Jan 24, 2008

Dilip Chhabria - Car Designer India - Infibeam.com

An alumni of Art Centre Pasadena in Transportation Design, he heads a company under his own name D.C. Design offering Styling and Prototyping services to the automotive industry. His is a case of a designer who chucked a secure job at the Design Centre in Warren, Detroit at General Motors with plans to work for his own brand. On his return to India he first started his own entrepreneurial venture in Automotive accessories, which ran successfully for 10 years.

This exposure gave him insights into consumer buying behavior and decision making for products ranging from a couple of Rupees to high value items. It also gave him a hands on understanding of various materials and processes, a key learning for an enterprise offering Styling and Prototyping services based on the capabilities of a single resource.

In 1993 with enough capital to invest in his dream of designing complete cars, Dilip Chhabria started the company in its present form, shutting down the successfully running accessory business, to focus exclusively on the new initiative. 13 years down the line that one mans dream and vision has translated into a 300-man organization with over 550 exclusive designs on the road, a dream of every designer. As a result the company enjoys a brand in India that has a huge following and is associated with churning out eye catching and exciting products.

The company’s client list spans a wide spectrum of automotive OEM’s in India to high net worth individuals to corporate with specific needs. The company started marketing its services in Europe and within the 1st year achieved a prestigious breakthrough in the form of an order for prototyping the new Aston Martin, Renault, Ford and GM successfully competing against the Established European service providers. The project was successfully completed delivering on all aspects of quality, cost and time.

All DC concepts come with highly developed automotive Interior surfaces including IPs, glazings, seats, door trims etc.and infact among the first accessory in his young days was an IP as an aftermarket. DC Design has evolved into showcasing a customer interface IP commissioned by Renault, displayed at Paris Auto Show in Sept. 06, and have developed a Touch Screen for all automotive functions and viz: Aircon, lights, Audio & Video through proprietary software manifested hardware used in most of our customizing exercises.

His has been a case of Design being used as a differentiator and driver to build an entrepreneurial business model in a country where words like design, aesthetics and styling were unheard of especially in the automotive sector.

His hobbies, pastime, relaxation, are all rolled into a single-minded passion for designing cars.

Read full Interview of Automobile Design Guru - Mr Dilip Chhabria. at Infibeam.com India.

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Jan 23, 2008

Sulajja Firodia Motwani - Kinetic Engineering Ltd - Interview

Leading Kinetic Engineering Ltd, she needs no introduction. Her Group products, which include two wheelers, auto components, escalators & elevators, engineering services, manufacturers of Resistance Welding Machines and controls in India..., are known for Quality with a capital 'Q.'

An MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, USA she is a business leader, an achiever and above all - an entrepreneur ‘par excellence.’
As Managing Director of Kinetic Engineering Ltd, Pune, India she is responsible for the group’s overall business strategy and development with a keen eye on the 'potboiler' Indian two wheeler market.

Her interests do not end here and they extend in to auto components besides engineering design services, multilevel parking solutions, elevators & escalators and others. She initiates and propels the corporate business strategy and in its implementation across group companies.

Read full Interview of Sulajja Firodia Motwani - Kinetic Engineering Ltd - Interview at Infibeam.com - automobile portal india

To affirm her status as a leader, and an achiever, she was featured as a business “Face of the Millennium” by leading magazine India Today. A Fortune India industrialist poll voted her among the top 25 business leaders of the next century.

Among other string of awards she has received include the Society Young Achiever’s Award for Business, Young Super Achiever Award by Business Today, award for excellence as a top woman CEO from the Institute of Marketing and Management, and MTV’s style icon award.

To top it all, she was selected by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Global Leader of Tomorrow.’ Http://www.infibeam.com proudly presents Ms Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Managing Director, Kinetic Engineering Limited.

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Jan 22, 2008

Auto portal Infibeam sets up online car & bike marketplace

Infibeam.com, a leading automobile portal today launched its marketplace – a platform for buying and selling used (pre-owned) cars, bikes, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds. This fresh initiative comes after having gained extensive success at marketing new vehicles online.

Infibeam today announced the launch of its Marketplace for sellers of New and Used or Pre-owned vehicles (http://www.infibeam.com).

This new service enables any automobile owner (an individuals or small, or a large business) to offer vehicle directly to Infibeam.com members and visitors. A seller can list, advertise and sell vehicle for FREE, on the Infibeam.com platform. By enabling third parties to list products for sale on its web site, Infibeam.com significantly expands the choice of vehicles made available to its customers, while helping them save money.

Launch of this marketplace provides customers with greater selection – including the opportunity to buy a used product at lower price.

Marketplace is a great new way to buy or sell used or second-hand, or pre-owned cars, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, electric or hybrid vehicles, conveniently at competitive prices on Infibeam.com.

