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Peugeot Citroen to set up plant in Chennai

     French automobile manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen has zeroed in land in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu to set up its first plant in India. The plant will have capacity of 3,00,000 units per annum catering to domestic and international markets.

     PSA Peugeot Citroen is the fifth company after BMW, Hyundai, Ford and Renault-Nissan to set up a plant in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has been attractive for automobile investments India because of its good labour environment.

     The company will create 20,000 jobs in the region and is likely to pull some automotive component manufacturers from France. 
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Suzuki to buy Fiat’s 1.6L Multijet diesel engine

     In what could a dramatic development, Suzuki has agreed to buy Fiat’s 1.6L diesel engine to mount on a new car to be built in Hungary in 2013.

     Suzuki is tightlipped about the new car but we guess it would be a crossover based on the SX4 platform. Will Suzuki bring the 1.6L diesel engine to India? there is no news about it as of now.

     An SX4 with 1.6L diesel engine would be a great option considering the car and Maruti’s popularity in India. Bigger tyres, high ground clearance and masculine looks of SX4 with power of a 1.6L diesel could have been a perfect recipe for Indian conditions. Who knows, Suzuki might consider the 1.6L diesel SX4 in India at a later date. 

     What is more interesting is Suzuki not opting for VW’s 1.6 TDi. VW and Suzuki are in collaborative terms for mutual benefits and everyone in the auto industry had expected Suzuki to use the VW’s 1.6L TDi diesel engine. Choosing the Fiat’s 1.6L instead of VW’s 1.6 TDi has come as a surprise!
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Opel to bring a fuel cell vehicle(FCV) by 2015

     This era could be of hybrids and electric vehicles, but Opel has gone one step further by confirming a fuel cell vehicle(FCV) by 2015. In a major investment drive, Opel has confirmed its plans to invest $15.8 billion for launching several models by 2014. The company will also introduce “three new engine families” – a small petrol, a medium petrol and a medium diesel which are fully compliant with upcoming Euro 6 norms.

Source: GM via Worldcarfans
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2012 Suzuki GS150R facelift spied

     Suzuki is a well know motorcycle brand all over the world. But some how it is not able to take off in the Indian market. First there was Zeus facelift called SlingShot and SlingShot Plus and now we have come up with some spy pictures of GS150R. However the GS150R facelift will just be change in the graphics and nothing else.

     Though the GS150R is a good bike, it has been over shadowed by the Pulsar maina and Yamaha FZ series. The eninge of GS150R is smooth and refined and the 6 speed gearbox is unmatchable in the segment. Perhaps its the Suzuki's marketing which is not getting the company its desired results. Hope the GS150R facelift does some trick.

Have a look at the Suzuki GS150R

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Yamaha to launch R15 facelift in India

     Yamaha R15 when launched had created a new segment of biking in India. The bike was almost every youth's dream to own one. After over 3 years of R15 launch, Yamaha has decided to give a facelift to its most popular bike in India. 

     The facelifted YZF-R15 will sport a chunkier rear tyre, new chiselled tail fairing with an attractive LED brake lamp. Other changes include a restyled front fairing, new split seats, stylish rear number plate mount and tyre-hugger mudguard.

     However there will be no change in the engine. The same 149.8 cc 4 stroke, liquid cooled, single cylinder will power the facelifted bike. Yamaha might not hike the price of the facelifted bike considering the serious completion from its Japanese counterpart Honda, bike but do not expect price to be below the current model as well.

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Has strike at Maruti's Manesar plant come at a bad time?

     The recently concluded strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant has costed the company with production loss of over 1200 cars, most of it were diesel. The revenue loss for the company was estimated to about Rs. 400 crores. Is it just the loss for the company? We think otherwise.

     Since Manesar plant manufacture diesel vehicles there is acute shortage of diesel cars for the company. The booking period is mounting with up to 6 months for the Swift diesel. During the time there is high chance of customers switching over to a different model which is readily available in the market.

