Upcoming cars in India for 2011

Since the year is coming to an end, we at Indiandrives are very excited for all the new cars coming our way. Actually we have previewed a few before and have posted it on our website as well but as of now, just to refresh your memory, we bring to you the new cars that would be on the Indian roads by 2011. Most of the cars would be launched in January to beat the price hike which is expected. Rising costs of steel and production been the main culprits. The list is extensive however we have tried to concise the information and provide you with a gist of cars expected to be launched in 2011 and some early in 2012.

Chevrolet:

Chevrolet Beat LPG: We all know that in India, General Motors India Limited are the only car manufacturer to receive 3 safety awards for its plants. Other than that, it has been the first manufacturer to embrace the green thing which is engulfing the automotive world. Keeping in line with introducing their other cars with LPG or CNG option, the small car, namely the Chevrolet Beat would get LPG treatment. This would compromise some space as regards to the boot space however would be a viable cost effective option. Expected to be launched in January 2011.



Chevrolet Beat diesel:
It is a known fact that we Indians love diesels. It seems a crime not to have a diesel engined small car or rather an hatchback. For this very same effect, General Motors India Limited would be launching their Chevrolet Beat diesel with a 1.3 liter diesel engine which would be commissioned at their plant in Halol. Though it doesn’t promise to be class leading in fuel efficiency, it would somehow be near what we would term as an hot hatch. Maruti Suzuki better beware. This would be launched in January 2011.

Chevrolet Spark Electric: GM’s smallest car in India, the Chevrolet Spark would be put forth with electric motors only. This is another part of GMI’s initiative to provide India with clean burning cars and ones which have minimum polluting factor in them. The Chevrolet Spark Electric would be offered with two types of electric motors. One would be the lithium ion battery whereas the other would be the cheaper lead acid battery. Pricing these cars would depend on how much incentives the company receives from the various state governments. This would be launched in March 2011.

Chevrolet Sail: This would be based on a completely new platform and is the first GM car is been built with its Chinese collaboration with SAIC. It would be positioned above the Chevrolet Aveo-UVA and would compete with the other mini hatches namely the Hyundai I20, Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen Polo and the Maruti Ritz. It would have a petrol motor for starters and then later on a diesel would be launched as well. This would be launched in the later part of 2011.

Fiat:

Fiat India Limited have regained some of their lost confidence with the success of the Fiat Punto and the Fiat Linea in India. They are planning on launching atleast two new cars in 2011 in India.

Fiat Bravo: This is one of those mini hatches which has earned Fiat a world wide acclaim. Blessed with Italian drop dead looks, this is the elder brother of the Fiat Punto. It would offer class leading space and interior features. The lone engine on offer would be a high tech 1.9 liter turbocharged one. Fiat India says that it would be more of a brand building exercise rather than go for the volumes game. It would be priced similar to the Honda Jazz in India and that means it would be a costly proposition.

Fiat Linea 1.6 multijet: Fiat wowed the car buying public with its Italian stallion, the Fiat Linea. However the car’s engine was unsuitable for its chassis and this was voiced by many of the customers. Fiat did try to salvage the power issue by giving it a turbo boost with the 1.4 liter turbo petrol engine however buyers from the diesel segment wanted more power and hence Fiat would be introducing the 1.6 liter multijet capable of producing 120 Bhp. This would be enough to have a queue outside the Fiat showrooms. Would be launched around Diwali in 2011.

Ford:

Ford Motors India Limited have launched only one new vehicle in 2009 and it was the small hatch, the Ford Figo. There were other transitions in the company namely the introduction of the Ford Endeavor 4×2 and the Ford Endeavor 4×4 automatic. For 2011, they have two models lined up.

Ford Fiesta: For the Indians, the Ford Fiesta means something else and for the Americans, it means something else. Not any more now. The new Ford Fiesta coming our way in 2011 looks lik the hatch sold in Europe and US. It has Ford’s “Kinetic energy” design theme. Since the chassis is quite competent, it wouldn’t be tinkered with and would most likely feature a dual clutch transmission namely POWERSHIFT transmission. It would be offered at a Rs 50,000 premium than the outgoing car. At this price point, it is a good option to those dual clutch transmission of Audi and Volkswagen. Expect it to arrive by July 2011. Most likely, the current engines would be retained with slight increment in power.

Honda:

Honda Accord Diesel: Honda have known to be a petrol master however as of late, even they have been feeling the heat regarding the lack of diesel engines in their portfolio. To this very effect, Honda have moved from their obstinacy and have finally relented to bringing in their diesel engines. It would be started with their flagship, the Honda Accord in India. It would be a 2.2 liter engine producing 134 Bhp and 247 Nm of torque. This would be available at a premium of Rs 3.5 lakhs over the petrol variant. It would come in by March 2011.

Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V has so far fended off competition very well however with the rise of fuel prices, Honda feels the need to bring in a diesel option to make the Honda Cr-V more viable. Not that it would be any cheaper however the Honda lovers would love a diesel for their car. It would also have the same 2.2 liter diesel motor but producing about 150 Bhp of peak power. Expect it to come in August 2011.

Honda Brio: This is the all new small car that Honda displayed at the Thailand Motor Show and it would be coming to India at around October 2011. It has got a 1.2 liter engine which would be good enough for 70 Bhp. Most likely, it would be the Honda Jazz’s unit in a detuned state. There would be enough space in this small car compared to the others in its class. It would be ducked within the 4 meters mark and the 1.2 liter petrol would be the only engine option available. There would be an automatic variant as well.

Hyundai:

One of the largest manufacturers of cars in India, Hyundai Motors India Limited have been steadily launching cars in India. They have always believed in giving the Indian masses something which they offer in all their markets. Due to this, almost all their new cars fall into our laps.

Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai Elantra didn’t have a good run while it was earlier launched. That may be all set to change with the Hyundai Elantra 2011 coming in February 2011. This car may or may not be renamed for the Indian market. If at all, it would be renamed, the new name would be Hyundai Avante. For starters, it would be available with only a 2 liter CRDI diesel engine pumping out 158 bhp and would be a tough competition for the Chevrolet Cruze.

Mahindra and Mahindra:

Mahindra Xylo mini: To take on the Premier Rio and the Skoda Yeti, Mahindra and Mahindra plan to launch a mini SUV based on the Xylo platform. Its name is still no decided however it would have the Mahindra Xylo’s face. It would have only a diesel engine as choice of power plant. Since it would be under the 4 meters length restrictions for small cars, it would get the 12% excise duty benefits. It would also have a 1.5 liter diesel engine from the Mahindra Logan with a tweaked power output. It can be expected in December 2011.

