Saturday, 30 September 2017

TVS Motor introduces a new Syrah Matte Red Series for TVS Apache RTR 160 and RTR 180 for the festive season

Eggshell Matte finish on TVS Apache RTR 160 and RTR 180 


TVS Motor Company, a leading two- and three-wheeler manufacturer in India, has recently introduced a new Syrah Matte Red Series for its popular premium motorcycles, TVS Apache RTR 160 and RTR 180. The motorcycles are draped in Racing Syrah Matte Red finish, lending them a sharp, striking look which befits their Racing DNA.

Racing Syrah Matte Red is an exclusive shade with Eggshell finish, developed using a twin component thermosetting acrylic paint system with a special pigment to create a ‘Matte Clear’ process. The motorcycles wear the Racing Syrah Matte Red across the fuel tank, engine cowl and the rear frame with red rim stickers for TVS Apache RTR 160 and white for RTR 180.  These accentuations give the motorcycles a new attractive look for the festive season.

With over 2.5 million customers, the TVS Apache RTR brand is a popular buy in the premium segment with products such as TVS Apache RTR 160 and RTR 180 which is also available in an ABS variant. The latest addition in this series is the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, which won the prestigious ‘Indian Motorcycle of the Year 2017’ Award.

With the introduction of the new colour this festive season, the complete TVS Apache RTR brand motorcycles will now be available in Matte Red finish. The brand has also created a new television commercial for the festive season featuring the complete TVS Apache RTR portfolio.

You can watch it here:
TVS Apache RTR series is BSIV compliant and equipped with Daylight Running Lamps (DRL). It comes in a variety of colour selections.

Friday, 29 September 2017

India Yamaha Motor's Chennai factory achieves 1 million production milestone

India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. (IYM), one of the leading two-wheeler manufacturers in the country, reached a major milestone of producing its one-millionth unit from the Chennai factory on September 22. The one millionth model rolled out of the IYM’s Chennai factory is India’s most stylish scooter, Fascino. The other scooter and motorcycle models which contributed in reaching this landmark by IYM includes Ray Z, Ray ZR, Alpha, Saluto and Saluto RX.

Yamaha began its operation in Chennai in March 2015 with an initial capacity of 4.5 lakhs unit per annum. In a short span of two years, it increased its capacity to 6 lakhs unit per annum and by 2019, it will reach at 9 lakhs unit per annum. The increase in production figures can largely be attributed to the increasing popularity of scooter and motorcycle brands of Yamaha in India. The total production capacity of IYM including the factories in Chennai and Surajpur by 2019 will reach at 1.6 million units per annum.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Riuji Kawashima, Deputy Managing Director, IYM, said: “This is a remarkable achievement by Yamaha. The production of one million-unit in two years showcases the increasing popularity of our brand among the Indian customers. The important milestone will serve as a major boost for business development as well as future expansion plans in India. We will continue to enhance the production facilities and contribute to the requirements of the Indian two wheeler market.”

Out of one million products manufactured from the Chennai factory, 8.5 lakhs units have been manufactured for the domestic market and remaining 1.5 lakhs units for the export market. Fascino is the most produced product with 3.7 lakhs units. The production percentage ratio of the scooter & motorcycle production at the factory is 7:3 right now. The models with highest export numbers were the FZ series, Ray ZR and Fascino.

Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Vice President, IYM, said: “This major milestone would have not been possible without the hard work and diligent efforts of our entire team from production, manufacturing, purchase, R&D and all other departments as well as the suppliers. In the first year i.e. 2015, we produced 2.29 lakhs unit, the very next year in 2016 we produced 4.17 lakhs unit and this year till date we have produced 3.54 lakhs units. We are proud to contribute in the world’s number 1 two-wheeler market. I am confident with this passion we will continue to reach new heights in future as well.”

Yamaha has so far invested Rs. 1,300 crores in the Chennai factory and plans to invest more than Rs. 200 crores by 2018. Chennai factory is the first in the Yamaha Motor Group which has a “Vendor Park” in its nearby vicinity. The vendor park has 9 vendors which have invested Rs. 760 crores till date, employing more than 1,900 people. The facility has supported in bringing together the production operations of main external parts suppliers, thus enabling complete synchronization of external supplier parts production as well. This system helps reduce losses in the areas of production management and distribution to extremely low levels in the overall engineering and manufacturing process, and thus making the production base a highly-efficient and profitable plant.

IYM’s Chennai plant is an energy-recycling factory that is friendly to people and the global environment. The plant incorporates state-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced technologies for Zero-water discharge and recycle/reuse of waste water and maximum use of sunlight. The building is compatible to solar power system installation. All common utilities are located in the centre to minimize distribution loss & centralized management.

