Thursday, August 9, 2012

“Scoop – Mahindra To Launch Vastly Improved Thar” plus 4 more Motorbeam

“Scoop – Mahindra To Launch Vastly Improved Thar” plus 4 more Motorbeam

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Scoop – Mahindra To Launch Vastly Improved Thar

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 02:15 AM PDT


A few months ago, Mahindra upgraded the Thar with AC and a better quality soft top. While the upgrade was much needed, many basic things are still not offered on the Thar. We have just now received exclusive information from our source, who informs us that Mahindra is already working on a major upgrade to the Thar. This upgrade will bring vast improvements to the Thar and will be launched in 2013. The company plans to make the Mahindra Thar a more practical vehicle, in order to make it appeal to a large off-roading audience.

The new Thar will get all new interiors. The current interiors of the Mahindra Thar are way too utilitarian and lack proper ergonomics. The engine start key hole is placed too close to the dashboard due to which the driver’s hand tends to hit the dashboard when turning on the ignition. There are many panel gaps too and Mahindra will also address quality issues. Power windows will be added to the front doors and a foldable canopy soft top will be offered. This soft top is similar to the one seen on the Jeep Wrangler and makes it much easier to fold the top down. Mahindra has no plans to offer a hard top and will keep that option for the aftermarket.

Currently the Mahindra Thar is powered by a 2.5-litre CRDi engine which produces 105 BHP of power and 247 Nm of torque. Our source tells us that a new engine will make its way to the upgraded Thar but couldn’t confirm which one. Could Mahindra plonk the 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder mEagle diesel engine into the Thar? The 1493cc unit has twin-turbochargers and produces a peak power output of 100 BHP at 3750 RPM and a peak torque output of 240 Nm between 1600-2800 RPM. This engine will debut in the mini-Xylo in the next couple of months.

This compact engine is BSV compatible and could be the ideal engine for three reasons. Being BSV compliant will make it easy for Mahindra to continue exporting the Thar to overseas markets. The mEagle motor weighs just 185 kgs, which is around 100 kgs less than the Thar’s current engine . Lastly, the Thar has an overall length of 3920 mm and thus Mahindra can benefit from lower excise duties on the vehicle. This will result in the Thar’s pricing remaining the same as the current model but with added features and improvements. The Mahindra Thar is priced at Rs. 6.75 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai).


DSK Hyosung To Focus On 125-150cc Segment

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 02:13 AM PDT

The mass market is the most appealing target for most of the automakers these days. Be it the two-wheeler or the four-wheeler manufacturer, the focus is definitely on the mass market as it is the one that helps boost the volumes. Offering something that is sought by majority of the market is a must and thus catering to one specific segment can no longer to profitable. DSK Hyosung, which sells Hyosung-branded sports bikes in India, is now eyeing the India’s mass market. Formed as a partnership between South Korea's S and T Motors and Pune-based DSK Group, DSK Hyosung is taking steps to cater to the 125 cc to 150 cc motorcycle segment.

The 125 cc to 150 cc is the most sought range by the customers these days. The reasons can be numerous for such a choice but the bottom-line is that this segment has the potential growth. Looking at the opportunity, the company has plans to manufacture small capacity motorcycles which are specific for Indian roads and customers. These developments will place over the next two years. Currently, the Korean manufacturer sells its RT125D in European market. Studies are going on to check the feasibility of using that engine for India. Initially the local partners will take up the production. Later, once the plant and the research and development centre are set up, production will be shifted. The land for the plant has not been finalized yet the company hopes to zero in to a location by the next three months.

At present, the company is focusing majorly on its new offering GT250R. GT250R is powered by a 249cc, 75-degree, V-twin, DOHC engine. The engine produces a peak power output of 27.6 BHP at 10,000 RPM and peak torque output of 22.07 Nm at 8000 RPM. By 2012-13, the company has targets to sell 3,000 units, thus taking the total number of units sold to 3,750. Another offering from the company, GV250, which was slated to be launched by September, will now be launched by December. GV250 will be powered by a 249cc, air and oil-cooled, fuel injected engine which is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and produces 25 BHP of power at 10000 RPM and 22 Nm of torque at 7500 RPM. Product plans apart, the company also has plans to expand its dealership base which currently stands at 18 to around 35-40 by the first quarter of year 2013.

Source – Autocar Professional

Nissan Plans Rebadged Duster By 2013

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 01:30 AM PDT

Nissan Plans Rebadged Duster by 2013

Renault-Nissan plans to boost sales in India over the coming months by introducing new models based on the same platform. The company doesn’t care about sales cannibalisation amongst its own brands as long as overall sales increase. This is the reason why we see a Renault badged Micra (Pulse) and Sunny (Scala). So the obvious question that arose was when would Nissan rebadge the Duster? The company had earlier considered the Juke for India, but being a 4-seater, it did not meet the requirements set forward by the company.

