Friday, 31 May 2013

Petrol price hiked by 75 paise, Diesel by 50 paise and LPG cut by 45 paise

Petrol price was today hiked by 75 paisa per litre and diesel by 50 paisa a litre as rupee hit 11-month low making oil imports costlier.

The increase in rates, which are excluding local sales tax or VAT, will be effective from midnight tonight, Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest oil firm, said.

Petrol price in Delhi was hiked by 90 paisa to Rs 63.99 a litre from Rs 63.09 currently, while diesel will cost Rs 50.25 per litre from tomorrow as against Rs 49.69 currently.

Also, the oil companies cut price of cooking gas (LPG) that consumers have to buy beyond their quota of nine subsidised cylinders in a year, by Rs 45 per bottle. Non-subsidised domestic LPG in Delhi will now cost Rs 802 per 14.2-kg cylinder as against Rs 847 currently.

The petrol price has been hiked for the first time in last 3 months - with last being done on 1st March 2013. For diesel, this is the fifth increase in rates this year.

Petrol in Mumbai will cost Rs 70.68 a litre from tomorrow as against Rs 69.73 currently, while diesel prices was raised by 62 paisa to Rs 56.66.

Toyota plans to roll out Hybrid Etios, may set up new plant in India

Toyota Motors is considering an option of rolling out Etios Hybrid for developing markets and also could consider a plan to open a manufacturing plant in India to start manufacturing hybrid cars in India.

Toyota is planning to manufacture Camry hybrid also apart from currently available Prius hybrid in the country, if the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 takes effect.

Toyota sold 1.2 million of Hybrid cars in year 2012, which is roughly about the 50% of total cars sold in India and total number of cars manufactured by India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki in India. Hybrids constitutes about 14% of total Toyota Sales.

Kouji Toyoshima, chief engineer, Toyota Motor Corporation, the third man in the pecking order at Toyota's hybrid car development told ET, "We need to consider hybrid version of Etios going forward or a car for the emerging market. I think the first priority is to reduce the cost of the vehicle and improve efficiency levels, so that the customers in India are willing to choose hybrids as a better affordable alternative for the future."

Toyota had launched Prius in India in January 2010, and has managed to sell only 170 units since the launch, majorly due to high customs duty that CBU cars attract in India.

The hybrid cars are 30-50% more expensive than conventional cars depending on the subsidy extended by various central governments, but deliver 50% to 100% more fuel efficiency than a conventional gasoline car.

Mumbai Metro project gets 71 billion Yen as Loan for Japan - similar project for Ahmedabad high speed under study

In a meeting between India's PM, Mr. Manmohan Singh and his Japanese countepart, Mr. Shinzo Abe in Japan the decision on a loan being sanctioned for Japan high speed metro is approved.

The Metro route which includes 27 stations is expected to cost around Rs 24,700 crore. Mumbaikars can now expect the third metro line by 2020, four years after the original deadline of 2016.

Apart from this, India is also working towards developing a high-speed rail link between Mumbai – Ahmedabad and Mumbai – Delhi. The priority is the former. With estimated cost of INR 63,000 crores, Indian Railways, French National Railway Company (SNCF) and now Japan, all will help to design this highspeed rail link where trains will travel at 300 kmph, against today’s fastest trains, which travel at 150 kmph.

India will also be receiving a loan of ¥17.7 billion for Phase II of campus development at IIT Hyderabad besides for assistance of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacture at Jabalpur. 

BMW 7 series starts getting assembled in Chennai factory - First Images here

BMW factory at Chennai has started assembling the 7 series at its factory here in India. The 7-Series luxury saloon, it’s top spec luxury car model competes with the likes of the Mercedes Benz S-Class, Audi A8L and the Jaguar XJ.

The assembled-in-India BMW 7-Series is the first car model in the 7-Series line up to be assembled in India. The CKD assembled 7-Series model is the entry level diesel engined 730 Ld variant of the car, the variant that brings in the maximum volumes.

The factliefted version of BMW 7 series was launched about a month ago and available in both petrol and diesel variants. Powering the only diesel trim currently available to Indian 7 Series buyers is a 2993cc, in line 6 cylinder diesel unit. Fitted with a turbocharger, variable intake geometry and piezo injectors, the engine now delivers 261PS @ 4000 rpm as opposed to 234PS earlier, and torque has also gone up from 520Nm to 560Nm which kicks in as low as 1500rpm. The car is now mated to S-tronic 8 speed automatic transmission which covers 0-100Km in just 6.2 seconds.

View more Images of the car assembled in India here.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mercedes Benz launches A Class hatch in India at Rs 21.93 Lac

The much awaited Mercedes Benz A Class hatch, the cheapest of all the Merc available in India has been launched in India. The car was officially shown to selected audience at a party in Mumbai on 4th May (View details here) however the official launch and price happened just a couple of minutes ago.

The Mercedes A Class will be available in two variants - both Petrol and Diesel - A180 Style being the Diesel version and A180 Sport being the Petrol. The car is come equipped with 7 Speed DSG with paddle shifters. The dimesnsions being little bigger than the regular hatchbacks in India with 4,292 mm as length, 1,780mm as width and 1,433mm as height. The ARAI certified fuel efficiency for A180 Diesel is 20 Kmpl.

