With just about 45 days to go before BS IV norms kick in for the CV industry in India, manufacturers expect considerable pre-buying of compliant vehicles. Anuj Kathuria, president - Global Trucks, Ashok Leyland, speaks to Shobha Mathur. What is your outlook for the truck segment going forward?If you look at the past 9 months, the truck segment has de-grown by 4-5 percent but we have maintained our volumes and thereby gained market share. The last quarter is always the best for the industry; this year too we expect it to be good, backed up by some kind of pre-buying. I don’t know how much of pre-buying will happen this time; we don’t want too much to take place because then it impacts the subsequent year. The construction and mining sector is doing particularly well because of the government’s spending on infrastructure projects. As a result, we have seen huge demand in tippers, practically 50 percent better than last year. Multi-axle vehicles have seen the largest … [Read more...] about ‘With BS IV, the price rise in CVs will be between 5-10 percent.’
I e either by price
“Average kya hai?” is an oft-repeated query from motorists in India, be it two-wheelers or four-wheelers, a two-wheeler commuter or even a luxury car. Yes, the country’s obsession with more kilometres for each rupee spent is driving automakers to experiment with new technologies aimed at more mileage for every litre of petrol. Holistically, this in turn is driving a ‘green’ movement of developing fuel-sipping machines. While the electric two-wheeler market is improving in terms of better technology and awareness if not sales volumes, these battery operated vehicles, along with their hybrid counterparts, are far from becoming a part of mainstream commuting. Meanwhile, all the leading two-wheeler manufacturers are putting their shoulder to the wheel to make their petrol-engined commuters greener and cleaner for the environment. They are looking to achieve this through technological upgrades at various research and development stages and vehicle weight … [Read more...] about Indian 2-wheeler OEMs develop fuel sippers to s-t-r-e-t-c-h each litre
The premium luxury sedan segment is heating up with the presence of the Audi A8L, BMW 7-Series which recently got a LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) facelift while Jaguar reduced prices of the XJL by starting local production and now with Mercedes launching the much awaited S350 CDI. Each one of these cars has their own positives and negatives. While some are comfort-oriented, some are performance-oriented while some provide are a blend of comfort, performance and style. Here we do a price comparison of the diesel variants of all the above mentioned sedans i.e. A8L 3.0-litre TDI and 4.2-litre TDI, BMW 730Ld, Mercedes S350 CDI and Jaguar XJL 3.0 Portfolio. Talking about Audi, it is the A8L 3.0 TDI that generates more sales while the 4.2-litre is mostly preferred by those who really crave that extra power. The 3.0L TDI unit is no slouch either. It does 0-100 km/hr in 6.2 seconds while the 4.2L TDI does the same sprint in 4.6 seconds. The BMW 730Ld is similar to the A8L 3.0 when it comes to … [Read more...] about S-Class vs 7-Series vs A8 vs XJ – Price Comparison
Three days after Volkswagen officially decided its all-electric I.D. Buzz will become a reality, we roamed San Francisco’s streets in a concept version of the car along with a classic 1964 VW Microbus. It was, succinctly, an emotional demonstration of how electric propulsion, autonomous driving, and digitalization will redefine the mission of the automobile in the next 10 to 15 years.My first school bus was a 30-horsepower ’57 Volkswagen Type 2 (aka the Transporter, Kombi, Microbus, Bus, and “the hippie van”) trimmed with a mix of utilitarian rubber and leatherette. I sat up front, right foot resting on the gray tin blister that protected the headlamp assembly from the inside. There was no radio, no worthwhile heater, and no seat adjustment. But you could play with the five-stop sliding side window until one of the adults on board mercifully intervened. The brassy, catch-the-latch noise remains forever seared into my memory.The Buzz concept resurrects these … [Read more...] about First Drive: Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept
Bud Bourassa, I’m about to learn, is a man prone to understatement. “The Devin is like driving a skateboard,” he tells me. “It’s very quick and really responsive.” As for the Apollo GT, “You have to be pretty attentive. It’s a fun car to drive, but it takes concentration.” In retrospect, I should have taken him more seriously. Bourassa is a car collector from Scottsdale, Arizona, and he’s agreed to let me drive two of the rarest American cars in his collection. His Devin C is one of about 25 made, and it was Bill Devin’s own prototype. The Apollo GT is one of 39 examples built by the short-lived International Motor Cars company and one of only two automatics. Both cars stand as reminders of how difficult it is to get traction in the automotive business: Conceived in the same era, they launched hard and wound up flaming out. Devin started his business building race cars, but he was best known for his fiberglass bodies. … [Read more...] about The Apollo GT and Devin C: Two All-American Mashups Forgotten By Time
GM had an excellent May. Despite the title of this series, I’m not going to dwell on the fact that The General’s ten percent year-on-year sales increase is actually a rebound from a disastrous May ’06 (overall sales are still down 3.2 percent compared to the first five months of last year). And I won’t bother pointing out that the majority of GM’s one percent market share gain came out of Ford’s two percent market share loss. Or that GM’s “rising tide lifts all boats” progress pales in comparison with the sales tsunami that Toyota’s [still] riding deep into the American heartland. No I want to focus on debt.GM is carrying a monumental amount of debt. Forbes pegs the stat at $445b, against a market capitalization of $17b. General Motors has so much debt that even their high-flying foreign divisions know it’s hammer time (“You can’t touch this”). Only a major recovery in the black hole known as GM’s … [Read more...] about General Motors Death Watch 134: How do I do it? I’m in debt up to my eyeballs!
