Category — Automobile

America’s Jeep Returns to India with $280 Million Investment

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it will invest approximately $280 million in its manufacturing joint venture, Fiat India Automobiles, with Tata Motors. The manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, located around 31 miles (50 km) from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, will support the production of a new Jeep vehicle. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2017.

FCA Plant

FCA Plant

The announcement was made as a delegation, led by the State of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, met with Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, FCA Global and other company representatives in the North American headquarters of Fiat in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is pursuing ambitious sales targets for Jeep and other group brands under a turnaround plan outlined last year says Europe Auto News. By 2018, the car maker aims almost to double the 1 million Jeep sales recorded in 2014. The Indian investment is an “important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world”, Marchionne said in a company statement. “We are pleased that this investment will strengthen FCA presence in India and are confident in the ability of the joint venture to produce world class products like those carrying the legendary Jeep nameplate,” he added.

Jeep’s expansion plan relies heavily on India, set to become the world’s third-largest auto market behind China and the United States by 2020, according to forecaster IHS Automotive.

Autocar India says setting up a plant is likely to get easier for Fiat as the Maharashtra government recently announced that it was working towards reducing the number of approvals required for setting up an auto manufacturing plant or any other industrial unit in the state to 25 from the current requirement of 76.

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July 9, 2015   No Comments

Why Did Tata Motors succeed in integrating Jaguar Land Rover?

Very soon after Tata Motors bought the UK companies Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford Motor Company, the world was hit by the financial crisis of 2008. Most automotive experts thought that Tata could have acquired these assets for much less. Others felt that a low cost maker of sub-compacts and small trucks had no chance of running two storied luxury brands. Land Rover had changed hands a number of times already. Jaguar owners were lamenting the Ford engines on their cars.

But reality has redeemed Tata Motors and  the revenue graph shows the success of Tata Motors.

JLR_revenue 2008-2012

Here is a brilliant mini case study of how this remarkable story took shape. Take a moment to review and digest it.

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July 6, 2015   No Comments

Polaris JV Produces Low-Cost Mini-Pickup for India

A joint venture between  Polaris Industries  based in Medina, Minnesota and India’s Eicher Motors has designed a purpose-built vehicle that has a three-fold function: a family car, a pickup van, and a power generator. Priced at $3,670 the Multix has a “tubular frame structure and roll-over protection system that provides structural stability and reinforced safety.” Small enough to steer through congested city roads, it has an independent suspension system and 225 millimeters of ground clearance to tackle rough terrains.

Multix Mini Pickup

Multix

With its dual cab structure, the Multix seats a family of five and has ample space for luggage too. By folding the back seats it converts into a mini pickup that can be used for business purposes. However, the pickup’s unique feature is what it calls the X-PORT—which acts as a generator to give out up to three kilowatts of power to light homes, and power professional equipment such as drilling machines, DJ systems, and water pumps reports The Wall Street Journal.

“We have identified a large, untapped segment in independent businessmen with an estimated population of 58 million in India, and are committed to create a new and strongly differentiated automotive solution for them through ‘Multix’,” said Siddhartha Lal, managing director and chief executive of Eicher Motors, in a statement.

Located in Jaipur in the western state of Rajasthan, the Eicher Polaris factory can produce up to 60,000 vehicles each year, which can be doubled if needed, according to the company.

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July 3, 2015   No Comments

Will We See a Made in India Ford on U.S. Dealer Lots?

The 2017 Ford Ecosport could be the first car to be exported to the U.S. market from India from Ford’s new manufacturing and engine plant in Sanand, Gujarat.

Spread across 460 acres, the plant is an integrated facility comprising of a vehicle manufacturing facility and an engine plant. Ford has invested over $1 million in this venture which has an initial annual production capacity of 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines of which the company is expecting to ship out around 90,000 units every year.

Ford's New Plant at Sanand, IndiaIndiancarsbikes.in reports that up until now many manufacturers have tried to tap into the U.S. market, though their efforts have not been successful because of several reasons. However, if Ford manages to get through with their idea, then it will be a first-of-its-kind feat for the Indian manufacturing industry, where  a given brand will be importing cars to its homeland from an Indian subsidiary unit. The Korean company Hyundai, earlier moved some production lines entirely to India but the products where shipped to Africa and eastern Europe for the most part.

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June 11, 2015   No Comments

Make in India: Aequs Commences New Automotive Manufacturing Facility

In the latest example of a commitment to the Make in India’ initiative, Aequs Automotive, headquartered in Bangalore, announced the inauguration of its new 100% export-oriented automotive manufacturing facility in Belagavi. Located in the state of Karnataka, Belagavi is India’s first precision engineering special economic zone.

The 27,000 square feet facility will manufacture engine, transmission and hydraulic components for passenger and commercial vehicles for export to Aequs customers such as Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Bosch Group, Danaher Group, and Eaton Corporation.

Aequs Automotive in Belagavi

Aequs Automotive in Belagavi

Rajeev Kaul, Group CFO and Managing Director, India of Aequs said, “The launch of this new manufacturing facility and our planned investment of an additional $5 million to upgrade the facility over the next two to three years reflect our confidence in India’s ascension as a major automotive manufacturing hub and in our ability to serve the needs of our global customers.”

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June 10, 2015   No Comments