Yamaha Motor India steps up as official sponsor for Yamaha MotoGP team

  • As part of the sponsorship agreement, the factory Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes will carry ‘The Call of the Blue’ tagline for Yamaha India.
The Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes will carry ‘The Call of the Blue’ brand campaign name on the front cowl

India Yamaha Motor has announced that the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturer will now be an official sponsor of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team for the upcoming season. The move deepens Yamaha India’s relationship with the factory MotoGP team for the 2024 season, especially with the success of the inaugural Indian GP held in September last year. MotoGP is set to return this year.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the factory Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes will carry Yamaha India’s ‘The Call of the Blue’ tagline. The line will feature on the front cowls of riders Fabio Quartararo’s and Alex Rins’ race bikes. Yamaha’s ‘The Call of the Blue’ brand campaign was introduced to reignite the connection that the manufacturer has had with young customers in India. It also marked the brand’s focus on the premium motorcycle and scooter segment in the country, moving away from entry-level commuters.

Also Read : Eurosport reacquires MotoGP broadcast rights in India for 2024.

Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha India
Yamaha India says this is the first of its kind investment by the company to promote motorsports culture in the country

Commenting on the announcement, Eishin Chihana, Chairman – Yamaha Motor India Group said, “IYM is thrilled to become the newest sponsor of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team for the 2024 season. The collaboration not only strengthens our bond with MotoGP but also signifies a new phase of aspiration and enthusiasm for Yamaha enthusiasts in India. By prominently featuring ‘The Call of the Blue’ logo on Fabio Quartararo’s and Alex Rins’s YZR-M1 bikes, we aim to ignite greater enthusiasm among young Indian fans to embrace Yamaha’s legacy associated with the thrill of racing. This collaboration is a big step in our journey to connect with the youth and Yamaha fans in India.”

Yamaha has had a long association with MotoGP, being one of the strongest factory teams in the premier-class championship. Yamaha Racing has a history of over 500 Grand Prix wins and is also an engine supplier to several satellite teams. The team has been behind some of the biggest names in the sport right from Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Phil Read, Valentino Rossi and now Fabio.

Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP
The 2024 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes will be piloted by riders Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins in the upcoming season

Yamaha says the investment in the manufacturer’s MotoGP team is the first of its kind by the brand to promote motorsports culture in India, while also creating more awareness about the company’s technological prowess in the world of racing. The Indian GP is scheduled to take place between September 20-22, 2024, with the action returning to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC).

First Published Date: 26 Feb 2024, 16:49 PM IST


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Ceat Indian Supercross Racing League winners: BigRock Motorsports wins title in Bangalore


BigRock Motorsports clinched the title in three categories with Matt Moss (450cc international), Reid Taylor (250cc international), and Thanarat Penjan (250cc India-Asia mix).

Rally heavyweight CS Santosh’s team BigRock Motorsports has been crowned the first-ever winner of the Ceat Indian Supercross Racing League (ISRL). The team clinched the title in dominant fashion on home turf, after the farmer’s protest forced a last-moment change in venue from Delhi to Bengaluru.

  1. Matt Moss defeats Jordi Tixier by four points in 450cc international class
  2. BigRock Motorsports outscored Mohite’s Racing Team by 82 points

Indian Supercross Racing League winners

For its inaugural season, the ISRL featured four different classes – 450cc international, 250cc international, 250cc India-Asia mix and, finally, Junior 85cc. Some big names from the Indian racing community – including CS Santosh and Arjuna award winner Gaurav Gill – along with brands like Reise Moto, fielded their own teams. Honda, KTM and Kawasaki provided the bikes for different teams.

Heading into the finale, BigRock Motorsports held a lead of 50 points over former Volkswagen Motorsport factory driver Dhruv Mohite’s team. The other teams put up a tough fight at the finale, with BB Racing’s Jordi Tixier, SG Speed Racers’ Hugo Manzato, BB Racing’s Athison Ruadreo and Mohite’s Racing Team’s Ben Prasit Hallgren all scoring wins. Tixier even made it a clean sweep after winning the All Stars race, featuring the top finishers from the senior classes.

But BigRock Motorsports played the team game, pushing just enough to avoid any unnecessary errors. And it paid off, with the team emerging as the champion in all three classes, outscoring Mohite’s Racing Team by a massive 82 points.

Matt Moss defeated Tixier by just four points to win the 450cc international title. Reid Taylor took home the 250cc international trophy after defeating Manzato by 15 points. And finally, Thanarat Penjan outscored Ruadreo by 10 points to win the 250cc India-Asia mix title.

Speaking about the road ahead for BigRock Motorsports, now that the first season has wrapped up, Team Principal Ashok George said,  “We’ve been running in-house races for a while and this [racing in ISRL] extends that storyline that we’ve built. So, in that sense it is a very long-term plan for us and a big part of that is tying up with our partners all around the world, creating a rider development programme that is comprehensive.”

“With a lot of the guys and girls that we have now, over the course of the first season we have seen a massive improvement in how they ride. So, we are hoping that we can keep that going.”

BB Racing finished third overall, followed by SG Speed Racers in fourth, Reise Motorsports in fifth and Gujarat Trailblazers in sixth place.

Despite the last-minute change of venue, over 8,000 spectators turned up at the Bengaluru finale. “We have set a new global record with the maximum physical representation anywhere in the world for a Supercross event,” said Veer Patel, co-founder of the ISRL.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see our collective dream to take shape in reality. I am confident that with the support of FMSI, FIM, racing teams and all partners we will make India as the focal point for Supercross in the world.”

Also see:

Indian Supercross Racing League: CS Santosh’s BigRock Motorsports leads after Round 1




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VinFast walks Tesla route in India, seeks import duty cut for electric cars

VinFast is currently in the process of constructing a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The company has urged the Indian gov

Vinfast has urged the Indian government to reconsider the 100% import duty on fully-built EVs. (Bloomberg)

Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer VinFast has approached the Indian government with a request to temporarily reduce import duties on its cars for approximately two years, a report by Reuters stated. This move aims to facilitate customer acceptance of VinFast’s products until the company’s local manufacturing plant becomes operational.

The request aligns with VinFast’s strategy to establish a presence in India, similar to the approach taken by American EV giant Tesla, which had also expressed interest in a duty reduction but faced a denial from the Indian government.