The facility is of strategic importance to Yamaha’s local and global business. Apart from catering to the domestic market, the plant is aimed at functioning as the manufacturing base for predominantly African market as well as ASEAN and Latin American markets.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Bison Harley-Davidson dealership opens in Bengaluru

Harley-Davidson India, announced the launch of its 3rd dealership in Bengaluru, Bison Harley-Davidson. This state-of-the-art 3S facility is situated at 162, 80 feet Main Road, Koramangala, Bengaluru, the dealership is the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in Karnataka. With this new addition, Harley-Davidson has expanded its dealerships network along with increasing its stronghold in Karnataka.

Spread over 7,000 sq. feet, this dealership brings Harley-Davidson’s never-ending drive towards uncompromising quality and design to life through its inspiring layout. The dealership boasts of unique design to cater to every motorcyclist’s dreams. Creating India’s first fit shop, Bison Harley-Davidson has developed an area where riders can drive in to customize their motorcycles. Extending its reach to more customers in Bengaluru the newest dealership will give Harley-Davidson enthusiasts a taste of the lifestyle the brand promises to offer.

Commenting on the launch of the dealership, Peter MacKenzie, Managing Director at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, said: “We are thrilled to launch Bison Harley-Davidson in Bengaluru. This has been a result of the encouraging response from riders in the market. As a brand, Harley-Davidson has always promoted the sport of leisure riding across the length and breadth of the country. We aim to expand our footprints across the country through a stronger outreach and welcome more riders into the Harley-Davidson family.”

Speaking about its launch, Vishesh Jayawanth, Dealer Principal, Bison Harley-Davidson Dealership, said: “I have always believed that motorcycling is a life-changing pursuit. The Harley-Davidson motorcycling community has grown leaps and bounds in India over the last decade. With the launch of Bison Harley-Davidson, we are incredibly excited to be an integral part of the most iconic brand in the world. In order to provide top-notch customer experience to the brand lovers in Karnataka, we have launched the biggest dealership in the State. We have already received an overwhelming response from the existing and potential customers in Bengaluru and are looking forward to further growing the sport of leisure motorcycling in the state of Karnataka.”

The newest dealership will offer all 14 models in the Harley-Davidson India line up, in-addition to a wide range of parts and accessories to customize motorcycles, and authentic Harley-Davidson merchandise. Enthusiasts can drop by to schedule a test ride or indulge in the latest riding gear, and motorcycle parts and accessories. The passion, enthusiasm and respect received by the brand from customers and enthusiasts continues to inspire the company’s growth plans. Over the last year, Harley-Davidson India has opened dealerships in various cities including Guwahati, second dealership in New Delhi, Dehradun and Kolhapur.

Grundfos India launches high-efficiency Hydro MPC pumps with IE5 Motor

Grundfos India, one of the leading manufacturers of energy-efficient pumps, announced the launch of its new range of Hydro MPC pumps with the IE5 Motor. The Grundfos Hydro MPC booster systems are of very high standards and combining this with the IE5 motor, which is integrated with a frequency converter, connects the accumulated pump experience of Grundfos into the dedicated control software. This combination of pump and customizable software optimizes your system’s performance for any load point, delivering an unsurpassed reduction of energy consumption. As an industry pioneer, Grundfos is excited to introduce the IE5 Motor, which helps in energy conservation of up to 7 per cent and a reduction in the payback time of these controlled pumps.

The Grundfos Hydro MPC booster systems are designed to last and are sturdy. The compact units also enable easy access to all service parts. Grundfos Hydro MPC booster systems can be used wherever additional pressure is required. Some of the key features and benefits are:

*  Reliable

*  Highly efficient

*  Service-friendly

*  Space-saving

*  Easy to commission

*  Perfectly adapting to the flow

*  Low-flow detection

*  Application-optimized software

Assuring an unprecedented level of performance, the Hydro MPC motor is unparalleled with its state-of-the-art intelligent components. The Hydro MPC pumps with IE5 Motors will be available with systems that are pre-configured from the factory with variety of pump sizes to increase water boosting.

Commenting on this launch, Mr. G. Ganga Prasad, Vice President - Sales (South), Grundfos India, said: “In every high performing building there is a high performing pump. But pumps are only part of the story. Intelligent & integrated solutions allow you to take control of your entire system to achieve an even higher performing building. With intelligent pumps, design and high efficiency IE5 motors, Grundfos is raising the bar to ensure exactly this”.