Mahindra Korando: This is one SUV that would be slotted above the Mahindra Scorpio and is part of the dowry that Mahindra received after they annexed Chinese car maker Ssangyong Motors. It would have a more upmarket image than the Scorpio and would feature many luxury features unheard of in an SUV. It would be priced at around Rs 20 lakhs. It would make its debut in the Indian market in November 2011.

Mahindra W201: This is the world platform SUV that Mahindra are developing and have been caught testing many times as well. It would be slotted above the Mahindra Scorpio but would be below that of the Mahindra Korando. It would also have an upgrade version of the CRDE engine that does duty in the Mahindra Scorpio. Since it’s been almost a year since it is been tested, we are sure that the launch date is imminent. It would be priced in the Rs 11-15 lakhs category. It may be launched as early as February 2011.

Maruti Suzuki:

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2011: We already know that a new Swift has been launched in the European market and it is available with a wide range of engine options however in the Indian scenario we only get two engine choices. For 2011, the engine options would be the same and may be tweaked to eke better performance. The new body shell would be more tougher and the enhanced wheel base would have more leg room as well. Expect it in March 2011.

Maruti Suzuki Sx4 diesel: It has been long in the coming and with the advent of the Volkswagen Vento diesel, Maruti are feeling the heat even more. The Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel would be the same one doing duties in the Indigo Manza and the Fiat Linea. It would produce 90Bhp and would be fitted with a variable geometry turbocharger. It would also be cheaper than the aforementioned cars. Since it would be a direct lift from Fiat, it would be launched as early as February 2011.

Maruti Suzuki Kizashi: This car is the one which would let Maruti Suzuki know if they are accepted in India only as a maker of small cars or even they can sell premium ones. The latter is the Maruti Suzuki Kizashi. It is already a big hit in the US and even Europe and the company has every hopes of making this a hit in India as well. It would be fitted with a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine making 185 Bhp and 310 Nm of torque. It would compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It would also have a 6 speed auto transmission. It wouldn’t be until September 2011 that Maruti would bring it into India.

Tata Motors:

Tata Safari 2011: It has been long in the offing. This has been one SUV which has a long stint without a major upgrade. It has received engine upgrades but not major ones to the exteriors. The Tata Safari 2011 is based on the new X2 platform. This is the same platform on which the Tata Aria was built. It will have the same 2.2 liter Dicor but better looks and space utilization. The launch date is as early as May 2011.

This is just some of the cars that would make it into the Indian soil and that too definitely by 2011. There are some others which would only surface in 2012 and so we haven’t listed those. Happy New Year every one and drive safe.

10 significant launches of the decade

Well, the year is coming to an end and here we at Indiandrives are looking forward to the New Year, as are most of your readers. With the end of 2010, not only does the year come to an end but also a decade. For the Indian automotive industry, this has been a big time boom. There were many cars launched, some cars retired and many more news which always ensured that the Indian automobile hub was always the point of discussion. To put things into perspective, we have actually witnessed a revolution.We have listed out some of the best launches in terms of mass appeal and procurement during this decade.

Ford Ikon 2000 –

Starting with the Ford Ikon in India, the first car to be launched in the year 2000, it catapulted Ford India’s image as makers of sporty vehicles. The Ford Ikon in India was launched in 3 engine options. The 1.3 liter petrol which was termed as the “Josh” machine for its performance but delivered good fuel economy at the same time, the 1.6 liter petrol which was made to satisfy only the enthusiast crowd and then the ultra fuel economist 1.8 liter diesel engine. All these cars catered to one or the other clientele and paved the way for bringing in further Ford India models. Even after a decade, this car still sells in India with the same 1.3 liter engine and a more modern 1.4 liter diesel motor under the hood.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 2001 –

This small car was dubbed as a replacement for the Maruti 800 worldwide however as is the norm in the Indian market, this car was sold alongside the Maruti 800. It was a bigger and costlier option to the Maruti 800. Initial slow sales picked up when Maruti Suzuki India Limited offered huge discounts and then some sprucing up of the interiors. People begun to recognize this car as a safer option to the bare bones Maruti 800. It was the best seller for Maruti Suzuki India Limited for consecutive 6 years thereon after which it was replaced by more modern rivals in the sales chart. Over the years, it has undergone significant changes both in the interiors and under the hood, the more recent one been the introduction of the K10 engine and elongation of the wheelbase.

Fiat Palio 2002 –

This car was dubbed as the vehicle which would bail out Fiat India Limited out of its economy crisis. It sort of did revive Fiat India Limited’s fortunes but only for a short while. This had nothing to do with the Fiat Palio as of such but then it had more to do with the pathetic sales and service of the Fiat company. It was initially launched with a 1.3 liter petrol engine, 1.9 diesel engine and a stonking 1.6 liter engine. The latter was only for those harping for performance. Circa 2007, this car was again relaunched in India with a new 1.2 liter engine{the fuel efficiency for the old 1.3 liter engine was dismal as compared to the other hatches} and a 1.3 liter Multijet engine. The 1.6 liter motor was relinquished to oblivion. As of now, the Fiat Palio still soldiers on in India and may be due for another revamp shortly. It actually invented the hot hatch scenario and one which every manufacturer is trying to vie for.

Mahindra Scorpio 2003 –

This was Mahindra and Mahindra’s first foray into the urban market, the Mahindra Scorpio. The best part is that there was no help taken from any foreign agencies while this SUV was conceptualized. It was dubbed as an alternative to the other Indian product, the Tata Safari. The morale of the company was boosted when Bollywood star, Ajay Devgann{we accord to numerology} took the first delivery of this stylish SUV. There was no looking back for Mahindra and Mahindra. Though there were some problems with the SUV’s ride, handling and engine intercooler package, these gripes were ironed out with new editions been launched every year. Initially it was offered with a 2.6 liter CRDE engine option putting out 110 Bhp whereas the 2.1 liter petrol engine churned out 116 bhp. The former was a best seller due to the engine option and cheap running costs. As of now, the Mahindra Scorpio is offered with two diesel engines, one is the same 2.6 liter CRDE for the rural markets whereas for the urban markets, it is the 2.2 liter turbo charged M-Hawk diesel which produces 120 Bhp.

