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Suzuki to preview 2 new models at New York Auto Show

     Suzuki Motor Company of Japan has announced that it will preview two new models at the upcoming New York Auto Show. First of it will be an all new variant of Suzuki Kizashi with a high performance turbocharged engine with 290 Bhp of power. The car will sport a 19 inch wheels, re-tuned suspension and a rear spoiler as well. The second model will be the all new Swift Sport concept. Suzuki recently showed its Swift based S-Concept at Geneva Motor Show.

Source: ACI

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Ssangyong KEV2 SUV concept to debut at Seoul Motor Show

     The Ssangyong KEV2 SUV concept will be the first vehicle ever since Mahindra tookover majority of the stake in Ssangyong Motors. The KEV2 SUV concept will debut at the Seoul Motors Show which starts on 1st of April.

     The KEV2 SUV concept is a electric crossover based on the Korando C. The design has been futuristic unlike the old Ssangyongs which looked like derivatives of Mercedes Benz SUVs.

     The KEV2 concept seats four persons with lots of LCD touch screens and an advance interface which makes you feel like being in a space craft. The passenger cabin is spacious with lots of leg room and the comfortable seats takes you longer distance without being tired. Around the passenger there are lots of controls, knobs and buttons
making it surely a space age vehicle.

     It is not clear when the KEV2 SUV concept will be officially launched, but we can expect something similar to it in the near future. Is Mahindra thinking to bring it to India? Well we think they do, after all Mahindra is an Indian company!

Source: IAB

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Honda Civic to get a diesel engine by 2013

     Though not in India, Honda’s flagship model Civic will get a diesel engine by 2013 in UK. The Managing Director of Honda UK Mr. David Hodgetts has hinted about Civic diesel by 2013 in UK.

     Honda has been developing a diesel engine for its range of cars Accord, Civic and Jazz. The Civic could get the 150 Bhp i-DTEC engine. However we in India need to wait for another year and the price of the diesel Civic could go up beyond acceptable levels in India.
Source: Am-Online via IAB
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Mahindra’s top 100 vendors to go to South Korea before Ssangyong launch in India

     Home grown utility vehicles major Mahindra will soon launch Ssangyong vehicles in India. To remind, last week Mahindra completed the purchase of majority of stake in the South Korean automobile manufactures Ssangyong Motors.

     Before launching the Ssangyong vehicles in India, Mahindra wants is top 100 vendors to visit South Korea to integrate sourcing operations of Ssangyong’s vehicles in India. The company has already invited its top vendors such as Sona Steering, JBM, Lumaz, Lokesh, Minda, Varroc, Visteon and Delphi.

     The company sources said, new business opportunities will be explored and also look for communisation of parts to improve production practices. Some of the parts could be exported to South Korea from the local manufacturers.
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Ford India crosses 1,00,000 engine production mark in 14 months

     Ford India has crossed 1,00,000 engine production mark from its new plant in Chennai which was opend 14 months ago. The engine plant started its operations in January 2010.

     Ford has invested $500 million at the Chennai’s Maraimalainagar plant which has a capacity to produce 1,50,000 engines per year. The plant produces five 'Duratec' petrol engine variants and one 'Duratorq' diesel engine variant for Ford vehicles. The plant is important for Ford’s future prospects in domestic as well as overseas markets.

Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham - "This world-class manufacturing facility reinforces our intent and commitment to compete with great products and powertrains in all segments." The report mentioned that Ford is confident that the next 100,000 engines will be produced at an even faster pace.
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Ssangyong Rexton spied testing in India

     The Automotive India forum member Shona 210 could snap a picture of Ssangyong Rexton being tested in Delhi with the badges covered with tapes. This means we can expect the Rexton SUV to be launched in India very soon. The Rexton is based on the earlier generation Mercedes M Class. The powertrain for Rexton has also been licensed from Mercedes Benz. Will Mahindra get an access to the Benz engines for India? We will have to wait and see.