For more information, visit:

Toyota Kirloskar Motor launches 'Fortuner TRD Sportivo'

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has announced the launch of the Fortuner TRD Sportivo, the sportier edition of one of the most celebrated SUVs in the Indian auto market. With the rollout timed just ahead of the festive season, the new edition available in the 4x2 AT - pearl white color with a brawnier and sportier appeal than its predecessors.

Priced at Rs. 31,01,500 (ex-showroom Delhi), the Fortuner TRD Sportivo is designed and developed by Toyota Racing Development (TRD). Delivering Toyota’s legendary promise of Quality, Durability & Reliability (QDR), the newest Fortuner not only enhances road presence but also the sporty quotient.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Akitoshi Takemura, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., said: “Fortuner has proven to be a “True SUV” well recognized for its best in class durability, on-road comfort and off-road prowess. The 2nd generation Fortuner has also continued this legacy with its distinctive, sleek and powerful design backed by improved driving dynamics has received tremendous response ever since its launch in India last year.”

“Our latest festive offering, the 'Fortuner TRD Sportivo' will add more excitement to brand Fortuner. It will certainly make the SUV look sportier and also impose the brand’s cult on-road presence and unbeatable performance by providing exclusivity to our customers”, he added.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. N. Raja, Director & Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., said: “Among Toyota’s offerings, the Fortuner series has inspired unwavering loyalty in customers who appreciate its exemplary driving experience, and identify with the car’s unique sense of power, style and adventure. As Toyota’s flagship model, the Fortuner has won many hearts globally and in India.”

Since its launch in 2009, the Fortuner has been dominating the SUV segment in the country, conquering about 75% of the market share. The upgraded Fortuner that was introduced in November last year has received a phenomenal response with average monthly sales of over 2000 units and cumulative sales of over 21,000 units.

The Fortuner TRD Sportivo has undergone a series of changes to satisfy the requirements of even the most demanding customers, he added.

Bookings of the Fortuner TRD Sportivo will begin along with vehicle display in all Toyota dealerships across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Lucknow.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Honda 2Wheelers India’s retails hit the roof on Day 1 of Navratri 2017

 On Day 1, retails grow by whooping 122% and breach 50,000 mark

After blockbuster customer buying of Honda two-wheelers in Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam 2017, Honda 2Wheelers India’s retails on auspicious Day 1 of Navratri have broken all past records in Honda’s history and breached the 50,000 mark for the first time ever!

With customer demand for Honda 2Wheeler increasing exponentially, Honda’s retails have more than doubled on the Day 1 of Navratri itself! Overall, Honda’s retails grew by an astronomical 122% from 23,702 units in 2016 to over 52,000 units in 2017.

With 8 more days yet to go, 2017 Navratri is all set to be a bumper bonanza for Honda.

Sharing how from strategic perspective Honda’s Utsav preparation started months back, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said: “By strategically advancing the start of the new assembly line (in Karnataka plant), Honda’s production has increased by additional 50,000 two-wheelers per month ahead of the auspicious period. This has given our dealers a big advantage of being better prepared to meet festive demand this time. Paralelly, Honda’s aggressive network expansion, 360 degree marketing campaigns, new model launches and attractive festive schemes before festive season has given us wings to grow at a faster pace and prepare for 2017 festive period like never before. As a trend, we are seeing huge spike in our customer walk-ins and overall retails in every festival, be it Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam or even the beginning of Navratri.”

Honda announces big savings upto Rs. 7,500 this festive season

Honda has ensured adequate stock of all its models right up to last mile rural network so that customers can readily buy their Honda 2Wheeler anytime in this festive season.

To further make 2017 festivities even more joyful for its valued customers, Honda 2Wheelers India has announced 3 special festive offers valid till October 31, 2017. These include:

1. Attractive Benefit upto Rs. 7,500 on purchase of any Honda two-wheeler model on retail finance with very low rate of interest, zero processing fee and zero documentation charge.

2. Direct cash benefit of Rs. 2,000 exclusively for Government and PSU employees on purchase of any Honda motorcycle and NAVi model.

3. Furthermore, Honda is the only two-wheeler manufacturer in India to sell completely refurbished pre-owned two-wheeler models under its best deal outlets. This festive season, Honda is giving limited period exchange additional benefit of Rs. 1,000 to pre-owned customers on exchange of existing two-wheeler with any Honda two-wheeler model only at Honda’s pre-owned Best Deal outlets across India.

Leather industry welcomes GST but wants rate reduction and IGST exemption

The leather industry wholeheartedly welcomes GST and appreciates the efforts of the Government in implementing uniform taxation. However, the leather industry is facing the following major issues after GST implementation:

* The industry is facing financial burden and significant outflow of capital on account of levy of higher GST rates on major segments of the manufacturing chain and requirement of upfront payment of GST and then claim refund.