A180 Style connotes the "Diesel" variant and A180 Sport connotes the "Petrol". The Diesel engine is currently assembled locally at Force Motors, Pune and is tuned to deliver a fuel efficiency of 20 Kmpl. The same engine is also used for the Merc C Class.

A180 Style - Diesel variant is priced at Rs 21.93 Lac whereas the A180 Sport, Petrol variant is priced at Rs 22.73 Lac.

The Merc A Class could get the first mover advantage as none of its rivals - BMW / Audi has a car in this segment. The features of the car includes -
  • Start-stop system Paddle shift
  • Panaromic sunroof 
  • Attention assist 
  • Hill start assist 
  • Bi-xenon headlamps 
  • 7 airbags including ABS and ESP 
  • Adaptive brake lights 
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system 
  • Audio system with six speaker sound system 
  • 14.7cm screen display with TFT technology

The A 180 (Codename W176) is being offered with a 122bhp 1.6-litre petrol motor and a 2.2-litre diesel engine good for 109bhp. Both motors send power to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The diesel A-class reaches a top speed of 190kph while the petrol tops out at 202kph.

The car comes with 17-inch smoked grey alloy wheels. Other standard equipments include Bluetooth connectivity, seven airbags, ESP, bi-xenon lamps, USB and iPod connectivity, diamond shaped front grill and a massive panoramic sunroof.

More Images could be seen here.

Check out how a car is fully converted into Chrome - Video

Volkswagen dealer Drift Bridge has entered into an alliance with wrapping experts Creative FX and 3m Vinyl suppliers to give VW Golf a full Chrome wrapping. A video has also been released and is attached herewith.

You can see with how much patience the Chrome foil is wrapped around the car.  This project to foil cover the vehicle was taken on as a special treat to Volkswagen Golf as it was declared World Car of the Year 2013.

Check out the Video yourself.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mahindra Verito Vibe starts arriving at dealerships, launch on 5 June 2013

Mahindra's new offering - a hatchback, to be called as Verito Vibe will be launched on 5 June across all dealerships in India. The hatchback has started reaching the dealerships and one of the image spotted from dealership is here.

Looking at the pricing of the Verito sedan, the Verito hatchback is expected to be launched at extremely competitive pricing levels and will compete with all currently prevalant hatchbacks in the market. The engine would be carried over from the Verito sedan and will thus be powered by 1.5L K9K Diesel motor.

If viewed from the front and the sides, the body has been kept unchanged to keep the development costs low whereas the major changes could be seen in the C-pillar as the lighting now come on the C-pillars in sync with the roof line. Seems like the new boot will have subsidized effect from the pricing angle but will also have sufficient amount of boot space, as could be seen from outside. The exact dimensions still not revealed by the carmaker.

The Verito sedan is currently powered by 1.4L Petrol engine alongwith 1.5L Diesel engine however the hatchback - Vibe is expected to be launched only in with 1.5L K9K Diesel engine which is known for its reliability, responsiveness and excellent fuel efficiency and expected to replace soon the current Fiat's 1.3SDE engine which powers most of diesel cars on Indian roads.

The diesel powered Mahindra's Verito Vibe is expected to be launched around price tag of Rs 5 Lac.

Renault India recalls for 7,016 cars of Pulse hatchback and Scala sedan models

French carmaker, Renault India has recalled 7,016 cars including Pulse hatchback and Scala sedan models which are produced at its Oragadam factory in India. The reason for the recall is the faulty master brake cylinder in these vehicles.

Earlier this week, Nissan too recalled apprx. 22,000 vehicles including Micra and Sunny due to the same reason. Since, the siblings - Sunny/Scala and Micra/Pulse are produced at the same location at Renault-Nissan joint venture complex in Chennai, they too have a similar supplier for supplying of their critical components.

Earlier this week, Japanese carmaker Toyota recalled about 1,000 units of the diesel variant of its sedan Corolla Altis manufactured between August 3, 2012 and February 14 this year, due to a faulty driveshaft.

The breakup of vehicles include 2,836 units of Pulse hatchback and 4,180 units of Scala sedan, which will be recalled. Renualt dealers will contact the respective owners to fix up timings for correcting/replacing the part free of cost.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Toyota recalls Corolla Altis diesel for possible drive shaft problem

Toyota Kirloskar Motors recently announced to recall 1,000 of its Corolla Altis Diesel variant in India due to a possible defect in drive shaft of the cars. The affected cars are those mnaufactured between 3rd August 2012 and 14th February 2013.

The above said service can be availed free of cost at your nearest Toyota Dealership. It may take approximately 2 hours. Toyota requests you to go to the dealership with a prior appointment, so as to enable them to serve you better.

Toyota's toll - free no. 1800-425-0001 could also be contacted for any query or assistance.

Wheel-O-Mania recommends its readers, to keep following this link for more updates on recall procedure and other details. 

