The CES 2020 saw Sony display a futuristic car and Toyota, Mercedes and Hyundai talk about next-gen tech-led possibilities, a combination which was difficult to imagine 10 years ago.
In today’s edition of the auto wrap of the week, we look at the possible outcomes of the lethal combination of technology and automotive. But before that here is a complete list of all the major auto stories of the week.
Jaguar Land Rover sales down by 5.9% in 2019
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reported a 5.9 per cent decline in total retail sales at 557,706 units last year as compared with 2018.
The sales of Jaguar brand were at 161,601 units, down 10.6 per cent, while Land Rover sales witnessed a dip of 3.8 per cent during the year as compared with 2018.
Luxury car sales lowest in 3 years
Sales of luxury cars may have dipped to their lowest in three years due to multiple increases in prices and a slowing economy
Mercedes, BMW and Audi together control more than 80 percent of all luxury cars sold in India. They posted sales of 28,021 units in 2019, a slump of 26 percent compared to 2018 when they sold 37,702 units.
KTM to piggyback Bajaj Auto to boost volumes
Austrian street bike specialist KTM and its Indian partner Bajaj Auto are looking to accelerate on new launches to give their annual sales more than 50 percent volume boost compared to the 2018 levels.
KTM, which had finished 2018 with global volumes of 261,529 units, forecasted sales of 400,000 units by end of 2022. This comprises models from KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas brands.
Global carmakers take the lead in BS-VI transition
Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai have switched to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms much faster than their Indian counterparts. This, despite less than 12 weeks remaining for India to bring its vehicular emission levels on par with developed countries.
Of the 20-odd vehicles that Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) sell in India, only one has been upgraded to meet BS-VI emission norms. In comparison, market leader Maruti Suzuki has converted eight of its 13 models to BS-VI.
Tata Motors to roll-out BS-VI models this month
Tata Motors on January 9 said it will start the roll-out of over 100 BS-VI compliant models, including passenger vehicles, this month. The auto major also plans to have four global unveils and display 14 commercial and 12 passenger vehicle at the upcoming Auto Expo.
"From January 2020 onwards, we will be introducing over 100 lead models with over 1,000 variants," Tata Motors President and Chief Technology Officer Rajendra Petkar said in a statement
Skoda unveils design sketches of new SUV
Skoda Auto has revealed the first design sketches of the Vision In, a mid-size sports utility vehicle that the Czech auto brand will launch in India in 2021.
Built on the MQB A0 IN platform that parent Volkswagen has developed, the Vision In will be displayed at the upcoming India Auto Expo. This new SUV will mark the beginning of the revival process of Volkswagen whose journey so far in India has been full of challenges.
Connected cars are ‘moving targets’ for hackers
It was no surprise to find hardcore automotive companies Hyundai, Toyota and Daimler at the technology event CES held at Las Vegas this week. Modern-day vehicles are increasing getting assimilated with everyday technology to make mobility an effortless and seamless experience.
Hyundai showcased a full scale, four rotor-equipped, flying taxi concept in partnership with Uber at the mega event. The four-seater is designed for speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, at an altitude of around 1,000 to 2,000 feet.
Toyota, one of world’s biggest automotive companies, announced plans of setting up a ‘smart city’ which would also be the biggest open-air laboratory for testing artificial intelligence, robots and driverless cars.
But what caught the eye of the visitors at the CES was the experiment conducted by a comparatively lesser-known Israeli start-up GuardKnox Cyber Technologies.
The firm has built an end-to-end holistic software and hardware solution that shields a vehicle’s control system from cyber attacks. But at the CES GuardKnox displayed how vulnerable the security system of a vehicle is when an employee of the company assumed control of the steering wheel of a Formula 1 car through hacking.
The engineer hacked into controls of the speeding car without physically touching the car. The faux race was over with the car being stuck on the side of the road. This could very well become a reality considering that modern-day cars are packed with computer chips, cameras, sensors and internet.Though 100 percent driverless car technology is many years away from a debut in India several of the car models launched in recent years feature digital connectivity. Such connectivity powered by an embedded, 5G capable, e-sim, is used in providing the best navigation, send SoS during emergencies, live stream songs or send the geographical location of the vehicle. But as every coin has two sides this connectivity feature can place the vehicle in harm’s way if the technology is accessed by the wrong hands.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.