Auto Expo – concepts galore
The 14th edition of the Auto Expo held in Greater Noida between 9 and 14 February, witnessed 22 companies unveiling 65+ products with 14 launches.
While there were lots of concept vehicles based on emerging technologies, some also introduced new models/facelifts.
In the passenger car segment, Maruti officially introduced its all-new Swift at a starting price of Rs.4.99 lakh. The company has spent close to Rs.700 crore for developing the new Swift. Also, it offers auto gearshift technology. The all-new Swift promises best-in-segment fuel efficiency for both the engine options. The hatchback comes with around 98 per cent localisation.
Honda unveiled three models– the second generation Amaze, 5th generation Honda CR-V and 10th generation Honda Civic. Honda Civic makes a comeback to the Indian market. For the first time, Honda CR-V will come in diesel powertrain. All these will hit the market during next fiscal.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor unveiled its much-awaited launch with the unveiling of premium sedan Yaris, which will mark its entry into the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment in India. The new Yaris is Toyota’s answer to the Hyundai Verna, the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz.
Hyundai launched its new Elite i20 with intent to regain some of its lost market share in the segment (24.1 per cent YTD FY18 from 29 per cent in FY14).
TVS Motor enters 125cc scooter segment with NTorq
TVS Motor Company has introduced its 125cc scooter Ntorq 125, which makes its foray into the high performance 125 cc automatic scooter segment.
Described as the first-ever app-enabled performance scooter in the country, Ntorq 125, which comes with a New Delhi price of Rs. 58,750, is targeted at the youth segment. The company plans to sell two lakh units of the new scooter in the first full year, said KN Radhakrishnan, President & CEO, TVS Motor Company.
Ntorq 125 is powered by CT-REVV 3-valve engine and has been developed on a new platform and comes with TVS SmartXonnect, a Bluetooth-enabled technology that is paired to an exclusive Ntorq mobile app.
TVS SmartXonnect includes fully digital speedo- meter, which offers about 55 features including navigation assist, top speed recorder, in-built lap-timer, phone-battery strength display, last parked location assist, service reminder, trip meter and multi-ride statistic modes such as Street and Sport, among others.
“A new segment is emerging stronger – young India. The size of the opportunity is about 10 per cent of the market now. This new scooter has been designed keeping them in mind,” said Aniruddha Haldar, Vice President (Marketing) – Commuter Motorcycles, Scooters and Corporate Brand, TVS Motor Company.
Indian Bank improves asset quality
Amid prevailing challenging conditions, Chennai-headquartered PSU Indian Bank continues to show improvements on the asset quality front.
During the third quarter of this fiscal, though the bank posted a 19 per cent fall in its net profit, it exhibited excellent results containing NPA levels. Its net profit fell to Rs. 303 crore in December quarter compared with Rs. 373 crore in Q3 of previous fiscal. This was mainly to fall in net to mark-to-market depreciation on investments due to rise in bond yields and other provisions. Overall provisions and contingencies more than doubled to Rs.918 crore in Q3 of this fiscal from Rs.540 crore a year-ago. But, provisions for non-performing assets (NPAs) were lower by 30 per cent at Rs.385 crore (Rs.547 crore).
Amara Raja plans major expansion
Amara Raja Batteries is working on a significant capa-
city expansion plan over the next four years in preparation for the subsequent growth trajectory.
The company’s current capacity utilisation is hitting the peak in most of the product lines and hence the company is investing in capacity expansion to meet the growing demand.
Its automotive battery capacity is expected to go up to about 36 million units by 2019-20 from 22 million units in 2016-17. In this category, two-wheeler battery capacity will increase from 11 million units in 2016-17 to 15 million by the end of this fiscal and further to 25 million units in 2019-20.
Also, the company has four-wheeler battery capacity of 10.5 million units and is adding another 2.25 million units during the second half of this fiscal.
On the industrial side, large VRLA capacity expanded to about 1300 million AmpHr in 2016-17 (with utilisation level 95 per cent) from 760 million AmpHr in 2012-13.