     The Rexton is powered by Mercedes sourced 2.7 liter diesel engine that procures power of 165 Ps on manual transmission and 186 Ps on automatic one. The Mercedes Benz T-Tronic transmission help boost power by over 20 Bhp. The torque stands at 340 Nm on the manual and 402 Nam on the Automatic model. Safety features such as Airbags, ABS and ESP could be expected for India

Source: IAB
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Ashok Leyland Nissan JV to launch 2 more CVs in India

     After the unveiling of Dost – the first vehicle from Ashok Leyland Nissan JV, the two companies are planning to launch 2 more commercial vehicles in the next two years. First one will be Nissan logoed a body type product which will hit to the Indian streets next year. The second one to be followed will be Ashok Leyland badged commercial vehicle with little more payload capacity.

     The Ashok Leyland and Nissan joint venture took of as a Master-Cooperation Agreement in October 2007 for vehicle manufacturing, powertrain manufacturing and technology development. An investment of Rs. 2300 crore has been done jointly by the two companies. The JV has identified three platforms in the commercial segment, covering applications up to 7.5 tones Gross Vehicle Weight. The engines will be manufactured for Euro III and Euro IV standards.
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Koenigsegg Agera hypercar launched in India, priced at Rs. 12.5 crore

     Swedish hypercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has launched the Agera hypercar in India priced at Rs. 12.5 crore (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

     The main competitor of Agera in India is Buggati Veryron which is priced at Rs. 16 crore. The Agera is powered by a 4.7 litre aluminum V8 with twin turbo superchargers developing a colossal 910 Bhp of maximum power and maximum torque of 112 Kgm at 5100 rpm situated in the middle of the car.

     The Agera hypercar does 0-100 Kmph in just 3.1 seconds and to 200 Kmph it takes 8.9 seconds. The estimated top speed of the car is 390 Kmph and weighs 1290 Kg.

     The company has developed a new kind of interior illumination called ‘ghost light’ that uses invisible nano tubes to increase the visibility of the instrument cluster. Only 16-20 cars will be built every year.
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Volkswagen Blue Motion Technologies in Passat

     Volkswagen launched it Passat with new Blue Motion Technology. So what is Blue Motion Technology? Blue Motion technology reduces the carbon footprint of the car drastically and enhances fuel effecieny and still maintains the fun for driving.

The Blue Motion Technologies incorporated in the all new Passat

Optimized Gear Ratios:
     The smart technology helps the manual and DSG transmission to optimize for longer ratios, early upshifts and delayed downshifts for increased energy efficiency for smarter drivability.

Auto Start Stop:
     The Auto Start stop mechanism works mainly during city traffic. The engine automatically turns off when you take the foot off the clutch in case of manual transmission. In case of DSG transmission the engine shuts of when you take the foot off the accelerator. With the depressing of the clutch (manual transmission) or accelerator (DSG transmission) the engine restarts automatically. In the process precious fuel is saved automatically.

Brake Energy Recuperation:
     During braking, the kinetic energy is converted into electricity and stored in the battery. So the act of braking recharges the battery – the more you brake, the further you can go.

Gear Shift Indicator:
     This feature helps the driver to shift gears at optimum time preventing the energy loss while shifting gears. This inturn adds up to the fuel efficiency.

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Ashok Leyland Dost – the first vehicle from Ashok Leyland Nissan JV rolls out

     The first vehicle from the Ashok Leyland and Nissan Joint Venture has rolled out in the form of ‘Dost’ – a1.25 ton payload capacity LCV.The Dost LCV bears Ashok Leyland logo and will be manufactured at the company’s Hosur plant.

     The Dost LCV will be available in three versions and both in BSIII and BSIV versions. According to the company, Dost has been positioned as contemporary and powerful yet fuel efficient product. The LCV will be distributed through 25 dealer networks initially when launched in Q2 this year.

     The Dost LCV has been produced with 100% localization and will be priced competitively when launched. Along with the technology, Nissan has shared its production system, process and engineering with Ashok Leyland and also involved in vehicle design. The LCV will also be exported to other markets from next year.

Nissan Motor senior vice President and the JV chairman, Dr Andy Palmer - " The earthquake in Japan has not affected the im-plementation of the LCV project. We have combined the leading edge technol-ogy of Nissan with ALL's delivery capability to complete the project in a cost effective manner".

