Autorickshaw exports to Sri Lanka may decline

With Sri Lankan finance minister Ravi Karunanayake announcing in his 2017 budget speech, that his government will encourage use of electric cars over three-wheelers by reducing excise duty and giving an interest rate subsidy on loans, the export of autorickshaws from India is likely to decline. Claim industry sources that Karunanayake, in his speech, has mentioned the levying of carbon tax on vehicles other than electric cars and tractors. This would also include the existing emission test fee. He is also known to have termed the nearly 1.3 million three-wheelers operating on Sri Lankan roads as vulnerable to accidents. Electric cars, according to Karunayake, will improve safety of the drivers as well as passengers. As an initial step, said Karunanayake, the Sri Lankan government will within the Colombo district, extend its support by introducing a loan scheme to purchase 1,000 electric cars, through the banks, where the government will bear 50 per cent of the interest cost. The three wheeler market in Sri Lanka is dominated by Bajaj Auto products.

Ashok Leyland acquires LCV business from Nissan

Ashok Leyland Ltd. has announced the completion of acquisition formalities of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s stake in each of the three joint ventures (JVs) formed between the two companies, namely Ashok Leyland Nissan-Vehicles Limited, Nissan-Ashok Leyland Powertrain Limited and Nissan-Ashok Leyland Technologies Limited. In September 2016, Ashok Leyland and Nissan reached an arrangement under which Nissan would transfer its ownership in the three JVs to Ashok Leyland subject to statutory approvals. With all necessary statutory approvals in place the acquisition was completed for a consolidated consideration of Rupees-three paid by Ashok Leyland for all the shares of the three JVs. As part of the arrangement, Ashok Leyland will continue to build, under a licensing agreement, the Dost, Mitr, and Partner light commercial vehicles based on Nissan’s design, engineering and technology.

Tata Hitachi excavators at IMME, Kolkata

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Tata Hitachi, a 40:60 joint venture between Tata Motors and Hitachi Construction Machinery Company, showcased its product line-up encompassing a wide range of excavators from 2-tonne to 800-tonne, 35-tonne to 290-tonne rigid dump trucks, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders and motor graders at the IMME fair, Kolkata. Leveraging technology to build strong products and stronger relationships, the company inroduced shovel variant of the ZAXIS470 tracked excavator at the fair. Banking on over five decades of experience in developing world-class products, the company, with manufacturing plants at Jamshedpur, Dharwad and Kharagpur, is upgrading its existing products apart from introducing new products to maximise business opportunities and address customer needs. Working towards offering IT enabled solutions, the company, has been offering features like online access to location of equipment, online health monitoring system, etc. The company has been investing in a strong distribution network too. Said Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Tata Hitachi, “We are demonstrating our unmatched strength in mining by showcasing our hydraulic excavators at IMME.”

Caterpillar to make trucks in India

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Caterpillar will produce higher capacity off-highway trucks in India, claim industry sources. Drawing attention to the company showcasing Cat 773E and 777E off-highway trucks at the International Mining & Machinery Exhibition (IMME) at Kolkata, sources add that the off-highway trucks will be made at the company’s production facility at Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu. Of the two dump trucks, Cat 777E is a new offering, and rated at 97.98-tonne capacity. Present in India since the 1930s, and providing employment to over 10,000 people, Caterpillar is already known to manufacture 60 and 100-tonne off-highway trucks in India for the domestic and export markets. The company recently introduced a 240-tonne mining truck in India. In India, Caterpillar has alo invested in an engineering design, technology and innovation center. Said to be investing in India to increase capacity, Caterpillar has manufacturing facilities at Hosur, Pondicherry and Aurangabad apart from Thiruvallur.

Vinod Aggarwal is MD, VE Commercial Vehicles

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At the board of directors’ meeting recently, Vinod Agarwal was appointed as the managing director of VE Commercial Vehicles. Agarwal joined Eicher in 1983, and has since successfully played various finance and commercial roles in Eicher businesses, including tractors, trucks, buses, components and engines. In 2006, Agarwal took over as the Group Chief Financial Officer. In 2009, he was elevated to the position of president, Eicher Trucks and Buses. In 2010, he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of VE Commercial Vehicles. Agarwal’s elevation as managing director comes at a time when Eicher is expanding its reach by launching new trucks and buses.

JCB’s ‘Made in India’ machines

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JCB India Limited showcased ‘Made in India’ earthmoving and construction equipment at IMME 2016 show, Kolkata. These included a new, 5.5-tonne wheeled loader – the JCB 455ZX, and a JCB G63QI diesel generator. The 455ZX wheeled loader has been engineered for sectors such as mining, construction, ports and roads. Powering the 455ZX is a six-cylinder common-rail JCB DieselMax 672 engine, which was also exhibited at the IMME fair. The wheeled loader is designed to work for longer hours at a lower maintenance cost. The JCB G63QI diesel generator is fitted with JCB ecoMAX engine, and supports efficient operations. Apart from providing superior fuel efficiency, the genset is claimed to save up to 40 per cent space. Also displayed at the IMME fair was a ‘Made in India’ 11 m telehandler. The 530-110 telehandler was recently introduced, and is revolutionising material handling at work sites. It can be had with a wide variety of attachments, which gives the machine unmatched versatility and productivity. Said Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, JCB India Limited., “We have introduced mining equipment suitable for India, and are keen to leverage the opportunity. Our state of the art wheeled loader is specifically designed for the mining sector.”

Tata Motors eyes third slot in CV segment?

Tata Motors has set its sights on the third position in commercial vehicles sales globally by 2019 claim industry sources. They draw attention to a recent statement by the company’s managing director and CEO, Guenter Butschek, that the company’s vision is to be among the top three automakers in the respective markets (CVs and passenger vehicles) by 2019. The company, as part of its customer-centric approach, held a three day service camp recently. With Butscheck known to describe the company to be undergoing transformation, industry sources claim that the products that are introduced by the company in the next two years will include commercial vehicles that bank on innovation and new technologies. More stress will be laid on the development of alternate fuel technologies, they add. The CV strategy, sources claim, hinges on the plans to set up local manufacturing units in Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and other markets in Africa and West Asia. Butscheck is known to have said that they hope to double commercial vehicles sales in international markets in two years.