Friday, 31 August 2018

LANXESS plans to sell remaining 50 per cent stake in joint venture ARLANXEO to Saudi Aramco



Specialty chemicals group LANXESS plans to sell its remaining 50 per cent stake in ARLANXEO to its joint venture partner Saudi Aramco. The two companies, that founded ARLANXEO in 2016 as a 50:50 joint venture for synthetic rubber, signed a respective agreement recently.

The transaction is still subject to approval of the relevant antitrust authorities. At the same time, information or consultation of the competent employee representative bodies will take place. The parties expect to complete the envisaged transaction by the end of 2018. The total joint venture ARLANXEO is valued at EUR 3.0 billion. LANXESS expects to receive approximately EUR 1.4 billion in cash after deducting debt and other financial liabilities for its 50 percent share. LANXESS plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its financial basis and reduce net financial debt.

Originally, LANXESS and Saudi Aramco agreed on a lock-up period until 2021 for both partners. “With the envisaged transaction we would complete another important milestone of our strategic transformation earlier than originally planned. This should allow us to even better focus on our position as a leading player in mid-sized specialty chemicals markets,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management. “At the same time, we increase the resilience of our business, strengthen our financial basis and gain additional strategic flexibility for further growth.”

Headquartered in Maastricht/Netherlands, ARLANXEO generated sales of around EUR 3.2 billion in 2017 and employs about 3,800 people at 20 production sites in nine countries. The company produces high-performance rubber for use in, for example, the automotive and tire industries, the construction industry, and the oil and gas industries.

Back in 2016, the transfer of the business with synthetic rubber into the joint venture ARLANXEO was the foundation for LANXESS’ strategic realignment. Since then LANXESS has been focusing on growth in mid-sized specialty chemicals markets and made various acquisitions in this area – with the takeover of the US chemical company Chemtura in 2017 as the biggest one.

LANXESS provides wings






Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, have undergone rapid development over the past few years. Whether as a toy for children and adults or – in top quality – as support for rescue operations and in farming, drones are becoming increasingly common. 

Market research institute Gartner estimates that around three million drones were sold worldwide in 2017 – almost 40 per cent more than in the previous year. Gartner also predicts that drones will be one of the strongest-growing sectors in consumer electronics over the coming years. Corporate consultants at PwC expect a global market of almost US$130 billion for drone-based services, for example in infrastructure, transport and security. Due to the diverse range of applications that can be carried out using the devices, demands on drones are increasing. This opens up new opportunities for growth for material manufacturers, for example in high-performance plastics.

More flight time thanks to lightweight solutions

One challenge facing manufacturers is the limited flight time of drones. As well as improving battery capacity and investigating new sources of energy, manufacturers can also reduce the energy consumption of drones and thus increase their flight time by taking advantage of lightweight solutions, like in the automotive industry. Here, specialty chemicals company LANXESS is able to draw on its experience in the lightweight construction business for the automotive sector and now also offers lightweight solutions for the drone industry using its high-performance plastics.



At Chinaplas 2018 in April this year, the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit presented a range of high-end material solutions, including a drone propeller made of short glass fibre-reinforced Durethan (Polyamide 6). Thanks to its balanced material properties, the injection molded parts are lighter while offering good strength and rigidity. The material is resistant against aging by UV rays and therefore well-suited for use outdoors. As a result, drone propellers made of LANXESS plastics convince with their attractive appearance and their longevity. 

As well as wings and propellers, the high-performance plastics can also be used for drone bodies and landing gear. The materials help to reduce the weight of the aerial vehicle and thus enable longer flight times, as well as reducing vibrations and noise. What is more, the materials improve impact resistance, reduce any interference of metal materials with radio signals, simplify the production process and increase the flexibility of the product structure design.

“In light of the rapid development of the high-tech industry and the increasing popularity of electric drives, LANXESS sees significant, additional potential for the use of its products. Based on LANXESS products PA6, PA66 and PBT, we have developed innovative solutions to meet the demand for high-quality products,” says Dr. Axel Tuchlenski, Head of Global Product and Application Development at LANXESS’s business unit High Performance Materials.

Lightweight materials from LANXESS

LANXESS high-performance plastics are used in a wide range of areas, such as in electrical and electronic applications, in lightweight design, in charging equipment, battery solutions, sensors for automated driving, in motor housings and in e-mobility infrastructure, such as charging stations. The engineering materials under the Durethan brand withstand mechanical stress over a wide temperature range and offer benefits with regard to strength, toughness, heat resistance, durability and aging resistance. As well as the polyamide materials of the Durethan series, LANXESS offers high-performance materials under the Pocan (PBT, Polybutylenterephthalate) and Tepex (thermoplastic fiber composites) brands.

Greaves Cotton to acquire majority stake in electric vehicle company Ampere

Strengthens its strategic commitment to the last mile mobility segment with innovative, state-of-the-art solutions




Greaves Cotton, one of India’s leading diversified engineering companies, announced that they have entered into definitive agreements pursuant to which Greaves Cotton will acquire a majority stake in EV company Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., subject to customary closing conditions. This acquisition will accelerate the development of clean energy technology solutions for mobility needs of passengers and small businesses. 

