Top Indian Automobile Industry News & Updates - 13 March 2024,Wednesday

🏢 Industry

Chips to screens: How Interim Budget 2024 boosts semiconductor, display technology sectors
The year 2024 has ushered in a new era for technology enthusiasts and industry experts alike, as governments around the world are recognizing the pivotal role that semiconductor and display technologies play in shaping the future.
SUVs and two-wheelers power auto sales in February
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the apex body representing automakers in India has released the wholesales data for February 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first automobile in-plant railway siding at Suzuki Motor Gujarat
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the country’s first automobile in-plant railway siding at Suzuki Motor Gujarat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) via video conferencing today.
Top 10 passenger vehicles sold in February 2024
New Delhi: In the dynamic landscape of India's automotive industry, February 2024 witnessed a surge in passenger vehicle sales, reaching 3,70,786 units. This marked a significant 10.8% increase over the 334,790 units recorded during the same period in the previous year.
Vintage car rally organised in Delhi by ITC hotels
ITC Hotels, and the Heritage Motoring Club of India (HMCI), brought back the romance of vintage cars in Delhi NCR on Sunday. The event was a resounding success, showcasing the rich automotive heritage of India and attracting enthusiasts and collectors from far and wide.
Auto Expo next year to be held under Bharat Mobility umbrella at 3 venues simultaneously
India’s flagship motor show the Auto Expo will be held next year under the umbrella of Bharat Mobility, the government’s initiative bringing all mobility-related trade shows under one platform.
Car sales touch record mark in February amid better supplies and strong consumer demand
As per data available with industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), as many as 370,786 cars, sedans and utility vehicles were sold last month, which is an increase of 10.8% over 334,790 units reported in the same period last year.
Tech Vs Reality: Anand Mahindra voices concern over viral video of man riding e-vehicle wearing Apple Vision Pro
Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra Group, has recently stirred conversation with his take on a viral video capturing a peculiar scene: a man cruising through a mall on a scooter-like vehicle while donning Apple's cutting-edge VR headset, the Vision Pro. The video, initially shared by Robert Pointer and filmed in the US, has garnered significant attention online, sparking discussions about the intersection of advanced technology and human experience.
1st automobile in-plant railway siding at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Gujarat to eliminate 50,000 truck-trips
Ahmedabad: India’s first automobile in-plant railway siding --- built at Hansalpur unit of Maruti Suzuki in Gujarat --- will help the automobile manufacturer transport three lakh “finished car dispatches” by train, thereby helping the company “eliminate 50,000 truck-trips every year”. The in-plant railway siding built by Maruti at the cost of ₹105 crore is linked to the Katosan-Becharaji-Ranauj route which has been converted to Broad Gauge at cost of ₹976 crore by Bahucharaji Rail Corporation Ltd which is a joint venture between MSIL, G-Ride and GIDC. The siding is the one of the projects inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Gujarat on Tuesday. 
FAME scheme extension plan may be on Union Cabinet agenda tomorrow
According to sources, the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) has prepared a note for the Cabinet regarding the extension of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme, hinting at a disruption to the burgeoning e-mobility ecosystem in India if there was a break in the implementation of the scheme.
Domestic passenger vehicle sales at 3,70,786 units in Feb 2024: SIAM
Source Credit: Agencies, The Economic Times

The total production of Passenger Vehicles , Three Wheelers, Two Wheelers, and Quadricycle in February 2024 was 22,94,411 units, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said.

Domestic sales of passenger vehicles in February 2024 were at 3,70,786 units, three-wheelers at 54,584 units and two-wheelers at 15,20,761 units, SIAM said in a media release.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, JLR and Volvo Auto data are not available. Only Tata Motors domestic sales figures are included in this document, the release said.

Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM , said, “Passenger Vehicles, Two-Wheelers, and Three-Wheelers have posted growth in February 2024 compared to the previous year, while Commercial Vehicles have witnessed a slight de-growth. Overall robust GDP growth of the country in Q3 of 2023-24 has helped the Auto Sector. The Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 held in February 2024, graced by the Prime Minister, has also created a strong positive sentiment for the consumers and therefore the Industry expects the growth momentum to continue.”

Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM, said, “Passenger Vehicles again reported its highest ever sales of February posting sales of 3.7 Lakh units with a growth of 10.8%, compared to February 2023. Three-Wheelers also reported moderate growth of 8.3% posting sales of about 0.55 Lakh units in February 2024. Two Wheelers posted an appreciable growth of 34.6% compared to February 2023 posting sales of 15.2 Lakh units.”
Tata Motors split sparks buzz around rival Mahindra and Mahindra demerger
📝  BluSmart appoints Aditi Shukla as President, Corporate Development
📝  First chip from Dholera plant by 2026 end: PSMC chairman Frank Huang
📝  Better supply and demand drive PV sales to new monthly record
📝  The Indian auto industry continues its strong growth trajectory. Check details
📝  Recordent signs MoU with global EV body to build credit bureau for EV businesses

🎤 Interviews & Features

Renault Duster-based 7-seater SUV spied for first time
Renault may not be a strong force to reckon with as it once was, but the brand still has a long way to go before being discarded completely. Before that happens, the French carmaker has planned out its appropriate remedial measures. The company is now banking on the new-gen Duster to bring back its glory days, especially in the Indian market.
📝  Rahul Bharti on how Maruti Suzuki is promoting sustainable practices
📝  Dacia Bigster spied testing: What to expect from this Renault Duster-based Tata Safari rival

🚗 Cars / SUVs

Volkswagen March discounts: Save up to Rs 3.4 lakh
Volkswagen India is offering discounts across its portfolio including the Taigun, Virtus and its flagship model, the Tiguan. The discounts include exchange offers, corporate bonuses and cash down. All these deals are valid till March 31, 2024. 
Toyota Innova's airbag failed to open in an accident, car owner to get INR 32.07 lakh or a new vehicle, orders NCDRC
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has held in a recent case that a Toyota Innova car, which was sold to Sunil Reddy, was defective. The front airbag(s) of the car did not open at the time of an accident. When the legal fight reached the NCDRC, the commission directed Toyota Kirloskar Motors and Nandi Toyota Motor World (a car dealership) to either return INR 15 lakh with 9% interest or give a new Toyota Innova car to Reddy, who is the victim in this case, after more than 12 years of the accident.
Top 5 best-selling subcompact SUVs sold in Feb— Brezza, Punch, Nexon, Sonet
SUVs have been the flavour of choice for most Indian car buyers in the past decade. The increase in choices in the sub-4 metre space has only propelled the SUV and crossover body styles. Let us look at the top 5 best-selling subcompact SUVs sold in February 2023.
No Verna N Line on the cards: Hyundai India
Hyundai India launched its N Line flagship model, the Creta N Line at a competitive price starting from Rs 16.82 lakh, ex-showroom, undercutting its rival the Kia Seltos GT Line and X Line variants. Hyundai has launched an N Line model every year since 2021 starting from the i20 N Line then Venue N Line in 2022, facelift i20 N Line in 2023 and now the Creta N Line.
MSIL would have faced capacity hurdle without rail infra: Executive
Source Credit: Deepak Patel, Business Standard

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) would have faced a capacity bottleneck had a rail infrastructure not been put up at its Hansalpur plant in Gujarat, said Rahul Bharti, executive officer (corporate affairs).
📝  Maruti Suzuki looking at transporting more vehicles via railways to cut down costs and reduce emissions
📝  Endeavour to Everest: What changes does the India-bound Ford SUV get
📝  Mahindra trademarks 1XO, 3XO, 5XO & 7XO names, could be for future EV models
📝  ⁠Hyundai Creta N Line vs Hyundai Creta: Price comparison
📝  Hyundai India aims to tap performance-oriented niche segment with N Line range

Electric-Cars / SUVs

📝  E-Car sales fall to 5-month low in February despite steep price cuts
📝   Hyundai Motor India to focus on making Battery EVs, says COO Garg