     The production loss leading to mounding of booking period has forced to postpone launch the new Swift. So in the mean time if Toyota which has launched a petrol Etios Liva decides to launch a diesel one, it would be hard for Maruti to compete against a car which has a strong quality image.

     Also launching a new Swift means, Maruti should stop the model or launch it along with the current model with a higher price. With the segment hotting up, there could be a price correction among competitor models making the new Swift not so value for money.

     Strategically we feel Maruti Suzuki is in its one of the most challenging period. The company has not yet settled the labour issues properly. New launches are giving stiff competition in every category. But by going through the history, it is most likely that Maruti will withstand the storm, at least to some extent.

     Anyways we at Automobile Planet are happy because it is the customers who are reaping the benefits. 

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Toyota Etios Liva diesel could be here anytime

     On the launching ceremony of the Etios Liva, Toytoa's top official has said that the company has all the expertise and technology of a diesel Liva but stayed away to mention the time frame for its launch.

     As we all know the diesel hatchback segment is the one which hotting up, thanks to the rise in petrol prices, Toyota would want its diesel Etios Liva to dominate the segment. Over 70% cars sold in the B segment hatch are diesel, be it Swift, Ritz, Polo or Micra.

     It is not sure weather Toyota will use its Yaris 1.4L diesel engine in the Etios Liva. Since the same engine does the duty on a bigger car Corolla Altis, Toyota might have developed a small diesel engine for the Etios Liva.

     Lot of buzz has been created about Liva taking on the Swift, but it is the diesel variants which should be focused on. Maruti is desperately working to launch the new Swift before the Liva diesel and if Toyota is wise enough (we feel it is), it should launch the diesel Liva as soon as possible.
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Honda teases 2012 CR-V on its US website

     Though it is not a teaser photograph of the vehicle, Honda has displayed a picture of a road under tunnel with the 2012 Honda CR-V tag on it in its US Website. Last month we had showed you the spy picture of the 2012 Honda CR-V with stretched rear end to accommodate the third row of seats.

     The 2012 CR-V looks to be based on the current CR-V platform with a bulky rear end. The tail lamp resembles very much with that of Volvo's XC series SUVs. As we all know Honda is good at creating a vehicle with a futuristic design, the 2012 CR-V could also like an SUV from the different planet. The front end could get a sharper theme as that of the new Civic.

     As for as the power train is concerned, we expect the Accord's 2.4L diesel will find its place under the new CR-Vs hood. It might take little time to come to India but the rumours of new CR-V has already created flutter in the already crowded SUV segment.
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Royal Enfield designer Apparels and Merchandise

     Royal Enfield has introduced a new line of Enfield clothing in Indian market. The company plans to create a niche for itself in the luxury cruiser category.

     The Enfield clothing include T-shirts, mugs, helmets, exhaust, visors and now designer boots, jackets, AGV helmets that are RE branded, office bags, saddle bags, bandanas and rain gear etc. The company also plans to start special counters across all their major dealer outlets offering their customers a whole new ownership experience.

Source: Indian Drives
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Renault's V Platform small car to take on Wagon R

     Renault's small car for India will be an all new car developed on its V platform and will take on the Wagon R. The car will have similar architecture of that of Wagon R with a tall stance and wide doors. However expect the car to stylish than the Wagon R as Renault will give a French touch to it.

     The small car has been developed in Renault's technical center in Mumbai. Since the car has been designed and developed in India, expect to see lots of India specific features. The teaser image with the car covered has been shown to a select group of journalist in New Delhi by Renault. With the teaser image it is evident that the car will be tall resembling that of the Wagon R. Well Renualt's has already got a tall vehicle in its portfolio - the Twingo, but the Twingo will not be launched in India.

     Powering the Renault's small car will the same Micra's 1.5 CRDi and 1.2L petrol engines. Renault will share Nissan's manufacturing facility at Orgadam near Chennai to produce the small car. The small car will make its official debut at Auto Expo 2012 in January.

