Maruti launches new version of SX4, keeps price unchanged

The petrol variants of the car are priced between Rs7.38 lakh and Rs8.84 lakh while the diesel versions are priced between Rs8.27 lakh and Rs9.79 lakh

India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Friday launched an all-new version of its mid-size sedan SX4 in the country, with price remaining unchanged in the range of Rs7.38-Rs9.79 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).


“The all new Maruti Suzuki SX4 has new looks, and also envisages new features such as touch screen audio navigation and electronically foldable ORVMs with turn indicator,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) vice-president Marketing Manohar Bhat said in a statement.


The car, which has two engines options—the Super Turbo 1.3 litre diesel and the 1.6 Litre VVT petrol engine—has been launched with fresh exteriors and interiors and enhanced performance, Bhat added.


The petrol variants of the car are priced between Rs7.38 lakh and Rs8.84 lakh while the diesel versions are priced between Rs8.27 lakh and Rs9.79 lakh.


The new SX4 comes with many features including an all new touch-screen audio with integrated navigation with Bluetooth.


SX4 was first launched in India in 2007. The diesel version of the car was introduced in 2011. Till now, the company has sold over 1.08 lakh SX4 cars in the country.


India’s CAD expected to remain at around 5% of GDP in FY13 and FY14 says Nomura

While domestic demand remains weak, India’s current account deficit is likely to remain elevated reflecting the supply-constrained nature of the Indian economy and the global new norm of high oil prices and weak exports, says Nomura

India’s current account deficit (CAD) widened to a record 6.7% of GDP in Q4 CY12 from 5.4% in Q3, worse than expected, due to a wider trade deficit (led by higher gold imports) and a lower-than-expected invisibles surplus. However, according to Nomura Research while domestic demand remains weak, the CAD would remain elevated reflecting supply constraints and the global new norm of high oil prices and weak exports. 


During the fourth quarter to end December, India’s balance sheet has deteriorated. External debt rose to 20.6% of GDP in Q4 2012 from 19.7% in Q1, while the net international investment position worsened to -15.9% of GDP from -14% in Q1, due to rising external liabilities, Nomura says.


However, owing to seasonality and a payback in gold imports after the steep surge in Q4, Nomura says it expects the CAD to improve to around 4.5% of GDP in Q1 2013 and remain to about 5% of GDP, both in FY13 and FY14.


According to Nomura, the deterioration in India’s trade deficit has been ongoing for over a year due to a combination of weak exports and high oil prices. However, this was worsened by a sharp surge in gold imports in Q4 2012 due to the Diwali festival and preponement of gold imports in expectation of an impending import duty hike. Moreover, while invisibles were better than in Q3 2012, they were lower than their year ago levels as remittances have flat-lined and investment income outflows have risen due to rising interest payments. Overall, the balance of payments (BoP) recorded a marginal surplus of $0.8 billion from a deficit of $0.2 billion in Q3, according to the Nomura report.


Nomura points to the basic weakness in government policy that the structural issues related to the current account deficit remain intact and policy measures continue to be aimed at funding the deficit rather than addressing it.


Transport Congress calls off its nationwide strike

The All India Motor Transport Congress called off its proposed nationwide strike following assurance from the secretary of RTH

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has called off its proposed strike following a meeting between its representatives with secretary of Road Transport and Highways (RTH).


AIMTC, an apex body of transporters representing about 75 lakh truckers and transporters and about 40 lakh buses and tour operators, has given a call to suspend operations of goods transport and transportation services from the midnight of 1st April. AIMTC claims that whole transport industry is hit by high input costs and deep recession resulting in huge economic viability gap.


During the meeting, Vijay Chhibber, secretary of RTH, assured the transporters that their demands would be looked into and the ministry would take steps to resolve the issues.


Here is the list of demands sent by AIMTC to the RTH…

  1. Immediate withdrawal of unilateral hike of third party insurance premium (TPP) for Goods Vehicles wef 1 April 2013
  2. Reconstitution of Committee for any TPP tariff revision, with AIMTC as its member;
  3. Immediate implementation of toll permit in line with the National Permit
  4. Replacement of the monthly increase of Diesel prices with half yearly increase
  5. Demand for uniformity of diesel prices across the country
  6. Fixation of minimum freight rates for Road Transport Sector
  7. National Permit for buses on lines of Goods Vehicles
  8. Action against States indulging in illegal Entry Tax/Mechanical Tax
  9. Sales Tax/Commercial Tax issues, onus of any Sales Tax issues to be on consignor /trader, trucks not to be detained anywhere in the country
  10. Centralisation of RC books
  11. Standardisation of documents to be done across country
  12. Removal of Anti-Dumping Duty on import of tyres
  13. The reservation of the Road Transport Sector on Carriage by Road Act/ Rules to be addressed immediately and Industry status for Road Transport Sector


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