Hinduja Automotive vice chairman and Chairman, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain, Dr V Sumantran - " Entry into the LCV market will open a new chapter in the 64 year old history of ALL. We have developed a product that embodies Japanese quality at Indian cost".
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Volkswagen to start non banking financial arm in India

     German auto conglomerate Volkswagen will invest Rs. 120 Crore to start its non banking financial arm in India. The company's finance arm Volkswagen Finance Pvt Ltd. (VWFPL) has received licence from Reseve Bank of India to start its Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC).

Company statement -
"VWFPL has been granted an NBFC licence by the Reserve Bank of India, enabling it to make its first offering to the Indian market with three product lines -- VW Finance, Skoda Finance, Audi Finance,"

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All new Volkswagen Passat with Bluemotion technology launched in India

     Volkswagen has launched the all new Passat saloon in India priced in the range of Rs. 20.80-26.65 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi).
     The new Passat features new Phaeton like grill, new headlamps and new taillamps. The basic design of the car reamains to be same as that of the earlier model though most of the body panels has be designed from the scratch.

      On the inside too there is no much difference to the previous model. The wide horizontal split dash and instrument dials reams the same. However the built quality and feel has been improved by usage of good materials. More of chrome treatment can be noticed.

      The biggest change in the new Passat is under the hood. The 2.0 TDI engine makes comeback to the Passat and gets VW's Bluemotion technology. The engine has been tuned for lower emissions and fuel efficiency. The 2.0 TDI Bluemotion motor develops 170 Bhp of power which is 32 Bhp more than the previous model. The new Passat is offered in manual and DSG gearboxes.

     The seventh generation Passat is priced at Rs. 20.90 lakh for base Trendline, Rs, 23. 80 lakh for Comfortline and Rs. 26.65 lakh for Highline variants (All prices ex-showroom New Delhi).

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Mercedes Benz India get 40 buses deal with Neeta Tour & Travels

     Mumbai based fleet operator Neeta Tour & Travels has ordered for 40 new Mercedes Benz buses. Out of 40 buses 30 are 2 axle and 10 are 3 axle coaches. The first batch of 11 buses was delivered to the Tour operator today at Mercedes Benz India plant at Chakan, Pune.

     Peter Honegg, Managing Director & CE0 of Mercedes Benz India Ltd. Haded over the keys of 11 coaches to Anil and Sunil Savla, promoters of Neeta Tours and Travels. The Mercedes Benz buses are the hallmark of Mercedes Brand and known for its safety, comfort, reliability and quality. The “Travel with the Star” experience is indeed picking up in the country.

Sunil Savla, Owner, Neeta Tours & Travels -
“Our current fleet of Mercedes-Benz buses cumulatively has excellent on road performance and has had better revenue realisation than other coaches. This has convinced us in our decision to purchase the new set of 40 more Mercedes-Benz buses; with this our fleet of Mercedes Buses will go to up to 60. The customer feedback has been extremely positive for these buses and the reliability and comfort of a Mercedes-Benz bus remains unmatched.”
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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives Volvo S60 Top Safety Pick tag

     Volvo cars has always been known for the safety of its passengers. Now Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of USA has designated Volvo S60 as a Top Safety Pick for its good performance in front, side, rollover and rear crash protection. The car has electronic stability control (ESC) as standard which adds to its safety profile.

     The S60 also earned good ratings in the roof strength test by withstanding force equal to 4.5 times the car's weight where as the current Federal standard is 1.5 times the weight. The research study from the Institute demonstrated that the occupants of the vehicles with strong roofs are much less likely to sustain injuries in roll over crashes.

     The Volvo S60 is available in India with prices starting from Rs. 27 lakh for base diesel variant and Rs. 34 lakh for top of the line T6 petrol one (All prices ex-showroom New Delhi). The S60 comes with a two-year or 60,000 Km warranty.
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All new Hyundai Verna to get 4 engine options for India

      Soon to be launched All new Hyundai Verna built on 'Fluidic Sculpture' design language will get 4 engine options - 2 petrol and 2 diesel. All the 4 engines are brand new from the Hyundai stable.

