Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

It is news for those who have been looking up to Tata since a long time as the much-hyped CNG version of people’s car aka Nano will be rolling out most probably by March 2013. The car was showcased by Tata at Auto Expo 2012 held in Delhi in January, 2012. The response that the car got at the Auto Expo was overwhelming which made Tata initiate serious talks about launching the car in the next fiscal. In a recent revelation, Tata gave out a statement confidently announcing the release of Tata Nano CNG fuelled version by the next fiscal.

The price of fuel in India has been sky-rocketing since a long time and owing to the recent Rs.7.50/- hike in the price of petrol, more and more people are opting for diesel and CNG powered cars rather than petrol. Thus, analyzing the situation, it is somewhat plausible that the release date of Tata Nano CNG might be pre-ponedas the eagerness of the arrival of Nano CNG in the market is increasing day by day. Presently, only the petrol variant of Nano is there in the market but it is being said that the price of the new upcoming CNG model will probably be around 15-20,000 rupees more than that of the present petrol model.

Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

Coming to the configuration of the car in the market, the new Nano CNG will have both petrol as well as CNG fuel operands in it. The driver can easily switch between both of the fuels and all that h needs to do is push a button that has been placed on the dashboard. CNG presently is much cheaper than petrol and the upcoming Tata Nano CNG will probably go on to become one of the cheapest CNG cars available to the people of India. Initially, following the Auto Expo 2012, there were several enquiries from people who were keen on the diesel variant of Tata Nano. Presently Tata has not given any statement regarding it but probably it has a chance of making its way into the market next year after Nano CNG is launched.

The new Tata Nano CNG will be powered by a twin-cylinder 624cc engineand this engine will be tuned up to a 4-speed manual transmission system. Tata has worked a lot on the CNG version of Nano in order to reduce any sort of power loss while the car is in motion. Thus, CNG is pushed into the engine in a sequential manner which safeguards the engine and other components. Thus, on the basis of the thesis, we can ascertain that the deliverance of the torque as well as the power of the Nano CNG will be ideally similar to that of the ongoing petrol variant of the car. The new Tata Nano CNG will be having a petrol tank of 15 L capacity and a CNG tank of 35 L. It will also be equipped with an integrated leak detection system built to monitor gas leaks.

Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

Bigger Range Rover Evoque to roll out in 2015

Range Rover Evoque is undoubtedly the best compact crossover in the market today. Tata owned JLR is selling big numbers of the Evoque in India and international markets, owing which, the British brand is looking to go big with the crossover, literally. According to AutoCar, Land Rover is working on a bigger version of the Land Rover Evoque slated for a 2015 launch.

Although growing bigger in size, the upcoming Evoque crossover will be positioned between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport. Similar to the smaller brother, the Land Rover crossover will too feature the LR-MS architecture, and will be platformed alongside the Freelander, regular Evoque and upcoming Jaguar crossover. This will give the beast a sufficiently roomy rear cabin.

Speaking of styling, the crossover will be largely based on the ‘Grand Evoque’, with subtle changes to the design, as an overhauled cosmetic uplift would cannibalize its younger brother.

Bigger Range Rover Evoque to roll out in 2015

Growing bigger in dimension, the vehicle will add 150 mm in the passenger and driver cabin, while 150 mm length will be added to the boot. Rightfully, Land Rover could choose to supplement a third row to the crossover, making it stand in a completely different segment in market and altogether more practical.

The upcoming Range Rover Evoque is likely to sport a new engine, and this might be from the family of new four-cylinder units developed at the Wolverhampton facility of JLR. This includes a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol motor good for 170 hp per litre, and a diesel unit delivering 133 hp per litre. Going with time, Land Rover could also offer a hybrid powerplant for the Grand Evoque. This features a twin motor supported by a gasoline engine.

Although Range Rover has the best line up of off-roading rugged SUVs, these are notorious thirty machines. Gladly, JLR has a weight-reduction program under which, the brand is testing different materials for bodywork, and this means the Grand Evoque would feature better fuel-economy.

In India, Tata Motors is investing in a facility to assemble the next-gen Land Rover Defender. The facility is likely to set up in Gujrat and will start full-fledge production from 2015. In the market, the Grand Evoque will lock horns with the BMW X5 and Audi Q3.

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Tata Motors showcased the Safari Storme at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi and it is about time the rugged SUV hits the market. The second generation of Safari Storme is expecting a launch in June end or early July.

