Indian Railways to generate revenues from advertisements & more

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Aiming at about Rs 2,000 crore earnings in a year, the railways today unveiled non-fare revenue (NFR) policy, allowing trains, level-crossings and areas along the tracks to be used for advertising.

The NFR policy envisages various schemes for revenue-yielding activities including train branding, rail radio scheme and using platforms for installing ATMs and renting out less-crowded platforms for wedding or teaching purposes across the country.

Long-term sustainability is not possible with revenue from just freight and passenger fare. “We have to explore non-fare revenue,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here after launching the policy.

The non-fare revenue policy comprises out-of-home advertising policy, train branding policy, ATM policy, content-on-demand and rail radio policy.

Prabhu said, “It is a new revenue stream and part of the Rail Budget proposal. We have set up a new non-fare directorate for it. Since April, our earnings from NFR has gone up by 41 per cent but we want to increase it more.”

The policy will offer branding of trains allowing internal and external advertisement and product sampling on trains on a long-term basis to big players allowing marketing flexibility thereby leading to higher realisation of earnings.

Advertisement through vinyl-wrapping of train exterior, including windows of AC coaches, and inside the coaches shall be allowed as per the policy.

There will be distribution of sample products free of cost for gauging passenger reaction to the product. However, no sale of products will be allowed in trains.

Via Indian Railway News

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UberMOTO Officially Comes to Hyderabad; Fares Start @ Rs 25 for first 3 kms, Rs 5 Thereafter

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VIA UBER PRESS RELEASE – 

Hyderabad, your uberMOTO is arriving on January 30th! uberMOTO gives riders an affordable and convenient motorcycle ride at the push of a button, through the Uber app. Riders receive driver and bike details just as they do for other Uber rides, as well as all standard safety features before, during and after the ride including requisite insurance coverage which covers the riders, GPS tracking, two-way feedback and the ability to share trip details with family and friends.

How uberMOTO works:

  • Download the Uber app for iOS or Android and create an Uber account – Existing users can update their app to see the new product.
  • Select uberMOTO in the app, enter the pickup location and payment method, and request a ride; receive driver details — name, photo and details of the motorbike.
  • uberMOTO drivers will have one helmet for the rider, and all riders and drivers must wear a helmet, as per the law.
  • At the end of the trip, pay by cash, credit/debit card or mobile wallet and receive an electronic receipt via the Uber app.


uberMOTO will go live in Hyderabad during the second half of Monday i.e. January 30, 2017 and will be one of the most affordable transportation options in the city, with fares as low as Rs.25 for the first 3 kms and Rs.5 per km thereafter, rounded up to the nearest km. Time charges won’t be applicable on uberMOTO.

NEW TO UBER?

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COVERAGE AREA

Note: uberMOTO will be available from 8 AM to 10 PM everyday in parts of Kondapur, Hitech City, Madhapur, Gachibowli. We will endeavour to expand coverage across the city.

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PROTIP: Requests starting and trips ending within this geography will be able to avail Moto services.

  • Interested in signing up as an Uber Moto Driver-Partner, signup here
  • If you would like to avail of Moto services in your areas, please drop a note here

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. New User free rides on MOTO will be applicable till March 31, 2017
  2. Valid for MOTO rides in Hyderabad only
  3. Rider is entitled to a maximum discount of Rs 35 per ride during the first 2 free rides
  4. Uber reserves the right to refuse discounts if found that the rides were taken fraudulently

2017 Acura NSX Named Green Car Journal’s 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2017 Acura NSX was awarded the 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ distinction by Green Car Journal. The Acura NSX challenges supercar norms with cutting-edge and world-first technologies. A first-of-its-kind Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ power unit that electrifies all phases of driving – accelerating, braking and cornering – enables an unprecedented combination of performance and efficiency.

“The 2017 Acura NSX delivers the luxury of driving a sports car equally at home on the highway or the track, that also happens to have important ‘green’ credentials,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Its advanced hybrid drivetrain, impressive aerodynamics, use of lightweight materials, and significantly improved city fuel efficiency over the previous generation are all positive testaments to its distinction as the 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™.”

Source: Link

 

Lincoln ends 2016 on high note 10% sales gain in U.S.; China up nearly threefold

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  • The Lincoln Motor Company ends 2016 with a 10 percent gain in U.S. sales; a near threefold increase marks Lincoln sales in China last year
  • In the United States, Lincoln posted strong gains in key luxury markets, including Florida, New York and New Jersey
  • Lincoln’s strong performance in China supported by customers’ positive reception to the marque’s SUVs and a growing number of dealerships there

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 6, 2017 – The Lincoln Motor Company ended 2016 with a 10 percent gain in U.S. sales – its best in nine years. Lincoln achieved nearly a threefold increase in sales in China last year, where it is now the fastest-growing luxury brand.