“We are happy to introduce this new service which was keenly awaited by our customers,” says Vishal Mehta, CEO, Infibeam.com. Having a lower pricing option easily helps customers to explore car and bike models at lower price point offering a ‘win-win’ situation for all.

Says Mr Mehta, “The company is very excited with the possibilities that Marketplace can spring up for its customers, as well as buyers and sellers.”

Buying at Infibeam.com Marketplace
Infibeam.com customers can discover items posted by third-party sellers on product information pages across the web site. From there, customers can easily view the items offered by third parties along with the price, its condition, and contact information about the seller. To buy an item from a third party seller, a buyer has to simply click the “I Want One” button and contact the seller using his Infibeam.com account. Payment can be made directly to the seller once the buyer inspects the vehicle to his satisfaction after final negotiations.

Selling at Infibeam.com Marketplace
Selling on Infibeam.com Marketplace is easy with tools available for an individual as also for businesses who wish to sell vehicles to their prospective customers. Sellers can post details of the item for sale in less than 60 seconds by simply clicking on the button “Sell” and following simple steps. Infibeam.com also plans to guide sellers and help them price their vehicle, very soon. More information about how third parties can sell products through Infibeam.com can be found at http://www.infibeam.com/Help.action

About Infibeam.comInfibeam.com opened its virtual doors as an online automotive portal in September 2007 and today, it offers thousands of new cars, bikes (motorcycle), scooters and mopeds at the most competitive prices and costs to its customers. The company has helped customers make the right buying choice and save crores of rupees with the help of competitive pricing on display along with the products.

Infibeam.com recently announced launch of online News and Interview section which covers global auto industry news, happenings and information about the industry. Here one can find interview of automobile industry leaders who provide deep insight into their intelligence and business acumen that makes them what they are.

Now, Marketplace at Infibeam.com takes online experience to a new level offering a host of opportunities in the new and used (pre-owned) products like cars, bikes, scooters and mopeds.

Please visit http://www.infibeam.com for more details.

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Jan 18, 2008

Auto Expo 2008 Visitors Survey

Visitors simply loved the biggest star of the Delhi Auto Expo 2008, the Tata Nano. 73% visitors liked the way the Nano looked and 35% said that they would buy it the moment it goes on sale. The other major attractions of the Expo, the hot models caused a sensation amongst visitors of both sexes. Yamaha was voted as the stall with the hottest models, closely followed by Fiat.

Majority of the visitors (82%) felt the foreign models were hotter than their Indian counterparts and added that extra glamour to the Auto Expo this year.

Maruti was voted as the ‘best car pavilion’ while Hero Honda won the favor of visitors as the ‘best bike pavilion’ of the Auto Expo. Amongst all the cars displayed at the Auto Expo this year, Dilip Chabbria’s Rs. 4 crore Ambierod concept car was voted as the ‘best luxury car’.

The Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle was voted ‘the best sports car’. The best ‘value for money car’ at the Auto Expo was voted as none other than Tata’s Nano, which has opened up the possibility to own a car for millions across India. Tata was also voted as the ‘best manufacturer’ of the Auto Expo 2008. All in all 91% of the visitors found their visit to the Auto Expo this year to be worthwhile.

By : Indiaprwire.com

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Automobile Sector India - Indian Autmotive Industry

During early 60s & 70s, automobiles came largely in twos.In scooters, you had a Lambretta or a Vespa.In motorcycles, you had a Bullet or a Java.In cars, you had to choose between an Ambassador and a Fiat.In trucks, it was either an Ashok Leyland or a Tata. In tractors, it was between a Swaraj and a Mahindra.

This situation reflected the India of yester years. Economic reforms and deregulation have transformed that scene. Automobile industry has written a new inspirational tale. It is a tale of exciting multiplicity, unparalleled growth and amusing consumer experience – all within a few years. India has already become one of the fastest growing automobile markets in the world. This is a tribute to leaders and managers in the industry and, equally to policy planners. The automobile industry has the opportunity to go beyond this remarkable achievement. It is standing on the doorsteps of a quantum leap.

The Indian automobile industry is going through a technological change where each firm is engaged in changing its processes and technologies to maintain the competitive advantage and provide customers with the optimized products and services. Starting from the two wheelers, trucks, and tractors to the multi utility vehicles, commercial vehicles and the luxury vehicles, the Indian automobile industry has achieved splendid achievement in the recent years.

“The opportunity is staring in your face. It comes only once. If you miss it, you will not get it again”

On the canvas of the Indian economy, auto industry maintains a high-flying place. Due to its deep frontward and rearward linkages with several key segments of the economy, automobile industry has a strong multiplier effect and is capable of being the driver of economic growth. A sound transportation system plays an essential role in the country’s rapid economic and industrial development. The well-developed Indian automotive industry skillfully fulfils this catalytic role by producing a wide variety of vehicles: passenger cars, light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, multi-utility vehicles such as jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, mopeds, three wheelers, tractors etc.