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Toyota Etios Liva launched in India, starts at Rs. 3.99 lakh

     Toyota has launched its much awaited small car Etios Liva in New Delhi today. The Etios Liva is priced between Rs. 3.99 - 5.99 lakh ex showroom New Delhi. This is the first car from world's largest automobile manufacturer Toyota in India. Earlier in December 2011, Toyota had launched the Etios sedan in India creating a flutter in the entry level sedan segment.

     The Etios Liva is powered by a 1.2L 4 cylinder petrol engine with 80 Bhp of power at 5600 rpm and 10.6 Kgm of torque at 3100 rpm. Toyota has worked extensively on reducing Etios Liva's weight which is just 890 Kg. This low weight helps the car to deliver good fuel efficiency of 18.3 Kmpl (ARAI certified).

     The Etios Liva has been built for India keeping in mind the conditions prevailing in the region. A lot of effort has been put for cost reduction to make the car competitive. In spite of reducing in the production cost, Etios Liva promises to deliver a decent performance.

     The Etios Liva will be available in 4 variants. The company aims to sell 1,00,000 units of Etios sedan and Etios Liva in the first year.

     Speaking on the launch of Etios Liva, Mr. Sandeep Singh, MD Toyota Kirloskar Motors said that Toyota now has become a complete manufacture in India with range of cars from small car to high end SUVs. He commented that Etios Liva is a stylish compact and a useful car.

     With the launch of Etios Liva and pricing it competitively, Toyota has created a price war in the B segment category. Other manufactures would definitely feel the heat and do not be surprised to see some price correction in the segment.

     As for the diesel Etios Liva, there is no news about it as of now. But Toyota indents to launch its small car Liva with its frugal and efficient diesel engines some time next year. It is the diesel Etios Liva which the industry is waiting for to compete against the market leader Swift. Since the diesel Liva would take some more time to come, Maruti can breathe easy for a while.

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Honda City revamp in India soon

     Things are definitely not going well for Honda in India. First it was the Tsunami disaster which made to company to stop production for a while and then the launch of Volkswangen Vento and redesigned Hyundai Verna which is eating substantial share in City segment. The petrol price hike has given a bigger blow as Honda has only petrol vehicles in its portfolio. Honda City slipped to 4th spot in the C segment cars in which it dominated for 13 years. In a damage control move Honda reduced up to Rs. 66,000 on City’s price.

     Few days back we had reported that Honda City will get a facelift to stay in the competition. Now the news of not just a facelift but a revamp of the model is out. Along with the facelift the City will get top notch optional features such as sunroof, new multimedia and infotainment additions like Bluetooth and iPod connectivity and new colour combination.

     The tail lamps could get an LED treatment and some internal changes such as modifications with instrumental panel, new interior trim and a new CD player system will be done in the new City.

     As far as the diesel City is concerned, the company is working hard to get one as soon as possible. The sooner the better for Honda.
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2012 Fiat Panda design revealed

     The next generation Fiat Panda design has been revealed in a recent patent filing. The new Fiat Panda will be more aerodynamic with rounded hood. It features a wider grill, swept back headlights, prominent air intake, small rear quarter widow and a sloping roofline.

     Fiat might bring in 500’s 2 cylinder 900cc Multi-air engine to the new Panda which goes on sales next year.

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Sachin sells his gifted Ferrari, buys a Nissan GT-R sports car

     Sachin Tendulkar has sold his red Ferrari 360 Modena gifted to him by Fiat to a Surat based business man for an undisclosed amount. Souces say the decisicon to sell the car was a tough one for Sachin as it was gifted to him by Fiat through Michael Schumacher when he equaled Bradman’s 29th Test Century in 2002. Sachin friends reveal that, since people were aware of Sachin’s Ferrari, it was difficult for Little Maestro to drive on Mumbai roads as people would identify him and get attracted towards him.

