Automobile manufacturer Tata Motors on Saturday launched the 'i-Turbo' variant of its premium hatchback, Altroz.
The variant's petrol version starts at Rs 8.25 lakh while the diesel version costs Rs 9.45 lakh.
As per the company, 'iRA' comes with 27 connected car features along with natural voice tech, through which the car understands commands not only in 'English or Hindi, but also in Hinglish'.
Besides, it is India's first hatchback to introduce What3Words technology - a precise & unique tool that makes navigation easier than before.
The new variant is powered by a 1.2L turbocharged BS6 petrol engine.
Additionally, the Company has added a new top of the line 'XZ+' variant in a petrol and diesel fuel option to the Altroz family.
Tata Altroz was the first product on the 'ALFA' architecture.
It was launch in January 2020. Over 50,000 Altroz units have been sold within its first year of the vehicle's launch.
"We are delighted to share that with its introduction, in FY21, our market share in the hatchback category has increased by 5.4 per cent compared to last fiscal and we have captured 17 per cent market share in the premium hatch segment," said Shailesh Chandra - President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors.
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Breaking his silence after the news broke that Tesla has finally entered India by registering it as a company in Bengaluru, its CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he is on the way to fulfil his promise to let electric cars run on the roads of the country.
According to the details available on the Registrar of Companies website, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited has been incorporated and the registered address is in Lavelle Road, Bengaluru. Reacting to his 41.2 million followers, Musk tweeted on making India his next destination: "As promised".
Musk, who communicates on all important company issues via Twitter, however, did not divulge any further details on his India plans.
In October last year, Musk, who overtook Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man with a whopping $195 billion net worth, had said that the electric car maker is finally ready to enter the India market next year.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa tweeted on Tuesday to inform that Tesla is setting up its research and development (R&D) centre in Bengaluru to commence its India operations soon.
The Karnataka government had made a strong pitch to invite Tesla to the state.
"Karnataka will lead India's journey towards Green Mobility. Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Tesla will soon start its operations in India with an R&D unit in Bengaluru. I welcome @elonmusk to India & Karnataka and wish him all the very best," Yediyurappa had tweeted.
Tesla is also in touch with other state governments like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to start its India operations.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said last month that Tesla will begin operations with sales in early 2021 and then "maybe" look at assembling and manufacturing vehicles in the country.
Tesla sales teams are currently working on building custom sales and production orders for the India market, ensuring orders are complete and validated once the configuration is finished.
The move will also open India to select as one of the countries where Tesla cars can be purchased.
Tesla officials had held talks with the Karnataka government in September last year for opening its research facility in this tech hub. The R&D unit in India is Tesla's second outside the US. Its first such overseas centre is in Shanghai where it has a Gigafactory to make electric cars.
The tech-savvy Karnataka is the first state in the country to have an electric vehicle policy to woo investments in the sunrise sector. A slew of startups like Ola Electric, Sub Mobility and Ather have set up their operations in the city.
Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra on Friday raised the prices of its range of personal and commercial vehicles by around 1.9 per cent resulting in an increase of Rs 4,500 - Rs 40,000, depending on the model and variant.
Accordingly, the new prices will become effective from the day.
The company said in case of 'All New Thar', the current price increase will be effective for all bookings done between December 1, 2020 and January 7, 2021.
According to Veejay Nakra, CEO - Automotive Division, M&M: "The price increase was necessitated due to unprecedented increase in commodity prices and various other input costs over the past many months."
"We have made all efforts to reduce our costs and deferred price increase for a significant duration, but due to the quantum of input cost increase, consequently we are taking this price increase effective January 8, 2021."
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has confirmed that the company is working on a smartwatch that will be released early next year.
"Many of you said you wanted a watch, and as you might have heard over the weekend — we're making one, to be released early next year. Wishes do come true," Lau said in a tweet late on Tuesday.
While the launch date has not explicitly been mentioned, one can expect the OnePlus Watch to arrive in the first quarter of next year.
OnePlus is working closely with Google on improving Wear OS. Whether that means the OnePlus watch will run Google's platform is unclear, according to reports.
The smartwatch is expected to feature a Snapdragon Wear system-on-chip, potentially the recently-launched Snapdragon Wear 4100.
