31 August 2011

passenger SUV Sonalika Motors launch

passenger SUV Sonalika Motors  : After Force Motors, it is now the turn of Sonalika to launch their own SUV in the Indian passenger car segment. Sonalika is credited with having the Toyota Qualis look-alike, the ICML Rhino in the passenger MUV segment. Force Motors have inspired many other niche manufacturers to try their hands at making SUVs for the passenger car segment in India. Pininfarina, the famous Italian design house is rumored to design this new SUV and Sonalika would be developing this car mostly in house with some inputs from suspension tuning specialists, Lotus.

A sum of about Rs 500 crores is set to be invested by the company in the passenger car segment now. After the launch of the SUV somewhere down by 2012, there would also be a passenger car segment which would be launched later on. This sedan would take on the likes of the Honda City, Vento and others and would be priced between Rs 8-10 lakhs. Initially, the company plans to roll out only a diesel engine. It would be the same Rover derived one with a capacity of 2.0 liters and varying power ranges from 120 Bhp to even 140 Bhp. Source www.indiandrives.com

Honda Brio upcoming in India October 2011

Honda Brio upcoming in India October 2011 : Honda Brio: This is the all new small car that Honda displayed at the Thailand Motor Show and it would be coming to India at around October 2011. It has got a 1.2 liter engine which would be good enough for 70 Bhp. Most likely, it would be the Honda Jazz’s unit in a detuned state. There would be enough space in this small car compared to the others in its class. It would be ducked within the 4 meters mark and the 1.2 liter petrol would be the only engine option available. There would be an automatic variant as well.

mahindra korando price in india

mahindra korando price in india ; Mahindra Korando: This is one SUV that would be slotted above the Mahindra Scorpio and is part of the dowry that Mahindra received after they annexed Chinese car maker Ssangyong Motors. It would have a more upmarket image than the Scorpio and would feature many luxury features unheard of in an SUV. It would be priced at around Rs 20 lakhs. It would make its debut in the Indian market in November 2011.

New Land Rover Defender DC100 will launch in 2015

New Land Rover Defender DC100 will launch in 2015 : The future of Land Rover’s iconic Defender model – a direct descendent of the original military-inspired models of 1948 – has long been in doubt, but a new concept car set to debut in less than two weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show should clear things up

Land Rover says that a new Defender will launch in 2015, and while the automaker hasn’t released many details, the next-generation off roader will have to be quite a bit different to meet increasingly stringent global safety and emissions regulations. Land Rover isn’t commenting on North American availability, although the British brand hasn’t officially ruled out such a possibility.

The DC100 is what Land Rover calls a “modern interpretation” of the Defender. Penned under the watch of design chief Gerry McGovern, the DC100 clearly departs from the current Defender in a number of ways – like its much larger wheels and almost vintage Ford Bronco-like side profile.

For now, Land Rover is keeping quiet on just what platform the concept car rides on and the automaker hasn’t made any hints about what’s under its hood. We’d guess it features a shortened version of the LR4 and Range Rover Sport architecture and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel. A hybrid system is also a distinct possibility since Land Rover is likely needing to show off a greener image for the Defender.

As for off road capability, the DC100 concept looks like it will rely more on a sophisticated traction control system than the big rubber and articulating solid axles of the current model. That’s a trick that has worked well for those few LR4s and Range Rovers that venture off the pavement, so it should combine well with the DC100′s approach and departure angles to make a surprisingly adept performer.

Volvo and Siemens electric cars small C30 hatchback

Volvo and Siemens electric cars small C30 hatchback ; Volvo, the Swedish carmaker owned by China’s Geely, has formed a partnership with Siemens, the German engineering group, to develop electric cars and ancillary equipment.

The two companies said on Wednesday that an electric version of Volvo’s small C30 hatchback would be available for testing by the end of this year. Volvo will deliver up to 200 vehicles to Siemens for further testing by the end of 2012.

The venture marks the latest in a series of partnerships between carmakers and suppliers to develop various types of electric vehicles.

General Motors and South Korea’s LG Group announced a similar agreement last week. LG already supplies battery cells for GM’s two existing extended-range hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt and its European cousin, the Opel Ampera. The cars have a small internal-combustion engine to extend the range of their electric battery.

Siemens already has deals with BMW and Renault to develop electric-car charging equipment.

Volvo and Siemens said in a statement that they would co-operate in the development of electric drive technology, power electronics and charging technology, as well as the integration of those systems into the C30.