Ampere is one of the leading brands in the last mile mobility electric vehicles segment. It has strong in-house capabilities in designing, developing, manufacturing & marketing electric vehicles with a wide range of applications. Greaves currently provides transportation to almost 10 million people daily through its powertrain solutions. In addition, Greaves reaches 5 million customers (of aftermarket spare parts) per month through its network of 5000+ retail outlets. The newly launched Greaves Care network services nearly 7000+ vehicles per month, with plans to substantially ramp-up in the coming years. Greaves will be able to leverage its distribution, aftermarket and service strengths to help Ampere grow more rapidly.

Greaves aims to create enhanced value for its shareholders by investing in advanced clean energy technologies through partnerships in India and worldwide. This acquisition in the electric mobility segment underscores the strategic intent of Greaves. 

Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli, MD & CEO, Greaves Cotton Ltd., said: “Greaves has been a trusted brand since 1859, and is well known for the reliability of its products, a strong value proposition based on low total cost of ownership and widespread pan India reach. With this strategic acquisition, we will be able to address a wider range of customer segments with clean energy mobility solutions. Greaves and Ampere will be a synergistic combination of our excellence in frugal engineering & manufacturing with a new age electric mobility solutions company.”

Mahindra rolls out 100,000 units of its ‘Jeeto’ Platform



Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), a part of the US$20.7 billion Mahindra Group, announced that it has rolled out 100,000 units of its Jeeto mini-truck platform since its launch in 2015. Jeeto is the ideal mini truck for business needs as it helps in the last-mile transportation of goods.

Produced at Mahindra’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Zaheerabad, Telengana, the Jeeto was launched in eight variants that addressed varied customer needs. The Jeeto offers superior product performance, enhanced safety, lower maintenance, and 30% better mileage that guarantees more profit to the customer.

Speaking on this achievement, Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales & Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said: “This is a very proud moment for us. Jeeto has been a game changer in last mile distribution with its modular range, unmatched versatility and superior efficiency to haul goods across different segments. With 30% more mileage, it has delivered superior value & fulfilled the brand promise of bringing prosperity into the lives of its customers by enabling them to earn more. With over one lakh vehicles produced on the Jeeto platform over the past 3 years, it is a testament to Mahindra’s focus on developing best in class products”.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Goldstone Infratech Ltd. changes its name to Olectra Greentech Ltd.

Company’s new brand name to drive the environment-friendly Electric Vehicle Ecosystem



Goldstone Infratech Ltd. (a public listed company) has announced that it has changed its name to Olectra Greentech Ltd.

The new brand name – Olectra Greentech Ltd. – reflects company’s growing focus on the environment-friendly products after its entry into the electric vehicle segment in 2016 under a tie up with BYD Auto Industry Co. Ltd., world’s largest electric vehicle company. Since then the company has achieved many milestones including commercially operating country’s 1st electric bus for passengers. The company’s electric buses are currently plying commercially in Himanchal Pradesh and Mumbai under the respective transport undertakings.

Commenting on the brand name change, Mr. N. Naga Satyam, Executive Director, Olectra Greentech Ltd., said: “We have been making rapid strides in the segment of public transportation in the last 2 years and were able to understand the needs of the industry as we delivered our cost efficient and safe electric buses on time to the customers. The new name is in line with our renewed focus.”

The company was recently emerged as the winner for the bids to supply electric buses to Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad cities totalling 290 electric buses. Cumulatively, this was the largest order for any electric bus manufacturer in the country.

Established in 2000, Olectra Greentech Ltd. is the largest manufacturer in India for silicone rubber/composite insulators for power transmission and distribution networks. With a strong legacy of over 17 years in electrical product segment, the company ventured into manufacturing of electric buses in 2015 under a tie up with BYD Auto Industry Co. Ltd.

Olectra-BYD’s state-of-the-art buses were India’s first electric buses certified by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The company also has a distinction of being the only company in the country presently having its electric buses fleet operational for the passengers. The company has manufacturing facilities near Hyderabad for its electric buses.

BYD Auto Industry Company Ltd. is the largest manufacturer in the world for pure Electric vehicles including electric buses. BYD Company Ltd. (BYD), the parent company of BYD Auto Industry Company Ltd., a public listed company, is one of the top 500 Chinese enterprises specialized in IT, automobile, new energy and light rail. Founded in February 1995, BYD started out with rechargeable battery business, and entered the automobile industry in 2003. Currently, BYD is the world’s only automaker that simultaneously masters the technologies of batteries.

Monday, 27 August 2018

SFHL Q1 net profit at Rs. 20.01 crores

Revenues up at Rs. 28.03 crores




Sundaram Finance Holdings Ltd. (SFHL) has registered a net profit of Rs. 20.01 crores for the Q1 ended June 30, 2018, as compared to Rs. 6.35 crores registered in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. 

Revenues for the Q1 ended June 30, 2018, went up to Rs. 28.03 crores from Rs. 10.31 crores registered in the same period last year.

SFHL is the holding company for all non-financial services investments of the Sundaram Finance Group. Over nearly six decades, Sundaram Finance has invested in various non-financial services businesses, including several investments in automotive and manufacturing businesses as a co-promoter along with TVS group companies. 

