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Shock decline in vehicle sales hit dealers this Diwali

The “negative factors” which slashed sales this year include the fuel prices which were on the upward swing till October-end, and although the petrol-diesel prices started going downwards, the damage was done.

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Mumbai, Nov 23 : An “unexpected de-growth” during the festival season this year has shocked the automobile industry with consumers “postponing” purchase of both two and four-wheelers, a top industry official said here on Friday.

During the festival season Navratri to Diwali, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) recorded a dismal decline in sales of two-wheelers and four-wheelers, barring three-wheelers like commercial vehicles and autorickshaws.

In fact, this is the first time in the past five years or so that FADA has notched a negative growth during the auspicious festival season of around 42 days, when thousands flock to book or purchase vehicles.

“We had not witnessed such a dull festival season… Many negative factors came into play during this season. It’s a matter of deep concern for the dealership community,” FADA President Ashish H. Kale told IANS.

According to Kale, four-wheelers or passengers vehicles recorded a steep decline of 14 per cent in the prime time between September 21-November 20 this year, compared to the same period in 2017.

This came to actual sales of 287,717 passenger vehicles this season, down from last (2017) season’s 333,456, he said.

In the two-wheelers segment, the decline was equally sharp at 13 per cent during the same period, recording 15,83,276 two-wheelers sold compared to 18,11,703 last season, Kale said.

Incidentally, four-wheelers have notched an overall decline of 1.4 per cent from April to November this year, or 16,26,555 passenger vehicles sold compared to 16,49,650 sold during the same period in 2017.

The only silver lining for FADA was the 10 per cent growth in the three-wheelers and commercial vehicles categories.

For three-wheelers, the sales figure this year was 58,801 (53,457 last year) and commercial vehicles it was 119,597 (103,370 last year).

“Dealer inventory in the two and four-wheelers has risen substantially due to this and is a matter of great concern for us,” Kale said, of the FADA’s move to release independent figures for the first time in view of the grim situation.

The “negative factors” which slashed sales this year include the fuel prices which were on the upward swing till October-end, and although the petrol-diesel prices started going downwards, the damage was done.

Adding to the negative sentiments was the ongoing Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) liquidity issue which hit buyers, especially those opting for two-wheelers and commercial vehicles.

Kale hoped that the recent liquidity measures initiated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government, the banks and automobile NBFCs would help the automobile industry grow in the days ahead.

“We request the government and RBI to further ease the liquidity for auto NBFCs which operated in a less riskier business environment compared to infrastructure and housing NBFCs due to short repayment cycle and mobility of the assets,” Kale said.

On the positive side, he said that customer enquiries did not fall this festival, but they failed to materialise into transactions on expected lines due to “postponement” of decisions, and is optimistic the trend could reverse in the next four months.

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Maruti Suzuki launches all new Vitara Brezza

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Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

New Delhi, Feb 24 : Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Monday launched the all new compact SUV Vitara Brezza, which was unveiled at the recently held Auto Expo 2020.

The new vehicle has been priced in the range of Rs 7.34 lakh to Rs 11.40 lakh, the automobile major said on Monday.

According to the company, the new compact SUV offers enhanced sportiness, bolder looks, stronger stance, premium interiors and a host of new features.

The vehicle is equipped with the powerful 1.5 litre K-series BS6 petrol engine.

“The compact SUV will be offered with 5-speed manual and advanced automatic transmission with Smart Hybrid,” the company said in a statement.

In less than 4 years of its launch, Vitara Brezza has sold over 500,000 units.

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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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