New Hyundai Santro (AH2) Production To Focus On Indian Market, Exports To Begin In 2019


Sources at Hyundai confirmed to prioritize the domestic demand and export in limited numbers.

The arrival of the New Hyundai Santro (AH2) hatchback is just around the corner and after sharing a host of details and Hyundai’s plans for the car; we can now also confirm that the Indian market will remain the key focus for the upcoming hatchback. According to sources at Hyundai, the company will export the AH2 from India from 2019 and initially will only focus to meet the domestic demand. Moreover, it will only be exported in limited numbers in order to prioritize the domestic demand. Hyundai is set to unveil the AH2 on October 9 when we’ll also get to know its official name soon, but it will most likely be called Santro. In one of our earlier reports, we also confirmed that Hyundai will start accepting the pre-bookings of the Santro from October 10 which will close just a day before its scheduled launch which is on October 23.

hyundai santro

Hyundai Santro Being Tested on Indian Roads

 

Also Read: Santro Is People’s Choice In Hyundai AH2 Naming Contest

Also Read: Hyundai Santro (AH2) Pre-Booking Starts On October 10


The AH2 will replace the Eon in Hyundai’s line-up to become the Korean carmaker’s entry level segment car. In a bid to meet the upcoming crash test norms of October 2020, Hyundai has built the AH2 on its more robust HA platform on which the i10 was underpinned. This also means that it will get dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors in advance. Moreover, Hyundai has also made the AH2 a bit more up-market compared to the Eon and the interiors of the car are expected to be a tad premium and will come with features like a touchscreen infotainment system, especially seen on the top-spec variants.

Also Read: Hyundai’s Vitara Brezza Rivalling Subcompact SUV To Launch In April 2019

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Also Read: Top 5 New Car Launches In Festive Season 2018

In terms of mechanicals, the AH2 under its hood will have a 1.1-litre, four-cylinder motor that is also likely to get the option of an AMT gearbox which will be a first for Hyundai. In the Indian market, the AH2 will lock horns with Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio and WagonR, Tata Tiago and even the Renault Kwid 1.0.

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Lexus ES To Become First Production Car To Get Cameras Instead Of Outside Rear View Mirrors


The new generation Lexus ES will be the first production vehicle to get cameras instead of conventional outside rear view mirrors and will be available from next month onwards.

Outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) are as old as the modern car itself and an integral part of our driving experience. However, that will change soon as cameras are all set to replace conventional mirrors and Lexus will be the first manufacturer to introduce them on production ready vehicles. The new generation Lexus ES will be the first production car to get cameras instead of outside rear view mirrors. The tech is called Digital Outer Mirror and will roll-out on the ES sedan starting October this year.

Lexus ES

Also Read: New Generation Lexus ES Sedan Launched In India

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(The Lexus ES is the first production car in the world to get outer cameras)

The Digital Outer Mirrors are fitted in place of ORVMs while a screen is mounted below the A-pillar in the cabin. The screen displays the outer view on the left and rear side of the vehicle, which Lexus says helps offer a better view of the car’s surroundings than mirrors. The automaker also says that the cameras offer improved view at night as well, and also during inclement weather. Furthermore, the cameras offer an expanded view of the surrounding by augmenting the display area when taking a turn or taking a reverse.

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(A display screen mounted below the A-pillar relays the camera view)

The Digital Outer Mirrors are shaped to resist accumulation of raindrops and snow, which will make for uninterrupted viewing in all weather. Another benefit of the cameras is the reduction of wind noise thanks to a sleeker shape of the Outer Mirror assembly.

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(Lexus says the Outer Mirrors offer good view at night and in bad weather too)

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The Digital Outer Mirrors will be available on the ES from next month but will be initially available only in its home market – Japan. Nevertheless, the feature will make it to other markets too in the coming years. The introduction of the feature is also likely to depend on government regulations in certain countries that mandate the use of ORVMs on vehicles. Apart from the Lexus ES, the upcoming Audi E-Tron Quattro electric crossover will also come with cameras instead of mirrors for the outside rear view.

