Porter 700 from Piaggio

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Piaggio’s Porter 700 SCV aims at last mile transportation.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Piaggio (India) has introduced the Porter 700 Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) to address last mile transportation needs of the market. Replacing the Porter 600, the new SCV promises superior performance, higher mileage, higher rated payload, and is BSIV emissions compliant. Tracing its roots to the Porter light mini-van and mini-truck Piaggio launched in 1992, in Europe in collaboration with Daihatsu, the Porter 700 is similar in appearance to the Porter 600. It measures 3544 mm in length, 1460 mm in width, and 1738 mm in height. It is 311 mm longer in length than the Porter 600. Width and height are the same as Porter 600. At 1820 mm, the wheelbase of Porter 700 is longer than Porter 600 by 170 mm. The cargo tray of Porter 700 measures 1400 mm in width, and 314 mm in height (one millimeter less than Porter 600’ tray height). The cargo deck of Porter 700 is marginally bigger at 30 sq. ft. than that of the Porter 600, and supports a payload capacity of 700 kgs. Heavier than the Porter 600 by 175 kgs, at 1475 kgs, the Porter 700 is structured on a strong, cab-chassis unibody. The cargo body is a semi-monocoque structure. With a wheelbase of 1820 mm, the front suspension of the Porter 700 consists of MacPherson struts and dampers. Rear suspension is made up of swing arms and dampers. Tyres are 145/80 R12 LT 8PR.

Capable of a maximum speed of 62 kmph, and a maximum gradeability of 21 per cent, the Porter 700 is powered by a direct injection, 14.75 hp, 652 cc single-cylinder, four-stroke, BSIV diesel engine (with EGR) that produces a peak torque of 40 Nm at 1600-1800 rpm. Claimed to offer best-in-class mileage of 26 kmpl, the SCV is equipped with a five-speed syncromesh gearbox. Brakes are hydraulically actuated. The front includes discs, and the rear includes drums. Offered with a 75,000 km extended warranty, the Porter 700 is priced at Rs.3.42 lakh. Fully localised, the Porter 700 is made at Piaggio’s manufacturing facility at Baramati, Pune. Established in 1998, this facility has an annual capacity to build 3,80,000 Piaggio commercial vehicles (3,00,000 three-wheelers and 80,000 four-wheelers). The diesel engine of the Porter 700 is built at an engine plant within the same facility where it is integrated with the transmission. Claimed Massimo Repetto, Executive Vice President, Three & Four wheeler Product Development, Piaggio & C.s.p.a that the powertrain integration capacity is enough to cater to market needs.

Entering India with the launch of the Piaggio Ape range of commercial three wheelers in 1998, Piaggio will retail the Porter 700 through a network of 350 dealers, and 1000 touch-points across the country. Entering the less than two-tonne CV market on the eve of GST, the Porter 700 has work cut out for itself. The under two-tonne CV market clocked sales of 131,455 units in FY2014-15. It recorded sales of 116,560 units in FY2015-16. Growth was flat in FY2017 at 116,890 units. Keen to further strengthen and dominate the (small commercial vehicle) category through cargo carriers according to Ravi Chopra, Chairman, Piaggio Vehicles, the company will continue to provide technological solutions in the last mile transportation market. Diego Graffi, Chief Executive Officer, Piaggio Vehicles, averred, “We have got down to anticipating new age customer needs. The Porter 700 has been conceived as a modern vehicle with features to deliver on core values of exceptional reliability, fuel efficiency and the ability to earn.” Expressing that Piaggio is dominating the last mile transportation cargo segment, Graffi said, “We are confident that the Porter 700 will outclass others in the four-wheel, sub one-tonne cargo segment. It will consolidate Piaggio’s position in the last mile transportation industry.”