* The full rate of Duty Drawback is available only for three months from July 2017 to September 2017, after which the DBK is restricted only to Customs portion of duties.

* The Government has extended deadline for filing of GSTR 3 (monthly returns) for July 2017 upto November 10, 2017. As of now, no GST refund has been obtained and extension of deadline for GST returns will further delay the refunds, though the GST law provides for immediate refund of IGST upon submission of monthly return in respect of IGST paid/rebate route for exports and for 90% refund within 7 working days from date of submission of complete refund application in respect of zero rated exports through bond/LUT route.

* Upfront payment of GST and delayed refunds not only increases the transaction costs of the exporters, but also threatens to wipe out the small and medium exporters (who constitute more than 80% of units in leather sector) who do not have the resources for generating significant money for GST payment.

* Hence, in order to achieve positive growth in exports, the industry needs handholding from the Government and consideration of the following major requests concerning GST.
GST requests

* IGST exemption for import of inputs / raw materials / capital goods used for making export products, as levy of IGST is affecting the liquidity of exporters and blunting their competitive edge.

* Reduction of GST for finished leather and composition leather from 12% to 5% as finished leather is the essential raw material required for manufacture of value added products. These materials were not subject to Central Excise and VAT was only 5%.

* Reduction of  job work for manufacture of leather products and footwear from 18% to 5%, as done for the textiles sector. 18% GST on job work rendering most of job workers/cottage industries jobless

* Reduction of GST on CETPs from 18% to 5%. CETPs earlier exempted from Service Tax. 21 CETPs in leather industry are catering to MSME tanners who cannot have individual ETPs

* Reduction of GST on leather goods / leather gloves / leather garments under Chapter 42 from 28% to 12%, so as to promote FDIs in this sector.

The leather industry welcomes reduction of GST on sale of duty credit scrips from 12% to 5%.

The Government may positively consider the above requests, as the current situation is threatening to take away the business of Indian leather industry to competitors like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia. The industry is already facing worldwide recession and fresh challenge in the form of emergence of strong production centres in Eastern Europe.  Loss of competitiveness due to GST issues, will be a huge loss to the leather industry which currently has an annual export turnover of $5.6 billion and employment of about 4.5 million, with predominant women employment.  Hence, there is an urgent need for immediate Government intervention to protect the interests of the leather industry and achieve envisaged 10% export growth. 

Duty drawback

As significant amount of capital of the exporters is already blocked on account of payment of GST, we had requested  higher rate of Drawbacks should be allowed till March 2018, to give sufficient transition time to the exporters.  However, the full Drawback is now extended only upto September 2017. As GST refund mechanism is not yet ready, the full drawback has to be extended upto March 2018 to reduce the huge capital outflow being currently faced.

Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)

Also, there is a need for enhancement of duty credit scrip under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 6% for leather, leather products and footwear to increase price competitiveness.

Rebate of State Levies

CLE had requested the Department of Commerce to recommend  implementation of Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) Scheme for the leather sector, on the lines ROSL Scheme being implemented for the textile sector, so as to compensate state levies not covered under GST.  We have already submitted the required cost data to the Drawback directorate.

Implementation of the above requests will decrease the financial burden, reduce capital outflow and will help in achieving positive export growth from the leather industry.

Tata Motors launches futuristic lifestyle SUV - NEXON

Gaining more market share across all segments 


Tata Motors has announced its entry into the growing Compact SUV segment with the commercial launch of its new Gen-next lifestyle SUV, the Tata NEXON.

Targeted at the personal car buyers, the Tata NEXON is the 4th product based on the ‘Impact Design’ philosophy. It brings together global and contemporary design with best-in-class technology and features for the ones who would like to express themselves with a unique style of their own. Keeping customers and their aspirations at the heart of the business, the Tata NEXON will deliver an emotional elevation through more individualized experiences in the passenger vehicles market. 

With an introductory price of Rs. 597315 ex-showroom Chennai, for the petrol variant and at Rs. 697509, ex-showroom Chennai, for the diesel variant, the Tata NEXON is the most competitively priced SUV in this segment, with class-leading features. Starting now, the Tata NEXON will be on sale, across 650 Tata Motors authorized sales outlets in India. 

Mr. Vivek Srivatsa, Head - Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, said: “We are redefining the SUV segment in India, NEXON will fulfill both aspirational and practical requirements of our new generation customers who want to experience the LEVEL NEX of SUVs. With its unique styling and the most appreciated feature set, the NEXON is a winner and a perfect car for the urban, young customers. It is a sporty SUV with extremely contemporary styling engineered to deliver excellence with dynamic handling, sporty performance, smart connectivity and comfort along with advanced safety features. Reinforcing the lineage of our path breaking offerings, NEXON highlights our positive outlook in expanding our market presence by attracting a self-motivated and younger base of customers. With the new turnaround strategy in place, we are working with renewed focus and energy to improve our market share and bring products faster to market.”

