Friday, December 28, 2012

“Audi To Invest 17 Billion Dollars For Expansion” plus 6 more Motorbeam

“Audi To Invest 17 Billion Dollars For Expansion” plus 6 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Audi To Invest 17 Billion Dollars For Expansion

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 07:30 PM PST

Audi Crosslane Coupe Hybird Concept

Audi, a Volkswagen's subsidiary is betting big on its future by investing 17 billion US Dollars (Rs. 93,083 crores) globally for further expansion and development on their products and plants till 2016. The investment plan aims to increase the technology, which will be used to design lightweight cars and electric powertrains. According to sources, the investment is also projected to expand the production in Audi's Hungary plant, increase the capacity in the company’s China plant and build a new plant in Mexico from 2016.

The second-largest luxury car maker, Audi is targeting a sales of two million cars a year to take on its direct rival, BMW, which is leading the race in the luxury car market currently. This move by the German company can help in achieving Volkswagen's aim to become the world's biggest car manufacturer by 2018. Audi's chief financial officer, Axel Strotbek states that the company will keep investing large amounts to follow their growth strategy and the expansion of their global manufacturing infrastructure will help them to continue growing.

Audi is all set to launch its compact A3 hatchback and sedan next year to increase their sales. Meanwhile, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are also planning to heat up the competition in the luxury car market. BMW is expected to introduce its first electric car i3 next year and the new 4-Series coupe to boost up the sales chart, while Mercedes-Benz is likely to come up with the next generation S-Class and the all-new four door coupe, CLA. In November 2012, BMW sold 1,45,452 units compared to Audi's 1,23,600 units, whereas Mercedes-Benz being the lowest, selling 1,20,346 units. Audi's future seems to be bright, if the company follows their strategy aggressively.

Audi A1 Media Drive

Tata Nano Among Best Selling Cars In 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 06:19 AM PST

2012 Tata Nano Special Edition

The Tata Nano, after facing very slow sales since its launch, has finally secured its place in the list of top 10 highest selling cars in India. With significant sales after August this year, and 18 percent growth as compared to last year, resulted in the Nano acquiring ninth place. In spite of sales of petrol cars plummeting and even the long running highest selling car of India, the Maruti Suzuki Alto, selling slower than previous years, the Nano making it into the top ten list is commendable.

Marred due to its 'cheap' and 'unsafe' image initially, the space, practicality, value for money and fuel efficiency offered by the Nano went unnoticed resulting in buyers looking elsewhere for a cheap petrol hatchback. But with the 2012 edition being launched, many changes occurred with new colors, better overall styling and improved quality attracted young buyers. Tata Motors said that 20 percent of the owners are women and 42 percent of the owners are below the age of 35. So the changes made by the company to improve the image of the car has worked to a certain extent.

Now with a more powerful 800cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine as well as a diesel engine in the pipeline, the Nano, will be in contention for more buyers. The Nano will become the cheapest diesel passenger car available in the country (and even the world) resulting in a definite advantage. In today's congested traffic conditions, high fuel prices and lack of space in big cities, the Nano makes a compelling case for itself.

Tata Motors should take this opportunity to revamp the image of the car as a great practical car for the young generation and price the diesel version very competitively and they will have a winner in their hands. The Nano definitely has tremendous potential but only if the company can play their cards right.

Source – Live Mint

Ford To Start EcoSport Deliveries By August 2013

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:42 AM PST

FordEcoSportPreview_08

The much awaited Ford EcoSport, as expected, was likely to be launched early in 2013. Ford dealers are saying that the official bookings of the EcoSport will open around March or April and the deliveries for the mini SUV are going to be commenced from August 2013. This is shocking news for car enthusiasts, as we were expecting the EcoSport to roll out early next year. Testing of uncamouflaged models of the EcoSport have been spotted several times lately which gave us a hint of an early launch in 2013.

The Ford EcoSport is based on the Fiesta platform featuring three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine that produces 120 BHP of power output and 170 Nm of torque and a 1.5-litre diesel engine borrowed from the Fiesta, which produces 91 BHP of power and 204 Nm of torque. The petrol engine is coupled to a six-speed manual and dual clutch automatic transmission. The mini SUV measures less than 4-metres in length and is expected to hit the showrooms with a price tag of Rs. 7-9 lakhs.

We can't guess the reasons behind this move from the manufacturer, as the Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto are taking full advantage of this segment by selling in good volumes. Other manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki with its XA Alpha, Chevrolet with the Trax and Volkswagen with the Taigun are also in the race to position their models in this sweet spot. In the global market, Ford has sold out more units of the EcoSport than the Renault Duster but the Duster clawed back last month in Brazil.

FordEcoSportPreview_09

Source – Team-BHP

Audi To Differentiate Design Of Future Audi Cars

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:37 AM PST

Audi A8L 4.2 TDI

Audi is one of the market leaders in the luxury car segment all over the world with very aggressive and attractive car designs, exceptional interior finish and overall quality of the products. But there has been some criticism on how Audi cars have a similar 'Family Face'. This means that most Audi cars look similar and it is difficult for a normal passerby to recognize the exact model. Much has been said about the flagship A8 and the entry-level A4 being quite similar to each other.