     The little Maestro after selling his Ferrai has bought himself a Nissan GT-R sports car priced at $87,000 which is around Rs. 4 crore in Indian currency. The new Nissan GT-R sports car was flown from Dubai along with 2 engineers who demonstrated the vehicle at Sachin’s home in Bandra. With the Nissan GT-R sports car, Sachin has now 4 cars in his garage – 2 BMWs, a Skoda and Nissan GT-R.

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Diesel price hiked by Rs. 3

     Govt. of India has hiked the diesel price by Rs. 3 from 25th July 2011. A litre of diesel which earlier costed around Rs. 42, now will cost around Rs. 45 per litre. Prices vary from city to city depending up on tax in that region.

     Insurance companies have raised the premium for diesel car by over 30% as insurers plan to compensate themselves for higher liabilities in the segment. Raising interest rates have already slowed down the cars sales and the hike in diesel prices have come as a salt on the wound. Car sales might not do well this year as compared to the bull run last year.

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Toyota Fortuner facelift rear spy photo

     In our earlier post we had showed you how the facelifted Toyota Fortuner would look. We have the rear photo of the vehicle with redesigned tail lamp and chrome strip over the tail gate with Fortuner written on it. We guess Toyota will take some time before its launch in India since the current model still has waiting period.

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Force One SUV teaser image on net

     BS Motoring has posted a teaser image of the Force One SUV. From the picture the Force One SUV does not look familiar to the Guangdong Foday Explorer III. We guess Force Motors could have done some facelift jon on the SUV.

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Maruti R3 details rendering

     In our earlier post we had showed some spy pictures of Maruti R3 MPV being tested in India. India’s leading auto magazine Autocarindia has come up with couple of renderings which looks very similar to the actual vehicle as seen from the spy pictures.

     The R3 MPVs wheelbase has been stretched which is 38 mm longer than the Ritz. The vehicle’s length is 4265mm which is well over the stipulated small car norms in India and hence will not get the subsidy as expected. An all new K series petrol engine of 1372 cc has been developed which has 95 Bhp of power and 13 Kg of torque. The 1.3L DDiS turbo diesel of SX4 will also find the place under the hood.

Source: Autocarindia

Maruti Suzuki R3 MPV Spy Pictures

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GM shows electric ‘Beat’ in India

     In a drive for global demonstration of technology, Indian arm of American auto giant General Motors showed an electric version of its small car ‘Beat’ in India.

     The electric Beat is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can cover a distance of 130 Km in a single recharge under normal driving conditions. This new technology from GM will also be showed in other countries such as Korea, China and Germany.

     On the occasion General Motors India President and MD Karl Slym said that he is delighted that Chevrolet has selected India as an important market to test batter electric technology. He also emphasized about the capabilities of their engineers to make this technology more affordable.
Source: ET
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Scoop: Force Motors SUV named ‘Force One’

     Force Motors has named its soon to be launched SUV as ‘Force One’. Force Motors has been testing its SUV for quite some time on Indian roads. We had showed you some spy pictures of SUV in our earlier post.

     The Force One SUV will be powered by a Mercedes sourced 2.2L Common Rail Turbo Engine with 140 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque. The vehicle will be officially launched in a months time.

     Force Motors has also incorporated a new logo for the company. The company plans to launch a new MPV in 2012 and the current SUV will be replaced by an all new next generation SUV in 2013.

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Renault Koleos facelift showed at Delhi

     Renault’s French delegation which was in Delhi to brief journalists about the compnay’s future products for India showed couple of slides of Kaloes facelift. The facelifted Koleos features a new front end with redesigned headlamps and grill.

     The Koleos will compete with Honda CR-V, BMW X1 and SUV’s like the Toyota Fortuner and Chevrolet Captiva in India. It will be powered by a 2L diesel with 150 Bhp power coupled to a 6 speed transmission. Renault has already started testing Koleos in India and will be launched on stipulated time in October 2011.