Though its not the most handsome Tata car, the Safari Storme loses weight and grows bigger than the current generation Storme. Meanwhile, there is subtle change to the design of the car, which will avoid the cannibalization of the current model, as it will continue to serve further.

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Featuring a hydroformed body-on-ladder chassis, the upcoming Tata Safari Storme will be platformed alongside the Aria. Although the model will grow in size overall, it will take sharper cuts with 5.4 meters turning radius in comparison to 6 meters turning radius of the current runner. It features wider track-width at the front and opts for double wishbones suspension instead of the torsion beam. This will make it very efficient in urban traffics as well as out on the trail.

In terms of interiors, the car gets plenty of plastic trims in the fittings and panel gaps. There is no change in the seating arrangement and the Safari Storme comes as a seven-seater featuring 2X3X2 configuration. We are going to miss the rear hanging spare wheel, as Safari Storme opts for under-frame spare wheel mounting.

Tata Safari Storme interior

Power will be drawn from the 2.2-liter DiCOR engine also doing duty in the Aria. This common rail diesel engine punches out 140 bhp peak power and 320 Nm torque. It features a variable geometry turbocharger for improved fuel economy at low speeds and groundbreaking performance at high speeds. Mated to the powerful diesel unit is a G-76 five-speed manual gearbox with iterated gearing ratios. For improved off-road capabilities, the Tata Safari Storme features Borg Warner transfer case for shifting from two-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive on the go.

In terms of safety, Tata has employed 4-channel ABS with EBD, all 4 discs, a new rack-and-pinion steering system with collapsible steering column, improved crumple zones, side intrusion beams on all doors, dual SRS airbags and engine immobilizer.

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Pricing of the Tata Safari Storme takes a massive leap form the current Rs. 7-9 lacs range to Rs. 9-12 lacs range. The SUV will eat into the sales of Mahindra Scorpio and upcoming Renault Duster.

Honda planning large-scale expansion for India: Will be bringing in new diesel cars

There is a lot that is going on in the minds of Honda futurists as the company is now looking forward to a massive expansion in India. Over the past few years Honda has been consistently considered in the top league of car-makers in India and now the company feels that they necessarily need to flounder more and more of their cars into India. So now the profit will be more for the company as it plans to manufacture cars to its optimum capability so that the volume of cars sold is much more than what it used to be earlier. Presently, the Tapukara plant based in Rajasthan is idle to a great extent as the company is not able to maintain proper volume of expected supply that they had earmarked in the beginning of this fiscal. This plant of Honda will now be actively put to use for export business of the company.

Honda Civic in India

The Indian automobile market is said to be one of the most booming markets in the world with almost all of the major car makers playing and competing with each other in the arena. Honda stands up against most of its adversary automakers owing to the fact that since the fall of the company last year as a result of the flash floods in Thailand, the company had concurred losses which they were hell-bent on making up. Then the company started growing at a massive scale with the launch of Brio in India. The company now aims of rolling out 1 million units in the domestic Indian car industry by the fiscal of 2015-16. The best way to do that as per the thoughts of the company visionaries is to bring more and more diesel variants of cars to India in the coming time as the price of petrol in India has skyrocketed to such extent that it burns a hole in the pockets of the people living here. The diesel car market is booming and this is the reason why Honda is planning a massive rollout of cars in the coming time. Very soon, the 1.6 L Diesel engine variant of Honda Civic and Honda City will be rolled out on the Indian roads. These two cars are the most demanded and revered cars of Honda in the Indian automobile market. On the contrary, the diesel variant of Honda Brio is now under testing mode and maybe it will be launched soon as well.

Honda City in India

 

Increasing the percentage of sales manifold in the upcoming span of 2-3 years is something that critics will say long-thinking or over-estimation but Honda as a matter of fact has an impressive line-up of cars and strategies that will back this aspiration of theirs. Owing to the flash floods in Thailand, the plants of Honda based in Japan are presently under pressure as the amount of spare parts for the cars has subsequently increased but the company has vouched to eradicate this obstruction in the upcoming few months when the production rate increases at a colossal rate.

Mercedes-Benz S Class replacement to sport 9-speed transmission

Mercedes S Class is like the Boeing 747 of the auto world, and after serving for almost a decade, the car is due to retire next year. The engineers and designers at Mercedes’ Stuttgart headquarters are busy adding final nip and tuck to the model that will make its debut next year. When launched, it will replace the S Class as the flagship sedan of Mercedes.

