Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“Chevrolet Sail U-VA Video Review” plus 6 more Motorbeam

“Chevrolet Sail U-VA Video Review” plus 6 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Chevrolet Sail U-VA Video Review

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 05:59 AM PDT

Tata Indigo Manza Club Class Launched – Live From Event

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 03:11 AM PDT

Tata Manza Club Class Launch

Tata Motors has launched the Indigo Manza Club Class at an event organized at Mehboob Studio in Mumbai. While the Indigo Manza receives no changes in dimensions, the car now gets a host of new features including chrome window garnish, black Italian leather upholstery, chrome instrument cluster, chrome and leather finished gear knob, touchscreen multimedia navigation with GPS, two-tone dashboard, infinity contrast roof, 8-spoke alloy wheels, steering mounted audio controls, automatic climate control. Two new variants have been added to the Tata Manza line-up – EX and EXL which are the top variants of the car now. The other variants are LS, LX and VX, which replace the Aqua, Aura variant nomenclature.

The Tata Indigo Manza is available in six colors – wine, red, grey, white and silver come with black roof, while black colored Manza comes with silver roof. This roof color combination is only offered on the EX and EXL variants. The Indigo Manza is powered by a 1.3-litre Quadrajet90 diesel which produces 90 PS of peak power at 4000 RPM and 200 Nm of peak torque between 1750-3000 RPM. The petrol engine is powered by a 1.4-litre Saffire90 engine which produces 90 PS of peak power at 6000 RPM and 116 Nm of peak torque at 4750 RPM. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. There are no changes to the engines of the Manza and thus they continue to deliver the same mileage of 21.02 km/l for the diesel version and 13.7 km/l for the petrol version .

Tata Motors has reduced prices of the Manza, making the vehicle a very value for money proposition in the lower C-segment. The Manza LS (base petrol) is priced at Rs. 5.70 lakhs where as the base diesel Manza variant is priced at Rs. 6.49 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Tata Manza LS Saffire90 is priced at Rs. 6.76 lakhs, while the Manza EX Quadrajet goes up to Rs. 10.62 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). The company plans to add 200 more service and sales outlets taking the total number to 1200 locations across India. Tata Motors is looking forward to bringing a drastic change in their customer service.

Indigo Manza Club Class Brochure

Tata Manza Club Class

Tata Manza Club Class Dashboard

Tata Manza Touchscreen Navigation

Tata Manza -  Black and Plum Interiors

Tata Manza Infinity Cross Roof

General Motors Plans Big For India

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 02:48 AM PDT

GM Talegaon Plant

A series of launches, expansion of production units and a new approach towards the engine plant are on the cards for General Motors in India. The company is betting hard on increasing its market share in India by bringing in more models in the next five to six years. The Indian operations unit of General Motors has already geared up to launch three cars by the end of this year. Over the next few years, we can expect almost seven to eight new models in the country. The company is already launching the hatchback version of the Sail U-VA on 2nd November.

Apart from the launches, the GM's focus is also towards increasing its production capacity. The current plan is to double the capacity at the Talegaon production plant, however, nothing concrete has been decided yet. Currently, the Talegaon plant has an installed capacity of 1.4 lakh units per year and another plant at Halol in Gujarat has a production capacity of 85,000 units per year. Discussions are still on as the production capacity must be ramped up with the new models coming up.

The third action point for the Indian arm is to export the small diesel engines from India to other operation units of the parent company. There has been a request from the other units abroad for supply of the 1.0-litre and 1.3-litre powertrains which are manufactured in the Talegaon plant having a production capacity of 1.6 lakh units a year. The plans do look splendid. It’s the matter of time when we would know how successful these plans would be and will the company be able to grab a good share in the high competitive Indian market.

Chevrolet Car Production

Volkswagen Bets Big On Compact Crossovers

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 02:45 AM PDT

VW Cross Coupe

Volkswagen is planning to introduce a crossover based on the next generation Volkswagen Polo platform. The new Polo is scheduled to be launched in 2014 and the Polo based SUV will see the market may be a few months later. The platform in discussion here is an all new MQB platform which is designed to underpin cars of various sizes and engines if they have the same engine orientation. The platform will be shared among Volkswagen's group companies too. This proves the MQB platform as a cost effective one apart from being lightweight too.

The Polo based SUV will derive its design cues from the Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept which was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The SUV will be made adaptive to various markets which will offer a basic version for emerging markets and will also offer more technically sound, sophisticated models in the European market. The Indian version may stand somewhere between these two categories. It will be launched in both 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive options. The German car maker also hints at introducing two more SUV concepts which will be placed at the two extremes of the Polo based SUV. One will be a Volkswagen Up! based entry level compact SUV, while the other one will be based on the Passat platform.

Volkswagen has always been active in the Indian market and will leave no stone unturned while introducing the new Polo based SUV. Volkswagen India had earlier announced that it will start assembling the 1.5-litre diesel engine in India and the same will feature in the 2014 Polo. There is a high possibility that the new SUV will also sport the same engine. That's one factor indicating aggressive pricing. The compact-SUV segment has a new demand in the Indian market and is a very popular one too. But by the time VW gets the SUV in India, a major market share will already be enjoyed by the Renault Duster, the much awaited Ford Ecosport, and the most likely Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe Interiors

Volkswagen Cross Coupe

VW Cross Coupe Concept

Will Hero MotoCorp Remain The Hero?

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 01:24 AM PDT


There was a time when the duo believed in the concept of ‘Individually significant but together magnificent’. A series of perfect launches brought the market into their hands. But today, they have separated and stand in front of each other, fighting with one another for that share in the market. The two companies referred here are Hero MotoCorp and Honda. Their efforts put together brought into existence some of the best bikes like the Splendor, Karizma, Passion and CBZ.

