Tuesday, July 31, 2012

“Mazda CX-5 SUV Spied In India” plus 6 more Motorbeam

“Mazda CX-5 SUV Spied In India” plus 6 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Mazda CX-5 SUV Spied In India

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 10:42 PM PDT

The 64th Frankfurt Motor Show held in 2011 witnessed the unveiling of the production model of Mazda’s compact SUV – CX-5. Now it has been spied in India, while being tested on New Delhi Roads, all thanks to the Team-BHP member, who clicked the vehicle on test. CX-5 is the first one to feature Mazda’s “KODO” design theme. This was earlier seen only in the Shinari concept car. “KODO- Soul Of Motion” is a theme that features a prominent front facia and better dynamic styling. The SUV also boasts of being the first one to be built on Skyactiv Technology platform. The smaller version of CX-5, called the CX-7, will also be based on the SKYACTIV technologies.

Currently sold in Europe, US and Japan, the vehicle comes with two engine variants, one being the the 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D diesel engine and other being a 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine. Both are mated to a Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatic gearbox. Options also include in terms of front engine two-wheel and 4-wheel drive layouts. The Mazda CX-5 measures 4540 mm in length, 1840 mm in width and 1705 mm in height. The compact SUV has a wheel base of 2700 mm. It was an instant hit in the European markets and its entry into Indian subcontinent has not been confirmed yet.

The Mazda CX-5 could soon see a Indian debut, but if the Japanese automaker is serious about the Indian market, it needs to locally manufacture vehicles and not take the CBU route. Setting up a plant will take time but the company can follow a top down approach to build brand awareness. The MX-5 can be brought in as a CBU and mass market vehicles can be brought in later. The Mazda CX-5 spotted did not have any badges, which were removed and masked. This clearly signifies that the company is seriously considering an Indian foray. Who knows, they could take help from their commercial vehicle partner Swaraj for a quick entry.

Spy Pictures Courtesy – Team-BHP

Buying A Car? Show Parking Proof First!

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 08:30 PM PDT


On one hand, the car makers are worried about the sliding sales and trying every possible tactic to woo the customers. On the other hand, the Government is trying its luck at reducing the number of private vehicles on the road and promote public transport. There have been instances earlier where the State Governments have tried out new schemes and rules to promote public transport and thus reduce the traffic on the roads. One such example is the “Bus Day” concept which is being followed in Bengaluru. On 4th of every month commuters are asked to use public transport instead of their private vehicles and this has had seen a good response.

The Rajasthan High Court came up with a total different game plan few weeks back. The court ordered the Rajasthan Government to register only those vehicles whose owners had enough space for parking. Well, the space is just not enough, one has to provide parking space proof too in order to get the vehicle registered. Taking cues from this, now the Delhi Government is trying to follow the suite. It was only recent when the Delhi Government set a proposal on implementing residential parking fees, and now they too want the parking space proof. The Commissioner of transport has already been asked to check for the possibility of having such rule implemented in the state. Well, that is not all. The Government is looking for other options too in order to curb the rising vehicle registrations.

“While this proposal might help deter people from purchasing more vehicles, the fact remains that cars from NCR also enter the city and this proposal can succeed only if the entire region is involved in such a plan,” a transport official said.

One such option being considered for talks is charging a monthly fees from residents for parking their vehicles in the on-street parking space. The Government has already proposed issuing a permit of Rs 1,500 applicable for one vehicle per family or shop in residential areas. In fact, two months back, Delhi Government had also issued a notice to increase the parking fees to Rs.50 for peak hours and Rs. 30 for the non-peak hours. The concern for the Government is the increasing registrations when there is lack of space for parking. Everyday more than 1,000 vehicles are registered in Delhi alone and 48 percent of them are private vehicles. But, will the Government be successful in implementing such laws? We feel that there would be a sure shot opposition to it from every side.

Source – Economic Times

Volkswagen Takes Over Porsche For £3.5 Billion

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 12:31 PM PDT

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will fully take over the Porsche brand by the 1st of August 2012. Thanks to a loophole in the German tax law, VW can acquire the super car manufacturer two years earlier than planned while saving almost £1 billion in taxes. The move has received great criticism by the German public.

Volkswagen will acquire Porsche faster than expected, but the merger of the two car manufacturers has been coming a long way. Seven years ago, Porsche tried to take over Volkswagen. Then in 2009, both companies signed an agreement stating they would fully merge by 2014. But a loophole in the German law allows them to fulfill the deal immediately.

