Croatia’s strength of character will serve them well in the World Cup final against France, their coach and players said after they came from behind for the third straight knockout match to beat England on Wednesday. [...]
BMW Group India today announced that it sold 11,105 vehicles (including MINI) in 2018 (Jan-Dec), registering a growth of 13 percent year-on-year.
Of the total, BMW models accounted for 10,405 units, up 11 percent year on year. BMW said that growth was lead by the 5 Series and the 6 Series GT. The German carmaker also saw its locally-assembled SUV range contributing over 50 percent to its overall sales with strong demand for the X3. Presently, BMW's Chennai plant, which locally assembles the X1, X3 and X5 is expected to begin assembly of the X4 and X7 this year, according to the carmaker.
As we reported exclusively in our January 2019 issue, BMW is readying a model assault for India this year which includes 10 new models and two facelifts. Its 2019 innings is likely to commence with the launch of the X4 and will include the new 3 Series, the new X5, X7, X6, X4M, X3M, Z4, M8 Coupe, M8 Cabriolet, 7 Series facelift and X1 facelift (in no particular order).
The MINI brand sold 700 units in 2018, posting a growth of 66 percent, albeit on a low base. The Countryman accounted for 60 percent of overall volumes, according to the carmaker.
For BMW’s two-wheeler division, BMW Motorrad, volumes totaled 2,187 units. The company said that launch of the much-anticipated BMW G 310 R and BMW G 310 GS in the third quarter boosted sales, contributing to over 75 percent of the total motorcycles sold.
So far, Swedish carmaker Volvo is the only other luxury carmaker to announce its sales results. It recorded a 30 percent sales growth with volumes totaling 2,638 units in 2018. India's luxury car market is currently led by Mercedes-Benz, which will soon announce its sales results. Although both BMW and Volvo have managed to buck the trend, demand for passenger vehicles - including those in the luxury segment - faced a challenge in the form of high interest rates, depreciation of the rupee and rising import costs in the second half of 2018.
Kia Motors is readying the production version of the SP Concept for an India launch in August 2019. And the Korean carmaker wants to make a big splash in the crowded SUV space with its first offering for the country. An upright SUV design – something Indian buyers like – aside, Kia will also rely on an upmarket and feature-loaded cabin to draw buyers in.
In reply to a question from Autocar India on whether the production model’s cabin will bear resemblance to the concept’s from Auto Expo 2018, Manohar Bhat, head of marketing and sales, Kia Motors India simply said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
It is understood Kia is striving for best-in-class features for its first product for India. And going by sources in the know of things, the list of probable features is a long one. A powered driver’s seat and ventilated front seats aside, the SP Concept is also expected to feature an advanced touchscreen with voice recognition and telematics system. On-board Wi-Fi, a 360-degree camera and wireless charging could also make it to the SP, which clearly points to a strong focus on connectivity to attract a younger buyer. Head-up display, an ambient lighting package, and fully digital instruments (as seen on the concept) are also items said to be on the cards for the top-spec version of the final product. Moreover, paddle shifters for the automatic versions of the petrol and diesel engine SPs are also expected.
While it remains to be seen how much Kia will manage to pack in while still keeping pricing competitive, it is interesting to note that the Korean carmaker’s decision to load the SP Concept with features is in line with the popularity of high- and top-spec variants in the segment.
Spy pictures of the SUV on test suggest the production model will bear a strong resemblance to the SP Concept from Auto Expo 2018. The production-spec SP Concept will launch with the 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines and, as confirmed recently, will be priced in the Rs 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom) bracket. [...]
Kolkata: Couple finds their names in love jihad list that went viral, files police complaint [...]
Mangaluru, July 31: In an apparent case of moral policing, a group of people attacked a man who was found talking to a Muslim woman near here, police said today.Suresh was injured in the attack and treated as an outpatient at [...]
New Delhi, Aug 16: Statesman and pragmatist, orator and poet, a man of peace and conviction. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a towering nationalist who softened the often sharp edge of his party's politics with a gentle sophistry of words, earning him the [...]
Food is dwindling and agencies warn of ‘lost generation’ of children growing up without schoolWhen the armed men arrived at her northern Myanmar village, Anuwara, a 33-year-old Rohingya woman, first wondered how she could protect her six children.When villagers delivered the body of her husband, a teacher who was shot dead as he returned from school, she thought of how her family could escape. Related: Rohingya crisis: 132 MPs across region call for Myanmar to be referred to ICC Related: Rohingya turn to blockchain to solve identity crisis Continue reading... [...]
Kolkata part-time off-spinner Nitish Rana turned heads with his two wickets in successive deliveries to get rid of Bangalore star batsmen A.B.de Villiers and skipper Virat Kohli in their Indian Premier League (IPL) opener here. [...]
