The Nano Plays Well Online Too

The Nano dream is close to reality. Tata Motors on Tuesday said it has completed the selection of the first 1,00000 people who would get the budget car in the first phase of allotment, deliveries for which start next month and would be completed by the last quarter of 2010. The selected applicants will be contacted individually. Even as the first 100,000 successful applicants of the Tata Nano await car delivery, netizens are busy having a virtual feel of the world’s smallest car.

The Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG)-owned Zapak.com offers free online games. With more than 2.5 million users since April, the Nano game on Zapak.com is a huge hit on the online gaming website. This game allows the gamer to test drive the Nano virtually even before it hits the road. The game is quick, engaging and fun. It is one of
the largest played online games for Zapak.com. In the racing game, the player has to reach the destination within a specified time limit. He begins by styling his Nano and choose the colour and wheels.

The game has been designed as the result of a tie-up between Tata Motors and Zapak.com.

Piaggio Targets Indian Scooter Market

Scooters, which almost disappeared into the dark alleys of nostalgia, are making a grand comeback. Piaggio Group, which has recently inaugurated its first manufacturing facility in Vietnam, where it will produce 125cc and 150cc Vespa LX scooters, has said that it will also be rolling out scooters in India in due course of time.

Italian auto company Piaggio, manufacturer of the iconic Vespa scooter, is to start production in India as part of plans to expand its operations. Piaggio has roughly 40% of the Indian market share for three wheelers, whereas it lags behind giant Tata Motors (TTM) with a 6%  share in four-wheel light commercial vehicles market.

Piaggio Group now operates manufacturing facilities in Italy, Spain, India, China and Vietnam. In India, after calling off its joint venture with the Kanpur-based LML, Piaggio has restricted its operations in the country to light commercial vehicles. However, the Italian group is said to be considering re-launching Vespa scooters in India by 2011-12. The group said it planned to increase its turnover by 20 per cent by 2012.

Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd. (PVPL)- is headquartered at Pune and has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Baramati, Maharashtra, where three-wheelers are currently being made. Though the company has not announced it officially, industry sources reckon that its proposed scooters would be manufactured in the premises of its existing plant.

Piaggio has already established its numero-uno position in India’s 3 wheeler market in cargo as well as passenger segments. Right from the time of its launch in 1999, Piaggio has consistently delivered exceptional standards and commitment to its customers across India. The service orientation of the company has resulted in Piaggio garnering a customer base of over 700,000 satisfied customers across India.

BMW To Launch MINI In India

The BMW-Mini has become an icon of the Swinging Sixties. This August is the 50th anniversary of the iconic English brand.  BMW India, a 100%  subsidiary of the BMW Group,  is planning to launch its cult premium small car MINI in India by 2009, to cash in on the growing demand for luxury brands in India. BMW had recently re-launched the Mini Cooper globally a couple of weeks ago and it is this model that may be brought in India.

The new MINI Cooper S Convertible is set to rock the droptop class with its funky architecture and perky performance. With a wheel bolted to each corner of its pert little body and a chassis expertly honed by the masters at BMW, the way this little droptop hustles its way across the tarmac is quite incredible. BMW is manufacturing this car through its subsidiary MINI in England under the name of ‘BMW MINI’ or the ‘NEW MINI’.

The base convertible comes with the base engine — a 118-horsepower, 1.6-liter, dual overhead cam four cylinder that’s not turbocharged. The Mini convertible is efficient with fuel, with manual transmission. The interior is well done, with a mix of modern and old style, creating a special environment reminiscent of the Minis of the 1960s.

With the rising demand for BMW vehicles in India, the company would soon be launching its two-seater Roadster Z4 sports car in the country. The Roadster Z4 with a folding hard-top can run up to 250 kilometres per hour. It will be launched in the price band of Rs 50-60 lakh. The company would also be adding 10 dealers in tier-II cities such as Coimbatore, Jaipur, Lucknow and Ludhiana soon. The company is currently concentrating on assembling of vehicles in India and feels production can only begin if volumes are big.

Hyundai to launch i20 diesel

Hyundai today said that it would launch a diesel variant of i20 hatchback before the end of 2009. “Hyundai plans to introduce at least two new products in the Indian market annually for the next couple of years. The i20 diesel variant would be the next in line with launch scheduled for later in 2009.”  With the success of i10 an i20, Hyundai also hopes to grab larger market share in the burgeoning Indian car market. “We currently have a 20.4 per cent market share. For the year ending 2009 we will look at growing our market share further by three per cent,” Hyundai Motor Senior Vice-President (Asia & Pacific Division) Young-Kil Chun said.