Siegfried Russwurm, a member of Siemens management board, said: “It is our long-term goal to establish Siemens as a global system provider with solutions both inside and outside of electric vehicles. We see ourselves as a comprehensive electric mobility pioneer.”

The companies did not say whether Siemens’ technology would also be made available to Geely. The Chinese government is heavily promoting electric vehicles to help alleviate the country’s environmental and energy dependence problems but electric vehicle sales in large numbers are not expected for several years.

Volvo and Siemens have scheduled a news conference later on Wednesday.

Geely’s purchase of Volvo last year was the biggest acquisition of an overseas brand by a Chinese carmaker. It is viewed as a model of a successful acquisition in the automobile sector by Beijing, which is encouraging other China carmakers to look overseas for targets.

2012 BMW 1-Series 128I RWD 2-Dr Convertible L6 Interior Features

2012 BMW 1-Series 128I RWD 2-Dr Convertible L6 Interior Features ;

* Front 12V power outlet(s)
* Dual-zone fully-automatic climate control
* Diversity antenna
* Front ashtray
* Audio system with AM/FM radio, CD player (reads MP3 format) ; includes RDS , digital radio
* Cargo capacity: 8.0 cu. ft. all seats in place
* Cigar lighter in front seats
* Trip computer: includes average speed, average fuel economy, current fuel economy and range for remaining fuel
* Cruise control
* Front cup holders
* Outside air temperature indicator
* Intelligent driver front airbag, intelligent passenger front airbag with occupant sensors and occupant switch off
* Bucket driver seat and front passenger seat: ; details: manual height
* Front seat belts with pre-tensioners for driver and passenger
* Front seat center armrest
* Headlight control with dusk sensor
* Two height-adjustable front and rear seats head restraints
* Heated washer
* Interior dimensions: 38.6 in. front headroom, 37.0 in. rear headroom, 41.2 in. front leg room, 31.3 in. rear leg room, 54.0 in. front shoulder room and 42.2 in. rear shoulder room
* Driver and passenger knee airbags
* Low tire pressure indicator
* Remote power locks , includes power windows and speed sensing
* Power steering
* Power windows, express driver and passenger
* Front reading lights
* Rear seat belts for driver and passenger
* Rear seats:
* Rear view mirror
* Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
* Remote control trunk/hatch release
* Seating: four passengers
* Vinyl upholstery
* Service interval indicator
* Front side airbag
* Smart card/smart key; manual
* Eight speakers
* Alloy & leather-trimmed, tilt/ telescoping steering wheel
* Tachometer
* Driver and passenger vanity mirror
* Ventilation system with micro filter, automatic recirculation and active carbon filter

Irene likely to lead to higher insurance premiums

Irene likely to lead to higher insurance premiums ; The $7 billion in estimated losses from Hurricane Irene will compound the vast damage caused by weather in the United States this year. Yet despite billions they’ve paid out for floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, big insurance companies can expect another profitable year.

And their customers can expect higher premiums.

The stocks of major insurers shot up this week as investors celebrated Irene’s less-than-expected damage. The storm didn’t even cause most analysts to adjust their profit estimates for insurers.

In part, that’s because insurance companies have been raising premiums this year, especially for customers in high-risk areas. Homeowner and auto policies cost 5 to 10 percent more than they did a year ago, according to research by Gregory Locraft, an analyst with Morgan Stanley.Read More...

Ford, Zipcar Bring Future of Transportation to Newest Generation of Drivers at U.S. Universities

Ford, Zipcar Bring Future of Transportation to Newest Generation of Drivers at U.S. Universities : Ford Motor Company and Zipcar, Inc. - the world's leading car-sharing network - are teaming up to help make transportation more affordable, fun and sustainable for students at more than 250 university campuses throughout the U.S.

The two-year alliance, announced today, establishes Ford as the largest automotive source in Zipcar's University program. Ford vehicles, primarily the fuel-efficient 2012 Ford Focus and the 2012 Ford Escape, start arriving this week on university campuses

The strategic alliance includes offering incentives to join and use car sharing on campus to help accelerate use of Zipcar across the U.S. and introduce a new generation of drivers to Ford vehicles Read More...

17 August 2011

best insurance companies in uk

best insurance companies in uk ; Only 51% of insurance companies have nominated an executive responsible for complaints according to research for software firm, Charter UK.

The is despite the fact that the Financial Services Authority's incoming regulation requiring regulated firms to nominate an executive to the complaints role comes into force on 1 September 2011.