OnePlus Watch may also include an OLED display to save battery and a host of fitness and health features like a heart rate sensor, blood oxygen monitor and software-based features such as sleep pattern analysis, goals-oriented exercise tracking and more.
Back in 2016, OnePlus actually confirmed that the company was developing a smartwatch.
"We had completed the design but we still decided to scrap it. We have to be focused," Lau said during the 'Converge' tech conference held in Hong Kong recently.
The novel coronavirus waves have hit every industry, disrupting the way they used to operate. It's no different with the pre-owned car market which is experiencing a paradigm shift right now, says Jatin Ahuja, MD and Founder, Big Boy Toyz.
From changed customer preferences to digitization to increased demand, the segment has emerged as a silver lining for the automobile sector during the global crisis. Jatin Ahuja shares what has changed since the virus outbreak.
One of the most obvious patterns is the increased demand for vehicles in the mid-segment range. Brands in this segment are stacked with cars belonging to luxury segment, while being sold at a lower price. If this rise in demand continues to grow, the affordability of used cars will give brand new luxury cars a scare, he says.
Digitalization is another segment where pre-owned luxury car dealerships are evolving as business owners. While some have introduced features like virtual tours and car home deliveries, others have launched mobile application to help their customers decide within the comfort of their homes.
"Also, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on changing buying behavior and their views towards used luxury cars. The economical setbacks, professional setbacks, hit on income have added to the slump of the automobile sector, even morefor the luxury vehicles. Buyers are more conscious about their expenses and luxury spending, now more than ever. Setting something aside for what's to come is the new mantra. Another perspective is the way of life and viewpoint of an individual looking for a luxury vehicle. Given the current circumstance, purchasing a new luxury vehicle may not be possible. This gap is then fulfilled by the used car market which is seeing a flood of responses because of many reasons -- ease of purchasing and cost, to name some," Ahuja writes.
The fall in goods and services tax (GST) on used luxury vehicles to 18 per cent has reduced the overall cost and the differential cost between the unorganized and semi-organized players in the market. Most customers in this segment are repeat buyers as they see purchasing an old Audi or a Merc more significant than purchasing another brand-new mid-segment vehicle, believes the expert.
Social distancing, contactless purchasing, and virtual experiences are demanding for technology in the sector. Digitization is assuming a critical part in empowering the development of the used car market. Numerous dealerships are focusing on setting online buying experience -- beginning from queries, test-drive at doorstep, customization, booking, payments, and delivery. Social media is the best approach to handle an ever-increasing number of queries, says Ahuja.
The pandemic has given virtual experiential buying a kick for used luxury car market. It is during such circumstances, car producers and retailers ought to re-align their showcasing techniques to the "new standards" with offers and advancements to charm the clients.
The stigma attached to the used car industry is no longer the same, as more individuals are gradually opening to this idea. The Covid-19 pandemic has assumed a major shift in the upliftment of this fragment as individuals now focus on spending their money judiciously on assets from an investment perspective, concludes Ahuja.
Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will increase the price of its vehicles from January 1, 2021.
The revision will affect its range of 'Passenger and Commercial Vehicles', across models.
"This has been necessitated due to the increase in commodity prices and various other input costs," a company statement said.
"Details of the price increase across different models will be communicated in due course."
Electric car maker Tesla will shut down production for its Model S and Model X vehicles at its Fremont (California)-based factory for 18 days, beginning December 24.
According to an internal memo accessed by CNBC, workers on those production lines will get a week's pay and some will get paid holidays.
Employees were told they were being "given a full week of pay for the forced time off, but were encouraged to seek shifts working for, or even volunteering in, other parts of the business for the remaining unpaid days," the report said on Sunday.
The shutdown of the Model S and X lines suggests that the high demand does not extend to these older models.
"It's not clear what Tesla intends to do with its Model S and X lines during the holiday shutdown".
The memo also says the workers can volunteer to help with delivery of vehicles to customers while production is on hold.
In the third quarter of 2020 that ended on September 30, Tesla produced 145,000 vehicles and delivered 139,300. Of that number, Tesla produced just under 17,000 Model S and X vehicles, delivering 15,200 of them.
In a separate email to employees, Elon Musk said that demand for Tesla vehicles has been "quite a bit higher than production this quarter."
After spending his most life in California, Musk has finally relocated to Texas, calling California 'complacent'.