Picture Source: Indian Autos Blog
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More details emerge on Mahindra mini Xylo

     We know our fellow blogger Indianautosblog brings us the latest information but this time they have gone a step beyond. The blog has mentioned inside details of the Mahindra mini Xylo which they was given to them by a useful source.

The Mahindra mini Xylo features

1) A stop start mechanism
2) 5+2 seat configuration, the rear 2 seats being too small
3) 3 cyclinder engine with 70 Bhp power and 160 Nm torque
4) No roof mounted AC
5) 205/65/R15 tyres
6) Aircraft like trays on seat backs
7) Spare wheel on the rear door

The interior space of the mini Xylo seams to beat any of the C segment cars. If priced around Rs 5-6 lakh, it will give serious dent to the entry level C segment sedans.

Spy Pictures by Indianautosblog

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Toyota Fortuner facelift will look like this

     The picture below shows how the facelifted Fortuner would look. The picture actually is the facelift of the Hilux pick up truck which shares the same platform with that of Fortuner. Many fellow bloggers posted the spy picture of the facelited Fortuner some days ago.

     The new look will enhance the appeal of the SUV. The changes are likely in the rear as well but nothing to expect in the interiors and under the hood. The facelifted Fortuner in India? We guess Toyota will drag it for an year to do so.

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Next generation Maruti Swift delayed due to strike

     The next generation Maruti Suzuki Swift which was scheduled for July-August launch will be delayed due to the strike at the Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant. The 13 day strike at the plant has made production loss of over 1200 vehicles with Rs. 270 crore of revenue loss.

     The Manesar plant produces mainly Maruti’s diesel vehicles. In order to clear the booking diesel cars, the company has postponed the launch of new Swift by a quarter. This means the new Swift will only come by September, at the time of Diwali.

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Ducati Diavel superbike launched in India

     A first look at the bike, you will definitely fall in love. The dynamic looking Ducati Diavel superbike is launched in India. Available in 3 variants the prices starts from Rs. 17.06 lakh for the base, Rs. 22.06 lakh for the Carbon and Rs. 22.42 lakh for the top end Carbon Red variant.

     The Italian monster Diavel is powered by a 1198.4cc, 4 storke, L-twin Ducati Testastretta engine with power output of 162 Bhp at 9500 rpm and torque of 13 Kgm at 8000 rpm. The bike comes with a six speed gearbox, one down-five up pattern.

     The feature list of the Diavel surpasses many of the cars in India. ABS Ducati Traction Control and Ducati Riding Modes namely, Sport, Touring and the Urban mode are the trademark of the bike.

     Along with the launch of the Diavel superbike, Ducati also inaugurated its fourth showroom in India at Bangalore.

Mirko Bordiga, CEO Ducati Asia Pacific - 
“The Diavel is, without any doubt, the most exciting innovation in the Ducati 2011 line because it represents a new concept of motorcycle. It is a naked bike because it is essential, light and agile; a cruiser because it is imposing and also comfortable with a passenger; and a sports bike because it has a powerful heart, muscles, and levels of performance that take your breath away.”
On the sidelines of the superbike launch, Ducati also inaugurated its fourth showroom in India in Bangalore.
Source: Autocarindia

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Tata Motors to be more mature by 2020 – Ratan Tata

     'India Automotive 2020: The Next Giant from Asia'. These were the words by Mr. Ratan Tata who wants Tata Motors to be more mature by 2020 and develop products with reliability, finish and technology.

     He said, though Tata Motors has economies of scale, he would like to see the company grow in terms of quality by manufacturing good automobiles. He admitted that though Tata Motors is a major player in automotive sector, it is still sub scale by International standards.

     In an interview to JD Power, Mr. Ratan Tata said, the company wants to bring in world class products to India to meet the customer needs. The wisdom of this great might not go long for the company as he will retire from the post next year. Since he has been in the company for such a long time, we are sure he will bring in a good successor who could steer the company towards his dreams.
Source: ET
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Toyota Etios Liva launch on 27th June

     Toyota will launch its much awaited hatchback Etios Liva on 27th of this month. Toyota is banking lots on the Etios Liva hatchback which has been specially designed for India. Toyota has been testing the vehicle in and around Bangalore for some time and wants to make sure it is has no nigglings when launched.