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India Must Shed ‘Largest Arms Importer’ Tag, Says Defence Production Secretary Ajay Kumar


Public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports

Kolkata: 

The secretary in the department of defence production (DP) Ajay Kumar today said India has overtaken China as the world’s largest arms importer and should shed the tag.

He said the public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports and licensing system in some items that had been liberalised.

“India is the world’s largest arms importer, a place which earlier belonged to China”, he said over video conference from Delhi at a seminar organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Mr Kumar said, “If China could (reduce dependence on imports productions) then why cannot India”?

Citing the instance of Mexico, he said the central American country has established a huge aero-manufacturing base and exports to the US and Europe.

According to MR Kumar, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are responsible for 74 per cent of the global arms trade. “What part of that pie we need to have?” he asked, adding that many countries were willing to buy arms from India.

Mr Kumar said that testing infrastructure would be set up for the private sector also.

Former chief of Air Staff Arup Raha said, “unfortunately India continues to depend on imports for high-end weapon systems”. 





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Maruti Suzuki Baleno Production Ramped Up To Cut Down Waiting Period


In the last 8 months alone, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno’s production has been increased by 34 per cent. Since the car’s launch, Maruti Suzuki India has cumulatively sold over 450,000 units of Baleno in India.




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The average monthly sales of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno has reached 18,000 units in the past 8 months

Maruti Suzuki has announced increasing the production of its popular premium hatchback Baleno in India. The company has taken this measure in order to cut down the waiting period for the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, which even today commands an extensive waiting period. Also, considering the festive season is right around the corner, this will also aid in increasing the company monthly numbers, which currently, in the Baleno‘s case, stands at an average of about 18,000 units a month. Maruti Suzuki India says that it has increased the production of the Baleno by 34 per cent in the past 8 months alone.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Also Read: Toyota To Get 25,000 Maruti Suzuki Balenos As Part Of New Joint Venture

Talking about the boost in Baleno’s production, R.S. Kalsi, Senior Executive Director Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki said, “The high demand for Baleno since its launch is a testimony of our best in class technology, design and customer experience. The availability of Baleno got a boost with the Suzuki Motor Gujarat plant operational at its full capacity of 2.5 Lakh units annually. We are confident that with increased production of Baleno we will be able to enhance the car ownership experience of our NEXA customers. With improved availability the average monthly sales of Baleno has touched around 18,000 units in the past 8 months, as compared to an average of around 14,000 units in the Jan’17-Aug’17 period.”

Also Read: Toyota India To Increase Local Content On Its Version Of Baleno

Launched in October 2015, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been in the market for almost three years now. Despite not receiving any kind of update, cosmetic or mechanical, the car continues to be the top-seller in its segment. Up until now, Maruti Suzuki India has cumulatively sold over 450,000 units of Baleno. The car is manufactured at the company’s Sanand plant, in Gujarat, and in addition to the domestic market, the Baleno is also the first India-made car to be exported to Suzuki’s home market, Japan.

Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Recalls 52,686 Units Of The New Swift And Baleno

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Currently, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.3-litre diesel motor. The former makes 83 bhp and 115 Nm of peak torque, while the oil burner offers 74 bhp and 190 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties are carried out by a 5-speed manual gearbox and an optional CVT automatic transmission for the petrol unit. Maruti Suzuki also offers a performance-spec Baleno RS which get the 1.0-litre boosterjet turbo petrol engine that makes 100 bhp and 150 Nm of peak torque and gets only a 5-speed manual gearbox.