According to Charter UK, of the 54 large financial services companies in the UK interviewed, just 27 had appointed a nominated executive with responsibility for complaints, 17 had not yet made a nomination, while a further 10 did not know if they had made a nomination or not.

While only 51% of insurance companies had made a nomination it was still ahead of the 41% of banks and 50% of credit card companies surveyed.

Paul Clark, chief executive at Charter UK, commented: "This is a concern for the industry. There are just over two weeks to go before firms must show that they have nominated an executive with overall responsibility for complaints.

"Those companies that have yet to identify the individual within their team, or are unsure if a nomination has been made, need to get moving as soon as possible."

Pace of change
He continued: "Our research showed that compliance and customer services are the business units from which the individual is most likely to be selected.

"Whatever the background of the individual, the key thing is to get to grips with the pace of regulatory change in the complaints landscape post-payment protection insurance, and to have a real grasp of the people, cultural, processes and systems challenges that prevent organisations from dealing with complaints effectively.

He concluded: "What's really worrying is that the companies we've spoken to thus far are top 50 UK financial services providers - it's hard to escape the impression that the figures will look much worse among the smaller players."

best Car Insurance 2011

best Car Insurance 2011; Despite car insurance being a mandatory requirement for all motorists, not all car insurance companies and policies are created equally. The following are some policy attributes and policyholder benefits to look for when choosing a car insurance policy.

Roadside Response & Repair
Most car accidents and car-related incidents don't involve fatalities or grave injuries. For the most part, they are simply inconveniences that can range from waiting for a tow to awaiting long-term repairs or a claim for a "totaled" car whose repairs would cost more than the value of the car itself. Car insurance companies should offer its policyholders swift response to initial towing needs, as well as car rental options and services while they await repair on their vehicles. The repairs themselves should be facilitated quickly and smoothly, with little to no delay on the part of the insurance company for claim assessment or approval.

Policy Flexibility
Not all motorists drive the latest sports car or can afford full coverage with no deductible. Car insurance companies should offer its policyholders a variety of insurance options that are affordable without leaving the motorist vulnerable.

Benefits and Discounts
Car insurance companies should offer its policyholders a variety of car and driving-related benefits, such as accident forgiveness for first-time offenders, convenient payment options, after-hours services, 24-hour claims assistance and others. Car insurance companies should also offer discounts for multiple-policy holders, drivers with clean records, students with good grades and others.

Customer Service/Claims Timeliness
Car Insurance companies should respond to policyholder claims in a timely fashion, facilitating the necessary steps to return motorists to their vehicles.

Auto Insurance might appear to be no more than an additional tax or fee for a service that is never used. However, as the statistics show, it is one that is necessary to ensure that you--and your vehicle--remain protected against injury, accident or liable damages.

In addition to the side-by-side comparison featured above, in-depth reviews are available for 10 of the best auto insurance companies, including top-rated insurers GEICO, Progressive and eSurance

pay car insurance premium using a zero per cent purchase credit card

pay car insurance premium using a zero per cent purchase credit card ; As car insurance premiums rose by 31 per cent in 2010, and with similar rises occurring earlier in 2011, drivers looking to keep car insurance costs manageable may opt for the convenience of monthly instalments.

Running a car isn't cheap, made worse by the rising fuel costs we have seen recently. The cost of car insurance can be a huge strain on your finances so paying for your car cover on a monthly basis is a good way of keeping your initial outlay for car insurance down. However, while this may be a more convenient and manageable way to pay for your cover, it's crucial to make sure you're aware of the additional costs involved. It is also necessary you scour the whole market to ensure you find the most reasonably priced deal. Insurers can also play a part in helping motorists by not charging more than they need.

Motorists could consider other financially-savvy ways to pay for their car insurance premium, such as using a zero per cent purchase credit card,

By putting the cost of the premium on to a zero per cent purchase credit card, drivers can pay for their policy in monthly instalments without paying interest. There are a number of zero per cent purchase cards on the market, so if you are eligible, you'll only pay for the original price of your policy. However, you need to be disciplined if you use a credit card, and aim to pay off the balance before the end of the promotional period, and within 12 months if the promotion is longer otherwise you will still be paying when your insurance is up for renewal

why the cost of insuring high-performance vehicles

Pakar info - why the cost of insuring high-performance vehicles ; A recent article by GM Authority investigates why the cost of insuring high-performance vehicles is often so much higher than insuring less expensive vehicles.