      Both petrol and diesel engines will come with 1.4 and 1.6 liter capacities with different power outputs. The 1.4 L 90 Bhp diesel engine has been carried out from i20 which is well refined and economical. The 1.6 L VGT, 126 Bhp and 26.5 Kgm of torque is the rocket from Hyundai which beats every other diesel in a straight drag.

      The new generation Gamma petrol twin cam, 16 valve petrol engine comes with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) with gives decent power and torque outputs. The 1.4L petrol engine delivers 106.5 Bhp of power and 1.6 Gamma one produces power of 122 Bhp which is the highest in its class.

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BMW 6 Series convertible launched in India

     BMW has launched its latest 6 Series convertible in India priced at Rs. 95 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). The car was launched in Udaipur and will be available in Completely Built Units (CBU) in India. The 6 Series convertible is powered by a 4.4 liter V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology.

Press release:
Dr. Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW India - “The new BMW 6 Series Convertible with its breathtaking aesthetics is the perfect vehicle for an exclusive lifestyle. The elegant silhouette, torquey engine, perfect road holding and refined interiors with perfection to the smallest detail, create an ultra-luxurious open-top driving experience that could not possibly get any better.”
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Yamaha confirms 200-250cc bikes for India

     Good news for bike lovers in India. Yamaha has officially confirmed 200-250cc bikes for Indian market. With Honda launching the CBR250R in India, Yamaha doesn’t want to stay behind its arch rival Honda in the growing Indian two wheeler market.

     Apart from the large capacity bikes, Yamaha has also plans to launch 150cc gearless scooters in India. Yamaha which entered the premium bike segment though late made a good impact on the Indian customers. We feel, Yamaha has to act much faster before others spoil its party. Yamaha known for its high performance bikes has a good chance now to prove itself in India.

Yamaha FZ25

Hiroyuki Suzuki, the new managing director and chief executive of India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd -

We are in a very severe condition. But we aim to break even by 2013 as we are increasing our production capacity. We plan to raise the capacity of this plant to one million and, by 2013, in the domestic market we aim to sell 800,000 units and 200,000 to be exported. The African markets need basic models such as Crux and FZ and we will export YBR to South America. In Africa, you see three types of motorcycles—mopeds, scooters and street models of motorcycles. These motorcycles are also used for commercial purposes. I mean a rider can have two pillion sitting behind him and he can charge fare from them. So, we will have to change specifications of the bikes, which we plan to export. We may need at least two years before we come up with a scooter in the 150cc segment. Going forward, we will bring in motorcycles in the range of 200-250cc”.
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Volkswagen Vento’s sales close Honda City’s mark

     Honda City has been the market leader in the segment in India for a long time. With the things going on, the City’s supremacy is challenged by the Volkswagen Vento which sold just 120 cars less than the City. Volkswagen launched Vento to rival the City and with very less time Vento could able to match City’s sales – thanks to the superior image and built quality of the Volkswagens. The diesel engine option in the Vento is a big plus point for Volkswagen. The Vento’s diesel engine has been applauded by many for its performance and fuel efficiency.

     With a diesel option Honda City’s future looks to be bleek. With the cars like Maruti SX4 diesel and new Hyundai Verna diesel entering the market, things are going to be worse for Honda. Having said this, Honda City will just not diminish away. It has a class of its own and surely has its own set customers who buy car for its name.

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Audi R8 Spyder launched in India, priced at Rs. 1.47 crore

     Audi has launched R8 Spyder super car in India. The R8 Spyder adds to the Audi’s supercar line up which includes R8 V8 and R8 V10 hardtop. The R8 Spyder is priced at Rs. 1.47 crore.

     The R8 Spyder resembles with the R8 coupe but without roof. Same engine – 5.2 litre Lamborghii sourced one V10 will power the Spyder. The engine produces power of 518 Bhp and torque of 54.1 Kgm.

     The top which is made up of fabric weighs 30 Kg and operates in 19 seconds at speeds up to 50 Kmph.

Source: ACI

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Future Mercedes Benz C Class to be hybrid

     According to the company sources, the next generation C Class sedans will come with hybrid technology in order to achieve fuel average of that of the compact cars.