VinFast is currently in the process of constructing a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The company’s India CEO, Pham Sanh Chau, has indicated that production is slated to commence by mid-2023, initially focusing on domestic sales before venturing into exports. VinFast’s investment plans in Tamil Nadu, in collaboration with the state government, entail a total investment of up to $2 billion, with an initial commitment of $500 million for the first five years of operations.

VinFast, akin to Tesla, has urged the Indian government to reconsider the 100% import duty on fully-built EVs, a stance that has been met with opposition from domestic automakers. While India, as the world’s third-largest vehicle market, is contemplating the requests, no definitive decision has been reached yet, as per a government official.

Also Read : Centre yet to finalise import tax on EVs as Tesla gets ready for India

Chau highlighted VinFast’s proposal for a temporary reduction in import duty, suggesting bringing it down to 70% to 80% for a limited number of cars over two years. This approach, he believes, will help Indian customers acclimatise to VinFast’s offerings. While the central government deliberates on this proposal, VinFast remains committed to advancing its manufacturing facility’s construction.

India’s EV market is still nascent, accounting for just about 2% of total car sales in the previous year. However, the federal government has set an ambitious target of achieving a 30% market share for EVs by 2030, and is actively working on programs to attract EV manufacturers.

VinFast’s Tamil Nadu project is expected to have an annual capacity of up to 150,000 vehicles, complementing its main plant in Vietnam with a capacity of 250,000 vehicles annually. The company is already collaborating with around 55 Indian dealers to establish a robust sales network and is also considering introducing its two-wheeler models in the country in the future.

First Published Date: 25 Feb 2024, 15:45 PM IST


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Mecides replica cars; Porsche Cayenne, Ford Bronco, Mercedes G Wagen, Aston Martin DBX

Portfolio of all-electric, near-life-size replicas made by Mecides include Porsches, Mercs, Aston Martins, Land Rovers, Fords, Volkswagens and more.

In recent years, Chinese automakers have been working hard to change the negative stereotype of being called copycats – at least in terms of design – by coming up with relatively more original creations. However, certain companies in China continue to take advantage of the relaxed copyright laws, allowing them to use copyrighted designs without seeking the original creator’s permission.

One such company is Mecides, a new startup that is pushing the boundaries of replica design with its range of mini electric trucks and SUVs, which often resemble miniatures of well-known models. The lineup is vast and includes luxury models, rugged trucks, and mainstream cars and SUVs. Despite their obviously different dimensions, it appears that all of the EVs share the same basic underpinnings, making the choice among them a matter of personal preference.

‘Premium’ offerings 

Rangie Sport or Maruti Brezza?

One of the most interesting parts of Mecides’s lineup is its range of luxury car replicas. These unusual designs may not fool anyone into thinking you actually own an original, but their resemblance to their much pricier counterparts is remarkable. For example, the Mecides MBJD draws inspiration from the 2009 Bugatti 16C Galibier Concept, complete with a chrome-finished horseshoe grille and LED headlamp setup. Other notable replicas include minis of Porsche models like the Cayenne and Macan, Aston Martin’s DBX, and the Maserati Grecale. A fun fact about the Grecale lookalike is that it features a Porsche-style emblem on its nose, leaving owners to source the correct Trident logo themselves. Additionally, Mecides offers a mini that looks like the Range Rover Sport, but also bears a striking resemblance to the Maruti Suzuki Brezza.

‘Rugged’ replicas

RAM 1500 replica really gives off Toyota and Mahindra vibes.

Moving on to the rugged truck category, Mecides offers replicas that resemble various popular models. The Ford Bronco mini, for example, looks like a revamped Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, complete with an oversized grille and headlights that contrast the tiny wheels. The Mercedes G-Wagen replica is also noteworthy, although its underlying platform is claimed to be based on the Maruti Suzuki Jimny. For truck enthusiasts, Mecides has replicas of the Ram 1500 and the Toyota Tundra, both of which have been given a Chinese makeover. However, the Ram 1500 replica’s design also gives off a Mahindra Scorpio N and Toyota Hilux-like air.

‘Mass-market’ replicas

That’s supposed to be the Volkswagen ID.4.

Mecides also offers replicas of mainstream models, including the Mini Countryman JCW, Volkswagen ID.4, and Smart #1, all of which are fully electric. The replicas get a comfortable five-seater cabin. Each interior is equipped with a digital cockpit that mirrors the style of its respective model, although with cheaper materials.

Smaller, shorter and power(less)

The hatchback models range from 3,050mm to 3,800mm in length, while the long-wheelbase trucks can stretch up to 4,800mm. Despite their small size, all of these EVs come equipped with four-wheel disc brakes and conventional suspension parts. In some cases, power comes from a single 14hp electric motor, while in others, a 27hp motor is used. These numbers are comparable to heavy quadricycles in Europe, but the Chinese EVs weigh about 700kg, making them heavier and, likely, slower. The battery packs have a capacity of 26kWh, with driving ranges between 300km and 800km, depending on the version.

Mecides has not disclosed pricing details, but the company is currently accepting orders. While Mecides may not match established automakers in terms of originality or innovation, it serves a different market segment. With its relatively affordable replicas of popular models, it offers consumers the chance to enjoy the style and presence of luxury or mainstream models at a fraction of the price. 

Which one of these replicas would you spend good money on? Let us know your favourite (or the least favourite) in the comments below.

Also see:

Polaris builds a Lunar Rover replica

Toy Story: Hot Wheels Design Centre




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Actor Emraan Hashmi adds the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge to his garage

  • The images show the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge in all its glory while Emraan Hashmi was spotted taking a ride in his newest prized possession.
Actor Emraan Hashmi was seen in his new Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge at his residence recently (HT Auto)

Emraan Hashmi is celebrating his last movie release, Tiger 3, which has been a hit at the box office, and the actor certainly knows how to do it style. The actor was recently seen taking delivery of his new Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge adding the opulent luxury saloon to his garage. The Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge is as exclusive as they come in the exotic world with on-road prices stretching well over 12 crore.

The images show an all-black Rolls-Royce Ghost rolling into Hashmi’s residence while the actor was spotted taking a ride in his newest prized possession. Not many would know but Emraan has an affinity towards cars and has had the Lamborghini Huracan, Range Rover, Mercedes-Maybach S560 and more.

