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Impact of court ruling on diesel cars moderate, but wide: Analysts

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New Delhi, Dec 16 : The Supreme Court order banning the sale of diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc in the national capital will impact only some auto-makers strongly, but will also potentially trigger a cascading effect on the dependent ancillary industry, analysts maintain.

Spelling out the figures on domestic sale of passenger vehicles, analysts said out of some 3 million sold in India annually, only around 7 percent is accounted for by the national capital — which makes it a market of 210,000 units.

Out of that, diesel vehicles account for 25 percent, or a market of 52,500 units. That is 1.75 percent of passenger vehicles sold in India are accounted for by the diesel versions in Delhi region.

“In the short term, there will be disruption. From showroom inventory to pipeline stocks — changes, cancellation of bookings, workshop and parts planning are the areas of impact at the vendor end,” said Kumar Kandaswami, senior director with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

“It remains to be seen as to the long-term view. If this restriction of not registering diesel cars with engines of 2000 cc or more continues longer, or on a permanent basis, companies will have to deal with investment decisions that are significant,” Kandaswami told.

“Inventories will have to be shifted,” he said, referring to the impact down the line. “The problems may not be as acute in some interior parts and accessories. Most component suppliers will be faced with schedule changes in the near term.”

But some companies, analysts maintain, can take a larger hit.

“We believe the news (of the Supreme Court order) is likely to have negative impact on Mahindra and Mahindra, as about 95 percent its passenger vehicle portfolio is above the 2,000 cc range,” said Bharat Gianani, automobile analysts with Angel Broking.

In fact on a day when the sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 0.69 percent, Mahindra and Mahindra shares declined by 5.44 percent, even as the bourse’s automobile index, as a whole, was down just 0.51 percent.

Mahindra and Mahindra hoped for a holistic view. “The vehicles affected represent about 2 percent of the company’s monthly sales. The company is in the process of evaluating various options to work within the framework provided by the honourable Supreme Court,” the company statement said.

“The news will not have much impact on Maruti Suzuki — it hardly has any product above the 2,000 cc segment — nor on Tata Motors as its earnings are driven largely by JLR, which is a global player,” Gianani added.

At then same time, they said the ruling could change customer perception nation-wide.

“This decision will surely impact some makers in the luxury segment and as well as SUV segment. In addition, from customer prospective they will think twice now buying diesel vehicles because of the uncertainty with regard to diesel regulation,” said Abdul Majeed of PriceWaterhouse.

Similarly, they said, much was being made out on the pile-up of inventories. They said the norm was to maintain an inventory of around one week. But they felt government revenues may get effected slightly, as as utility vehicles were taxed at higher rate at 24-30 percent.

“There is an interim period of 15 days till December 31 for OEMs to clear the inventory in the NCR region, if they are not able to clear the inventory by 31st Dec they need to look at other location within the country including if possible exports to nearby countries,” Majeed said.

Analysts believe the auto industry will hold negotiations with the government to sort out the issue, suggesting measures such as banning older vehicles, further improving the emission levels so that the ban does not exceed March 31 next year.

“While the temporary ban on diesel vehicles for three months may impact sales in the short term, the long term changes to policy, including emission norms, will be the key in determining the future road map of the industry,” said R. Muralidharan of Fitch Ratings.

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Bill Gates Is Driving a Porsche Taycan. Here’s Why He Didn’t Get a Tesla

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San Francisco, Feb 18 : Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday took a jibe at Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates after the world’s second richest man declared he has bought his first EV — Porsche Taycan.

Gates told a noted YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee in an interview that he purchased his first-ever EV Porsche Taycan, calling the vehicle “very, very cool”.

“My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh (to be honest),” Musk tweeted to a user.

The initial EV Porsche Taycan Turbo S model starts at $185,000 while the entry-level Tesla Model 3 starts from $35,000.

In the interview, Brownlee asked Gates about his thoughts on Tesla’s dominance in the electric vehicle market.

