Jawa, the iconic Czech motorcycle brand with 90-year-old legacy, has been brought back to India by auto major Mahindra group. It launched the first range of new heritage premium motorcycles in the country on Thursday, giving bike enthusiasts a new choice, and turned the heat on archrival Royal Enfield which has ruled the roost till now.

The brand is expected to give tough competition to Royal Enfield in the country, which alone sells over 70,000 bikes every month.

Piaggio plans aggressive growth

Piaggio Vehicles, the Indian arm of the Italian auto major Piaggio group, which rolled out its 2.5 millionth small commercial vehicles in August, plans to invest over Rs 100 crore to develop new vehicles, new engine technology and aggressive network expansion to fuel growth in India.

“The pillars on which we plan to build our next phase of growth in India will be investment in powertrain technology, and product innovation in order to take on competition in the country,” Diego Graffi, managing director and chief executive officer at Piaggio Vehicles told Financial Chronicle.

Chinese firm to invest Rs 1,350 cr to make appliances

Chinese Midea group, the $35 billion global consumer appliances conglomerate, listed on the Shenzhen, China stock excha­nge, is setting up a technology park in India with an investment of Rs 1,350 crore to manufacture home appliances, air conditioners and compressors.

The Fortune 500 Company has acquired 68-acre campus at Supa Parner industrial zone near Pune. Its three factories creating over 2,000 jobs would start commercial operation by early 2020.

French cement firm Vicat to invest over Rs 1,700 crore

French cement giant Vicat SA, the euro 2.6 billion Paris stock exchange listed firm, which entered India a decade ago, is planning to raise its annual cement production capacity to 11 million tonnes (MT) over the next three years in the world’s second-biggest cement market.

“The parent company is investing €223 million or about Rs 1,735 crore over the next four years between 2018 to 2021 to expand production capacities to 11 MT per annum and strengthen the brand’s presence in the south and west,” Anoop Kumar Saxena, CEO at Vicat India told Financial Chronicle.

Car sales moderate despite discounts

Car sales were below industry expectations on Dhanteras. Rising fuel prices, higher interest rates and hike in insurance premium kept potential buyers away from dealerships across India.

Some dealers, however, said deliveries were happening at showrooms of Maruti Suzuki, India’s biggest carmaker, and its archrival Hyundai. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai together command nearly 70 per cent of the car market in the country.

Industry honchos, auto experts and dealership managers across car brands said Dhanteras car sales were moderate.

Volvo clocks record 40% sales growth in Jan-Oct 2018

While the mass car market struggle to sell cars even during the festival season in the country, Swedish luxury car maker Volvo has cheered the industry by clocking 40 per cent sales growth between Jan-Oct.

The brand sold a record 2,194 units in Jan-Oct 2018 period, registering a 40 per cent year-on-year growth.

Sales were led by the XC60 and the new XC40 SUVs. Interestingly, the Jan-Oct 2018 sales surpassed the number of vehicles sold throughout 2017 at 2,029 cars.

No festival cheer for car sales

Car manufacturers are feeling the heat of slowdown. Rising fuel prices, hardening interest rates and higher cost of insurance have taken a toll on sales. The festival season has not yet lifted the market sentiment. Car-makers are now banking on Diwali sales to pick up pace.

After a strong double-digit growth in the first quarter, passenger vehicle sales started to move south from July and the total monthly volume stayed negative till September. Dussehra sales were tepid for most automakers. 

Kawasaki expands supersport bike range with Ninja ZX-6R

Japanese motorcycle giant Kawasaki Motors Corporation, a specialist in performance bike, on Wednesday opened pre-bookings for its supersport bike Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R for a token amount of Rs 1.50 lakh to boost sales during Diwali festival.

The new Ninja ZX-6R bike will be brought to India via the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route, just like its bigger brother called the Ninja ZX-10R which costs Rs 12.80 lakh.

The Ninja ZX-6R will be assembled locally at India Kawasaki Motor’s factory in Chakan, near Pune.

Locally made petrol Jaguar F-Pace launched at Rs 63.17 lakh

Tata Motors-owned British luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover on Monday introduced the petrol variant of the F-Pace SUV to boost sales in the festive season which accounts for about 10-15 per cent of the annual car sales.

The Jaguar F-Pace with the petrol engine will be made available only in one variant called Prestige and it is priced at Rs 63.17 lakh.

The Mumbai-based automaker, which announced bookings for the petrol variant, said it has started manufacturing the petrol derivative of the Jaguar F-Pace SUV in India and that is a big move by the company.

Kawasaki rides in new motocross & enduro bikes

Japanese motorcycle g­i­­ant Kawasaki Motors Corporation has int­rod­uced the 2019 versions of KX250, KX450 motocross co­mpetition bikes and 2019 KLX450R enduro bike in In­dia. While KX250 bike is pri­ced at Rs 7.43 lakh, KX450 costs Rs 7.79 lakh at pan In­dia showroom. KLX450R enduro bike is priced Rs 8.49 lakh. Chan­g­es have been made to KX450’s engine and cycle parts while KX250 gets minor graphical alterations.

The engine of the 2019 KX450 bike has been revised with the inclusion of a finger-follower valve actuation accompanied by hydraulic clutch and electric starter.