So Audi has now said that the future car designs will not only be more attractive, but will also significantly differ from each other. Each car will be designed so that it can be easily recognizable as that particular model, but at the same time it will not lose out on the signature Audi family design. The new A8 especially will be highly worked on to look distinguished. Audi has also said that they will encourage their designers to work with newer lines and design ideas.

Another area where Audi excels is the interior design and quality and Audi said that they will try and make the interiors even better. They will work on the similar design lines and the new generation interiors will be an evolution of the current designs. Apart from this, Audi also expressed interest in introducing new powertrains with more fuel efficient and cleaner emissions. With a need for cars to be more cost effective and efficient in all aspects, this will be a welcome move from Audi.

Audi A4 News

Volkswagen To Launch Taigun Compact SUV In India

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:32 AM PST

2012-Volkswagen-Taigun-SUV-India

Volkswagen is planning to introduce its compact SUV Taigun in the Indian car market, which was unveiled globally in October. The company is aiming to position the Volkswagen Taigun to take on the Ford EcoSport, which is going to be launched early in 2013 and the Renault Duster, so we can expect it to be priced attractively. The Taigun features a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbo charged petrol engine, which produces a peak power of 110 BHP and 175 Nm of torque, coupled with a six-speed manual transmission.

The Volkswagen Taigun may offer a diesel engine for India. The Taigun with its rugged stance and mature styling carries forward the design language from its elder siblings, the Tiguan and Toureg. Besides being under the 4-metre mark and carrying a 2.47m wheelbase, the Taigun manages to give a proper SUV look with decent interior space. The car has claimed an impressive fuel efficiency of 22.2 km/l. The mini SUV is based on the Volkswagen Up! platform.

Sadly, Volkswagen is bearish on introducing the Up! in India as it is turning out to be too expensive. In order to price the car aggressively, Volkswagen is likely to offer Taigun with a front-wheel drive setup in India. The pricing of the Taigun will be crucial and Volkswagen might alter the car for the Indian market. Let's see how Volkswagen manages to play with the volumes of Taigun after seeing an overwhelming response given to the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport internationally.

Volkswagen Taigun Interiors

Maruti Suzuki To Set Up Assembly Plant In Africa

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 05:14 AM PST

Alto 800 Official

Maruti Suzuki is planning to open a new assembly plant in Africa to increase sales and exports in the developing countries in the continent. With the European market suffering tremendously due to economic slowdown the sales of Maruti Suzuki cars abroad has come down from 70 percent to 30 percent. So the export from the Indian plants has come down by quite a notch. A new plant in the African continent will help stabilizing the overall sales of India’s largest car manufacturer.

Many countries in Africa are on the verge of modernization and need of personal transport has just started emerging. So this is the perfect market for Maruti Suzuki to launch its basic, reliable and highly cost effective cars. As Maruti Suzuki captured the Indian market more than 15 years ago with the 800 the same can be done in the emerging African markets. Maruti Suzuki plan to sell cars like the Alto and the 800 in Africa. Setting up a factory in Africa will also help the company to keep costs of the cars at the lowest, as most countries levy heavy taxes for imported cars making even a basic car expensive.

Maruti Suzuki will have to try and set up a good supplier base in Africa as well to get as much local advantage as possible. Currently Maruti has good sales in African countries like Algeria, Morocco and South Africa as well as countries from other continents like Chile, Indonesia and Australia. The other markets that Maruti are looking into for expansion are other developing countries like Colombia and Dominican Republic. Though Africa will be the only market to have local assembly for the time being.

Goodbye_maruti_800

Mr. Ratan Tata Retires, A Brief Look At Tata Motors

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 10:50 PM PST

White_Tata_Nano

Today, Mr. Ratan Tata will be signing off from all of his roles and responsibilities of the Tata Group and hence from Tata Motors. As per the rules laid by him only, he is stepping down from the chair when he completes 75 years of his age. He started off his 50 year long career with Tata Group in Tata Steel from 1962 and worked on the shop floor during the initial days. After 29 years from then, he got in the driver's seat of Tata Group as Mr. JRD Tata handed over the keys to him in 1991. Though he initially faced many challenges, failures and criticism, he successfully navigated the Tata Group to new heights. Let us look at some of the key achievements of Tata Motors under the leadership of Mr. Ratan Tata.

1) When the company was well established in commercial vehicle industry, in 1991, Tata Motors launched its first passenger vehicle called Tata Sierra-a sports utility vehicle. Sierra is still being remembered for its three door construction, styling and rugged appearance. It was in production for 7 years till 1998.

2. In 1992, a station wagon named Tata Estate came out. It was inspired from Mercedes T-series car. It brought many futuristic features to Indian consumers (of that time) like power windows, power steering and tachometer. It defined luxury in those times with its huge dimensions.

