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Renault Duster to be priced at Rs. 6 - 7 lakh?

     We found an interesting article posted at Indianautosblog which mentioned the Duster to be priced at Rs. 6 lakh for the petrol version and a lakh more for the diesel one. It is indeed very surprising to hear about Renault vehicle price so competitively. Assuming Renault prices Duster at Rs. 6 lakh for petrol and Rs. 7 lakh for diesel, of course it would be ex-showroom New Delhi, which means Duster petrol will cost around Rs. 7.5 to 8.5 lakh on road  Bangalore. It is a very competitive price and seems that Renault will hit the nail at the right place.

     Renault with its three launches till now – Fluence, Koleos & Pulse has not been able to sell good volumes to get desired market share. The fourth launch which will be the Duster is a trump card for Renault, which Renault do not want to lose out. With clever packaging and such competitive price Renault could finally get a food hold on Indian market.

     The Duster will be powered by the same 1.5L petrol and diesel engines which powers the Nissan Micra and Sunny. A more powerful diesel option with a turbo having 110 Bhp will also find its place under the Duster’s hood. The great ground clearance, solid build and practicality will place the Duster at the top in the minds of customers looking to buy Ertiga or any other SUV. Any comments?

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Skoda Superb facelift spied

     Skoda had launched the new Superb three years back and now has plans to give it a facelift. The facelifted Skoda Superb was spied with some camouflage, but in spite of it lot of details are visible.

      In the front there is the new headlamps look good with angular design, the front grill seems to be big and bolder than the current one. The front bumper has been redesign to suit the changes. The most striking feature is in the rear which gets sharp tail lamps which resembles with current generation Volkswagen and Audi.

     Apart from the front and rear changes there is absolutely no change in the overall design of the car. There will be no change in the chassis, suspension and engine department. 

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Hyundai’s unique Petrol Price Lock Assurance

     With the petrol prices rising, Hyundai Motor India has structured a new Petrol Price Lock Assurance to protect its customers from the steep petrol price hike. Under this scheme, petrol car buyers will be offered huge discounts on Eon, Santro, i10, i20, Accent and Verna. The Petrol Price Lock Assurance will be valid on bookings made before May 31st 2012. The scheme comes in addition to the 5 Star Assurance Scheme which covered Santro and i10 Models.

     Speaking about the offer, Mr. Arvid Saxena of Hyundai Motor India Ltd. said that the petrol price hike is a huge burden on its customers and the company has taken initiative to protect the customer from this steep petrol price hike.

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Chevrolet Cruze facelift unveiled at Busan Motor Show

     General Motors has unveiled the Chevrolet Cruze facelift at the 2012 Busan Motor Show. The Cruze facelift gets upgrades on the front grill and fog light section. The important addition is in the inside. The new Cruze gets MyLink in-car infotainment system with a 7 inch touch screen playing almost all sorts of media from a USB pen drive.

     It is not clear weather General Motors will bring the facelifted Cruze to India. But a new version of Cruze, with a new diesel engine will be launched in June. The Cruze will be powered by a 2.0 Liter Z Series diesel which produces 163 Bhp power and 360 Nm of torque. The new engine will reduce the turbo lag improves the drivability. The NVH levels will also be improved as well.

     The upgraded Cruze will be priced Rs. 40,000/- more than the current model when launched in India next month.

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All new Toyota Camry spied testing in India

     The next generation Toyota Camry which was showed at the Auto Expo 2012 was spied testing near Bangalore. Toyota hopes to regain the lost battle ground in the D+ segment with the launch of then the new Camry. The new Camry will be assembled at Toyota’s plant near Bidadi.

     The new Camry will be powered by a 2.5 Liter 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve Dual VVT-i petrol engine. The engine pumps out 178 Bhp @ 6000 rpm. However the 268 Bhp 3.5 Liter V6 will not come to India.

