Kia Motors to finalize it’s plant location in India by this August

Hyundai’s sister company Kia Motors to zero in on it’s plant location in India by August. Production to start in 2019 with initial capacity of 3 lac vehicles.

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According to Reuters, South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp is expected to pick a site next month for its first factory in India, stepping up plans to start making cars in one of the world’s fast-growing auto markets, two people familiar with the matter said.

The move would enable Kia to leverage the existing supplier base of its affiliate Hyundai Motor Co, India’s second-biggest automaker by sales. The proposed factory would start production in 2019 and eventually have capacity to make 300,000 Kia vehicles a year, one of the people told a major bet for a firm that sold 3.05 million vehicles last year.

The Korean pair, jointly the world’s No.5 carmaker, are chasing new business after missing annual targets in 2015 for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. Their combined sales fell 2 percent in first-half 2016, hit by weakness in markets like China, Russia and Brazil.

India is likely to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020, according to IHS, up from fifth place now, with annual sales nearly doubling to about 5 million vehicles from 2.7 million in 2015.

The size of Kia’s investment has yet to be decided, one of the people said, declining to identify which models will be produced at the factory. Kia is best known as a maker of relatively inexpensive cars, like the Rio sub-compact.

Three sites are under consideration for the plant, and Kia may announce the plan in September after deciding on a location in August, the second person said.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the project was confidential.

The states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have all been wooing Kia, according to two other people with knowledge of the matter. One of the two, an official with the Andhra Pradesh administration, said the state – which neighbors Tamil Nadu, home of Hyundai’s existing plants near Chennai – is the frontrunner.

Kia said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday that it was “continually evaluating potential locations for overseas manufacturing facilities, including India, to secure additional engines for future growth. However, as of now no concrete plans have been finalised.”

MARUTI CHALLENGE?

Hyundai started India production nearly two decades ago and has two factories in India that make cars for the domestic market and for export to Europe and elsewhere.

The firm trails only Maruti Suzuki India Ltd in sales in India, and has an extensive service and dealer network that gives it an advantage over global rivals that have struggled to build market share including General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen.

Kia’s South Korea factories accounted for 57 percent of its sales last year. It also has plants in China, the United States and Slovakia, and its first Mexico factory began production earlier this year.

For the time being most cars sold in India are small. Hyundai sells several low-priced vehicles in the country, which could present a challenge in terms of market positioning for Kia, which would not want to cannibalise Hyundai sales.

Hyundai shares parts and vehicle underpinnings with Kia, which Hyundai bought at the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1998. Differentiating their brands has been a challenge, as they compete in similar segments and markets.

via: Reuters

Hero MotoCorp to phase out all the models under licensing agreement with Honda

Ignitor, Impulse, Passion xPro, Maestro are going to be phased out by April 2017

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India’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp will terminate sales of some of its models like the Maestro, Ignitor, Impulse and Passion xPro which were acquired under a licensing agreement with former partner Honda. The discontinuation will happen by the end of the current financial year.

According to Hero, they has achieved a significant milestone by launching the all-new Splendor iSmart 110. The automaker believes it has sufficient capability to develop new products for global customers. Hero has already got the Maestro Edge to replace the older version of the Maestro while sales of two-wheelers like the Ignitor, Impulse and Passion xPro is limited.

Recently the company launched its first in-house designed and developed motorcycle, the Splendor iSmart 110, which has a price tag of Rs. 53,000/- (ex-showroom, Delhi). Also, the company is looking at replacing its old models with new models developed on its own new technology.

The Hero Splendor iSmart 110 comes with an all-new engine developed at the company’s innovation centre in Jaipur. Hero MotoCorp has designed the new chassis and body for the new Splendor which results in savings on royalty payments to Honda.

The world’s largest selling 2-wheeler brand is planning to enter 50 new markets while setting up 20 manufacturing facilities across the globe, targeting an annual turnover of Rs. 60,000 crores by the end of this decade. However, due to some uncertain economic conditions in Africa, Latin and Central America, Hero MotorCorp has been facing some heat in its global ambitions.

Indian Govt is in talks with Tesla motors; Offered land to establish a factory.

Nitin Gadkari visits the Tesla electric car manufacturing unit, in San Francisco

Indian government was committed to encourage pollution-free transport by providing incentives to bio-fuel, CNG, ethanol and electric vehicles. And also encouraging Indian carmakers to make investments in that direction.

Less than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla’s state-of-the-art factory in Fremont, California, his government has invited American electric car maker to set up a manufacturing hub for South and South East Asia in India.Nitin Gadkari, minister of road transport and highways, who visited the company’s San Francisco factory on Friday, offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate exports, an official statement said.The minister offered to promote joint ventures between the global leader in electric car technology and Indian automobile companies to introduce pollution-free road transport in India.Gadkari not only showed interest in electric cars but also battery-powered commercial and public vehicles. He said Indian government was committed to encourage pollution-free transport by providing incentives to bio-fuel, CNG, ethanol and electric vehicles.