A majority of the company’s investments are in the auto components sector. Significant investments include Sundaram Clayton, Wheels India, IMPAL (all listed), and Brakes India, Turbo Energy (both unlisted) – most of them leaders in their respective markets. 

The company was listed on the NSE on March 26, 2018.

Honda renews safety vows for siblings across India

Sisters tie #Hondasafetyknot to strengthen the bond of love and care under the PAN-India Raksha Bandhan Road Safety Campaign



Strengthening the safety initiative of #HelmetOnLifeOn, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. conducted a unique Raksha Bandhan Road Safety Campaign on a PAN India level. The two-day campaign enhanced awareness on helmet usage among women & men on the pious occasion all over India.

The Road Safety Campaign sensitized both brothers and sisters on road safety with a meaningful emotional connect. The Raksha Bandhan Road Safety Campaign commenced at Alpha One Mall, Ahmedabad in the presence of chief guest, Mr. Hiral Makwana, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad. More than 1,000 participants showed up at the event to learn about the importance of road safety and its various aspects. The full day awareness on #HelmetOnLifeOn noted a huge presence of audience at the venue both the days of the campaign.

Subsequently, the awareness campaign was a national hit. The campaign with a larger focus on Women Safety Riding was conducted for two days at all traffic training parks of Honda. In the presence of more than 500 women, various unique and interactive activities such as prize winning contests on #HelmetOnLifeOn, Rangoli Competition and Riding Trainer Competition were organized. Honda Branded gifts were awarded to the winners & every participant of the campaign got a special Rakhi Gift from Honda.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Brand & Communication, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said: “As a responsible two-wheeler manufacturer, Honda is fully committed towards road safety & has so far educated more than 21 lakh Indian citizens. This Raksha Bandhan, Honda conducted a unique initiative nationally at its traffic training parks and public locations to educate both women and men about the #HondaSafetyKnot of Helmet. More than 1,500 individuals were educated on Road Safety under this initiative. With an overwhelming response to the activities of the campaign, we are now motivated to organize more of such initiatives in future.”

Hero Motocorp to commence countrywide sales of the highly anticipated ‘Xtreme 200r’


Truvison announces the latest 5.1 Multimedia Speaker TV-5025BT, priced for Rs. 5,490/-



Truvison, one of the largest Consumer Durables Brand in India, extends its audio category portfolio with the launch of its newest ‘TV-5025BT 5.1 Multimedia Speaker’ that boasts nothing but LOUD Sound. Embodying the advanced acoustic engineering & inspired industrial design, bring home the cinema experience in your living room.  

With glossy looks, dramatic styling and powerful sound, the speaker has it all covered. Its unique design shall complement every modern décor, creating a luxurious balance of performance and lifestyle.

The heavy duty promises crisp, powerful sound with 85W RMS and 9500W PMPO filling the room with theatre-quality sound, in minimal effort - immersing you in the ultimate listening experience. The speaker delivers heart thumping bass, assuring loud and booming sound quality without any distortion. With its cinematic surround sound create the ultimate, lifelike home theatre experience with non-stop movies and music!

The speaker also supports several connectivity options which includes USB, and a built-in FM tuner. The speaker can be easily connected to several media devices via Bluetooth that lets you enjoy your favourite playlist wire-free. One can easily get connected to 5.1 Multimedia Speakers through its full function remote control.

The speaker comes with 1 year of warranty and is already available at all leading stores across India.

Gulf and Ford Motor join forces for another lubricant industry first with the ’68 Heritage Edition Ford GT



Gulf is extremely proud in 2018 to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first Le Mans win, with the legendary Ford GT40, and, as a fitting climax to these celebrations, Gulf has joined with Ford to produce the new Ford GT ’68 Heritage edition for the 2019 and 2020 model years. The Heritage Blue with Heritage Orange paint scheme honours the Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40 - chassis #1075 - that won back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969.

Gulf has many oil industry firsts to its name - including being the first company in the world to open a drive-in fuel station - and this is the first time that a lubricant & fuel manufacturer has partnered with a global vehicle manufacturer to produce a road car production model. 

“Many say the Gulf Oil paint scheme is the most famous in motorsports, propelled by the 1968 GT40 that quickly became a global sensation after Ford beat its European competitors not three, but four times in a row,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Executive Vice President and President, Global Operations. “We set out to accentuate the new Ford GT’s race-inspired aerodynamic lines with the Gulf colors, while staying true to the original GT40 Le Mans winner.”

The Ford GT ‘68 Heritage Edition was officially launched at the Rolex Historic Reunion event at the Laguna Seca raceway in California by Ford’s Joe Hinrichs and Gulf’s Ravi Chawla. The car took its place in a specially designed garage, which depicted the 50-year span of success and which featured Gulf-Ford GT40 #1075, the actual 1968 and 1969 Le Mans-winning car.   




“We are delighted to partner with Ford to help the Gulf-themed Heritage Edition Ford GT become reality. The Ford Marque has played a major role in creating Gulf’s place in motoring and motorsporting legend and the same is true in reverse,” enthused MD of Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd., Ravi Chawla, at the launch of the car. “Every Gulf outright victory at Le Mans has been Ford-powered and of course Gulf Ford GT40s took the latter two wins of Ford’s four consecutive victories at Le Mans from 1966-1969. What could be more fitting than both brands coming together to produce this fantastic motor car – the modern spiritual successor to the amazing Gulf-Ford GT40s that took Le Mans and World Championship honours.”

UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP – UNIQUE CAR

The Ford GT ’68 Heritage edition features the famous Heritage Blue exterior with Heritage Orange graphics and is offered with optional exposed carbon a-pillar and roundel with #9 graphics on both the hood and doors. The car sports unique high gloss dark stainless 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels with black lug nuts. Orange calipers and silver rearview mirror caps complete the look.

 The limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive interior colors, materials and appointments. Ebony Alcantara is used extensively throughout the interior. Contrasting blue and orange stitching accentuates the seats and steering wheel with a new seat embossment inspired by the original ’68 Le Mans winning car as well as clear & polished anodized paddle shifters. High gloss dark stainless appliqués are used on the instrument panel, door register bezels and x-brace completing the look.

The ’68 Heritage edition boasts a unique serialised identification plate plus exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and centre console.

Limited quantities will be available for the 2019 and 2020 model years and, for 2020, the package will boast an optional No.6 in honour of the 1969 Le Mans winner.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Honda Group of companies in India donate Rs. 3 crores for flood relief in Kerala



Strengthening its commitment to strive to be a company the society wants to exist, all the group companies of Honda Motor Company operating in India, announced a contribution of Rs. 3 crores towards the relief and recovery efforts for Kerala post the devastation caused by torrential rains and the worst flood crisis that the State has seen in the century.

The contribution is aimed at providing relief and rehabilitation for affected people and reconstruction of areas devastated by the floods that hit the State in August.

Cheques amounting to Rs. 3 crores were handed over to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund in New Delhi recently.

Official statement of Honda group companies:


“Honda family expresses our deepest empathy to all the affected people of Kerala who lost their dear ones, their homes and their livelihoods in this colossal calamity. As a responsible corporate, Honda group in India is committed to contribute in restoration of the devastated infrastructure and helping rebuild lives of the affected people. We will further support the local community and our customers in the State through our various support initiatives in the coming days.”

 All Honda Group companies in India – Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., Honda Cars India Ltd., Honda Siel Power Products Ltd., Honda R&D (India) Pvt. Ltd., and Honda Motor India Pvt. Ltd., have contributed towards the reconstruction and recovery of the region.

Honda is at the forefront to provide all kind of possible support to Kerala dealers and customers.

Mercedes-Benz inaugurates ‘Mechatronics’ programme in Karnataka in collaboration with RV College of Engineering



Mercedes-Benz India, the country’s largest luxury automobile brand, strengthened its commitment towards the Government’s ‘Skill India’ initiative by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the reputed Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering, Bengaluru. This is the first such educational institute in Karnataka to conduct Mercedes-Benz India’s Mechatronics course (ADAM) and also the first college in entire Southern India to run this course autonomously. With this inauguration of the Mechatronics course, Mercedes-Benz once more underlines the need to create highly skilled workforce, who are ready for the technologically advanced machines of the future. The company is focused towards adapting to the fast changing requirements of the automobile industry for future, thus making the educated youth of the country employable and future ready. 

Mr. Santosh Iyer, Vice-President, Customer Services & Corporate Affairs, Mercedes-Benz India, said: “Mercedes-Benz’s Mechatronic course has been a flagship programme where we actively support the Government’s ‘Skill India’ initiative through a PPP model. This course has been a flag bearer of our commitment towards developing a workforce which is not only high skilled for today’s industry requirements, but also ready for the challenges in the future transition which we foresee. We have been focusing continuously towards making Mechatronics course more accessible to aspiring and talented students across the country. Towards this we already have tripled the total intake this year to 240seats across 8 institutes, both Government and autonomous. We now plan to double the current capacity in 2019 and bring more such reputed colleges under the aegis of ADAM course.”  

“Today there’s a dire need for a distinctive approach towards providing quality technical education to the students in this country, and also to make them employable for the industry. The inauguration of Mercedes-Benz’s first Mechatronics course in Karnataka in collaboration with RV College of Engineering is a right step towards this direction. We have already received overwhelming response for the course underlying its popularity, and high industry acceptability. We will be continuing our efforts towards this direction and contributing towards making the auto industry ready for its next wave of highly complex future cars,” Mr. Iyer added. 



Speaking at the occasion, Dr. M.K. Panduranga Setty, President, RVCE, commented: “Collaborations with a global icon like Mercedes-Benz is a matter of immense pride for us. ADAM training program will ensure that our students receive quality education along with training and understanding of cutting-edge technology as per the current automotive industry norms. As the technology hub of the country, it is important that we include such courses as a part of the curriculum for the students.  We are confident this collaboration will be immensely beneficial for creating successful careers for students in this region. Together we will ensure our students are prepared to become an essential part of the skilled workforce for the industry.”