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Ford VS Trump: Automaker Refuses To Change Focus Hatch China Production Plans


Can Donald Trump’s tweet make Ford bring the production of it’s small hatchback the Focus back to the United States? Not really. Read on to know more……

Recently Ford announced that it would pull out of all segments in the United States apart from the ever popular Mustang, the GT supercar and all SUVs or crossovers that it currently sells. This meant that the likes of the Focus hatchback and the Fusion, Fiesta and the larger Taurus sedan would be cut from the lineup to be replaced by crossovers and SUVs across the board. Ford originally planned to make the next gen Focus Active – a cross hatchback version of the standard Focus to Mexico but changed those plans to make the economy car in China instead. Recently though, the Trump administration, as a part of its trade war with China decided to impose a heavy 25 per cent tariff on all cars imported from China.

Also Read: Ford Ecosport Facelift – Review

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(Ford Focus Active)

In a recent tweet (as seen below), United States President Donald Trump announced, “Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.” CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!” But despite Trump’s claims, Ford insisted that this was not the case and that the Focus hatchback will not be built in the United States.

Responding officially to Donald Trump’s tweet, Mike Levine, Product Communications Manager, Ford North America tweeted (below) saying, “It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment.” He added, “Ford is proud to employ more U.S. hourly workers and build more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker.”

Earlier this year, Ford restricted its manufacturing in the United States to the Mustang and its range of SUVs with the popular Focus sedan winding up production in May. While Ford might choose not to build the Focus in China, it does have a multiple number of plants in other countries it can choose to build the small hatchback in.

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(Ford Focus Active)

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The United States had imposed a 25 per cent tax on a range of Chinese Imports (worth nearly $34 Billion) in July and then followed it up with another set of taxes and tariffs recently on goods worth over $16 Billion. The Trump administration has also announced that it will be taxing a further $200 Billion worth of goods that are imported from China every year and in turn China too has started levying extra tariffs and taxes on American Imports.

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Audi E-Tron Production Commences Ahead Of Official Debut


The Audi E-Tron is being manufactured at the company’s Brussels facility, in Belgium, and the new E-Tron will be making its global debut later this month, on September 17.

Audi has officially started with the volume production of its first all-electric SUV, the Audi E-Tron. The electric SUV is being manufactured at the company’s Brussels facility, in Belgium, and the new E-Tron will be making its global debut later this month, on September 17, in San Francisco. Ahead of the big unveil Audi has also come out with a new teaser image, and beneath the covers, we can see a portion of the production E-Tron in vibrant Catalunya Red body colour.


Audi

Talking about the electric SUV, Peter Kossler, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics Audi AG said, “It features innovative technologies such as virtual exterior mirrors and combines traditional Audi qualities in handling and dynamics with technical Vorsprung that goes far beyond the car. Our Brussels plant was comprehensively modernised for the production of the electric car. This is the world’s first certified CO2-neutral mass production in the premium segment.”

The Audi E-Tron electric SUV is claimed to offer a range suitable for everyday use. In fact, the Ingolstadt-based carmaker says that the Audi E-Tron comes with a charging capacity of up to 150 kW and can be fully charged at a quick-charging station, making it a viable option for long-distance journies as well. “Audi built up numerous competencies in-house for the Audi e-Tron and developed both the battery technology and the actual drive system itself. And employees rethought, planned and implemented many stages of production,” said Patrick Danau, Managing Director of Audi Brussels.

Inside the Audi e-tron, the cabin forms a large wraparound arc, that envelops the extensive instrument panel with pronounced horizontal lines as far round as the sculptural door trims. It also incorporates the hood above the standard Audi virtual cockpit, which is not just sleek in its look but also frees up a lot of space. The optional virtual exterior mirrors are just an added bonus. Another added feature in the e-tron is the center tunnel console which rests on open sidewalls. The hand rest with integrated gear change lever appears to float above the console.

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The fully electric e-Tron is a five-passenger SUV aimed at the heart of the premium market with its progressive design, advanced electric and digital technology. The e-Tron is expected to be delivered to showrooms in the first part of 2019 and will be the first of three battery-electric vehicles that Audi plans to debut by 2020.