Engine capacity and fuel options: 2.5 liter VVTi petrol
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power: 178 HP at 6000 rpm
Torque: 230 Nm at 4100 rpm
Expected launch date: 14th march 2012
Expected price: Rs 17 to 21 lakh 

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Outstanding features of the EcoBoost turbo petrol engine

     The 1 Liter EcoBoost turbo petrol engine comes with a small, low-inertia turbocharger that spools up quickly and also comes with an overboost function.

     The engine comes with variable timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts which work in two ways, by increasing power and torque when your right foot demands by offering a higher lift and by lowering the valve lift during cruising to reduce fuel consumption.

     A water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head lowers exhaust temperatures and delivers an optimal fuel-to-air ratio at all engine speeds to improve fuel economy across the rev range.

     Offset crank and variable oil pump to improve engine performance and lubricate the engine thoroughly by varying oil pressure more accurately at different rpms.

     High pressure solenoid direct injectors are located centrally and this positioning helps to provide a much more cooler and denser fuel-to-air ratio, delivering better combustion and higher fuel economy.

     Dual-split cooling system with two thermostats which supports a quicker engine warm up, reduced friction within the engine, lower fuel consumption and less emissions when engine is cold.

     Cambelt running in oil results in low friction and noise levels. This will lead to zero maintenance across the life of the EcoBoost 1 liter engine.

     Unbalanced flywheel/pulley is a brand new design to counter the vibrations that three cylinder engines produce due to their inherent design. The unbalanced flywheel/pulley obviates the need of a balancer shaft by functioning like one.

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Toyota to launch eight new compact models in emerging markets

     Japanese automotive giant Toyota Motor Corporation, seems to be bullish on the emerging markets like India, Brazil and China. It has plans to launch eight new compact models by the next 3 years and wants to account its 50% sales through these emerging markets.

     Toyota is currently the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. With strong competition from General Motors and Volkswagen, Toyota looks at emerging markets to create volumes to stay at the top.

     Toyota recently showed three compact car concepts at the 12th Beijing Auto Show. The eight new models planned will be based on these concepts. The Toyota Dear Qin which is global strategic concept with its futuristic styling could change the Toyota’s design philosophy which till now was bland and boring. The production version of the models will look closer to the concept to stay in tune with the global design trends.
Having seen the success with its Etios series, Toyota is planning to ramp Etios production at its second plant at Bidadi from 1.2 lakh to 2.1 lakh units by early 2013. Expect Toyota to launch new cars in India on Dear Qin concepts very soon. 

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Honda CBR250R bags I Mark 2012

      In the first Indian design review ranking, Honda CBR 250R motorcycle has won the best design for the two wheeler category. The Indian Design Mark (I Mark) is the highest recognition from the Indian Government through Indian Design Council, an autonomous body under Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

      The first India Design Mark awards program was organized in cooperation with Japan Institute of Design Promotion. The program recognizes exceptional innovation and assurers Indian and global customers of excellence in form, function, quality, innovation and sustainability. Maruti Swift and Wagon R won the accolades in the four wheeler segment. 

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Mahindra to reopen XUV500 bookings from June 8th

     Mahindra will reopen XUV500 bookings from June 8th 2012. This is the third time, the bookings of XUV500 have been opened, and the first two was closed after a strong response from the customers. This time the SUV will be available across India which earlier was restricted to 19 cities.

     Mahindra received over 25,000 bookings in the first eight months of XUV500 launch of which around 7,200 vehicles have been delivered. Mahindra has ramped up the production capacity to 3000 vehicles per month in January 2012 which will to go up to 4000 per month soon.

     Mahindra was played carefully with the XUV500 launch after the failure of Xylo MUV. Unlike the Xylo, XUV500 production capacity was built for small volumes which could later be ramped further. Till now XUV500 has got good response from the customers, but still Mahindra has to improve the quality of its vehicles to compete against International players. 