Rashtreeya Shikshana Samithi Trust (RSST), founded in 1940 has group of Institutions covering Technology, Management Education, Health Science, Teacher Education, Degree in Science, Arts and Commerce, Pre-University Colleges and School. R V College of Engineering, Bengaluru, established in 1963 under RSST, offers 12 UG, 19 PG and Doctoral programmes. Reckoned as one of the best engineering colleges in India, the college provides excellent ambience for higher learning emphasizing training, skill development and research. The college has established excellent laboratory, workshop, computing and research facilities in collaboration with funding agencies and industries. RVCE has established Centres of Excellence in Macroelectronics (under TEQIP) and Internet of Things (in association with CISCO) and has MoU with industries and Universities in India and abroad.

The Advanced Diploma in Automotive Mechatronics (ADAM) program is an initiative by Mercedes-Benz India, which was propagated among students with the help of educational institutions. The Mechatronics Training School at Mercedes-Benz India was started in 2006 with the aim of providing trained service personnel and engineers. To address this requirement, the parent company Daimler AG, Germany, along with Mercedes-Benz India and the Mercedes-Benz India dealership network joined hands to start the program and train students to address the requirements of Mercedes-Benz technology and innovation. Only 20 students qualify to take the course per batch. Since its inception, over 500 students have successfully completed the program and have been placed within the Mercedes-Benz India dealership network. The Mechatronics program also provides support to Mercedes-Benz India’s state-of-the-art facility at Chakan, Pune.

Established in 1994, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. Ltd. pioneered the luxury car market in India and boasts of more than 130 years of cutting edge innovation in the luxury automobile industry globally. Set up in 2009, Mercedes-Benz India’s world class production facility is spread over 100 acres in Chakan near Pune. Since June 2015, Mercedes-Benz India also commenced production from its new expanded production facility located in the same premises. Mercedes-Benz India is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Global Production Network. It plays an important role in the CKD/MVP production network in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. At these locations, Mercedes-Benz produces vehicles in various extension levels for domestic markets. 

The production facility now carries an investment of INR 2200+ crores and has the largest installed production capacity for any luxury carmaker in India. Mercedes-Benz India also has the largest network spread amongst any luxury carmaker, with presence in 45 Indian cities through 93 outlets. Through the exclusive AMG Performance Centers located in 7 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai and Pune; the AMG performance sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz also boasts of a strong retail network presence in the country. 

Mercedes-Benz India’s flagship programme, ‘My Mercedes, My Service’ launched in 2016, aims to completely redefine the after-sales experience by digitalizing service process and create unparalleled benchmark in the luxury car service domain. In December 2017, Mercedes-Benz India launched its innovative ‘Pits Stop Service’ across all 7 AMG Performance Centre to create service differentiation. This speedy, personalized and priority service is a commitment to the AMG and Specialty Cars customers, in driving delightful vehicle ownership. ‘My Mercedes, My Service’ aims at enhancing the customer’s vehicle ownership experience manifold, making after-sales experience as the new differentiator in the luxury car segment. With the use of big data and in-depth knowledge of the driving pattern of Indian customers, Mercedes-Benz has been able to drive successfully, low cost of ownership for its customers. A testimony of all these initiatives is reflected in 2017 JD Power After-Sales Customer Satisfaction Index, which ranks MB India as the highest in after-sales service satisfaction, with a score of 862.

Mercedes-Benz India product portfolio comprises the locally produced Mercedes Maybach S 560, S-Class, E-Class, C-Class, CLA luxury sedans and the GLA, GLE and the GLS luxury SUVs. 

The CKD GLC was the 9th product added to Mercedes-Benz’s local production portfolio. Completely Built imported cars portfolio includes the A-Class, B-Class, CLS, E-Class Cabriolet, S-Class Coupé, C-Class Cabriolet, S-Class Cabriolet and the S 600 Guard a range of other Guard vehicles etc. The product portfolio also comprises the iconic off-roader Mercedes-AMG G 63 as well as a wide range of other Mercedes-AMG performance cars like the AMG CLA 45, AMG C 63 S, AMG E 63 S, AMG S 63 Coupé, AMG S 63 Sedan, AMG GLA 45, AMG GLC 43 Coupé, AMG GLE 43 Coupé, AMG GT S, AMG GT R and AMG GT Roadster sports car, AMG SLC 43 and AMG C 43. 

Mercedes-Benz India recorded its best half-yearly sales by selling 8061 units in the January-June 2018 period and also the best ever fiscal by selling 16,236 units. In 2018, ‘The Best Keeps Leading’ is Mercedes-Benz’s philosophy. The company has launched the Mercedes-Maybach S 650, the New S-Class, the GLS Grand Edition, AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ and the AMG S 63 Coupe in 2018 for the Indian market.

Benelli signs deal with Adishwar Auto Ride India for distribution and manufacturing



Italian motorcycle manufacturer and one of the world’s leaders in the super bike segment, Benelli, announced a partnership deal with Adishwar Auto Ride India - Mahavir Group, on August 9 in Chennai. 

Adishwar Auto Ride India (AARI) is one of India’s leading multi-brand automobile dealers and was the first dealer to distribute Izuzu vehicles into the country. They have been dealers of Skoda for close to 20 years. 

They were exclusively chosen by Benelli to distribute an exclusive new product range in the country and also to set up an assembly plant in Hyderabad, which was made possible after when Benelli signed a MoU with the Telengana Government to set-up indigenous manufacturing facilities.  