🚗 Luxury Cars

Landmark Cars to expand MercedesBenz workshop in Mumbai
Landmark Cars has received an Expression of Interest from MercedesBenz India for opening a workshop in the Eastern part of Mumbai, Maharashtra. This workshop will be established by the listed company, Landmark Cars.
Zomato CEO takes delivery of India’s first Aston Martin DB12 – Here is Deepinder Goyal’s car collection
Aston Martin launched its flagship grand tourer, the DB12 last year, priced at Rs 4.59 crore, ex-showroom. While not as popular as a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, Aston Martin has a unique set of customers, and it turns out that the CEO of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal is one of them.
📝  2025 Audi A3 facelift breaks cover with subtle upgrades & new crossover version

🏗 Construction & Agri Machinery

Tractor exports show revival signals in Feb, domestic sales lowest in 4 years
After reporting degrowth for a year, tractor exports from India reported a positive year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in February this year. But the domestic market registered the lowest monthly volumes in the last four years. Total tractor exports stood at 8,487 units last month compared with 7,306 units in February 2023 and 7,185 units in January this year, posting a y-o-y increase of 16 per cent and a month-on-month increase of 18 per cent respectively, according to the data provided by the Tractor & Mechanisation Association (TMA).

🏍 2/3 Wheelers

Top 5 two-wheeler brands exported in Feb 2024
Two-wheeler sales are the biggest contributor to automobile sales in India and manufacturers are witnessing a steady rise month-on-month. Apart from domestic sales, exports also play a key role for two-wheeler manufacturers as some models are best-sellers in other countries globally. Here are the top five two-wheeler brands exported in February 2024.
Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid and Z e-1 design patented in India
Kawasaki is on a roll with new models in India. After launching the Eliminator, the updated Z650 RS and Z900, and launching the all-new Ninja 500, the Japanese motorcycle maker could launch the Ninja 7 Hybrid and the Z e-1 motorcycles in India, as the company has patented the models.
Honda Transalp recalled in Europe
Days after Honda announced a recall for the Gold Wing, CBR 600 RR, and 1000 RR, the Japanese two-wheeler maker announced another recall, this time for the new Transalp adventure motorcycle. The Honda Transalp was launched recently, after making its debut at EICMA in 2022.
📝  Ducati launches new MY23 Streetfighter V4 range in India starting at INR 24.62 lakh
📝  Bajaj's CNG motorcycle to debut soon: What to expect, possible names revealed?

🚲 Electric 2/3 Wheelers

TVS XL EV, E-XL trademarks filed— upcoming Kinetic e-Luna rival
TVS has filed two new trademark applications– XL EV and E-XL. Both these trademarks will essentially be used for the all-electric XL. The first time the XL electric came to light was in July last year when a patent image of the electric moped broke out on the internet. Now, it can be confirmed that the Hosur-based brand is working on a battery-powered version of XL.
Quantum slashes prices of Plasma X, XR electric scooters
Quantum Energy has announced a limited-time offer on its latest electric scooter models i.e. Plasma X and XR till March 31, 2024. By slashing the prices by 10 per cent, the new prices of the Plasma X and the XR are Rs 1.09 lakh and Rs 89,000 respectively. Previously they were priced at INR 1,19,525 and INR 99,757, ex-showrooms.
📝  Ather Rizta family electric scooter’s battery pack teased in new video
📝  Ola Electric plans e-autorickshaw launch ahead of IPO
📝  Ather to reveal Halo smart accessory on April 6 alongside Rizta. What is it

⚙ Components

Revent, ECS Mobility to set up manufacturing plant in Haryana
Revent Precision Engineering, in collaboration with ECS Mobility, announces the establishment of a new manufacturing facility in Dharuhera, Haryana.

🌇 Allied Industries

Servotech EV Infra sells 6% stake at pre-money valuation of Rs 200 crore, appoints Prem Prakash as CEO, Neeraj Gupta as AVP Operations
Servotech EV Infra, a subsidiary of Servotech Power Systems, and a leading electric vehicle charger and solar products manufacturers is future-proofing itself by strengthening its finances and management board.