The Tata NEXON is a revolutionary design of “Breaking the BOX” with an aerodynamic silhouette. This design element of the car enhances its sporty character and represents the evolution of the SUV design featuring the practicality of an SUV with style of a sports coupe. 

Available in four variants – XE, XM, XT, XZ+, the Tata NEXON will come in five exciting colour options – Vermont Red, Moroccan Blue, Seattle Silver, Glasgow Grey and Calgary White and will come with a standard warranty of 75,000 km or 2 years, whichever is earlier. 

For more details on Tata NEXON, visit:

Honda Cars India introduces Digipad AVN system in BR-V

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL), leading manufacturer of passenger cars in India, introduced its enriched BR-V, featuring the Digipad – Honda’s revolutionary 17.7cm Advanced Touchscreen Audio Video Navigation (AVN) system. Along with the new infotainment system, BR-V comes with newly introduced rear parking camera & rear parking sensors to offer a more convenient and safer parking experience. The new features have been introduced in the VX grade of the BR-V. The rear parking sensors have been introduced from S Grade onwards.

Speaking about the enriched Honda BR-V, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd., said: “We are delighted to introduce the enriched version of the BR-V for our customers in this festive season. The BR-V with Digipad, and other new features, adds to the model’s versatility and we are confident that this “Be Ready Vehicle” will complement the varied lifestyles of our customers.”

“Honda has introduced many new features in several Honda models during this festive season and they have received excellent customer response. We are quite optimistic of good sales numbers in this season,” he added.

The revolutionary 17.7cm advanced infotainment system, with capacitive touch-screen – the DIGIPAD – is especially introduced to add an advanced and interactive appeal to the BR-V. It features:

* In-built satellite-linked 3D navigation

* My Storage internal media memory of 1.5GB

* Mirror Link support for smartphone connectivity

* Internet access for browsing, email and live traffic via optional Wifi receiver

* Voice commands for media, navigation and calling

* Smartphone voice assistant activation

* Bluetooth for hands-free telephone and audio streaming support

* AM/FM Digital radio tuner, MP3/WAV, i-Pod/i-phone compatible

* USB slots (2 Nos), Micro SD Card slots for maps and media (2 Nos.) & HDMI-IN port

Honda BR-V is a new generation crossover utility vehicle featuring a combination of bold, sporty appearance and an extremely versatile and spacious cabin. BR-V has been able to attract diverse customers due to its Bold and Sporty stance, high ground clearance, powerful performance, excellent mileage and highly versatile premium 3-row seating. The versatile seating of BR-V offer recline, slide & folding options.

Available in both diesel and petrol variant, BR-V has been well accepted by the customers across the country. The unique “Paddle Shift” option in the CVT variant provides the convenience of an automatic with enhanced driving pleasure of a manual.

The 3-year unlimited km warranty policy on BR-V has been strongly appreciated by the customers.

The price of the enriched VX grades of the BR-V (ex-showroom Delhi price) are as below:

1.5L VX MT Petrol – Rs. 12,27,169

1.5L VX MT Diesel – Rs. 13,22,512

Crop Science Division of Bayer well positioned to fulfill future customer, market and societal needs

Bayer remains convinced that the long-term trends impacting the global agricultural sector will remain unchanged. “Despite the current market volatility, our Crop Science business is well positioned to fulfill future customer, market and societal needs,” said Liam Condon, Bayer Management Board member and President of the Crop Science Division, during his presentation at the company’s Future of Farming Dialog 2017 on September 18-20. 

The event brings together thought leaders and stakeholders from across the agricultural industry to highlight the need for various groups – including industry, government, academic and NGO representatives and from both the public and private sectors – to cooperate to make the world’s food system more sustainable and thus fit for the future. 

“The global seed and crop protection market remains volatile in 2017 after a weak prior year,” Condon noted. However, high population growth, changing consumption patterns and increasing consumer demand for sustainably produced food will have a positive impact on food production, global agricultural trade and ultimately on farm income. “Those factors combined with the steadily growing global demand for feed and biofuel feedstocks support a long-term increase in demand that will drive our business,” Condon pointed out. 