Honda City 2004 –

This car was a significant improvement from the old one in terms of interior space. It was an entirely new design and one which was for sure a love or hate at first sight one. It still got buyers who were impressed with the acres of interior space, calm demeanors of the car and also its ultra frugal petrol engine. Honda Siel Motors India Limited still skimped on some equipment for this car and were widely criticized for the lack of giving an I-vtec motor in place of the I-dsi one doing duties. Criticism taken well, Honda Siel Motors India Limited introduced an anniversary edition of this car and plonked a 1.5 liter I-vtec motor churning out 100 Bhp. There was literally a melee for this car and they were sold out in no time. In October 2008, Honda Siel Motors Limited launched an all new Honda City with only one 1.5 liter Ivtec motor putting out 118 Bhp. This was pricier by about Rs 1.5 lakhs than the outgoing model but it still sold the same crazy numbers that Honda Citys always did in India.

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2005 –

This was the other small car or rather mini hatch from India’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited. This car won rave reviews and was one of the best designs in the Maruti Suzuki portfolio. Even before the company started offering test drives for this car, there was a 6 months waiting period. No wonder, Maruti Suzuki India Limited had to multiply their production and workers were made to work overtime. Initially it was offered with the same engine as the Maruti Suzuki Esteem however in a tweaked form raising 88 bhp. Later on, the famous Fiat multijet diesel made its debut under the hood of this car and the waiting periods increased to 8 months. In keeping with modern times, Maruti Suzuki India Limited introduced a new 1.2 liter K series petrol engine which produced the same power figure but better fuel economy and emission norms compilation. In Europe, a new Suzuki Swift may have made its debut however it wouldn’t be until 2011 that we would get it in India. Truly a hot hatch.

Honda Civic 2006-

Honda Siel Motors India Limited launched this stunner on the unsuspecting Indian public. It was Honda’s other premium offering than the Honda Accord. It was a worthy alternative to the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Optra and the Skoda Octavia. Its space age look coupled with the futuristic interiors won it many fans and for a short while, there was a waiting period for this class act. Its handling and impressive ride quality coupled to the fun to drive but frugal engine ensures that it still stays on top of the segment, no matter who the competition is. In 2009, the company in keeping in line with the environmental concern, launched a Honda Civic Hybrid but found a few takers due to its almost Mercedes C class price tag. Honda took some time to rectify this by reducing the price tag by 40% and only then could the stocks be cleared. Recently the Honda Civic was slightly tweaked but those were only cosmetic changes and no changes were done to the engine.

Hyundai I10 2007 –

This small car in India was dubbed as a replacement for the popular Hyundai Santro. However as is the norm in India, it sells alongside the Hyundai Santro in India. The Hyundai I10 was available initially in one 1.0 liter engine trim. This was the same engine from the Hyundai Santro but in a tweaked form. Later on, in keeping with emission compliance, the company also introduced a 1.1 liter Kappa engine with higher power output. Indian car buying public soon began to recognize the potentials of this small car and they lapped it up with an eagerness as displayed for the Suzuki Swift. Not content to rest on their laurels, the Korean company introduced even better engine options in 2010 and are also set to launch the diesel version of this car sometimes later on next year.

Hyundai I20 2008 –

Following on the footsteps of its smaller sibling, the Hyundai I20 was launched in India by Hyundai Motors India Limited. The Hyundai I20 is a super-mini hatch from the manufacturer. This is in keeping with the trend of getting hatch backs which can give sedans a run for their money and at the same time are less costly than the sedans. The Hyundai I20 in India was launched with the underpowered{for this car} 1.2 liter engine from the Hyundai I10 and then later on with a 1.4 liter diesel motor. Then came a 1.4 liter petrol engine mated with an automatic transmission. It epitomized the quotient of space in a hatchback and made sense for those looking for the convenience of a hatch. It is one of the safest cars in India with a 5 star rating for safety. It gives and option for 6 air bags, ABS, EBD and traction control. Well, you can’t ask for more from a price point below Rs 8 lakhs. Moreover, Hyundai Motors India Limited have started exporting the Hyundai I20 from India across to the world.

Tata Nano 2009 –

This was one car which the whole world was waiting with bated breath. Since its announcement by Mr.Ratan Tata at the start of the decade, this car was mired with controversies and other delays. However when it was finally launched in 2009, people marveled at its cost effectiveness and at the same time the finesse of qualities like space, performance, fuel efficiency and ease of driving from a small car. Though it was offered via lottery scheme earlier, as of now, it is been offered over the shelf. Due to some incidents of the car catching fire and also some reliability issues, the sales figure of the car dropped to low 3 digits. Tata Motors responded by adding a safety fuse, shield over the silencer and also by offering a 4 years warranty on the Tata Nano. This somehow has spruced up the sales quotient and the small car from India is now been exported across to the world. A Rs 1 lakhs car is now available in India and for the world.

Toyota Etios 2010-

This was launched almost at the end of the decade and still it features in this list. This is because this sedan is an all new made for India sedan and the first one by Toyota Kirloskar Motors to have such a low cost. The Toyota Etios is yet to be seen on the Indian roads however the company already has its hands full with booking for approximately 6 months. It remains to be seen if they would stop the bookings like they did for the Toyota Fortuner. This is an all new platform and would also spawn a hatchback and a small SUV. The car itself promises class leading space, fuel efficient engine, amazing ride and handling along with the Toyota reliability. It remains to be however seen how the car would fare on the Indian roads. It is priced at par with its would be nemesis, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.

We have excluded all CBUs or imports and have mostly considered vehicles below Rs 15 lakhs as these are considered to have mass appeal and in some way or the other have influenced the Indian market scenario. Looking forward for the New Year 2011.

Skoda Superb in India review

There are many cars on the Indian roads and as an automobile afficionado, I always try to remember the name of a car whenever it passes by. Sometimes, it so happens that the very car passes by me and then slows down. It gives me time to actually read the whole name and the variant, then guess what all features it may have. It was my childhood play thing wherein me and my friends used to just guess the name of a bike by hearing its exhaust melancholy. Most of the times, I would be the only one to guess it correctly. Later on that transformed to guessing a car from a distance by its rear end. The reason I am telling you all this is because I just failed to guess which car it was. The only thing that I could guess was it has got its roots entrenched somewhere deep in Germany. The car in question turned out to be a Skoda Superb. Yes, the very own Skoda Superb in India. Irrestible as it was, I couldn’t wait to review it and as luck would have it, got my request approved as well. As they say, “Beggars can’t be choosers”, I had to make do with the mid of the line 1.8 TSI variant. Not a bad thing, eh! Lets get down to the show, baby.