Gates acknowledged that Tesla is the cream of the crop when it comes to electric cars, adding that lots of manufacturers are moving to produce electric vehicles because Tesla’s appeal has been increased over the past few years.

“Tesla, if you had to name one company, that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” said Gates.

You can watch the complete interview here:

Musk has been tweeting his thoughts about tech honchos.

He recently questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and called Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos a “copycat”.

Gates recently commissioned a $644 million hydrogen-powered superyacht. The plans of buying the superyacht were unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show in December last year.

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Maruti Suzuki India launches Ertiga S-CNG

“Being the first company to introduce factory-fitted CNG cars in the country, today we proudly own the largest portfolio of green vehicles.”

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Maruti Suzuki BS-VI compliant Ertiga S-CNG

New Delhi, Feb 7: Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Friday rolled out the BS-VI compliant Ertiga S-CNG, offering a mileage of 26.08 km per kg.

According to the company, the factory-fitted Ertiga BS-VI S-CNG will be available for Rs 8.95 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi).

At the launch, Maruti Suzuki India’s Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava said: “Ertiga has been a market leader amongst MPVs, and the introduction of BS6 S-CNG will further help augment its leadership in the segment.”

“Being the first company to introduce factory-fitted CNG cars in the country, today we proudly own the largest portfolio of green vehicles.”

Besides, the company said that the launch of S-CNG vehicle range is aligned to and complements the government’s vision of reducing oil imports and enhancing the share of natural gas in the energy basket of the country from the current 6.2 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030.

At present, the government is working to rapidly increase CNG fuel pumps network in the country.

In addition, the automobile major said that S-CNG vehicles are equipped with dual interdependent ECUs (Electronic Control Units) and intelligent injection system.

“Vehicles are specially tuned and calibrated to deliver optimum performance and enhanced drivability across all kinds of terrains,” the company said in a statement.

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Elon Musk hires AI that ‘reports directly’ to him 24/7

Tesla is using advanced AI for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware to achieve a general solution to full self-driving.

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San Francisco, Feb 3: Tesla CEO Elon Musk who is a staunch critic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has now hired the technology, turning AI into a subordinate that “reports directly” to him daily.

Musk, who has crossed swords with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma over the role of AI, is finally giving the technology some space, like in his startup Neuralink which is creating a brain-machine interface.

Tagging Lex Fridman, popular host of the Artificial Intelligence podcast on YouTube, Musk tweeted: “At Tesla, using AI to solve self-driving isn’t just icing on the cake, it the cake” @lexfridman

“Join AI at Tesla! It reports directly to me & we meet/email/text almost every day. My actions, not just words, show how critically I view (benign) AI,” the Tesla CEO added.

For him, AI can only do ‘benign’ tasks and those jobs too are being evaluated critically by him.

Tesla is using advanced AI for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware to achieve a general solution to full self-driving.

The company is building silicon chips that power its full self-driving software from the ground up, taking every small architectural and micro-architectural improvement into account while pushing hard to squeeze maximum silicon performance-per-watt.

The company is applying cutting-edge research to train deep neural networks on problems ranging from perception to control.

“Our per-camera networks analyze raw images to perform semantic segmentation, object detection and monocular depth estimation. Our birds-eye-view networks take video from all cameras to output the road layout, static infrastructure and 3D objects directly in the top-down view,” says Tesla.

“Our networks learn from the most complicated and diverse scenarios in the world, iteratively sourced from our fleet of nearly 1 million vehicles in real time. A full build of Autopilot neural networks involves 48 networks that take 70,000 GPU hours to train. Together, they output 1,000 distinct tensors (predictions) at each timestep,” the electric carmaker added.

The company is also developing core algorithms that drive the car by creating a high-fidelity representation of the world and planning trajectories in that space.

During a recent presentation about Neuralink’s brain-machine interface technology, he said: “Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind.

“Hopefully, it is a benign scenario. But I think with a high-bandwidth brain-machine interface we can actually go along for the ride. And we can effectively have the option of merging with AI,” Musk told the gathering.

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