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Mercedes Benz looking at over 10 percent growth in sales



Mercedes- Benz

Kolkata, March

Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India is expecting to clock “significantly over 10 percent growth” in sales in the current year, a company official said on Wednesday.

“We are hoping to clock significantly over 10 percent growth in sales in 2017. January and February sales have already increased over the corresponding month last year.

“2016 brought some challenges for us with diesel car ban in Delhi and demonetisation also had short term impact on sales. Despite all these, we sold 13,231 cars in India in the last year, maintaining the sales volume of the previous year,” said car maker’s VP (sales and marketing) Michael Jopp.

He also said that considering the challenges that the car maker had faced in 2016, it did well. However, the sales volume in the last year declined by 1.8 percent compared to sales in the previous year.

Jopp said demonetisation had impacted its sales in the month of November but later it bounced back. “November sales were bad as the demonetisation created uncertainty in the market. The period was not that long and in December, we saw bounce back, otherwise, we would not be able to sell excess of 13,000 cars,” he said.

In the luxury segment, the German car maker has a market share about 45 percent.

“We have been the number one in the (luxury) segment and expanded our margin by more than 40 percent over the next largest competitor in the segment in the last year,” Jopp said, adding that aggressive product expansions, offering petrol and diesel variant across models, widening of the network contributed to the robust sales in the last year.

“Currently, the car maker has about 89 outlets across 41 cities,” he said at the launch of new E-Class sedan here.

According to company official, the E-class sedan which is the India’s highest selling luxury car comprises of about 34 percent of the total cars sold by it in India till date.

“We have received more than 500 bookings for the new car within a week,” he said.

On the impact of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, Jopp said: “In the GST regime, we are likely to fall in the highest bracket (of GST rates). We urged for lower tax for our cars. At this point of time, it is speculation unless the final rates are announced.”

“We hope the GST will be implemented in July and it is likely to create some uncertainty in the market but hopefully, it (uncertainty) will be removed as quickly as possible,” he added.



Tata Motors to increase prices of passenger vehicle up to Rs 40,000

According to the company, the hike in price from next year is due to rising input costs and increase in fuel prices.




Mumbai, Dec 13 : Automobile major Tata Motors on Thursday said it will increase prices of its entire passenger vehicles range by up to Rs 40,000 from January 1, 2019.

According to the company, the hike in price from next year is due to rising input costs and increase in fuel prices.

“The changing market conditions, rising input costs and various external economic factors have compelled us to consider this price increase,” said Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors.

“We are optimistic on maintaining our growth trajectory in the coming year on the back of our robust portfolio consisting of segment-leading products like Tiago, Hexa, Tigor and the Nexon. Early 2019 will also mark the entrance of our most awaited SUV — the Harrier.”


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Honda aims at getting balanced side for next ARRC season



Honda NSF 250R

Buriram (Thailand), Dec 2 : Rajiv Sethu’s feat of gaining his first point outside Indian soil has not only brought smiles on the faces of the Honda India Racing contingent at the Chang International Circuit here, but has also raised a ray of hope as the team aims to build itself for the next season.

Rajiv and Anish have been instrumental in Honda’s success in the ongoing season and with the trials for the upcoming Asian Road Racing Championship taking place on December 4 and 5 here, all eyes will be on the likes of teenagers Senthil Kumar and Kritik Habib.

The 17-year-old Senthil has gained first hand experience by taking part in the Honda Thai Talent Cup on Sunday, while 18-year-old Habib will be itching to get his wheels rolling and get his endurance and ability tested.

Prabhu Nagaraj, the Vice President, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) rightly pointed out that the test will be purely on performance and help decide the ARRC team for the next season.

“Habib is a product of the Honda Talent Hunt, and has been consistently among the top three in all the four legs of the season, three at the MMRT in Chennai and one at the BIC in Greater Noida,” Nagaraj told IANS here.

“It will be a good exposure for the young kid, but the focus will purely be on his performance in the test race. He has improved in each round, and hopefully give his best in the tests here.”

With Rajiv and Anish already playing the mentor’s role to these kids, the next season will expectedly be a mixture of youth and experience, carrying the hopes of a billion Indians in the continental competition.

(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at [email protected])

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Honda set to unveil NSF-250 race machines next season

Highlighting the roadmap for the next season, Nagaraj pointed out that the focus will be on “preparing a world class Indian racer”.



Honda NSF 250R

Buriram (Thailand), Dec 1 : India is still considered to be at a very nascent stage in motor sports but Japanese two-wheeler giant Hondas plans of introducing the NSF-250 in the country will surely ensourage a lot of enthusiasts take up the sport.

While most Indian riders are used to mass-production machines, Honda riders will be able to taste the actual road machine — NSF-250, the Moto3 machine, which will be imported from the 2019 season, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) said during an interaction on the sidelines of the final round of the Asian Road Racing Championship at the Chang International Circuit here.

Highlighting the roadmap for the next season, Nagaraj pointed out that the focus will be on “preparing a world class Indian racer”.

While Honda riders like Rajiv Sethu, Anish Shetty and Sarath Kumar have become household names with their accolades in the domestic circuit, Nagaraj agreed that Indians are still taking babysteps among the giants at the Asian and global level.

“This has been a long but fruitful process, from actually working on rider safety to actual participation of our riders in top class international competitions. I can’t say our riders have started ruling the track but the exposure they gain from such competitions is huge,” Nagaraj told IANS here.

“When we started some riders wore jeans and were without any safety gear. We took it one step at a time before actually preparing our riders race-ready.”

“The roadmap is very clear, not that we just select and send them to race but it also involves a 360 degree development program, that includes a three-day camp and off-road practice for better handling of the vehicles,” he added.

He also laid down the importance of introducing the NSF-250 machines, which he felt will help our riders get accustomed to the international standard.

“In India till this season we have been using the modified mass-production machines, while the developement of riders of the other Asian countries happen on the NSF-250, which are race machines. We will introduce these machines next season,” he revealed.

“The idea behing the Talent Hunt program is primarily to get those hidden talents from various parts of India on a common platform and help and nurture those talents for the big stage.

“We started it this year, and I am happy to see the progress of the riders. We hope to carry this to the next season and more until we find the potetial to compete in the Moto GP,” signed off Nagaraj, a self-proclaimed motorsports enthusiast.

(Tridib Baparnash cfan be contacte1d at [email protected])

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