New installation at Somerset House in London lets visitors experience the air of some pollution hotspots – plus a pristine Norwegian islandNew Delhi: the suffocating smell of old cars and industry. São Paulo: enough ethanol to make your eyes water. And in London, a scent called Living Diesel.Those are the dominant notes of those cities’ contaminated air, according to an “artist’s approximation” that aims to raise awareness of the problem of pollution around the world. Related: Pant by numbers: the cities with the most dangerous air – listed Michael Pinsky’s #PollutionPods, in the forecourt of Somerset House, claim to reproduce the air pollution conditions of five cities pic.twitter.com/a6gwO4M8HgTwo young women entering the Tautra pod from São Paulo’s make a beeline for the air purifier. 'Breathe it in,' sighs oneTautra, Norway. Low levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. The green light for outdoor sports and cycling. Almost a relief on entry pic.twitter.com/JYuLNJ83GK Continue reading... [...]
Islanders in Vembanad lagoon, now a popular Keralan tourist destination, hope new public transport will bring easy access to jobs and services on mainlandThe city of Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala is to become the first in the country to get its own water metro system, in a move that authorities say could transform the lives of thousands of fishermen and farmers living on islands in the local lagoon.The islands in the Vembanad lagoon, inevitably known as the “Venice of the east” because of the large network of canals which connect them, are home to some of Kerala’s poorest people, many of whom have little access to the urban mainland and earn less than £1 a day. Related: Where Hinduism meets hedonism Continue reading... [...]
New Delhi, Sep 29: In his final week as chief justice, Dipak Misra has passed various judgments on important cases, ranging from the one on the constitutionality of Aadhaar to the case on the entry of women into the Ayyappa temple [...]
The security forces on Thursday conducted an operation in Chhattisgarh in which two Naxals were killed and around 15-20 were injured. Arms and ammunition were also recovered. "DRG and STF teams conducted an operation in which body of 2 [...]
Pakistan-based Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin's threat of nuclear war against India should come as no surprise. In a country where the official military nuclear doctrine itself is an irresponsible 'touch-me-not' doctrine, born of acute weakness and insecurity, the Pakistani military seems [...]
Mumbai, May 13: Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut today said if the BJP-led NDA dispensation at the Centre had "pure Hindu blood" in its veins, it should confer the Bharat Ratna on late Hindutva icon V D Savarkar. The [...]
Luxury brands such as Bulgari must stop buying gems from Myanmar, where the military is committing horrifying acts of violence against the RohingyaAs Christmas approaches, luxury jewellery brands will be preparing themselves for the annual windfall of cash that it brings. But shoppers this year will want to consider their role in propping up the genocide of Rohingya people, and join the tens of thousands of people calling on high-end jewellery retailers to end their relationships with the Burmese military.In early December, 75,000 people signed an online petition calling on Cartier to do just that. Cartier’s response was swift and within days announced it had “decided to stop purchasing gemstones from Myanmar, which will become fully effective as of December 8”. Now other similar companies must follow suit.Almost all of the world’s superior quality jade originates in Myanmar, and 95% of the world’s rubies Related: In the name of humanity, don’t look away from the plight of the Rohingya people | Ian Woolverton Continue reading... [...]
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Environment Minister, Imran Hussain on December 27 announced that Delhi government has deployed Environment Marshalls in various parts of the capital to control illegal burning in open, dust emanating from various sources and improper management of dhalaos, contributing to air pollution. [...]
Pre-monsoon showers hit the Mumbai on Saturday evening disrupting flights and local train traffic in the metropolitan city. Rain and thundershower, along with gusty winds, lashed parts of Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Ambernath, Navi Mumbai, Vasai and Virar from Saturday evening onward, [...]
The woman whose attempted murder by an ex-boyfriend became a cause celebre hopes her legal battle will inspire other womenA student who was stabbed 23 times in daylight in one of Pakistan’s busiest streets has accused the country’s justice system of misogyny after her attacker, having been found guilty of attempted murder, was sensationally acquitted last week.Khadija Siddiqi was ambushed as she collected her six-year-old sister from school two years ago. She was repeatedly slashed across the throat and abdomen by fellow student Shah Hussain in an attack she said was motivated by revenge after she had spurned his advances. She escaped with her life only after her driver managed to drag Hussain off her. Her attacker was sentenced to seven years in prison – the minimum for attempted murder. But in an extraordinary turn, last week he was acquitted by the high court following claims by his lawyers that it had been Siddiqi who had pursued him, based on a letter she had written when she was 17, and that she had wanted the case to become “high profile”. Continue reading... [...]
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New Delhi, Dec 17: The PAC might not summon attorney general and the CAG over the public auditor's report on Rafale deal, as a majority of the members, including those from opposition parties, are not in favour of the proposal by [...]