The First Phase, according to Mr. Vikas Jhabakh who is the Managing Director of AARI Mahavir Group, is the upcoming three-acre facility executed by the AARI-Mahavir Group which targets to become operational by October 2018. 

This partnership is closely monitored and guided by Mr. Dante Bustos from Argentina, who is the Global Chief Marketing Officer for Benelli. 



Mr. Bustos emphasised that his focus was to improve the experience and services at dealerships around the world. “We want to connect with riders before, during and after a ride and give our dealerships a facelift”, he said. Benelli hopes to break the default set-up of a dealership and introduce an exaggerated “pit-stop” type of shops.

With less space for inventory and for staff to have a desk, there would be more space for customers to look at products, grab refreshments and even take a shower! The idea was to set up these dealership/pit-stop at strategic locations, where riders would pass-by while on road trips. According to Mr. Bustos, riders could bring in their Benelli motorcycles to service, while they wait at the “café” at the same place. 

Benelli introduced a wide range of motorcycles for the Indian market, namely, the TNT 300, TNT 600i, TNT 899 and the TNT 1130. However, according to Mr. Bustos, Benelli plans to launch 12 newer models with upgraded engine and technology by the end of 2019. To name a few, the Leoncino 250, 500 and the 500 sport were introduced in the Modern Classic motorcycle segment. 

The TRK 250, 500 and the 502 X, the adventure tourer segment, is also set to be launched by 2019.

Finally, Benelli hopes to create a new marketing strategy for the upcoming Imperiale 400, by highlighting the heritage of the Italian company, hoping that the buyers would feel becoming a part of the Benelli Imperiale culture when they purchase the motorcycle.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

FARO innovates in 3D Color for Metrology Applications

First Color Scanning Laser Line Probe for Manufacturing Inspection



FARO, the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement and imaging solutions for factory metrology, product design, construction BIM/CIM, public safety forensics and 3D machine vision solutions, introduced the next generation of Laser Line Probes (LLP), the FARO Prizm. Prizm is the first LLP available that includes the ability to scan in high-resolution 3D color.

Prizm is designed specifically to operate as a compact, tightly integrated solution with the FARO Quantum ScanArm arm product family and extends the FARO tradition of delivering maximum measurement consistency for both direct-to-parts contact and non-contact requirements in every working environment.

Prizm has certified accuracy for the most demanding metrology challenges. The color scan allows users to view and manipulate a detail rich, 3D color point cloud model of a part or assembly on a computer screen. This is ideally suited for molded parts where color and surface texture are an essential requirement of the complete inspection.

FARO Quantum ScanArm with Prizm demonstrations can be scheduled at http://www.faro.com/demo/in.

This introduction rounds out the best in class Laser Line Probe portfolio that also includes the FAROBlu Laser Line Probe and provides users with the unique flexibility to select the option that best fits a specific situation or a specific project.

Best in Class Dimensional and Qualitative Inspection

This innovation enables parts and objects to be inspected for dimension and surface quality. This is ideally suited for molded parts where color and surface texture are an essential requirement of the complete inspection, or for identifying splits on stamped sheet metal not detectable with existing technologies. Fine details including texture, such as weld marks, grinding marks, sandblasting and machining patterns, and even text, can be clearly extracted for identification of key features during the inspection process. The true-to-life functionality enhances productivity by supporting inspection professionals in driving out dimensional and surface character quality issues that would otherwise slow the end-to-end the production process.

“Given our extensive experience in metrology as one of the pioneers in portable measurement arms, we understand that monochrome Laser Line Probes are considered good enough for a wide range of inspection challenges,” stated Pete Edmonds, Vice President - Factory Metrology. “However, we take our role as innovator and visionary seriously, so we are determined to look beyond ‘good enough’. With the Prizm Color LLP, we believe that we have reset the expectations of what a high value portable measurement arm solution can be and should be.”

FARO introduces TracerSI for Projection and Inspection

First Revolutionary Scanning Laser Camera for Guided Assembly



FARO, the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement and imaging solutions for factory metrology, product design, construction BIM, public safety forensics and 3D machine vision, announced the release of the next generation of the Tracer platform for laser-guided assembly and verification, the TracerSI Advanced Laser Projection System. TracerSI is a fully integrated, optimized solution that includes both innovative, improved hardware built upon the very successful TracerM product and the best-in-class BuildIT Projector software. Demonstrations can be scheduled at http://www.faro.com/demo/in.

Like its predecessor, TracerM, TracerSI uses 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) information to project 3D laser images onto a physical surface and provides a live, visually rich virtual template which assemblers can use to quickly position components with precision and complete confidence. This solution can deliver significant ROI as organizations no longer have to invest capital in physical templates, i.e., wood or metal mold or tools which also have to be built, maintained, stored or even repaired. Additionally, real time manufacturing errors are minimized and, as a result, costly scrap and reworks costs are reduced. There are actual, documented cases where rework and scrap savings alone have payback periods as short as 90 days.

