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Volkswagen T Roc News: Volkswagen T-Roc receives strong response, first lot sold out |

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NEW DELHI: Volkswagen Passenger Cars India on Wednesday announced the closure of bookings of T-Roc.
Launched in March 2020 at Rs 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the Volkswagen T-Roc has received an overwhelming response. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customer deliveries had been delayed and post relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the carline has been sold out.
The outstanding responses is a testament of Volkswagen’s SUVW strategy, the brand had launched the Tiguan Allspace and T-Roc for Indian customers, the German carmakers said, Both the SUVs are powered by Volkswagen’s TSI technology. The T-Roc has a progressive design language with its coupé style roof.
Tiguan Allspace, which was launched alongside T-Roc, offers plenty of room for everyone and everything. The seven-seater carline is available with a power-mill of 2.0l TSI engine mated to a 7-speed DSG 4MOTION transmission. Its ergonomic design, roomy interiors, safety features and exceptional build quality makes it an ideal choice for customers.
Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India said, “We are thrilled with the response received for our carlines – T-Roc & Tiguan Allspace. It is a testament of customer acceptance on our SUVW offensive strategy. Keeping this momentum, we are excited as we prepare for our next big SUV – the Volkswagen Taigun. To be launched in 2021, the Taigun is aligned with our brand philosophy of building premium accessible cars. It will offer customers a promising value proposition that embodies the marvel of German engineering, powerful and enhanced driving experience with Volkswagen’s TSI technology and accessible mobility solutions.”

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Ford bets on high-performance vehicles for higher mindshare

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Mumbai: As it waits for approvals of its joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), US carmaker Ford is slated to roll out a range of high-performance vehicles to capture a higher mindshare in the Indian market.

While the venture with Mahindra will ensure wider and more frequent offerings from Ford India, the company has created a separate workstream to bring in vehicles such as the Mustang BS-VI in 2021.

The company is also exploring the possibility of adding a couple of more products to Mustang BS-VI from the range of global models like Mustang EV, a Ranger Raptor pickup truck, the Bronco 4X4 SUV and even the Focus RS, a high-performance hatchback, which are under study for India, according to people aware of the plans.

The intention is to reinforce the Ford DNA among prospective Indian buyers, who can now choose from over a dozen brands.

While C- and B-segment SUVs developed with Mahindra will hit the roads in 2022-2023, the US carmaker will continue to refresh its existing portfolio of Figo, Freestyle and EcoSport models with newer engine and transmission options and supplement them with the high-performance cars.

Ford India does not comment on future product introductions and remains committed to bringing what customers in India want and value, a company spokesperson said in an emailed response to ET’s queries.

Having updated its portfolio a couple of years ago, Ford India needs to reinvigorate its products to stay competitive, experts said.

The company has underperformed the overall market and its share has shrunk to 2%, with sales of 17,643 vehicles in the first six months of this financial year.

Ford and Mahindra agreed about a year ago to create a joint venture in India valued at little over Rs 1,900 crore ($275 million). Mahindra holds a controlling stake of 51% in the new legal entity, Mahindra Ford Automotive Pvt Ltd, which is awaiting state-level regulatory clearances.

The Competition Commission of India approved the JV in February and its formalisation, expected in mid-2020, has already been delayed.

“The discussions between Ford and Mahindra on our planned joint venture continue to progress despite delays and effects on the business environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both companies are working with the governments in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to receive necessary approvals as soon as possible,” the Ford India spokesperson said.

The joint venture will export vehicles to Ford entities globally and be responsible for expanding its brand in India. Both partners will own their respective brands and operate their own dealer networks to sell their vehicles.


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Ford unveils new self-driving test vehicle for 2022 launch

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Ford Motor plans to launch its self-driving vehicle businesses in 2022 with vehicles based on its Escape Hybrid crossover.

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Ford Motor plans to launch its self-driving commercial business in 2022 with vehicles based on the Ford Escape Hybrid crossover, the company said Tuesday.