Ford EcoSport bookings open - launch on 26th June 2013

Ford India dealerships have started taking bookings for EcoSport. The booking amount for the same is Rs 50,000, with deliveries being made by end June or early July. Ford's EcoSport is slated for a launch on 26th June 2013.  Though, Ford India is yet to notify us on the official date and venue of the launch. Though, Ford India had on earlier occasions told that the launch is scheduled to happen in end of June 2013 - keeping this in mind, the above date of launch makes sense.

While there is no mystery to be revealed on the variants, specifications and features of the engines to be launched in EcoSport - the major cracking thing to hear on launch date would be the price of the vehicle.

The EcoSport sold in India will be available with three engine options and two transmission options. Two petrol engines, the 1 Liter EcoBoost turbo petrol unit and the 1.5 Liter Ti-VCT naturally aspirated petrol unit will form and one diesel engine, the 1.5 Liter TDCI turbo diesel engine, form the options on the engine front.

The 1.5L Diesel engine, and ofcourse the volume garner for Ford India will come only in Manual transmission. The engine will deliver a power of 89 bhp and 204 N-m of torque. The car will come equipped with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency of 22.7 Kmpl.

The 1.5L Gasoline engine will be available in both 5 speed manual transmission and 6 speed automatic transmission. The engine will deliver 110bhp of power and 140 N-m of torque. The manual variant will come with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency figures of 15.8 Kmpl and 15.6 Kmpl for automatic variant.

The most awaited 1.0L EcoBoost Gasoline engine, which will be available only on Titanium and Titanium Optional variants will come with 5 speed manual transmission and will deliver power of 122.5 bhp and 170 N-m of torque. The engine comes with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency figure of 18.9 Kmpl.

Click here to view EcoSport brochure that leaked on web.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Audi opens first showroom in Orissa - Invites Lara Dutta as Guest

Audi India has opened up a new showroom in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, taking their toll to 26th showroom in the country. At the opening ceremony, former Miss Universe and Bollywood actor, Lara Dutta was present.

The showroom is spread over 11,500 square feet, making it the largest luxury car showroom in Orissa. Just like other new dealerships Audi India has been opening, this one too features honeycomb aluminum facade on the exterior. Inside, there is a space to accommodate 14 cars. Audi Bhubaneswar will display the entire range of Audi India cars.

Audi Bhubaneswar is at par with the showrooms we have in Munich and London in regards of standards, quality and site. The brand has set very high standards in service quality and customer care in the country. By the end of 2013, we will have at least 34 dealers pan-India, with plans for new dealerships in markets like Vadodara and Noida among others. Therefore, is important for us to be present wherever our customer is".

Audi Bhubaneswar will also manage the exclusive Audi service facility in the next 5 months, which would be located behind the showroom on NH-5, Cuttack – Bhubaneswar Highway, Orissa. This facility would be spread over an area of 14,500 square feet and will have a capacity to service 15 cars per day in a single shift on a total of 09 bays along with body shop and paint shop. The technicians at the facility are trained to ensure world-class services to the customers.

Hindustan Motors to launch BS IV compliant Ambassador - To come with new name

Hindustan Motors, a CK Birla group company and has been struggling for cash for some time now has officially declared that a new variant of Ambassador, BSIV compliant will be launched in India. The new model will be powered by 1.5L Diesel motor.

The crisis-ridden auto manufacturer has displayed the new model with BS IV diesel engine to Kolkata's taxi associations at its plant, a company statement said today.

Some HM dealers also drove the new variant to get a feel of how does it looks like and what's the difference over the previous one.  According to the company, it will soon introduce the BS IV complaint model with a new name in the market.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Ford to stop producing cars in Australia, 1200 jobs at stake

Ford Motor Co. said it would stop producing cars in Australia in three years, foreshadowing hefty job losses in a setback for a government that has invested heavily in propping up the country's automobile industry.

The U.S.-based auto maker said it would end more than 90 years of car production in Australia in October 2016, resulting in 1,200 job losses. It cited unsustainably high business costs, with wages singled out as a particular concern.

The development was officially revealed by Bob Graziano, CEO & President, Ford Australia. In a press conference yesterday, Bob stated that the company has reported losses to the tune of $600 million over the last five years, including $141 million in last fiscal. (figures in AUD).

"The business case simply didn't stack up," Ford Australia's Chief Executive Bob Graziano said. "Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia."

Ford's problems aren't entirely reflected across Australia's car industry. Auto sales overall last year hit a record, fueled by rising sales of SUVs, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, an industry group. Toyota, which topped sales in 2012, has said it is seeing growing demand for its Australia-built models in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Ford Australia will remain, maintaining about 1,500 staff in research and design, the company said. That is small comfort for Mr. Fuller and colleagues, who worry the market for their skills is shrinking.

Hyundai stops the production of Accent in April 2013

We last told you in January 2013, that Accent would be discontinued for the domestic market and will only be continued for the exports market. 

The car was launched in 1999 and its sales in taxi segment has also come to slowdown since time Etios has been launched.  Hyundai Accent which uses 1.5L Gasoline engine and is also available in CNG option still has a descent domestic demand. But, as per the carmaker the company would like to use this for other models which cater even better demand in the domestic market.