Also Read : Shah Rukh Khan splurges on Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge worth crores

Emraan Hash, mi Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge
The Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge shares its underpinnings with the new-gen Phantom VIII, while power comes from the 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine (HT Auto)

The Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge though sits on top of the automotive pyramid. The Black Badge version adds a special paint option to the car, giving it a pristine look. Under the paintwork is a lightweight aluminium spaceframe architecture shared with the new-generation Phantom VIII. The styling remains instantly recognisable but the new-gen Ghost now gets sleeker headlamps with laser-light technology and C-shaped LED DRLs. The profile retains the sloping roofline while the rear sports a new bumper and LED taillights. The Black Badge adds carbon alloy composite wheels.

The cabin is equally opulent on the Ghost Black Badge with the special model adding Turchese Leather and Technical Carbon veneer. You continue to get the star headliner and the best of craftsmanship inside the car. Rolls-Royce uses about 100 kg of soundproofing material inside the Ghost, while a soft background noise was added to mitigate the complete silence.

Emraan Hashmi Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge
The new Rolls-Royce Ghost BB joins Hashmi’s garage that has had a number of exotics including the Lamborghini Huracan, Range Rover, Mercedes-Maybach and more (HT Auto)

Power on the Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge comes from the 6.75-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 engine tuned for 592 bhp and 900 Nm of peak torque. The Black Badge makes slightly more power and torque over the standard version with the torque kicking in from just 1,600 rpm onwards. This allows the Ghost BB to be quick despite its weight of around 2.5 tonnes. 0-100 kmph comes up in 4.8 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 205 kmph. The Ghost gets an automatic transmission with power going to all four wheels for better traction.

Interestingly, Emraan Hashmi is the second actor from the Yashraj Films Spy Universe to get his hands on a Rolls-Royce Black Badge. Previously, actor Shah Rukh Khan added the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge to his garage last year following the success of Pathaan.

First Published Date: 13 Jan 2024, 17:56 PM IST


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Dakar 2023 Stage 6 results: Harith Noah in top 15; Hero 2nd overall


Hero MotoSports’ Ross Branch is now second overall; Joan Barreda Bort out due to mechanical issues.

The 2024 Dakar Rally has reached the halfway mark after the end of the gruelling 48 Hour Chrono stage. Indian rider Harith Noah made some big gains in this stage and has broken into the top 15 for the first time.

Unfortunately, the stage also marked the end of Hero MotoSports rider Joan Barreda Bort’s Dakar 2024 campaign, with the Spanish rider out due to mechanical issues. The Indian squad now only has one rider in the running – Ross Branch, who is currently second overall.

  1. Branch just 51 secs behind leader Brabec
  2. Noah P13 overall
  3. Loeb wins Stage 6, while Al-Attiyah drops down order

Harith Noah breaks into Dakar top 15

Stage 6 marked the debut of the new 48H chrono stage, which required competitors to cover over 600km across two days. They had until 4pm on the first day to cover as much ground as possible before stopping at the closest break zone. Competitors then set off at 7am next day to complete the rest of the stage.

It’s been a challenging first half of the Dakar Rally for Harith Noah, but he’s on course to record his best-ever Dakar finish. He set the 12th best time in Stage 6 to leapfrog to 13th place in the overall ranking.

Noah’s 20th place result in 2021 was the best-ever ranking achieved by an Indian at Dakar. Despite spending most of last year recovering from two major injuries, Noah recently told Autocar India that he was aiming for a top 15 finish this time around.

Branch, Hero MotoSports P2 overall

It was a stage of mixed fortunes for the two Hero MotoSports riders. Joan Barreda Bort encountered mechanical issues with his bike, 529km into the stage, and was unable to reach the finish line. This spells the end of his Dakar 2024 run since Rally GP competitors are not allowed to continue the rally if they don’t finish a stage.

But the Hero camp still has reasons to celebrate. Ross Branch successfully completed the stage in fifth place. Although he’s lost the overall lead to Honda’s Ricky Brabec, he’s only 51secs adrift in second place.

Sainz takes Dakar 2024 cars lead

Reigning Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah tumbled down the order after his Prodrive Hunter racer came to a halt due to a broken steering arm. He had to wait for his team’s assistance truck to arrive in order to repair the damage. While he did eventually finish the stage, he’s dropped to 17th place overall.

Audi now hold the top two spots, with Carlos Sainz in the lead, around 20 mins ahead of his teammate Mattias Ekstrom. Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb set the fastest time in Stage 6, to move up to third place overall.

Also see:

Dakar 2024: Hero’s Ross Branch reclaims lead after Stage 5

‘15 is a nice number’: Harith Noah’s Dakar 2024 goals




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Tata Punch EV to be launched on January 17

The new Tata Punch EV takes things up a notch from its petrol-powered sibling and is based on the second-generation ActivEV platform promising about 3

The Tata Punch EV will go on sale on January 17 and prices are expected to be between ₹11-14 lakh (ex-showroom)

Tata Motors has confirmed the Punch EV is all set to go on sale on January 17, 2024. The Tata Punch EV was unveiled earlier this month and the model will be the brand’s most affordable electric SUV. The new Tata Punch EV takes things up a notch from its petrol-powered sibling and is based on the second-generation Pure EV platform called ActivEV. Pre-bookings for the new Punch EV are already open for a token of 21,000.

Tata Punch EV: Styling

The Tata Punch EV looks different from its petrol counterpart getting styling updates as seen on the Nexon EV facelift as well as the Curvv concept. The connected LED DRLs at the front, closed-off grille, slim LED headlamps, all are intended to bring the model in line with Tata’s electric SUV family. The design theme will also be prevalent on the upcoming Harrier EV slated for launch later this year. Other notable changes include new aero alloy wheels, while the rear remains identical with the addition of the new dual-tone bumper.

Also Read : Tata begins production at new Sanand plant acquired from Ford

Tata Punch EV
The Tata Punch EV is expected to get several segment-first features including upgrades over the petrol-powered Punch

Tata Punch EV: Features

The cabin remains under wraps for now but the Punch EV is expected to get the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system from the Nexon EV facelift. It will also get the new UI, the two-spoke steering wheel with the illuminated Tata logo, a rotary drive selector and more. Expect the model to come with a new control panel for the HVAC unit.

On the feature front, the Punch EV is likely to get a 360-degree camera, leatherette seats with ventilation, electronic parking brake with auto hold, wireless charging, connected car tech, cruise control, a sunroof and more. Tata is also likely to bring the Arcade.ev app to the infotainment system allowing users to download interactive applications.