Tesla is building its next factory in Austin, Texas and Musk has threatened to move the production out of California.
The move to Texas makes sense for him as it has no state income tax while California has the highest tax regime in the country.
As the climate emergency deepens, oil-guzzling motor vehicles are switching to electricity instead. That does not bode well for oil-rich nations
The only officials present were American and Saudi,” tweeted the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, but he was either mistaken or was not telling the whole story. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really did fly into Saudi Arabia recently to spend a few hours with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We owe this knowledge to that indispensable journalistic resource, the flight-tracking websites. They revealed that the private plane Netanyahu usually charters for secret visits abroad departed from Tel Aviv recently and flew to Neom in Saudi Arabia, taking off for the return flight three-and-a-half-hours later. So, did a meeting actually take place? Did something go awry? Or did a meeting take place, but each side took the public stance that best met its political needs?
No matter what the compulsion for the ambiguity, one thing is crystal clear: The meeting was meaningless. Once upon a time it would have been headline news around the world. ‘US superpower and oil-rich Saudi Arabia get together with embattled Israeli leader to carve up the Middle East’, or something along those lines. Whereas today this meeting barely got noticed. Netanyahu is indeed embattled but it is corruption charges he’s fighting, not a foreign enemy. Pompeo is a soon-to-be-unemployed politician polishing up his CV for a senatorial nomination in 2022 or the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Prince Mohammed bin Salman is still effectively the dictator of Saudi Arabia, but that no longer cuts much ice in the rest of the world. Some of this collapse in relevance is temporary. Netanyahu will eventually go to jail or retire, but Israel will still be the dwarf superpower that bestrides the Middle East militarily. Pompeo and his employer US President Donald Trump will soon be out of office and the US will recover some of its former position as a world leader, at least for a while. But Saudi Arabia will never be back as a mover and shaker. The decline is permanent, because “oil-rich” is a phrase destined to become as obsolete as “carbon copy.” The oil revenue of the Arab producers has fallen by more than two-thirds, from $1 trillion in 2012 to only $300 billion this year, and it’s never coming back up. The decline so far has been driven mostly by a steep fall in oil prices — demand rose steadily but oil production persistently rose faster — but now an absolute collapse in demand looms as well.
As the climate emergency deepens, motor vehicles (which account for half of all oil use globally) are switching to electricity instead. That does not bode well for oil rich nations. Britain and France are now committed to end all sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2030, which means in practice that nobody there will buy a new petroleum-fuelled car after 2025. Many other countries have or are debating similar measures. So what happens to a country like Saudi Arabia, where four-fifths of the Government budget comes from oil revenues? Budget cuts are already happening, of course, but revenues will continue to fall. Moreover, the population in almost all the oil-producing Gulf states is still growing fast.
At some point these two lines on the graph will intersect in a politically destabilising way. If Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf oil-States go on spending vast amounts of money on weapons, ostensibly to protect themselves from Iran, the lines will intersect a little sooner, but in any case it’s just a matter of time. The extraordinary stability of these States — not a single change of regime in the six oil-rich monarchies of the Arabian peninsula in the past 50 years — has been based entirely on the ability of the traditional rulers to buy the acquiescence of their subjects. Once the wealth goes, so does the stability.
The Arabian peninsula has been briefly a major centre of power only twice in world history: Once in 632-661 CE, after which the capital of the early Islamic empire moved to Damascus, and once from 1973 to the present — but not for much longer. Even the unity of Saudi Arabia itself, which was imposed by force less than a century ago, may not survive the transition. The dominant power centres of the post-oil Middle East will be exactly where they were for most of the past thousand years: Turkey, Iran and Egypt. And at no time in the last thousand years have any two of those three powers been able to cooperate for long. They do have some things in common: Islam (although in two different and generally hostile versions), relatively modern, semi-industrialised economies (Turkey most, Egypt least), and around 100 million people each. But they are divided by language (Turkish, Arabic and Farsi have nothing in common except loan-words), distance (the capitals are more than 2,000 km apart), and by history and politics. Egypt occasionally got conquered by one of the other two but that doesn’t count as collaboration. So it might be argued that the Middle East itself is about to disappear as a meaningful concept. No great loss, really.
(Gwynne Dyer’s new book is ‘Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy and Work.’)
