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  • Toyota full-year net profit triples to $9.7 bn

    Toyota today said its full-year net profit more than tripled to USD 9.7 billion, with the world's largest automaker adding that it was on track for another soaring profit in the current fiscal year.

    The rosy annual profit underscores the recovery among Japan's major automakers after the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster devastated sales and production, and highlights strong demand in the key Asian and US markets.

    The yen, which has lost about one-fifth of its value on the dollar since November, has also helped, boosting Japanese firms' competitiveness overseas and jacking up the value of their repatriated foreign income.

    The declining yen was among the factors cited by Toyota for its profit jump, after rival domestic automaker Honda said its net profit for the year to March soared 73.6 per cent thanks to robust overseas sales, a weaker yen, and cost cutting.

    Toyota today said it booked a net profit of 962.1 billion yen (USD 9.7 billion) in the fiscal year to March, up from 283.5 billion yen a year earlier, on sales of 22.0 trillion yen, an increase of 18.7 per cent on-year.

    The firm, which last year overtook General Motors to regain the title of world's biggest automaker, also said it expected to earn a net profit of 1.37 trillion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2014.

    "We experienced increased sales of our vehicles mainly in North America and Asia," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, also pointing to "company-wide profit improvement activities".

    "The world's new car demand is expected to grow going forward, driven by the recovery of the US market and the development of the emerging markets."

    Global vehicle sales hit 8.87 million units in the year to March, Toyota said, despite nearly flat results from recession-riddled Europe.

    The Camry and Corolla maker added that vehicle sales in the current fiscal year were on track to hit 9.1 million units.

    However Japan's three biggest automakers–Toyota, Nissan and Honda–have seen results dented by the fallout from a bitter territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing that fuelled a consumer boycott of Japanese products.

    The long-standing dispute flared again in September when Tokyo nationalised some of a tiny East China Sea archipelago that is also claimed by Beijing, setting off huge demonstrations across China, the world's biggest vehicle market, and the damaging boycott.

    Toyota did not make specific reference to the spat in its earnings statement today, but has previously said it would take a hit from the diplomatic battle.

    GM India Launches Chevrolet Enjoy Premium MPV

    General Motors India today launched the Chevrolet Enjoy, its much-anticipated new-generation premium multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

    The Enjoy offers a spacious, stylish and comfortable ride. With Flexi-Smart Seven or Eight occupant seating variants, it addresses the growing need for a comfortable, spacious and stylish MPV for family travel and business use. It comes with a choice of SMARTECH diesel and petrol engines and has been tailored for Indian driving conditions and consumers.

    "We believe this is the right product for India in one of the market's fastest-growing segments. As a new leader in the segment, we expect the Enjoy to be very popular," said GM India President and Managing Director, Lowell Paddock. "Its introduction is another sign of our commitment to make Chevrolet the most preferred vehicle brand in India," added Mr. Paddock.

    According to Mr. Paddock, "GM India achieved substantial localization at the start of regular production of the Enjoy, which is unprecedented for a global vehicle manufactured in India. This is significant not only for the local economy, but also benefits buyers through a lower cost of ownership as a result of lower parts prices and the ready availability of spare parts."

    With the launch of Chevrolet Enjoy, GM India today also unveiled its global brand vision in India - 'Find New Roads,' a philosophy that aligns design, engineering, marketing and customer experience under a single platform. As GM India continues to widen its customer outreach with a full line-up of vehicles across major segments, the new platform "Find New Roads" embraces the spirit of ingenuity that has been in Chevrolet's DNA since the beginning and it will continue to guide every aspect of our business moving forward. The foundation of this new guiding principle is Chevrolet's century-long legacy of innovation and commitment to doing the right thing for customers in terms of products and services.

