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Friday, April 19, 2013

All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) Boycotts Collection of illegal Entry Tax by Goa Government.

In a new development against the illegal levy of Entry Tax by Govt. of Goa on all Non Goa registered vehicles, AIMTC president Mr. Bal Malkit Singh has issued circular to all its Managing Committees , District Level Associations & all its members for boycotting and not sending their vehicles to State of Goa. 

In his letter Mr. Bal also mentioned that Transporters from the market of Belgaum of Karnataka & Kohlapur of Maharashtra have decided against sending their vehicles to Goa as the talks between them and the Govt. failed on the decision to roll back of entry tax.

Govt. of Goa is charging Entry Tax of Rs.1000/- per trip. Few Transporters who ply their vehicles in and out of Goa on regular basis are coughing up money as high as Rs.30000/- per month.

Referring the Entry Tax as menace,  Mr. Bal in his circular added that the similar boycott will be initiated against other states which levy entry tax.

Increasing "Fuel" prices and decreasing "Freight" has already taken its toll on the transporters. CV sales have seen the sharpest decline since 2008 with M&HCV sales dropping 24% in FY(12-13).

Below is the circular issued by AIMTC:- 

AIMTC Boycotting Goa Entry Tax Circular

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Volvo to come out with new diesel engines and transmission

Volvo to come out with new diesel engines and transmission

Volvo i-ART engine
Volvo is all set to ditch its Ford-sourced engines with the introduction of the new Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA). This new family of engines focuses on high diesel fuel efficiency figures. The i-ART technology uses pressure feedback from individual injectors instead of single pressure sensor in a common rail engine. i-ART automatically monitors the fuel pressure and conditions to maximise fuel economy. Along with this engine, Volvo will also debut its first 8-speed automatic gearbox which is said to have seamless shifts.
Volvo further elaborates that its 4-cylinder engines will eventually replace the 6-cylinder ones by providing the same amount of power but the fuel efficiency of the former. This 4-cylinder engine, Volvo claims, along with some hybrid electrification will render V8s obsolete.

"Amazed" or "DZired" - The Real Question

With much fanfare Honda Cars India created history with the launch of its much awaited Sub 4 Meter Sedan, "Amaze". For the first time "Honda" globally has ventured into Diesel segment and came up with 1.5L Diesel Engine especially for Indian Market.

In recent times preference for Diesel Cars has shot up so rapidly that they represent close to 40% of Maruti's Total monthly sale. The same is true for the Hyundai's sale with Diesel Cars contributing approx. 30% of the overall sales. 

Coming back to the new launch, Honda has Priced "Amaze" quite competitively in direct competition Maruti's DZire which is by large the highest selling model in it's catagory with monthly sales of 15K.

Below is the quick Technical Comparison. Not touched are the Features on both the cars which in any case should be of secondary influence while making a decision.

Maruti DZire Diesel
Honda Amaze Diesel
What’s it all About
DDiS Diesel Engine
4 Cylinder, DOHC i-DTEC
Maruti has a proven Power House; Honda will have hard time proving the reliability   of its very First Diesel Engine.
Though Equal Capacity Engine for Petrol, Diesel engine capacity is 250 CC more than that of Maruti's.
No. of Valves

Power (ps @ rpm)
100 @ 3600
Bigger Engine generates more HPs and yes at lower rpms adding to driving comfort.
Torque (nm @ rpm)
200 @ 1750
More Torque again at lower rpms, much to an advantage to Honda
5 Forward & 1 Reverse
5 Forward & 1 Reverse


Overall Length (mm)
Though an iota of difference in Length, Breath & Height but Honda's Amaze is all shorter than Maruti's DZire including the Wheelbase
Overall Width (mm)
Overall Height(mm)
Wheelbase (mm)
Ground Clearance (mm)
Low Ground Clearance much to the disadvantage to Amaze.
Kerb Weight MT (kg)
1050(Ldi),1060(Vdi), 1080(Zdi)

Kerb Weight AT (kg)


Gross Vehicle Weight

Tyre Size
165/80R14(Lxi/Vxi/Ldi/Vdi) - 185/65R15(Zxi/Zdi)
175/65 R14
With same Rim Size at 14" Amaze comes with an advantage of  broader tyres for better stability
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
Bigger the Better
Seating Capacity

Boot Space (Litres)

Rack & Pinion Type - Electric Power Steering with Tilt
Collapsible Electric Power Steering

Turning RadiusMT (m)
 Lesser the Better
Turning Radius AT (m)

McPherson Strut
McPherson Strut

Torsion Beam
Torsion Beam

Ventilated Disc


IFTRT Report: 35,000 repossessed Trucks, Trailers pile up with lenders

Banks and other lenders are sitting on a huge inventory of over 35,000 repossessed (loan defaulting) trucks/trailers, even as medium and heavy truck sales crashed 25.6% in 2012-13, according to a report by independent agency Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).