The automotive sector is one of the core industries of the Indian economy, whose prospect is reflective of the economic resilience of the country. Continuous economic liberalization over the years by the government of India has resulted in making India as one of the prime business destination for many global automotive players. The automotive sector in India is growing at around 18 per cent per annum.

“The auto industry is just a multiplier, a driver for employment, for investment, for technology” The Indian automotive industry started its new journey from 1991 with delicensing of the sector and subsequent opening up for 100 per cent FDI through automatic route. Since then almost all the global majors have set up their facilities in India taking the production of vehicle from 2 million in 1991 to 9.7 million in 2006 (nearly 7 per cent of global automobiles production and 2.4 per cent of four wheeler production).

The cumulative annual growth rate of production of the automotive industry from the year 2000-2001 to 2005-2006 was 17 per cent. The cumulative annual growth rate of exports during the period 2000-01 to 2005-06 was 32.92 per cent. The production of the automotive industry is expected to achieve a growth rate of over 20 per cent in 2006-07 and about 15 per cent in 2007-08. The export during the same period is expected to grow over 20 per cent.

The automobile sector has been contributing its share to the shining economic performance of India in the recent years. With the Indian middle class earning higher per capita income, more people are ready to own private vehicles including cars and two-wheelers. Product movements and manned services have boosted in the sales of medium and sized commercial vehicles for passenger and goods transport.

Side by side with fresh vehicle sales growth, the automotive components sector has witnessed big growth. The domestic auto components consumption has crossed rupees 9000 crore and an export of one half size of this figure.

Eye-Catching FDI Destination – INDIA!

India is on the peak of the Foreign Direct Investment wave. FDI flows into India trebled from $6 billion in 2004-05 to $19 billion in 2006-07 and are expected to quadruple to $25 billion in 2007-08. By AT Kearney's FDI Confidence Index 2006, India is the second most attractive FDI destination after China, pushing the US to the third position.

It is commonly believed that soon India will catch up with China. This may also happen as China attempts to cool the economy and its protectionism measures that are eclipsing the Middle Kingdom's attractiveness. With rising wages and high land prices in the eastern regions, China may be losing its edge as a low-cost manufacturing hub. India seems to be the natural choice.
India is up-and-coming a significant manufacturer, especially of electrical and electronic equipment, automobiles and auto-parts. During 2000-2005 of the total FDI inflow, electrical and electronic (including computer software) and automobile accounted for 13.7 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively.

In services sectors, the lead players are the US, Singapore and the UK. During 2000-2005, the total investment from these three countries accounted for about 40 per cent of the FDI in the services sector. In automobiles, the key player is Japan. During 2000-2005, Japan accounted for about 41 per cent of the total FDI in automobile, surpassing all its competitors by a big margin.

India's vast domestic market and the large pool of technically skilled manpower were the magnetism for the foreign investors. Hitherto, known for knowledge-based industries, India is emerging a powerhouse of conventional manufacturing too. The manufacturing sector in the Index for Industrial Production has grown at an annual rate of over 9 per cent over the last three years. Korean auto-makers think India is a better destination than China. Though China provides a bigger market for automobiles, India offers a potential for higher growth. Clearly, manufacturing and service-led growth and the increasing consumerisation makes India one of the most important destinations for FDI.

Automotive Mission Plan 2016
The bumper-to-bumper traffic of global automobile biggies on the passage to India has finally made government sit up and take notice. In a bid to drive greater investments into the sector, ministry of heavy industries has decided to put together a 10-year mission plan to make India a global hub for automotive industry.

“The ten year mission plan will also set the roadmap for budgetary fiscal incentives” The Government of India is drawing up an Automotive Mission Plan 2016 that aims to make India a global automotive hub. The idea is to draw an innovative plan of action with full participation of the stakeholders and to implement it in mission mode to meet the challenges coming in the way of growth of industry. Through this Automotive Mission Plan, Government also wants to provide a level playing field to the players in the sector and to lay a predictable future direction of growth to enable the manufacturers in making a more informed investment decision.

Major players in the automobile sector are:
• Tata • Mahindra • Ashok Leyland • Bajaj • Hero Honda • Daimler Chrysler • Suzuki • Ford • Fiat • Hyundai • General Motors • Volvo • Yamaha • Mazda

Foreign Companies in the Indian auto-sector
Until the mid-1990s, automobile industry in India consisted of just a handful of local companies with small capacities and obsolete technologies. Nevertheless, after the sector was thrown open to foreign direct investment in 1996, some of the global majors moved in and, by 2002, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Mitsubishi set up their manufacturing bases.

Over the past four to five years, the country has seen the launch of several domestic and foreign models of passenger cars, multi-utility vehicles (MUVs), commercial vehicles and two-wheelers and a robust growth in the production of all kinds of vehicles. Moreover, owing to its low-cost, high-quality manufacturing, India has also emerged as a significant outsourcing hub for auto components and auto engineering design, rivaling Thailand. German auto-maker Volkswagen AG, too, is looking to enter India.

