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Maruti Suzuki hikes car prices by up to Rs 10,000 for select models

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Maruti Suzuki India Ltd Wednesday said it will hike its car prices by up to Rs 10,000 for select models with immediate effect to offset adverse impact of increase in commodity prices and foreign exchange rates.

Maruti Suzuki India in a regulatory filing said prices will go up “for select models owing to increase in commodity prices and foreign exchange rates etc. The price change varies across models and ranges up to Rs 10,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)”.

“The new prices are effective from January 10, 2019, ” it added.

India’s largest carmaker did not specify which car models will become costlier post this price hike.

Currently, Maruti Suzuki cars start from the entry-level Alto 800 to the premium crossover S-Cross priced between Rs 2.53 lakh and Rs 11.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Shares of Maruti Suzuki were trading 0.09 per cent higher at Rs 7,472.45 apiece on the BSE.

Earlier, Maruti Suzuki had cut its sales forecast to 8% from an earlier projection of double digit growth.

It expects the fourth quarter to bring back the momentum in the passenger vehicle sales, which have seen a flat growth for last 5-6 months.

“We recorded a good growth in the first quarter at around 10.5%, subsequent which there was a flat growth. But we expect this to return in last quarter taking overall growth for this fiscal at 8%,” Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava said.

Last year, the company had said it was looking at a double-digit sales growth in the current fiscal.

After the first quarter, sales have been flat for Maruti Suzuki mainly in third quarter while the industry saw negative growth. There are historical instances of sales being lower in a pre-election year and picking up substantially again in the election year, he said.

“We have done an analysis of the past numbers and the conclusion is that sales always fell in the last two pre-election years,” he said.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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Kia Planning Low Cost EV For India With Hyundai

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Kia displayed a huge lineup of cars at the 2018 Auto Expo promising a strong future in India. The Korean carmaker displayed Seltos in concept form, electric vehicles, hybrid cars among others at the exhibit. While their first product launch is around the corner, they are considering a low cost EV for India too.

Kia is planning to introduce a cost effective electric vehicle specifically for India. They will collaborate with their group Hyundai for the development of this low cost EV. Kia believes that personal usage for EVs should be included under the FAME II scheme for government support.

The Korean carmaker had announced that they’ll introduce a compact electric vehicle exclusively for India between 2019 and 2021. However, they believe the cost of EV is very high at present specially for the Indian market and without support of government.

Kia currently has a wide lineup of EVs, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars globally. They are ready to introduce to introduce EVs in India but it depends on infrastructure and government support. Meanwhile, Hyundai is all set to launch their first EV Kona very soon that was all showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo.

Kia Low Cost EV
– Kia will collaborate with Hyundai for new low cost EV
– The new cost effective EV will be developed specially for India
– Kia believes personal usage for EVs should be included under FAME II scheme

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Bajaj Dominar 400 Sales Up By 59 Percent Post 2019 Model Launch

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Bajaj recently launched the new Dominar with some added features, design changes and new colour options, hoping to improve the sales of the otherwise dwindling market share. The gamble did work to some extent as new Dominar 400 clocked 1,346 unit sales in April 2019, a far better result than the previous quarter of 2019 as only 1,191 units of Dominar sold same month last year.

Now in the sales of May 2019, Bajaj Dominar has performed even better recording a growth of 59 percent as against May 2018 sales. Interestingly, Bajaj projected to sell 10,000 units of Dominar monthly initially, but the current sales figures are nowhere close to it.

The new Dominar 400 was given a couple of new colour options including aurora green and black dual-colour scheme and Vine Black colour which buyers can choose from. The Dominar also gets redesigned digital cluster to show the gear position, trip information and time.

The bike gets redesigned aggressive looking headlight cluster with LED lights, refreshed fuel tank pad decal, tail-tell lights, split seats with split grab rails and bungee straps tucked under the seat and new rear view mirrors.

