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Nissan plans another round of recall after hit by ‘improper’ test scandal

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Nissan plans to conduct another recall owing to “improper” tests on new vehicles, a newspaper said Thursday, dealing a fresh blow to the Japanese car giant following the shock arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The latest issue was uncovered after transport ministry officials conducted on-site inspections at Nissan’s major assembly plants, the Nikkei business daily said.Several employees admitted they carried out “improper” tests on brake and other systems before shipment, the newspaper said, without specifying how many cars were affected.Nissan plans to make an announcement on the case later this month and is considering recalling any vehicles improperly tested, it added.

Immediate confirmation of the report was not available.The manufacturer was forced to recall more than one million vehicles last year after admitting staff without proper authorisation had conducted final inspections on some units intended for the domestic market before they were shipped to dealers.

In a separate case that erupted in July, Nissan admitted data on exhaust emissions and fuel economy had been deliberately “altered”, hampering its efforts to recover trust after the inspection scandal.If confirmed, it would represent another blow to the company, which has been rocked since Ghosn was arrested on November 19 on allegations he under-reported his salary by millions of dollars over five years.Ghosn denies any wrongdoing. The ousted chairman is expected to face a further accusation of under-reporting his salary by about four billion yen (USD 35.5 million) over the past three years, Japanese media reported.

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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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Jeep Compass Trailhawk launched in India; priced at Rs 26.8 lakh

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The Jeep Compass Trailhawk has been launched in India and priced at Rs 26.8 lakhs (All-India ex-showroom). It is off-road oriented version of the Compass with higher ground clearance, diesel AT and Active Drive 4X4 technology.

Powering the Compass Trailhawk is a BS VI compliant 2.0-litre diesel producing 170bhp/350Nm and mated to a nine-speed AT. The Compass Trailhawk is a rival for the likes of the Hyundai Tucson(4X4 AT)

Commenting on the launch of the Compass Trailhawk, Kevin Flynn – president and managing director, FCA India said, “We are offering a lot more of the Jeep  DNA in the Trailhawk which we hope Indian buyers will like and enjoy. Our Trail Rated All-wheel Drive SUV has all the core ingredients that a Jeep SUV should have, and additionally delivers to the Indian’s customer’s aspirations of intelligent driving aids and equipment for both the urban and adventurous, prioritises the safety of occupants and makes you a part of a long lineage that the global Jeep community is proud of.”

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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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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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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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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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Maruti opens booking for new WagonR

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Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Monday announced opening of bookings for its upcoming version of WagonR. Customers can book the third generation WagonR at its authorised dealer network across the country at an initial payment of Rs 11,000, the company said.

Moreover, the customers can also opt for online booking on the company’s website, it added.

The new car will be launched on January 23.

The ‘Big New WagonR‘ will be available with a new 1.2 litre petrol engine option along with another choice of 1 litre engine. It will also be offered in automatic gear shift variant, the company said.

The new vehicle has been developed on the Suzuki’s fifth generation HEARTECT platform, “which makes the car stable, strong and safe,” it said.

Use of high tensile steel has improved the overall safety, rigidity and NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) performance in the new offering.

It also has safety features including driver airbag, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and front seat belts reminder, speed alert system and rear parking sensors.

Earlier, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd had said it would 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 would 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 were effective from January 10, 2019.

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).

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.

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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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Toyota to hike prices of vehicles across models by up to 4% from January 1

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Toyota Kirloskar Motor Tuesday said it will increase prices of its vehicles across models by up to 4 per cent from January 1, 2019, to offset increasing manufacturing costs due to rupee depreciation.

The company considered the price hike after periodically reviewing the continuous pressure of increasing manufacturing costs, which is also a general industry phenomenon, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said in a statement.

There has been an impact in the cost of manufacturing of vehicle primarily due to rupee depreciation,” the company said.

Toyota has been absorbing the additional costs all this while, protecting the customers from price increase, it added.

“However, due to the continued pressure of high costs, we have to pass on a part of it to customers. Toyota is considering a price increase of up to 4 per cent across models with effect from January 1, 2019,” it said.

The company currently sells a range of vehicles starting from hatchback Liva to luxury SUV Land Cruiser, which are priced between Rs 5.25 lakh and Rs 1.41 crore.

Meanwhile, General Motors Co said on Monday it will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce in the face of a declining market for traditional gas-powered sedans, shifting more investment to electric and autonomous vehicles.

The announcement is the biggest North America restructuring for the U.S. No. 1 carmaker since its bankruptcy a decade ago. Its shares rose 7.6 percent to $38.66.GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario. It will also stop building several models now assembled at those plants, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Cadillac CT6 and the Buick LaCrosse. The Cruze compact car will be discontinued in the U.S. market in 2019.

Plants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Warren, Michigan, assembling powertrain components will have no products assigned to them after 2019 and are at risk of closure, GM said. It will also close two unidentified factories outside North America.”We are right-sizing capacity for the realities of the marketplace,” Chief Executive Mary Barra said, adding that GM will double resources dedicated to electric and self-driving vehicles over the next two years.

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