Tata Punch EV: Range

Built on the second-gen platform, the new Tata Punch EV will be available in standard and long-range versions. Specifications are yet to be revealed but expect to see 25 kWh and 35 kWh battery packs. Charging options will include a 3.3 kW on the standard and a 7.2 kW AC charger on the long-range model. Expect the long-range version to offer a range of about 300 km on a single charge. Tata says the new battery packs will be wider and will come with higher-density cells promising to improve efficiency by 10 per cent.

Also Watch: 2023 Tata Nexon EV facelift first drive review: Best-seller gets even better?

More details on the Tata Punch EV will be available on January 17. Deliveries should begin soon after the launch. The electric SUV will be sold via Tata’s new EV-only dealerships. Expect prices to be in the vicinity of 11-14 lakh (ex-showroom) and the Punch EV will primarily take on the Citroen E-C3 in the segment.

First Published Date: 12 Jan 2024, 20:01 PM IST


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MTHL open, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link route, toll, speed limit, bridge details


About 16.5km of the 21.8km-long bridge is over the sea; toll set at Rs 250 for a one-way trip.

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, a new life-line connecting India’s financial capital to the mainland, has been opened for public use today. The 21.8-km long bridge connects Sewri, which is near the South of Mumbai, and various parts of what is being dubbed “Third Mumbai” – essentially parts of Navi Mumbai that border the upcoming international airport.

  1. MTHL toll costs Rs 250, return journey priced at Rs 375
  2. Daily pass costs Rs 625, monthly pass priced at Rs 12,500
  3. Expected to cut travel time for Mumbaites headed to Pune, Mahabaleshwar, Goa

Also called the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Smruti Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, the MTHL has has 6 lanes (3+3 lanes) plus one emergency lane on both sides, and spans 21.8km; about 16.50km is over the sea and 5.5km is over land. With a speed limit of 100kph, the bridge is expected to be handy for outstation travellers to and from South Mumbai. There are interchanges at Sewri, Shivaji Nagar, SH-54 in Jasai and at Chirle on NH-348.

Also See: Driving on Mumbai Trans Harbour Link video

MMRDA and the government have set the toll price at Rs 250 for a one-way journey, while a return pass will cost Rs 375. The price of a daily pass is set at Rs 625, while a monthly pass costs Rs 12,500. While most of the tolling will be automatic (open tolling) so the flow of traffic will not be affected, there will also be a traditional cash lane for those who want to pay cash.

Here’s more details on the feat of engineering that the MTHL is, how eco-friendly and safe it is and what it’s like to drive on India’s longest sea bridge.

Also see:

Mumbai Coastal Road drive in a Tata Nexon EV

Bandra-Worli Sea Link test




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Raptee Energy’s new electric motorcycle breaks cover, promises 150 km range

  • Raptee Energy’s upcoming electric motorcycle promises up to 150-kilometre range on a single charge.
Raptee Energy’s upcoming electric motorcycle promises up to 150-kilometre range on a single charge.

Raptee Energy unveiled its upcoming electric motorcycle on Thursday, previewing the upcoming EV. The electric motorcycle is slated to launch in April this year and it claims to be built on a high-voltage drivetrain. The EV manufacturer also claims that the upcoming electric motorcycle will come with a host of features and technology promising a thrilling ride experience. However, the EV maker has not revealed the name of the motorcycle or any details about its pricing.

The prototype showcased by Raptee Energy previews the design of the upcoming electric motorcycle, which carries a naked roadster styling. Expect it to feature an all-LED lighting setup as well as a fully digital instrument cluster. Also, the electric motorcycle will be running sporty alloy wheels wrapped with meaty rubbers. The prototype also hints the motorcycle will come featuring disc brakes on both front and rear wheels, while suspension duty will be done by telescopic front forks.

Also Read : Ola announces benefits worth 15000, discount on S1 X+ to continue

Speaking about the powertrain, Raptee Energy has stated that the upcoming electric motorcycle will boast a powerful drivetrain. It claims to be capable of running at a top speed of 135 kmph. The EV maker also claimed that the motorcycle will offer a real-world range of up to 150 kilometres on a single charge.

The battery pack onboard the electric motorcycle claims to be capable of being charged up to 80 per cent in 45 minutes, while it will provide up to a 40-kilometre range on 15-minute charging. The motorcycle also claims to come with an acceleration capability of 0-60 kmph in 3.5 seconds. Raptee claims the motorcycle will challenge internal combustion engine-powered models as well.

First Published Date: 11 Jan 2024, 16:58 PM IST


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BMW X1 price; BMW, Mini sales in 2023, BMW EV sales


BMW and Mini’s combined sales stood at 14,172 units, while BMW Motorrad retailed 8,768 two-wheelers during the last year.

BMW Group India clocked sales of 14,172 units in 2023, registering a strong 18 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth. The company says 2023 was a trailblazing year for all its three brands – BMW, Mini and BMW Motorrad – each recording their highest-ever sales in the Group’s history in the country.

  1. BMW sold 13,303 units; Mini retailed 869 units
  2. BMW Motorrad sales grew 20 percent
  3. BMW sold 1,474 EVs; 325 percent YoY growth

BMW Group India sales in 2023

While car sales under the BMW Group in 2023 were pegged at 13,303 units with an 18 percent YoY growth, Mini models went home to 869 buyers, registering a 20 percent growth. BMW Motorrad registered 8,768 units and a 20 percent YoY growth rate.

The company said that Q4 CY23 (October-December 2023) was the best-ever quarter for all three brands, with BMW particularly clocking sales of 4,306 units (up 41 percent), Mini clocking 287 cars (a 54 percent growth), and BMW Motorrad selling 1,990 units (a 3 percent increase), respectively. December 2023 was also the best-ever sales month for BMW and Mini.

While SUVs dominated BMW’s 2023 sales with a 54 percent contribution to overall volumes, sedans were not far behind at 46 percent. The BMW 3 Series emerged as the highest-selling model, contributing 20 percent to the company’s overall sales and going home to 2,702 buyers. At No. 2, the X1 crossover clocked 2,633 units, and also contributed 20 percent to the company’s total 2023 volumes. The flagship X7 SUV registered 1,513 units to become the third highest-selling model for the company, with an 11 percent sales contribution in the year.

