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Monday, March 18, 2013

Volvo to sell 200 luxury cars in the city

Volvo C30
Volvo C30 (Photo credit: danuqui)
Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo Auto India, is eyeing the Bangalore market, with a target of selling 200 cars this year.

The four cars, including two SUVs and two sedans, to be introduced in the city will be high-end vehicles costing between Rs35-67 lakh each. Volvo feels Bangalore is a key market, having a lot of demand for luxury cars.

Tomas Ernberg, managing director, Volva Cars, said, “Entering Bangalore signifies our presence in the key market for luxury cars in India. After successful presence in other regions in India, we plan to consolidate our presence in Bangalore by opening a 7,000 square feet showroom here.”

Luxury cars comprise those costing upwards of Rs30 lakhs, with firms like BMW, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar being key players. Bangalore sold 2,000 luxury cars last year and is projected to sell 2,500 this year. Ritesh Reddy, joint owner of car dealer Martial Motors said the city is a potential market for luxury cars with the IT boom and the infusion of professionals from across India. “We will leverage the comfort and brand associated with Volvo buses, which are quite popular with Bangaloreans, to market the cars,” said Reddy.
Volvo has a presence in India since 2007 and has been selling cars in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad. It sold 821 cars nationally in 2012 and is targeting 1100 units this year.

Volvo sold about 300 cars last year in Hyderabad and some 200 and 100 in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively. According to Ernberg, India is one of the fastest growing luxury car markets though the penetration right now is minuscule.

2012 witnessed about 28,000 luxury cars being sold across India, while around 33, 000 are expected to be sold this year. “This is just 1% of the total car industry volume,” said Ernberg. Fuel price hikes or increase in excise duty have practically no impact on the luxury market since it is mainly consumers belonging to SEC A who buy them. In last month’s budget, the excise on SUVs was raised to 30% from 27%. While basic customs duty on cars costing over Rs20 lakhs was hiked to 100% from 75% earlier.

Source : Here

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Consumer Reports' top 10 cars of 2013

The list is out: Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just released their top picks in new cars for 2013.

The big news this year: For the first time in several years, Ford, GM, and Chrysler don't have a car in the Top 10 list, but two European auto makers do.

European Models Score Well Being named a Consumer Reports Top Pick vehicle doesn't come easy. In addition to how well a car handles an emergency situation, accelerating and brake testing are also performed.

Those are just some of the dozens of tests in which vehicles have to excel. But that's not all. A car has to be reliable, and owners help by telling Consumer Reports about their experiences with 1.2 million vehicles. The European vehicles traditionally don't have very good reliability, and that often keeps them off the top pick list.

But this year two make the list, including the Audi A6 as the Top Pick Luxury Car. It's a very comfortable car. It has an amazing interior, a nice ride, and agile handling. And the BMW 328i is the Top Pick Sports Sedan. It's always been a really sporty, fun-to-drive car. But now with a new two-liter, turbo-charged engine, it's actually very efficient, too.

Big Honda Comeback

Honda makes a comeback as well. The newly redesigned Honda Accord is the Top Pick Midsized Sedan. The CR-V is tops in the Small SUV class. And the Honda Odyssey has regained the Top Pick Minivan distinction.

But if sports cars are more your speed, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S lead the pack. The almost-identical vehicles, co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, are exhilarating to drive, with sticker prices that are tough to beat. Looking for a car for under $20,000? The Hyundai Elantra is Consumer Reports Top Pick Budget Car. The all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza earned Top Pick for compacts. The Toyota Highlander stayed on top in mid-sized SUVs. And despite growing competition, the Toyota Prius remains the Top Pick Green Car.

Consumer Reports' 2013 Top Picks By Category:

MIDSIZED SEDAN: Honda Accord ( $23,270 to $30,860). Honda nailed it with this redesign - it's roomy, nice to drive, well equipped and very fuel efficient. With its four-cylinder engine, the Accord squeezes out 30 mpg overall and 40 on the highway, which is as good as the tiny Honda Fit. Higher-trim models have advanced safety features seldom found in this category; all models come with a standard back-up camera.

SPORTS CARS: Scion FR-S ($25,025) and Subaru BRZ ($27,117). Co-developed by Subaru and Toyota, which markets the Scion brand, both are exhilarating to drive, with super-sharp handling, excellent braking, and ample acceleration. While they are dedicated rear-wheel-drive sports cars with jittery rides, noisy cabins and small rear seats, their impressive gas mileage and reasonable sticker prices are welcome nods towards practicality.

BUDGET CAR: Hyundai Elantra ($18,445). One of CR's top-rated compact sedans, the well-rounded Elantra delivers a lot for the money. It's roomier and more refined than a typical subcompact yet gets competitive fuel economy. The Elantra also provides nimble handling, a fairly comfortable ride, a smooth, responsive powertrain, and a well-finished interior at an affordable price.

GREEN CAR: Toyota Prius ($26,750). Today's pure electric cars are getting the equivalent of 100 or more mpg. But no current plug-in car can match the Prius hatchback for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability. Its 44 overall mpg is still the best CR has measured in any five-passenger, non-plug-in-vehicle. The Prius' roomy interior, comfortable ride, hatchback versatility and low running costs make it easy to live with.

COMPACT CAR: Subaru Impreza (Sedan, $21,345; hatchback $22,345). The 2012 redesign breathed new life into the all-wheel-drive Impreza. Both sedan and hatchback versions are good sensible cars, with nimble handling and a compliant, absorbent ride that rivals some luxury sedans. Fuel economy is impressive for an AWD car. And the roomy interior, spacious rear seat, simple controls, and refreshingly good visibility make it easy to live with.

LUXURY CAR: Audi A6 ($56,295). Redesigned for 2012, the A6 is agile, quick, and a joy to drive, surrounding drivers and passengers with a sumptuous, impeccably finished cabin that's brimming with the latest high-tech features. The A6's potent, supercharged V6 engine, super-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, and comfortable ride add to the business-class feel. It returns respectable gas mileage, even with all-wheel drive.

MIDSIZED SUV: Toyota Highlander ( $38,578 to $47,255). For those who want the practicality of an SUV with the refinement of a good sedan, it provides a quiet, well-finished cabin, as well as a cushy ride, secure handling, and a smooth powertrain. The Highlander has also consistently maintained above-average reliability.

MINIVAN: Honda Odyssey ($36,830). With improved reliability helping it earn the top spot among family haulers, it provides a comfortable ride and a roomy.

Source : Here

GM is launching 4G cars in 2014

The company announced this week that most of its 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will come with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband. The service will be made available in the United States and Canada, through AT&T, in 2014.

For drivers this means a car that can serve as a WiFi hotspot and enhance in-vehicle communication and entertainment options (like streaming NetFlix in the back seat).

But the broadband services will also be key to improving connected car technology that promises to improve safety and convenience for drivers. Connected cars will be able to send data that the car collects from its surrounding environment to the cloud, and synthesized data from numerous cars on the road will give drivers real-time information about things like road conditions or traffic congestion.

“Through this built-in 4G LTE connection we have the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle,” said Mary Chan, a GM executive, in a press release.

The addition of 4G in cars will also provide an opportunity for developers. Last month, GM released a set of vehicle APIs to allow developers to build applications for GM’s 4G cars.

“Our commitment to 4G LTE strengthens our ability to collaboratively innovate with developer partners,” said Chan. “Developers will be able to take full advantage of 4G LTE speeds as they design vehicle-specific apps, and they can pursue development knowing that they’ll have a broad base of potential customers as connectivity is built-in across GM brands and regions.”

Source : Here
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