Multi-axle trucks and tractor trailers led the sales crash with a 32.5% drop reflecting the poor cargo offerings from manufacturing sector, infrastructure sector and import-export trade.

Quarter on Quarter drop is tabulated below:-

MHCV Sales2011-122012-13%Change

“The economic scenario across sectors remained gloomy as cargo dispatches displayed negative trends and fleet utilisation dropped by 20-25% on the trunk routes leading to truckers shying away from expanding their truck fleet. New entrants kept away from truck purchases despite heavy discounts and soft auto loan schemes at the end of the fiscal. Bankers /NBFCs are facing multiplied delinquencies across the country for non-payment of EMIs and large number of fleet owners have been surrendering their loaned trucks to the financiers,” the report said.

During the fiscal ended March, truck sales were down by 89,505 units, with 2,60,144 units sold in FY13 against 3,49,649 units sold during the corresponding period last year. It added that the resale market of old trucks witnessed a drop of 25-30% in market price leading to truckers holding on their truck fleet as most of the trucks by end of fourth year of new purchase happened to be encumbrance free.

This move has helped the fleet operators to bear with the adverse impact of negative economic trend and drop in truck rentals by 7-8% during the fiscal ending March 31, 2013. On the outlook for the current fiscal (FY14), IFTRT said that truck sales and particularly heavy multi-axle category, is not expected to see any major change till the first half because manufacturing sector and export trade does not show any major positive indications of improvement in a big way.

A revival in medium and heavy truck sales seems unlikely in the near future. Data on the Index of Industrial Production released on Friday show the manufacturing sector (which has a weight-age of 75 per cent in the index) grew a mere one per cent in the April-February period, against 3.7 per cent in the year-ago period. Mining output contracted 2.5 per cent during the same period.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Honda unveils new 110cc DREAM NEO under ‘Dream’ series for INR43,150 (Ex-showroom Delhi) [Company Press Release]

  •          ‘Most Affordable’ 2Wheeler ever from Honda in India
  •          At 74 kmpl, Dream Neo gives ‘Highest Fuel Efficiency’ too!
  •          With Dream series, HMSI aims over 150% growth in 100-110cc mass segment
  •          HMSI confident of achieving 43% growth in FY14 to 39.3 lac unit sales

New Delhi, April 17, 2013: Eyeing exponential growth of its business in India, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) today unveiled the much awaited second ‘Dream Series mass motorcycle’– the 110cc DREAM NEO.  

Honda Dream Neo
Honda Dream Neo
Talking about Honda’s strategic direction, Mr. Keita Muramatsu - President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said “DREAM NEO is Honda’s next big leap towards creating deep inroads into the Indian commuter segment. Our newly opened Technical centre comprising of R&D, Engineering, Purchase & Quality team, overcame the challenge of improving Mileage and meeting the competitive price point. Backed by our new product launches & network expansion, Honda aims to grow over 150% in 100-110cc motorcycle segment YoY. Overall, we are confident of customer demand for Honda 2Wheelers and eye 43% growth with 39.3 lac unit sales in FY’14.

Elaborating on Dream Neo, Mr. Y. S. Guleria, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said “Creating a new paradigm in mass mobility, DREAM NEO is Honda’s Most Affordable and Most Fuel Efficient 2Wheeler ever in India. While DREAM NEO is loaded with attractive & best in class features like Top Mileage of 74 kmpl*, it is being delivered at a truly aggressive pricing to delight Indian customers. Finally DREAM NEO is a package which is hard to resist by 100-110cc mass segment motorcycle customers”.