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Mahindra Jeeto Ranges Breaches 100,000 Production Milestone


The 100,000th Jeeto vehicle to be rolled out was the Mahindra Jeeto Van, from the company’s Zaheerabad manufacturing facility, in Telangana.




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A Mahindra Jeeto Van was the 100,000th vehicle to be rolled out of the Jeeto brand

Mahindra and Mahindra today announced rolling out its 100,000th Jeeto mini-truck in India. The milestone model was a Jeeto Mini Van, which was rolled out from the company’s Zaheerabad manufacturing facility, in Telangana. The first vehicle under the Jeeto platform was launched in 2015, and the automaker was able to achieve this production mark in a period of about three years. One of the carmaker’s leading small commercial vehicles in India, the Jeeto caters to last-mile transportation segment in India.


Mahindra

Talking about the company new production milestone, Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales & Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “This is a very proud moment for us. Jeeto has been a game changer in last mile distribution with its modular range, unmatched versatility and superior efficiency to haul goods across different segments. With 30 per cent more mileage, it has delivered superior value & fulfilled the brand promise of bringing prosperity into the lives of its customers by enabling them to earn more. With over one lakh vehicles produced on the Jeeto platform over the past 3 years, it is a testament to Mahindra’s focus on developing best in class products”.

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Currently, the utility vehicle manufacturer offers eight different models under the Jeeto brand, all catering to different customer requirements, both in the sub 1 tone goods and passenger segment. The diesel variant of the Jeeto is available in S, L & X series and caters to 3-wheeler, micro-truck and mini-truck customers. Jeeto is available in a CNG powered version as well, offering a fuel efficiency of up to 33.4 kmpl.

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Mysterious Bugatti Sedan, Possibly Production Ready Galibier Spotted Under Covers


Bugatti could be launching a third model in its lineup – a super sedan. The new sedan could be the production ready version of the Galibier concept it showcased back in 2009.

Bugatti recently launched the brand new track focused Divo at the Monterrey Car Week in the United States on the sidelines of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Earlier this year, the French hypercar maker had launched the new Chiron S, a more handling focused version of the Chiron too. And now it seems that there is a third car on the cards too and that one is not a hypercar in its purest sense but a super sedan instead. It has been a known fact that Bugatti has been working on different body styles on the sidelines to accompany it’s hypercar lineup and the sedan was the most expected bodystyle too.

Also Read: Bugatti Divo – 5 Things You Need To Know!

According to a picture posted by Bugatti Veyron, Chiron owner and a future owner of the first ever Bugatti Divo – ‘Bugattiexpert’, a rather large and sleek sedan with the unmistakable Bugatti silhouette has been spotted recently under a cover. While not much is visible, the picture shows the car being loaded in secrecy onto a truck. While the outlines of the grille and headlamp cluster – looking very similar to that on the Chiron and a set of black wheels can be seen, the silk car cover does keep most of the other design bits hidden.

Parked next to an older generation Audi A3 and a recent Golf GTI, the sheer size of the car is also very obvious in the image – almost as large or rather lager than the likes of a Porsche Panamera. In 2009, nearly a decade ago, Bugatti had showcased the Galibier concept to a very select group of customers and that too was a 4-door super sedan concept.

While that car never made it to production, that name could very well be resurrected for this new 4-door hypercar. And like with every Bugatti, expect absolutely bonkers spec figures to make their way into this car too alongside an expected hybrid powertrain. While the Instagram post hints at a preview at the upcoming Paris Auto Show, we think Bugatti could reveal this new model at next year’s Geneva Motor Show – keeping with traditional Bugatti unveils – instead.

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Image Source: Bugattiexpert (Instagram)

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Tesla, Elon Musk Win Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Model 3 Production


A federal judge in San Francisco dismissed a securities fraud lawsuit in which Tesla shareholders accused the electric car company and Chief Executive Elon Musk of misleading them about the progress of production of its Model 3 vehicle.