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Yamaha to launch world’s cheapest motorcycle in India

     The performance oriented motorcycle company Yamaha will launch the world’s cheapest motorcycle in India. When launched, the unnamed motorcycle will cost Rs. 28,000 which is Rs. 8000 cheaper than the current cheapest model Hero Honda’s CD Dawn in India.

     Unlike its Japanese counter parts, Yamaha has not had the success which it anticipated in India. The launch of FZ series of bikes did sell in good numbers but the competiton from others such as Honda and Bajaj Auto checked the Yamaha sales. Now Yamaha has decided to enter the mass motorcycle segment by launching the cheapest motorcycle. Hope Yamaha does get some success here…

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Skoda to replace stolen logos on its cars

     Logos of cars are as attractive as the cars themselves and no wonder thieves have a special eye on them. We often see car logo mission on cars and if you think they have fallen off, think twice. The new trend of steeling logos has arrived and why not a Mercedes logo costs more than a branded stereo system.

     Skoda as a good will gesture to its customers has decided to replace the stolen logo on its cars. Skoda Fabia front logo cost Rs. 600 and Skoda Yeti's rear one cost Rs. 1500. Skoda do not want its customers to run its cars without them, after all logos on the cars build the brand value. Hope other manufacturers are also listening.   
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Tata Vista goes to Spain, Aria and Xenon to follow

     Amid financial crisis in Europe, Tata Motors has launched the Vista hatchback in Spain. The Vista replaces the Indica which was launched in 2008. Indica could not be sold further because of the emission norms. Tata Vista is priced at €7,960 (around 5.51 lakhs) in spain. Nijuler AutomociĆ³n has been assigned to distribute the Vista in Spain.

     Surprisingly Tata Motors has launched the old Vista and not the facelifted one which has the Manza’s front look. Along with the Vista, Aria and Xenon will also be launched in Spain. With the launch of Vista, Tata Motors intends make its strong presence in the Europe.

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Peugeot 301 revealed, to come to India

     French car maker Peugeot has revealed its new compact sedan 301 for emerging markets. With the 301, Peugeot announces new revised naming strategy for the brand’s model line-up. The first digit will represent the vehicle’s segment or size, small numbers for small cars and large numbers for large cars. The naming of the cars will not change regardless of the market in which they are sold.

     Thought Peugeot has not officially announced 301’s entry into India, it is clear that Peugeot 301 has been designed for emerging markets which include India. Peugeot says the 301 has been designed keeping in mind the extreme climatic conditions and bad roads.

     Peugeot has been testing its vehicles in India for quiet a long time. The company has plans to invest Rs. 4000 Crores in India to set up a plant in Gujarat. We in our earlier post has posted spy pictures of Peugeot 207 and 508 cars testing on Indian roads.

     Peugeot 301 will be available in both petrol and diesel versions with varing power outputs between 71 Bhp to 115 Bhp. Two petrol engines (1.2L & 1.6L) and one diesel (1.6L) mated to manual or automatic transmission will be on offer. Peugeot’s diesel motor, like Renault’s 1.5L is a renowned engine will class leading performance and fuel efficiency. 
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Toyota sells 1 lakh unit of Etios and Etios Liva in India

     Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd has annunched that it has sold 1 lakh units of Etios and Etios Liva cars in Inida. Etios series – sedan and Liva hatchback are cars aimed at mass volume market in India and Toyota feels it has achieved an important milestone.

     Toyota Etios sedan was launched in December 2010 and the Liva hatchback was launched in June 2011. Etios sedan sold 50,157 units in financial year 2011-12 to become the third largest selling car in its segment. 

     The Etios sedan and Liva hatchback were launched in petrol variants initially. After 6 months of launch, diesel variants came into the market which actually boosted the sales. The increasing petrol prices prompted customers to go for a diesel car and the long waiting period of Swift made Etios the obvious choice. The renowned Toyota quality and refined engine has played positive for the company in its first mass market venture. 

Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director, Marketing, TKM added -
“We are delighted to touch the One Lakh mark. The number reflects how the Etios family has grown and how Etios and Etios Liva has become a household brand in India. Customers have owned and appreciated the vehicles and we are constantly incorporating their feedback to be able to serve them better. This is a small yet very important milestone in this large project that will place TKM on a higher pedestal in the global operations of Toyota.” Source: Wheelsunplugged

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Chevrolet offers limited period offers on Spark and Beat

     General Motors India has announced a limited period offer which enables customers to win a gift up to Rs. 2 Crore by booking a Chevrolet Spark or Beat between 25 and 27 of May 2012. A customer could also get the booked car for free. The offer is valid from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on 25-27 May 2012 and is available on all models and variants of Spark and Beat. The assured gifts on the bookings include LCD Televisions, Camcorders, Home Theaters, DVD Players and many more.

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Honda Brio diesel spied testing in India

     Feeling the heat of petrol price hike in India, Honda had announced that it is developing a diesel engine for its cars in India. There was also a report about Honda has already developed a 1.6L diesel for Civic which will be launched in India in the next generation avatar next year.

     The good news now is that, Honda’s baby Brio has been spied testing with diesel engine in India. Honda had hinted that Brio diesel will come to India by 2014, but as we see the Brio diesel being tested, the launch could be much earlier than expected.

     Honda known for its performance machine had a weakness in diesel engine technology. The new diesel from Honda means a new diesel technology from Honda and lot of speculation has been raised about the quality of the engines, as Honda is developing them for the first time. But from Honda’s history, there has been no vehicle or technology which has bitter dust and the diesel one will certainly match the qualities of its siblings. Infact Honda has invested heavily on the diesel technology to develop a clean and efficient diesel engine.

     Having said this, we get a feeling that finally a Maruti Suzuki Swift challenger is coming. The Swift has been an invincible car in its segments and much hyped entry of Etios, Polo and Micra could not even shake the Swift’s dominance. In fact Swift has been growing it popularity day by day, Swift is selling at 20,000 a month. The only factor which Honda has to work on the diesel Brio is the price. Honda has to price diesel Brio competitively, that is a price difference of Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 between the Brio and Swift diesels is what can make a strong competition going. What are your opinions?
Picture source: team-bhp

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Next generation Maruti 800/Alto spied testing

     Maruti Suzuki recently stopped the production of the iconic ‘800’ car and announced the new model will come by this year end. has provided us some spy pictures of the new 800/Alto from all the three angles. Earlier Autocarindia had also posted a spy picture of the new car tough taken from far. Here are the pictures, thanks to 

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Honda thinks about launching a MPV in India

     The name Honda in India has a distinct attention, and why not, all of its vehicles are wonderful to drive. Till now Honda was missed in small car segment but by the launch of Brio, Honda has set an all new bench mark. The other segment where Honda has not stepped in is the MPV segment in India. It is understandable because the MPV segment here is filled with diesel vehicle and Honda lacks a diesel in its history.

     Honda has quickly reacted to the Indian market requirements. Honda plans to launch a MPV in India by the end of 2014 to compete against Maruti Ertiga. The only vehicle from Honda to rival Eritga is the Freed MPV which is current sold in South East Asia. So basically the Freed MPV in its next generation avatar could be coming to India.

     The Freed MPV is based on the Jazz platform. Honda is developing a next generation Jazz (to be launched in 2013) and alongside the new Freed is also in the works. Recently Honda unveiled Concept S MPV at the Beijing Auto Show, but by its size, it seems to be a replacement to the Odyssey rather than the Freed. Like the Jazz, new Freed will have plenty of space inside - as per the Honda’s philosophy of “Man Maximum Machine Minimum”.

     Honda has already developed a 1.6L diesel engine (i-dtec) to power the Civic sedan and the new Freed will certainly get one under its hood. As people are eager to see the new Honda MPV in India so do we are at Automobile Planet. Stay tuned for more updates…

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Chevrolet Cruze facelift India launch in June

     Chevrolet is all set to launch the facelifted Cruze next month in India. The facelift includes changes in the exterior, interior and the engine block called the Z series.