India is expected to be the small car hub for Japanese major Toyota. The car, a hot hatch like the Swift or Getz is likely to be exported to markets like Brazil and other Asian countries. This global car is crucial for Toyota, which is looking to improve its sales in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets.

Two multi-national car majors — Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan and Hyundai Motor Company of Korea — have indicated that their manufacturing facilities will be used as a global source for small cars. The spurt in in-house product development skills and the uniquely high concentration of small cars will influence the country's ability to become a sourcing hub for sub-compact cars.

A heartening feature of the changing automobile scene in India over the past five years is the newfound success and confidence of domestic manufacturers. They are no longer afraid of competition from the international auto majors.

For instance, today, Tata Motor's Indigo leads the popular customer category, while its Indica is neck-to-neck with Hyundai's Santro in the race for the top-slot in the B category. Meanwhile M&M's Scorpio has beaten back the challenge from Toyota's Qualis to lead the SUV segment. Similarly, a few Indian winners have emerged in the motorbike market — the 150 and 180 cc Pulsar from Bajaj and 110 cc Victor from the TVS stable. The 93 cc Bike from Bajaj and 110 cc Freedom bike from LML have also emerged as winners.

Evidently, Indian players have learnt from past mistakes and developed the skills to build cheaper automobiles using `appropriate' technologies. TVS, for instance, paid an overseas source $100,000 to fine-tune home-grown engines rather than $1.5 million to import the entire engine. Similarly, M&M adapted available systems and off-the-shelf components from global suppliers to keep costs down and go for aggressive pricing. True, Indian players are still lacking in scale of operation. While economies of scale no doubt play an important role in the auto sector, a few Indian manufacturers relied on innovation rather than scale of operation for competitive advantage. For instance, Sundram Fasteners was able to achieve the feat of directly supplying radiator caps to General Motors purely on the strength of innovation in product quality. The domestic tooling industry bagged the order for the Toyota Kirloskar transmission plant in the face of stiff competition from multinational corporations. The cost of the entire job turned out to be only a fraction of the original estimate.

As the automobile industry has matured over the past decade, the auto components industry has also grown at a rapid pace and is fast achieving global competitiveness both in terms of cost and quality.

In fact, industry observers believe that while the automobile market will grow at a measured pace, the components industry is poised for a take-off. For it is among the handful of industries where India has a distinct competitive advantage. International automobile majors, such as Hyundai, Ford, Toyota and GM, which set up their bases in India in the 1990s, persuaded some of their overseas component suppliers to set up manufacturing facilities in India.

Consequently, the value of cumulative output of the auto components industry rose rapidly to Rs 30,640 crore at end-2003-04 from just Rs 11,475 crore in 1996-97. Foreign companies such as Delphi, which followed General Motors in 1995, and Visteon, that followed Ford Motors in 1998, soon realised the substantial cost advantage of manufacturing components in India.

Finding the cost lower by about 30 per cent, they began exploring the possibility of exporting back these low-cost, high-quality components to their global factories and, thus, reducing their overall costs. Not surprisingly, the industry's exports registered a more than four-fold jump to Rs 4,800 crore in 2003-04 from just Rs 1,033 crore in 1996-97.

Automobile majors such as Maruti Udyog, Toyota, Hyundai have now finalised their plans to invest in some of the critical auto components. According to the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) officials, auto component manufacturers are expected to invest about Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years at the rate of Rs 2,000 crore per annum.

According to analysts, the auto component industry could emerge as the next success story after software, pharmaceuticals, BPO and textiles. The size of the global auto component industry is estimated at $1 trillion and is set to grow further. Against this backdrop, McKinsey's latest report has estimated that the sector has the potential of increasing its exports to $25 billion by 2015 from $1.1 billion in 2004.

Threat to the Dream!
India’s expedition to become a global auto manufacturing hub could be seriously challenged by its inability to uphold its low-cost production base. A survey conducted by the research, KMPMG firm reveals that the Indian auto component manufacturers are increasingly becoming skeptical about sustaining the low-cost base as overheads including labour costs and complex tax regime are constantly rising.

The survey said many executives believe that India’s cost advantage is grinding down fast as labour costs are constantly increasing and retaining employees is becoming more and more difficult. Increased presence of global automotive companies in the country was cited as one of the reasons for the high erosion rate.

Indian auto businesses will only flourish if they boost investments in automation. In the longer term, cost advantage will only be retained if Indian capital can be used to develop low-cost automation in manufacturing. This is the way to preserve our low cost.

Global auto majors are also cynical about India’s low cost manufacturing base. India taxation remains a big disadvantage. This is not about tax rates it is just about unnecessary complexity. But some companies also believe there is scope for reducing the cost of doing business.