3. Then in 1994, the Tata Sumo was launched. Sumo proved to be a huge success and brought huge volumes for Tata Motors. It is still in production but is facing slack in demand in recent times.

4. The year 1998 will be remembered in Tata Motor's history as a big milestone. The reason was the launch of Tata Indica and Tata Safari in the same year. Tata Indica was the first passenger car from the company and India's first indigenously developed passenger car. In similar fashion, Tata Safari was India's first indigenously developed Sports Utility Vehicle.

Both brands, after some initial teething problems, became the most successful brands from Tata Motors. Tata Indica, in its next avatar- Indica V2, was much acclaimed for its value for money factor. It is still ruling the cab market and the Vista version is doing well in personal car market. The Tata Safari is still acclaimed for many for its off-road capabilities, serious SUV character and influential stance. It tested the major success in its 2.2 DiCOR variant and is trying its luck now in a more refined and upmarket Safari Storme avatar.

5. After testing success with the Indica, in 2002, Tata Motors launched its sedan version called the Tata Indigo. It was the first sedan from Tata Motors which took Indica's success further. It shared many parts with the Indica and hence proved profitable to the company and consumers as well. Later it spawned into the Indigo Marina – a station wagon in 2004, Indigo XL – more comfortable stretched wheelbase version in 2007, Indigo CS – a shorter version in 2008 and next generation Manza in 2009.

Out of all, the Indigo CS kick started an all together new sub 4-metre sedan segment in the industry to take advantage of excise duty exemption by being within definition of a small car. This idea is well adopted by many other companies and hence the sub 4-metre segment is seeing peak demand. The Indigo CS, Manza and Indigo XL are still available in the market and are doing considerably well.

6. Similarly, in Indian commercial vehicle industry, Tata Motors started new segment of Light Commercial Vehicle with the launch of sub 1 tonner Tata Ace mini truck in 2005. This truck changed the commercial vehicle industry and gave nightmares to three wheeler cargo carriers. This project also has heavy contribution of Ratan Tata. Later, based on this platform, a passenger variant called Tata Magic and Tata Venture came out. Also taking this idea further, Tata Motors launched Ace Zip mini- a micro truck and Super Ace- a one tonner truck.

7. In the year 2009, we witnessed the outcome of Ratan Tata's most ambitious project, the Tata Nano. Ratan Tata was the only businessman who accepted the challenge of making Rs. 1 lakh car and successfully presented in front of India. The Worlds Cheapest Car: Nano came across various obstacles but still Tata Motors has not given up on Nano and is working on it for continuous improvements. Ratan Tata paid personal attention in this project throughout.

8. In 2010, the most refined and most advanced Tata car yet, called Tata Aria was launched. Ratan Tata's desires of becoming world class vehicle manufacturer played vital role in this project. After Jaguar-Land Rover acquisition he wanted to build a high quality car under his own brand Tata and so was the outcome Aria. Sadly due to pricing and marketing issues, this car failed in the market.

9. Some future ready vehicles like Tata Pixel, Vista and Manza Hybrid are under development and Ratan Tata always supported these projects actively.

 

Ratan Tata

 

Some Major Automobile Company Acquisitions under Ratan Tata:

  1. The first global automobile acquisition made by Tata Motors was of Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company of South Korea in 2004. This deal gave the knowledge and expertise of world class truck technology to Tata Motors. Tata Daewoo is now second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in South Korea.
  2.  A fully built European bus manufacturer Hispano Carrocera SA was acquired by Tata Motors in phased manner in 2009. Now this company is known as Tata Hispano.
  3. The most prestigious acquisition made by Tata Motors is of Jaguar Land Rover PLC- an iconic British brand. In 2008, Tata Motors purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. Today, the British Brands are doing so well, that the company is setting up plants in China and South Africa, along with running increased shifts to meet demand for the Range Rover Evoque.

Some Major Joint Ventures of Tata Motors:

  1. Tata Marcopolo is 51-49% joint venture between Tata Motors and Marcopolo S.A to manufacture fully built buses and coaches.
  2. Tata-Fiat joint venture was a 50-50% joint venture between the two companies. With this Tata Motors got access to Fiat's engine technology and Fiat's assembly line in India.

This is the overview of Tata Motors since Ratan Tata has taken over the charges in his hands. We can say the passenger vehicle manufacturing started and flourished under the leadership of him only. Ratan Tata's vision and ambition drove this company from being just the truck manufacturer to a successful world class car manufacturer. But not so good performance of his two ambitious projects- Tata Nano and Tata Aria, will always be hurting him at this time of retirement. We would like to thank Mr. Ratan Tata for his great contribution in Indian automobile industry. Also we thank him for providing some good indigenous cars and technology and successfully establishing this Indian brand on a global platform. We also wish Mr. Cyrus Mistry a good luck to take this legacy further.

 

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