Business in Brazil expected to return to normal in 2018 

Short-term volatility is always possible in a business dependent on the weather as well as pest and disease prevalence, especially in tropical climates such as Brazil. “Over the past two years, lower pest pressure and drought in key parts of the country have led to lower demand for insecticides and fungicides,” Condon explained. “We experienced a significant decline in sales and earnings in connection with historically high channel inventories at the end of this year’s harvest season in Brazil.” The elevated inventory situation affects the entire market but Bayer is likely to be more heavily affected due to its strong market position in both segments, insecticides and fungicides. Measures have been initiated in order to return to a more normal situation, for example re-allocation of products to different markets and lower sell-in. 

“For 2018 overall we forecast a return to growth in Brazil,” Condon said during his keynote address at the conference. As previously indicated with the publication of the Q2 results, due to provisions for Brazil, Bayer is now anticipating sales of less than EUR 10 billion (previously: sales of more than EUR 10 billion) for its Crop Science Division in 2017. This corresponds to a low single-digit percentage decline on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. 

Innovation is crucial for sustainable agriculture

Focusing in his speech on sustainable agriculture, Liam Condon also reaffirmed the commitment of the Crop Science Division to investing in innovation and developing customized agronomic solutions for farmers that address their individual needs and challenges. 

In this context, Condon emphasized that the proposed acquisition of Monsanto presents a tremendous opportunity to positively shape the future of farming. “It is our responsibility to ensure that innovation is made available to farmers large and small, all over the world. Only then can we make a meaningful contribution to ensuring a sustainable world food system.” 

Bayer is also committed to helping meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals that are related to combating hunger and poverty and promoting good health and well-being, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production patterns as well as climate action and partnering.

Progress being made in planned acquisition of Monsanto / Closing anticipated in early 2018

Regarding the process and time frame of the acquisition, Condon said that the company is making progress. In late June 2017, Bayer filed a submission to obtain antitrust approval from the European Commission. On August 22, the European Commission initiated a Phase II investigation. 

In consultation with the European Commission, Bayer filed an application on Monday, September 18, to extend the review deadline by ten working days until January 22, 2018, with the aim of facilitating an appropriate evaluation given the size of the transaction. “In view of this, an anticipated closing of the deal in early 2018 is now more likely than end of 2017,” Condon said. Bayer has submitted applications for clearance to almost all of the around 30 relevant authorities, and has already received approvals from over one-third of them.

Digital Farming products successfully rolled out in more than 30 countries

Condon also addressed the company’s efforts in the field of digital technologies. “We are committed to investing at least EUR 200 million in our Digital Farming business between 2015 and 2020.” Already today, most new farm machinery is equipped with precision agriculture features. New tools help farmers optimize inputs such as fertilizer and crop protection agents with corresponding improvements in yields and quality. “Innovative digital farming technologies help farmers big and small grow healthier crops more efficiently and more sustainably,” Condon said. 

Digital Farming solutions also help meet society’s rising requirements in terms of transparency and sustainability. “We are therefore collaborating closely with highly competent partners such as Bosch and FaunaPhotonics, universities, start-up companies and nonprofit organizations like Quantified Planet. By donating and sharing proprietary data, we are contributing to research into biodiversity for the benefit of both agriculture and civil society.”

Currently, Bayer provides digital solutions in more than 30 countries and is aiming to achieve rapid further expansion. The new technologies have huge potential not only in countries such as Canada, the United States, Brazil, Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia, but also for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Enabling smallholder farmers to reach their farming potential is key to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner and to improve the lives of their families and communities.

R&D investment of approximately EUR 1 billion

During his keynote address, Condon was joined by Adrian Percy, global head of Research and Development for the Crop Science Division, who shared more information about Bayer’s R&D pipeline and investments. “At Crop Science, we’ve been investing approximately EUR 1 billion annually in research and development to bring new products to the market to address the major challenges affecting farmers worldwide,” Percy pointed out. “We’ve made it our responsibility to listen to our customers to understand the specific issues they face from country to country and region to region, better enabling us to deliver the customized agronomic solution that fits their individual needs best.” 

Crop Science R&D pipeline to bring 15 new products to farmers by 2020

“We are very proud of our innovative solutions such as our Luna and Aviator Xpro fungicides as well as our Sivanto insecticide, which are all demonstrations of our capability to innovate. Not to mention our LibertyLink soybean seeds and InVigor canola hybrid varieties with our patented pod shatter reduction technology,” Percy said. “These products have become significant contributors to revenue within just a few years.” Bayer has a variety of biological crop protection solutions in its development pipeline, for example Poncho/VOTiVO 2.0. A second, complementary bacterium increases the productivity of soil around the root, resulting in an increase of available nutrients for the plant to use.