     In the front there will be new head lamps, fog lamps and air dams. In the rear the tail lamps have been redesigned. The alloy wheels will be sportier in the new Cruze. However there will be minor change in the interiors. The dashboard and instrument cluster colour will be changed to give a sporty look. A new audio system with a feature called ‘MYLINK’ is expected with will help to connect the smart phones.

     Due to the use of the new Z series engine block, the engine capacity has been increased by 7 cc and the engine is Euro 5 complaint. This means there will be better fuel combustion and hence more mileage. The engine with new block produces 163 Bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque. Expect this engine to overcome the turbo lag present in current engine.

     The new cosmetic changes and change in the engine block will definitely make the new Cruze costilier. Expect the price hike between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000.

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Fiat launches 90 HP Punto Sport in India

     Fiat has launched a powerful 90 HP Punto with a suffix ‘Sport’ added to it. The Punto Sport, as the name suggest is aimed at performance oriented customers who love fun driving. Fiat has termed the Punto Sport as a Limited Edition, which means the variant will be on sale for a short period of time.

     The Punto Sport features a host of premium features such as chrome accented interiors, red stitching on seats, leather gear knob & gear cover, stylish body decals, sporty aluminum pedals, colour coded ORVMs, chrome exhaust tip and Punto branded door sill.

     The Punto Sport delivers 93 Ps of power with fuel efficiency of 20.5 Kmpl. The car is priced at Rs. 7,36,154/- ex-showroom New Delhi and is available in 3 colours – white, red and black. It also comes with host of other features such as dual stage airbags, ABS with EBD, automatic climate control, Blue & Me technology, integrated CD/MP3 player with USB, alloy wheels with wide tyres and chrome exterior door handles

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Fiat Grande Punto accessories price list


Carpet Mats Black
Floor Carpet Mats give a plush & luxurious feel to the cars interiors. Anti skid ridges on driver mat & thick rubber backing makes it functionally better
Part Number: 59116303 | MRP: Rs. 790/-

Carpet Mats Grey
Floor Carpet Mats give a plush & luxurious feel to the cars interiors. Anti skid ridges on driver mat & thick rubber backing makes it functionally better
Part Number: 59116304 | MRP: Rs. 790/-

Car Cover Silver
Car cover protects the vehicle from possible damage to external paint from harsh sun, rain & scratches caused by animals/birds and even dust particles.Tested for strength, stretchability, softness & ease of use
Part Number: 59116306 | MRP: Rs. 1190/-

Car Cover (Tyvek) White
White Tyvek is a premium fabric material with superior quality used for premium car covers. It protects the vehicle from a possible damage to external paint from harsh sun, rain & scratches caused by animals/birds and even dust particles. Tested for requisite strength, stretchability, softness & ease of use
Part Number: 59116307 | MRP: Rs. 2,490/-

Mud Flap
Mud Flaps help prevent the car body from getting dirty due to mud splashes. These are specifically designed for Fiat cars & tested for durability, flexibility and sturdiness.
Part Number: 59116305 | MRP: Rs. 490/-

Sun Protection Film Grey
Optimized Visual Light transmission (VLT)
Designed to suit CMVR norms
Scratch Resistant Coated (SRC) film
Available in Grey Shade
Part Number: 59116513 | MRP: Rs. 990/-

Hi Performance Sun Protection Film Charcoal
Heat rejection up to 40%
Optimized Visual Light transmission (VLT)
Designed to suit CMVR norms
Scratch Resistant Coated (SRC) film
Available in Charcoal Shade
Part Number: 59116514 | MRP: Rs. 2,450/-

Premium Sun Protection Film Green
Excellent Heat Rejection up to 60%
Visual Light transmission (VLT)
Designed to suit CMVR norms
Scratch Resistant Coated (SRC) film
Available in Green Shade
Part Number: 59116515 | MRP: Rs. 7,950/-