Tata Yodha to sponsor PKL Season 5 franchise team

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Tata Motors announced the association of its pick-up truck, Tata Yodha with a new franchise team in the upcoming Vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) 2017. Tata Yodha has turned official sponsor for the team UP Yoddha. One of the key focus areas of the GMR Group over the years has been to harness local talent in any sport that they are part of. With a number of local kabaddi tournaments in the region, it is expected to help UP Yoddha net some exciting new talents in the long-term. Speaking on the occasion, Col Vinod Bisht, Head Yoddha, UP Yoddha said, “It has been a really enjoyable experience building up towards what will be the inaugural season for us. The training camps have really helped foster strong team spirit in the squad.” ” We have been really fortunate to have a strong partner like Tata Yodha with us. Together I hope we can scale new heights in spreading the message of the sport throughout the state of UP,” he added.  The Tata Yodha like the UP Yoddha is one of the recent additions to the Pickup segment in the commercial vehicle market and offers customers with a great combination of superior performance, highest earning potential and lowest total cost of ownership. Tata Motors’ association with team U.P. Yoddha reiterates the values Tata Yodha shares, with the sport as well as with the team. Commenting on the announcement, R T Wasan, Head – Sales & Marketing – Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “As a pioneer in the Indian automotive industry, at Tata Motors we are constantly innovating and introducing class leading solutions, across segments and one of our newest being the dynamic Tata Yodha range. We are seeing excellent traction for the Yodha in the market as our pickup sales have grown by 60 per cent in the first three months of this year and we are confident of continuing to gain market share in this segment.” “Kabaddi as a sport resonates with the strength and endurance similar to the attributes of Tata Yodha pickup and our association with the UP Yoddha team is the perfect fit, since both relate to dynamism, being reliable, robust, and rugged with the potential, zeal and passion to overcome all obstacles and succeed at the highest level,” he added.

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Tata Motors launches India’s first Bio-CNG bus

Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan f...

Tata Motors has launched the country’s first Bio-CNG (bio-methane) bus at the recently concluded Bio-energy programme – ‘Urja Utsav’. Designed and developed by Tata Motors, the bio-methane engines (5.7 SGI & 3.8 SGI) for LCV, ICV and MCV buses were displayed at the event. Alongside the engines, the company showcased the Tata LPO 1613 with 5.7 SGI NA BS-IV, IOBD-II compliant bus. The Tata LPO 1613 is already in operation by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). Organised by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, the launch took place in the presence of Minister of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal. Averred Girish Wagh, Head, Commercial Vehicles Business, Tata Motors, “Tata Motors has been at the fore front in pioneering latest technologies and providing smart city solutions in the commercial vehicle industry. We are delighted to present yet another product with innovation in alternate fuel technologies, to cater to the need for a greener country.” “The use of Bio-CNG will contribute in a positive manner to the Smart Cities proposition of keeping them clean and is a good option for wet garbage management,” he opined. Speaking on the Bio-methane bus development, Rajendra Petkar, Head- Power System, Engineering, Tata Motors said, “The showcase of the Bio-Methane bus is a step towards developing environment friendly vehicles.  This gas, which gets produced out of natural degradation process, escapes into the atmosphere unused. However, if this is trapped and used in engines, it reduces the net impact on environment and at the same time produces useful power.” Having pioneered the introduction of natural gas vehicles (CNG) in the country, for close to two decades, other initiatives related to CNG engines include the likes of sequential gas injection technology, skip fire, plug type coils, long life spark plugs and longer oil drain intervals.

SIAM elects Rajan Wadhera as Vice President

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The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has elected Rajan Wadhera as Vice President with effect from June 27, 2017. Rajan Wadhera, President – Automotive Sector and member of Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited will take over as the Vice-President of SIAM from Ravi Pisharody who recently announced his resignation from Tata Motors Limited. Speaking on the occasion, Rajan Wadhera, Vice-President, SIAM said, “At SIAM, we are confident that the Indian Auto Industry will continue to be a strong pillar of the Indian economy and will partner the society at large, for delivery of sustainable mobility solutions.” “Personally, I am honoured to be given this opportunity, and look forward to working with the industry, Government and all other stakeholders for the growth of the industry,” he averred.

