It seems to be a season of recalls for the automobile industry with Maruti Suzuki now deciding to call back some 100,000 A-Star cars from the Indian market for a faulty fuel pump.
“In November 2009, we came across an anomaly reported in the fuel tank in some of the vehicles and by December 2009, we started contacting the customers through letters,” the company said in a statement.
“These vehicles belonged to a lot made till Aug 22, 2009 only. In case fuel is filled to the brim, beyond the fuel auto cut off position, a possible fuel leakage from the fuel pump mounting area may take place. No problem has been reported by customers.”
But as a matter of caution, the company said it decided to check all vehicles from the lot and the fuel pump gasket and ring were being replaced for around 100,000 cars including those exported overseas.
Original post credit: IBNLive
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Thursday reported higher September sales as easing loan rates and the ongoing festival season in India lifted demand for cars and sport-utility vehicles.
Sales at Maruti, the local unit of Suzuki Motor Corp., surged 17% from a year earlier to 83,306 vehicles in September, boosted by higher demand in both local and overseas markets.
Maruti’s local sales grew 11% to 71,594 vehicles while exports surged 85% to 11,712 vehicles.
Demand for automobiles generally rises during the festive season, when it is considered auspicious to buy new products in many parts of India. The two-month season usually begins in October, but started in late September this year.
original post @ WSJ
Ferrari finally confirmed on Wednesday that Fernando Alonso will race for the team next season, replacing Kimi Raikkonen as Felipe Massa’s team mate. Giancarlo Fischella will continue in the role of reserve driver.
Alonso, who has spent the bulk of his Formula One career with Renault, has signed a three-year agreement with Ferrari, starting in 2010.
“I’m very happy and very proud to become a Ferrari driver,” said the Spaniard. “Driving a single-seater from the Prancing Horse is everybody’s dream in this sport and today I have the opportunity to make this dream come true. Above all I want to thank Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who really wanted this three-year contract.
“We already had an agreement this summer starting in 2011, but then, the last days, the picture changed and we decided to anticipate my arrival in Maranello by one year. The years at Renault were fantastic: together we won four world titles (two drivers’ and as many constructors’ championships), and until this day, 21 Grands Prix.
original post @ Formula1
General Motors Co will close Saturn and wind down its dealership network after a deal to sell the faltering brand to Penske Automotive Group collapsed, the automaker said on Wednesday.
The breakdown of a deal that had been widely expected to close this week will force some 350 Saturn dealerships to shut down and could cut 13,000 U.S. jobs that would have been preserved under a plan by auto magnate Roger Penske.
Penske had been negotiating with Renault SA to acquire vehicles for the Saturn brand once a production agreement with GM had expired. Those talks collapsed, scuttling the Saturn acquisition by Penske.
original post: Reuters
At 6:46 p.m. Thursday, R. Sampathkumar signed a check for 3,809 rupees ($78) and ordered his first car: a Tata Nano.
Bookings for the ultracheap car, which retails for 100,000 rupees ($2,050) plus tax and transport fees, opened Thursday across India.
Sampathkumar, who is 30 years old and single, makes about 20,000 rupees a month ($410) as a goldsmith and says he wants a Nano for “status.”
“Automatically, women will come forward,” he said, grinning.
Dozens gathered Thursday to gawk at the silver Nano sitting on a red platform with pink satin skirting at the Tata dealership in Coimbatore, a mid-sized manufacturing hub in southern India. Two DJs blasted Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin and Madonna songs, while college kids snapped photos of the snub-nosed car on their cell phones.
Despite the festivities, analysts say Nano sales won’t do much in the short term to help debt-strapped Tata Motors, which is facing falling sales and is in talks with banks to refinance a $2 billion loan it took out to buy Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford last year.
Originally posted on Yahoo Finance
President Barack Obama last month handed his auto-industry team a seemingly impossible task: to engineer the most complicated industrial restructuring ever attempted by the federal government, and to do it fast.
With almost no experience in the car business, the team’s dozen core members have undergone a crash course in the myriad woes plaguing the U.S. auto industry. Within days, just over a month after setting to work, they’ll begin announcing decisions.
Interviews with task-force members indicate that the administration doesn’t want to let General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC slip into bankruptcy protection, a course advocated by some critics of the industry. Instead, the task force is expected to say that it sees viable futures for both GM and Chrysler, but only if there are sacrifices from their managements, unions and GM’s bondholders. The team will also lay out a firm timeline for action.
Originally posted on WSJ.com
Tata Motors looks set to harness massive demand for its Nano, the world cheapest car, helping it raise funds to cover bridge loans for last year’s purchase of the luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
Interested buyers need to front up most of the cost of the new car in April, potentially giving Tata Motors $1 billion for at least three months and at least $200 million against the delivery of the first 100,000 units – which could take more than a year.
“We are expecting lakhs of applicants, judging from the initial reaction,” said Chairman of top bank State Bank of India (SBI) OP Bhatt.
SBI has a tie-up as a preferred financier for Nano bookings. Tata Motor’s cash needs are pressing. It has $100 million of cash left in its books as of the end of 2008 and is finding it hard to raise Rs 70 billion for working capital.
This article was originally posted IBNLive.com