Meanwhile, we heard that Hyundai is working on diesel i10 variant which would be launched in September 2013 in the Indian market and have also spied testing same. The carmaker confirms the smaller diesel engine is under progress and the carmaker is yet to start the production of its smaller diesel engine in a few months from now.

Nissan announces recall of Micra hatchback and Sunny sedan in India

Nissan India announces to recall 22,188 Micra hatchback and Sunny sedan in India to replace the master brake cylinder at free of cost.

Speaking about fixing the error, Nissan India will replace the faulty part free of cost. In a statement, they stated, “Nissan plans to begin notifying individual customers in May. Nissan dealers will replace the master brake cylinder at no cost to the customer. Nissan is committed to a high level of customer safety, service and satisfaction and is working with its dealers to promptly address this issue.”

A total of 67,089 Micra and Sunny, from Asia, Africa, and Europe have been recalled in the past for this very same issue. Nissan India also added that due to these faults, no injury, death or accident has been reported.

Meanwhile, Nisssan also shared in morning two big news - their plans to sell 100,000 cars in next year, for which they will launch 4 new cars and their plans of not to share platforms with Renault anymore like they did for Pulse/Micra and Sunny/Scala.

Official - Ford EcoSport to be launched in June 2013

The official word is out now. The much awaited car for Indian market in 2013 will be launched in June 2013. This information has been conveyed by Ford India’s marketing team to everyone who registers for more information on the EcoSport, through a mass email.

After successfully completing EcoSport discoveries contest, the bookings will officially open in June accompanied by the launch.

The Ford EcoSport was first revealed during Auto Expo in January 2012 and nearly 18 months later, it will be launched here in India. The car will come in four trim variants - Ambiente, Trend, Titanium and Titanium optional. Details regarding the features offered in each variant could be seen here. 

The car will be launched with three engine options - 1.0L Petrol EcoBoost engine, .15L Petrol engine and 1.5L Diesel engine.

The 1.5L Diesel engine, and ofcourse the volume garner for Ford India will come only in Manual transmission. The engine will deliver a power of 89 bhp and 204 N-m of torque. The car will come equipped with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency of 22.7 Kmpl.

The 1.5L Gasoline engine will be available in both 5 speed manual transmission and 6 speed automatic transmission. The engine will deliver 110bhp of power and 140 N-m of torque. The manual variant will come with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency figures of 15.8 Kmpl and 15.6 Kmpl for automatic variant.

The most awaited 1.0L EcoBoost Gasoline engine, which will be available only on Titanium and Titanium Optional variants will come with 5 speed manual transmission and will deliver power of 122.5 bhp and 170 N-m of torque. The engine comes with ARAI acclaimed fuel efficiency figure of 18.9 Kmpl.

There is a huge buzz that the car could be launched at a starting price tag of Rs 6.5 Lac. Ford EcoSport recently crashed during media drive, its safety features were tested. Watch all details here.

Bajaj's RE60 gets a green signal but you cannot buy it. Check it out why !

Bajaj's RE60 to be considered as a Quadricycle gets a green signal in India, two days back when a meeting under the chairmanship of Road Secretary Vijay Chhibber approved the use of such vehicles on roads. However, you cannot but this vehicle and there is a catch - The Bajaj's RE60 cannot be purchased as a personal vehicle.

When can you buy a Quadricycle ?
A Quadricycle has been approved as a vehicle to run on Indian roads however it can only be used as a commercial vehicle and not as a personal vehicle. The driver of the vehicle and a purchaser, needs to have a valid commercial vehcile licence to buy it. Also, the vehicle needs to have "Q" mentioned on the rear of the vehicle in order to differentiate from regular passenger vehicles plying on roads.

NO need to worry for Passenger vehicle makers
Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki were the biggest opposers for the policy of Quadricycles to be implemented in India and hence the committe has cleared with their statement that they would not affect the domestic passenger vehicle - small car market in India.

Since Tata Nano and Maruti Suzuki Alto have been fitted with a bigger engine and have a more safer body as they ply to safety standards of being a car in India, Bajaj's RE60 will be given some leniency in safety standards. Bajaj's RE60 will use Pulsar's 200cc engine with a power output of 20bhp and a top speed of 70 Kmph, thanks to the added weight of four wheels, additional seats and a roof.

So, in case you want to upgrade from current two wheeler to cheapest car - Tata Nano still remains the only option for you.

It could replace Three wheelers
Quadricycle however could replace the existing three wheelers in India and again could benefit Bajaj Auto. Bajaj, though already is a market leader in three wheeler segment but has 40% market share. It would benefit out of rest 60% market share. As of now, there is no competition to RE60 - with Bajaj being the only player in India.

The question still remains - will RE60 completely replace three wheelers ? The price during the launch could itself answer this question. Stay tuned !

Renault and Nissan may not share models in India - Nissan's Duster still there ?