Piaggio launches the next generation Porter 700

Porter 700

Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd (PVPL), announced the launch of the new Porter 700. Targeting the last mile transportation segment in the sub one-tonne category, at the recently held launch event at Mumbai, it was announced that the new Porter 700 replaces the Porter 600. The Porter 700 carry forward’s Piaggio’s signature standards of style, design, performance and technology keeping in line with Piaggio’s international legacy. Explaining the Company’s new initiative, Ravi Chopra, Chairman of Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. said “Piaggio would continue to provide technological solutions in the last mile transportation market and would focus on further strengthening and dominating this category particularly the last mile transportation cargo market.” “The three-wheelers and four-wheelers will continue to co-exist,” he added. Claimed to be the only vehicle with twin headlamps that adds to the Porters’ superior looks, it is complemented by functionality too. The Porter 700 has a rated payload capacity of 700 kg, and long cargo deck (30 sq. ft.) to ensure superior load carrying capability. It is also claimed to have the highest ground clearance (218 mm) in its category. The Porter 700 offers superior grade-ability of 21 per cent to negotiate steep gradients. The Porter 700 is powered by a Direct Injection, 14.75 hp, 652 cc, single cylinder, BSIV diesel engine. The engine produces a peak torque of 40 Nm at 1600-1800 rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed floor mounted Synchromesh gear box. Diego Graffi, the new CEO of Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited said , “Anticipating our new age customer’s needs, Porter 700 has been conceived as a modern, stylish vehicle with many new features and yet delivering its core values of exceptional reliability, fuel efficiency and earn ability”, for Piaggio to continue its dominance in the last mile transportation cargo segment. “The new Porter 700 comes with a two years or 75000 kms extended warranty. Today, the company is confident the Porter 700 will outclass others in the four-wheeler sub 1 ton cargo segment and will help it consolidate its position in the last mile transportation industry,” he mentioned. In Maharashtra, the Porter 700 is priced at Rs.3.18 lakh.

Scania looks at India for global sourcing

After investing Rs.400 crore in India, Scania, after building a manufacturing plant at Bangalore for trucks and buses, is looking at India as a global sourcing hub for components. The Swedish CV maker is said to employ a two pronged strategy where it will conduct components sourcing for its global operations, and increase the local content on the CVs it makes in India. Industry sources claimed that Scania will soon apply thrust on prime movers. This would be in-line with the GST regime, which is expected to make long-haul, higher-tonnage trucks favourable. To compete with homegrown players, and other multi-national players, that are looking at the emerging mid-premium market positions, mentioned an industry expert, it would serve Scania to invest in local content. Not only would this help to respond quickly to market changes, it will also help the premium CV maker to make inroads into the more populous, mass market segments that are profitable though not as much as the premium segments, and seek a better balance between volume and earnings. he said. The prime movers and tippers than Scania currently offers in India are premium, and with considerably higher acquisition cost than mid-premium or mass volume offerings. Claimed an industry source that the team at Scania is analysing if the same strategy, which lead to Scania buses acquiring a local content of up to 90 per cent, work in the case of trucks.

GST and the CV industry

The GST Council has finalised a rate structure of 28 per cent for truck and buses. It is the same as cars, motorcycles, mopeds, personal aircraft and luxury yachts claimed an industry expert. According to an industry source, that smaller buses and vans with a capacity to seat 10 to 13 people will attract 15 per cent cess besides 28 per cent tax. Opining that GST for CVs will be neutral, the source drew attention to three wheelers, which are expected to witness a marginal increase in prices due to the additional National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) levied. Against the current 27.5 per cent (Excise Duty and VAT) tax structure, that the tyres attract under GST they will attract 28 per cent duty, an increase of 0.5 per cent. ICRA in its report has mentioned that the overall tax incidence for the industry will remain neutral. Said Subrata Ray, Senior Group Vice President, ICRA, that the total tax incidence relating to inputs is estimated to increase since GST rate for input components is fixed at 28 per cent, higher than the current taxation structure. However, the manufacturer can claim input at credit. The fixation of GST rate of 12 per cent on tractors would allow OEMs to take credit of the cumulative input duties and taxes. Total tax incidence would thus remain at similar levels, and its implementation for the tractor industry would be neutral. Feared an industry expert that any benefit that the GST may offer will be lost to countervaling duties levied by respective state governments in their pursuit for revenue. He cited the example of Maharashtra, which has levied, not once but twice, countervaling duties on petrol. Countervaling duties may never be reduced or abolished he said, and instead increased over time in one form or the other.