It’s that time of year again, when all of the ghouls come out to play, and skimpy costumes abound, and friendly folks hand out free stuff—we’re talking, of course, about the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas. (You didn’t think we were talking about Halloween, did you?) This automotive dress-up fantasyland is all about aftermarket companies and the wares they peddle, and what better way to show off your stuff than to slap it—or your name—onto some wild, outrageous, and downright awesome custom machinery. We’re working the three-day show, and bringing you the best of the craziest stuff we can find. Here’s what we came across after hitting the major manufacturers’ booths. Fiat 500 Abarth Café RacerThis little number shown above didn’t look like much at first, and we aren’t referring to its size. But once we got up close and noticed the Fiat’s exquisite, café motorcycle-racer–themed detailing—and its … [Read more...] about Best of SEMA, Part I: The OEMs Bring It [2012 SEMA Show]
Brian writes:Hi Sajeev,Love reading TTAC – thanks for all the entertainment. Responding to your request for more stupid questions, I have one ripe for pontification.I am a (male) small business owner with two small children and I’m looking for a new vehicle. I’m a big guy and with all the stuff kids have, I can’t get something too small. Nevertheless, in my search I’ve been toying lately with this question: What makes a car “manly/masculine” or “girly/feminine”? I understand that a two ton hunk of metal cannot in itself take on gender-specific characteristics, but there are definitely cars that women tend to call “cute” and cars that men tend to look at as “awesome”. Can anyone really look me in the eye and tell me that a VW Jetta or a small SUV strikes them as “manly”?But picking such a car before hearing the reactions almost seems counter-intuitive. At first glance you may think that … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Gender-based Automotive Discrimination?
A rear-wheel-drive four-door hatchback with staggered wheels and a mere 2,579 pounds distributed 45/55. From the folks who gave us the Evo. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (conversationally referred to as either the “i” OR the “meev”) isn’t that sort of car. Its focus is just as narrow as the Evo’s but could hardly be more different: the cheapest, most energy-efficient electric car you can buy in the United States. How cheap? The i-MiEV’s low-20s price (after a $7,500 tax credit) isn’t much higher than that of a Toyota Prius c, the cheapest, most energy-efficient hybrid.The Prius succeeded in part because it looked like nothing else. Even the most car-ignorant person can readily identify one. The i-MiEV similarly won’t be confused with any other car. Even the wipers are radically different (the one on the right was bent upwards by engineers, not hooligans). But will Americans identify this … [Read more...] about Review: 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
What Are They? A pair of Mitsubishi’s home-market minicars, one powered by gas, the other by electricity. The i minicar features a 63-hp, 0.7-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission tucked Smart-style between the back seat and rear axle. The i-MiEV—currently in prototype form—swaps in a 63-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery in place of the former’s drivetrain and fuel tank. To be sold as minicars in Japan, they must indeed be micro (and adorable): 133.7 inches long, 58.1 inches wide, and 63.0 inches tall (yes, that makes them taller than they are wide). But that doesn’t mean they are devoid of interesting mechanical bits. The gas version we drove even came with a viscous all-wheel-drive system complete with an aluminum front differential carrier. How Do They Drive? All you need to know about how Mitsubishi’s i cars drive can be deduced by looking at them. They're tall … [Read more...] about 2009 Mitsubishi i / i-MiEV Prototype