Renault Nissan India Pvt. Ltd. the joint subsidiary of the French and the Japanese carmaker may not work together in India going forward, as per the statement of Kenichero Yomura, president of Nissan’s India operations.

Yomura San said it was necessary to work together so as to achieve greater volumes and hence be cost competitiveness in a market like India. That's the sole reason why the company is heavily exporting the current models from India. However, the current status if reviewed is that the cross badged models like Sunny/Scala and Micra/Pulse have not generated huge volumes as expected.

Infact, as per the actual sales figures, Nissan's Micra have dropped down to 500+ units a month similar to the range of Pulse hatchback and even Sunny dropped below 1,000 numbers last month which makes it again hover around the range of Scala sales.

Yomura San declined to comment on the Nissan's Duster based Compact SUV. The Compact SUV is one of the most important models from carmaker's, country's and people's point of view. At a time when Nissan's Duster based SUV could generate huge volumes and could support the carmaker and the slowing country's sales, the people are also waiting for more similar models.

However as per the sources it is being said that the Nissan's Duster based Compact SUV will be the last shared product between the two manufacturers.

“India is a very competitive market and we came in late,” Yomura said. “In order to be cost competitive we needed to be a big volume player from the beginning. We shared products with Renault and both companies sell products in domestic and export (market). By doing that we achieved big volumes in three years. But we will not see the cross-badged models. It was only for the beginning not anymore”, said Yomura.

In another statement, Yomura San confirmed four new model launches for Indian market without divulging any further details. For the complete list, click here. 

Toyota to launch Compact SUV, more small cars in India

Toyota Kirloskar India, which makes one of the most trusted brand of cars across the world and has been the number one in global automobile market for 4-5 years now has finally decided to put its clear focus on Indian market too. The carmaker now aims to become numero uno and hence plans to expand its portfolio in India.

The company plans to introduce itself into new segments like fast moving Compact SUV segment and volume garnering small cars segment.

The company, however, said in the absence of a clear cut Indian government policy relating the auto industry such as fuel policy and import tariff, it is adopting a wait and watch strategy before deciding on setting up of a new diesel engine plant in the country or launching more hybrid cars.

"If you look at our portfolio in India, we have just one small car, Liva. We need more if we have to have big volumes in a fast growing market like India," Toyota Motor Corporation Managing Officer Satoshi Ohiso told reporters.

"Globally, the compact SUV segment is getting more popular and in India it is also the same. We will definitely have our presence there," he said, without elaborating details.

While he did not share a timeline for realising such ambition, O'Connor said Toyota is watching out for a clear cut government policy before it decides on key decision like investing on a diesel engine manufacturing plant.

The image attached here is of Toyota - Rush, a compact SUV sold globally. It appears to be a mini Fortuner. The Japanese carmaker should benefit out of the strong reputation for Fortuner in India and should work on bringing this product to Indian market too. 

Nissan to launch four new models this year, Micra Classic launch in July 2013

Nissan Motors India today said they will launch four new vehicles this fiscal year in order to treble their sales from 37,000 last year to about 100,000 next year. The four new launches include two new variants and two new vehicles. The new vehicles could include Duster based Compact SUV and another from Datsun's stable. The two new variants could include Micra Classic and Sunny CVT. However, the first one to come could be a Micra Classic and could be launched as early as July 2013.

"Nissan India intends to sell as many as 1 lakh units in the domestic market this fiscal, even as we want to continue to improve our exports performance from here, which stood at 1.3 lakh units last fiscal," newly-appointed Nissan India Operations president and MD and CEO of Nissan Motor India Kenichiro Yomura told at a select media briefing here.

Admitting that the Evalia could not get the expected market response and citing the reason that the Japanese carmaker could not communicate properly the car to the consumers. He further said, from now onwards, the company will ensure that they communicate the fuel efficiency and affordability of the vehicles.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Government now allows Quadricylces to ply on Indian roads - Bajaj to benefit the most

Government today allowed a new category of vehicles called, "Quadricycles" to be allowed on Indian roads saying this is more safer form of transport than the regular three wheeler vehicle. However, there must be a certain speed limit and engine capacity to be specified which will be lower than the regular four wheeler small cars.

A meeting under the chairmanship of Road Secretary Vijay Chhibber was held today to discuss the issue of amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR) to include quadricycle as an additional category vehicle to be manufactured and registered in India. It was decided during the meeting that the Quadricycles are safer than the 3-wheeler as they have fully enclosed body structure with hard top and doors.

"A separate category has been proposed for notification to include quadricyle with specifications adopting present norms notified in the 3-wheeler category of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR) or the European Union quadricycle, whichever is more stringent," a Road Ministry statement said.

The most to benefit out of this is the homegrown Bajaj Auto, which unveiled first quadricycle for India during the 2012 Auto Expo. Codenamed as RE60, the Quadricycle will be powered by a 200cc petrol engine with a top speed of 70 Kmph and a mileage of 35 Kmpl.

Quadricycles will be recommended for registration under commercial transport category for intra-city movement within the municipal limits only and these vehicles will be permitted to be driven only by licensed driver after due registration. Also, all Quadricycle registered vehicles will have an identification symbol "Q" prominently dislpayed on the body of these vehicles.