Cushion Pillow Grey
For those long drives, added comfort with the specially made cushion pillow.
Part Number: 59116465 | MRP: Rs. 590/-

Neck Rest Grey
Added neck support and comfort for driver & co driver.
Part Number: 59116468 | MRP: Rs. 490/-

GPS Navigation Unit
Zx150 is a satellite-based voice guided navigation unit with a bank of maps of Indian cities. The Zx150 is loaded with complete in-car entertainment & connectivity features.
- SD card - 5"" TFT touch screen.
Part Number: 59116491 | MRP: Rs. 22,800/-

Reading Lamp
Flexi Arm halogen reading light for uniform light distribution.
12 V DC operation
Part Number: 59116475 | MRP: Rs. 1290/-

Coat Hanger
Suitable for hanging Suits, Jackets, Overcoats & Aprons.
Chrome Steel finished
Part Number: 59116476 | MRP: Rs. 690/-

The prices indicated against accessories are MRPs for these respective units.
Labour/ Fitment charges are not included. These will be charged extra by dealerships during fitment.
Source: Fiat India
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Chevrolet unveils mini SUV concept named ‘Trax’

     Chevrolet has unveiled its mini SUV concept which is named as Trax. The Trax mini-SUW will be showcased at Paris Motor Show this year. Trax will compete with Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Maruti Alpha XA in Indian market.

     The Trax is basically the Opel Mokka which will go on sale in Eurome this year. The Mokka is powered by a 1.4 litre petrol and 1.7 liter diesel engines. But in India Chevrolet might launch the Trax with a small engine, possibly a 1.6 liter diesel one. Trax is 4.2 meters long so any excise cuts is doubtfull. The Trax might get features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Traction Control (TC) as well as the Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) systems, possibly in the top end variant.

     Chevrolet might change the name for the mini SUV ‘Trax’ as it might be confused with the famous Tempo Trax in India!

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Renault updates details of Duster on its Indian site, launch in June

     Renault Duster is the vehicle which has been waited in India by many SUV enthusiasts. The good news is that Renault has updated the details of Duster on its Indian site which means the launch is around the corner. Expect the Duster launch in India by June 2012.

Here is what Renault’s Indian website says about the Duster - 

Stylish Chrome grille
Twin barrel headlamps
16” Alloy Wheels, Front Fog Lamps
Keyless entry
ABS with Brake Assist & EBD
Dual front Airbags
Plush Leather Upholstery
4 Speaker Music System with USB, AUX-IN & Bluetooth Connectivity
Satellite Audio & phone control
Rear Defogger, rear wiper & washer
Electrically adjustable ORVMs
Rear parking sensors
A Boot capacity of 475 litres

     Renault has been testing the Duster on Indian roads for over two months. Spy pictures of Duster being tested near Chennai were posted on many automobile sites. The stylish and muscular body of Duster reminds us of a war tank and we believe the vehicle is built to be tough as it looks.

     The Duster is a major trump card for Renault which has not been able to convert its quality cars into success. The launch of Fluence, Koleos and Pulse might have given Renault the brand equity but the true potential of Renault is still not proven. Renault has plan properly for Duster, especially in the price issues to make a mark in Indian automobile industry.

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Maruti Suzuki Swift accessories price list

Price list of Maruti Suzuki Swift accessories in Bangalore as of 15-05-2012

Floor Mats (Rubber) – Rs. 999.00
Dicky Mat (Rubber) – Rs. 390.00
Mud Flaps – Rs. 390.00
Steering Grip – Rs. 2250.00 (Leather), Rs. 620.00 (Ordinary)
Body Side Moulding Set – Rs. 1175.00
Bumper Guard – Rs. 600.00
Body Cover – Rs. 1190.00
Wheel Caps – Rs. 1600.00
Reverse Horn + Switch – Rs. 290.00
Reading Light – Rs. 950.00
Rear Roof End Spoiler – Rs. 5,100.00
Body Graphics – Rs. 1450.00
Under Chassis Coating – Rs. 2300.00
Perfume – Rs. 329.00
Door Visors – Rs. 1850.00