    Bold Exterior and Stylish Interior
    The Enjoy has a length of 4,305 mm, a width of 1,680 mm, a height of 1,750 mm and a wheelbase of 2,720 mm, which match medium to high-end family sedans. Chevrolet Enjoy's front styling is defined by the signature Chevrolet Gold Bowtie in the Chrome Surround Three-dimensional Grille and Leaf Style Fog Lamps. This is accentuated by the Chrome Surround Meshed Air Dam in the front bumper. The crisp crease lines in the bonnet rising towards the front windscreen define both agility & tension of the aerodynamic form. The well-defined rising shoulder line flows seamlessly from the edge of the headlamps to the tail lamps lending a dynamic stance to the Enjoy. Swoosh-style, jewel-effect, wrap-around headlamps add the brilliance of sparkling diamonds to the style quotient of the Enjoy with the triple-pod design for turn indicator, high & low beam. Enjoy is available in six exciting exterior colours: Velvet Red, Switchblade Silver, Summit White, Caviar Black, Linen Beige and Sandrift Grey. Inside, the richly-appointed luxurious dual tone interiors of the Chevrolet Enjoy adorn it with a premium feel. The wood-finish AC vents and door trim inserts enhance the styling. Triple Cluster Silver Surround Instrument Panel brings in sharp styling definition to the Panoramic-view Dashboard. Soothing blue night-time illumination of the instrument panel provides strain-free view of the cluster to the human eyes.

    Super Spacious and Extremely Comfortable
    The Enjoy stretches the boundaries of space and comfort. It can easily accommodate up to seven or eight passengers depending on the seating option selected. The Chevrolet Enjoy has been designed with the Open-Spaces theme. With its High Roof Design the Enjoy provides class leading headroom for all the occupants. Flexi-smart, double-folding, 3rd Row Seat provides a unique combination of both segment leading leg-space and flexibility of space utilization for luggage. The Theatre Seating arrangement, large side windows and Swing-type Rear Quarter Glass provide an uninterrupted view of the outside world for all occupants. The wide aisle between the second-row captain seats provides comfortable access to the third row seats. Rear AC with independent rear evaporator ensures powerful, quick and efficient cabin cooling for all the vehicle occupants. The rich leatherette or premium fabric upholstered seats in different trim levels of the Chevrolet Enjoy are designed to pamper the occupants in plushness. The Flexi-Smart third-row seats can be double folded for up to 630 liters of luggage space. Smart and well-thought-out storage spaces provide room for passengers to stow their belongings. Tilt Adjustable Steering, 12V Power Outlet in 3rd row, Front & Rear Power Windows, Power Adjustable OSRVM and Height Adjustable Driver Seat further enhance driver and occupant comfort.

    Efficient SMARTECH Powertrains
    The Enjoy is available with GM India's new-generation SMARTECH petrol and diesel engines, which are powerful, deliver excellent fuel efficiency, smooth driving performance and low emissions meeting Bharat Stage IV - OBD-II standards. The 1.3-litre diesel engine, which is produced at GM India's state-of-the-art Talegaon Powertrain facility, delivers maximum power of 77.5 PS @ 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 188 Nm @ 1,750 rpm. The four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol engine has maximum power of 104 PS @ 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 131 Nm @ 4,400 rpm. In addition, every engine and transmission component has been extensively tested and validated for durability, performance and reliability across varying climatic conditions in India.

    Superior Ride and Handling
    The Rear-Wheel-Drive Enjoy has MacPherson struts in front and a five-link rear suspension along with a rigid Hybrid Chassis - an intelligent combination of monocoque structure and Body on Frame design, which works together to provide excellent ride quality over varied road conditions. Balanced weight distribution over its front and rear axles, makes the steering more precise and nimble. Gas-filled front and rear shock absorbers optimize damping to isolate road undulations, reducing fatigue-creating road vibrations. Steering, Suspension and Braking Systems have been fine tuned for Indian road & traffic conditions, ensuring superior ride and handling.

    Safety and Security
    In line with Chevrolet's global focus on safety, the Enjoy has a host of active and passive safety features. It's Safe Cage Body Structure which is supported by the extensive use of high-strength steel provides a cocoon of safety. Ten collision protection beams made of high-strength steel absorb and dissipate collision impact, protecting occupants.  The customers will have the option of selecting variants with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Dual Front Air Bags, Rear Park Assist, Rear Window Defogger, Rear Wash and Wipe System, Rear Door Child Locks, Central Door Locking, Speed-Sensitive Auto Door Locks, and a Remote Key Locking & Un-locking System with an Electronic Anti-theft System along with the car identification function. The Enjoy comes with a three-year/100,000-km (whichever comes first) standard warranty. In addition, the industry unique 3 Year Chevrolet Promise on Enjoy will assure low cost of maintenance for three years or 45,000 km (whichever comes first). The Chevrolet Enjoy will be offered in three variants with two seating options.