Skoda Superb Looks

The new Skoda Superb in India is actually the second generation one and now features the corporate look of the company. It has chrome embellishments adorning its grille. The quadrangular head lamps flanking the grille house one of the most powerful lights in its catergory and may be one above. They also carry head lamp washers, heated or cold whichever way you want it. There is a provision for day time running lamps inside the head lamp shroud however for India, those have been disconnected from the battery relay. The single piece bumper gets big fog lamps as well as big, vertical air dam slats. If you would remove the grille and place two kidney mimics and a BMW badge, then this car can be easily mistaken for the 5 series. No doubt in that. The bonnet is a creased unit featuring three creases.

The Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI gets 16 inch multi spoke alloy wheels whereas the top of the line V6 model gets different alloy pattern and 17 inch wheels. The turn indicators are mounted on the outside rear view mirrors. The door handles are body colored and the door sills have a chrome outline.

Starting back to my point of obsession, it seems that it has been inspired from somewhere and then I realize it, its parent company Volkswagen, the Volkswagen Phaeton and off late, the Audi A4. Not a bad idea though. The tail lamp is split by the boot. Ahem! two exhausts for the Skoda Superb in India. I think there would be 4 for the V6 engine.

Skoda Superb Interiors

Apart from the looks, the best thing that I look forward to in a German car is the interiors. They are well executed and speaking of Skoda, they make one of the best interiors in India with the Skoda Superb in India been no exception. This face lifted model features beige interiors as opposed to the dark that we have been getting from Skoda Auto India so far. The cabin is a mix and match of wood trim with classy materials. If given a chance, I would have spent an entire life in the cabin of this car. The fronts seats are at a considerable distance from the steering wheel that the small ones in stature would probably face a big problem handling the car. Not for me though. However I found that the seats are 12 way adjustable and they adjust for height and lumbar support. Well, the seats even have memory functions in them. The 4 spoke steering wheel is shared with all the other Skoda Auto India cars however, this one has steering mounted audio controls. The instrument panel is slightly different from other Skodas however not by much. It features a trip meter, odometer, fuel gauge, all the warning lights, tyre pressure monitor, seat belt warning lights and many more. Actually speaking, I am confused about the features in this cabin since there are so many like the multi information function display, 12 CD audio changer system with aux and USB input, electrically adjustable rear view mirrors, leaving home lights etc.

The front seats, even though most of the Skoda Superb owners in India would be chauffeured, are very good. Infact so much so that most of the owners would be tempted to fire the chauffer and drive it themselves. The automatic climate control system works perfectly and there is a provision for even the rear seat passengers. The rear bench is perfectly executed and has enough space for three plus a kid. I did try seating three of my colleagues in office and then Radhika, she been of a short stature, was easily the fourth passenger. Believe me, each one of them was comfortable. The only grouse was the non adjustable rear head rests. There is a provision for even placing an umbrella. The boot space is also amazing at 545 liters. There are also 60:40 split rear seats which add to the convenience point. The boot loading lip is low and is a totally flat board which makes easing luggage on it, a easy chore. It is electrically operated as well.

Skoda Superb Handling and ride quality

`The Skoda Superb is built on the same platform as the Volkswagen Passat. Now, I didn’t get the opportunity to drive the Volkswagen Passat however have heard high praises about it from my colleagues. The Skoda Superb in India didn’t disappoint me. It has very good handling characteristics. I know for sure that the V6 engined beast gets 4 wheel drive system but the one I have now is only front wheel drive. The hydraulically powered steering wheel is a joy to use. Dare I say it was as communicative as BMWs unit. It provided for the right kind of feedback however it was a bit heavy in parking speeds. It weighted up nicely while on twisties or on highways. The chassis is also well sorted out but then the car is a bit reluctant to turn in the corners. It doesn’t seem to support enthusiastic driving. It seems more tuned for giving that all important ride quality that buyers in this segment expect.

Speaking of ride quality, small bumps do upset this big car however not overtly. Once the speeds build up, this car smothers everything in its path. The suspension is very quiet and goes about its duty very unobtrusively. The cabin is also very quiet and there is no wind or road noise save for some tyre noise.

Skoda Superb Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

Now, the Skoda Superb in India is offered with three engine options. There is an all important 2.0 liter Tdi diesel engine which makes 140 Bhp and also 320 Nm of torque. It gets a 6 speed DSG automatic gearbox. The second trim is the 1.8 TSI petrol motor which I have at my disposal now. It produces 160 Bhp of power and about 256 Nm of torque. More on this engine later. The third variant is the range topping 3.6 FSI petrol which pumps out 260 Bhp and 376 Nm of torque, enough to have got bragging rights at the local club. It is mated to a 6 speed automatic DSG gearbox.

Now, concentrating on the 1.8 liter TSI engine that we have now, it is one hell of a power house. It gets a 6 speed manual as well as automatic transmission option. Skoda Auto India have actually percolated all their knowhow into their flagship model in India. The one I have is the automatic one with paddle shifts into it. Never once did I feel stressed out while driving it. The engine is one eager beaver and if the TSI motor is such, I can’t wait to get my hands, atleast, on the 3.6 FSI motor. The gear shift is too smooth and barely perceptible. The down shifts are also very quick and the paddle shifts make it all the more enjoyable to use. The motor makes enough torque all along its rev range to satisfy the miser and the enthusiast. It goes from 0-100 kmph in just 9.8 seconds. The top speed that it maxxed out is 210 kmph.

Halting this 1765 kgs beast are ventilated disc brakes at the front and solid discs at the rear. They are assisted by a host of electronic nannies like ABS, ESP, EBD, hydraulic brake assistant, mechanical brake assistant, traction control and also anti slip regulation. With all these electronic aids assisting me, I didn’t have to worry about the stopping prowess of this car. Safety is also well tended for with 4 air bags, adaptive cornering head lamps, parking sensors, acoustic warning signal for overrun speed, 3 point SRS seat belts with anti whiplash and pretensioning properties. There are many other features to stop theft of this vehicle like vehicle motion sensor, engine immobilizer with floating code system, tilt sensor and also remote controlled alarm.