🌢 Fuels, Lubricants & Charging Stations

Petrol pumps cap inventory amid hopes of fuel price cut
New Delhi: Retail fuel pumps across the country are operating with about three days of stock against the usual inventory of five days over the past month amid speculations of a cut in petrol and diesel prices ahead of general elections.
Energy tech start-up chargeMOD eyes pan India presence
Kochi: chargeMOD, a Kerala-based energy tech start-up and providers of EV charging solutions, is looking at a pan India presence by setting up additional 1,000 slow chargers and 200 fast chargers across various States. The company is planning to establish an additional 500 slow chargers and 100 fast chargers to reinforce its presence in Kerala. This is excluding the existing 1,500 charging stations in Kerala and 2,000 stations across India. So far, the company operates around 1,300 AC slow chargers and 150 DC fast chargers within Kerala, complemented by approximately 500 AC slow chargers outside the State.
📝  Oil rises slightly ahead of demand estimates
📝  US-bound ship from Reliance's Sikka port hits BPCL crude import facility, sources say

🌍 Emissions/Environment

Uber India introduces new feature to track CO2 emissions saved through Uber Green rides
Mobility on demand platform Uber has introduced a new feature for its users to track their contribution in reducing carbon emissions to the environment with the launch of ‘Emission Savings’.
📝  New feature to track saving of CO2 emissions on Uber Green ride

📖 Magazines News

Porsche 911 hybrid confirmed for 2024 debut
Source Credit: Autocar India

The Porsche 911 hybrid has been confirmed for a debut later this year, and this powertrain upgrade for the iconic 911 line-up is a part of a major model update that's been two years in the making.
Taycan Turbo GT is the most powerful road-going Porsche yet
Source Credit: Autocar India

The new Porsche Taycan Turbo GT is the brand's most powerful road car yet, and it has already set lap records at two of the world’s most prestigious race tracks – Nurburgring and Leguna Seca. Available as a two seater with an overhauled chassis and powertrain, it is the first electric car from Porsche’s storied GT division and one of the fastest four-door cars on the market.
New Mercedes-AMG E 53 revealed with 612hp hybrid powertrain
Source Credit: Autocar India

The Mercedes-AMG E 53 has been revived as a hot plug-in hybrid with an aggressive new look, a wide-reaching chassis makeover and as much power as the old V8-powered E 63. The hot four-wheel-drive E-Class, introduced in 2016 to sit below the range-topping E 63 super-sedan, continues with a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six, but a new EV motor gives it a chunky power boost of up to 612hp.
India not a profitable market, but a very strategic one: Stellantis APAC head
Source Credit: Autocar India

Stellantis currently operates three brands in India – Jeep, Citroen and Maserati – and while their individual domestic sales remain marginal, the auto conglomerate still considers India as a market of strategic importance. Speaking to the automotive media in Delhi, Ashwani Muppasani, chief operating officer, Stellantis India and Asia Pacific said, “India is not a profitable market for me, but it’s a very strategically important market because we design, manufacture, export and source from here.”
Skoda compact SUV vs rivals: size, specs, expected price
Source Credit: Autocar India

Skoda’s upcoming compact SUV will be entering a rather crowded segment with as many as six direct rivals from five different manufacturers. It will surely have its work cut out as the margins in this segment are low and competition is stiff.

However, it will share the localised MQB A0-IN platform with the Kushaq, which means that it can not only be priced competitively leveraging economies of scale but it will also carry over some of its inherent strengths such as safety, high-quality chassis construction and greater mechanical sophistication.
Mahindra XUV 7XO name trademark filed
Source Credit: Autocar India

Mahindra has applied for a series of trademarks for names that could possibly be used by its upcoming electric SUVs. The applications, filed as recently as earlier this week, include XUV 7XO, XUV 5XO, XUV 3XO and XUV 1XO.
Bajaj CNG bike spotted testing with Platina 110
Source Credit: Autocar India

Late last year, we were the first to break the news that Bajaj is working on a CNG-powered motorcycle to rival the 100-110cc commuters on sale today. And now, the bike has been spotted testing alongside Bajaj’s own entrant in that space – the Platina 110. 
Kawasaki Ninja 7 Hybrid, Z e-1 electric bike designs patented in India
Source Credit: Autocar India

