This week in Auto: Suzuki, Toyota to make electric cars in India, Lexus unveils NX 300h
The electric vehicle bandwagon is picking pace in India now that two of the most dominant Japanese players have joined hands to make electric cars in the country. That, and a couple of key launches made headlines this week. Here is a wrap of all such developments from the auto world.
Suzuki, Toyota sign MoU to make EVs in India
Toyota Motor Corporation, the world’s biggest automaker and Suzuki Motor Corporation, parent company of Maruti Suzuki concluded a memorandum of understanding to develop electric vehicles (EV) in India in around 2020.
Suzuki will make the EVs, and supply some to Toyota, while Toyota will provide technical support. Additionally, Toyota and Suzuki will conduct a comprehensive study of activities for the widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India. These will include establishment of charging stations, training for after-service technicians employed throughout sales networks, and systems for the appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteries.
Toyota, Andhra Pradesh ink pact to introduce EVs
Government of Andhra Pradesh and Japanese auto giant Toyota have inked a an MoU under which Toyota would launch electric vehicles in Amravati, the state’s upcoming capital.
The state government is keen to promote electrification of mobility in Amravati which is on the lines of a similar objective of the central government. Toyota executed a feasibility study on the introduction of the Prius PHEV and a ‘small EV commuter’.
Lexus rolls out NX 300h
Toyota-owned luxury brand Lexus unveiled yet another hybrid in India, NX 300h, which it intends to launch commercially in January. Price and other product details will be unveiled at the time of its launch.
However, company officials said the SUV, which is the smallest in its line-up, will likely be priced around Rs 60 lakh. The compact Lexus will compete against Mercedes-Benc GLC, BMW 3 Series, Audi Q5 to name a few. However, none of these rivals possess a hybrid powertrain.
BS-VI fuel roll out in Delhi
The Ministry of Petroleum with support from oil marketing companies such as Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum will start retailing Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) grade auto fuel in National Capital Territory of Delhi from April 1, 2018, two years ahead of its earlier announced date.
This is done in the light of rising pollution levels in the national capital. BS-VI fuel can be used in BS-IV vehicles, which estimates say, can lead to reduction in vehicular emission. The government, however, has not tinkered with the deadline for the auto industry for roll out BS-VI vehicles in from April 1, 2020.
Jaguar reduces F-Pace price
Tata Motors-owned British luxury brand Jaguar has slashed the price of the F-Pace, a crossover which was launched in India last year, by over Rs 8 lakh. The cut is a result of commencement of local manufacturing of the car from Chakan, Pune.
The crossover SUV is now priced competitively at Rs 60 lakh (ex-showroom) against similar models of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. This is the sixth model from Jaguar Land Rover to start assembly operations from India.
Mahindra launches Scorpio with a facelift
Utility vehicle-specialist Mahindra & Mahindra launched the long awaited facelifted Scorpio with prices starting at Rs 9.97 lakh for the new base model S3. The top of the line S11 variant will cost Rs 16.01 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The current generation Scorpio was launched in 2014.
The SUV now comes with 6-inch touchscreen infotainment system, GPS navigation in 10 languages, steering mounted audio and cruise control. The base variant comes with the older m2DI engine while the remaining variants get the mHawk engine.
Eicher Q2 results
Eicher Motors, which owns Royal Enfield, announced a 23 percent rise in net profit for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 to Rs 486 crore, as compared to Rs 396 crore posted in the same quarter a year ago.
Net profit growth for Eicher was a result of jump in demand for its leisure bikes and price increase. The company, however, saw a slight contraction in market share in its commercial vehicle business following reluctance to participate in heavy discounting.
Kawasaki Ninja 650 KRT
Performance bike brand Kawasaki launched the variant, called the KRT Edition, of the 2017 Ninja 650 in India at Rs 5.49 lakh (ex-showroom). The KRT tag is an abbreviation for Kawasaki Racing Team.
The bike features two new decals a prominent ‘650’ in yellow on the flanks and a Kawasaki Racing Team decal on the underbelly fairing. The engine remains unchanged, a twin cylinder, 649cc, liquid-cooled unit that generates peak power of 67.3 bhp.