Volkswagen already owns 49.9 percent of Porsche. By the 1st of August it will buy the remaining 50.1 percent for £3.5 billion. The move brings VW closer to its aim to become the world's number one car manufacturer by 2018. Porsche will become part of its fleet of brands which include Bentley, Bugatti, Skoda, Audi and Seat, among others. This means VW continues to expand its offer, from sports cars to SUVs and sedans.

The sale allows Porsche to cover part of its £8 billion of debts that it has accumulated in the unsuccessful attempt to take over VW. The two companies will save around £250 million in additional synergies due to the earlier completion of the takeover. Both companies plan to share the savings.

“We can now cooperate even more closely and jointly leverage new growth opportunities in the high-margin premium segment,” VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said. “That is good for Volkswagen, good for Porsche and good for Germany as an industrial location. Combining their operating business will make Volkswagen and Porsche even stronger – both financially and strategically – going forward.”

Europe's biggest car maker is able to save hundreds of millions of pounds in taxes by transferring one VW common stock to Porsche. The sports car maker owns already 32.3 percent of VW stocks and the move of one more stock will allow Volkswagen to declare the takeover an internal restructuring. The German tax authorities were expecting around £1 billion from the acquisition but will now only receive around £80 million from the 'restructuring'.

The move has caused an outcry by the German public who say that the country’s tax law offers loopholes that “are as big as the tunnel entrance of a three-lane motorway.” The Germans can criticize their government as much as they want but in no scenario would Volkswagen have ended up paying the £1 billion in taxes. The initial takeover was planned for 2014 when a new law will be introduced that doesn’t tax acquisitions like these.

Mahindra MINI Xylo Snapped Uncamouflaged [Updated]

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 07:07 AM PDT

MINI Xylo Uncamouflaged

Mahindra will be launching the mini-Xylo compact MPV this festive season. The Indian utility vehicle major has been extensively testing the mini-Xylo for months now. The car has always donned heavy camouflage but now a spy shot without any camouflage has emerged. This points to the mini Xylo going to production anytime soon. The uncamouflaged picture of the mini-Xylo shows the Premier Rio type body layout. There is a side running board, while the wheels seem to be 15-inch in size with high profile tyres. The mini-Xylo will be a 5-seater with jump seats being offered as an option. The low glass in the last row makes it impractical to use the jump seats though.

Mahindra will price the mini-Xylo in the Rs. 5-7 lakh bracket, competing directly with the Premier RiO. The Premier RiO has got Fiat’s jewel now, the 1.3-litre Multijet engine which produces 72 BHP of peak power. The Premier RiO CRDi4 is priced at Rs. 6.7 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune) and Mahindra will easily undercut this price with the diesel variant of the mini-Xylo being priced at around Rs. 6.5 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). However the RiO’s diesel engine will be difficult to beat as it offers an excellent mix of power and economy.

Even though the Premier RiO with the Fiat engine is a very good vehicle, expect Mahindra to use its marketing prowess to unsettle India’s first compact SUV. Mahindra will certainly target hatchback buyers with the mini-Xylo. The company did something similar when it launched the Scorpio almost a decade ago, when the Scorpio was targeted at car buyers. We have snapped the Xylo an insane number of times before, even bringing you interior pictures of the vehicle. The dashboard is very similar to the Xylo MPV, on which the mini-Xylo is based.

Picture Source – Motor Vikatan

Update – The mini Xylo uncamouflaged picture could very well be a computer generated image. Either way, the mini Xylo will look almost similar as the spy shots suggest the same.

Lamborghini Sells 1000 Units Of Aventador

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 05:30 AM PDT


It has been 15 months since Lamborghini introduced its flagship car, the Aventador to the world. Sprayed in Argos Orange and ordered by a customer in Germany, the 1000 Aventador rolled off the assembly line in Sant' Agata Bolognese a few days back. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this particular Aventador was how quickly Lamborghini reached this unit volume. The Murcielago, took 29 months to reach the same production number. Customer demand for the Aventador remains strong, too. Lamborghini’s production of the carbon fiber and carbon composite supercar is booked for the next 18 months.

Read The Lamborghini Aventador Test Drive Review

As for the buyer of the 1000th Aventador, the Bavarian architect is already a Lamborghini owner. The Aventador will share stylish garage space with the man's Lamborghini Diablo, which we assume will now be reserved for visiting relatives and guests. When Lamborghini started to make the Aventador, the company used to make 3 vehicles a day. However this has now been increased to 4.5 vehicles a day. Now that is definitely not as quick as say Ferrari or Porsche but remember the Aventador is the flagship bull and has high attention to detail all over.