The official statement quoted a senior Tesla executive as saying, the Indian government’s offer would be considered at an appropriate time.Replying to a query from the highways minister regarding manufacturing of electric trucks, buses and two-wheelers, Tesla said they plan to manufacture trucks and pick-up vans but not buses and two-wheelers. Tesla team evinced interest in knowing about subsidy on electric vehicles in India. Gadkari asked the company executives to outline their proposal for entry into India.

As part of his Silicon Valley visit last year, Modi had toured Tesla factory in California. Tesla CEOElon Musk showed Modi the cutting-edge robotic auto assembly plant. The PM was also shown the inside of a lithium-ion battery pack, which powers Tesla’s cars.

Musk and Modi had said they saw batteries and solar panels as the future of electricity generation in India. Musk, also CEO of SpaceX, had said, just like India skipped landlines and went straight to cell phones, it could skip traditional grid power and adopt distributed solar and battery packs.

Even though Tesla cars have become quite popular among some of the wealthiest Indians, there is still no infrastructure of electric cars in India. According to analysts, there was a huge potential for Tesla’s batteries combined with solar panels in India. Tesla’s grid batteries have also found overwhelming demand across the world.

“Given high local demand, a Gigafactory in India would probably make sense in the long term,” Musk had told reporters after Modi’s visit. Electric cars use lithium ion batteries and a manufacturing facility for such batteries is called Gigafactory.

Indian carmakers have also shown keen interest in partnering with Tesla to popularize electric cars and develop infrastructure. On the other hand, In China, Tesla has 15 stores and there are about 350 Superchargers and more than 1,600 destination chargers.

On Thursday, Musk, announced that he was close to releasing “Top Secret Tesla Masterplan, Part 2.” The new corporate manifesto is likely to connect the dots between Tesla’s myriad projects, including its proposal to acquire solar installer SolarCity Corp. Tesla’s website, which historically has focused on clean transportation, now said the mission was to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Speculation about the future of the company — a potential green conglomerate that integrates rooftop solar, energy storage and increasingly autonomous, fully electric cars — has sparked imaginations of analysts and boosted confidence. That’s despite a customer using Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist technology being killed in a crash in Florida, subsequent safety and possible securities investigations, the defection of a manufacturing executive to Facebook and missing yet another sales target.

In August 2006, Musk published “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan,” which laid out the rationale for building increasingly affordable electric cars while also providing zero-emission electric-power generation options. But it’s not just about the cars. Tesla has always focused on the vehicles as well as their fuel — in this case their growing network of Supercharger stations and efforts to increasingly clean the electric grid that powers them.

And while the mission of the company has historically been to “accelerate the advent of electric transportation,” Tesla’s website now said the mission is about sustainable energy.

“Tesla is not just an automaker, but also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation,” says the website. In a call with analysts last month, Musk talked about the need for the Tesla Powerwall for the home to be designed in tandem with solar panels, as one integrated, Tesla-branded system. He was as bullish on solar as he has been on electric cars.

“Like, only about 1 per cent of US homes have solar, so you have a massive addressable market that’s unserved and there’s at least 40 million to 60 million households that where solar — where they could do solar if they wanted to,” said Musk. “So if the economics were right and they like the aesthetics and it was easy to do, then they would do it. So the future market there is really gigantic.”

In 2013, India introduced a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) to have six million electric vehicles, including two-wheelers, by 2020. Government aims to provide fiscal and monetary incentives to popularise the nascent technology. If this plan becomes a reality, India could save 9,500 million litres of crude oil equivalent to Rs 62,000 crore savings.

Tesla vrooms

* Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers, including Elon Musk, in Silicon Valley. Before Tesla, Musk founded X.com in 1999, SpaceX in 2002
* Musk made headlines in May 2012 when SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station
* In late 2014, Musk unveiled two dual motor all-wheel drive configurations of Model S that further improve the vehicle’s handling and performance
* Over 50,000 vehicles were manufactured by Tesla, till last year. They are produced at the company’s factory in Fremont, California
* The Tesla Factory has returned thousands of jobs to the area and is capable of producing 1,000 cars a week, according to information on the company’s official website. The same factory was previously home to New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors
* Tesla is expanding its manufacturing footprint into other areas, including in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where it has an assembly facility, and Lathrop, California, where it has a specialized production plant
* According to some international media reports, Tesla plans to double its total production output to 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and 1 million in 2020

Source: Business-Standard