Post-split, the two companies are leaving no stone unturned to surpass one another. Currently, Hero MotoCorp holds the maximum share followed by Bajaj Auto and then Honda in India. Honda launched the Dream Yuga whereas Hero MotoCorp launched the Impulse and Ignitor in the motorcycle segment. In the scooter segment too, both the companies have offered new models. Hero launched the Maestro recently, while Honda updates the Dio. The problem arises for Hero-Honda fans. It was easy way out for them to choose the bike earlier. But now, to decide between Honda and Hero can at times become a tedious job for them. Can this gap lead to customers switching to other brands? Perhaps, that might happen too.

More than the threat from the other brands, the two are threats to one another. A recent survey was conducted by a firm at all the Hero dealers across India and the results were not something to cherish. There was a drop of 5-10 percent in the conversion rate of inquiries to sales. The concern is a serious one as this was the case for its most popular models, Splendor and Passion. Though the company showed a good growth of 15 percent in the fiscal year 2012, the current market situation led to a sales decline of 3 percent in the first half of 2012. The month of September itself saw a drop in sales by 26 percent. With such results, will Honda be able to out compete with Hero in terms of market share?

Maruti Suzuki Launches Alto 800 Priced At Rs. 2.44 Lakhs

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 12:11 AM PDT

Alto 800 Official

Maruti Suzuki has just launched the Alto 800, which is the first big update to the Alto since the time it was launched in 2000. The vehicle gets a slew of changes, which make it a better car overall than the model it replaces. Maruti Suzuki will be exporting the Alto 800 to Africa and South America starting January 2013. The production volume is pegged at 800 units a day. The Maruti Alto 800 is being offered in 6 variants, 3 petrol and 3 dual fuel CNG.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) -

* Alto 800 Standard – Rs. 2.44 lakhs
* Alto 800 LX – Rs. 2.765 lakhs
* Alto 800 LXi – Rs. 2.99 lakhs

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Green Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) -

* Alto 800 Standard CNG – Rs. 3.19 lakhs
* Alto 800 LX CNG – Rs. 3.37 lakhs
* Alto 800 LXi CNG – Rs. 3.56 lakhs

The Alto 800 is priced at a premium of Rs. 4000-7000/- over the old Alto. The price hike on the CNG version is higher, between Rs. 16,000-30,000/-. The CNG versions of the Alto 800 cost between Rs. 40,000-80,000/- more than the regular version. The pricing of the Alto 800 is introductory.

Maruti Suzuki Alto Pricing (on-road, Delhi) –

* Alto 800 Standard – Rs. 2.68 lakhs
* Alto 800 LX – Rs. 3.03 lakhs
* Alto 800 LXi – Rs. 3.28 lakhs
* Alto 800 Standard CNG – Rs. 3.59 lakhs
* Alto 800 LX CNG – Rs. 3.68 lakhs
* Alto 800 LXi CNG – Rs. 3.89 lakhs

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is powered by the same old 796cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine which gets many changes and new parts to boost power output to 47.5 BHP and torque output to 69 Nm. The mileage has improved by 15% to 22.74 km/l (ARAI figure). The Alto 800 is being offered with a CNG option right away, which sees a 13% increase in mileage to 30.46 km/kg. The CNG kit is factory fitted and called as intelligent Gas Port Injection Technology (i-GPI).

Read the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Review

Maruti Suzuki has moved to a cable shift transmission, which has improved gear shift quality of the car. The Alto 800 gets a 3-spoke steering wheel from the A-Star, while the interior color can be chosen between brown or grey. The new Alto is slightly shorter than the old Alto at 3.39-meteres long but the wheelbase is the same and rear legroom has been improved by 10 mm and headroom has increased by 15 mm. Driver side airbag is offered on the LXi variant as an option. The boot capacity is 177-litres with the wheelbase being 2.36-meters.

The Alto 800 gets front power windows, new seats, integrated headrests (like the Hyundai i10), all new dashboard and remove boot release among other features. The new Alto is available in six colors – white, red, silver, grey and two shades of blue. The old Alto will be gradually discontinued with the new Alto 800 taking over. The Alto K10 will continue to be sold and won’t get the Alto 800′s quirky looks anytime soon. The Maruti 800 will continue to be sold in BS3 and export markets.

Alto 800 Signature Color

Volkswagen All Set To Do A Datsun

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 11:53 PM PDT

In the age of budget cars and its increasing market globally, Volkswagen is not untouched by its influence anymore. The company is planning on rolling out a new budget brand and offer a good competition in the same line to the Romanian car major Dacia and Nissan’s upcoming Datsun in Europe. The yet to be named new Volkswagen low cost brand will be priced around £4800, which converted to Indian rupees comes around Rs. 4,08,453/-. The old Polo and Golf platforms will be used to develop cars, to be sold under this budget brand.

To build this new range of low cost cars, Volkswagen plans to utilize its partnership in India and China. These budget based cars are all placed on the existing architecture of Volkswagen group, platforms which have already been amortized. The three vehicles which are being planed are a sedan, a boxy estate and an MPV. These cars will be targeted at the growing economies and will be more function oriented, not more on the luxury front. It may have airbags and ABS as an option. On the styling front it may be more rugged and boxy, which makes it easy for the manufacturer to have reduced number of pressings in the body. It will surely have the dynamics and all engines will be EU6 compliant.

The newest member to the vast Volkswagen family will be the 13th brand in order and will bear a new badge of its own. The final decision is still to be made on this budget brand, by the Volkswagen board and it may start its active production from final quarter of 2014. It will be worth watching how this launch will affect the Indian car market and we reckon it will definitely have a positive impact for Volkswagen in India if its launched here soon.

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