Mahindra has revealed that their Auto Expo 2018 stand will have a large focus on the future of mobility – namely, electric cars. The brand has confirmed that stall N-5 in Hall 11 will showcase its future technology, ranging from its new EV tech to mobility and connectivity solutions.
The Indian automaker’s display will have six all-new electric vehicles – two of which are new concepts – in addition to its future electric architecture and an electric mobility platform which is expected to provide better-connected experiences for car buyers.
Besides the tech showcase, Mahindra’s pavilion will also have a new SUV for global markets and a Stinger concept of one of its popular SUVs. The brand has a history of showcasing exciting-looking concepts at the Auto Expo like the Halo concept and XUV Aero. The new SsangYong Rexton will also be a part of Mahindra’s display at the 2018 Auto Expo.
More information will be revealed at the press conference at the motor show on February 7, 2018, at about 4pm. Stay tuned.
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The Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) has inaugurated the updated Madras Motor Race Track Paddock complex. The new complex, consisting of 20 pit garages, a spectator viewing terrace and VIP hospitality suites that can accommodate up to 400 people along the the pit-lane, has been developed at a cost of over Rs 20 crore.
A full-fledged, permanent 7.5km rally track is also currently under development, while the MMSC is working with triple Asia-Pacific Rally champion Gaurav Gill to start a driving academy in the near future.
Commenting on the development work, MMSC president Ajit Thomas said: “It has been a long journey for MMSC from its humble beginnings 66 years ago. Even after we moved our racing activities from Sholavaram to the new track near Sriperumbudur, we constantly strove to improve, not just in terms of conducting events, but also upgrading facilities over a period of time.
“In 2014, the track received FIA Grade-2 certification, but in keeping with our philosophy of ever onward, we decided to refurbish and upgrade the existing facilities at considerable expense. The new paddock and facilities will allow us to host not just racing events but also create a venue that auto manufacturers, sponsors and agencies would be proud to use for their events.”
The new pit complex follows on from the upgrade done to the race control room with new hardware installed last year as well as India's first and only bespoke drag strip. A second paddock on the western side with its own short circuit allows the MMSC to effectively split the track into two and host two separate events concurrently. [...]
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Eyeing a premium model from a foreign carmaker? Chances are you’ll have to pay more for one, in the very near future. As per the proposals made in Budget 2018, locally assembled and fully imported cars will see an increase in taxation.
Cars which are locally assembled in India are likely to see an increase in cost of between 3 and 5 percent as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed an increase in customs duty on motor vehicles brought to India via the CKD (completely knocked down) route. As per the proposal, the customs duty on imported engine components could be raised from 7.5/10 percent to 15 percent. There could also be a hike in the duty on the vehicle parts that are an element of the CKD kits – from 10 percent to 15 percent. The move is set to impact carmakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover – those which have dedicated assembly facilities in India.
Cars brought to India in completely built up (CBU) or fully-imported form could also get pricier. The government has made a proposal for a rate hike on one section of customs duty on CBUs from 20 percent to 25 percent. This move could drive up the total import duty; which currently stands at an already steep rate of over 180 percent.
The finance minister's rate hike proposal met with strong disapproval from luxury carmakers.
Country's leading luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz said the increase in customs duty will reverse the growth trend in the segment. “The increase in the basic customs duty of auto parts, accessories and CKD components is unfortunate, and comes as a surprise. It will highly restrict the growth of the luxury car industry," said Roland Folger, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.
Rahil Ansari, Head, Audi India said the budget lacks focus towards the luxury segment. "Increase in custom duty is going to definitely affect the prices again, which will further confuse the customer The Union Budget 2018-19 is disappointing and against the spirit of partnership," Ansari said, adding that lack of measures towards government's ambitious E-mobility project is surprising.
The decision to impose a higher customs duty has been taken to promote the government's Make in India initiative, as it sees a significant potential for domestic value addition within the auto components sector, according to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM told Autocar India that the move will affect the entire auto industry as most carmakers source components from abroad. "The hike in customs duty on CKD auto parts and components was not anticipated," he said.
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