In the heart of DREAM NEO is the superior refined 110cc air-cooled 4 Stroke SI Honda engine. Delivering an astonishing fuel efficiency of 74kmpl *, DREAM NEO is Honda’s Most Fuel Efficient 2Wheeler in India.

On the performance front, DREAM NEO generates highest peak power of 6.15KW (8.25 BHP) @7500 RPM and Best in class torque of 8.63Nm@5500 RPM in low as well as high rpm range. DREAM NEO leaves competition way behind when it comes to initial and overtaking acceleration.

The extended wheelbase of 1258mm maximizes top speed stability while the unique 5 step adjustable rear suspension provides maximum comfort for rider and pillion. Further, Dream Neo’s high ground clearance of 179mm and lightweight Single tube diamond frame translates to stress free natural riding even in the worst of road conditions.

DREAM NEO will be available in three variants and 6 dual tone colors –
  1. Self / Drum / Alloy with tubeless tyre
  2. Kick / Drum / Alloy with tubeless tyre
  3. Kick / Drum / Spoke with tuff-up tube

 Showcasing the next leap in technology and features, Dream Neo will rewrite the commuter Mass motorcycle equation in India with an extremely attractive price starting Rs. 43150 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi).

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Eicher might become part of Volvo AB's global portfolio - A move aimed at increasing penetration in emerging markets.

Volvo AB, set to surpass Daimler to become the world's largest maker of heavy trucks after acquiring stake in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, is looking to induct Eicher as the fifth brand in its global portfolio. The move could be aimed at increasing penetration in emerging markets.

As part of Volvo's global portfolio, Eicher products would be retailed at Volvo dealerships in specified markets. In the first phase, VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV), the 50:50 Indian joint venture of the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Limited (EML), would leverage Volvo's distribution network to sell Eicher-branded vehicles in markets across South Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia.

In the international market, Volvo currently sells commercial vehicles under the Volvo, Renault Trucks, UD Trucks and Mack brands. The company, however, does not have a fuel-efficient mass market global brand to tap into developing markets. With Europe and North America projected to post near-flat growth this year, at 230,000 and 250,000 units, respectively, commercial vehicle makers globally are increasingly banking on emerging markets to boost sales.

VECV Chief Executive Officer Vinod Aggarwal says: "The Eicher brand is known for value and fuel efficiency. We are upgrading our entire product range in collaboration with Volvo. These vehicles will be introduced by the end of this year and exported to markets in South Africa and Southeast Asia, leveraging Volvo's distribution network, over the next two years."

VECV sells commercial vehicles mostly in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, using the company's (not Volvo's) distributors. Last year, VECV exported 2,501 trucks and buses, which accounted for around four per cent of its overall sales. "The ratio of exports in our total sales can go up. We need to develop more country-specific products to make inroads into other markets. Over the next four to five years, we expect exports to contribute 12-15 per cent to our overall volumes," Aggarwal says. VECV's potential to grow international business is considerable, given the markets in Indonesia and South Africa are estimated at about 1,25,000 and 40,000 units, respectively.

Additionally, the Volvo group and EML are investing to set up an engine manufacturing facility in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh. The facility would be a global hub for Volvo's medium-duty automotive engines.

Says Aggarwal: "We are preparing to supply around 30,000 engines from India to meet European requirements. Besides, engines from the Indian facility will also be supplied to Asian countries such as Thailand and China."

The unit, to go on stream in July 2013, would have the capacity to manufacture 25,000 engines in the first phase. This could be scaled up to 100,000 units by 2015.

The Euro-VI-compliant diesel base engines would be supplied to Volvo Europe and the same platform would be adapted to Euro-III and -IV engine technologies to meet the requirements of VECV and the Volvo group for Asian markets.

Since the joint venture was formed in 2008, VECV has invested Rs 1,300 crore in India. Till 2015, the company plans to infuse another Rs 1,200 crore in setting up the engine manufacturing unit and a bus body-building facility, besides developing new products and expanding capacity 45 per cent to 8,000 units a month.

Source:- http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/eicher-might-become-part-of-volvo-ab-s-global-portfolio-113040200015_1.html

Media Interview: Mr Rajiv Bajaj, MD - Bajaj Auto: Slow growth in 2W industry to continue in April-June.