Although Mercedes-Benz has not given any hint on the styling or packaging of the top-notch sedan, we can expect the car to set benchmarks in terms of engine refinement and technology. According to a report in Italy’s MotoriOnline, one of the features that will make debut in the next-gen S-Class, is a nine-speed sequential automatic gearbox called 9G-Tronic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz S Class replacement to sport 9-speed transmission
Growing above the current 7G Tronic transmission, the new gearbox will feature amazing fuel-economy and superb comfort. The longitudinally mounted gearbox will match itself to the entry-level diesel motor as well as the powerful petrol unit. Moreover, Mercedes is planning a hybrid version of the upcoming flagship sedan, and the 9G Tronic transmission will find its way in this version too.

Apart from the flagship sedan, this transmission will feature later in the next-gen lineup of Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz S Class replacement will make its appearance along with other tri-star models at next year’s Geneva Motor Show. Watch this space for more.

Mahindra to launch a Verito-based hatchback in September 2012

We know Mahindra and Mahindra for its rugged and tough SUVs, but what we don’t know is that the company has a hatchback up its sleeves; and sources suggest, it is just around the corner. The Indian automotive giant is contemplating to add a hatchback to its portfolio, and this one is based on the Verito sedan.

Now, we all know that the Verito sedan launched a while ago did not do fairly well in the Indian market. There are plenty of big fishes with better packaging and aggressive price tag in the D segment sedans. However, there is one segment in the market that certainly draws volumes, and Mahindra is taking a shift to the hatches.

Mahindra to launch a Verito-based hatchback in September 2012

The Mahindra Verito-based hatchback is expected to break cover by September 2012, which means Mahindra has finished the final testing of the hatch and is preparing a launch. This does come as a little surprise as there has not been a single scoop of spy image or rendering of the upcoming hatch.

Since Mahindra has not revealed any detail or prototype of the hatchback, axing the Verito’s boot seems like a practical approach. This will probably give it a sub 4 meter length, and ease in excise duty as implied by the government. So we can expect Mahindra to price the Verito-based hatch aggressively.

There is no word on the power plant option, and the Verito’s K9K, 1.5-litre turbo diesel unit seems unlikely for a hatch positioned below the Verito. Moreover, to benefit from the relieved excise duty, Mahindra will have to sport a sub 1.2-litre engine for the hatchback.

Although Mahindra has a pretty strong stance in the SUV segment, the automaker is making a shift to volume driven segment to improve sales. Having said that, Mahindra is also planning a Verito facelift in the upcoming months.

Tata signs agreement with Burma Apex Industrial Company

The historic restoration of official ties between India and Burma has begun in earnest with Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh on his maiden visit there. Accompanying the Prime minister’s delegation is a host of industry leaders as well.

Tata Motors had already initiated a soft approach, but surprisingly came trumps up in 2010, when it successfully signed a turnkey agreement with Myanmar Automobile and Diesel Industries Ltd (MADI) for setting upa heavy truck assembly plant at Magwe, located in central Myanmar.

Tata signs agreement with Burma Apex Industrial Company

As part of the 14 memorandum of understandings between the two neighbors of the Indian sub-continent, Tata announced that it has signed an agreement with Burma’s Apex Greatest Industrial Company (AGI) for promoting and distributing its range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Myanmar as well.

The Burmese government made good use of the $20 million line of credit granted by India to invest in this assembly plant. Incidentally, the plant was inaugurated in 2010 and is fully operational now.

The state of the art chassis and frame assembly line has the capacity to produce approximately thousand cars annually with the capacity to manufacture 5,000 per year should the demand grow.

The easing up on sanctions as Burma slowly shifts a vice like dictatorship to democracy will ensure that other industries, particularly the automobile industry would invest there and convert the country to a mini hub for countries like Thailand and other neighbors.

Tata Indica Vista heads to Spain, Xenon and Aria will follow suit

Tata Motors is going all out in its efforts to promote and propagate itself as a global brand. Recently, the company roped in Nissho Motor Espana, distributors of Tata in Spain, who in turn hired an internationally famed fashion house to redesign the Tata Indica to cater to the taste of the Spaniards.