BMW India EV sales in 2023

With a five-model EV portfolio, the company sold 1,474 EVs, registering a substantial YoY growth of 325 percent. “We have been No. 1 in the EV segment for the second consecutive year in a row with over 50 percent market share in the luxury segment as per the Vahan data,” Vikram Pawah, president of BMW Group India, told journalists in New Delhi.

While BMW Group India’s EV sales stand at 10 percent of the total by the end of 2023, the company is aiming for 25 percent by 2025. “We plan to introduce two more EVs in 2024,” Pawah highlighted.

Its EV portfolio includes the 3-door Mini hatchback, BMW iX1, i4, iX, and i7, with the iX being the top-selling luxury EV in India with sales of 639 units in 2023. The all-electric Mini 3-door Cooper SE hatchback went home to 239 buyers last year.

The Group had around 1,500 pending orders at end-2023 for BMW and Mini models; the BMW Motorrad order bank stands at a similar number. The company sees a two-three month waiting period for the all-electric i7 sedan, and has confirmed the iX has sold out. It says it aims to fulfill all committed deliveries of the i4 by March 2024.

Also see:

BMW, Mini line up 4 new India launches for 2024

Mercedes EQE SUV vs Audi Q8 e tron vs BMW iX vs Jaguar I Pace comparison video




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Rolls-Royce delivers record number of cars in 2023

  • Rolls delivered 6,032 cars around the world — the largest amount in its 119-year history.
The United States was the Rolls-Royce’s biggest market in 2023, followed by China

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered a record number of luxury vehicles last year when clients also began taking possession of its first all-electric Spectre model, the German-owned brand said Monday. Rolls delivered 6,032 cars around the world, the largest amount in its 119-year history “despite continuing economic uncertainties and market volatility”, the company said in a statement.

Deliveries, also described as sales by the group, were largely flat over the year, with 11 more vehicles handed over to clients compared with 2022, it added. The United States was the group’s biggest market in 2023, followed by China.

Last year “was another extraordinary year for Rolls-Royce, with strong sales performances in all regions and across the full product portfolio”, said new chief executive Chris Brownridge.

“I’m in the extremely fortunate position of taking over responsibility for a business in robust good health, with strong foundations and a clear strategy for growth and development, formidable technical capabilities and a focused, dedicated team,” he added in the statement.

Predecessor Torsten Muller-Otvos departed the group in November, having led the group since 2010 and overseen record-breaking performances.

Founded at the beginning of the 20th century, the emblematic British car brand became part of German auto giant BMW in 1998. Rolls-Royce cars are produced in Goodwood, southern England.

First Published Date: 10 Jan 2024, 21:10 PM IST


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Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, MTHL drive, Atal Setu, Mumbai, Ulwe, Navi Mumbai

We drive on the 21.8km-long Atal Setu that connects Sewri with the mainland, in an Audi RS e-tron GT.

Published On Jan 10, 2024 06:26:00 PM

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, sits on the west coast of India. Only it doesn’t. Originally a group of seven islands merged over the years into one single entity, it is situated approximately 10km off the western seaboard of India.

This is why connectivity with the mainland of India has always been something of a long trudge. To go north is easy, the mainland isn’t far. But to go east or south, you first had to travel 40km north to Thane, take a U-turn, then backtrack another 20km before starting your journey, and this took hours. Then in 1973, the authorities in Mumbai built a bridge across the Vashi creek, making the drive around considerably shorter. You still needed to backtrack 20 odd kilometres, but it did save a big chunk of time.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: saving time

This then, fifty years on, is the next step; a bridge that connects the heart of Mumbai to the west coast of India. No need to drive 20km, take a U-turn, backtrack. With the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) or Atal Bihari Vajpayee Smruti Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, you can cross directly onto the mainland.

Audi RS e-tron GT on MTHL

 

To drive onto the MMRDA-built Atal Setu, all you have to do is hook right on Mumbai’s Eastern Freeway and drive straight on. We first pass through a spaghetti bowl of eight on and off ramps that look straight out of a sci-fi movie. As the bridge stretches out ahead, I’m happy I have something fast, fun and appropriately forward-looking today; Audi’s RS e-tron GT. This electric supercar puts down 646hp on the road and does 0-100kph in just 3.3 seconds. And as I zoom onto the bridge – the RS pushing me back in the seat – I can’t help but marvel at the scale and size of it.

The roads are perfectly lined up ahead, there are three lanes (plus one emergency lane), the heavy duty guard rail and retaining wall can contain a fully loaded trailer, and the gantries above even have speed guns and cameras already mounted. Why couldn’t we have made a similar bridge earlier? 

Fact is, a similar bridge was thought about and discussed. The bridge back in the ‘80s would have cost around Rs 2,000 crore. Today, that figure is close to Rs 18,000 crore and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) along with finance and technical collaborations from Japan started construction in 2017. More on this later.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: the drive

The road up ahead is totally empty and I can’t resist a long, hard pull. As I mash the accelerator down, the Audi bolts forward, and what makes things even more exciting is that the bridge now curves right. The shortest and quickest way of course would have been to go straight, but the Atal Setu has to meander its way around a myriad of hurdles. 

Audi RS e-tron GT on the MTHL Shapur driving

 

So why does it twist and turn and rise and dip? The initial turn right is done to stay clear of the refineries on our left; there are a couple of them. Then there are a couple of power stations, after which the bridge needs to daintily step over gas and oil pipelines that drift and move with the tide. The first step up to a higher level is to allow easy passage to creek dredgers, ships that constantly de-silt the channel. And further up, the bridge rises again to its maximum height of 32 metres (according to the display on the Audi) to allow for larger ships to pass below. 

As we continue on our drive, we pass a group of workers erecting barriers. There are a couple of types used on the bridge; transparent ones keep the sound in but allow you to see out, and towards the refinery and other sensitive installations, there are slatted baffles that block your view.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: environment-friendly

This bridge has also been designed keeping the environment in mind; specifically the intertidal mudflats. Ecologically sensitive, these mudflats support a lot of biodiversity such as flamingos and other water birds, so plans for a sea link-like cable-stay bridge were scrapped — the fanning cables would have interfered with the flight path of the flamingos. In addition, to protect the biodiversity that lives on the mudflats, no permanent embankments were allowed to be built, and this made erecting the massive pillars and spans of the bridge extremely expensive and difficult, forcing them to do it from temporary bridges and floating barges.