Fuel efficiency isn’t a forte of TSI motors as we know from the Skoda Laura however still this car returned 9.1 kmpl in the city and 13.4 kmpl on the highway. These were the figures recorded with the air conditioner on at all the time and also with a heavy right foot. As discussed earlier, the TSI motor cannot be driven with a light foot since this car just loves speed. If you do manage to keep your right foot light, then you can definitely achieve double digit economy figures.

Verdict

The Skoda Superb in India is one status symbol. Elsewhere in the midlands of Germany or Czech Republic, it is used as a fleet vehicle. Skoda Auto India have established a good name for themselves as an affordable luxury car maker in India and the Skoda Superb just amplifies it. It is their flag ship vehicle and does make sense in respect to its more expensive cousin namely the Volkswagen Passat. Its other established competitors are the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and the Nissan Teana. It has got more space than all the competition and is more luxurious than all of these combined. It only loses out on the Skoda brand image which is associated with poor after sales service. It has comparable fuel economy with the others in its class and offers 3 engine options whereas the others offer only one or at the most two options. It has got a wide array of features bin and looks the part of a status symbol. If only Skoda Auto India could improve the service aspect, they can double their sales for this SUPERB car. The Skoda Superb price in India starts from Rs 18,28,563 for the base Skoda Superb 1.8 TFSI MT and goes up to Rs 26,38,282 for the top end Skoda Superb 3.6 TFSI. This is at par with the competition if not lower than them. Skoda Auto India should also up the number of dealerships it currently has in India. As for me, I am still waiting to see if Skoda would provide me with a 3.6 TFSI Superb.

Technical specifications of the Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI AT

Engine Type: In-Line Engine
Engine Details: 1798 cc 4 cylinder DOHC with turbo stratified injection
Maximum Power: 160 Bhp @ 4,200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 256 Nm @ 1,750 rpm
Turbo Charger: Yes
Transmission: Type     Dual clutch Automatic
Gear box: 7 Speed
Drive Type: Front wheel drive
Clutch Type: Hydraulic Clutch
Rear Suspension: McPherson suspension with lower triangular links & torsion stabiliser
Front Suspension: Multi-element axle, one longitudinal, three transverse links, torsion stab.
Steering Type: Hydraulic Power Assisted Rack & Pinion
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Disc
Rear Brake Type: Solid Disc
Mileage-City (kmpl): 9.1
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 13.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 63
Emission Norm Compliance: Euro IV
Tyre Size: 205/55 R 16
Wheel Size: 16 x 7J
Kerb weight: 1765 kgs
Seating Capacity: 5
No of Doors: 4
Cargo Volume: 545 Litres

Gujarat is the new automobile hub

Gujarat seems to be the hot spot in India this year. After all, this state boasts of building Tata Nanos. Now, it seems to be the apple of all eyes as all the automobile manufacturers are trying to set up their plants there. The latest to enter the bandwagon is Hyundai Motors India Limited. This news comes on the heel of Hyundai preparing to invest Rs 400 crores for manufacturing diesel power plants. Dholera is the place where a few of Hyundai officials were spotted visiting. Early on, another batch of Hyundai officials had visited this site and they confirmed to their affinity to this place, however they couldn’t commit to anything solid and said that talks are still going on. As of now, their recommendations and observations ahev already reached the Hyundai top brass and it is estimated that the company would take a decision by the start of the new year.

This particular area is spread over 80,000 hectares and is one amongst the special investment region (SIR) in Gujarat. To add to the convenience factor and to lure more investors, the Gujarat government are setting up a second international airport in the vicinity. This proposed Hyundai plant is just 92 kms away from the airport region. As of now, India’s second largest car manufacturer only has 2 manufacturing plants in India and both are located in Sriperumbdur in state of Tamil Nadu. Due to the heavy demand of its cars, they are thinking of ramping up production and so the need for one more production facility. As it is as of now, the company have to source their diesel engines directly from Korea. This is the reason why diesel engined cars from the Hyundai stables are a bit expensive. After this new facility is set up, Hyundai would be manufacturing diesel engines in India for their Verna, i10 and 120 range of vehicles. If the demand rises, they may even make the Hyundai Santa Fe in India.

Speaking of Gujarat market, there is one vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra who are yet to consider this area for sale of their Mahindra Reva-I vehicles. The reason given is that the Gujarat government’s total lack of apathy towards electric vehicles. However this hasn’t stopped the manufacturer from percolating its used electric vehicles into the used car market in Gujarat. Since the question of state government incentives doesn’t arise for the used car market, a Mahindra Reva-I vehicle would be a good choice for those looking for an electrical vehicle. On a single charge, the Reva-I runs for around 70-80 kilometers. This however depends on the way you drive it. It is thought, sufficient for those trips to the vegetable market. Some of the dealers quoted that they get about 10-15 enquiries per day however they can manage to sell only 2 or 3 cars. We had reported earlier this month that the Mahindra Reva-I was launched in the city of Pune and has a price tag of Rs 3.1 lakhs.

Interestingly, Mahindra sources say that they are hopeful of a good response for the Mahindra Reva-I in the used market since this car runs on a battery and this battery has a life of only 3 years and has to be replaced after that. The cost comes to approximately rs 50,000. All the current items in the used market have had their batteries replaced and are as good as new. In this way, One wouldn’t have to pay the price for a new car however still get one in mint condition at half its price. In the New Delhi market, the new cars are priced at Rs 2.7 lakhs whereas in the Bangalore area, the Mahindra Reva-I goes for only Rs 2.5 lakhs. The reason for this low cost in a new car is due to the heavy government subsidies chipping in. The price for a used Mahindra Reva car in Gujarat as of now is Rs 1.4 lakhs and would go up or down depending on the make and model.

After Mahindra and Mahindra picking up 55.2% stake in the Chennai based Maini Reva company, the latter has been growing in leaps and bounds. It also signals Mahindra’s presence in the electric car segment which not many of the major car manufacturers in India can boast of. After acquiring the majority stake, Mahindra and Mahindra formed a new company namely Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicle Company. This company would launch a 4 seater electric car early on  in 2011 and it would be named as the Reva NXR. To this very effect, Mahindra and Mahindra are also preparing a new plant in Bangalore. Mahindra and Mahindra also have got access to electric car technology from Maini Reva and would use it in their SUV range namely the Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra Bolero and Mahindra Xylo. Whether it would be used in the Mahindra Renault Logan is doubtful however we can still keep our fingers crossed. Mahindra also plan to have a brand ambassador for the electric vehicles so that they have a new ad campaign to promote this vehicle. An electric car makes sense as a second car since it doesn’t pollute the atmosphere, there is no need to fill up petrol and all one has to do is charge it overnight, go for those small trips. Agreed it does have it disadvantages with the low range that they offer as of now and the expensive replacement for the batteries. Mahindra and Mahindra chairman, Mr Pawan Goenka had committed earlier this year that they are thinking of introducing cheap technology for batteries and ones which would have a higher replacement gap. They have already begun testing these batteries in prototypes and we do hope that this make to the production line up very soon.

