Friday, 5 December 2014

Mercedes-Benz to launch pre-owned car brand

Finding immense potential in the pre-owned car segment, German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz today said it will announce the launch of a separate brand for pre-owned cars this month,.

Noting that customers here are now "increasingly" demanding quality products in pre-owned car segment, the luxury car maker says it sees "phenomenal" growth in country's pre-owned car segment, describing it as "next growth story" in luxury car business.

"...The growth rate in pre-owned car (in India) is phenomenal. We (Mercedes-Benz) have seen 45 per cent growth in pre-owned car business this year," Mercedes-Benz India, MD & CEO Eberhard Kern said here today.

Stating that pre-owned car segment was getting organised in India, he said the company would announce launch of pre-owned car brand in two weeks time.

"In two weeks time, Mercedes-Benz India is going to launch a new pre-owned car brand....We will take the next big step in pre-owned car business," he said.

Comparing the pre-owned car segment with global markets, he said that the "trading ratio" of pre-owned segment in India stands between 10 to 20 per cent which is "quite a low figure".

"10-20 percent of trading ratio in India is a low figure if you compare globally. For example in Europe, it is one to one," he said adding that now it was "growing very fast" in India.

"It (Pre-owned car segment) is the next growth story in India's luxury car segment," he observed adding, "Customers here are now demanding quality products in pre-owned (segment)."

Kern said the company would be doing pre-owned car business with existing dealers and that it will offer very effective trading price to customers.

The luxury car maker said the company would be looking at both metro and non-metro cities for the sale of premium segment cars with a focus on increasing product portfolios and bringing latest technology to India.

"Besides metros, our focus will also be on tier II and tier-III cities as these are also getting more important," he said.

Mercedes-Benz is getting 55 per cent of total volume from non-metro cities while rest from metros including Mumbai, and Delhi.

The company's three-fourth business come from leasing and financing while one-fourth comes from cash, he said.

Stating that the company "believes in future of Indian market", he said the company would clock more than 10,000 units this year, which will be the first time ever.

During first nine months, Mercedes-Benz sold 7,529 units, 16 per cent up from sale of corresponding period while in Punjab it registered 23 per cent growth in volume.

E-Class is the best selling model for Mercedes Benz in India, said Kern adding that M-class (SUV) has also posted 100 per cent growth.

Talking about new trends in luxury car segment, he said "connected" cars and "autonomous driving" would be one of the biggest trends.

Mercedes-Benz has 68 dealerships in 37 cities at present.

"This year we have opened 13 outlets and 14th one will be opened in Madurai soon," he said.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Upcoming cars: A quick look

Despite the ongoing slowdown in the automobile industry, car manufacturers around the globe are betting on the Indian market in a big way. A slew of cars are up for launch in the coming months, to cater to the varying requirements of different riders in the country. Read on to know about some of the exciting upcoming cars in India, including facelifts and new launches, before you take a final call.

New Mini Cooper

This is the facelifted version of the BMW Mini Cooper which is set to arrive with a super tuned 1.5L 3cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that can generate a peak torque of 220Nm @ 1250 rpm and a maximum power of 134 hp at 4500 rpm. You will be able to control the suspension electrically, with the assistance of varied drive modes including changing of the throttle response and steering. You can also get this in diesel trims for more efficiency. The diesel mill will also have a high torque output. Only automatic transmission models will be available in India.

Tata Nexon Concept

It will come fitted with a 1.2-litre petrol turbocharged Revotron mill which can generate a peak torque of 170 Nm and a maximum power output of over 108 bhp. The engine will be coupled with a 5-speed automatic transmission gearbox which will transmit energy to the front wheels. The car will also have a 4-wheel drive option. According to Tata, the engine will also have a fuel efficiency of about 17.6 kmpl. The car will have a maximum speed of about 180 kmph. With this vehicle, you will be able to achieve an acceleration of 0 – 100 kmph in less than 9 seconds.

Cadillac CTS

The car will be released in the D+ sedan segment and will only be available in a petrol trim. A diesel variant is expected to roll out sometime later. The car would be fitted with a 3.6L direct-injected V6 petrol engine mated with a 6-speed automatic with Dual Over-Head Camshaft (DOHC) technology. It can generate a peak torque of 343Nm at 3100rpm and a maximum power of 263bhp at 6400rpm. It will have a boot space of 385 liters and can comfortably accommodate 5 people.

Mahindra Quanto AMT

This will have a 5-speed manual as well as a 5-speed AMT transmission. It will come with similar engine specs as any standard Quanto. It will be powered by a 1.5L, 3 cylinder mCR100 engine having a twin stage turbo charger and it can generate a peak torque of 240 Nm in the 1600 to 2800 rpm range and a maximum power output of 100 bhp at 3750 rpm.

Hyundai Avante Diesel, Petrol

Hyundai is supposed to launch this car in two variants – one powered with a CRDi diesel engine with a capacity of 1.6 L and another equipped with a DOHC petrol engine having a capacity of 2 liters. Grapevine suggests that the engine will have the ability to generate a peak torque of 26kgm@1800rpm and a maximum power of 115bhp@6000rpm.