Shortly after the launch of the GSX-S750 and Burgman Street, Suzuki is gearing up to launch yet another motorcycle in India. August 2018 will see the launch of the company’s mid-size adventure motorcycle – the Suzuki V-Strom 650. Interestingly, India will likely only get the adventure-focused XT variant of the V-Strom 650. We expect it to be priced between Rs 7.5-7.7 lakh (ex-showroom).
The V-Strom will be the third motorcycle from the bike maker to be locally assembled, after the Hayabusa and the recently launched GSX-S750. Internationally, the V-Strom adventure tourer is offered in two variants – the standard V-Strom, which is a more road-biased motorcycle, and the off-road-specific V-Strom XT, the version that is expected to be sold in India.
The styling of the V-Strom XT is inspired by its larger sibling, the V-Strom 1000. The smaller engine motorcycle gets premium anodized wire-spoke rims shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40 tubeless tyres. The twin-spar alloy frame is suspended on a conventional telescopic fork at the front and a monoshock with rebound adjustment and a remote preload adjuster at the rear. The seat height of the V-Strom 650 XT is 835mm, as opposed to the 840mm of the its main rival, the Kawasaki Versys 650. The Suzuki’s fuel tank is quite generous at 20 litres and the motorcycle tips the scales at 216kg (kerb weight).
The bike is powered by a 645cc, V-twin engine that makes 71hp and 62Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed grarbox. Meanwhile, the Kawasaki Versys 650’s engine makes 69hp and 64Nm, but also uses a six-speed transmission. The V-Strom 650 XT gets a three-stage traction control system (two levels and a disengage option). Other features include three-way height adjustable windscreen, Suzuki’s useful Easy Start System and standard ABS (off-road enthusiasts will be disappointed to know that it cannot be disengaged).
The Kawasaki Versys 650 retails for Rs 6.69 lakh (ex-showroom), which is significantly cheaper than the expected pricing of the V-Strom 650 XT. However, the Versys 650 sold in India is a more road-oriented model and doesn’t come with the V-Strom's expensive wheels or electronic aids like traction control, which could work to Suzuki’s advantage.
2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT showcased at the Auto Expo
Suzuki Motorcycle at Auto Expo 2018 first look video [...]
James Anderson went for a golf session with fellow Stuart Broad and a shot went horribly wrong. [...]
In the union budget announced today, finance minister Piyush Goyal reaffirmed the government's push for electric vehicles and of making India a pollution-free country; but did not announce any sops to boost EV adoption.
"This (pollution-free) India will drive on electric vehicles with renewables becoming a major source of energy. India will lead the world in the transport revolution through electric vehicles and energy-storage devices, bringing down import dependence and ensuring energy security for our people," Goyal said while presenting Budget 2019.
The auto industry was left wanting for a concrete announcement that would further the government's vision for clean energy and provide impetus to the country's fledgling market for electric vehicles.
"The EV industry welcomes our finance minister’s commitment towards making the country pollution-free. We hope the government would soon announce a concrete plan of action with its time-bound implementation in order to fulfil its stated vision," said Sohinder Gill, director general, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV). "SMEV strongly feels that an initial high dose of incentives and actions must be taken in the next year or two years to re-launch the electric mobility mission that has sort of lost steam in the recent years due to flip-flop of policies,” he added.
"As per the 2019 budget electric vehicles are a key part of the government's vision for 2030. However considering the environment concerns, we were hoping for something concrete in the budget. Moreover, to meet the target of 2030 the government needs to plan today instead of giving the electric vehicles a push at a later stage," said Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto Industries.
However, the government recently announced a reduction in customs duty on import of parts and components of electric vehicles in an effort to boost local assembly. The duty on import of EV components have been lowered to 10-15 per cent, from 15-30 percent while the import of battery packs for EVs or hybrids now attracts a duty of 5 percent.
"Although the recently announced cut in customs duty on certain electric-vehicle components will augur well for EVs during the longer term, there could have been more done in this regard to make India adopt EVs at a faster rate. We hope these factors, including charging infrastructure, will be addressed in the FAME II policies to be announced soon,” said P Balendran, Executive Director, MG Motor India.
The country's apex automotive body – Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) – appreciated the emphasis laid on electric mobility; but called for a rollback in the duty hike on import of lithium-ion battery cells, which was increased from nil to 5 percent. "Since cell manufacturing is at very nascent stage, at present, in India, the current practice of importing cells is expected to continue; and hence the change will only lead to increase in cost of manufacturing electric vehicles' battery packs, which is expected to be dampener in generating demand for electric vehicles," SIAM said in a statement. [...]
Muzaffarpur rape scandal: Hell comes home [...]