“The momentum is both gratifying and encouraging,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “We’re pleased clients are recognizing the superior experiences and vehicles Lincoln offers.”

The U.S. increase comes against a luxury market that saw gains of less than 1 percent.

U.S. growth for the brand in 2016 was particularly robust in key luxury markets like New York, where sales were up 13 percent; Florida, up 10 percent; and New Jersey, where sales increased 9 percent.

Lincoln closed out the year strong, with sales up 18 percent last month compared to December 2015, driven by the all-new flagship Lincoln Continental. Continental was responsible for 64 percent of Lincoln’s growth in December.

Continental sales in December totaled 1,845 vehicles, up from November’s 1,419, outselling the Audi A6 and Lexus GS, according to sales data reported by the respective automakers.

Record sales in China

Having introduced its full vehicle lineup to China in 2015, Lincoln is now the fastest-growing luxury brand there.

Lincoln sold 32,558 vehicles in China in 2016 – a near threefold increase over 2015. Its strong performance was supported by customers’ positive reception to the brand’s SUVs, and a growing number of dealerships there, which reached 65 last year.

Source: Link


About The Lincoln Motor Company

The Lincoln Motor Company (also known simply as Lincoln) is a division of the U.S.-based Ford Motor Company that sells luxury vehicles under the Lincoln brand. Founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, Lincoln has been a subsidiary of Ford since 1922. While currently sold primarily in North America, Ford introduced the Lincoln brand to China in 2014. Lincoln vehicles are also officially sold in the Middle East and South Korea.

SMART ENGINEERING EARNS ALL-NEW FORD F-250 SUPER DUTY CREW CAB 4X2 FIVE-STAR OVERALL GOVERNMENT CRASH RATING

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Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4×2
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4×2 with a five-star overall vehicle score in its New Car Assessment Program – the highest possible rating – making this all-new truck the safest Super Duty ever
  • Frontal driver rating improves to five stars; side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars
  • Safety starts with Super Duty’s backbone – a fully boxed frame that is 95 percent high-strength steel; and its segment-exclusive high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 30, 2017 – The 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4×2’s smart engineering has earned the all-new truck the government’s highest possible crash rating of five stars – adding safety to its strengths as the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever.

The 2017 F-Series Super Duty is the only heavy-duty pickup truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest safety rating.

Thanks to its robust design, advanced materials and safety features developed by the Ford truck team, the 2017 model earns a five-star overall vehicle score in the agency’s New Car Assessment Program, as well as a five-star rating for frontal driver crash tests. Side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars.

Super Duty’s improved performance is enabled by weight savings of up to 350 pounds through the use of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body and box. This leads to more local frame stiffness at strategic locations to deliver considerable improvement in occupant protection. The weight savings is then reinvested into an all-new fully boxed frame that is more than 95 percent high-strength steel and up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame.

But Ford didn’t stop with the truck’s body and frame – Super Duty sets a new level of technology availability for the segment. Options such as 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, lane-keeping alert and inflatable seatbelts help the driver to have more confidence and control while towing and hauling heavy loads from job site to job site.

Via Ford

Toyota loses global sales crown to VW as U.S. trade barriers loom

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FRANKFURT — Toyota Motor lost its title as the world’s best-selling automaker to Volkswagen Group, ending the Japanese company’s four-year reign, as demand for its flagship Camry sedan waned in the U.S. and sales in China expanded at a slower pace than the overall market.

Toyota’s global sales, including its Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands, rose 0.2 percent to 10.2 million vehicles in 2016, the Japanese automaker said on Monday. That fell short of VW Group’s record 10.3 million cars, trucks and buses, a 3.8 percent gain.

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By another key yardstick, however, Toyota continues to outperform its European rival. Toyota’s profit was more than double Volkswagen’s in the six months through September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Both the companies haven’t reported earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Toyota’s sales last year lagged behind Volkswagen mainly due to the changing dynamics in the both automakers’ largest overseas markets: the U.S. and China. While the Japanese company was hampered by a broad U.S. auto industry sales slowdown, VW benefited from its growth in China and a tax cut there that has stoked consumer demand since 2015.

Looking ahead, Toyota must contend with possible trade tensions as U.S. President Donald Trump pressures foreign automakers to make more cars and trucks in the U.S. VW, meanwhile, faces decelerating demand in China as the tax reduction expires.

Since his inauguration, Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord, reaffirmed a campaign promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement involving Mexico and met with automakers to persuade them to keep production within the U.S.

Toyota will invest $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, maintaining its pace of spending during the last half decade, joining other manufacturers with highlighting projects in response to pressure from Trump to create jobs in America. After criticizing Toyota’s plans to build a Corolla plant in Mexico, Trump rebuked Japan last week for sending the U.S. hundreds of thousands of cars from what he said were “the biggest ships I’ve ever seen.”

