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Last Updated : Sep 28, 2019 09:16 AM IST | Source:

This week in Auto: Auto companies roll out discounts; and why Ford's M&M tie-up may be for the best

Here is a complete round up of all the top automotive news that made headlines during the week

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Todays L/H

The first multi-national auto brand to have entered India, Ford Motor Company will enter its 25th year in the country this October. Despite hopes to make it big, the US carmaker holds less than 3 percent market share in India, making it a fringe player. Today’s news wrap provides a brief look at why it makes sense for Ford to look at Mahindra & Mahindra for a bailout.

But before that, here is a complete round-up of all the auto news that made headlines during the week.

Bajaj Auto and Vespa offer discounts


Bajaj Auto, the country's third-largest two-wheeler maker, slashed prices by as much as Rs 6,000 on its range of motorcycles as part of the upcoming festival offers.

The Pune-based company is also offering five free services and five years warranty to buyers. The offer which is valid till October 8 also includes zero processing fees.

Italian bike brand Piaggio has announced offers on its Vespa and Aprilia range of two-wheelers. Aimed at the festive season, customers can avail the offer until October and earn benefits worth Rs 10,000 on both brands.

The company is also offering a five-year warranty and insurance worth Rs 4,000 on the 125cc Vespa and 150cc Aprilia models.


BMW R 1250 R, R 1250 RT Pro launched

BMW Motorrad launched two new bikes in India - the R 1250 R and the R 1250 RT Pro. These are part of the company's roadster and tourer families respectively and are upgraded versions of their 1,200cc predecessors.

Both bikes get BMW's latest 1,254cc flat-twin engine, churning out 137 PS of maximum power at 7,750 rpm and 143 Nm of peak torque at 6,250 rpm. The bikes also get BMW's shiftcam variable valve technology along with the company's patented telelever and paralever suspension system.


Lamborghini Urus clocks fastest sale for any super-luxury car in India

Italian exotic car maker Lamborghini claims to have set a new record for super-luxury car sales in India by delivering 50 units of the Rs 3 crore Urus in just 12 months. The Urus is the first SUV model from Lamborghini. Among the 50 buyers, 70 percent are first time buyers of the brand.


Hyundai raises discounts, Maruti cuts Baleno price

Hyundai Motor India has increased discounts on models like Santro and Creta by as much as 63 percent as dealers desperately look to get rid of excess stock. Valid till September-end, the offers include an additional fourth year of extended warranty and roadside assistance.

The mid-size sports utility vehicle Creta, which is one of Hyundai’s best-sellers, is now offered at a discount of Rs 80,000, which is a 60 percent rise in the last one week.

Maruti Suzuki announced a Rs 1 lakh reduction in the price of its popular model: Baleno RS. This comes after the first round of price cuts on select models announced by the company earlier this week.

The model now starts at Rs 7,88,913 (ex-showroom Delhi). The auto major had positioned the Baleno RS as a 'high-performance' hatchback, powered by a 1.0-litre booster jet petrol engine.


KTM launches Duke 790 in India

KTM, the Austrian off-road bike specialist partly owned by Bajaj Auto, has launched the Duke 790, its priciest motorcycle in India, at Rs 8.63 lakh.

The Duke 790 will be assembled at Bajaj Auto's Chakan factory near Pune and will be sold through a select set of dealerships, to begin with.


Hyundai Kona sold out for India

Hyundai’s first all-electric car Kona has been sold out for the rest of 2019, and the Korean company is now struggling to keep pace with the high demand.

Priced at a little under Rs 24 lakh, the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), has seen cumulative bookings of 300 units since its launch in July this year. Being stretched on deliveries, Hyundai is seeking extra volumes from its headquarters in Korea.


Ford may sell India unit to M&M

Ford Motor Company has reiterated its emphasis on 'Make in India' after reports emerged that it is in talks to sell 51 percent stake in most of its Indian assets to Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M).

The new entity will hold most of Ford India's assets including two car plants, but will not include its global business services division or an export-focused engine plant in Sanand. It also gets equal voting rights and board representation, sources told Bloomberg.

A couple of months back reports stated Ford may shut a plant in Wales, UK and fears multiplied after what is thought to be UK’s inevitable exit from the European Union. The company has already shut down a transmission plant manufacturing plant in France.

By the end of 2020, Ford would have closed six plants globally from the total of 24 at the beginning of this year resulting in ‘thousands’ of job losses. The company has already cut jobs in its home country the US though it has not shut any plants there yet.

Market watchers fear that the constant struggle of Ford to get a foothold in the Indian market despite being the earliest to enter the country is a testimony to the challenges faced by foreign automotive brands in the country.

Maruti and Hyundai control nearly 70 percent of the Indian passenger vehicle market with the rest of the share divided among 10 other brands.

With the exception of the Ecosport in the current generation and Figo during the previous generation Ford has not produced a single top volume product which can challenge the market leader.

Ecosport was a game-changer for the company because it had the first mover’s advantage. All of Ford’s other products such as Figo, Aspire, Fiesta and Freestyle were ‘me-too’ where it followed a trend-setter.

Ford and Mahindra have worked jointly for more than a year now. M&M developed Bharat Stage VI engine for the Ecosport, is now also electrifying the Aspire, and co-developing cars for both companies.

With the significantly high level of coordination M&M has turned out to be the most suitable partner to crack the Indian market. But with financial challenges back home it will be difficult for Ford to make the best out of the M&M tie-up.

General Motors and Fiat (brand Fiat) who are Ford’s peers have already quit India after piling losses for several years.

There is no official word yet from either Ford or Mahindra about getting involved in any strategic deal beyond what is already announced. But selling its business assets to Mahindra would be the best way to salvage operations for the troubled company.

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First Published on Sep 28, 2019 09:16 am
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