In spite of this there are opportunities to exploit lower costs right across the board. It’s true that labour costs are definitely increasing but they are still five per cent of the total operational costs. The labour costs can be further reduced if companies are successful in bringing down other costs like reducing power costs. Low-cost base can never last long. The company said Indian industry has till now relied on very labour intensive model but it would have to switch to a more capital intensive model now.

Source : SSIAM Report

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Fiat & Tata Motors JV for Eco Friendly Diesel Engines

Diesel engines have seen a dramatic evolution in the last years and the smoky, noisy image is today something belonging to the past.

The adoption of the revolutionary fuel injection Common Rail system, in combination with a wide extension of turbo charging, compressed air inter cooling and exhaust gas recirculation systems, has impressively improved the specific power, peak and low-end torque and at the same time improved the fuel efficiency, the engine noise and the easy of cranking of the Diesel engines.

On and above this, newly sophisticated engine managements systems have made it possible to keep all the engine parameters under control and therefore fully exploit the advantages of the technologies adopted, in order to ensure a constant and reliable behavior of the Diesel engine over the time. Read full News...

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Chevrolet Cars India - Indian Chevrolet Cars Market

The Chevrolet car or the Chevy is close to the heart of Indian consumers. The Chevrolet entered India first in 1928. Chevrolet's manufacturer, General Motors, was the first company to set up an automobile assembly plant in India. The first Chevrolet car in India was the National Series AB Touring with wooden wheels.

Chevrolet, however, had to close shop in India in 1952-1953 following Indian national policy, and the Indian Chevrolet went on a sabbatical.

The Chevrolet made its comeback in 2003. Primarily GM launched the European brand Opel in the late 90s in India. When Opel failed to interest the Indian consumer, it was taken off the market and Chevrolet came in. With Chevrolet's entry, in 2003, sales shot up immediately.

Prior to marketing Chevrolet, GM had sold only 8000 odd units in 2002. With Chevrolet's arrival, 21,269 units were quickly sold within the same financial year. Chevrolet proved its worth as soon as it reentered India and Chevrolet success continues to lead GM till date.

Source : http://www.infibeam.com/ - automobile portal provides Online Best Price deal and Discount for Chevrolet Cars - Explore Chevrolet Car Price, Chevrolet Car Models, Chevrolet Car Colours, Chevrolet Car News, Chevrolet Car Reviews and Online Buy Sell New & Used Chevrolet Car Facility.

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Volvo Ocean Race 2008 Kochi Kerala India

Kochi, India - state of Kerala, is confirmed as the host of the second stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in December 2008. The Indian stopover will come at the end of the second leg of the race from Cape Town, South Africa. Kochi will be the first of three new ports in Asia.

At the Abad Plaza in Kochi today, the stopover port agreement was signed by Andy Hindley, Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race; Mr. N. Ramachandran, Chairman, Kochi Port Trust and Mr. KG Mohanlal, Managing Director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.

Also present at the press conference were Mr. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the Hon. Minister for Home, Vigilance and Tourism and Dr. Venu, Secretary of Kerala Tourism.

The Kochi Port Trust, which will be responsible for organising the stopover, with the full backing of the Kerala Tourism Department, welcomed the signing of the port agreement today and is confident that the stopover will give Kochi great exposure.

"India has never hosted such a prestigious sailing event and we are very excited that Kochi has been chosen," said Mr. Ramachandran.

The booming shipping port on the Malabar Coast is now one of India's foremost tourist destinations and the race stopover is sure to bring thousands of additional visitors to both Kochi and the State of Kerala. The Kerala State Tourism Department envisages the event will bring significant visibility as well as economic benefit to the region.

"Kerala Tourism sees this as an opportunity to project Kochi as an exciting destination, and we will be happy to extend all support to the Kochi Port Trust to bring the event to the State," Dr Venu commented.

The Yachting Association of India (YAI), an active advocate of the race coming to India, sees the hosting of a stopover as an important boost to India's ongoing campaign to establish itself as a venue for hosting major sporting events following its successful bid to stage the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.

"Hosting one of the world's top three sailing events will obviously boost any future bid to host major sailing as well as other sports events in India," said Commander Ajay Narang, Honorary Joint Secretary-General, YAI. "It will also be a tremendous fillip for local sailing," he added.
It is the first time that India is hosting such a prestigious sailing event and Kochi will be the only port of call in India.

The seven yachts participating in the race will arrive in Kochi in December 2008 and will stay for 10 days, before starting leg three to Sentosa Island in Singapore. A race village covering 2.5 acres of land will be set up near the BTP berth at Willingdon Island.

Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race commented: "It has always been part of our vision to take the race to different and wider audiences and we are delighted that Kochi has become part of that vision. India not only presents huge opportunities for the development of the event, but this coupled with the daunting challenges the competitors will face when racing their grand prix yachts in unfamiliar waters, will make the visit to India even more exciting for everyone involved. India has hundreds of millions of enthusiastic sports fans and we know they will enjoy this challenging race, with its passion, teamwork, adventure and excitement."