Toyota to launch Lexus cars

As Indian auto market shows signs of recovery, Toyota plans to follow the footsteps of bigger luxury car makers like BMW,Mercedes and Audi. The much expected Lexus brand will foray into the indian market soon. The luxury car market seen a growth of 22% last year. “We are very much looking at introducing Lexus, based on the feedback of our dealers and distributors, but are yet to decide on a final timeframe to launch it in India,” Toyota Kirlosakar Motors, MD Hiroshi Nakagawa said.

Toyota also plans to hike its production as the market back on track. Toyota is now producing around 3500 units a month at its Karanataka plant and plans to ramp it up to 5000 (to its full capacity) by July. “On the basis of the market’s performance last year, we cut our output, but since in the last four months the market is coming back on track, we will increase the production of our vehicles from May,” Toyota Kirlosakar Motors, Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said.

Bajaj new pulsar 150cc

As part of 2009 pulsar series, Bajaj will launch a new upgraded version of pulsar 150cc. The changes are cosmetic and it comes with the same 150cc engine. The new pulsar gets tank scoops borrowed from the pulsar 200cc and all black theme. Also the headlight now gets power directly from the battery.

Picture of new pulsar 150cc

2009_bajaj_pulsar_150cc

Thanks Bike India

MLR to unveil small car concept at 2010 Delhi auto expo

MLR Motors promoted by Hyundai Motor India’s former president B V R Subbu has said that it’s on its way to showcase a prototype of its small car at the 2010 New Delhi auto show. MLR Motors acquired the defunct Daewoo facility in Andhra Pradhesh and said it would to launch two compact diesel cars of 850-900 cc and 1,500 cc in 2009. But the economic slowdown and the infrastructure problem is delaying the project. “We are in discussions with banks and financial institutions and private equity players to close funding for the first phase of the car project, which entails investment of about Rs 1,250 crore,” Mr Rao said. “Typically, development of a car takes five-six years and MLR has made significant progress since we announced our intention to set up a car manufacturing base” Managing Director of MLR Motors Ltd, Mr M. Lokeswara Rao, said . “The designs have been firmed up after restyling; work on the engines is underway in Europe and a prototype will be ready soon,” he added. MLR motors plans to launch petrol and diesel variants of hatchback.

Jaguar and LandRover eyes India

Struggling automakers Jaguar and LandRover plans to bring their models into India at the earliest. “We’re still finalising plans, but the likelihood is within a few months. I can’t be more precise simply because the exact timing will be dependent on how the planning goes,” a JLR spokesperson said. The spokesperson added Tata Motors would be the distributor of these brands in India. Though auto enthusiast may give heartning welcome to these legendary models, the acceptability of the customers is under question. Since both the brands plans to import the models as a CBU (Completely Built Unit) which means it will attract a heavy import duty of 110% and it will double the cost. When BMW,Mercedes and Audi are being assembled in India, JLR models would the cost advantage to the locally assembled models. “Because our volume will initially be fairly low, it will be a case of seeing how things develop. Who knows what could happen in the future if there is a strong demand? For the foreseeable future, though, we will be concentrating on establishing the brands properly in India,” said the JLR spokesperson.

Hyundai looks for new base to produce i20

How should i call this?? inaction or complacency..When governments across globe are running behind companies to make fresh investements and create new jobs. The voice of Hyundai has not reached Government of India. Hyundai has decided to have one more production base for its i20 cars outside India. Hyundai earlier said that India will be the sole production base for i20. But Hyundai has been making request to Government to support exporters. Voltaility of rupee is making life tougher for exporters. Also the electricity which has become a big problem in Tamilnadu is hurting industries, Hyundai is no exception. The combination of various factors – voltaility of the rupee, poor power availability, inadequate export incentive and labour problem might have forced to Hyundai to look for new base. Will the Goverment of India wake up??

Toyota gears up for small car launch

Toyota is firing on all cylinders to make its upcoming small car a grand success. Toyota has said that its small car would be in the premium hatchback segment and it would compete with the likes of Volkswagen Polo, Fiat Grande Punto and Honda Jazz. “The compact car will be priced in the B+ category,” said Sandeep Singh, Deputy MD,Toyota Kirloskar Motor said. Toyota’s small car is expected to be priced in the range of Rs5 to Rs7 lakhs. Toyota hopes to sell 6000 units of this small car every month. The small car would will have a localisation of 65% when the car hits the showroom which will gradually increased to 90% by 2011. The compact car will have a localisation of 65% to start with, and will gradually be taken to 90% by 2011, said Shekar Viswanathan, deputy MD (Commercial) said. “With the compact car, we want to be in semi-rural and rural towns,” he added.With the launch of small car, Toyota will also expand the dealer network from the current 82 to 150. Seems like Japanese auto giant is cooking big things for Indian market.