    Mahindra Two Wheelers joins hands with 'Rajasthan Royals' in sixth edition of Pepsi Indian Premier League

    Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd (MTWL), a part of the USD 15.9 billion Mahindra Group, is an associate sponsor of the Rajasthan Royals cricket team for the 2013 edition of the Pepsi Indian Premier League.

    The association will see Rajasthan Royals players sporting Mahindra Pantero motorcycle branding on the trouser of the leading leg. The Panther inspired Mahindra Pantero motorcycle resembles the qualities of Rajasthan Royals team which is young, agile, innovative, and capable of adjusting to any adverse situation easily. Moreover, like the Pantero motorcycle, the team generates enough power to accelerate ahead in any given situation and drive home safely.

    The Pantero is available nationally in 4 variants, with the recently launched entry level version being priced at a very competitive Rs. 39,650 (ex-showroom Delhi). The fully loaded version of the Pantero featuring self start, cast alloy wheels and a digital console is priced at Rs. 43,150.

    The Indian Premier League provides an ideal platform for Mahindra Two Wheelers to connect and engage with its target audience, as it is the most followed sport in the country with a fan base of approximately 1 billion across India. Mahindra Two Wheelers entered into this association to leverage the team image of the Rajasthan Royals, which has consistently outperformed more established teams, through inspired leadership, innovative thinking and sheer professionalism. They have also consistently overcome any potentially adverse situation and the new Mahindra Pantero motorcycle embodies similar values.

    Commenting on this association, Sarosh Shetty, Vice President – Marketing, Mahindra Two Wheelers said, "Cricket in India is truly a national game, rising above geography, age and gender. When two brands that share similar values come together, it gives 'Rise' to a winning combination. Rajasthan Royals in previous IPL editions have stood for inspired leadership, innovation and professionalism. Mahindra Two Wheelers displays similar qualities and looks forward to a continuing partnership with the Rajasthan Royals."

    All versions are powered by the intelligent MCi-5 (Micro Chip ignited-5 Curve) engine that reads the road ahead and gives the rider either superior power or great mileage, depending on the driving conditions. The motorcycle's sleek styling makes it the most maneuverable bike in its class, helping to overcome bad roads and traffic with ease. Its advanced design includes a stylish fully digital dashboard, the longest seat in its segment, LED lamps and much more. So like the Rajasthan Royals, the Mahindra Pantero offers a lot more than expected, at an extremely attractive price.

    The association will enable customers to experience the new Mahindra Pantero motorcycle at the Rajasthan Royals home stadium–Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Further, customers can also win tickets for Rajasthan Royals games as well as an opportunity to meet the team players and staff at a gala function in Jaipur and lots more.

    Mahindra has been actively associated with various sporting events and sports have always been an integral part of the Mahindra culture. Mahindra Racing is the first Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGP™ World Motorcycle Racing Championship, in 2011, and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV), in 2012. The Group also has an association with the Celtic Football Club and Canadian NASCAR.

    Mahindra Two Wheelers partnership with the Rajasthan Royals underscores its continued commitment to promote sports, not only at the grassroots level but also across a global platform and help enthuse young talent in sports.

    About: Terra Motors Corporation
    Company Name: Terra Motors Corporation
    Foundation April 2010
    CEO & Founder Toru Tokushige
    Office 34-5, Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
    Factory Vietnam / Philippines
    Paid in Capital 6.621 million yen
    Business Design Manufacturing, Selling and Service for electric vehicle

    BMW commences production of 'MINI Countryman' in Chennai

    A year after introducing MINI as a premium brand in India, the BMW Group announced on Wednesday commencement of local production of 'MINI Countryman' at the company plant near Chennai.

    The brand was introduced in India in January 2012 with the launch of MINI Hatch, MINI Convertible and MINI Countryman.

    "As one of the world's top growth markets, India is a great place to continue accelerating MINI's global momentum," Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India, said.

    The locally produced MINI Countryman will be introduced in two diesel variants -- MINI Cooper D Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman High, for the first time in India along with new petrol variant - MINI ONE Countryman.

    MINI India continued to grow its presence in India with the opening of Navnit Motors, its exclusive dealership, its fifth outlet in India.

    In the start-up phase, BMW Group will concentrate on successfully establishing the MINI brand in India, the company said in a statement in Chennai.