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Renault launches petrol variant of Pulse hatch

     Having seen success (though little) from its diesel Pulse French car maker Renault has launched petrol variant of the car in India. Renault had launched the diesel Pulse earlier in this year at time of Auto Expo 2012. The Renault Pulse petrol is priced between Rs. 4.24 -5.5 lakh ex-showroom, New Delhi. It is available in three trim levels - RxE, RxL, RxZ 

     The Pulse petrol is powered by Renault's XH5 petrol engine. The XH5 engine has 3 cylinders with capacity of 1200cc and 4 valves per cylinder and DOHC valve trian. It pumps out peak power of 75 Bhp @ 6000 rpm and peak torque of 104 Nm @ 4000 rpm. The engine is coupled to a 5 speed manual transmission. The overall dimensions of Pulse petrol are Length - 3805 mm, Width - 1665mm, Height - 1530, Wheel Base - 2450mm. It has a boot space of 251 liters. 

The Renault Pulse is available in 6 different colours:
Champagne Gold
Metallic Grey
Metallic Red
Metallic Silver
Pearl White
Solid Black

Price of Renault Pulse petrol (ex-showroom, New Delhi)

Renault Pulse RxE Petrol is priced at Rs. 4.25 Lakh
Renault Pulse RxL Petrol is priced at Rs. 4.99 Lakh
Renault Pulse RxZ Petrol is priced at Rs. 5.55 Lakh

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Next Generation Mahindra Scorpio in the making

     India’s largest utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra has started working on the next generation Scorpio codenamed W201. The Scorpio has been a highly successful vehicle and it will not be wrong if we say Scorpio changed Mahindra’s fortune. Being in the market for over 10 years, Scorpio is still the favorite SUV to own under Rs. 10 lakh. Mahindra managed to sell over 50,000 units in a single year last year.

     The new Scorpio will not have monocoque chassis like the XUV500 but instead will be built on heavily modified version of current Scorpio. Mahindra believes latter-on-frame layout suits best for urban and rural markets and hence the new Scorpio will have one. The new Scorpio will have extended wheelbase, which means the third row will be more spacious now. A pick-up version will also be made for exporting to overseas markets.

     As far as the styling is concerned expect it to borrow some from XUV500. The new Scorpio will feature a new front grill, LED running lights and all the latest gadgets and gizmos. The new mHawk engine which produces 140bhp and 340 Nm of Torque will find its place under the new Scorpio’s hood. 

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Maruti Swift replaces Alto at the No. 1 position

     For the first time in last 7 years Maruti Alto has been moved to second position in terms of sales. Alto’s bigger brother Swift has overtaken the former selling 19.484 units as compared to Alto’s 17,842 units. Maruti Alto managed to sell 20,000 units every month from past 4-5 years. In fact Alto sold 32,000 units in March 2012.

     The greater demand for Swift is mainly due to its diesel variant. 80% of Swift sold are diesel variant and why not, the Swift gives a very good mileage of 20 Kmpl and has good performance too. At price point, it is the cheapest car in its segment which include Fiat Punto, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Micra and Skoda Fabia.

     Maruti Alto though being easy to drive has a disadvantage of only petrol and diesel option. Also the launch of Tata Nano and Hyundai Eon has made Alto sales drop down and not to forget the ageing design. Couple of months ago a new car with Alto name plate was found testing in New Delhi which looked almost like the A Star. It is still not clear weather Maruti will replace the aging Alto with the new one.

     In spite of labour issues Maruti Suzuki has managed to bring down the Swift bookings to 4 months from earlier 7-9 months. We will have to wait and see for how much time the Swift is going to stay at the number one place. 

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Manufacturer wise India Car Sales Data April 2012

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