Lamborghini has launched the Aventador in India at a price of Rs. 3.69 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). The super car produces a massive 700 PS of peak power at 8250 RPM and 690 Nm of peak torque at 5500 RPM from its 6.5-litre, mid-engine V12 motor. What this results in is a 100 km/h time of just 2.9 seconds, 200 km/h time of just 9 seconds and a top speed of 349 km/h. With all that power, Lamborghini has given the Aventador a very advanced 4-wheel drive system, which along with low weight (thanks to the high use of carbon fibre) and high aerodynamics ensure the bull is firmly planted to the road.


- Raghunandan Reddy

Toyota Launches Liva TRD Sportivo Limited Edition

Posted: 31 Jul 2012 05:02 AM PDT

Etios Liva Limited Edition

Toyota has launched the Etios Liva TRD Sportivo, which is a limited edition model. The company is celebrating the first anniversary of the Etios by offering 1200 units of this TRD edition-ed model to prospective customers. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) is Toyota’s racing arm, just like Mugen is for Honda, Nismo is for Nissan, AMG if for Mercedes-Benz and M is for BMW. These vehicles will be available in both petrol and diesel till October 2012. The Etios Liva TRD Sportivo petrol variant is priced at Rs. 5.24 lakhs, while the diesel variant is priced at Rs. 6.32 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). These cars will be available in two colours only, namely white and blue.

The Toyota Etios Liva TRD Sportivo features a TRD designed sports package, which consists of front bumper spoiler, side skirt, two-tone rear bumper, two-tone rear spoiler, 15-inch gun metal smoked alloy wheels, side body graphics, roof ornament, new seat fabric with ‘TRD Sportivo’ logo, silver shift knob and ofcourse limited edition badging. The changes are purely cosmetic and Toyota has not bumped the power of the Etios Liva one bit. The Etios Liva has been doing very poor numbers. Toyota sold just 2096 units of the Etios Liva last month, which is even half of what the Etios sedan sells.

What has the world come to. Companies are offering purely cosmetic modifications to cars and sticking their prestigious racing badges on it. Toyota is not the first manufacturer to do it and Mercedes-Benz recently offered the C-Class AMG Performance Edition. However Mercedes also offered important features to the car, which can’t be fitted aftermarket. Toyota should have considered offering a more powerful engine in the TRD edition-ed model. The company could have taken the 1.4-litre petrol engine from the Etios sedan and plonked it into the Liva to offer a somewhat genuine TRD badged car.

Liva TRD Sportivo

Astrologer To Help Maruti Suzuki In Manesar

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 11:53 PM PDT

New Maruti Ritz

The recent violence at Maruti’s Manesar plant is taking all possible twists and turns with the matter being analysed by the Bangalore based Vedic astrologer now. Rumors say that the site where the plant is situated today was once a burial ground. Keeping the rumors aside, the company has strong reasons to consult the astrologers as the plant has been subjected to such problems earlier too. Last year too, there was a strike at the plant leading to halt in production for over a month. This year, the violence took the life of a HR manager at the site and left almost 100 workers injured.

The Vaastu correction will be taken up to eliminate the negative energy that is being assumed to have been residing in the area. The plant at Manesar consists of 3 units- Plant A,B and C. Plant A was providing good results where as problem started at plant B where labor and production issues started. The management has also decided to sack all those who were responsible for the violence at the plant. Teams are investigating to find out all the responsible ones. The workers under scrutiny would be the A-shift workers as their shift starts at 7 am and ends at 3 pm. The B-shift workers were busy with the production till 7 pm, thus their role in the incident has been eliminated.

Primary witnesses are being interrogated and the management is stern at the decision of sacking those proved guilty as there is no scope for retaining any of the workers involved in the assault. Identification of the guilty is taking time as most attackers had camouflaged themselves on the fateful day. The violence at the plant has left the plant locked for over twenty days now. Bookings of Swift and Dzire are still on and thus are piling up. The waiting period can extend from the current 4 months to 6 months as the production has not yet resumed. The company is fearing a loss of 40 percent customers to its competitors because of the delay in delivery.

The existing inventory of 26,000 units has already been dispatched to the dealers. In order to retain its customers, the company is planning for massive public relations campaign. The customers would be briefed about the situation at Manesar and new tentative delivery dates would be announced. As a part of the PR campaign, first the company would directly contact those who have already booked the cars. In the later stage, they might resort to the media advertorials too.

Well, such a campaign took place last year too after the strike at the plant. In 2004, the company had placed an advertisement as there was a strike at Chandigarh plant which led to piling up of Wagon R bookings. Will, the company be able to retain its customers and gain back their confidence? Will the customers understand the situation? Is it really the work of some dark forces or is the location of the plant not the right one for the company as per the Vaastu? Will the management be successful in identifying the guilty ones and start production in the plant? These questions only time can answer as we too are eager to know as how much you are.

Source – Economic Times

No comments: