Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chevrolet India website features Beat Diesel

Chevrolet India website, added a new page which features one of the most awaited cars of this year, Beat Diesel. Chevrolet Beat diesel will be powered by a small 936 cc TDCi diesel engine that will generate 57 bhp and 157 Nm torque.

The USP of this car is that it will be powered by a diesel engine that will deliver a mileage of 24 kmpl. In today’s time when rising fuel costs have forced people to switch to diesel powered cars, Chevrolet Beat is expected to change GM India’s fortunes in India.

According to the website, Chevrolet Beat’s Smartech engine will feature advanced engine design, engineering & packaging, combination of features and engine components package that provides improved performance, significant improvement in NVH characteristics of the engine leading to more comfortable driving experience, smart engine design and technology that provides optimum fuel efficiency in varied driving conditions, higher low end torque delivery for improved driving experience in stop and go traffic conditions, and rigorously tested & proven in extreme Indian road and climatic conditions.

While on the car, Chevrolet states, “Leave behind the worries of petrol costs, ignore the long queues at fuel stations; pass by every milestone on the road because new Beat Diesel is here. Equipped with advanced SMARTECH engine, Chevrolet Beat Diesel promises a very good mileage for really long drives. Its low end torque lets you hit the road with excellent pick up and enjoy the silent rides along with 4.5 m turning radius for great city maneuverability. So what are you waiting for? Be the first to experience. The Smarter Diesel!”
Source: Chevrolet Beat Diesel India

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chevrolet Beat Diesel Pre-Launch Preview

Chevrolet Beat Diesel

Tomorrow, at 1130 in the morning, General Motors India will unveil the hotly anticipated entry level diesel hatchback, the Chevrolet Beat Diesel at Delhi and Mumbai simultaneously. In the run up to the launch, General Motors has been stressing upon the fact that the Beat Diesel’s three cylinder, common rail turbo diesel engine displaces 936cc and will be one of the segment leaders when it comes to fuel economy.

Also, the fact that the engine being a three cylinder unit will cost lesser to produce than say, a four cylinder diesel engine that most of the other competing cars in the segment like the Tata Indica eV2 and the Ford Figo Diesel feature. And this factor is expected to make a big difference.

This cost saving aspect of the three pot engine is expected to translate into a lower sticker price for the Chevrolet Beat Diesel, one which we expect will be very competitive to say the least. So, you can expect the Chevrolet Beat Diesel to be priced very close to the Tata Indica eV2 or just a little over the Indica’s price, thus making it one of the lowest price diesel hatchbacks in a country.

Chevrolet Beat Diesel

This, is especially crucial in a time when the demand for diesel cars in India is at an all time high. With the Chevrolet Beat Diesel, GM India will also aim to demonstrate that a three cylinder engine too can be as smooth as say a four potter. Yesterday, we brought you a story about the Chevrolet Beat’s brand new XSDE(An acronym for extra small diesel engine) Diesel engine’s raft of technologically advanced features.

The engine is also the smallest diesel engine yet, from the General Motors stable. Featuring a cam chain instead of the conventional cam belt, the XSDE Diesel three potter is designed to be a low maintenance engine. The engine has also been developed keeping in mind the fact that its intended application will be mainly on city streets. Therefore, plenty of low end torque to make city driving a breeze is a strong point of the engine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Honda Vietnam to build third motorcycle production plant

Honda motor's, motorcycle and automobile sales unit, Honda Vietnam (HVN) is planning to build its $120m third motorcycle production plant in Ha Nam Province, Vietnam.

The new plant is part of company's plan to expand its total annual production capacity by 500,000 units in order to meet demand of the motorcycle market in the region.

HVN is expected to invest $120m in the new plant which is scheduled to become operational in the second half of 2012.

The third plant is expected to open in the second half of 2012 and increase HVN's annual production capacity to 2.5 million motorcycles from 2 million.

Since starting production in 1997, Honda Vietnam has produced 9.6 million motorcycles and its market share reached 64% last year.

GM Introduces Beat in Diesel Version

General Motors are aware of rising fuel prices, and also very well know the difference between petrol and diesel prices. And, that is why they have introduced diesel version of Beat for their friendly customers. The new swanky model is priced at Rs 4.29 lakhs. It is considered the car would give tough competition to Ford Figo and Suzuki Swift.

Not only, GM has kept price in mind but it also has designed world smallest diesel engine. The Diesel Beat is available in 1000cc engine, which is designed by GM engineers in Europe, and also has been modified, so that it could suit Indian driving conditions. According to GM officials, this new model would surely give an impetus to the sales of Beat.

Moreover, this new diesel model would be appreciated, when fuel prices has been recently hiked. GM could also introduce diesel versions in their other models. And, in next 18 months GM India hopes to get five new vehicles, including a hatchback. There would not be much difference in novel model, but signature style of the Beat that is macho factor would remain and would be carried in interiors of it as well.

The best about the Beat is its handling, which is considered to be the best in India’s small cars. What makes its handling easy is its light steering, and its turning radius is also small, which makes everything hassle free.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chevrolet Beat (diesel) to be launched in India on Jul 25

General Motors India would launch the diesel variant of its Chevrolet Beat in the Indian market on July 25, a top company official said

“With fluctuation in fuel prices in India from time to time, the new Chevrolet Diesel Beat, the prices of which will be announced at the launch will revolutionise the small car segment, with its engine capacity and fuel economy,” Karl Slym President and Managing Director General Motors India said

The company, which sold about 1.1 lakh cars last year in India, was doubling its growth rate in India as compared to industry average and expected to sell about 1.4 lakh vehicles in all variants this year,up by more than 30 per cent, he said.

Slym, was in Coimbatore to launch a new dealership along with two attached workshops, said the outlet was 250th in India. With tremendous demand for its cars particularly in rural areas, the company would increase sales and service network to 300 locations by the end of this year, he said.

Ford Focus Sedan to be unveiled at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo

Ford Focus Sedan

Having just launched the 2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan a couple of weeks ago, Ford India will unveil its next product for the Indian car market, the second of the 8 global products the automaker plans to launch in India by 2015, the Ford Focus Sedan. Reliable Ford India sources have revealed this bit of information to Team ICB. The Ford Focus Sedan will compete with the likes of the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Honda Civic, the Renault Fluence Sedan, the Skoda Laura and the new Volkswagen Jetta.

Ford India though would have a tough time at pricing the Focus Sedan competitively as the Fiesta Sedan Diesel’s top end variant is dangerously close to the D-segment car segment. Coming to what the Focus Sedan is expected to offer, a petrol engine and a diesel engine will be on offer with Ford India very serious about expanding its diesel engined model range in India.

Ford Focus Sedan

A 1.6 Liter turbocharged Eco-Boost engine producing about 160 Bhp could be the petrol engine that Ford India might outfit the Indian Focus Sedan with. The diesel engine on the other hand could be a 140 Bh, 2 liter TDCI unit. Both these engines, while being quite powerful to endow the Focus Sedan with terrific performance are also known to be extremely fuel efficient, which most definitely is the need of the day.

These engines will be paired with both manual and automatic six speed transmissions. Notably, the dual, dry clutch automatic Powershift gearbox that Ford has developed recently could make it to the Focus Sedan, for better gearshift response as well as fuel economy. Globally, the Ford Focus Sedan comes with a range of new features, that might come to India as well as Ford India has demonstrated with the class leading features for the new Ford Fiesta Sedan like Active Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear View Camera to name just a few.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Triumph Motorcycles to be launched in India

The iconic British motorcycle brand has announced its foray into the Indian market with its extensive range of premium models hitting the roads by next year. Triumph is one of the oldest motorcycle makers in the world and has been producing some of the finest machines for bikers all around the world. With international players entering the Indian market, Triumph too does not want to be left behind and has officially announced its entry into the country. For its Indian operations, Triumph has appointed Ashish Joshi as its Managing Director, who previously was heading the European operations for Royal Enfield and has a solid experience of sixteen years working in the in Asian and European markets.

Commenting on Triumph’s entry to the Indian market Nick Bloor, CEO of Triumph Motorcycles, UK said: “India is a very important motorcycle market and Triumph has assessed it carefully before deciding to step in. We see it as the next step in our global business model. The appointment of Ashish Joshi is a signal of our seriousness about success in India. I wish him the best and look forward to comprehensive growth from the Indian market.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ford rolls out global Fiesta at 8.23 lakh

Ford drove in the international Fiesta sedan in India on Thursday with an entry price of Rs 8.23 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), significantly higher than rivals like Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento. The US car major has seen a revival of sorts in India after the launch the Figo last year. It is counting on the new car to up its stake in the lucrative but highly competitive premium sedan segment, which has seen a flurry of new launches in recent times.

Ford Fiesta is the first of the eight new global models that Ford has promised to roll out by 2015. It sports a 1500cc engine in both petrol and diesel variants. The entry-level diesel variant will cost Rs 9.27 lakh (Delhi ex-showroom). Michael Boneham, MD of Ford India, told TOI that he was not worried about the price gap against rivals. "It is not about price, but about the product. The Ford Fiesta offers features like anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags and steering wheel audio controls as standard across variants," Boneham said.

However, rival brands like Honda also offer the features as standard while in others they are available at a lower price. The premium sedan segment has seen competition hotting up of late and changes in the dynamics. The Honda City, once the leader of the pack, has been under tremendous pressure following the entry of models like Vento and the new Verna, forcing the company to go in for a Rs 66,000 price cut last month.

The competition will make things difficult for Ford. The US major is already witnessing a pressure in the demand for the Figo as slowdown hits the market and competitors like Maruti, Hyundai and Toyota catch up. The Figo, the volume-driver for the company, saw volumes dip 6% in the first quarter of this fiscal at 17,319 units against 18,495 units in the corresponding quarter in 2010-11, according to figures released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Boneham said he was not too worried about the slowdown in demand in the market and for Figo. "While factors like high interest rates and scarcity of cash have put pressure on the demand in the car market, we are still forecast to grow by 12-14%, which is absolutely not bad. On Figo, we have some production constraints on the diesel engines. In any case, the model is also being exported and we are doing well internationally." Refusing to forecast the company's sales targets, Boneham said Ford was bullish on India and was on course to bring in new models in the market.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Chevrolet Beat Diesel

Chevrolet Beat Diesel

A small, economical, four-door hatchback is what an average middle-class Indian family of today is looking for. Out of all this, economy is of utmost priority when it comes to choosing a family hatchback from the varied choice that the customer is presented with. Now with price of petrol nudging 70 rupees a litre, diesel powered cars are set to gain popularity among the middle class population in India. Automakers in India are now anticipating an increased demand for diesel vehicles and have already started addressing the issue.

General Motors will launch the Beat hatchback with a diesel engine which will be aimed at fulfilling the demand for affordable diesel cars. IndianCarsBikes takes a look at a car that will grab your attention by virtue of its funky looks and now with a diesel engine under the bonnet would be light on your pocket as well. Well, fuel economy was definitely on GM’s mind when it comes to the Chevrolet Beat Diesel. At the heart of the machine is the smallest common-rail diesel engine on a passenger car in India and the first GM hatchback to sport a diesel powerplant anywhere in the world.

This is how important the Indian market is to automakers that GM went on to develop the 3-cylinder diesel engine specifically for India. The engine is based on the 1.3 litre Fiat Multijet which GM got from Fiat. The engineers at GM then reduced the size of the engine to 937 cc by getting rid of one of the cylinders turning it into a 3-pot. In this configuration, the 937 cc common-rail diesel engine puts out a healthy 57.8 horsepower and 15.2 kgm of torque. The 4-valves per cylinders and double overhead cams ensure better fuel economy and driveability.

Chevrolet Beat Diesel

To further improve fuel efficiency, GM has dumped the good-old hydraulic steering with a modern electric one. The new electric setup will in fact make the car more maneuverable but could lack the feedback of the classic hydraulic. Still, in the city the Beat diesel with its electric steering will be a joy to hustle around. At speeds though, things could get rather twitchy. The Chevrolet Beat Diesel will do a top whack close to 140 kph but it will require quite a long stretch of empty highway if you wish to get any close to the limit.

Coming to the most important bit, fuel economy. With a small diesel engine upfront, the Chevrolet Beat Diesel does 24 km in a litre of diesel, this according to tests conducted by ARAI. This makes the Chevrolet Beat diesel one of the most frugal hatchbacks available in India today. Now, the Chevrolet Beat is not the most spacious of the hatchbacks and lacks rear space. The boot too is not as spacious as that of its competitors. That said, the rear seat can seat just two adults in comfort.

The Chevrolet Beat Diesel will be launched in India on the 25th of July and as always, pricing will be crucial. So, bottom line, the new Chevrolet Beat is a frugal and affordable (depends on how GM price it) hatchback for a small family or four adults at the max. GM is expected to price the Chevrolet Beat diesel around Rs 4-4.2 lakh. Thus, it will rival the Tata Indica V2 (53.5 bhp @ 5500 rpm). In terms of power, the Beat diesel surely has a slight upper hand and same with the looks. But, as far as practicality is concerned, the Beat does lack interior space. Keep watching this space for more updates on the launch day.

Maruti Suzuki hopes to see car sales pickup by festive season

2011 Maruti Suzuki Swift

The past few months haven’t been so good for the Indian auto industry. Sales have slumped during the past months due to various reasons. Maruti Suzuki sales slumped by 8.8 percent in the month of June. India’s #1 auto maker recorded 80,298 units in the month of June this year which almost 8000 units down on the last years tally during the same month. The slowdown has been associated with the rising fuel prices. The increase in interest rates haven’t been helping either.

CNBC-TV18 recently had a chat with RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki. Bhargava believes that the recent slowdown in the auto sales should not only be associated with the rising petrol prices and the interest rates that have also been on the rise. The auto industry has been on a roller coaster ride since the past couple of years. The growth of the industry has been fluctuating for the past few years. Maruti Suzuki grew by 30 percent last year and according to Bhargava a low growth rate in the following year was inevitable.

Suzuki Swift Hatchback

Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki is gearing up for the upcoming festive season and Bhargava believes the sales would pick up before Diwali. Now, the company is also getting ready to launch the new Maruti Suzuki Swift. We come to know that the new Swift will be launched in the month of August. Maruti has already halted the production of the old Swift for the upcoming model. The company has also planned an MPV to take on Toyota’s Innova.

Recently, Maruti Suzuki had to deal with labour issues at their Manesar unit, which also lead to huge production losses. The waiting period for Maruti cars thus increased and with new launches impending, the automaker will have get its act together. The festive season will bring in more demand but automakers should also be able to meet those in time if they wish to cash in on the opportunity.

Via Moneycontrol

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Audi's Half-yearly Sales Up 100 Percent

German luxury car manufacturer Audi reported a 100 percent increase in its sales for the first half of the calendar year.

It has sold 2,802 cars from January to June 2011 as compared to 1,400 units sold in the corresponding period last year.

"Given our outstanding performance in the first six months of the year, we will soon surpass our 2010 annual sale of 3,003 cars," said Michael Perschke, head, Audi India.

The luxury carmaker's sales during the last month grew by 75 percent with sales of 408 cars as against 233 cars in June 2010.

According to the company, the brand is in the process of repeating in the Indian market some proven growth strategies used in the Chinese market, such as aggressively marketing the product, qualitative network growth and strong brand-building process.

"Audi India has adopted an aggressive product strategy this year with the launch of a slew of class-defining models," the company said in a statement.

The statement further said that China has overtaken Germany as the single biggest market for Audi, while the Indian and US markets were the fastest growing regions for the company.

Currently, the company offers a range of cars including A4, A6, A8, A7 Sportback, Q5, Q7, RS5, R8 and R8 Spyder.

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