Automotive News is reporting that Sam Winegarden, GM’s vice president for global engine engineering, the company’s highest ranking powertrain executive, was fired this week along with about 10 other GM Powertrain employees in the U.S. and India, over cheating in GM’s emissions testing at its Indian subsidiary.
Jaguar has launched the F-Type in India, priced at an insane Rs. 1.37 crore for the V6 S and Rs. 1.61 crore for the V8 S (no base V6 on offer). Jaguar has almost confused Indians with the F-Type’s pricing as the 2-seater sportscar costs more than the XK in the country.
In India for the relaunched Datsun brand’s first car, the Go, CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Carlos Ghosn, announced that Renault and Nissan will jointly develop a platform for low cost and ultra low cost cars aimed at India and other emerging markets, which Ghosn believes will make up 60% of the global automotive market by 2016. To do that, the alliance will spend another $5 billion on investments in their Indian operations over the next five years. Renault-Nissan is committed to using India as its global hub for emerging markets, developing the cars there as well as assembling and exporting them. Read More >
Did you know that the Duster is the highest selling Renault car in the first five months of 2013? The Duster has changed the fortunes of Renault India, selling 5000 units on an average every month, accounting for 80% of Renault’s sales in India. The Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport are big competitors all over the world. In Brazil, the EcoSport has been outselling the Duster. Both cars are compact SUVs with a front-wheel drive layout and monocoque chassis (the Duster is also offered with 4-wheel drive in select markets but not in India). The competition between both vehicles is extremely intense. Both cars are manufactured in India with heavy localisation (the Duster is already being exported to Europe, while the EcoSport will soon be exported to Australia, South Africa and Europe).
As you know, TTAC has been following the modularization trend in the industry with great interest. At TTAC, you received an early heads-up on Volkswagen’s MQB kit architecture four years ago, and we followed it ever since. TTAC was one of the first to tell you that Toyota is working on its own kit architecture, called “Toyota New Global Architecture,” TNGA for short. More than a year ago, we told you about Nissan’s Common Module Family (CMF). Now, everybody is talking about kits and modules. Let’s talk a little more. Read More >
Renault and Nissan have a global alliance and in India both companies keep re-badging each other’s vehicles. While Renault has re-badged the Micra as the Pulse and Sunny as the Scala, Nissan will do it’s first re-badge exercise on a Renault product with the Terrano. The Nissan Terrano, as you can see in the above sketch, is a re-badged Renault Duster.
When Renault entered the Indian market a few years back, it had little experience. Thus the French automaker tied up with local automobile giant Mahindra. The first product to be launched was the Logan, priced a bit optimistically. The product didn’t sell, and Renault decided to part ways, giving Mahindra the rights to sell the Logan as its own product. Mahindra went solo with the Logan, re-badged it as the Verito and made some changes. The Logan started to sell better under the Mahindra umbrella. Read More >
The Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest car but nowhere close to being a good seller. If you factor in the economics of demand and pricing, you will feel the Nano should have done better, much better. Sadly it hasn’t and there are several reasons for it. Firstly the car was positioned as the cheapest car in the world. Nobody (at least not in India) wants to drive the “CHEAPEST” car. Had Tata Motors positioned the vehicle as the most affordable car in the world, things could have been different for the Nano. Or so the theory goes. The truth is probably closer to the fact that people, once they have a little money, don’t want to drive a car that shouts “I can’t afford more!” That type of reverse snobbery is left to very developed markets, or Jay Leno’s garage. Read More >
Long feted as “the next China,” the Indian car market turned into a big disappointment: India’s annual car sales fell for the first time in a decade in the financial year just ended, Reuters says.
“Carmakers in India, two years ago the world’s hottest growth market after China, have seen high interest rates, rising fuel prices and prolonged economic gloom turn an industry recently growing at 30 percent a year into one plagued by huge discounts, showrooms full of unsold cars, and chronic overcapacity.” Read More >
A farmer from a village in Punjab recently paid Rs. 7,00,000/- ($13,000) to get the registration number PB-07 AK-47. AK-47 is the famous assault rifle, but what is shocking is the vehicle he got this number for. Read More >
General Motors entered India in 1996 and to this date, the company hasn’t been able to understand the market. The American car maker was among the first few to enter India after the economy was opened to foreigners in 1991, with majority of manufactuers entering India after 1998. GM has two plants in the country, both of which are under utilized (only 38% utilisation). The company initially entered with Opel branded cars (Corsa and Vectra), which were a nightmare when it came to repairs, since parts were imported from Germany, thereby costing a fortune.
While Volkswagen is soaring high in most countries, its India innings have been far from successful. Everybody keeps talking about China and India being the next big automobile markets in the world. The truth is, China has already peaked, while India has a long way to go. For instance, Volkswagen sold 2.8 million units in China last year, while in India, they sold less than 100,000 (which is their plant capacity).
Although Jaguar Land Rover has made tentative forays into building cars in India (such as building the Jaguar XF from CKD kits), the British luxury group, now owned by Tata, is apparently on the cusp of establishing full production in India.
The whole world is betting big on India and China. I don’t have much idea about China, but India definitely needs to move its game if it wants to become a biggie in the automobile sector. Scams, scams and some more scams is what India is becoming more famous for, resulting in a huge deficit for the government. This in turn results in hue and cry by the ministers, resulting in increased taxation. Read More >
The Honda CR-V might be a major success in Europe and America, but in India, it performs very poorly, selling in double digit numbers every month. Since the time of launch, Honda has sold 13,739 units of the CR-V in India. Honda launched the CR-V here ten years ago in 2003, and it still isn’t in the groove. India is d-d-d-diesel dominated, and SUVs and crossovers better be diesel or they are d-d-d-destined for d-d-doom. BMW recently launched its facelifted X1 in India, offering it with a diesel engine only. Yes, heresy, d-d-dat’s right. Read More >