After being knocked off the top perch of the “fastest growing economy” podium in 2016, India is expected to return to the Number One spot both this year and next. The world’s second most populous country has seen average per-capita incomes rise to record levels and, while the average only amounts to $1,500 greenbacks, India’s well-to-do class is thriving.
For automakers, the untapped Indian market offers big potential. The latest to the game: Lexus, which arrived today to offer citizens something better than just a Camry. (Read More…)
The Hindustan Ambassador, in production from 1958 to 2014, is an iconic vehicle. Iconic enough that news of Peugeot SA’s acquisition of the Ambassador brand from the C.K. Birla group’s Hindustan Motors got a fair amount attention despite most of the automotive news media being focused on Peugeot parent PSA’s proposed purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors.
As it happens, the $12,000,000 Ambassador deal is part of a much larger play in India by PSA that may work out to be as significant a move on the subcontinent as the Opel deal is in Europe. Now that the French government has bailed out PSA, they have big plans for India. (Read More…)
Peugeot seems to be on a roll. PSA Group, formerly known as PSA Peugeot Citroën, announced a new five-year strategy last year after its bailout by the French government. This week we’ve seen some big movement on a potential purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors. The news was upsetting at Opel’s headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, and the rumblings were loud enough to warrant a personal visit from GM CEO Mary Barra.
In lesser reported news, however, Peugeot’s net has already been cast over a storied Indian nameplate — the Hindustan Ambassador.
Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp. have agreed to begin official talks on pushing their partnership further. The partnership memorandum announced today covers a wide range of issues crucial to developing and producing automobiles, while keeping Suzuki independent as an automaker. Toyota is apparently not interested in corporate control. The automaker showed a similar gentle touch in its partnerships with Mazda Motor Corp. and Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries.
Instead, the two companies have agreed to start brainstorming on how to best collaborate on advanced safety systems, environmentally friendly tech, information technology, overlapping components, and shared product. (Read More…)
Tata Motors is best known for its unbelievably affordable and incredibly petite Nano supermini and the tiny Ace work truck. In fact, the two are so affordable that you could purchase them both in India with every optional extra and they would cost roughly the same as a base U.S. model Nissan Versa with no add-ons.
Despite still being deeply rooted in the economy car scene, Tata has grown in recent years — it currently builds smaller SUVs — and now wants to build itself a sportscar. While your first inclination is probably to say “how adorable” in a belittling tone, don’t forget that Tata also constructs vans, city buses, commercial trucks, construction equipment, and military vehicles. It could turn out a little basic, but the Indian automaker is probably up to the challenge of a small sports car.
Still, how utterly adorable. (Read More…)
Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.
It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard. (Read More…)
The Indian auto industry is … unusual. Most personal transport is via motorcycle or scooter, but there is a history of car production spanning seven decades. As the country was one of Britain’s largest colonies, it’s not surprising that most of these cars are derived from English ancestors.
Enter the Chinkara Roadster S: an Indian interpretation of the iconic Lotus Seven, built with rough roads and ease of servicing in mind.
Where do you end up if you’re the former CEO of a company guilty of cheating diesel emissions tests, the fallout of which wipes out billions of dollars of value from said company? Business Insider’s “The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list, of course.
That, and Nissan prices the new Sentra, oil is still on a well-lubricated downhill slide, Jeep is now online in India, and more … after the break!
On Wednesday, Dehli, India banned the registration of diesel SUVs and luxury cars with larger (over 2,000 cc) engines.
That, and a judge in Australia is really confused about Volkswagen’s “defeat device,” the Federal Reserve interest rate hike and California not doing exactly what Google wants, after the jump.
Arunabh Madhur gave up a 15-year career in brand, media and digital content marketing to set up M-Taxi, the second company that has launched bike taxis in Gurgaon. “You’re our first lady customer and I will take you for this ride myself,” says Madhur, a biker himself and an enthusiastic member of a Gurgaon super bike club.
What’s faster, cheaper, and more panic-attack-inducing than a taxi, an Uber ride, or even a rickshaw? The answer is clearly a motorcycle taxi. It’s now a thing. And there are now multiple startups competing for your motorcycle-taxi business in a place where, more now than ever, the future is being built.
Volkswagen will have to recall hundreds of thousands of cars in India for cheating emissions standards, adding to Volkswagen’s worldwide woes that the automaker illegally sold with “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests, Reuters reported.
More than 323,000 Audi-, Volkswagen- and Skoda-branded cars with the automaker’s EA 189 diesel engine will need to be fixed after authorities discovered in November that those cars were illegally polluting. The revelations follow similar charges made by U.S. authorities two months ago that Volkswagen and Audi cars were polluting up to 25 times more nitrogen oxide than allowed by law.
Volkswagen officials in India said cars would be recalled immediately.
Hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb has purchased a minority stake in Suzuki Motor Corp., which may mean the automaker could have a ruling on its nearly 5-year arbitration with Volkswagen, Bloomberg Business is reporting.
The unspecified investment in Suzuki by the billionaire Loeb, who is one of Japan’s wealthy business elite, could be a sign that a ruling following June’s completion of arbitration is imminent. For years, Suzuki remained “paralyzed” as the procedure slogged on.
Suzuki has a significant automotive presence in emerging markets and India.
General Motors will invest $5 billion to build a global line of cars with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors that will be sold in Brazil, China and other emerging markets, the automaker announced Tuesday.
The cars won’t be sold in the United States, according to the statement.
The global vehicles will go on sale starting in 2019 and the automaker expects the line to eventually produce roughly 2 million cars annually.
More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.
For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.
GAADI BULA RAHI HAI? (photo courtesy: www.gaadi.com)
Hello Sanjeev, (oh dear…*facepalm*- SM)
I am writing you from India. I have a Jetta MkV 1.9 TDI with automatic transmission. It has done about 74,000 km. About a month back, I got the the brake fluid replaced as the service adviser suggested it should be replaced once every 60-70k km. After I got the car back, it felt like the brake efficiency had decreased. I was told its normal and after driving for some time it would be okay. Unfortunately, it never improved. (Read More…)