The 2008-09 event will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain on 4 October 2008, it will for the first time, take in ports in Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews.

Official Website for more details.
Online Volvo Ocean Race Videos

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Renault to launch green version of Logan 'in 2010

The French car maker Renault will market an environmentally friendly version of the low-cost Logan produced by its Romanian subsidiary Dacia, the head of Renault's German unit said Thursday.

"We are going to offer the car in the coming years," Jacques Rivoal was quoted as saying by the business daily Handelsblatt in comments to appear Friday but released in advance.

"Tests are going well," Rivoal added.

The "green" Logan, a prototype of which was presented in October, should go on sale starting in 2010, the newspaper said.

Bearing the "Renault eco2" badge reserved for the group's least polluting models, the new model is expected to produce 97 grams of CO2 per kilometer in mixed driving, compared with 120 g/km for the present model.

The European Commission wants to set an average level of 120 g/km for auto manufacturers to meet by 2012.

Dacia's new Logan would also use 3.8 litres of petrol per 100 kilometers (one gallon per 60 miles), the report said.

Source : Google - AFP

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Renault & French Rugby Federation signs partnership

Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Michel Gornet, Executive Vice President of Renault and leader of Market Area France and Jacques Chauvet, Senior Vice-President, Market Area France at Renault, signed a partnership agreement on January 10, 2008.

• Under the terms of the agreement, Renault becomes an official partner of the FFR and the French national team for five years.

• Renault’s vehicles, from Twingo to Vel Satis, will then becom official vehicles of the French National Team.

On January 10, 2008, Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Michel Gornet, Executive Vice President of Renault and leader of Market Area France and Jacques Chauvet, Marketing Director France for Renault signed a partnership agreement at the Renault headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt.

The agreement covers home matches by the French team, games in the Six Nations Championship, and test matches.

Renault chose to support rugby because the spirit of this sport closely matches the values of the Renault brand. The partnership with the French Rugby Federation and the national team reinforces Renault's new brand identity, which aims to be human, reliable and enthusiastic.

Renault is the top-selling brand in its home country with a dealer network of 5,000 sales and after-sales outlets, the largest in France. This partnership with the French Rugby Federation is true to the Renault tradition of building close relationships with customers.

Renault will pursue its policy of fostering local partnerships and continue to support the French rugby sector.

With this partnership, Renault – already a key player in Formula 1 motor racing – is stepping up its commitment to sports and confirming its enthusiasm and appetite for challenge.

Together with all its customers, Renault is proud to be supporting the French national rugby squad.

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BMW Cars India - Indian BMW Car Market

BMW Cars India - Indian BMW Car Market

BMW, the manufacturer of world-famous Rolls-Royce cars, has officially entered the Indian car market. BMW set up a sales subsidiary in Gurgaon in 2006 to spearhead the formation of its dealer network, and followed it closely by setting up a state-of-the-art assembly plant in Chennai in January 2007. Currently the Chennai plant is assembling BMW 3 and BMW 5 series cars for our Desi millionaires.

BMW AG, or Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, was initially a German aircraft engine manufacturing company. In 1919, they turned to land vehicle engines, and in 1927 built their first car christened BMW 3/15. For the greater part of the past century, BMW has led the world in creating cars for the rich.

More about BMW Cars Models Available in India:

Source : http://www.infibeam.com/ - automobile portal provides Online Best Price deal and Discount for BMW Cars - Explore BMW Car Price, BMW Car Models, BMW Car Colours, BMW Car News, BMW Car Reviews and Online Buy Sell New & Used BMW Car Facility.

Content & Images Copyright by Infibeam.com

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Tata Nano car factory cases dismissed

An Indian court has dismissed claims that land was acquired illegally for the manufacture of the world's cheapest car, the Nano. Opponents of the plant accuse the government in West Bengal state of taking 997 acres of farmland at Singur by force.

The decision comes a week after industrialist Ratan Tata unveiled the Nano car, priced at $2,500.

The building of the Nano factory is well under way.

The Tata group are aiming to start selling the car in mid-2008.

West Bengal's Marxist government is trying to attract investment to rejuvenate the state's ailing economy.

'No violation'
A Calcutta High Court bench, comprising Chief Justice SS Nijjar and Justice PC Ghosh, said they had found "no violation of the Land Acquisition Act or any other regulation" by the West Bengal government in acquiring the land.

In February last year, one Joydeep Mukherjee had filed a petition challenging the acquisition of land at Singur in Hooghly district, about 40 kms from the state capital, Calcutta.

Mr Mukherjee, along with 10 other individuals and associations who joined the case as added petitioners later, claimed that the land had been acquired illegally.