TracerSI will transform 2D imagery and its use in every industrial application as it represents the first of its kind laser scanning camera, with projection and high-resolution image scanning capabilities throughout its entire projection volume. Since the laser scanning camera does not rely on lenses or conventional image capture, the depth of field is equal to the full projection range, there are no lighting limitations since it is laser illuminated, and there are no limitations on frame size and resolution. This combination of laser scanning imagery and high accuracy projection establishes a new industry standard for repeatable laser-guided assembly.

Fast Setup with Feature Alignment

TracerSI moves guidance assembly one major step forward through its native support of feature based alignment. With feature based alignment, retroreflectors, i.e., special targets that reflect light back to the original source, do not have to be placed on or around the object or assembly. This substantially reduces the time required for setup. Next, to synchronize alignment, the system performs high resolution image scans of the part or assembly to match known features (holes, edges, etc.) to the CAD model.

Enhanced Efficiency with In Process Verification

TracerSI is the first laser projector that enables In-Process Verification, or IPV. IPV uses the advanced laser scanning camera in conjunction with BuildIT projector software to perform quality checks. Throughout the assembly process, at any point, users can quickly run an image-based quality check and confidently take any corrective or preventive actions to facilitate the end to end assembly process. This includes the ability to detect presence or absence of features during the assembly process or at final assembly. Additionally, at any point, loose fragments can be detected and cared for with the distinctive Foreign Object Debris (FOD) feature.

“We continue to build upon the expertise that we acquired through our acquisition of Laser Projection Technologies in 2016”, states Pete Edmonds, Vice President Factory Metrology. “Our initial focus was towards building a better laser projection product but key learnings from the market indicated that there was a need for laser projection system that combined hardware and software in a tightly-aligned, repeatable solution. By integrating the BuildIT Projector software with the Project and Inspect Tracer SI hardware platform, we have taken another major step forward in realizing our vision with the scanning laser camera to be the undisputed solution leaders across the end-to-end build by projection and inspection market”.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Fascinating facts about Formula E’s role in the future of motor-racing

By Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal and CEO, Mahindra Racing




Since its debut in 2014, Formula E has set out to redefine the future of motor-racing, guided by the core vision of developing sustainable yet top-of-the-line mobility solutions. Why should you be excited? Here are interesting facts about Formula E that we bet you didn’t know. Do look out for hidden trivia about the only Indian team in Formula E; Mahindra Racing.

It is the world’s first and only all-electric motor-racing series

Formula E is the world’s first all-electric international motor-racing series. It debuted in 2014, with Mahindra Racing among the founding teams, amid much scepticism. But, four years on, there remains no doubt even in the minds of the most hardened sceptics – these cars can race...

... And they’re seriously fast too

Mahindra’s M4 Electro, the challenger the squad fielded in the just-concluded fourth season of the series, is a rocket ship, capable of going from zero to 100km/h in an eye-watering three seconds. The maximum power output is limited by rules. But even then, the M4Electro is capable of hitting speeds of 225 km/h. And the cars are only set to get faster. Formula E will bring the ‘Gen 2’ car on the track starting season 5, which flags off in December this year. Featuring a sleeker ‘Batmobile’-like design, the more powerful Gen 2 challenger will be able to go from zero to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds and reach speeds of up to 280km/h. Plus, no pit stops this season – you can’t take your eyes off!

Formula E finds its tracks on the city streets

From Rome, to London, to Paris, to exotic Marrakech, and Berlin, where Mahindra Racing scored their first win, Formula E has raced in some truly iconic cities. The championship aims to not just develop electric vehicles but also to promote sustainability. Emissions from gasoline powered cars, has been polluting cities across the world, racing in urban centres brings the purpose of sustainability and thrill of racing, closer to its audience than ever before!

Ain’t no fan like a Formula E Fan

Gone are the days when fans could engage by just watching and rooting for a sport, Formula E fans are in it to win it. Fanboost lets fans vote for their favourite driver. The three drivers with the most votes are given a power boost that they can deploy at a time of their choosing for up to five seconds in the second half of the race. Moreover, teams run their own separate fan-centric initiatives. Mahindra Racing for instance runs its #drivenbydesign contest. Fans, who Mahindra Racing calls #Passioneers, share design ideas for the livery and the crowdsourced design that wins is put on the Mahindra race car for the season. 

Hotbed of EV development

Nothing pushes technology forward like war and motorsport, goes an oft used adage. And one of Formula E’s main objectives is to develop EV technology amid the cut-and-thrust of racing. The cars, four years on, are already faster and more energy efficient than they were in the debut season. Season 5, however, will mark a real leap for the championship. Cars will be much quicker than before, as highlighted above, but unlike in the first four years, they will be able to last an entire race distance.

Lifted a 60-year circuit racing ban Switzerland!!

Formula E pulled off what no other motorsport series has been able to – it brought circuit racing back to Switzerland for the first time in over six decades when it held its first ePrix in Zurich in Season 4. Switzerland banned circuit racing in 1955 after a crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France killed over 80 spectators and injured over a 100. Circuit restrictions were lifted in 2015 for fully-electric vehicles, paving the way for Formula E to race there.

