Monday, August 6, 2012

“Piaggio Confirms Mass-Market Scooter For 2013” plus 2 more Motorbeam

“Piaggio Confirms Mass-Market Scooter For 2013” plus 2 more Motorbeam

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Piaggio Confirms Mass-Market Scooter For 2013

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 10:06 PM PDT

piaggio fly India

The Indian two-wheeler market is growing at a great pace and it is leaving opportunities every where for the two-wheeler makers. The scooter segment is definitely the one having tremendous growth potential and it is time for the companies to gear up and grab that opportunity and fight for the number one position. Italian two-wheeler maker Piaggio, which made a come back to Indian market this April through its well-acclaimed brand Vespa, is also gearing up to lead the race. Recently, the company launched the stylish scooter, Vespa LX125 priced at Rs. 78,299/-(OTR Mumbai). 8,500 units of the Vespa have been sold and booked which is nothing to talk about.

Read the Piaggio Vespa LX125 Test Ride Review

After this successful launch, the Italian brand is planning to target the mass-market segment. Perhaps, by the end of the year 2013, we would be able to see another offering from the company on Indian roads. Targeted specifically towards the mass market, the company is planning to launch a scooter. The company is already working on this new product which will borrow the technology from the Piaggio stable. Just like how the engine in Vespa is customized for Indian roads, same would be done in case of this new scooter too. The company has placed Vespa for the premium segment. However, the mass-market scooter will take a different brand name. The company would take almost 18-20 months to come up with a product and thus it is expected to have the scooter by 2013 year end.

We have already briefed you about Piaggio’s plans to launch the Fly 125 scooter in India here. This is the same mass market scooter being spoken about. The company’s Indian operations arm, Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited, is also investing Rs. 150 crore at its current plant at Baramati in Maharashtra. Currently, the installed capacity of the plant is 1,50,000 units per year. The investment will double the capacity by the year end such that atleast 20,000 units can be manufactured in a month. Apart from the scaling up of production facilities, the company is also keen at expanding its sales network. At present, it has 48 dealers across 35 cities. By the year end, the number would be increased to 100 dealers across the country which would help the company to reach to 75-80 percent of the Indian market. The company would also be spending on promotion of its Vespa brand through TV commercials.

piaggio fly 125

2012 piaggio fly scooter

Source – Economic Times

Tata Xenon Always On Test!

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 12:56 AM PDT

Tata Xenon LHD Test

The Tata Xenon is one such vehicle, which is on a never ending test. Hit Dehu road anytime and you are bound to find a Xenon with test plates and ‘On Test’ badges. But why is Tata Motors spending day-in and day-out testing the Xenon, when it hardly sells in India. The primary reason why Tata Motors wants to ensure the highest reliability on the Xenon is that its an export product. The Indian market doesn’t really have many pick-up truck buyers while in Europe and South Africa the demand for such a vehicle is quite high. This is the market Tata Motors is looking to dominate.

Now MotorBeam reader Yogesh Dhomade spotted the Xenon on the old Mumbai-Pune highway recently. In order to ensure the vehicle performs well with weight, Tata Motors has put in some jerry cans in the loading bay. We really can’t guess what is under the hood but we assume the 2.2-litre DICOR unit to do duty. This diesel engine produces 140 BHP of power and 320 Nm of torque. Tata Motors might consider using the Aria’s engine on the Xenon as its quieter and has better NVH. The Aria has the same 2.2-litre diesel engine doing duty underneath but with a new flywheel, revised mounts and oil sump.

The 5-seater Tata Xenon comes in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive variants. The Xenon EX 4×2 is priced at Rs. 10.48 lakhs, while the Xenon EX 4×4 is priced at Rs. 11.70 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai). The vehicle has no real direct competition but the pick-up segment itself has too little volumes to justify additional marketing of the Xenon in India. The Xenon has been on sale for three years now and could help Tata Motors bring volumes in overseas markets.

2012 Tata Xenon On Test

Lockout At Manesar Results In Loss For Ancillary Units

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 12:04 AM PDT

Maruti Suzuki A-Star AT

The tussle at the Manesar plant of Maruti could have been because of the mismanagement by the company officials. Almost two months back, the union president was accused of man-handling a supervisor and was suspended. However, after an oral apology, he was let off. Similar case happened with another union executive member. But when an ordinary worker was involved in such an incident now, he was suspended immediately. Such double standards by the management were apparently not well taken by the workers and the violence broke out. Being lenient to the union while being strict to the ordinary worker created dissatisfaction among the workers. However, the management called the withdrawal of suspension against the union members as 'goodwill response'.

The company officials have confirmed that they would not be shifting the plant from Manesar. As a part of the expansion strategies, it might set up new plants but the Manesar plant will continue to exist and production would resume soon. However, no concrete dates have been decided as when the production will resume. Currently the management is ensuring workers and employees safety. They are framing standards and rules so that the Manesar plant will not face such violence again. The Government has set up an investigation team already to find out the root cause of the violence at Manesar plant that led to death of an official and left 98 others injured.

The lockout at the Manesar plant has adversely affected the ancillary units in the state. Firstly, the lockout has led to drop in demand for the ancillary products by 60 percent. Inventories are building up at the companies. There has been cut in the number of work days from the initial 6 to current 3 days a week. The production has been forced to cut down, at the same time workers are not sure of their employment as some of the companies have started cutting the workforce too. There are transport companies which faced trouble too as some of them have taken trucks on loan and most of them run these trucks solely for Maruti. Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker, sources a slew of products from over 200 ancillary units in Haryana and the lockout has resulted in major losses to these firms.

Source – Economic Times

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