automotive manufacturer posting record sales figures, you wouldn't believe that just 12 months ago they were buckling over from the proverbial kick in the gonads. Today they are falling over themselves to add fresh capacities and churn out more cars for the insatiable Indian car buyer. 

The Auto Expo in January will give the clearest indication yet of how big India is set to be on the world's automotive map. In fact, the Auto Expo is set to rival some of the glitziest auto shows for size and scale, dwarfing the likes of the Tokyo Motor Show and setting the tone for 2010: a year that's expected to be the best ever as far as the Indian automotive story is concerned. So what will we be driving in 2010? 

Tata Motors, too, will bring in the IndiCruz. However, before that there will be an upgrade to the breathtakingly underdeveloped Sumo Grande that, hopefully, will address issues of quality and styling. 

Of greater significance is the emergence of the compact-MPV. VW, Toyota and Nissan will follow up on their hatchbacks with not just a sedan based on the same platform but also create a new segment, the C-MPV. Smaller than the Innova, but with three rows of seats, the C-MPV is suited to Indian needs (and families). In fact, the pioneer in this segment, Maruti--forgotten the Omni and Versa?--will also have a replacement for the Versa, with better styling and a diesel engine.

Maruti Developed Small Car

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 6:21 AM 0 comments

Maruti developed small car could be badged as VW-Suzuki in Europe

German automobile giant Volkswagen, which has picked up almost 20 per cent stake in Japanese car major Suzuki Motor Corporation, may source small cars from Maruti Suzuki (in which Suzuki has 54 per cent stake) for the European market and sell them under its own brand name.

While Suzuki has the technology for small and compact hatchbacks, Volkswagen (VW) will share its green expertise, which is being used to build hybrid cars, with Suzuki as part of the collaboration.

“Europe is shifting to compact and small cars due to rising petrol costs as well as concerns of climate change. Suzuki has the expertise to make small cars, Volkswagen does not. The German company has the expertise in environment friendly technology and has invested large sums. Combining the two will reduce cost of making new cars. Volkswagen, which has a stronger dealership network in Europe compared to Suzuki, could source small cars from India and sell them under its own brand name,” said R C Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki.

Bhargava added that there was scope for cooperation between the two in diesel engine technology. “Suzuki only has diesel engines of up to 1.3 litres for which it has a tie-up with Fiat. But Volkswagen has the technology for diesel engines above 1.3 litres, which could be shared with Suzuki.” He also did not rule out the possibility of the two collaborating in emerging markets other than India.

Maruti Suzuki has a similar outsourcing deal with Nissan to produce 50,000 A-Stars for the European market (sold as Pixo by Nissan). This deal will continue.

India is the second-largest producer and market for Suzuki, apart from its home base and, therefore, the India operations would play a key role in the tie-up with VW. Suzuki Motors has an installed capacity exceeding 2.5 million units globally. India contributes for 20 per cent of its revenues and over 32 per cent of its production capacity.

Experts said sharing of technology could be the key to the collaboration. Suzuki’s skill lies in making gasoline-powered compact engine in the range starting from as small as 660cc (about the same engine size that drives Tata’s Nano) to 1.6 litres, which drives mid-sized sedans like SX4.

Suzuki and VW would thus get the opportunity to tap into each other’s engine and vehicle technologies, which would allow them to consolidate in key emerging markets like India.

“It is a costly affair to develop technology afresh, which also consumes a lot of time, effort and risk of losing out on market share. This deal will allow both the companies to leap frog on uncommon glitches and improvise on areas where they were absent,” said Abdul Majeed, auto head, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“VW’s presence in the Indian market is fairly at a nascent stage, while Maruti has over 25 years of experience. When you develop new cars, you need to tune them to the needs of the local market. Suzuki will bring about a number of such intangible resources that can greatly benefit VW operations in India,” he added.

VW is gearing up to make a big splash in India with the launch of the all new Polo, a sub-premium hatchback, in a few weeks. This would be for the first time in recent years that a multinational auto company would start manufacturing in India with a small car.

VW India executives declined comment saying that they were yet to get an official word from the parent company. When contacted, K K Swamy, Managing Director and VP, Volkswagen India, said, “It’s too early to comment right now.”

Currently VW sells four models in India — Beetle, Passat, Jetta and Touareg — in the price range of Rs 13-52 lakh. Only Passat and Jetta are assembled here (at group company Skoda’s Aurangabad plant), while Beetle and Touareg are imported. Up to September, VW has sold 955 cars in India.

Maruti Suzuki sold 13 models in the Indian market price ranging from Rs 2-18 lakh. It sold over 7.92 lakh cars last year. The company has two manufacturing facilities at Gurgaon and Manesar in Haryana with combined strength to make more than 1 million cars annually. 


Global Car makers drive destination India in 2009

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 6:14 AM 0 comments
NEW DELHI: Amid a global turmoil, India proved to be the oasis for the drive on four

wheel with the growth zooming over 60 per cent towards
end of 2009, inducing global
car manufacturers to focus on the market here.
It is this crisis and the recession in the developed world that led many to believe that car sales will take a hit with jobs and credit becoming endangered, but but India became the destination as the year passed by with its flavour for big fuel saving small cars.  

Convinced that the future lies in compact cars, global majors, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Renault- Nissan-Bajaj, unveiled plans to launch small cars in India.

With the world also moving towards small cars, the automakers didn't want to miss the chance of making India their base for exports.

Although sales were not expected to sizzle in the year following the global credit crisis, carmakers managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the that with over 61 per cent increase in sales in November.

Together, they sold 13,10,597 units from January-November 2009 in the domestic market as against 11,19,640 units in the same period a year ago, up 17.06 per cent.

While numerous new launches, including Ritz from Maruti Suzuki, Jazz from Honda and Grande Punto from Fiat, kept the sales counter ticking on the domestic front, some global events had implications for India too.

The Indian market watched with anxiety US-car major General Motors (GM) file for bankruptcy and later emerge as a slim new entity.  

If it was Nano that hogged the limelight with its commercial launch, then US cult bike maker Harley Davidson was not far behind, managing to draw enough eyeballs when it announced entering India after years of negotiations with authorities.

Others that had their own moments of triumph, include car market leader Maruti Suzuki's rolling out its 80th lakh units in July; Hero Honda crossing monthly sales figure of four lakh units for the first time in August and Tata Motors turning profitable after surprise showing by JLR in second quarter.  

In terms of price tags, 2009 would perhaps offer the widest range in the car segment starting from Nano's Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom) to Porsche's super-premium Panamera (up to Rs 2.05 crore) and Rolls Royce's Ghost tagged at Rs 2.5 crore.


texting behind the wheel

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 1:51 AM 0 comments
"I've got a 22-year old who has been in three accidents because of texting while she's driving," Bob Compan of Farmers Insurance said

probably seen it. You might even do it. But some Nevada lawmakers say text messaging while driving is dangerous and should be illegal. The legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal to text and drive.

"I can't tell you how many times I've driven down I15 and saw someone who was too focused on typing something into their cell phone to pay attention to where they were going," Sheila Breeden a Democrat from Clark County said.

Law enforcement officers say they've also see the results of texting and driving on Nevada roadways.

David Kallas of tracted drivers these days. And if we can do anything to save one officer having to go to an accident, one fatal investigator from have to go to some place because somebody died, because they were not paying attention to what they're doing, that anything we can enact this year will be a benefit to our communities.

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Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 12:53 AM 0 comments
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