Hyundai launches Eon, starting at Rs 2.7 lakh

“Hyundai Eon has been specifically built keeping in mind the varied Indian conditions and special requirements of the customers” Hyundai CEO

Korean auto major Hyundai Motor Co today launched entry level compact car Eon that has been developed specifically for the Indian market, at an introductory price of between Rs2.69 lakh and Rs3.71 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The company, which operates through wholly owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), said the car has been designed and developed keeping Indian consumers in mind.

"Eon has been specifically built keeping in mind the varied Indian conditions and special requirements of the customers here. It will further expand our market share in the fast-growing small car segment in the Indian market," HMIL managing director and CEO HW Park said.

The Eon, which will compete with Maruti Suzuki India's best selling model Alto, is powered by a 814 cc petrol engine. Alto is priced between Rs2.32 lakh and Rs3.17 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and is the best selling car, averaging about 20,000 units a month.

HMIL has invested Rs900 crore on the development and production facilities for the Eon. HMIL senior director marketing and sales, Arvind Saxena, said the company has plans to produce up to 1,50,000 units of the Eon on a 12 month basis.

Asked about export plans, Park said: "Later on we may consider exporting the Eon to markets in South America and South Africa but the present focus is on the Indian market."


Hitachi opens first R&D centre in India

Hitachi to expand IT and social infrastructure business related operations and pioneer new business areas

Hitachi, Ltd announced the opening of the Hitachi India R&D Centre in Bengaluru, India. This is the first research base for the Hitachi Group in India, as part of its efforts to promote efficient business development based on local needs in the rapidly growing Indian economy.

The new R&D Centre will be directly operated by Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd., the regional headquarters for Hitachi Group operations in India, and will conduct research and development focusing on Information &Telecommunication systems and social infrastructure business. In order to support the entry and expansion of Hitachi Group companies in India, the researchers will study the local market need, and promote market-oriented technology research & development to improve and enhance current products, as well as conduct regional research founded on regional needs to pioneer new business areas.
Further, offshore-oriented research will be conducted in collaboration with universities and corporate entities in India to achieve efficient advanced research.

The Hitachi India R&D Centre will start with about 10 researchers, aiming to double this number by FY2015 through local employment, in order to contribute to business growth and pioneer new business areas in India based on local research.

In April 2011, Hitachi undertook an overhaul of its R&D structure to create an organization for the global expansion of Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business by reorganizing and integrating its eight domestic laboratories into three laboratories and increasing its overseas research personnel. In June 2011, Hitachi set out a “New globalization plan” based on six centres located worldwide, in Japan, North America, Europe, China, South-east Asia and India, and targets a Hitachi Group consolidated revenue in India to increase to approximately200 billion yen in the next few fiscal years from the FY2010 revenue of approximately 90 billion yen. Local production and joint businesses with local partners have already commenced in business areas such as construction machinery, air-conditioning equipment, thermal power generation, and information control systems. The launch of the Hitachi India R&D Centre is part of Hitachi’s efforts to promote the localization of research, as well.

Efficient offshore-oriented advanced technology development will be promoted through collaborations with the academic institutes in India, as well as working with offshore vendors and talented human resource in India. Collaborations with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) , Bengaluru, are already underway, and the establishment of the Hitachi India R&D Centre will serve to facilitate cooperation with local universities and corporate entities.

The new Hitachi India R&D Centre will focus its activities in India but will in the future conduct R&D for the Asian Belt Zone in collaboration with Hitachi Asia R&D Centre, based in Singapore.


Volvo plans Rs400-cr investment in India

“India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China”Volvo CEO

Volvo today announced plans to invest about Rs400 crore in India in the next five years. "With this kind of investment plan, India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China," Volvo Bus Corporation President and CEO Hakan Karlsson said.

In the first phase, Volvo plans to expand its industrial establishment capacity in Hoskote to 2,500 units in the next two years. At present, the facility can produce 1,000 vehicles, he said.

The company also plans to introduce a range of new products starting in 2012, he said. "This announcement backs Volvo buses earlier announcement to become a one billion dollar company selling 5,000 buses in 2015," Karlsson said. The second phase will see Volvo setting up a new industrial establishment, he said.
"Business planning process has already begun to set up the second factory in India," Volvo Buses India, MD and CEO, Akash Passey said, but declined to divulge where it would be.

Globally, Volvo has the biggest plan in China to expand its industrial establishment capacity to 3,500, Karlsson said. The company also plans to expand capacity to 30,000 globally by 2015, which would be thrice the existing capacity, he said. "We plan to expand our establishments in Asia to 15,000 capacity," Karlsson added.

Volvo expects global revenues to grow by Rs20,000-Rs 25,000 crore by 2015, Volvo Bus Corporation senior vice president (business region international) Rune Lundberg said. "At present our global revenues are in the range of Rs14,000 crore to Rs15,000 crore," he said.


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