They also alleged that agricultural land was acquired for building the factory which was illegal.
The court rejected all 11 petitions.

They followed months of fierce protests by a section of local peasants led by opposition parties like the Trinamul Congress. The West Bengal government, in its defence, told the court it had not violated any legal provisions while acquiring land for the Tata plant.

The world's cheapest car Nano, which has attracted tremendous media and public attention since its launch, is to be manufactured at the Singur factory.

State officials say scores of other automobile ancillary industries are lining up for space in Singur to set up their manufacturing units. Opposition leader Mamata Banerji of the Trinamul Congress party has not yet reacted to the judgement.

Source : BBC

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Tata Nano Car vs. GM Toyota's Ultracheap Car

The world's two largest automakers are working on ultracheap cars to sell in emerging markets and possibly compete with the $2,500 subcompact unveiled last week by India's Tata Motors Ltd. — but whether they can match the price remains in question.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, top executives from General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. said their companies' engineers are working on low-cost vehicles similar to Tata's Nano.

"There is a huge market for low-cost/price vehicles," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters this week.

Such a vehicle would have to meet Toyota quality standards, Watanabe said, and building a car to sell for $2,500 might be difficult.

"To do that properly is very important," he said.

GM has bolstered its engineering staff in India to around 1,000 and also has been working on a low-cost car in other parts of the world, Jim Queen, group vice president of global engineering, told The Associated Press in an interview.

GM's Chinese mini-vehicle joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., already is building a car that sells for around $3,500, Queen said, calling the Tata vehicle an impressive way of meeting demand in emerging countries.

"I want to keep learning more about it," Queen said. "We've got a lot of, I'll call it technical work, that's been under way for some time in order to achieve a vehicle in that class."
Queen said GM could match the Tata vehicle, but it needs to better understand the business case for it before rolling one out.

"We are working on our lower-cost architecture to try to see if we can come up with lower-cost versions," GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner told reporters.

GM engineers in the U.S. and Europe have difficulty understanding the market for such a car, said Queen, who has visited India several times. Functional transportation, he said, is important in India, where parents often travel clogged roads, taking several children with them on bicycles or scooters.

"It's just so different than what you would see in mature markets," he said. "So you begin to appreciate such a bare bones — and not that $2,500 is completely bare bones. But air conditioning? Who cares? Power windows? Who cares? I've got a little bit of structure around me, I'm shielded from the elements a little bit, and it gets me from point A to point B."

Such a small car could bridge the gap in an emerging country such as India from its current transportation system to more expensive cars as wealth increases, Queen said.

Watanabe said that last year he drove an early prototype of Toyota's low-cost vehicle but said it wasn't at a stage where he could give the go-ahead for production.

The cheapest new car currently sold in the U.S. is a version of the 2007 Chevrolet Aveo at $9,995, according to the Edmunds.com automotive Web site.

The basic Nano, the world's cheapest car, is expected to roll off assembly lines later this year. It will sell for 100,000 rupees, or about $2,500, but analysts estimate customers could pay 20 percent to 30 percent more to cover taxes, delivery and other charges.

Company Chairman Ratan Tata, who introduced the car at India's main auto show, long has promised a $2,500 "People's Car" for India — a country of 1.1 billion where only seven of every 1,000 people own a car. That vow has been derided by a global industry that said it would be impossible without sacrificing safety and quality.

The basic version has no radio, passenger-side mirror, central locking or power steering, and only one windshield wiper. Air conditioning is available only in deluxe models.

The Nano has a two-cylinder 0.6-liter gasoline engine with 33 horsepower, giving it a top speed of about 60 mph, according to Tata. It gets 50 miles per gallon.

For now the car will be sold only in India, but Tata said it hopes to export it to developing nations across Asia, Latin America and Africa in two or three years.

The emergence of the Nano has fueled a host of concerns, including that more drivers on the roads will cause greater pollution and increase the demand for fuel.

Source : AP.

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Car Registration in Europe increased in Year 2007

Nearly 16 million new cars were registered in Europe (EU27+EFTA) in 2007, or 1.1% more than the year before. Soaring oil prices, changes in taxes, shrinking credit availability and purchasing power restrained buyers’ confidence and the demand for new cars in some of the Western European countries (+0.2%). In the new EU member states, where car density is still much lower and many households have been able to afford buying a new car only recently, a steady growth was recorded throughout the year (+14.5%). Read full new...

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Audi AG - Audi Cars India - Indian Audi Car

The famous 'Four Rings' - of Audi are symbolised on its badge. It has ruled European roads since 1932, though Audi began manufacturing in 1899. The four rings of the Audi badge symbolize four pioneer car manufacturers of Germany: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. Audi AG came from amalgamating these companies in 1932. Audi cars symbolize status and prestige for Audi consumers worldwide, and for Audi consumers, Audi cars are more works-of-art than simple super efficient machines. An Audi car is a statement of who-you-are.

