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Auto industry working to cut imports by half in 4-5 years, says M&M MD Pawan Goenka

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New Delhi: India’s vehicle and automotive component makers are looking at halving imports in the next 4-5 years in line with the government’s vision for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Mahindra & Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka who heads the steering committee for advancing local value addition said, “India imports components valued at Rs 1 lakh crore. We want to bring this down by 50% in the next 4-5 years by eliminating gaps in competitiveness, costs, technology and quality.”

Elaborating on the government’s efforts to increase exports out of the country, Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal said that the government will look at reviewing FTAs to ensure fair access to India. Talks have already started with Australia and Indonesia.

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Royal Enfield Classic 350: Royal Enfield Classic 350 now customizable online, gets 2 new colour schemes

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NEW DELHI: Royal Enfield on Wednesday announced that the Classic 350 has made its way to the ‘Make It Yours-MiY’ platform, which lets the customers personalize their preferred motorcycle and book it online too.
The current MiY customizable fleet includes- RE Meteor 350, Interceptor, Continental GT and the Classic 350. The Royal Enfield Himalayan and Bullet 350 are the only ones left to make a debut on the platform. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 ranges between Rs 1.61 lakh – Rs 1.86 lakh (ex-showroom).

The RE Classic 350 will now be offered in 2 completely new colour schemes- Metallo Silver and Orange Ember. The new variants of the Classic 350 have been conceptualized in these bright hues to evoke a youthful and refreshing motorcycling experience. The Classic 350 not only flaunts a boosted style quotient but also offers an enhanced riding experience with the newly added alloy wheels and tubeless tyres.

The RE Classic 350 is now available on the MiY customizable platform which can be accessed through the automaker’s website, app, or dealerships. The customers can customize and accessorize their motorcycles through the 3D configurator. The Classic 350 can be personalized with a range of genuine accessories which are currently offered with a 2-year warranty.

“In a continuous effort to evolve the Classic, we have introduced new variants of the motorcycle and added the option to view and configure, enabling our riders to express themselves in distinct and unique ways. We are also very happy that MiY has been very well received by our audiences. More than 80% of our newly launched Meteor owners have opted for MiY solutions which is a testament to its success. We are confident that Classic 350 customers will follow suit,” said Vinod K. Dasari, CEO, RE.


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Tata Gravitas: Tata Gravitas to hit the market by early 2021

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NEW DELHI: Tata Motors revealed that the Gravitas will finally hit the roads early next year after seeing a fair share of delays. The Tata Gravitas was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 and was slated for a festive season launch but ultimately got delayed due to the pandemic.
The Tata Gravitas is the 7-seater version of the homebred Harrier, which has managed to get a decent market share ever since its launch in 2019. The Gravitas will also be based on the same platform as its sibling, the OMEGARC, which is derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform. The 7-seater SUV is expected to be 63mm longer and 80 mm taller than Harrier and will most likely retain the Impact 2.0 design and styling language too.
The Tata Gravitas will lock horns with the MG Hector Plus, the upcoming next-gen Mahindra XUV500, and the upcoming 7-seater version of the Hyundai Creta. The 7-seater SUV will be powered by the same BS6-compliant 2.0-litre Kryotec turbo diesel engine as the Harrier that offers 170 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque. The engine might be paired to the same 6-speed MT and the 6-speed AMT transmission derived from Hyundai.
Tata Gravitas will also see a refreshed interior design with a completely new colour palette and is expected to flaunt enhanced tech and a few additional safety features as well. The Tata Gravitas is expected to start somewhere around Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom).
“Going forward two additional models are going to come- Gravitas and Hornbill. Gravitas will be a seven-seater SUV while Hornbill will be a sub-compact SUV so we will have four SUVs in our portfolio which would be the widest portfolio. It would help strengthen our market position and sales in the coming years. The company plans to launch the Gravitas during the last quarter of this fiscal. It is yet to fix a date for the Hornbill introduction,” said Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors.


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Toyota halts operations at Indian plant again as union strike continues

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BENGALURU: Toyota Motor Corp again halted operations at its car plant in southern India from Monday, as the majority of members of its workers’ union continued a sit-in strike, the automaker said.

Both the Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) factories in the industrial hub of Bidadi, Karnataka, had declared a “lock out” on Nov. 10 after the union went on strike, saying that their demand to withdraw the suspension of a worker was not met.

The local state government’s labour department had prohibited the strike by the workmen, as well as the “legal lock out” declared by the management from Nov. 19 and directed operations to resume, a spokesperson for the automaker’s India unit said on Tuesday.

Even after the lock out was lifted by TKM, only a few team members have reported to work, the company said.

“For plant operations to run smoothly and effectively, a minimum workforce of 90% in each shift is required. In view of the current situation, it is not viable to carry on with manufacturing activity.”

The disruption follows several months of a slump in sales, and comes at a time when vehicle deliveries to dealers are picking up in anticipation of strong demand during the November festive period in India.

The country’s top car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd last month said sales between October and December were expected to be good due to demand for personal transport and big-ticket purchases during the festive season.


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