New Bajaj Dominar 400 also gets a retuned liquid-cooled 373.33 DOHC engine which produces 40bhp with 35Nm of peak torque. The engine is said to more refined and is mated to a 6-speed transmission which has slipper clutch which prevents rear wheel lockup in case of engine seizure or failed transmission. It gets Dual channel ABS as standard.

The cruiser also have Upside-Down forks which offers great handling, telescopic suspension at the rear, revised digital cluster and dual-barrel exhaust system. Bajaj Dominar continues compete against the likes of Royal Enfield Classic 350, KTM Duke 390 and Jawa Motorcycles and BMW G 310 R.

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Hyundai Venue Compact SUV To Become Segment Leader Soon?

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Hyundai Venue has garnered more than 33,000 bookings and is offered with a choice of one diesel and two petrol engines
Hyundai Motor India Limited’s debut in the sub-four-metre SUV segment has been going in the right direction thus far. The Venue endorsed as “India’s first connected SUV” saw 2,000 reservations from customers in the very first booking day and by the end of May 2019, a total of 7,049 units were dispatched across the country from Sriperumbudur facility in Tamil Nadu.

Having been launched on May 21, the five-seater overtook Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport in its opening month and was just over 1,700 units shy of the segment leader Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. It was reported earlier that Hyundai would be planning to deliver 15,000 units of the Venue by July 2019.

The South Korean auto major is said to be targetting sales of 8,000-9,000 units of the Venue every month in its first calendar year as well and its momentum is expected to continue into the coming months. With a total of 33,000 bookings already, do not be surprised if the Venue takes the leading position from Vitara Brezza sooner rather than later.

The Venue is aggressively priced from Rs. 6.50 lakh (ex-showroom) and it made world premiere at the 2019 New York International Auto Show and concurrently graced the Indian media. Loosely connected with the Carlino Concept showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, the Venue has its range-topping 1.0L SX+ DCT variant costing Rs. 11.10 lakh (ex-showroom).

The Venue carries design traits of the latest global Hyundai models with the presence of sharp cascading front grille and split headlamp cluster with LED turn signals on top and the projector headlamps surrounded by LED Daytime Running Lights. The set of 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and a compact rear end emphasise the overall youthful appeal.

Some of the highlighting features are eight-inch touchscreen HD infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cloud-based voice recognition, 3-year complimentary Blue Link connectivity with embedded Vodafone-Idea SIM card helping in gaining access to 33 in-car connective features, multi-functional steering wheel with mounted controls, electric sunroof, reverse parking camera with dynamic guidelines, and so on.

It powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged GDI petrol engine making 120 PS and 172 Nm; a 1.2-litre MPI petrol developing 83 PS and 115 Nm and a 1.4-litre diesel kicking out 90 PS and 220 Nm. The more powerful petrol unit is mated to the segment-first seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission while the others can be had with manual gearboxes.

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Four unique things about the Kia Seltos SUV

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Kia Motors has recently shown the Kia Seltos. It unveiled the car globally in India and will pitch it against very competent rivals like the Hyundai Creta, MG Hector, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and Mahindra XUV500. Prices haven’t been announced yet but we hope it to cost between Rs 15 to 21 lakh, on road.

Design

The Kia Seltos is one of the most attractive designs in this segment. It uses unique design elements like the chamfered exterior trim, the layered 3D effect for the LED lighting, the LED DRLs that sweep the width of the entire front, the cubed foglamps and many layers and surfaces on the front and rear fascia. All of this is packaged into a very well-judged footprint,

Four transmission options

For the first time in any mainstream car, Kia is offering the Seltos with three automatic options, aside from a six-speed manual. There will be a CVT, a six-speed auto and a seven-speed DCT. Buyers will be able to choose a transmission tailored to their usage. The CVT, paired with a 1.5 petrol will appeal to city-slickers while the diesel and torque converter will appeal to customers who run their car over longer distances

Sporty variant

Hearteningly for enthusiasts, the Kia Seltos will come with a sporty top-of-the-line GT-Line version. This trim will get unique exterior trim and badging, a special flat-bottom steering wheel, red-accented wheels and calpers, and red-accented interior trim to depict its more aggressive nature. This will be the first time a mass-market SUV will come with such a version in India

Terrain and drive modes

While the Tata Harrier comes with a similar system, the Seltos pairs this with an auto for the first time. The system works with the car’s stability control, traction control and brake assist system to optimise grip in mud, wet and sand modes. Further, Eco, Normal and Sport modes are available, which optimize steering and throttle responses.

