A recent stay in India has enabled me to get a much better understanding of the Indian new car market and its dynamics which have very unique characteristics. Understanding India is essential in today’s worldwide automotive scene – a lot of the innovation taking place here will soon be applied to other developing markets (like Africa).
Debuting their first new cars in four years, Tata took the wraps off the Bolt and Zest subcompacts, which are designed specifically to sneak in under four meters in length, to get around vehicle taxation schemes.
The Ford Mondeo based X-Type failed to get Jaguar a foothold in the segment that is usually defined by the BMW 3 Series and the cars that compete with the 3. Now the Financial Times has reported that Jaguar will be launching an entire line of entry level luxury vehicles for that critical segment and that the new cars, said to be ready for sale about two years from now, will benefit from Jaguar’s expertise with lightweight aluminum structures.
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 revived Datsun brand will get its first plant in India. Renault-Nissan announced plans for a new factory in India, and will invest 250 million euros to build the plant.
I believe that it was over text message, three years ago, that my then-girlfriend proposed we take a month-long trip to India together. To a Westerner, life on the Indian subcontinent is a feast for the senses, rife with sights, smells, sounds, and tastes that bear no comparison prior to visiting. For her, the trip would be something of an opportunity to clear our heads and devote attention to a relationship that was based on spontaneity and excitement, as well as to take in the redolence and beauty of Indian culture.
For me, however, it was much simpler. Fresh into my career as an automotive journalist, it would, naturally, be all about the cars.
If there’s a better symbol of how much the world has changed since the fall of the British Empire than an Indian-made Jaguar, built by Tata, then I haven’t seen it.
Ah, those French! With their alliance with GM on les rocks, PSA is casting about for a new partner, just in case “the co-operation with GM and Opel should fail,” writes Germany’s Manager Magazin. PSA and Tata already had first talks, the usually well connected German business magazine says. (Read More…)
Land Rover and Jeep are the original go-anywhere brands and the brands most resistant to losing sight of their hard-core mission. Unfortunately this focus can’t shelter them from the need to meet evermore stringent emissions and fuel economy standards. What’s an iconic sub-brand like Range Rover to do? Dress up a small cross over in high-fashion bling for the urban set. This presents today’s question: does the Evoque dilute the off-road brand or is it an extension into uncharted waters?
Aston Martin’s Kuwaiti owners are apparently looking to unload their majority stake in the English sports car maker, but proceedings have been slow to due Investment Dar Co.’s desire to recoup their $800 million purchase price.
Tata CEO Ratan Tata has apparently decided to sell the Tata Nano minicar in the United States, even as Tata lacks though proper sales channel.
In an interview with Automotive News, the company namesake said that a redesigned Nano, with features like traction control, a more powerful engine and power steering, could go on sale at a price below $10,000 in three years time.
But a distribution channel is still a giant question mark, with Tata saying ”We have to give a lot of thought to how we would distribute the car,” and little else. Tata’s remarks came at the opening of a New Jersey-area Jaguar Land Rover dealership
Being at odds with its number one trading partner Japan at the moment, China shows that it doesn’t have to be the big bully, and that it can make nice with other former enemies if it feels like it. China gave a surprising regulatory nod to a joint venture between Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Chery. If you think they were long married, then you are right. They said yes a while ago. However, in China, a joint venture is not really a joint venture unless the National Development and Reform Commission (and sundry other bureaucracies) have given their nod, and did put their chop on the contract. (Read More…)
Remember the Tata Nano? It is the world’s cheapest car and we reviewed it earlier here. Neither does Jay Leno need any introduction. The host of the Tonight Show has gone ahead and added the Tata Nano to his garage. Jay already has more than 100 cars and 90 motorcycles in his garage. Leno also writes for The Sunday Times and will soon be giving his opinion on the Nano. The Tata Nano he has bought could have been gifted by Tata Motors for obvious reason. It is the top end model sporting fancy accessories, such as alloy wheels . (Read More…)
Among the various rumor-mongers in the automotive world, UK rag Auto Express has a pretty good track record of publishing “spy photo renderings” that look just like the real thing. So when they published some drawings and a video of the Jaguar F-Type, it was worth paying attention.