In a decision made public on Monday, US District Judge Charles Breyer said that while shareholders claimed that Tesla fell short of its production goals, “federal securities laws do not punish companies for failing to achieve their targets.”

Breyer said the shareholders have until September 28 to amend their complaint. Their lawyer, Laurence Rosen, did not respond to a request for comment.

The case is separate from lawsuits accusing Tesla and Musk of scheming to hurt short-sellers through Musk’s August 7 tweets about taking the Palo Alto, California-based company private, and that funding had been “secured.”

Musk abandoned that proposal late Friday night.

Tesla formally launched the Model 3 in July 2017, touting it as a vehicle for the masses, and attracted deposits from more than 500,000 potential customers.

But shareholders said Musk knew Tesla was “woefully unprepared” to meet its production goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week, and that Tesla’s share price was inflated until after the company finally cut its production target last November.

Belief in the Model 3 had helped propel Tesla’s share price 62 percent higher in the 1-1/2 years after the Palo Alto, California-based company unveiled it in March 2016.

But the judge said shareholders failed to show that Tesla needed to be clearer that Model 3 production could fall short.

The company eventually blamed its production shortfall on “bottlenecks” at its battery factory outside Reno, Nevada and its assembly plant in Fremont, California.

“Plaintiffs are correct that defendants’ qualifications would not have been meaningful if defendants had known that it was impossible for Tesla to meet its stated production goals, not merely highly unlikely,” Breyer wrote. “The facts plaintiffs have put forth do not tend to establish that this was the case.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Breyer’s decision is dated Aug. 24.

The case is Wochos v Tesla et al, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 17-05828.

© Thomson Reuters 2018



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Piaggio Vespa Elettrica To Go Into Production From Next Month


The Vespa Elettrica can be booked online from October 2018 onwards. This is of course for the global market and the scooter could come to India by 2020.




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The Piaggio Vespa Elettrica was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo as well

Piaggio has announced that it will be starting the production of the Vespa Elettrica at its plant in Pontedera, Italy from September 2018. This is the same plant where the first ever Vespa rolled off the production line in 1946. Piaggio will start taking bookings for the Vespa Elettrica from October 2018 onwards although it did not comment on when the deliveries would begin. The sale of the scooter will begin in Europe with America and Asia getting the scooter in early 2019. Piaggio says that the pricing strategy will be in line with the high-end bracket of the Vespa range currently on sale globally. The production version of the scooter will be displayed at the 2018 EICMA to be held in Milan in November 2018. The Piaggio Vespa Elettrica could possibly come to India as well by 2020.


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vespa elettrica(Piaggio Vespa Elettrica electric scooter)

Also Read: Piaggio Vespa Elettrica Showcased At The 2018 Auto Expo

The Vespa Elettrica was also showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo held in Febraury 2018 as well. It will be offered in two variants – the standard version with a 100 km range and the Elettrica X with over 200 km range. The Vespa Elettrica comes with an electric motor powered by a 4.2 kWh Lithium-ion battery that offers a maximum power of 4 kWh (5.4 bhp) and develops 200 Nm of peak torque. The Elettrica is powered by a lightweight lithium-ion battery and is good for 1000 cycles, which should see a life of between 50,000 and 70,000 km. The scooter has two riding modes as well – Eco and Power – with the Eco mode’s top speed being limited to just 30 kmph.

vespa elettrica(The Vespa Elettrica has a 4.3-inch TFT screen with multimedia options)

Piaggio Vespa Elettrica comes with a 4.3-inch TFT dash which can be connected to your phone. The system displays a lot of information and interactive options, including notifications of incoming calls and messages, as well as speed, residual range and remaining battery charge. There is also a joystick on the right handlebar which can be used to operate the multimedia system and the rider can also use voice commands to operate a phone when connected to a headset.

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Vespa is riding a wave of success as of now, with over a million and a half vehicles sold during the last decade. The first half of 2018 closed with about a 10 per cent increase in sales volumes compared to the year ended in June 2017.

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