Features

The Seltos will come with some new features previously unseen in this segment. You get a Bose sound system with mood lighting to suit the audio output, a colour HUD, and an in-cabin air-purifier. This is alongside other notable features like a sunroof, UVO connected car system, ventilated front seats, a 10.25 inch infotainment screen and large 7 inch MID.

 

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Harley-Davidson to build small bikes in China

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A few months ago, Harley-Davidson posted about its intention of making their most affordable motorcycle with a South Asian company. Now, the company has finally disclosed their big alliance with Qianjang Motorcycle, a Chinese company.

As a part of this new alliance, both the companies will co-develop their most affordable motorcycle, a 338cc naked bike that will be made in China and exported to the rest of the world. The American brand decided to go with Qianjang as it has experience in developing premium small displacement bikes, an established supply base and ability to meet customer requirements.

The American brand has released a prototype picture of its upcoming 338cc motorcycle. Harley-Davidson has ditched its traditional cruiser styling for a more modern streetfighter look. The bike seems to be built around a trellis frame, and a parallel-twin liquid cooled engine doing the job. Other bits like upside-down front forks, dual discs at the front and an all LED-headlamp setup can be seen in the released pictures. However, production model features may vary.

This new unnamed motorcycle will be first launched in China by the end of 2020, followed by launches in other Asian markets. We are expecting this bike to make its India debut in early 2021, and could be assembled at the company’s Haryana facility. By doing this, the company will be able to save on duties which will directly impact its pricing.

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Renault unveils Triber globally in India

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Unveiling what is its first all-new product for India in nearly two years, Renault has taken the wraps off of its compact seven-seater, the Triber. Making its global debut in New Delhi, the Renault Triber measures under four metres in length and, barring the Datsun Go+ MPV, is the only sub-four-metre offering in India to get three rows of seats.

Based on a modified version of the Kwid’s CMF-A platform, the Renault Triber is compact and does bear resemblance to the Kwid, but has new headlights, a new grille, a sculpted clamshell bonnet, a squared-off rear section and an upright stance, which is further accentuated by the roof rails. With the Triber, Renault aims to provide a function-over-form design that makes it possible to offer lots of space in the smallest footprint possible. The top-spec variant will sport 15-inch alloy wheels shod in 185/65 tyres.

The Renault Triber’s interior gets a dual-tone colour scheme, a 3.5-inch LCD screen in the instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is larger than the 7.0-inch unit on the Kwid, Lodgy, Duster and Captur. The infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with few intelligent functions such as driving-style coaching and driver economy rating. The second row is adjustable horizontally and comes with a reclining and split folding function. There’s a dedicated AC vent for the third row of seats, armrests and charging sockets. The third row can be removed altogether to liberate up to 625 litres of boot space.

The Renault Triber’s safety equipment list includes dual front airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, and a speed warning system as standard. Higher variants of the Triber will get a reverse camera and two more airbags.

Powering the Renault Triber will be an upgraded version of the Kwid’s 1.0-litre (BR10), three-cylinder petrol engine making 72hp and 96Nm of torque. This engine is the same 1.0 SCe petrol motor used in international models like the Renault Clio and Dacia Sandero. The transmission options for the Triber at launch will be a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). By mid-2020, Renault will add a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine to the Triber line-up.

The French brand claims that the total cost of ownership is 20 percent less than B segment hatchbacks. Expect Renault Triber prices to start at the Rs 5.3 lakh mark.