    BMW Chennai plant, spread on a 40-acre land at Mahindra World City in Singaperumalkoil, currently produces BMW 3 series, BMW 5 series, BMW X1, BMW X3, the statement added.

    Besides MINI Cooper, the company in 2013 will also produce BMW 7 series and the BMW 1 series, it said.

    "With the production of MINI Countryman at the BMW Plant Chennai, MINI is the first premium small car to be locally manufactured in India and expects significant growth over the medium and long-term," it said.

    The cars manufactured from the facility would fulfil the same quality standards that apply to production of BMW group models worldwide, the statement said.

    Luxury car maker BMW is set to manufacture the iconic Mini brand in the country.

    The company will start manufacturing the compact SUV, Mini Countryman, at its Chennai plant next month. It is expected to hit the Indian roads by the end of the year. 

    Mercedes-Benz to launch new GL on May 16

    Home grown auto major, Mahindra & Mahindra is contemplating on unveiling its sub-four metre sedan, Mahindra Verito Vibe in May this year, which is likely to shake the solid base of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and newest baby from Honda's stable, Amaze.

    The contention gains credence as the news agency, PTI has confirmed that Mahindra's Chief Executive, Pravin Shah stating that Mahindra Verito Vibe will mark the company's foray into the high volume sub-four metre segment.

    Mahindra Verito Vibe
    The all new sedan, Mahindra Verito Vibe comes with a 1.5 litre engine, hence it qualifies for the excise duty benefit, higther to enjoyed by compact cars in India. Currently, a car with a petrol engine capacity under 1200 cc or diesel engine under 1,500 cc, but length shorter than four metres, atracts an excise duty of twelve percent. Elaborating on the groud work Mahindra had put in to develop this model, Shah said: "While developing Mahindra Verito Vibe, we have paid utmost attention to making this car look different. Having said that, we are pretty sure that the new sedan will appeal to our patrons with its young and sporty looks and that too without compromising the benefits which our existing Mahindra Verito has to offer".

    Honda new gen Jazz launch next year

    Mumbai, APRIL 12: Japanese auto major Honda today said it plans to roll out a new generation Jazz next year. "We have plans to launch the new generation Jazz in the country some time next year," Honda Cars India Senior Vice-President for Marketing and Sales Janeshwar Son told reporters here at the launch of sedan Amaze. The company, which produced 6,600 units of Jazz last year, has temporarily suspended its production since February, said Sen, adding it had also stopped production of Civic last year. "At the moment there is no inventory either at plant or with our dealers," he added. Sen also said Honda is studying the market to develop a seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle from the Brio platform, adding, "whether we will introduce it or not is not yet decided".

    Terra Motors - The world's first mass production of Electric 3-wheeler

    Terra Motors Corporation, is believed to be No.1 electric motorcycle&electric tricycle manufacturing company in Japan, which is funded by former president from Apple Japan, Google Japan, SONY, Compaq Japan.

    Tokyo's Terra motors vehicle is expected to help electric vehicle transport go green from the ground up.
    The company is scheduled to expand their business to the Asian market in near future. Talking to The Automobile Times the company representative that India is one of the potential market for their vehicles, and the company seriously exploring the opportunities for the early entry.
    Generally speaking, EVs tends to be thought as mobility for European countries or America, but this is totally different, which is sensation.
    The market sources believe that the Japanese leading company of electric scooter "Terra Motors" has come to we recognise as world's first mass production of Electric 3-wheeler.
    The company not only produce Electric scooters, but also electric 3- wheelers. In Asia, 3-wheeler market has expanded rapidly, because it is cheap and freight is large, compare to cars. For example, in India, the production number of three- wheel taxis is increasing twice by these five-year, and the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh also shows the same transition.
    Moreover, it is thought that electric-ization of the three-wheel taxi in Asia progresses quickly from aggravation of air pollution and the rise of constant shortage of gasoline and a price. For example, in India, gasoline cost has increased also 2.5 times by these ten-year Hazama.
    The company's prototype was completed lately, and they are aiming at world top share acquisition within 2014, the company will advance to Asian countries, and plan to establish branch officein India this year.

    About: Terra Motors Corporation
    Company Name: Terra Motors Corporation
    Foundation April 2010
    CEO & Founder Toru Tokushige
    Office 34-5, Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
    Factory Vietnam / Philippines
    Paid in Capital 6.621 million yen
    Business Design Manufacturing, Selling and Service for electric vehicle