"It is expected to be a substantial upgrade over the 3-wheeler auto which currently provides for the last mile connectivity in most urban areas of the country," the statement said.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Ministry of Heavy Industry, ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) and iCAT ( International Centre for Automotive Technology).

"This is a wonderful day for Indian automotive innovation. The RE60 will soon be joined by many more similarly small, light and low speed vehicles that will make for a cleaner, safer, quieter world. As an anti-car company we are just delighted," Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj told.

The company that will be negatively affected will be Tata Motors as the company while launching the small car, Nano, had a vision of replacing this with the existing three wheelers citing the safety benefits that Nano posses over three wheelers. While, Nano is powered by a 660cc petrol engine and costs around Rs 1.5 Lac, the price of Bajaj's RE60 is something to be looked at. The diesel version of Nano is currently under development and expect it to launch by the end of ongoing year.

Tata Motors small car, Nano is already on its all time low with just 948 units selling in April 2013.

What could be done by Tata Motors !
We expect Bajaj Auto's 200cc, four wheeler, hard top RE60 to be launched lesser than a lac, while the soft top version (if launched) will be even cheaper and could be priced in the range of Rs 75,000. With Tata Motors already working on Nano facelift, the current version of Nano could be trimmed down on existing features, thus making slight reduction in cost and put into market compete with Bajaj's lower powered and smaller engined RE60.

However, a close watch on this development should be kept as Tata Motors strategy of placing a product for both commercial vehicle market and passenger vehicle market has made its brand image as a "taxi vehicle maker" - this is something Tata Motors needs to look at. While we at Wheel-O-Mania have given them a food of thought.

Is this the front of the new Pulsar 375 !

Bajaj Auto is planning to launch the biggest capacity motorcycle ever in India, Pulsar 375, by the year end. Below is the spy shot of the Pulsar 375 captured by AutocarIndia. The initial images of Pulsar 375 indicate eye like turn indicators, faired front end and twin eye shaped headlamps.

At present, Duke 390 is powered by 44Bhp-35N-m torque from a single cylinder 373cc liquid cooled four stroke engine. Expect a similar output from Pulsar's 375cc bike. Expect a six speed manual transmission as standard and a price close of Rs 2 Lac. Stay tuned for more details.

Mercedes A Class to come with 1.6L petrol and 2.2L Diesel engine - Launch on 30 May 2013

Mercedes A Class, as we told you will be disclosed privately on 4th May and will be officially launched in India on 30th May 2013. The Stuttgart based luxury carmaker has showcased the car today for the first time in India at their Mumbai dealership, Shaman Wheels. This being just a preview, photos and specs were revealed but prices will be revealed officially on the launch date - 30th May 2013.

The Mercedes A Class will be launched in two variants - both Petrol and Diesel - A180 CDI being the Diesel version and A180 Sport being the Petrol. The car will come equipped with 7 Speed DSG with paddle shifters. The dimesnsions being little bigger than the regular hatchbacks in India with 4,292 mm as length, 1,780mm as width and 1,433mm as height. The ARAI certified fuel efficiency for A180 Diesel is 20 Kmpl.

The car could be launched in two variants - "CDI" connoting "Diesel" and "Sports" connoting "Petrol" engine. The 1.6L petrol engine is capable of producing 122PS of power at 200N-m of torque and the Diesel engine is capable of producing 110PS of power at 250 N-m of torque.

The Diesel engine is currently assembled locally at Force Motors, Pune and is tuned to deliver a fuel efficiency of 20 Kmpl. The same engine is also used for the Merc C Class.

The Merc A Class could get the first mover advantage as none of its rivals - BMW / Audi has a car in this segment. Stay tuned for more information from the launch date and by that time we closely look at what the customer's  have to say about this one !

The features that A Class could offer includes -
  • Start-stop system
  • Paddle shift
  • Panaromic sunroof
  • Attention assist
  • Hill start assist
  • Bi-xenon headlamps
  • 7 airbags including ABS and ESP
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Audio system with six speaker sound system
  • 14.7cm screen display with TFT technology

In the meantime, watch out complete images here.

Image Source - Teambhp

Volkwagen Polo GT TDI Diesel hatchback spotted testing in India

Its been just a couple of weeks when Volkswagen launched their top of the line - Polo GT TSI, powered by 1.2L Petrol engine producing 103 PS of power at Rs 7.99 Lac.  It offers the combination of powerful turbo petrol engine and a technology packed 7 speed DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox.

At this price, VW Polo GT TSI is most expensive petrol hatchback available in the market.  Now, what you are seeing are the spy shots of a similar, highly powered Diesel engine - to be called as GT TDI engine, by .  There is no clarity on what diesel engine the car will be powered with, but the best match could be a 1.6L Diesel engine producing 105PS of power with 250N-m of torque.

The Polo GT TDI  if uses a 1.6L engine will not be classified under a small car i.e. sub-4 meter car and will attract a duty of more than 12 percent. Expect the car to be launched at a price of Rs 8.99 Lac in case it comes up with an automatic gearbox else the price range could also be at levels of Rs 8.25 Lac.

There are no price details indicated by the German carmaker and these are just an assumption. Stay tuned for more information on Polo GT TDI while complete details on Polo GT TSI could be read here. 

GM India to hike prices of their vehicles by upto Rs 10,000 from first week of June 2013

General Motors India has announced a price hike across its range of vehicles starting from first week of June to offset the increase in logistics costs followed by hike in diesel prices.

"With diesel prices going up on regular intervals, transportation and other logistic costs have gone up significantly. We are left with no option, but to pass on the burden partially to consumers," General Motors India Vice President P Balendran told. 

"We are yet to finalise the exact amount, but it will be up to 1.5 per cent, which will be around Rs 10,000, depending upon different models and their variants," Balendran said.

In this month, diesel prices were hiked by Rs 1.02 per litre, the fourth increase in rates this year. Earlier, diesel prices were raised by 45 paisa in March, excluding VAT. Similar hikes had taken place in January and February, but prices were not changed in April when Parliament's Budget session was on.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Maruti Suzuki offers free 100 Liters of Diesel and Rs 20,000 discount on purchase of Ertiga, Ritz, Swift and Dzire

The slowdown in the Indian automotive Industry has brought the market leader, Maruti Suzuki offering discounts on its diesel range of best selling cars including Swift, Dzire, Ritz and even Ertiga. The cars esp. Swift and Dzire at one point of time used to sell with waiting period of 6 months. While it is yet to figured out that the discounts are being offered by the company or just the dealers, but seeing the discounts on best selling diesel models can surely let one know how much pressure the industry current is in.

Until last month, the carmaker was offering a cash discount of Rs 5,000 on Swift and Dzire which is now converted into 100 Liters of Diesel. Additionally, Rs 20,000 of exchange bonus could make it a good deal. All the four cars are powered by Fiat's 1.3L Multijet engine with Swift, Dzire and Ritz delivering power output of 75 PS and Ertiga with 90PS. 

Lathicharge at Maruti Suzuki workers and their families - 100 of them arrested

The workers and family members of those 147 arrested in July 18 case, were on a peaceful dharna outside Mini Secretariat from 28th April 2013 in Kaithal. However, it turned voilent when the protesters gathered outside the residence of Haryana minister, Randeep Singh Surjewala at Kaithal.

The police was forced to evict the protesters, which largely comprised families of Maruti Suzuki workers, who had gathered outside the residence of Surjewala on Sunday.

The 147 workers -  both temporary and permanent are still in jail who have been terminated for July 18 incident, which had led to death of HR Manager and left 96 more injured.

The Haryana government, on the eve of this protest at Kaithal, had already imposed IPC Section 144 in the town and arrested close to 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal Mini Secretariat at 11:30 pm last night.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

VW Cross Polo seen testing again in India - All images inside

Volkswagen's Compact SUV - Taigun is still some time away for the Indian launch. However, the Compact SUV market in India is gaining speed and registered more than 50% growth last year. All the automakers need to jump into this market in case they want to maintain their market share.

Volkwagen till the time, Taigun hits Indian market needed a product to be a part of competition of high growing Compact SUV segment. VW's Cross Polo could fit into the category till then. VW's Cross Polo has been spied testing around a lot of times these days on Pune-Mumbai expressway.

The hatchback off-roader, with its rugged off-road kit, trumps any regular hatch in terms of looks. The ride height has been increased by around 15mm and a thick, matte plastic band extends across the chin, the flanks and around the rear. The wheel arches get the same treatment and there’s a scuff plate with a dull silver finish. The CrossPolo also gets silver anodised roof rails where up to 75kg of luggage can be mounted and secured. A silver diffuser at the rear and big 17-inch wheels complete the off-roader look.

The rear spare wheel has not been spotted while the car is seen testing however as per sources in the German carmaker, the final car could come with a spare wheel mounted on the tailgate. This still remains a suspense however in India the spare wheel has always received positive impression of the cars. Ford EcoSport has always received positive response of the rear spare wheel on the tailgate however Tata's Storme when launched without a rear sparewheel received much criticism.

We will have to wait and watch what VW has to offer in its Cross Polo. In the meantime, we bring you images of both - with and without rear wheel mounted on tailgate and images from all angles. The same could be viewed here

Suzuki Inazuma coming soon in India

The 250-300cc segment has been seeing a huge growth and attention lately and Suzuki Motorcyle is one of the bike manufacturer in India, which is missing in this segment. Though late, but Suzuki has been working on Inazuma 250, also known as GW250 and could be launched soon in India.

The Inazuma will house a four-stroke, 248cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected engine synced to a 6-speed gearbox, generating maximum power of 23.7bhp at 8500rpm and peak torque of 2.24kgm at 6500rpm. This quarter-litre Suzuki will find its way into the country via the CKD route.

Stay tuned for more details.

KTM Competitor - Mahindra's Mojo could be launched in 2013

Yet another motorcycle to be looked at in 250-300cc segment is here, this time from the homegrown bikemaker - Mahindra two wheelers. The bike has been spotted testing in Pune a couple of times and should be launched by end of this year. 

The bike was first showcased in 2010 and was again spotted at 2012 Auto Expo. The Mojo is powered by a homegrown 300cc single cylinder fuel injected engine which puts out 26 bhp of power and 24 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 6-speed unit. The figures are at par with the other products in the price segment.

The styling of the bike coule evoke mixed reactions among lot of people. While its meaty tyres and twin silencers could get a lot of praise while on the other hand, front twin headlamp unit and fuel tank could get mixed response from masses. 

Let us know your thoughts on this one and at the same time, stay tuned for more information on the same. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Dacia Duster Extreme edition launched in Europe

Duster has been an instant hit in Indian market, since the time it has been launched. At 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Duster's limited edition variant - Duster Adventure edition was displayed and has Exteme limited edition variant has been launched in Europe market.  While the Adventure Edition at Geneva was shown with black steel rims without wheel covers, the Extreme edition has gotten itself a dual 5-spoke alloy wheel.

Dacia say that it can be ordered in a Pearl Black finish as well. Other exterior highlights include roof mounted spot lights, roof rails and a front skid plate.

Inside, the Extreme edition boasts of a Garmin Zumo 350LM navigation unit with topographical maps. A new set of rubber mats are also included in the package.

The Duster Extreme Edition is a limited run variant, however, Dacia has not announced how many units it would be limited to. The Extreme edition has a price tag of 12,560 EUR (INR 8.85 lakhs).

Mahindra SsangYong S101 SUV to have 6 seats, to come with dash mounted gearbox

As we told earlier, Mahindra SsangYong will come up with six new engines and new range of SUV's out of which S101 and S102 are the most talked about. S101 is to come with 3 cylinder 1.2L petrol and 1.2L diesel engine and will be cost conscious vehicle. However, S102 will be focussed on more rich features and will be most powerful, powered by 4 cylinder 1.5L engine. Read more information here.

As per the latest sources, the S101  SUV will come with 6 seats, 3+3 seater option, thanks to the spy image by AutocarIndia which shows the dashboard mounted gearbox as we used to see in previous generation Premier and Padmini vehicles. The exteriors of this vehicle will be inspired from XUV 5OO.

The relocation of gear knob on the dashboard is done so as to increase the seating capacity of the vehicle. The SUV is expected to be much more lighter, peppier and more fuel efficient than the body-on-ladder framed Quanto SUV.

The collaboration work is steered by the Indian company and the work has already started at its Chennai R&D cnter, mahindra research valley, popularly known as MRV. The company has already cleared that the current range of SUV's - Scorpio, Xylo and XUV5OO will continue to be powered by same 2.2L mHawk and 2.5L CRDe engines and the new SUV's will share complete difference from current SUV's and will be build from scratch products.

Indian Motorcycles to launch "Chief" variant in 2014 - First teaser unveiled - VIDEO

America's first motorcycle company, Indian Motorcyles was formed in 1901 and since then it has seen many ups, downs and management changes. Finally, in 2011 the ownership came to Polaris Industries when they decided to acquire it from the predecessor, the company has decided to launch the first "Chief" variant in India in 2014 and have unveiled the first ever teaser.

Though many may know of the Indian Motorcycle brand thanks to the movie “The Fastest Indian,” the company boasts a rich history and legacy. It seems Indian Motorcyle is finally set for a resurrection with a teaser image on the company website showcasing the silhouette of the new bike. The site also makes it amply clear that the motorcycle maker will be entering our market soon.

It will be easier for the bike manufacturer to enter India, as the parent company, Polaris Industries is already present in India with manufacturing of ATV's.

The 2014 Chief, which is named after the most successful bike in the company’s portfolio, will be powered by the recently showcased Thunderstroke 1,819cc, V-twin engine pumping out an astonishing 155Nm of torque. It is speculated that the new bike would be showcased publicly at the upcoming Sturgis Rally scheduled to be held from August 5-11, 2013.

The bike is expected to come with a price tag of Rs 10 Lac, and with this, finally Harley Davidson could have a strong competitor here. Watch out the Video here.

View Video here

Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is America's first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America's most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit

Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2012 sales of $3.2 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles. Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris and KLIM branded apparel and Polaris accessories and parts. Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PII", and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index. Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at

Bajaj to launch six new bikes in July 2013 based on Discover

Seems like since the time, Bajaj Motorcycles lost their second position in domestic market to Honda Motorcycles, the Pune based bike maker has not slept good nights. The bike maker has decided to flood the market with new models, to be precise 6 new models are expected to be launched by Bajaj.

Out of these four bikes would be launched in price range of Rs 40,000 - 50,000 and other two would be launched in price bracket of more than Rs 50,000. While one of the expected launches could include Pulsar 375, the other ones could be based on Discover platform.

Mr. S Ravikumar, senior vice president (business development and assurance), Bajaj Auto said, “With the Discover, we have made multiple cuts in the entry level segment. The brand has gained good traction in the market. The focus now would be on the Discover in the current financial year.”

Stay tuned for more information on two wheeler market in India.

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