Now buy latest BMW Motor Bikes in India only at

Hot sellers, slow sellers, December car deals

We've started refining the lists to include only 2015-model-year vehicles as most new 2014 models have been cleared off dealer lots. It took an average of 30 days to sell a new 2015 in November versus the 29-day average for 2014s in November 2013.
The slowest-selling cars take far longer than 30 days to sell and far longer than the slowest-sellers from last November. Although one of last year's slow sellers, the 2014 Kia Sedona, was recently redesigned and the 2015 version finds itself on the fastest list this month.
We found some interesting picks for shoppers as well. While it takes just 23 days to sell a new 2015 Honda Civic sedan, it takes nearly three times as long to sell a new 2015 Hyundai Elantra. Likewise, a favorite of ours, the 2015 Volvo V60 wagon, takes 64 days to sell while the BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon takes 22 days.
Shoppers might find better deals on these cars as the year comes to a close, too.

November's Fastest-Selling Cars
  • 2015 Ford Mustang coupe: 10 days
  • 2015 Porsche Macan: 10 days
  • 2015 Subaru WRX: 10 days
  • 2015 Honda CR-V: 11 days
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan: 11 days
  • 2015 Subaru Outback: 11 days
  • 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid: 11 days
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander: 13 days
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade: 14 days
  • 2015 Audi Q5: 15 days
  • 2015 Lexus GX 460: 15 days
  • 2015 Toyota 4Runner: 15 days
  • 2015 BMW X5: 16 days
  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado crew cab: 16 days
  • 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: 16 days
  • 2015 Kia Sedona: 16 days
  • 2015 Honda Civic coupe: 17 days
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy: 17 days
  • 2015 Toyota Camry: 17 days
  • 2015 Toyota Tacoma extended cab: 17 days

November's Slowest-Selling Cars
  • 2015 Audi TTS coupe: 165 days
  • 2015 Jaguar XK coupe: 147 days
  • 2015 Cadillac CTS coupe: 132 days
  • 2015 Kia K900: 130 days
  • 2015 BMW 740Ld xDrive: 116 days
  • 2015 Nissan GT-R: 111 days
  • 2015 BMW 640i Gran Coupe: 109 days
  • 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 S convertible: 108 days
  • 2015 Volvo S80: 106 days
  • 2015 Jaguar XK convertible: 96 days
About the lists
The Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars list reports the average number of days it takes to sell models from the day they arrive on the lot until the final paperwork is signed by a buyer. This is not a days-of-inventory list like you may find on other websites. With lots mostly clear of 2013 models, looks exclusively at 2014 and 2015 models.
For the fastest sellers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited editions, ultra-high-performance cars and others that might skew the numbers or otherwise inaccurately portray popularity. To highlight all slow sellers, slowest sellers have no such threshold.
The Deal Picks highlight cars that take a significant time before they're sold and might be overlooked by shoppers. Dealers could be more motivated to sell these cars.

France to Ban Diesel Cars From Next Year

France is one of the very few countries where more than 80 per cent of cars are powered by diesel engines. However, that might be about to change since France's Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, is planning to 'progressively' ban diesel cars from 2015. The move is said to be a part of a broader environmental effort.

The French government will launch a car identification system next year that will rate vehicles in accordance with the amount of pollution they produce, which will, in turn, help authorities limit city access to the 'dirtiest' cars.

Valls said France has long favoured the diesel engine, and it needs to be undone, albeit 'progressively'. He also hinted at a change in taxation policy to motivate citizens to opt for more ecological choices. The 2015 budget will most likely reduce the tax advantage gap between diesel and petrol. Under the current tax regime, diesel is 15 per cent cheaper than petrol.

Earlier this year, France's Energy Minister, Segolene Royal, also announced that drivers willing to ditch diesel cars for electric ones will be given a bonus of up to 10,000 euros.

Driverless cars set to be tested in four English cities

The four English locations picked to test driverless cars have been named.

Greenwich, in south-east London, and Bristol will each host a project of their own, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will share a third.

The decision was announced by the quango Innovate UK, after George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

The chancellor also announced an additional £9m in funding for the work, adding to the £10m that had been announced in July.

The businesses involved will add further funds.

Bristol will host the Venturer consortium, which aims to investigate whether driverless cars can reduce congestion and make roads safer.

Its members include the insurance group Axa, and much of its focus will be on the public's reaction to the tech as well as the legal and insurance implications of its introduction.

Greenwich is set to run the Gateway scheme. This will be led by the Transport Research Laboratory consultancy and also involves General Motors, and the AA and RAC motoring associations. It plans to carry out tests of automated passenger shuttle vehicles as well as autonomous valet parking for adapted cars.

In addition, a self-drive car simulator will make use of a photorealistic 3D model of the area to study how people react to sharing the driving of a vehicle with its computer.