Audi RS e-tron GT on MTHL

 

The Ministry of Environment and Forest also directed the project leaders to set aside around 2 percent of the cost of the project, around Rs 330 crore, for the replantation of mangroves, air and water pollution monitoring and flamingo monitoring. A sum of around Rs 30 crore was paid to the Bombay Natural History Society to monitor the latter for 10 years. Concerning the efforts to be eco-friendly Sanjay Mukherjee, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “Considering the environmental impact and the minimum disturbance to the flora and fauna, we have used reverse circulation drills when we have drilled in and that has caused minimum vibration and minimum disturbance to the marine life and aquatic life and other life around this area.” 

Back on the ‘gas’ in the Audi and I’m revelling in how planted it feels. The low-slung battery, the sporty and sophisticated suspension, and the stiffness of the chassis make the car feel super comfortable at high speeds. Up ahead there’s another steep rise with the road disappearing over the crest. As we get into a corner towards the top we notice that the side of the bridge is painted a shade of pink. Done to indicate the largest and highest span to ships passing under, the colours are also chosen keeping the flamingos in mind.

As the road dips down again and we effortlessly gain speed, I spot the mainland of India. But can this be right? We’ve only been driving for what feels like 15 or 20 minutes. Then I look down at the speedo; better slow down. And that’s the other thing about this bridge, the tarmac is just brilliant. Smooth, silent, well marked with wide lanes and near seamless transitions between the segments, this will be Mumbai’s best surfaced road.

As we pass Elephanta island on the right, and another drop, we now clearly see the mainland of India. The connecting roads up ahead aren’t finished, so we drive up to a ramp that ends abruptly. 

MTHL route map

 

Wow what a ride! And a healthy 100kph speed limit. Also, once all the connectors and roads are finally built, most journeys out of Mumbai will be considerably shorter. It will open up a whole new region of Mumbai for faster development; faster connectivity will mean the economy of Greater Mumbai and India will be boosted; and once the new airport opens up, it will only be a quick drive away. As Mukherjee says, “The connectivity of the MTHL to Marine Drive is also a very crucial thing. So we are constructing a tunnel and we shall be starting that work soon. That will be from Orange Gate on the Eastern Freeway down to Marine Drive.” There’s little doubt that the MTHL is going to change Mumbai forever. Like the name too; it was PM Vajpayee after all who dragged India into the modern era when it came to roads, and built the Golden Quadrilateral and many others, a fair number of them under budget.

Also see:

Mumbai Coastal Road drive in a Tata Nexon EV – video

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India-bound Triumph Daytona 660 unveiled globally. Check details

  • Triumph has unveiled the Daytona 660 in the global market. It is expected that it will make its way to the Indian market before the year ends.
Triumph Daytona 660 uses the same engine as the Trident 660 but it is more powerful.

Triumph has brought back the Daytona nameplate with the new Daytona 660. The new motorcycle has been introduced in the global market and is expected to launch in India as well. However, as of now, a launch timeline is not known. Yes, the Triumph Daytona 660 does share its underpinnings with the Trident 660 but there are few changes.

Triumph Daytona 660: Engine

Triumph Daytona 660 uses the same in-line three-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that uses a 240-degree firing order. It puts out 93.70 bhp of max power at 11,250 rpm and a peak torque output of 69 Nm at 8,250 rpm. When compared, the Trident 660 produces 80 bhp at 10,250 rpm and 64 Nm at 6,250 rpm. Both motorcycles use a 6-speed gearbox. The service interval of the motorcycle is 16,000 km or 12 months, whichever comes first. Apart from the Road and Rain riding modes, the brand has added a new Sport riding mode.

Triumph Daytona 660: Underpinnings

The tubular steel perimeter frame is suspended by 41 mm up-side down separate function Big Piston forks with 110 mm of travel in the front and a Showa monoshock at the rear with pre-load adjustment and 130 mm of travel. Braking duties are being performed by twin 310 mm discs in the front with 4-piston calipers and a 220 mm disc at the rear with a single-piston caliper. There is dual-channel ABS on offer. The seat height of a motorcycle measures 810 mm so it is not very tall and most people should be able to handle it pretty well.

Also Read : Triumph Scrambler 400 X first ride review: Another hit for Triumph?.)

Triumph Daytona 660: Design

The Daytona 660 does look quite sporty as it comes with a full fairing. There is a split LED headlamp setup in the front with clip-on handlebars so the riding posture will be slightly more aggressive than the Trident 660. However, it will not be very committed.

First Published Date: 09 Jan 2024, 18:03 PM IST


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Triumph Daytona price, Daytona 660 power, design, India launch

Makes 14hp, 4Nm more than Trident 660; has higher-spec brakes, fully-faired design.

Triumph has finally taken the covers off the Daytona 660 and in this bike, the 660cc triple is in its most powerful state yet making 95hp at 11,250rpm and 69Nm at 8,250rpm. 

  1. Gets radial calipers and IMU
  2. First fully-faired Triumph after original Daytona 675

While the Daytona 660 is a fully-faired machine, its rider triangle is much more relaxed than the original and quite unforgiving 675. Owing to the fact that the clip-on handlebars are placed above the fork tops and the footpegs not being set very high up, the riding position is sporty yet comfortable. 

Clip-ons are above the fork tops, same instrumentation as the Tiger Sport 660, Street Triple R.

The split seats are also larger than a traditional supersport, like say a Kawasaki ZX-6R, and should be more comfortable for both rider and pillion. 

While the main frame, wheels and most of the cycle parts are carried over, there are a few key changes. The Daytona 660 weighs 201kg (12kg more than the Trident), has Triumph-branded radially mounted calipers and gets a Sport riding mode over just the Road and Rain modes on the other two Triumph 660s. 

Only the Triumph 660 model to get radial calipers.

Seat height too has gone up by 5mm over the Trident, to 810mm on the Daytona. And unlike the sport-touring Michelin Road 5 rubber on the Trident 660 and Tiger Sport 660, the Daytona 660 runs on sportier Michelin Power 6 rubber. 

As with all Triumph models, an extensive catalogue of accessories is on offer, including luggage, protection, a Bluetooth module for the dash and a bidirectional quickshifter. 