All said and done, it seems that the state of Gujarat would definitely be a business center hub for automobile manufacturers as reports trickle in that even Ford Motors India are in the process of setting up a new plant there. Ford motors India only have a single manufacturing facility in Chennai and are looking forward to introduce about 8 new models in India by the end of 2015. For this goal, they want to increase production facilities and setting up a new plant is the only option since the existing one is already overworked.

Tips on how not to void your car warranty

Every new car comes with a warranty. Why even now, some used cars come with a warranty, provided you buy them from a reputed outlet or a used car facility. I have had some of friends who have new cars however due to some or the other reason lost out on their warranty thing. Taking a cue from their examples, I have conjured up a list of things that one can do to avoid voiding of their warranty. Before going ahead with the tips, I would like to elaborate on the benefits of warranty. Its not that, people wouldn’t know about it but its just that some of the new buyers may not be too knowledgeable about it. To start off with, it is an agreement or a bond between the consumer and the car manufacturer. The car manufacturer would take care of any hassles with the car provided those are listed in the agreement or bond. There are a certain list of dos and donts given in the user manual guideline as well. Warranty stands good for the various parts of the car and not on the car as a whole entity. In this case, if suppose due to your negligence, the car’s battery died, then the warranty for the battery would be void and not on the car as a whole. Listed below are some of the common errors that customers make and which can void the warranty.

Modifications for performance-

This was one of the reasons why many of the Maruti Suzuki Swifts of late and the first generation Honda City were denied warranty. Many of the customers wanted to make their cars racing machines and hence installed power chips or cold air intakes. This lead to some of the mechanical failure as was reported in the statistics. Even if you want to modify the vehicle, it is recommended that you do it after the warranty of your car ends. The other way round, if you cannot wait till then is to remove those extra mods before you check in the vehicle for service. Many of the modern tuning boxes like the Pete’s tuning box would hardly take 5 minutes to remove or attach and can be done at home. Though it is yet to be proven with proofs that these modifications do have a major contribution to the failure of the parts, the manufacturers do think otherwise. Out here in India, we don’t have much option but to follow their rules however in some markets like the US, you can invoke the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. This rule challenges the manufacturer to prove that the car or part of it was damaged due to the warranty. In India, you have the best option of going to a consumer court but that would still take eons.

Fluids-

All the necessary fluids should be replaced or topped up according to the manufacturer’s schedule listed in the owner’s manual. This is another thing which many of the customers conveniently fail to do. A friend of my friend brought a Maruti 800 way back in 2005 and didn’t even bother to check in for the first service. He was of the opinion that since he doesn’t use the car too often, it doesn’t need servicing. He had a bit of mechanical knowledge and he changed the engine oil himself however he filled in the same used engine oil again. This went on till 6000 kms and when he finally turned in his car for service at a authorized service station, they said that his car’s piston block has suffered damage and he had to fork out a hefty bill for repairing it. I suppose that the readers of this article wouldn’t be so negligent towards their vehicles. Also use the recommended grading oil or the one suggested by the manufacturers. This would be another reason to void the warranty if they find that the oil or fluid you have used isn’t to their specifications. Timely change is another required thing.

Unnecessary installations-

To give a sporty look to their cars, many of the owners go in for installing spoilers or to protect their vehicle from damage, bull guards. These are also abhored by the manufacturers since many consider the bull guards to be more damaging to the structure of the vehicle rather than induce safety. Some claim that installing bull guards cause the structural integrity to be damaged and doesn’t help in the crumple zones to absorb the energy rather than transmit it to the occupants or passengers. Installing a spoiler doesn’t amount to voiding of warranties. Earlier manufacturers used to cry hoarse about fitting in after market music systems if there are no electrical installation provisions given in the vehicle. However as of now, the modern vehicles coming in our way already have all these provisions. Moreover, even after market systems don’t require one to splice the electricals. Installing HID kits would also void the warranty in some cases if the bulbs used have a more wattage than what can be supported by the battery. Also thawing of the glass may occur which may cause it to become milky and hence come in the way of providing clear vision at night time.

Wheels and tyre size-

When manufacturers launch a car, they give it the best shot. They test a car for its correct tyre size, suspension set up and choice of wheels. It is best not to tamper with this configuration. If you have steel wheels on your car and want to go for alloy ones, its acceptable  but then upgrading the tyre size to something bigger would cause undue stress on the suspension components or sometimes on the steering wheel as well. There are many who put gum ball sized tyres just for the sake of looking good and make their car one of a kind. All these show offs can be done once the car is out of warranty. Before doing so necessary suspension modifications have to be done, only at a reputed shop. Improper suspension, tyre combination raises questions about the vehicle’s movements and stability. This may lead to accidents and one cannot blame the manufacturer for all this things. They would straight away deny the warranty on the entire vehicle. There have been many instances when the car’s steering wheel has got problems due to the fact that suspension was too cumbersome for it to handle.

These are just some of the tips and I hope that these do prove to be of use to you or any of your friends.

Car maintenance tips – Tyres, brakes and suspension

Driving to work is usually a chilled out process if you are an enthusiast however when you are driving just for the sake of reaching your office, then it is actually a chore. Enthusiasts would note even a slight dip in performance whereas the ones considering driving a chore would rather not take notice. The purpose for this article is that because you all know that we cater to both the segments even though we abhor the latter and are very much a part of the former. We have given you some of the car maintenance tips for your tyres, brakes as well as suspension components.