     The next generation C Class which is due in 2013 is being developed accordingly with the fuel efficiency targets. Prototypes of the car are already being tested.

     Apart from hybrid technology, Mercedes could as well use deactivation technology in which the motors occasionally shuts of one or two cylinders depending up on the power requirement. This would enhance the fuel efficiency of the car and so do reduced wear and tear of the engine, gearbox and wheel bearings.

     Thought of lowering the weight of the car is also being considered. There will be about 10% reduction in the weight of the hybrid car even with the battery pack, electric motor and power electronics on.
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TI Cycles launches carbon frame cycles in India

     TI Cycles, a division of Tube Investments of India has launched country’s first carbon frame cycle in India. The carbon frame cycle “Montra” has been indigenously designed and made in India. The Montra series cycles will be positioned as life style products and targets adults in metros who wish to stay healthy and fit.

     The company aims to sell over 1500 Montra cycles in 2011-12. The Montra cycles will be available in three variants – Montra Techno (complete carbon bicycles), Montra Jazz (ally frame with carbon fork and straight handle bar) and Montra Country (alloy frame with carbon fork and dropped handle bar). The Montra cycles has been put to rigorous road tests for over 2000 Km.

     The Montra range of cycles will be priced between Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 60,000. Vibration-absorption features apart from light weight and alloy wheels are the special features of the cycles. The cycles will be available at the retail outlets of TI cycles and also at multi-brand outlets across the country.

Source: The Hindu
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Mahindra mini Xylo spied, now with more clear pictures

     People in the Automotive world know very well that Mahindra is testing the mini Xylo for a while. Lot of spy pictures surfaced on the net with heavy camouflage. Here are some of the  pictures which are clear and shows how the mini Xylo would really look.

Source: Auto Adrenaline @ facebook
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India is the 7th largest automobile manufacturer in the World

     The international auto manufacturers association (OICA) have published a World car production data and report of the year 2010 in which India is the 7th largest automobile manufacturer with 35,36,783 vehicles produced last year. Out of the 35 lakh odd vehicles 28,14,584 are cars and the rest (722,199) are commercial vehicles. India recorded a whooping 33.9% increase in vehicles production in 2010. The top 6 countries above India are China, Japan, USA, Germany, South Korea and Brazil.

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Audi Q3 spied testing, could rival BMW X1 in India soon

     Rivalry seems to be there right from the birth for German automobile manufacturers. BMW developed a small SUV X1 and with in no time launched it in India with a competitive tag. Audi does not want to fall back and we guess Audi will certainly launch it Q3 SUV in India as soon as it is launched internationally at the Shanghai Auto Show next month.

     Autocar has been able to click some of the spy pictures of the Audi Q3 while testing. Lot of spy pictures of Q3 have already surfaced on the net but by looking at these pictures we get to know how exactly the Q3 would look. The Q3 will definitely take some design cues from its big brothers Q5 and Q7 and is based on the Volkswagen Tiguan. Audi might offer three petrol engines - a 1.4 liter 140 Bhp, a 1.8 liter 180 Bhp and a 2.0 liter 210 Bhp. Two diesel engines with 140 Bhp and 170 Bhp is also in the pipeline.

     Audi Q3 could be priced between Rs. 22-30 lakh in India. With the technological innovation and brand value Audi might not just compete with the BMW X1 but might pull the buyers of SUVs such as Chevrolet Captiva, Honda CR-V and Toyota Fortuner.

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Maserati India debut in April 2011

     Italian sports car brand Maserati will make its Indian debut next month competing against the fellow country cars like Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ferrari. Maserati will bring all model to India.

Maserati spokeswomen Silvia Saporetti - "We see a great potential for Maserati marquee as all major luxury brands are sold out in the Indian market."
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Diesel cars to get dearer in Delhi

     In a move to generate more revenue, the Delhi Government has proposed to raise the registration tax on diesel car by 25%. With the 25% increase in the registration cost, the diesel cars in small car segment will cost Rs. 4,000-6000 more, mid-sized sedans and SUVs upto Rs. 10 lakh will cost Rs. 11,000-17,000 more. The buyers of diesel luxury cars costing over Rs. 25 lakh will have to shell out Rs.25,000 more due to the new tax system.