High-performance vehicles are categorized as such because they are powerful, and the article notes that insurers view these automobiles as being more prone to accidents. National statistics and studies have shown that high-performance cars are more likely to be involved in crashes, whether big or small, which leads to an increase in the number of auto insurance claims.

Another reason auto insurance rates are higher for sports cars is that in the event of a collision, replacement parts for high-performance vehicles are usually very expensive, says GM Authority. It's often difficult to get a hold of parts for high-performance vehicles, particularly for imported models. Even simply repairing a component of a sports car usually costs much more than repairing a similar part on a less expensive vehicle.

The attractiveness of high-performance vehicles to car thieves also plays into higher insurance rates. However, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that the most stolen vehicle in the United States in 2010 was the 1994 Honda Accord, followed by the 1995 Honda Civic and 1991 Toyota Camry.

black box for monitor policyholder’s young drivers

Pakar info black box for monitor policyholder’s young drivers : An insurance company specialising in policies for younger drivers has used the latest in-car technology to help it to cut premiums by 17 per cent.

Young Marmalade uses telematics or “black boxsatellite technology to monitor the policyholder’s driving behaviour, such as braking and acceleration, speed and at what time of day the car is driven. This is then used to calculate premiums; the better the car is driven, the lower the premium and vice-versa,

08 August 2011

Japanese carmakers Honda, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota into price war

Japanese carmakers Honda, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota into price war : Japanese carmakers Honda, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota are aggressively resorting to a price war as they seek to push up sagging sales in India, following a fall in sales for the first time in 30 months in July.

Honda Siel, which cut Rs66,000 off its flagship City sedan last month, is set to launch a new version of its Jazz hatchback with a much more customer-friendly price tag, which according to dealership sources could be around Rs6 lakh, or over Rs1 lakh less than the previous model that was sold out last month through a huge discount offer.

Maruti Suzuki too is in the process of launching a new version of its popular premium hatchback Swift with several added features. This would include variable valve timing (VVT) for added power in the petrol engine, fibre fuel tank for lighter weight, tilt steering and indicators on side mirrors in the new version that also offers extra legroom for its passengers.

The new changes in the specs are designed to give it added punches to take on the likes of Polo and i20 that boast more features than the outgoing Swift. The car is due to be launched on 17 August, but the company is largely holding the price line.

Toyota's entry-level Etios sedan has already been introduced along with the Liva priced at Rs3.99 lakh. Liva is priced much cheaper that its competition like Maruti Swift and Skoda Fabia.

According to some analysts, the market has seen some rapid changes following Toyota's killer pricing of its new Etios, and then Honda following suit with its hot selling cars. They say now Maruti is expected to bring its top-line cars very aggressively.

Meanwhile, dealers say Japanese automakers are now providing unprecedented support by speeding up delivery after recovering from the earthquake and Tsunami of March this year and offering price cuts to preserve or increase their market share.

Domestic car sales are estimated to have dipped 10 per cent year-on-year in July, in the first fall since January 2009, as increasing overall inflation, rising loan interest rates and fuel prices impacted consumer sentiment. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors-which together account for three fourths of all cars sold in the country saw their sales drop in double-digit percentage.

Toyota to build RAV4 electric vehicle at its West Plant in Woodstock

Toyota to build RAV4 electric vehicle at its West Plant in Woodstock ; Minister of State for Science and Technology joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada on 5 August in announcing the production of the RAV4 electric vehicle at its West Plant in Woodstock, alongside the petrol-fuelled RAV4.

The production of the RAV4 electric vehicle is a component of Toyota's 'Project Green Light', which was announced on 5 July. The Government of Canada is providing Toyota with a repayable contribution of up to CA$70.84m (US$72.03m) for the overall project. Toyota's total investment in the project could reach up to CA$506m. The Province of Ontario is also providing assistance of up to CA$70.84m.

"The RAV4 EV will be the first highway-capable electric vehicle to be produced in Canada and the first electric vehicle to be produced by Toyota outside of Japan," noted Goodyear.

Federal funding for the project was made through Canada's Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF), which provides support for strategic, large-scale research and development projects in the automotive sector.

The RAV4 EV’s powertrain, inclusive of battery, electric motor and other components is to be supplied by Tesla, in which Toyota Motor has become an investor, and has issued a powertrain supply contract worth some US$100m. US pricing and distribution plans for the electric RAV4 EV have yet to be confirmed.