The first and foremost thing is to go through the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is written keeping in mind the test results of the components used in making the aforementioned parts. The manufacturer actually test these materials under extreme conditions so that an average customer shouldn’t feel conned should his vehicle’s brakes pack up before the scheduled time frame. Tyres are one thing which every owner’s manual would ask you to check every 5000 kms and rotate them. This would make sure that the wear for the tyres is even. Also re-balance the tyres. This is important because when the tyres were fitted on to the car, they had a certain amount of rubber on them however as the time passes by, the tyres start losing that rubber on them. If you are more of the types using the launch control{found only in some Porsches and BMWs in India} in your car often, then your tyres would be eaten up at a faster rate. Balancing them allows to have a smooth ride whereas an unbalanced wheel would lead to pulling of the vehicle to one side of the road or a choppy ride quality. When you have a holiday, remove all those stones and rubble stuck in the tyres. This would be one way of ensuring that the tyres have a longer life span. Also, regularly ask the service technician to let you know if the tyres need to be changed. One more important thing to keep in mind is to even use the spare tyre while rotating. This would mean an even tread for it also. Check for the tyre pressure every week. If your tyres are of the tubeless variety, then stick to nitrogen. It is cold and helps get optimum performance from your tyres. If there is a sidewall which has burst, it would be best to replace the tyre and not wait for sometime.

Brakes are a vital and single handed way of bringing a vehicle to halt faster. These are life savers and need to be tended for carefully. The disc brake pads tend to function with lesser efficiency should they be wet and it is imperative that after washing a car, never try to speed. The disc brake rotor would have to first wipe the moisture and then apply pressure to the wheels to retard motion. Dirt and grime stick to the wheels and this also affects the brake application. If you would have ever noticed, try to stop a vehicle while you are in mud and it would take the  same time to stop it as you would take while in wet road conditions. The owner’s manual would also specify as to when to replace the brake drums or the disc pads. Many owners wouldn’t care to check the brakes as long as they are functioning. Few would think twice when they hear a grinding noise or even a squeal when applying brakes. Usually the squeal appears when there is dirt stuck inside the brake drums or even the disc rotors. Periodic cleaning of the brakes would eliminate this problem. The service personnel would check if the drums are worn out or even if the disc brake calliper needs a replacement. Resurfacing or polishing of the brakes would also help them in giving optimum performance.

Suspension is one component which enables a car to absorb all the shock waves transmitted from the road surface and cushion the occupants from the road harshness. Driving on rough roads leads to a premature wear for the suspension components. When joints and the suspension bushings wear out due to regular use, then it is best to get them replaced. If they aren’t replaced within time, the steering as well as the wheels also start wearing off prematurely. If these aren’t repaired in time, they would eventually make the vehicle lose traction, impede the braking abilities and also provide a harsh ride quality. Some ball joints from the steering system also tend to wear out because of a worn out suspension. When you hear a thud sound every time you go over a pothole means that one or more of the bushings have worn out and require your immediate attention. Small sounds are indicators of something going amiss in your car’s suspension. A suspension which hasn’t been maintained well would also lead to the cabin developing rattles. Some rubber parts which form part of the suspension components also start wearing off after some time and this would also lead to improper balancing of the vehicle leading to accidents. We may have seen many of the public transport buses on the roads with a saggy suspension. To maintain the suspension integrity, it is best advised to go slow over potholed roads or roads with bad infrastructure. Also don’t overload the vehicle than what it is supposed to be. In a routine checkup, always get the undercarriage inspected for any damage due to flying stones or debris. Watch out for any leak from the suspension.

Indian Car Of The Year {ICOTY} award 2010 report

Doing your bit in your respective field is a bit of achievement especially when no one has actually attempted it so far in their portfolio so far. But getting an award for it is a sure shot way of celebrating your success. Yes, the year 2010 is coming to an end and the awards for the cars and bikes launched this year was finally presented at a glittering ceremony held in Mumbai. Since we deal with cars as of now, we would be concentrating more on the 4 wheeled machines. First come the jury for these awards and they include the who’s who of the automotive world. Between them they have about 50 years of experience in the automotive sector. They are Gautam Sen and Bob Rupani of Auto India, Pablo Chaterji and Srinivas Krishnan of BS Motoring, Vikrant Singh and Yogendra Pratap of Auto Bild, Sriram Satyanarayanan and Girish Karkera from BBC Top Gear India, Aspi Bhathena of Car India, Bertrand D’souza and Sirish Chandran of OVERDRIVE.

Back to the awards function, it was sponsored by JK tyres. The cars which were in contention were the Ford Figo, Maruti Suzuki WagonR, Chevrolet Beat, Volkswagen Vento, Nissan Micra, Skoda Yeti, Volkswagen Polo and the Tata Aria. Unfortunately our favourite, the Toyota Etios couldn’t make it to the list since when the Toyota was launched, the final list of contenders was already made up. However it would definitely be one of the nominees for the next year’s award. There were many presentations from the various nominees listing their strengths of course and various other details. Well, the ICOTY award 2010 goes to the Ford Figo. The cars were judged on parameters like manoeuvrability, functionality, driver appeal, fuel efficiency, environmental concern, safety, design, comfort and finally price. The value for money proposition and also any new technological innovations on the way also add up as side kicks. Cars which have few mechanical enhancements didn’t make it to the list as the guidelines were quite clear that only new cars on new platforms would be eligible for the nomination process. The winner edged the others by 83 points. The Ford Figo was closely followed by the Volkswagen Vento which bagged 57 points, The third spot was shared by the Skoda Yeti and the Volkswagen Polo with 37 points.

A beaming President& MD, Ford India, Mr. Michael Boneham mentioned that the company is elated with the response given to its first small car in India and with over 60,000 Ford Figos on the Indian roads now, within less than 8 months of its launch, it is a great achievement. He also congratulated everyone involved in the development of the made for India car, the Ford Figo and also thanked the customers for their whole hearted support. Chairman of ICOTY, Mr Srinivas Krishnan, editor of BS Motoring said that it has been 6 years since the awards were started and now, it has become an industry benchmark with all the major car manufacturers vying for it. The Indian motorcycle of the year {IMOTY} went to the Honda Twister.

Tips for driving in fog

Winter has set in but where is the cold that we all want? From the past few days, all we have been experiencing is some cold wave with lots of fog. It makes driving or riding an uncomfortable experience. Especially when one is already late for their office or for any other purpose. The best option would be to park your vehicle at the side of the road  and wait till the fog lifts up. I don’t think that would be acceptable with many as this would mean waste of time. I have compiled up some of the tips for driving in fog.