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Maruti Ciaz sales surpass Hyundai Verna and Honda City in May 2019

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Though it was the sub 4 meter SUV segment that attracted more buyers in May 2019, the C segment sedans also recorded decent sales. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz was a segment leader in a No. 1 spot on the list. The Hyundai Verna scored at No. 2 followed by the Honda City in a No. 3 spot.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz sales stood at 3,592 units in May 2019, featuring at No. 1 on the list of best selling C segment sedans. Beating the Hyundai Verna by a margin of 1,000 units, the Ciaz commanded this top position despite sales being 11 percent lower as compared to sales of 4,024 units in May 2018.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift was introduced in 2018. It is priced from Rs.8.2 lakhs and gets its power via a 1.5 liter petrol hybrid engine offering 104 bhp power and 138 Nm torque mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Its diesel engine offerings include a 1.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine offering 94 bhp power and 225 Nm torque mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox and a 1.3 liter diesel engine offering 89 bhp power and 200 Nm torque.

Hyundai Verna of which 2,567 units were sold in the past month, came in at a No, 2 spot on the list of C segment sedans. This variant also noted a 32 percent decline in sales in May 2019 as compared to 3,801 units sold in May 2018.

Honda City was the third best selling midsized sedan with 2,557 units sold, just 10 units below the Hyundai Verna. Honda City is poised to get a new generation model which will come in with revised exteriors and interiors as well as with a hybrid variant and BS VI compliant engines.

Further down the order was the Skoda Rapid of which 734 units were sold, a dip of 16 percent as compared to sales in May 2018. At No. 5 was the Volkswagen Vento of which 654 units were sold in May 2019, an increase of 20 percent as compared to sales in May 2018.

Toyota Yaris. with 373 units sold in the past month, registered a a huge drop of as much as 87 percent as compared to 2,843 units sold in May 2018. However, the Yaris registered an increase by 4.42 percent as compared to sales of 339 units sold in April 2019.

Also featuring in the same segment were the Nissan Sunny with 136 units sold in the past month and the Fiat Linea of which only 14 units were sold.

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Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Upcoming Honda Activa 6G

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The Honda Activa is the best selling scooter in India that tops the sales chart every month. We have reported earlier that Honda has started testing the upcoming Activa 6G scooter already and it will be launched before April 2020 in India. The test mule of the upcoming scooter was wrapped in heavy camouflage and was caught recently during the homologation process in Pune.

Here are the 5 things that you need to know about the upcoming Honda Activa 6G

1. New Connectivity Feature

According to the reports, the upcoming Activa 6G will feature an advanced digital instrument cluster that will get a smartphone connectivity feature. The instrument cluster will get turn by turn navigation and call alert feature that can also be found in the TVS Ntorq 125.

2. Updated Suspension setup

The Honda Activa scooter uses an old school trailing link suspension setup towards the front since the very beginning. However, the upcoming Activa 6G will sport a pair of telescopic forks that will replace the old suspension setup. The updated suspension setup will help improve the ride and handling quality of the scooter.

3. Redesigned styling

The Activa 6G will feature a redesigned LED headlamp cluster and a different set of LED DRL lamp. The front apron will get integrated side turn indicators while the side body panels will also get some sharp creases and new graphics. Expect the scooter to also feature an updated taillamp as well.

4. Updated BS-VI compliant engine

Expect the upcoming Honda Activa 6G to feature an updated 110cc, air-cooled engine. This new motor will also get fuel injection technology and most probably Honda’s new idling stop system. The idle stop system will automatically turn off the engine when the scooter stops at a traffic light or any other brief halts. The motor is again turned on with the twist of a throttle. This feature will definitely help improve the overall fuel efficiency of the scooter.

5. Better stopping power

Honda will offer a disc brake on the top spec model of the Activa 6G which will help improve the overall braking performance of the upcoming scooter. Moreover, it will also get Honda’s combi-braking system as well for the safety of the rider.

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Book a Bajaj Qute taxi through Uber now

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Uber has announced the addition of a new category on its smartphone app that allows customers to book Bajaj’s Qute quadricycle. The category, called UberXS, is exclusive to users in Bengaluru.

