Following the global Micra recall for the hatchback manufactured by Nissan UK and Nissan Japan, the car maker’s recall attention is now focused on India. The made-in-India Nissan Micra hatchback and Sunny sedan have come under the recall scanner and as many as 67,089 Micras and Sunnys have been recalled from across the globe. In India, Nissan has issued a recall for 22,188 units of the Micra and the Sunny built at the Oragadam factory, off Chennai.
South Korean car maker Hyundai kept the Accent in production even as successive generations of the car arrived into the Indian car market. Now though, it could be curtains for the Hyundai Accent in the Indian car market as Hyundai India is said to have stopped producing the sedan for the Indian car market. This information traces its roots to the folks at CarWale, who claim to have spoken to Hyundai dealers, who in turn are said to have confirmed that they’ve been forced to stop taking new orders for the mid size entry level C-Segment sedan.
With the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, American car maker General Motors, has made a comeback into the diesel car market in the United States, more than two decades after it exited the diesel car market in the US of A. The GM Chevelle was the last diesel engined car that General Motors sold in the United States before production ended in 1986. The diesel powered Chevrolet Cruze will take on the Volkswagen Jetta Diesel even as General Motors seeks to gain a toehold in the growing diesel car market of the United States. To this end, the American car maker has begun selling the Cruze Diesel in 13 locations across the United States and in the second half of this year, nationwide sales are set to commence.
The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel sold in the United States will be powered by a 2 liter turbo diesel engine running a variable geometry turbocharger. This engine outputs 151 Bhp-358 Nm, and is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission as standard. A high fuel efficiency of 17.8 Kmpl is the major selling point for the Cruze Diesel in the US of A. Notably, the Indian and European versions of the Cruze now come with an all new Z-Series turbo diesel engine, also displacing 2 liters, but with a host of improvements such as a chain drive replacing the timing belt, higher turbo boost pressure and better power-torque outputs at 165 Bhp-380 Nm. The Cruze Diesel sold in the USA starts at $25,695.
The Cruze Diesel is more powerful than its chief competitor, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, as the Jetta’s 2 Liter TDI turbo diesel engine outputs 140 Bhp-320 Nm. Also, the Cruze Diesel packs in more features for lesser money than the Jetta. That said, the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel does have the odds stacked up against it considering the superior build, handling and solidity that its German rival brings to the table.
Badge engineering, a method of launching an identical car across brands with different exterior styling and rebadging, has failed to work in India. The Renault-Nissan car making alliance in India has spawned rebadged cars such as the Renault Pulse(Rebadged Nissan Micra) and the Renault Scala(Rebadged Nissan Sunny). Far from boosting market shares of the Nissan and Renault, these rebadged cars have actually proven to be slow sellers and in the case of the Micra and the Pulse, rebadging is said to have led to cannibalization of the Micra’s sales. Going forward, Renault-Nissan plans to shift tactics and stop brand engineering for the Indian car market.
Here’s official word from Mr Kenichero Yomura, President of Nissan’s India operations,
India is a very competitive market and we came in late. In order to be cost competitive we needed to be a big volume player from the beginning. We shared products with Renault and both companies sell products in domestic and export (market). By doing that we achieved big volumes in three years. But we will not see the cross-badged models. It was only for the beginning not anymore.
In that light, The Nissan Duster-based SUV lined up for the Indian car market during the second half of 2013 is expected to be the last badge engineered product launched by Renault-Nissan in India. That said, Renault-Nissan will continue to manufacture cars from the joint production facility at Oragadam, off Chennai. The joint production facility currently churns out the entire range of cars that Nissan and Renault sell in India. The same status will be maintained in the future as well. Also, the Renault-Nissan joint production facility will also continue to focus on exporting cars to global markets.
Coming to the Nissan SUV based on the Renault Duster, the SUV is expected to be priced lower than the Duster. The SUV will share the K9K turbo diesel engine from the Duster and it remains to be seen whether Nissan will also launch a petrol version of the Duster based SUV considering the minimal demand for petrol engined SUVs in India. The Renault Duster based Nissan SUV will feature a full restyling, to make it look quite distinct from the Duster. Also, the Renault badges will be dumped for Nissan ones with the interiors too expected to see a once over.
Spyshots of the Yamaha Ray Z have hit the interweb courtesy the good folks at YamahaFreaks. From the looks of it, the Yamaha Ray Z is a modified Yamaha Ray, replete with a new paint job and a bikini fairing up front. While the two tone paint job on the Ray Z makes the already ravishing Ray look sharper than ever, the automatic scooter also gets all black front forks to add to the effect. Speculations around the Yamaha Ray Z suggest that this scooter is the Japanese two wheeler major’s option for men, given the fact that the Ray was squarely targeted at the fairer sex.
If that’s the case, the Ray Z could be more of a reskinned Ray rather than a scooter with a more powerful engine. The 113cc four stroke motor of the Ray could be carried over to the Ray Z. Given the Ray’s petite dimensions, which seem to be carried over to the Ray Z, it’ll be interesting to see how Yamaha will market the Ray Z, if indeed the two wheeler major is aiming at selling the scooter to men. Later today, Yamaha has an event lined up and this event is expected to see the announcement of the Ray Z given the fact that the automatic scooter has already reached dealerships across the country.
Coming from another angle, the Yamaha Ray Z could also be an automatic scooter that’s adds some pizzaz to the original Ray rather than being a scooter aimed at men. Yamaha is known to dress up its two wheelers(Think FZ and FZ-S) time and again with new paint jobs. Whatever be the case, we’ll know Yamaha’s official stance about the Ray Z automatic scooter in the next few hours. So until then, keep an eye on this space.
Spyshot courtesy YamahaFreaks
The word is now out in the open and it’s official. The hotly anticipated Ford EcoSport compact crossover will be launched in India during June 2013. This information has been conveyed by Ford India’s marketing team to everyone who registers for more information on the EcSport, through a mass email. Around 100 Ford EcoSports are currently participating in the EcoSport Discoveries contest, a unique method through which Ford India is building buzz around what promises to be the most important car launch of the year. Bookings for the Ford EcoSport are expected to begin in early June.