Automobile manufacturer Nissan India on Wednesday announced the special introductory price of all-new Nissan Magnite, starting at Rs 4,99,000 (ex-showroom) valid until December 31, 2020.
Accordingly, the company commenced the pan-India bookings.
"The all-new 'Nissan Magnite' marks the beginning of a new chapter in the 'Nissan NEXT' strategy for both the Indian and global market," Sinan Ozkok, President, Nissan Motor India said in a statement.
"Built on the philosophy of 'Make in India, Make for the World', the all-new Nissan Magnite comes with more than 20 first-in-class and best-in-segment features that provides consumers with a differentiated, innovative and accessible ownership experience."
Besides, the company also launched a first-in-industry virtual test drive feature that allows the customer to experience the "all-new Nissan Magnite on their personal device, wherever they may be".
"This interactive drive experience gives Nissan customers a unique chance to drive the 'carismatic' SUV with a virtual sales consultant," the company statement said.
Shares of automobile companies surged on Wednesday on the back robust sales recorded in November.
Healthy festive demand aided the sales growth last month.
Tata Motors' stocks surged over 4 per cent to touch an intra-day high of Rs 187.30 per share.
The company on Tuesday reported a 20.73 per cent rise in its total sales for November on a year-on-year basis at 49,650 units.
Around 11 a.m., its shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 185.25, higher by Rs 5.55 or 3.09 per cent from its previous close.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki India were trading at Rs 7,192.85, higher by Rs 93.75 or 1.32 per cent from its previous close.
It has reported a growth of 1.7 per cent in its overall sales during November 2020 on a year-on-year basis. The company sold 1,53,223 units of vehicles last month, against 1,50,630 units sold in November 2019.
Shares of two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp, which logged a 14.4 per cent growth in sales for November, rose 1.17 per cent to Rs 3,148.15 per share.
Bajaj Auto witnessed a 2.21 per cent rise in its share price at Rs 3,316.30. On Tuesday, the company reported a 5 per cent growth in total sales during November on a year-on-year basis.
According to the company, total sales during the month under review grew to 4,22,240 units from 4,03,223 units sold during the corresponding month of 2019.
Mahindra & Mahindra's shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 739.65, higher by Rs 4.85 or 0.66 per cent from its previous close.
Its sales rose 3.6 per cent to 42,731 units in November, on a year-on-year basis.
Bengaluru-based Ather Energy is proving that Indian cos can create world-class electric mobility solutions
Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain were ahead of the curve when they founded Ather Energy in 2013. The Bengaluru-based company has created a unique product and service model for electric two-wheelers and will have almost 100 new charging points across the country by the end of the year. With reports emerging that Hero Motocorp, India’s largest conventional two-wheeler company, is looking to up its stake to a majority in the start-up, it has made the news again. While the company has refuted the news, Hero already holds a large stake in Ather. With electric mobility being the flavour of the season, it may not be surprising if the Delhi-based group does eventually contemplate a larger stake as the entire business of mobility shifts to ever-lower emissions, which will create an existential crisis for conventional manufacturers going forward.
Ather’s unique model as well as the fact that it has been creating much of its technology and services in India and not blindly importing products from China is also a showcase that India can create innovation in this space. On this front, even manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata have been making several new products, although large battery-manufacturing facilities are yet to come up in India. The Government, through the public-sector owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), has also been leasing ever larger fleets of electric-powered vehicles to replace and supplement the large fleet of official vehicles in the nation’s capital. The company also recently announced that it would lease over 100 Kona electric vehicles from Korean manufacturer Hyundai. All said and done though, this is but a drop in the ocean, with the automotive industry facing a critical challenge as the economy is tanking, taking down demand as well. Will customers look at buying electric vehicles? While there is no doubt the running costs of such vehicles, even for the luxury-brand electric vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC, are very low (as little as a rupee a kilometre, a tenth of a conventional internal combustion engine) the high initial capital expenditure can put buyers off. Despite the Delhi Government’s initiative to lower such capital expenditure costs, the Central government will have to encourage the manufacture of such vehicles and batteries in India for zero-emission vehicles to really make a mark. India’s initiatives in altering its energy mix to a greater percentage of renewables will also help in the reduction of emissions, but it would not be a bad idea for the powers that be to consider the promotion of strong hybrid technology which would bring in the benefits of lower emissions while keeping capital costs down.