While the company has not yet revealed if UberXS fares will be higher than its auto rickshaw hailing category (UberAuto), the option will almost certainly undercut other categories.

Launched officially in Maharashtra back in April 2019 (at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute.(at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute(at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute gets a 216cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that can be fuelled by either petrol or CNG – it produces 13.2hp and 18.9Nm on the former fuel and 11hp and 16.1Nm on the latter. Both options are available on Uber.

The smallest production four-wheeler on Indian roads, the Qute weighs 452kg (504kg with the CNG kit) and has an ARAI-rated mileage figure of 35kpl on petrol (43km/kg on CNG). It’s dinky dimensions and 7m turning diameter makes it a viable alternative to Bajaj’s three-wheelers that are used as auto rickshaws.

For now, Uber will only offer the UberXS category (and the Bajaj Qute) for users in Bengaluru, though it would make a lot of sense to roll out this category in other major metros such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata, among others.

It was only in November last year that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) added quadricycles to the ‘non-transport’ category of vehicles, making it available for personal use and commercial use.

 

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Suzuki, Toyota partnership to cross-sell products in India, abroad

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Nearly a year after signing an MoU to form a business partnership, Japanese auto majors — Toyota Major Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation – have now concretised their wide-range collaboration for Indian and global markets, including selling of Suzuki’s India-produced vehicles (Baleno, Vitara Brezza, Ciaz, Ertiga) to Toyota for targeting the African market.

Secondly, leveraging Suzuki’s expertise in developing vehicles in India, new products are expected to be developed on Toyota’s C-segment MPV for the Indian market. Further, the partnership between the two automotive giants is expected to go beyond sharing of a few vehicles and exchange of platforms.

Toyota, which has its strength in electric vehicles-related technologies, will be supplying hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technologies in India to Maruti Suzuki through local procurement of HEV systems, engines, and batteries. Currently, Maruti Suzuki uses mild hybrid and some plug-in hybrid for some of its models.

Also, while two of the compact vehicles built on Suzuki platforms (Ciaz and Ertiga) will be sold through (cross badge) Toyota in India, the production of the Suzuki-developed compact SUV Vitara Brezza will start at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM)’s plant from 2022.

Both the rivals had earlier last year announced their plans for partnership by way of synergising the usage of the platform, technologies, product development, dealer network, etc. in India and globally. As per an estimate, Maruti-Toyota together sells about 55% of total passenger vehicles in India.

Commenting on the development, Toyota president Akio Toyoda in a statement said, “Through our new agreement, we look forward to the wider use of hybrid technologies, not only in India and Europe but around the world. At the same time, we believe that the expansion of our business partnership with Suzuki—from the mutual supply of vehicles and powertrains to the domains of development and production—will help give us the competitive edge we will need to survive this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation. We intend to strengthen the competitiveness of both our companies by applying our strong points and learning from each other.”

Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki on his part said that he appreciates the offer from Toyota to let Suzuki make use of their hybrid technology.

According to analysts, the business collaboration between the rivals is here to stay. Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company last year announced to jointly develop new SUVs and a small electric vehicle. Both the companies had first gone into an alliance in September 2017. However, Tata Motors Ltd and Volkswagen group firm Skoda Auto’s collaboration ended even before it began in 2017. Both the companies said they have performed technical feasibility and commercial evaluation and later found that the envisioned areas of the partnership may not yield the desired synergies as originally assessed.

 

According to Sridhar V, partner, Grant Thornton India LLP, the cross badging or strategic alliance between the OEMs is not new and it is done with the intention of saving cost on new introductions, reduce time lag on such introductions, gain advantage of technology and increase capacity utilisation in some case.

“One needs to be wary of the right positioning so as not to cannibalise into each others market and optimise on the cost savings achieved through such alliances. We can see more such partnerships, especially, in the new era of electric vehicles (EV),” said Sridhar.

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