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Passenger vehicle sales up 13.59% in December: SIAM

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New Delhi: Passenger vehicle sales in the local market increased 13.59% to 252,998 units last month as pent-up demand, consumer preference for personal mobility solutions amid the coronavirus pandemic buoyed volumes.

As many as 222,728 passenger vehicles were sold in the domestic market in the corresponding period of the last financial year, shows SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) data. The sales numbers do not include that of Tata Motors, which has stopped reporting monthly data to SIAM.

Sales of two-wheelers in the period under review went up 7.42% to 1,127,917 units. While wholesale volumes of scooters rose 5.59% to 323,696 units, those of motorcycles increased 6.65% to 744,237 units in December.

Sales of three-wheelers declined 58.87% to 22,126 units last month.


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GM warns Maharashtra government’s move to block its exit could hit investment

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Maharashtra’s move to block General Motors (GM) from shutting a plant and exiting the country defies the state’s business friendly image and sends a “concerning message” to potential future investors, the US automaker has said.

GM’s comments came after authorities in Maharashtra earlier this week rejected the automaker’s application to cease operations at its plant in the western state amid protests by workers who demanded GM continue production or keep them on the payroll indefinitely, according to local media.

The decision runs counter to Maharashtra’s business-friendly reputation, a GM spokesman said in a statement. “It sends a concerning message to any potential future investors who want to bring jobs and investment to the state.”

GM stopped selling cars in India, the world’s second most populous nation, at the end of 2017 after years of low sales. It sold one of its two factories in the country to China’s SAIC Motor Corp and continued to build vehicles for export at its second plant until Dec. 24.

In January 2020, it agreed to sell its second factory in the state’s Talegaon district to Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co, but tensions between India and China have delayed completion of that deal.

GM said it planned to seek a reversal of the state’s order as soon as possible.

“Effectively, the state’s decision amounts to a requirement that GM either produce vehicles for which there are no customer orders, or pay workers indefinitely for doing no work. We reject both suggestions,” the spokesman said, adding production would not resume.

GM is offering higher than the statutory severance pay to its roughly 1,500 workers at the plant, amounting to nearly two years of salary and is willing to negotiate further, said a source with knowledge of the matter.


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Maruti Suzuki’s premium hatchback Swift India’s ‘best-selling’ car model in 2020

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New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India on Saturday said its hatchback Swift has emerged as the best selling car model in India in 2020 with 1,60,700 units. In 2020, the model has also crossed the cumulative sales milestone of 23 lakh units since its launch in 2005. It crossed the 5 lakh milestone in 2010, 10 lakh in 2013 and 15 lakh in 2016, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the milestone, Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava claimed that “Swift has been the best-selling premium hatchback in the country for the past 15 years with over 2.3 million delighted customers.”

He further said, “Despite the adverse impact of COVID-19, brand Swift sold over 1,60,700 units in CY 2020, emerging as the top brand in the pecking order.”

The company said more than 53 per cent of Swift customers are below the age of 35 years, thus establishing the model as “the ‘coming of the age’ car with its tech-savvy features, value-for-money offerings and sporty design”.


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Tata Motors launches i-Turbo petrol variant of premium hatchback Altroz

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New Delhi: Tata Motors on Saturday launched the i-Turbo petrol variant of its premium hatchback Altroz at an introductory price increment of Rs 60,000 above the existing petrol variants of the model. The company has also added a new top of the line XZ+ variant in petrol and diesel fuel options to the Altroz range. It is priced at Rs 8.26 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs 9.46 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the diesel option.

The Altroz i-Turbo is launched at an introductory ex-showroom price increment of Rs 60,000 above the Altroz Revotron petrol variants, the company said in a statement.

At present, the petrol variants of the Altroz are priced between Rs 5.7 lakh and Rs 8.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The i-Turbo variant of the Altroz comes with iRA-connected car technology which has 27 connected car features along with natural voice tech, through which the car understands commands not only in English or Hindi, but also in Hinglish, Tata Motors said.

The car is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged BS-VI petrol engine delivering power of 110 PS at 5,500 rpm.

Commenting on the launch, Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors President – Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, said since the launch in January 2020, in FY21, the company’s market share in the hatchback category has increased by 5.4 per cent compared to last fiscal.

“…we have captured 17 per cent market share in the premium hatchback segment. We are confident that the new Altroz range will cater to the evolving needs of the Indian customer, all while creating benchmarks in the segment,” he added.

The Altroz is the first product on the ALFA architecture and the company has sold more than 50,000 Altroz within its first year of launch.


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