We had a brief talk with the top management of Nissan India who told us their next focus would be on the compact SUV segment. The company has looked at the alternatives and is already working on the Nissan branded Duster. The vehicle will have slightly different styling along with more features and will be priced higher than the Renault Duster. The Nissan branded Duster will be launched in 2013. Unlike the Renault Duster, Nissan is seriously working towards a 7-seater version of this crossover.

The Renault Duster is currently available in two diesel engine options and a petrol engine option. The diesel variants are powered by the renowned 1500cc K9K series of engines producing 85 and 110 PS respectively. The petrol is powered by a 1.6-litre K4M motor which produces 104 PS of peak power. The Duster range currently starts at Rs 7.19 Lakhs (Ex Delhi). The Duster has already roped in 10000 bookings, which shows the demand for such a kind of a vehicle, thus Nissan cannot ignore such a segment.

BMW India Launches BMW Mobile Showrooms

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 12:41 AM PDT

BMW Mobile Showroom

In a bid to reach out to customers residing in the emerging markets, BMW India has launched the new BMW Mobile Showrooms. These Mobile Showrooms will reach out to those cities which have the potential market and can be covered under the current BMW sales and service network. The BMW Mobile Showrooms will currently cover seven states in India. Starting from Haryana, where the showroom will be located at Hotel Noormahal in Karnal till 18th of August this year, the mobile showrooms will visit Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Patna (Bihar), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), and Nashik (Maharashtra).

At present, BMW India has only 25 sales outlets across India. However, the company has plans for expansion and by the end of the year 2012, there would be 40 odd dealerships. Already, the company is taking steps to lure the youth with its below 30 lakh offerings. A reach out to potential customers would be the need of the hour as its competitors too are making similar plans. The BMW Mobile Showrooms will help customers experience the brand and talk with the product experts to know more about the same. Test drives would be provided and customers would also be guided through the financial offers the company provides. Its own financial wing, BMW Financial Services, will also provide upto 100 percent funding. This would be applicable for the entire range of products BMW offers.

Being the luxury car maker, BMW is the first one to have taken such a step to move closer to the end customer. The Mobile Showroom will have a 4 car display along with a reception area and a VIP lounge. Currently, the all-new BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW X1, BMW X3 and BMW X5 will be made available for display. At other locations, one would also see the BMW 7 Series, BMW 6 Series, BMW X6 and the BMW Z4. With this unique traveling showroom, the company wishes to bring as many customers as possible under the BMW umbrella and give them the ultimate driving experience. Indeed, it is a strong step by the company which is dedicated to the emerging potential markets in India.

Kawasaki Launches 2012 Ninja 650R At Rs 4.99 Lakhs – Live From Event

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 11:15 PM PDT

Kawasaki Ninja 650R Launch

Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki have finally launched the 2012 Ninja 650R. The new Ninja is priced at Rs 4,99,834 (Ex Delhi), which is cheaper than the previous version. The Japanese automaker had stopped bookings of the Ninja 650R last year and after more than a year, the updated Ninja 650R has been launched. The ER-6F gets slight changes to the styling with a revised fairing, fuel tank, seat and tail. The 649cc, parallel twin underneath the Ninja 650R is the same as before, producing a power output of 72 BHP and a torque output of 65 Nm. However Kawasaki engineers have tweaked the bottom and mid range to make it more crispier to ride.

The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R also gets a new twin-spar frame. This perimeter frame is now stiffer, giving the Ninja 650R better handling. A Eco mode has been added and the Japanese automaker claims the bike will return 17.7 km/l, which gives it a range of around 330 kms on its 19-litres fuel tank. Kawasaki will not be shutting down bookings soon as the more units of this middle-weight motorcycle has been allocated to India. Bajaj will continue to assembly the Ninja 650R from CKD kits brought in from Kawasaki’s Thailand plant. Available at more than 50 KTM/Kawasaki showrooms across the country it will be backed by the largest sales and service network for high-performance motorcycles.

“KTM and Kawasaki are our global business partners and along with them we aim to build on our already dominant position in the sports motorcycle segment in India with the Pulsar. There are a number of initiatives in the pipeline on all these three brands that would be introduced over the next 18 months". – Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto, said.

Points from the Press Conference -

1. Dual headlamps like the Ninja 1000R
2. Foam Split Seats
3. Adjustable windshield
4. Long travel rear suspension
5. Digital Speedometer
6. Bookings to open next week
7. Deliveries to start from next month
8. Currently available in lime green only
9. New Ninja 250R will come soon
10. No ABS and No Kawasaki accessories as of now

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