     According to some dealers, this new taxation will force Delhi people buying diesel cars to move to neighboring state like Haryana which has low tax on diesel cars.

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Mercedes to drive in A Class and B Class to India

     German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz will bring in its new generation A Class and B Class cars to India. These cars will be priced below the currently selling C Class sedan and will create a new price war in the luxury car segment. Mercedes Benz intend to regain the lost ground to BMW which surpassed the former this year with greater sales and profit.

     The A Class and B Class are sub compact hatchbacks in the Mercedes stable. The next generation vehicles of A and B Class are under development for global launch in 2013.

Peter Alexander Trettin , president and CEO of Daimler's central/eastern Europe, Africa and Asia regions -
"The new range of A and B Class cars are currently under development and would be launched globally in 2013 (market introduction in 2012) along with India in the same year with Mercedes looking at developing right-hand-drive versions from the beginning. These will have the front-wheel architecture and will be priced lower than the current C-Class. The new range will be much more fashionable than their existing versions and the cars will be younger and much more modern."
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Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel gets 5000+ bookings in less than a month

     Barely a month ago, Maruti Suzuki launched SX4 with a diesel engine and the company has got over 5000+ bookings already. The waiting period for the SX4 diesel has already raised to 2-3 months (As per a dealer in Bangalore). Rivals Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford are definitely feeling the heat of the SX4 diesel.

“We have received an overwhelming response for the SX4 diesel. Our target was 2000 units per month but with this kind of response we will have to work harder to cater to the demand.” - Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India.

Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel Specifications
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Honda two wheelers aim to be No. 1 in India

     The two wheeler arm of Japanese automobile giant Honda aims to be No. 1 in India in the next one decade dethroning the Hero group. Honda two wheelers plans to enter into rural areas of India by launching its first ever 100cc motorcycle next year. Honda recently split with the market leader Hero Honda to make it on its own. The proven technology and engineering of Honda has all the ability to dominate the Indian two wheeler market. 

"Our target in next decade is to be number one in India...For the first time we will introduce a mass segment motorcycle in 100-cc category. At present two-third of sales is coming from urban and one-third from rural and semi-urban areas. In a decade, the situation may be reversed -  HMSI President and CEO Shinji Aoyama 

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GM's Halol plant on labour strike

     American automobile giant General Motors is facing a labour strike at its Halol plant in Gujarat. Over 700 workers are on an indefinite stike at the factory site. This is the second strike at the factory in the last 5 months. The company has reported the strike as illegal.

     The Halol plant is very important in terms of GM’s future plans in India. Production had been ramped up recently to roll out LCVs which is manufactured in association with GM’s Chinese partner SAIC. In last December, the company had signed an settlement agreement for 3 years covering salary increase and productivity related matters with the Employees Union. The workers on strike belong to a new union formed in the company.

     According to Mr. P Balendran (VP – Corporate Affairs, GM India), “A group of employess who opposed to the earlier settlement agreement have gone on stike without notice. Government authorites have intervined into the matter and have declared the strike as Illegal. The workers on strike are threatening and attempting to stop the workers who are willing to work and forcing them to join their illegal strike.”

     He also said that workers who were willing to work had already resumed to the duty and the management takes this opportunity to appeal to the remaining striking workers to stop threatening their fellow workmen and resume to their duties failing which the management will be left with no option to initiate action against striking men.
Content Source: Autocarindia
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Audi developing Q6 to rival BMW X6

     BMW took a bold step in launching the X6 crossover last year. The success of X6 has inspired Audi to develop Q6 which will be positioned between the Q5 and Q7.

     Details of the project are limited. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has hinted that the company is looking at a model between Q5 and Q7 which will be a coupe like, four wheel driven. The crossover will feature a sporty styling and will be built on the same platform of that of VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne

     Engine for Q6 could be borrowed from Q7 but according to rumors a hybrid powertrain as well as the turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 of Audi S6 could find its place.

     The Q6 might debut after the launch of redesigned Q7 in 2013. We might have to want to an year to see Q6 in India.
Source: Worldcarfans

Audi Q6 Sketches

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