In the UK, the Daytona 660 costs 8,595 pounds (approx Rs 9.09 lakh) – priced above the Trident 660, which costs 7,895 pounds (approx Rs 8.35 lakh). Considering that Triumph retails nearly its entire international lineup here, we can expect the Daytona 660 to be launched in India in 2024. The closest rival to the new Daytona would be the Honda CBR650R, which is currently not on sale in India but we do expect it to return in due course. 




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In pics: Mercedes-Benz GLS facelift kickstarts India journey with fresh styling

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The 2024 Mercedes-Benz facelift has finally made its India debut on 8th January after making its global debut previously in early 2023. The flagship Mercedes-Benz luxury SUV comes with a host of updates on design and feature front, while the powertrain too received a touch of electrification.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS facelift
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The front profile of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS facelift has been updated significantly with redesigned LED headlamps, which flank the large and bold-looking front grille that sports four thick horizontal slats. The front bumper too has been revamped significantly with chrome trim surrounding the lower air intake and large black air dams at both ends.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
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The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is available in both petrol and diesel engine options, namely GLS 450 and GLS 450d, which come priced at 1.32 crore and 1.37 crore (ex-showroom). The luxury SUV looks similar to the outgoing model as the side and rear profile of the new GLS remain almost unchanged.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
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The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS comes with a host of updates inside its plush cabin as well. The first most notable one among them is the upgraded MBUX touchscreen infotainment system, which combines the large touchscreen infotainment system and the instrument cluster. The upholstery has been updated as well.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
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Besides these changes, the car gets wireless smartphone charger at the front and back as well. Apart from these, the Mercedes-Benz GLS facelift is majorly unchanged inside its cabin. However, the updated upholstery takes the premiumness of the cabin a few notches up.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
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The rear occupants too get dedicated tablets for rear seat entertainment connected to the MBUX system of the car. The MBUX of the GLS gets wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The rear seat occupants get a touch panel for controlling a wide variety of functions and features.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
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Powertrain options for the new GLS include a petrol engine and a diesel motor as well, which come combined with a 48V mild-hybrid technology that can churn out 20 bhp power and 200 Nm torque alone. Transmision duty for the SUV is performed by a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

First Published Date: 08 Jan 2024, 17:06 PM IST


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Hyundai Creta price; Hyundai India investment in Tamil Nadu, Hyundai hydrogen hub


The Rs 6,180 crore investment announced today is in addition to the Rs 20,000 crore investment announced earlier.

Hyundai Motor India has announced an additional investment of Rs 6,180 crore in Tamil Nadu, at the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet 2024. This investment includes an amount of Rs 180 crore towards a dedicated ‘Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub,’ in association with IIT Madras. 

An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between Unsoo Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India and V Arun Roy, IAS., Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr. T R B Rajaa, Hon’ble Minister for Industries, Investment Promotion & Commerce, Thiru Shiv Das Meena, I.A.S., Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu and other senior officials during the inaugural ceremony of Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet 2024. The event also saw the Korean company showcase its Nexo Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) and try and engage participants with an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Engagement Zone.

Hyundai’s new investment is in addition to the Rs 20,000 crore one that will be rolled out in a phased manner over a period of 10 years (2023 to 2032). The original investment is meant to augment the company’s efforts in electric vehicle manufacturing, charging infrastructure and skill development. 

Regarding the announcement, Unsoo Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India said, “Hyundai has been one of the largest and consistent investors in Tamil Nadu for the past 27 years. This collaboration with the state government is a catalyst for cultivating a robust hydrogen technology ecosystem.”

The company has signed another MoU with the Government of Tamil Nadu, in association with IIT Madras, wherein the facility will act as an incubation cell ‘to develop a framework for localisation of the hydrogen ecosystem. The initiative is expected to generate employment and support skill development in the region, noted the press release. 

In a separate development, the Vietnamese EV maker VinFast signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu state government to invest USD 2 billion (around Rs 16,600 crore) to manufacture and export vehicles from India. 

Industry representatives and experts have said that the southern states stand out as with well-defined EV policies, established manufacturing eco-system and a strong focus on R&D. This region will make a significant contribution towards achieving the government’s and NITI Aayog’s 2030 EV goals, and positioning India as a global hub in the EV space. 

Also see:

Hyundai sells Russia plant amid war tensions

Hyundai Creta facelift design sketches revealed ahead of January 16 launch




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Vietnam’s Vinfast to establish EV facilities in Tamil Nadu, makes big promises

  • VinFast will establish EV and battery manufacturing facilities in Thoothukudi and says these will generate around 3,500 jobs.
Officials from VinFast are seen here with Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin and Union Minister Piyush Goyal at the signing of a joint agreement between the EV maker and the state government. (CMO, Tamil Nadu)

VinFast is fast emerging as a name and brand to reckon with in the world of electric vehicles (EVs). The company from Vietnam has already expanded its presence across many markets across the world, including the United States, and has now confirmed its India entry via a mammoth $2 billion investment into EV facilities in Tamil Nadu.

In an official statement, Vinfast announced it has an intended commitment of $500 million for the first five years of the project and that it has signed a joint agreement with the state government of Tamil Nadu. The construction of a battery plant and a facility to manufacture EVs will begin from this calendar year itself – in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi – and once both are fully functional, will generate up to 3,500 jobs in the state.

Entering the Indian market at this point in time may be as beneficial for VinFast as it could be to accelerate the EV adoption in India. India is the world’s third largest car market in the world – in terms of sales, but EV penetration is still quite small. What this may mean is enormous potential that VinFast is looking to tap into. And choosing Tamil Nadu as its base of operations in the country is stemming from its assessment that the state has enormous potential to be India’s EV hub. “VinFast Tamil Nadu project aims to evolve into a first-class electric vehicle production hub in the region, with an annual capacity of up to 150,000 units. Construction of the plant is anticipated to begin in 2024. This project is set forth to lay a strong foundation for economic growth in Tamil Nadu and India as a whole,” the company said in its official statement. “Besides the economic benefits, the project will also pave the way for green transportation development, targeting 30% of newly registered private cars to be electric. This aligns with the state government’s initiatives to minimize carbon emissions in the transportation sector.”

Vinfast
File photo of Vinfast VF9 electric vehicle on the opening day of the Geneva International Motor Show that was held in Qatar in 2023. (Bloomberg)

How significant is VinFast in the world of EVs?

VinFast is one of the newer players in the globa EV race and comes from a country that has traditionally not had much to show in terms of its automobile manufacturing capabilities. But the EV game has levelled the play-field significantly, providing opportunities for established automobile champions as well as emerging EV companies.