The result was the left hand drive Indica Vista, which was inaugurated by Monica Cruz, sister of Hollywood star Penelope Cruz. Tata Motors is doing its best, taking into consideration the unsatisfactory economic conditions of Spain, by keeping the price of the Indica Vista within the reach of common people. Not many global automobile manufacturers have seen the wisdom in this, but Tata Motors remains confident of its success with this model and its competitive pricing.

Tata Indica Vista heads to Spain, Xenon and Aria will follow suit

The Tata Indica made a tactical retreat as it did not meet Spain’s strict and non-compromising emission and safety laws and therefore introduced the Indica Vista. Soon to follow will be the Aria and Xenox models. Tata has stuck to black interiors as Europeans in general have an aversion to the colors beige and chrome. Tata has also thought it prudent to omit the Indica insignia from the bonnet as well.

Spain, incidentally, is the first country to receive the left hand drive model from Tata Motors, which also features headlamps and grille (not chrome) similar to that of the Manza. Tata Motors has also appointed a new distributor NijulerAutomocion to create the dealer and service network all over Spain.

The car at present has two variants. The petrol version has a 1.2 liter-1172 cc engine with a spanking new C510 gear box which throttles to 65 PS at 5500 revolution per minute with a torque capacity of 96Nm. The diesel variant has a 1.4 liter 1405 cc, turbo cooled TDI diesel engine, a new TA 65 gearbox capable of producing 71 PS at 4500 revolutions per minute, torque of 135Nm at 2500 revolutions per minute.

Honda Motors to launch Mini MPV by 2014 in India

Honda Motors is all set to launch the Honda Mini MPV, which promises to accommodate your whole family along withyour entire luggage. Suzuki has reason to worry as this company till recently had been dominating this segment with the Suzuki Ertiga. There was absolutely no competition for Suzuki in this inventive segment, but Honda has gone ahead and has succeeded in putting a spanner in the “works” of Suzuki.

It would be noteworthy mention here that Suzuki managed a whopping 32,000 bookings within the first month of the launch of its Ertiga MPV. The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is modeled on the lines of the Swift. Incidentally the Suzuki Ertiga is exclusively for Indian markets only.

Honda Motors to launch Mini MPV by 2014 in India
The Honda Mini MPV which has been designed on a platform akin to the Concept S, displayed at the recently concluded Beijing Auto Show, will first be launched in China first and then make its way to India for a grand launch.Cars like the Honda Mini MPV are ideally suited for countries like China and India due to the huge population factor and hence the manufacturing decision of a global platform.

Honda will also be introducing a 1.6 liter diesel engine for its sedan class of cars which include the Honda Civic and City. The new Honda Mini MPV will have an extra seating row with a much spacious boot space. The car is expected to be launched in India by 2014.

Daimler India to launch 18 BharatBenz trucks in next 18 months

We recently reported about Daimler investing a sum of Rs 4400 crore to set up a facility for BharatBenz trucks in Orogadam near Chennai. The Mercedes subsidy also announced its plans in India with the introduction of its entire range of trucks that will carry freight across the nation’s highways. In a more recent report, the company plans to launch as much as 18 truck models of BharatBenz in next 18 months.

“We would be launching 18 models in next 18 months and the launch would start from October this year. The trucks will be customised as per the need of Indian market,” V Sreeram, Assistant Vice President, Marketing and sales, was quoted saying.

Daimler India to launch 18 BharatBenz trucks in next 18 months

The company showed interest in the Indian market, after seeing the infrastructure conditions in the country and plans to take over the 20 percent of the market by the end of the decade. “We are focusing on network of dealership and after-sales service to ensure achievement of our target of capturing 20 per cent market share by 2020,” he said.

To expand its foothold in India, Daimler plans dealership and service centers at Jaipur, Jodhpur and Uaidpur in Rajasthan.

Daimler organized the ‘BharatBenz Power Yatra,’ under which, Sreeram and his team showcased different truck models across various cities in Rajasthan before reaching Jaipur.

The 8000-km pan-India drive kicked off in Chennai and took the team across several urban and rural areas covering Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharastra, Gujarat and will now enter into Haryana from Rajasthan. According to Sreeram, the purpose of the drive was to showcase the BharatBenz product line to drivers and transporters across the nation.

“During our journey, we spoke to truck drivers and transporters and showed them the performance of the vehicle and take their feedback,” he said.