Percy also outlined the current Crop Science R&D pipeline with 15 active ingredients and traits / trait combinations to be launched from 2017 to 2020. The integrated pipeline also contains more than 100 life-cycle management projects as well as several hundred new seed varieties in vegetable and broad acre crops. The activities of the global R&D organization will be guided by R&D targets to address the major unmet needs of growers worldwide with future innovative solutions in chemical and biological crop protection as well as seeds and traits.

While Bayer has a world-class R&D team working internally on innovation, the company has also established a successful external innovation platform to capitalize on the expertise and strength of many institutions, organizations from academia and the industry, and start-up companies with common purposes and goals. “Through strategic research partnerships, crowd-sourcing tools and venture capital funding, we are collaborating on multiple fronts to ensure that we can continue to pioneer innovation in agriculture,” Percy stated. Recently, Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston entered into an agreement to create a new company focused on the plant microbiome with an initial focus on nitrogen fixation. Improving the microbes’ ability to make nitrogen fertilizer available for plants, offers a major potential benefit for sustainable agriculture and next-generation solutions to farmers biggest challenges. 

Cost of innovation is increasing

In recent years, the average investment needed to bring a new product to market has increased, strongly driven by increasing regulatory requirements. Percy is convinced that Bayer is making a difference through cutting-edge science, and helping farmers around the world produce high-quality food, feed, fiber and biofuels in a sustainable manner. 

“To safeguard these investments, we need a political and regulatory environment that fosters innovation and collaboration along the broad and multi-layered value-chain,” Percy pointed out. “Our industry depends on scientific research to enable the transformative technologies needed for our future food security. If the public does not trust our science, then this security could be in jeopardy.” 

Commitment to transparency

Percy also reiterated the company’s commitment to safety and transparency with reference to a Bayer initiative to grant access to safety-relevant crop protection study information used in the registration process. To start with, safety-related study summaries for a large number of active substances will be made available via a specially designed Bayer web portal. Additional information will be provided in the form of video tutorials, infographics and further elaborated scientific material. The website will go online at the end of 2017. In the next phase, users will also be able to request access to full, in-depth safety-related study reports. 

“We want everyone – from the general public to members of the scientific community – to be able to access the information they want in a way that is fast and easy to understand,” Percy said. “We also want the public to understand why and how we perform safety studies. This is a great opportunity for a beneficial dialog with the public about how Bayer ensures the safety of its products.” 

Societal acceptance is key to close the gap between producer and consumer

“We live in a post-truth era in which populism and political polarization jeopardize the acceptance of modern science,” Liam Condon noted in his opening speech to the audience. “Well-established scientific facts are questioned by people who prefer to believe in rumors and emotional campaigns,” he continued and cited a recent Nobel Prize winner: “Gaining consumer trust paves the way for the scientific breakthroughs needed to ensure healthy food for a growing population.” 

Closing his address to the audience gathered at Crop Science’s global headquarters, Percy emphasized the need for everyone in the industry to do a better job of listening to consumers’ concerns and helping to answer the questions they have about agricultural innovations clearly and transparently. According to a recent global survey Bayer fielded with 10,000 people in 10 countries, more than 9 out of 10 people believe that ensuring safe, affordable and nutritious food for everyone through innovation is an urgent issue. However, many consumers remain emotionally skeptical about trusting science and research. 

“Societal acceptance is key,” Percy noted and called for a multi-stakeholder approach to better engage civil society, especially younger consumers, through active listening, open dialog and better education about the benefits of innovation. “That’s why we convened such a diverse group at this year’s Future of Farming Dialog – bringing key voices together.” Bayer’s AgVocacy program, for example, provides comprehensive training to industry stakeholders to help them confidently share and explain their work to consumers, while agriculture education programs such as BayLabs, the global Youth Ag-Summit and Making Science Make Sense help introduce the next generation to sound science. In addition, the Bayer Bee Care Program as well as the Bayer ForwardFarming initiative are important dialog platforms which help close the gap between producer and consumer.

“Without industry research, innovations in agriculture to address our future food needs would be greatly diminished. As scientists, our challenge is to effectively engage and communicate on these issues,” Percy summarized. “The future of food depends on a stronger bond between agriculture and society.”

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. 

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LANXESS listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Europe and World

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is listed again in two Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. LANXESS will again be part of  the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe (DJSI). The group will also be included beginning mid-September 2017, for the seventh consecutive time in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World.

The composition of this sustainability index, which is recognized throughout the world, is determined once a year on the basis of financially relevant environmental, social and governance factors. Among the achievements at LANXESS highlighted this year was the improvement in emissions and water consumption as well as in the area of personnel development. Hence, LANXESS ranks among the top ten percent of the chemical industry.