The vehicles are the automaker’s fourth-generation self-driving test vehicles in partnership with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle start-up. Ford and German automaker Volkswagen AG split an 80% majority stake in the company earlier this year.

Ford said the vehicles will begin testing this month alongside its current fleet of roughly 100 autonomous test vehicles that are based off the Fusion Hybrid sedan, which the company is no longer producing.

The next-generation vehicles include “launch-intent” technologies that are needed to support commercialization, according to John Davis, chief engineer of Ford’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

“With our fourth-generation test vehicle, we have everything we need from a vehicle to stand up our self-driving service,” Davis wrote in a Medium post Tuesday

The upgrades include higher resolution cameras, more capable radar sensors and more advanced Lidar technology, which uses lasers to map surrounding areas.

Ford plans to integrate the new vehicles into test fleets in Austin, Texas; Detroit; Miami; Palo Alto, California; Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Ford initially planned to launch a commercial self-driving vehicle business in 2021 but delayed it until 2022, citing delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also previously announced plans to use a purpose-built autonomous vehicle without manual controls such as a steering wheel and pedals for its commercial fleet.

A Ford spokesman on Tuesday confirmed that those plans remain in tact but will be based on several factors, including safety, regulations and community acceptance of self-driving vehicles.


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MSSL signs strategic agreement to acquire Bombardier’s Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems business

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New Delhi: Auto component major Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL), via its Mexican subsidiary, Motherson Rolling Stocks S. de R.L. de C.V. (MRS), Tuesday said it has signed an asset sale and purchase agreement to acquire the activities of Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) performed at Bombardier Transportation’s manufacturing site in Huehuetoca, Mexico (BT Ensambles México) .

MRS is part of the Motherson Rolling Stock Division which designs and manufactures electrical cabinets, power packs and electrical distribution systems for leading rolling stock manufacturers.

MSSL, through PKC Group (acquired in March 2017), is engaged in the manufacturing of wiring harnesses for rolling stock, mainly in Europe and the Americas region. In 2019, the company through its subsidiary Motherson Rolling Stock Systems GB Limited, UK (MRSS) acquired Bombardier’s UK rolling stock electrical component and systems business in Derby. Now, with the execution of this definitive agreement between MRS and Bombardier, the relationship will expand to Mexico.

The transaction includes the transfer of assets, employees and inventories, on a debt-free and cash-free basis and is valued at around $ 10 million approx. (subject to customary adjustments). The revenue of the said business was $ 25 million for calendar year 2019. The transaction is subject to customary closing events and expected to complete in Q4 FY20-21.

BT Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) provides world-class harnesses and electrical assembly based on standard solutions. MRS will continue manufacturing the same electrical harnesses product as today at the Huehuetoca site in Mexico with enhanced efficiency in time-to-market, on-time delivery and cost structure. Both companies are now working on the smooth transition of employees and business, to mitigate any potential impacts and expect to close the transaction in Q4 FY20-21.

Vivek Chaand Sehgal, Chairman, MSSL said, “Our focus is always on adding value to our customers’ supply chain and catering to their requirements. This is another step forward in that direction. We are further strengthening the relationship with Bombardier under the global partnership agreement and our collective strength will position us as a preferred solutions provider to our customers in the rolling stock business.”

“The acquisition of the business will enable us to be a truly global partner to our customers as we get the opportunity to serve them in the North American market”, said Andre Gerstner, President, Rolling Stock Division, PKC Group.

“The global rail market is extremely dynamic and has become increasingly competitive. Bombardier Transportation aims to enhance its adaptability and agility to changing market conditions, in order to continue to increase its competitiveness and improve its global footprint. This divestiture is in alignment with our global transformation strategy of reducing the activities to our core- and integrating competencies”, said Jim Vounassis, Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Transportation.

“The transaction is beneficial to both parties since Bombardier has been seeking to establish a long-term supplier partnership for electrical harnesses and assemblies in the Americas region and MRS is an excellent strategic partner for this”, added, Elliot G. Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation.


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