Audi India began operations in 2007 as a division of Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd., based in Mumbai. Audi cars now in India are fully imported or assembled at the Aurangabad plant of Skoda Auto. Audi India is projecting its cars to the Indian elite as the best luxury cars to match their status.

More about Audi Cars Models Available in India:

Audi A4 (Sedan)

Audi A6 (Sedan)

Audi A8 (Sedan)

Audi Q7 (Sedan)

Source : http://www.infibeam.com provides Online Best Price deal for Audi Cars - Explore Audi Car Price, Audi Car Models, Audi Car Colours, Audi Car News, Audi Car Reviews and Online Buy Sell New & Used Audi Car Facility.

Content & Images Copyright by Infibeam.com

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Jan 17, 2008

Tata Nano 1 Lakh Car Specification

Tata Nano 1 lakh car has finally been released by Tata Motors. Ratan Tata unvieled the People's car today. Before the release there were rumours that the 1 lakh car was named Tata Jeh. Some liked calling it Tata Indiva. I can't remember any other new car release getting so much attention. Tata Nano received as much hype and attention which a Rajinikanth movie would get on the day of its release, in Tamil Nadu. The Tata Nano 1 Lakh Car technical specifications of Tata Nano are as mentioned below.


Name: Tata Nano - 1 Lakh Rupee Car
Model: Petrol Car Body
Type: Hatchback
Segment: A Segment
Top Speed: 90
Fuel Consumption: Highway 26.00
Fuel Consumption: City 22.00


AC: AC without Climate Control
Power Windows:
Central Locking: Manual Remote
Boot: No
Remote Fuel Filler: No
Rear Wiper: No
Rear Defogger: No
Steering Adjustment (Rake/Reach) : No
Driver Seat Adjustment: Manual
Leather Seats: No
Door Mirror: Driver Side
Tinted Glass: No
Rear AC Vent: No
Folding Rear Seats: No
Sun Roof: No
Buttons/Controls on Steering: No
Auto Viper: No
Auto Headlamp: No


Airbag: No
Parking Sensors: No
Fog Lamp:
Traction Control: No

The specifications of Tata Nano, especially the safety related ones seem really scarry. I guess most people would be better off travelling by a bike rather than using this car. But with India being highly price sensitive, Tata Motors could have just pulled one off. Reactions from competitors, especially from Maruti Udyog Limited is awaited. If Tata Nano becomes a hit and if there is competition in this segment, there would definitely be concerns of an environmental disaster. Tata Nano could lead to lakhs of new automobiles hitting already clogged Indian roads , adding to mounting air and noise pollution. I really doubt if the crowded roads of Ahmedabad Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore can handly such a stepp increase in automobile traffic.

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Jan 16, 2008

Infibeam - Biggest Automobile Portal Live

Car lovers can now search and explore through a wide choice of cars online before buying. Ahmedabad, India based Infibeam, a software development company launched http://www.infibeam.com a Automobile Portal across cities like Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Talking about the website, Vishal Mehta, founder and CEO of Infibeam.com said, “At Infibeam.com, customers will find a detailed search, explore and compare cars online before buying. Moreover, the website also offers an incentive on ‘on road price’ for cars.”

Presently, Infibeam.com offers over 2,500 selections across 65 brands and 14 makes in six cities, which is expected to grow in future. Through the website, customers will get features like easy navigation, detailed product pages that include product description, specifications and product images.

Mehta added that the company intends to take online retailing a step further and set new standards in service, convenience and product presentation for Internet buying in India.

Customers can search by city, category, price, brand, fuel type, colour and seating capacity.

“Once ready to buy, customers can create an Infibeam.com account and order. Payment is made only after physical inspection of the car at local dealer location,” Mehta said.

http://www.infibeam.com - Leading Automobile Car Portal - Car Reviews, Buy New Cars, Buy Old Cars, Buy Certified Cars from Cities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad - Best Car Deals for Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Skoda, Tata, Toyota and other imported Cars.

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Ford Mustang enhanced with glass roof

FORD ADDS GLASS ROOF OPTION TO MUSTANG LINEUP, MEETING CUSTOMER DESIRE FOR MORE NATURAL LIGHT “Top” Choice: Mustang now offers customers three roof choices: traditional coupe, convertible and a new factory-installed fixed glass roof.

Glass Roof Growth: Production of large sunroofs in North America has increased nearly 200 percent since 2003 and is expected to top more than 2.5 million units by 2013. Affordability: Available as a $1,995 option, the new glass roof allows Mustang customers to let the sun shine in for half the price of moving up from a coupe to a convertible. Read more...

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Mercedes-Benz compact SUV and the new-generation SLK at NAIAS in Detroit

Mercedes-Benz celebrating its double world premier with compact SUV and the new-generation SLK at 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

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Infibeam - Automobile Industry News