“We have firmly anchored the principle of sustainable development  in our corporate strategy. To be listed again in these important indices is a confirmation of our exceptional engagement in this area”, said LANXESS CEO Matthias Zachert.

The DJSI is compiled through collaboration between S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the world’s biggest providers of financial market indices, and RobecoSAM, an asset manager specializing in sustainability investments. This year, more than 3,400 of the biggest companies out of 24 branches in industrialized countries and emerging markets were invited to take part in the assessment.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

UM Motorcycles rides in Renegade Commando Mojave & Renegade Commando Classic in Chennai

UM Lohia Two Wheelers, the Indian arm of the American motorcycle maker, UM International LLC, along with Lohia Auto is all set to ignite the passion for its riders by taking their biking experience to a completely different level with the introduction of brand new Renegade Commando Classic and Renegade Commando Mojave. The new revolutionary Renegade Commando Mojave and Renegade Commando Classic are powered by the liquid cooled, Single Cylinder, 4 strokes, 4 valves and Spark Ignition making it a perfect blend of Practicality and Versatility.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Ayush Lohia, Director, UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd., said: “There is a latent demand for such bikes with varied customer needs emerging in India. The customers are aware, ready to experiment and follow their gut. With the launch of Renegade Commando Classic and Mojave, we are looking forward to attract young leaders. We are committed in setting a new benchmark in providing excellence not only in our products but also in service experience. Renegade Commando Classic and Renegade Commando Mojave will surely capture up-country customers with a progressive mindset.”

The Renegade Commando Classic was much appreciated when it was showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo. It is a USA originated cruiser powered by a 279.5 cc single-cylinder Liquid-cooled EFI engine with responsive 4stroke 4 valve, spark ignition developing 25.15PS at 8500 RPM and 23 NM of torque at 7000 RPM, mated to a six-speed transmission with overdrive for vibration free rides. The motorcycle turn heads and stand out with high gloss metallic 2 tone paint job and more than 3430 square inches of sparkling chrome. It is a complete touring package which includes premium saddlebag and tank cover, poly carbonate windshield, highway engine guards and alloy back rest. The Renegade Classic will be available at Rs. 1,94,142 (ex-showroom- Chennai). The stylish cruiser will be available in the market in unique two tone metallic candy paint with shades of Copper Cream & Candy Metallic Glossy Black.

UM also introduces it’s all new Renegade Commando Mojave which is inspired from The Mojave desert, North America’s largest and driest desert. Mojave will also share the same engine as the Renegade Commando Classic but will feature new style and colour. Mojave will be introduced in the market in a unique desert coloured matte paint, Mojave Desert logos and fuel tank cell phone pad. The Renegade Commando Mojave and its sibling Renegade Classic come with an electric start and have an air filter with paper element innovation. Six-speed synchronized mesh Overdrive has been added for easy cruising. The front wheel has telescopic suspension while the rear wheel has dual shock absorbers. These motorcycles have a fuel tank of 18 liters with a kerb weight of 179 kg. The Renegade Commando Mojave is available at Rs. 1,85,683  (ex-showroom, Chennai).

The specifications of the motorcycles are:

An innovative feature called Service Alert Maintenance comes as a standard fitment in both the Renegade Commando Mojave and Renegade Commando Classic, giving customers a heads-up on the service update.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Honda Cars India announces price revision on account of additional compensation cess in GST

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL), a leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, has announced an increase in the price of its models – Honda City, Honda BR-V and Honda CR-V. The revised prices became effective from September 11, 2017 due to the additional compensation cess in GST.


Tata Motors launches TIAGO Wizz

A festive season special celebration edition 


To mark the overwhelming success of TIAGO and usher in the festive season, Tata Motors has announced the launch of the limited-edition TIAGO Wizz. Featuring a more sporty, dynamic, young and confident style, this new edition is priced at INR 4.52 lakhs for the petrol version and INR 5.30 lakhs for the diesel version (ex-showroom Delhi), inclusive of the accessory kit.

According to Mr. Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors: “Festive season is all about celebrations and we want to partner with our customers to provide them the joy of mobility. With the TIAGO Wizz limited-edition, we want to celebrate the success of TIAGO and begin the festive season with something special for our current and potential customers. The TIAGO truly has been the ultimate game changer for Tata Motors. With robust demand since its launch, it has helped us post a month on month growth. Additionally, the introduction of the AMT variants brought in a new set of customers, further consolidating our position in the hatchback segment. With nine exciting new features, the TIAGO Wizz is yet another step towards making the brand more aspirational.”

Taking the hatchback segment by storm since its launch, with its class leading design and technology, the TIAGO has been the most awarded car of the year and has been a key contributor in the recovery of Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle business unit.