According to Tata Motors’ managing director, Karl Slym, the company is developing a new modular platform, to be the basis of a “global” range of vehicles that it claims will “leapfrog” VW’s MBQ technology. The new vehicles will be rolled out over the next six years.
Though Tata has had more success selling commercial vehicles than cars, Tata says that it is going to build a family of world class passenger vehicles based on what it’s calling the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP). Tata badly needs new product to replace an ageing lineup of cars which has been doing poorly as the Indian market has experienced a downturn. (Read More…)
Renault launched the Duster in India last year and it immediately became a strong seller. The response to the Duster was so good that the compact SUV overtook India’s best selling SUV, Mahindra Scorpio, to become the segment’s best seller. All was well for Renault until Ford crashed the French automaker’s party with the launch of the EcoSport. Ford not only undercut the Duster’s price by a cool $3000 but also offered way more equipment, helping them to get 50,000 orders in a matter of just two months.
The Datsun Go is about to get some company, in the form of two new models developed for the Indonesian market.
Production on the all new seventh generation 2014 Corvette Stingray has begun, though they haven’t officially gone on sale yet while the inventory pipeline fills. It’s the first time in decades that the Stingray name has been used by the Corvette. However, it turns out that you can buy a brand new Stingray right now, and for only about $7,000. There’s just one catch. It’s not a Corvette, made by Chevy or even sold in the United States. (Read More…)
The Nissan Terrano, once a fairly rugged SUV, is now the nameplate by which Nissan will sell a rebadged Dacia Duster in India. How about some exports?
The Indian government is bizarre. A few months back, a new tax was applied on SUVs, resulting in 3% extra excise duty on them. The government justified the move saying that SUVs occupy more space on the road, although the truth is that large sedans occupy more space than SUVs. A criteria was set and if a vehicle fits into all three, then it is classified as an SUV. Thus an SUV is a vehicle which is more than 4-metres in length, having an engine larger than 1.5-litres and a ground clearance of more than 170 mm. Indian roads are pathetic and you really need good ground clearance to prevent scraping the underbody on large and unmarked speed-breakers.
GM tabbed the automaker’s head transmission engineer to be interim chief of the firm’s global powertrain operations while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement for Sam Winegarden, who was fired in the wake of an emissions testing scandal in India.
Jim Lanzon, 62, is currently vice president of GM, global transmissions, a position he’s held for 11 years and had an important role in negotiating the recently announced agreement between GM and Ford Motor Co. over jointly developing new 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions. Like Winegarden, Lanzon has been a longtime GM employee. (Read More…)
Suzuki and VW don’t seem ready to officially call it quits just yet. The two companies are still talking, with both sides continuing to see positives in what was to be a partnership on small cars and Suzuki’s domination of emerging markets.
Senior management from both sides, including Osamu Suzuki, are currently in talks to revive the partnership as it could help Suzuki spread their R&D costs over multiple products and give them access to VW technology. Volkswagen wants a greater foothold in India and China, where Suzuki has been wildly successful, a stark contrast to their presence in North America. If talks fail, the courts have some decisions to make.
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…)
Live shots of the Datsun Go, courtesy of our man Faisal Ali Khan of India’s Motorbeam.com
The wraps are finally off the first Datsun in decades – dubbed the Go, this will be Nissan’s major push into low cost motoring, with a starting price under $6,700.
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).
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.
Russia is one of the BRIC countries, the folks that are supposed to power the world to new prosperity. Too bad Russia is running out of steam. Russian car sales dropped 12 percent in May, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) told Reuters. (Read More…)