“Trump is a bigger risk for Toyota than for Volkswagen because the German carmaker has a small exposure to the U.S. market,” said Ken Miyao, an analyst at Tokyo-based market researcher Carnorama. “Toyota has made investment to build a new plant in Mexico and will have limited options to appeal to Trump.”

U.S. production

Toyota built its first U.S. assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, three decades ago, in part to appease Washington during an era of icy trade ties. Since then, it has added factories in the country.

Last year Toyota built more than 1.38 million cars and trucks in the U.S., behind only General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Still, Toyota’s production was about 1 million vehicles short of its sales in the country. Any push for investment growth will come up against a U.S. auto market that is likely to wane after a reaching a peak in 2016.

“The development of the U.S. market is set to decide if VW can stay ahead of Toyota this year,” Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank, said. “If the Chinese and European markets continue to be solid and the U.S. market weakens as I expect, VW might stay first in 2017 as Toyota has a larger exposure to North America.”

The Japanese automaker’s deliveries in the U.S. declined last year, trailing industrywide growth, as demand for its Camry slowed ahead of the introduction of the next generation of America’s best-selling sedan. The latest iteration of the model was unveiled at the Detroit auto show earlier this month.

Deliveries of Toyota in China climbed 8.2 percent in 2016, compared with the industrywide sales growth of 15 percent.

Top slot

In 2008, Toyota ended GM’s 77-year reign as the world’s largest automaker, holding on to the top annual sales spot until 2011, when it surrendered the title after production was disrupted by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. The Japanese company regained the lead in 2012 and kept the position through 2015.

For Volkswagen, taking the global sales crown marks the culmination of an aggressive expansion that former CEO Martin Winterkorn began 10 years ago. While surging demand in China and expansion of the upscale Audi and Porsche brands’ line-ups have propelled sales gains, the group’s growth hit a wall in September 2015, when the carmaker and U.S. regulators revealed that some of its diesel engines carried software to cheat on emissions tests.

Volkswagen’s namesake brand accounted for almost 6 million of the group’s global deliveries in 2016. The marque is targeting sales of 3 million cars this year in China, the company’s biggest national market. In Germany, its second-largest market, the division is reducing its large leasing fleet for employees, which started to hurt new-car registrations toward the end of last year.

Via ANE

Gestamp launches its first hot stamping plant in India

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Gestamp, a Spanish multinational company specialised in the design, development and manufacture of metal components for the automotive industry, has launched a new plant specialised in hot stamping in Pune (India). The company has invested €36 million in the new facility that will provide services for Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA), Ford and Tata.

The company announced this investment at the Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT) which was held in Pune. The new plant, the construction of which has been completed, has begun to manufacture previous series and is scheduled to begin serial production in May this year.

The new Pune plant will employ 130 people in 2017 and will involve the introduction of hot stamping in the country. The launch of this technology in India by Gestamp will enable the latter to provide much of its industrial capabilities in this market.

Loire Gestamp, a company from the Group specialising in the design and manufacture of press lines, has installed in the new plant a hot stamping line with a 1,200 ton press, incorporating automatic connections for changing tools, thermal imagers and a monitoring system.

In this regard, the Chairman and CEO of Gestamp, Francisco Riberas, remarked: “The installation of a technology such as hot stamping is synonymous with the confidence our company has in a very dynamic market such as India’s, in which regulatory changes aiming to improve the safety of vehicles in case of collision will demand new solutions from manufacturers and suppliers.”

The third Gestamp plant in India

Gestamp’s new plant in India is the third in this market, where €150 million have been invested since the group’s arrival in 2008. In addition, the company has an R&D centre in which work is carried out to lighten the weight of vehicles, thereby increasing their safety.

The Spanish multinational is already working with Ford, Volkswagen Skoda, Renault Nissan and FCA in India. Since Gestamp began operations in India, its turnover has increased almost nine-fold, from €19 million in 2008 to €157 million in 2015.

The Indian automotive market is the sixth largest market worldwide. It has experienced, according to IHS, a year-on-year increase in production volume of 8.7% since 2008. This growth is more than double the global growth accumulated during the same period, situated at 3.9%.

A global provider in hot stamping

Hot stamping is one of the solutions that allow manufacturers to reduce the weight of the body in white structure, resulting in reduced emissions. In addition, the hot stamping process improves the vehicle’s behaviour in case of collision and contributes to passenger safety.

Gestamp is one of the world’s largest providers of parts made by hot stamping, with an industrial model that covers the entire value chain, including press lines and dies manufacturing.

The company has more than 70 hot stamping lines around the world. Thanks to this technology, the weight of body in white parts is reduced by up to 30%.

Via Gestamp press release