Scania India has delivered its 51st bus to Chirag Travel. The leading commercial vehicle manufacturer has strengthened its association with top bus operator Chirag Travel Company by doing so. The bus, a multi-axle Metrolink bus, will operate in the western region of the country. Said Mikael Benje, Managing Director, Scania India, on the occasion: “Scania’s low total cost of ownership with improved profitability has been seen by Chirag Travel. Their repeat purchase is testimony to their confidence in our vehicles.” Made at Scania’s Bangalore plant, which has the capacity to build 2500 trucks and 1000 buses, the Metrolink high-deck inter-city, rear-engine buses with semi-integral body type, are finding increasing acceptance with private and public bus operators in the country. These buses feature progressive safety elements such as speed limiters as required by the regulations, fire detection system as standard, six emergency doors with twelve hammers, etc. Suspension is pneumatic, and results in a comfortable ride over long distances. The buses are equipped with luxury push-back seats. Value added features a Scania bus offers include real-time online Fleet Management Service (FMS) that facilitates driver coaching. Scania has more than 1,500 trucks and over 250 buses registered in the Indian market.
JK Tyre and Industries has commissioned its 30th Truck Wheel showroom at Karur. Marking the 12th tyre retread centre by JK Tyre in India, the truck wheel centre is in-line with the company’s strategy to expand its reach across the country. Strategically located at the centre of the transport hub that Karur is, the centre, is on a land parcel of 7000 sq. ft. Located 400 km to the south of Chennai, the centre, is JK Tyre’s first ever setup in the country that flaunts both, JK Wheels and JK Retread Centre. Well equipped with automatic tyre changers, best-in-class wheel aligner, pneumatic tool set, and greasing pumps, the centre is capable of addressing all the needs of the customer regarding wheels and tyres. With repair and retread infrastructure, the centre will also educate its CV customers about the benefits of retreading through JK recommended retread practice. The education endeavour will focus on longer tyre life and less Cost Per Km (CPKM). Consumers will be also offered value added services like guidance from company trained professionals on tyre care and maintenance.
Hella has partnered with Jazzmyride to apply ecommerce thrust in the wake of growing digitisation in the Indian automotive aftermarket. Jazzmyride will act as the authorised e-retailer and e-distributor partner of Hella, and hold the position of Hella’s national authorised distributor for Hella brand of products. Jazzmyride will address online users in India for Hella across all online ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, etc. This innovative business tie-up is expected to help tackle counterfeit products proliferation, and ensure direct inventory flow to the end customer, thereby elevating supply chain efficiency. Jazzmyride is claimed to be India’s largest auto aftermarket reseller. Beginning with a mere Rs.10,000 investment, the entity has scaled its operations to be valued at over Rs.20 crore annually.
Transporters under the aegis of All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Associations (ACOGOA) gave a strike call for April 01, 2017, in protest of the steep hike in insurance premium, proposed exorbitant hike in penalties in the Motor Vehicle Act, and hike in RTO fees putting a fourfold burden on truck owners. Claiming that the transporter bodies AIMTC and AITWA had periodically raised the above mentioned issues among others, including the re-instatement of tariff advisory committee, constitution of inter-ministerial committee, toll related policies, clarification on GST implementation, vehicle scrappage policy, and definitive and faster implementation of digital network (online payment system) for vehicle registration, ACOGOA issued a statement on April 08, 2017, announcing the calling off of the strike following a discussion with insurance regulatory body IRDAI by truckers’ representatives. IRDAI, the statement claimed, has agreed to revise the proposed 41 per cent hike down to 27 per cent.
Tata Motors has bagged an order of 500 low floor urban city buses from Ivory Coast. First lot of 117 buses were handed over to SOTRA, the Abidjan transport company, recently. Financed under the EXIM Bank of India for operation by SOTRA, the buses are built on the Tata LPO 1924 rear engine semi-low floor platform. Customised to meet the requirements of the operator, the buses, aimed at the transport system in Cote D’Ivoire, saw a dedicated team of Tata Motors engineers work with SOTRA for the last 12 months to achieve the desired level of customisation. The LPO 1924 RESLF bus platform is made up of aggregates from global suppliers like Cummins, Allison, and Meritor. With the body built by Marcopolo, the buses feature a pneumatic driver’s seat, automatic transmission, tilt and telescopic integral power steering, and low noise levels for comfortable travel. The buses also feature wide in-swing doors at the front and out-swing doors at the rear. Suspension consists of six air bellows, and a wider gangway.
Apollo Tyres, JK Tyre and Ceat Tyres have emerged as top bidders for Falcon Tyres. Creditors are trying to recover their money in the now-defunct company, and could be the first big case to be decided under the country’s new Bankruptcy Code. Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), after buying most of the debt of the company, filed an application at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law. The application requested assets of Falcon Tyres to be disposed off to recover the arrears. Industry sources claim that half a dozen firms have shown interest in the company’s assets. A sale is expected to fetch the creditors Rs.600 to Rs.700 crore. With Deloitte hired to evaluate the bids, a resolution will need to be reached in 180 days of the creditors initiating corporate insolvency by moving the NCLT.
In March 2017, CV maker Ashok Leyland and M&M (FES) reported better than expected numbers. The CV business of Tata Motors posted a muted performance. The overall CV picture, according to a report from Emkay Research, did not see a strong pre-buying impact in the fourth quarter of FY2016-17. CV sales increased marginally Year-on-Year (YoY). CVs, the report mentioned, saw a moderate increase in the M&HCV segment sans any major pre-buying in the last quarter of FY2016-17, and ahead of the implementation of new emission norms. As per the report, Tata Motors’ total CV sales declined (-) 6 per cent YoY to 35,876 units (M&HCV) (-)5 per cent; LCV (-)8 per cent. Ashok Leyland and VECV reported 12 per cent and 9 per cent increase in sales respectively on a YoY basis. Ashok Leyland’s M&HCV sales increased 15 per cent YoY to 15,258 units whereas LCV sales declined (-) 1 per cent YoY to 3,424 units.