    • First and foremost, the lights must be operational. Not many care for the maintenance of their lights as long as they work in nights. Other than that, they wouldn’t deserve a second glance. Before setting out on your journey, wipe the glass covering the head lamps with hot water. After doing this, use a simple newspaper to clean the glass area. This would ensure that there are no swirl marks. Also if the glass area is darkened, it would be wise to replace them and go for new ones. The ones you buy should also be original ones and matching the wattage of the lamps installed. This is advisable because the glass would then black out after some time of usage. The tail lamps would also have to be checked to see that they are working and also whether the brake lamps are in prime condition.
    • Before entering a fog filled area, slow down a bit. Often when in fog, you feel that you aren’t moving too fast as a slow motion effect is created. Don’t be deceived by it and go slow. You might reach your destination a bit late however in one piece.

    • Don’t try to overtake unless absolutely required. This is a strict rule to follow should you be driving in conditions of fog. Also, it is best to avoid even changing lanes. If you have a car moving ahead of you in a straight road, maintain a safe distance and follow it.
    • In foggy conditions, don’t keep your windows open. Instead turn on the heater and put it in recirculation mode. This would avoid the outside air from entering the car.
    • When driving in fog, be sure to turn off the high beam. Many people have this notion that putting on high beam would ensure that they get the maximum visibility. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Infact, high beam makes the driver coming from the opposite direction to be disoriented. The high beam also distorts vision. Putting on fog lamps{if you have one} or even low beam ensures that the road ahead is visible to you and at the same time, you are looking out for the safety of others.
    • Road marking are another important part which help in safe motoring in conditions of fog. Drive slowly and try to be as close to the road markings to ensure that you know where the road is leading to. This would keep your focus on the road.
    • Before going around a corner. Try the flash lights thrice so that vehicles from the other end know that you are going to corner. Also put on the indicators well in advance so that the one following you doesn’t bang into you. Also brake early so that the person behind has time to react. It is also advisable to turn on the wipers and defrosters to ensure maximum visibility.
    • If for some reason, you want to pull off the road, be sure to turn on the indicators well in advance so that even if the person following you is trying to overtake you, then he would be warned well in advance. In fog, other drivers also have the same problem of less visibility and if at all you want to brake, brake slowly. As far as possible, avoid urgent braking.
    • Last but definitely not the least tips for driving in fog is to keep your calm and cool even if there is traffic. This would ensure that you can concentrate on the road ahead and steer clear of any obstacles.

      Nanotechnology to be used in all Indian vehicles

      Why is the world going Nano? By Nano, we don’t mean our own homegrown small car from the Tata Motors stable. It means Nanotechnology. Now, nanomaterial based things can have many materialistic applications and some even have the potential to redefine energy. Even some of the Nanotechnology has replaced the expensive material namely platinum in fuel cells. These act by been more efficient and at the same time more of the eco friendly types. Various crystals come together to form a nano particle which in turn have its own properties.

      Lubrication by a special mechanism which consists of nested spheres reduces the wear, tear and even friction between moving parts in a car engine. One such example was discovered in Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel which was named Nanolub and had many nanotubes of inorganic compounds and nano-spheres. The great promise shown by these Nano particles help in the fact that they vastly reduce emission some times even to the extent of zero emissions. Newly developed materials, which with the use of Nanotechnology helps in getting electric, light weight, low cost and as always low emission vehicles.

      Another technology which is now widey used is nano coating. It helps in protecting the surfaces of automobiles, ships, gear boxes for all the vehicles, cement manufacturing process, mining and also paints. This increases the life span of an engine and also helps in reducing noise from it. This has another benefit of cutting costs and also generating higher revenue for the company. It is a known fact that in a big industry like cement or even automobiles, halting production work just for routine repairs would prove to be a very costly affair and moreover isn’t feasible. Nano materials help in cutting down the servicing time and also increase the service span so that this doesn’t hamper the usual production cycle in a industry. In India, many companies have adopted the Nanotechnology in their process however the one that stands out is Indian Oil. They have, in their lubricant process, used Nanotechnology. A recent survey also proved that Indian Oil’s products have the highest customer satisfaction ratings out of all the luricants in the Indian market. They have a higher thermal conductivity, reduced friction and enhanced reserve acidicity. While their use in the lubrication process is very small, akin the same to a catalyst, they cannot be discounted.

      Once the commercial aspects of the Nanotechnology are acknowledged by the electronic industry, its use would be widely accepted. It is estimated that about $100 billion would be the market size for all this Nano concept. Also the Indian automobile industry would be very much in the contention, with their 5 million vehicles per year consumption and high emission gases. The best use for nano particles is to reduce the emissions and also to resolve many of the industry’s energy consumption.

      Nissan Leaf launched in Japan

      Nissan Motor Corporation have a technological innovation with them and it is aptly named as the Nissan Leaf in keeping with the theme of it been a green vehicle. This vehicle was earlier launched in the US market to gauge its response and it passed with flying colors. So much so that within its launch, about 5000 bookings were received. Now, Nissan Motor Corporation have decided to launch this car in their hometown, Japan.  It has been launched in Japan on December 21, 2010. It has received 6000 bookings so far and the first vehicle would be delivered to its owner before the end of this year.

      For adding more convenience to this vehicle, the company has installed 200-volt normal chargers at their dealerships and mind you, there are around 2,200 Nissan dealers in Japan. 220 of this very high tech outlets will have a facility of quick chargers that can recharge the battery in about 30 minutes and upto 80% of its capacity. The next level for this company would be to get as many as charging outlets so that people buying this car wouldn’t have to worry about their charging points. Nissan Motor Corporation is also thinking of having a JV with Mitsubishi Motors who also have their new electric vehicle namely the i-MiEV EV for having quick chargers which would charge the vehicles for about 70% of their capacity. There are about 70 Mitsubishi dealers who would benefit from this venture. By this deal, the owners of both the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and also the Nissan Leaf would have a ease of convenience wherein which they can get their vehicles charged at any of the Nissan or Mitsubishi outlets.

      To enhance the appeal for their car, the company also has a navigation system installed on the Nissan Leaf which would give them direct routes for a charging point. For a flat monthly fee of $18, the company also provides for information about the charging facilities. Currently the Nissan Leaf only has a range of 200 kms on a full charge. The good news is that the Nissan Leaf would soon be launched in the Indian market as well. That they are already are on the thinking path of getting as many as of their vehicles in India is a sure shot way of garnering up their sales. They are also in the process of opening about 3 show rooms in various Indian cities in a month. The pricing of this vehicle would also hold a key since for the price conscious Indian market, it is a make or break for any car manufacturer.