Bajaj Auto , India's second largest two-wheeler maker reported a 10 % year-on-year decline in sales in March at 3.01 lakh units amid continued sluggish demand for motorcycles. Rajiv Bajaj, MD of the company feels the market for auto sector remains quite challenging and expects growth in April-June to be between 0- and -5 %. Talking about the targets for the next fiscal, Bajaj says the company would try to strike double digit growth and get closer to 5 million (50 lakh) vehicle sales. However, it is going to be a bumpy road, given the sluggish growth in the two-wheeler market seen at least in April-June and pressures in some of Bajaj Auto's markets like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Egypt, which are key regions for three-wheelers.

Below is the verbatim transcript of Rajiv Bajaj’s interview on CNBC-TV18

Q: You are down about 9 to 10 % both month on month and year on year, does the market still remains very challenging?

A: Yes, that is true. In March, the motorcycle were at 2,70,000 versus 3,00,000 March 2012. So, you are quite right when you say minus 10 %. Commercial vehicles (CVs) are more or less flat at 34,000 versus 35,000 reflecting the state of the industry.

Q: What is happening in motorcycles? Is it just sluggishness in demand or is there market share loss issue that is creeping in with Honda’s aggression?

A: If we look at the year as a whole, Hero has yielded some market share in motorcycles to Honda and that is the only real big shift. I don’t think any other player like Bajaj, TVS , Yamaha has gained or lost much. In the scooter market share, Hero has gained from Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI). Some of Hero’s motorcycle customers have moved to their scooters, some of Honda’s scooters customers have moved to their motorcycle. I wonder if anybody has lost or gained from anyone else.

Q: 2.70 or 2.67 lakh motorcycles that you clocked this month, could it have been lower than your expectations? Which segments have been sub-par?

A: Yes, March. I wouldn’t say it is lower than expectation, but it is lower than how the year has been. For example, for the year as a whole we have done close to 3.8 million motorcycles so that is clearly over 300,000 a month, whereas March is below that. There is only one clear reason; it is due to the season and the sentiment. Last year March was big for Gudi Padwa and Navratri, a big festival especially in the western part of the country. It has now moved to April this year and that explains to a large degree, the shift of some of the sales from March to April and one will see the trend across the industry.

If I had to put a number for growth in second quarter, it looks between zero and minus 5 %. It is hard to say exactly, because manufacturers are still pushing some stocks to dealerships.

Q: Your three wheeler sales are down 15-16 % month on month to 34,000, are there any problems?

A: I don’t know if that information is correct. We are at 34,000 versus 35,000 last March.

Q: I am talking month on month?

A: Yes, month on month this would happen every year. This is because in March both for motorcycles and three wheelers some of our exports that are technically not qualified, but the mates receipt on the ship would be then shown as exports in April. Every year one would see April exports to be unusually higher by about 20,000 unit, March would be usually lower by the same numbers.

There has been trouble throughout the year in some of the three wheeler markets. In the beginning of the year we lost out heavily in Sri Lanka and once again the clouds are there. Bangladesh has been a trouble for the last month or two with the result that it is again a big three wheeler markets that can potentially impact us. Egypt, third largest three wheeler market has great problems. There is trouble brewing in three wheeler markets but the number 35,000 is not due to that. It is explained only by the shift between March and April.

Q: Now, what is the Sri Lankan situation like? Did it affect March performance at all and do you see it spilling over to April now with the recent political developments?

A: No, till now that has not happened. Given the recent political developments in May and June, were there to be some back clash then it would have hurt our exports. As of now, our exports that have stabilised at round 8,000 three wheelers and 7,000 motorcyles to Sri Lanka each month as against 10,000 to 11,000 that we were doing for each before, it remains the same but we have to watch every month.

Q: We are now in the first week of April and you know the numbers for the entire last fiscal, can you talk about the number for the next fiscal or is the situation too fluid?

A: We can target double digit growth for the next fiscal and hold on to our profitability. We have been through a very difficult year on many counts, staying in the 20 % EBITDA area. We can maintain the 20 % EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) while pushing for double digit growth and that suggests we should get closer to 5 million vehicles this year.

As the year begins, April will be better than January-February-March partly because of the festivals we spoke about and also because May is going to be a very big marriage season this year. We are looking at better April, good May. Overall, I would expect the industry to turn positive in Q1. Beyond Q1, it would be difficult to say anything specific about the year but I am hopeful that our plan will go through.