Kawasaki has patented the designs for both the Ninja 7 Hybrid and the Z e-1 electric bike in India and this leads us to believe that the company has plans to launch both these models in our market.
BYD Seal India review: Still want that luxury sedan?
Source Credit: Autocar India

If the letters B, Y, D don’t immediately strike a chord with you, that’s okay. They stand for Build Your Dreams and are the name of a Chinese car brand whose India presence has been limited at best. But what if we told you that for a time last year, they sold more EVs than Tesla, and that if you combine EVs and PHEVs, they’re number one in the world? Moreover, their blade cell LFP batteries are regarded to be the best around, and are used by numerous other carmakers, including, very soon, Mahindra.
Ather Rizta to use same battery as 450 scooter line-up
Source Credit: Autocar India

Ahead of its launch on April 6, Ather has confirmed that its upcoming Rizta electric scooter will use the same battery pack as the existing 450 range. However, the start up hasn’t specified the capacity specifically.
Updated Honda Africa Twin design patented in India
Source Credit: Autocar India

A few months after it debuted globally, Honda has now patented the design of the updated Africa Twin lineup in India. 

📰 International News

Volvo Cars to integrate Breathe’s charging software in its new generation EVs
Volvo Cars has partnered up with UK-based Breathe Battery Technologies (Breathe), as the first car company to get access to the latest version of its patented, algorithm-enabled charging software for use on its new generation fully electric cars.
Volkswagen Group China plans to boost investment in majority-controlled JV
Volkswagen Group China plans to boost investment in its only majority-controlled joint venture, according to a Tuesday stock filing by its Chinese partner, as the German automaker expands its business in the world's largest auto market.
Tesla case shows grids need attention, says Germany's Westenergie
German policymakers should come on board with grid operators to step up responses to incidents such as the arson attack near Tesla's gigafactory near Berlin, said the head of Germany's Westenergie, parent to a weighty grid firm.
Porsche expects lower returns in 2024 as it launches new models
German luxury carmaker Porsche expects profitability to tick downwards in 2024 as it focuses on launching four new models, the company said on Tuesday, posting full-year results largely in line with expectations despite market volatility.
Xiaomi set to launch first electric vehicle on 28 March
Chinese mobile-phone maker Xiaomi will launch its first electric vehicle this month, a four-door tech-laden sedan that it hopes will capture interest at a time when EV sales in China are slowing and a host of competitors are cutting prices.
Battery tech startup Lohum raises USD 14 mn in funding
Battery manufacturing and recycling firm Lohum has raised in 119 crore (USD 14 million) in a funding round led by investment firm Singularity Growth.
Australia's Core Lithium CEO to step down amid strategic review
Australia's Core Lithium said on Tuesday CEO Gareth Manderson will step down after more than a year in the role, as part of a strategic review, and finance chief Doug Warden has been appointed as the interim chief.
📝  Vehicle software supplier Applied Intuition raises USD 250 mn at USD 6 bn valuation
📝  UK electric vehicle delivery company Packfleet raises USD 10 mn in funding
📝  Tesla, rivals get low marks for automated-driving technology
📝  Porsche's Taycan turbo GT shatters records at Laguna Seca and Nurburgring
📝  China's exports are surging. Get ready for the global backlash
📝  ChargePoint CEO expects more electric vehicle stations as use and EV sales keep growing
📝  Tesla's German gigafactory reconnected to grid after week-long outage
📝  Yokohama Tire partners with Bassmaster
📝  Continental CFO Katja Garcia Vila not to seek extend contract
📝  Audi unveils upgraded A3 series and introduces A3 allstreet crossover
📝  Volvo Group JV with Westport to reduce CO2 emissions from long haul transport
📝  Daimler Buses delivers 265 Setra and Mercedes-Benz buses to Italian companies
📝  Mini Plant Oxford starts production of new Mini Cooper
📝  Mercedes to continue offering ‘affordable’ cars with electric and engine power
📝  Volvo EVs to slash charging times by 30 per cent with this tech. Check details
📝  Mercedes unveils next-gen E53 AMG, matches power of E63 AMG. Check details
📝  Pilbara Minerals signs spodumene supply deal with China's Sichuan Yahua

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