     Toyota Etios Liva is the hatchback version of the Etios sedan. Etios sedan was launched on 1st December last year and the company received overwhelming response for the Etios sedan. The Etios Liva was to be launched in March this year but due to the devastating earthquake in Japan, the company had to postpone its launch of over 4 months.

     Toyota has developed Eitos platform for developing markets most importantly for India. So the Etios will make its first debut in India and later will go to other parts of the world. This shows Toyota’s commitment to Indian car market which it has been studying for over a decade.

     With the launch of Eitos Liva, Toyota will definitely create a price war in the B segment hatchback segment. Only time can say who will be the winner, but by the strong history of Toyota we would bet Toyota will be the winner altogether.

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Maruti Suzuki has found a new design theme in the form of Swift

     When the Swift was first launched in India, it was entirely a different design from the Maruti stable. We have seen boxy cars from Maruti till then and we do see some even today. The sporty muscular look was never the essence of a Maruti car. The Swift changed the company’s entire design language, to be precise it changed the company’s fortune as well.

     The Swift had a mixed reaction, some liked it, some criticized. With the launch of a diesel Swift a new winner was born which is still invincible in India. Did the diesel engine did the trick? Or was it the sporty muscular design of the car? We feel it’s the combination of the two which has worked for Maruti Suzuki.

     The Swift design has been carried on to the SX4, though SX4 has been built on Fiat’s SUV platform. The wheel arches and muscular body of SX4 does resemble the Swift to some extent.

     The new concept Splash, which is named as Ritz in India too has some DNA of the Swift. Now the new MPV from Maruti Suzuki too has all the ingredients of the Swift design. On the other hand the next generation Swift has some metamorphosis but it still sticks to the basic Swift design. With the way the company is going, we might see much more vehicles on the Swift design theme.

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Chevrolet Beat diesel is ready, launch next month

    With the petrol prices rocketing, car buyers have a sign of relief in the form of Chevrolet Beat diesel. The diesel powered Beat is completely ready and will be launched next month. The company feels the diesel Beat launch has come at the right time, though it would liked to have it much before.

     Mr. Siddharth Vinayak Patankar of NDTV’s Car and Bike Show has revealed the Beat diesel on his show. He compares the Beat diesel with that of the Figo’s.

Here are the details of Chevrolet Beat diesel given in the Car n Bike Show:

  • Diesel engine 3 cylinder, 936cc with 57 Bhp power and 150 Nm of torque coupled with a 5 speed manual gearbox.
  • Diesel engine developed by downgrading the famous Fiat’s 1.3L Multijet diesel which powers everything from Fiat Punto to Maruti SX4
  • The turbo lag is minimal as the turbo is small and comes to optimum operating speed quickly
  • The suspension tuned for a better ride and comfort, cabin more silent than Figo’s.
  • Same variants available as that of petrol, steering system shifted from hydraulic to EPS
  • ARAI approved fuel efficiency of 24 Kmpl

     According to President and MD of GM India Karl Slym, the Beat and Spark have different set of customers. The Beat diesel is aimed at Wagon R and i10 fans.
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2012 Mercedes Benz B Class caught without camouflage

     The 2012 Mercedes Benz B Class hatchback was snapped without camouflage when shooting for the promos. To remind our readers, Mercedes Benz has plans to launch A and B Class hatchback cars in India soon.

     The 2012 Mercedes Benz B Class will be a front wheel drive vehicle like the A Class. The new B class looks like a mini MPV with lots of boot space. The rear tail lamps resemble the E Class sedan. The creases on the side uplift the vehicles profile.

     With the big high profile tyres and so many Mercedes goodies, the B Class is surely going to create a benchmark in luxury hatchbacks in India.

Source –
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