Founded in 2017 by Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s first billionaire and who made his riches as a property developer, VinFast has been manufacturing EVs since 2021. It may have only been over two years of manufacturing EVs but VinFast has been busy. The company bought a manufacturing facility from GM in Australia while it is working to open another production hub in Indonesia that is scheduled to start rolling out models from 2026 onwards. It also began shipping its EVs to the US in early 2023 and opened its first dealership in the country last month. It is also establishing a manufacturing plant in North Carolina and is investing $4 billion in the country.

What kind of EVs does VinFast offer at present?

VinFast EV models are quite striking in their exterior design language even if the specifications are not the best in the industry just yet. The company offers small electric models like VF3 and VF4, as well as large electric SUVs like VF7 and VF9. The likes of VF6 and VF7 are sub-compact and compact SUVs, respectively, while VF8 is a mid-size SUV.

First Published Date: 07 Jan 2024, 21:47 PM IST


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Yamaha announces special Pongal offers in this state. Check details

Yamaha has announced special offers in the state of Tamil Nadu to celebrate the Pongal festival. These offers will be applicable till 31st January 202

Image of Yamaha Fascino 125 FI Hybrid used for representation purposes only.

Yamaha Motor India has announced special offers in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the Pongal festival. These offers will be applicable till 31st January 2024 only. The exclusive offers are currently applicable on Yamaha’s 150 cc FZ model range, FZ16 and 125 cc Fi Hybrid scooters.

Yamaha is offering benefits of up to 6,000 or 1,999 down payment on 150 cc 150 cc FZ-S Fi V4, FZ-S Fi V3 and FZ Fi. The FZ-X gets zero down payment or benefits up to 7,000. Apart from this, there are benefits of up to 4,000 or zero down payment on 125 Fi Hybrid Scooters – RayZR and Fascino. There are no offers on the recently launched YZF-R3, MT-03, MT-15, R15 and Aerox 155.

In the Indian market, the most recent launch from Yamaha was the YZF-R3 and MT-03. Everyone has been waiting for these motorcycles for a very long time. While the R3 returned to the Indian market after some time, this was the first time that the brand launched the MT-03 in India.

Also Read : Yamaha YZF-R3 & MT-03 initial impressions: Motorcycles for purists

However, there was a bit of an issue when Yamaha announced the prices of the R3 and MT-03. They are priced at 4.65 lakh and 4.60 lakh. Both prices are ex-showroom. The price is on the higher side because the motorcycles come to India through the CBU route. Yes, Yamaha did say that they will eventually bring the motorcycles through CKD if they see enough units being sold. However, at this price, this is a difficult proposition considering that the Aprilia RS457 costs 4.1 lakh ex-showroom.

Having said that, the R3 and the MT-03 will be preferred by a few people who are die-hard fans of the basic motorcycle. Both motorcycles are pretty simple and do not offer any electronics. The only thing on offer is a digital instrument cluster and dual-channel ABS. There is not even a slipper clutch on offer.

First Published Date: 06 Jan 2024, 17:30 PM IST


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Vinfast EVs in India, VinFast investment in Tamil Nadu, VinFast India launch plans

Vietnamese EV maker to invest $500 million into setting up a 1.5 lakh unit capacity plant in the first phase of five years.

VinFast, Vietnam’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, and the Tamil Nadu State Government on Saturday announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to invest USD 2 billion (around Rs 16,600 crore) to manufacture and export vehicles from India.

VinFast and the state government will work towards a total investment of up to USD 2 billion, with an intended commitment of USD 500 million (around Rs 425 crore) for the first phase of the project spanning five years from the commencement date, said VinFast’s statement.

  1. New plant construction expected to begin this year itself
  2. Will generate 3,000-3,500 new job opportunities
  3. VinFast’s investment is the largest in Tamil Nadu’s history

This move is a significant step in VinFast’s global expansion, which offers the brand a foot into the world’s third-largest car market. “The plan to expand into India aims to seize growth opportunities in the world’s most populous nation and rapidly expanding EV market,” added the statement.

The establishment of VinFast’s integrated electric vehicle facility in Tamil Nadu is anticipated to generate employment to approximately 3,000-3,500 people locally. Situated in Thoothukudi, the VinFast Tamil Nadu project aims to evolve into a electric vehicle production hub in the region, with an annual capacity of up to 150,000 units.

The construction of the plant is anticipated to begin in 2024, and is set forth to lay a strong foundation for economic growth in Tamil Nadu and India as a whole, claims the company. The company will also be setting up a nationwide dealership network to establish a strong brand presence and swiftly connect with customers across the country.

Besides the economic benefits, the project will also pave the way for green transportation development, targeting 30 percent of newly registered private cars to be electric. This aligns with the state government’s initiatives to minimise carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

Dr TRB Rajaa, minister of Industries Investment Promotions and Commerce of the Government of Tamil Nadu, with VinFast’s top management.

Ms Tran Mai Hoa, deputy CEO of Sales and Marketing, VinFast Global shared, “The MoU demonstrates VinFast’s strong commitment to the sustainable development and vision of a zero-emissions transportation future. We believe that investing in Tamil Nadu will not only bring considerable economic benefits to both parties, but will also help accelerate the green energy transition in India and the region.”

TRB Rajaa, minister of Industries of the Government of Tamil Nadu, said: “EV manufacturing companies are not only important economic drivers but also powerful accelerators to the state’s green vision. We are delighted that VinFast has chosen to invest in Tamil Nadu to establish its integrated EV facility. Possessing robust capabilities and unwavering commitment to a sustainable future, I believe that VinFast will emerge as a reliable economic partner and substantial contributor to Tamil Nadu’s long-term development.”

VinFast’s green transportation development project is its third manufacturing project and the largest investment in Tamil Nadu’s history, the press statement noted. The Government of Tamil Nadu has committed to providing cleared land for the manufacturing facilities, uninterrupted power supply and other infrastructure support on a best-effort basis.

Additionally, both parties will continue to collaborate and discuss opportunities for charging stations to steer towards a clean mobility future. VinFast – a member of Vingroup – envisions driving the advancement of the global smart electric vehicle revolution.

Also See:

Tata dominates EV sales with 73 percent market share in 2023

BYD outsells Tesla in fourth quarter of 2023




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