TVS Motor Company strengthens its commuter motorcycle portfolio with the launch of TVS Radeon



TVS Motor Company, a reputed manufacturer of two-wheelers and three-wheelers, launched a new 110cc commuter motorcycle – TVS Radeon. A unique combination of sturdy metal build, robust style and plush comfort, TVS Radeon is targeted at the confident self-made Indian man. With the inclusion of this offering, TVS Motor Company’s robust commuter motorcycle portfolio has been further strengthened with a clear emphasis on developing products which not only meet distinct customer requirements but also create customer delight.

At the launch, Mr. Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, said: “Over the years, TVS Motor Company’s unwavering focus on quality and reliability has yielded contemporary, and attractive products for the market. With segment-leading features, TVS Radeon combines our values to deliver best-in-class durability, performance and attractive styling. We are confident that the discerning progressive customers across the country will appreciate and swiftly adapt to its robust proposition.”



Commenting at the launch event, Mr. KN Radhakrishnan, President & Chief Executive Officer, TVS Motor Company, said: “We are delighted to launch TVS Radeon here today, targeting the discerning progressive customers. TVS Radeon boasts of multiple first-in-class features and usage-led design, which offers strength, comfort, and style without compromising practicality. I am confident TVS Radeon will find favour with our consumers, who are looking for a strong, comfortable and durable motorcycle.”

Build

TVS Radeon promises a sturdy and reliable experience for its customers, complete with a solid body, which is complemented by a strong steel tubular chassis.  The specific design ensures longevity of the motorcycle. 

Safety

The motorcycle is equipped with Synchronized Braking Technology, a first-in-segment feature, which provides superior braking control and minimises skidding thus ensuring safety of the rider. The side-stand indicator is equipped with a beeper to avoid accidents.  The larger 18 size wheels coupled with the Dura Grip tyres provide better grip and comfort for the rider.

Comfort

TVS Radeon boasts of the largest cushioned seat in the segment, both in terms of length and width.  The telescopic oil damped front suspension together with 5-step adjustable rear hydraulic shock absorber aid both comfort and longevity. The motorcycle provides a steady ride boasting of a long wheelbase of 1265 mm coupled with the high ground clearance of 180 mm. The riding experience is made seamless with a low seat height, self-start and handy functional features like a USB charging spot and convenient pillion grab-rail.

Style

The motorcycle boasts of a stable, horizontal, design with stylish chrome ascents. The powerful headlamp, with a chrome bezel, is integrated with DRL (Daytime Running Lamps). TVS Radeon bespeaks a unique classic look with its stylish petrol tank’s ribbed thigh pads, a chrome finished speedometer, shock absorber shroud and silencer.

Performance

TVS Radeon houses a long lasting 109.7cc Dura-Life engine, which is designed to offer an optimum combination of power and fuel economy. The motorcycle churns out 8.4 PS of power @ 7000 rpm with a torque of 8.7 Nm @5000 rpm.  TVS Radeon is equipped with 10-liter tank and clocks a fuel economy of 69.3 kmpl.

Complete with a 5-year warranty, TVS Radeon comes in a colour selection of White, Beige, Purple and Black. 

The TVS Radeon is priced at Rs. 48,400/- (ex-showroom Delhi).

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

CII – Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies Conference


“There is a need to remove all layers of secrecy and allow openness in the defence manufacturing sector for better growth”, says Dr. Ajay Kumar




The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) organized the third edition of the Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies conference in Chennai on August 17. This edition supported the theme, ‘Fostering a Competitive, Innovation and Robust Industry’.

The event was graced by the presence of Dr. Ajay Kumar, the Secretary to the Department of Defence Production, under the Ministry of Defence. 

During his Chief Guest address, he said that, India is moving into a greater industrial participation in defence and that there is a need to remove all layers of secrecy and allow openness in the sector for a larger growth. 

“Global spend on defence sector stands at $1.7 trillion and the sale of defence equipment remained at $5 trillion”, he added. Stating that the country is yet to show its true potential in aerospace and defence sector, he said also that India is the largest importer of defence equipment. “However, its [India’s] potential as an exporter has still not been explored yet”, he said.

According to Dr. Kumar, civil opportunities in the defence sector is quite huge and the manufacturers of good products could get the patronage from the Indian Army, with the usual leveraging of the line of credit for defence exports. 

He suggested the idea of creating defence testing labs across the country, in order to certify the new products manufactured regularly. And while emphasizing the importance of the indigenous in defence manufacturing, Dr. Kumar said: “Chennai and Coimbatore carry the potential to manufacture aeronautical components through their respective hubs and there is also an indigenous portal that has been created by the government to help the manufacturers.”

Lt Gen Subrata Saha, the Director General for the Society of Indian Defence Manufactures (SIDM), also spoke at the event, when he said that the country has witnessed unprecedented policy changes through the past four years, in relation to defence production. “The results, however, are yet to be released”, he added.

The President and the CEO of the Defence and Aerospace of Kalyani Group, Mr. Rajinder Singh Bhatia, during the event spoke about the participation civilian manufacturers in defence production. “With the focus on manufacturing, there should be a million start-ups in the defence sector, even though India is listed as one of the top five nations in defence production”, he added.

The conference saw deliberations happening through various sessions such as the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor and State Defence Industrial Policies, the Role of Strategic Partners in Developing Indigenous Eco Systems and the Cutting Edge Technologies.