Premier to re-enter passenger vehicle segment with a compact SUV
Automaker Premier Ltd, formerly known as Premier Automobiles Ltd, has said that it plans to re-enter the passenger vehicle segment and will launch a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) 'Rio' next week.
 
In a release to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Premier said deliveries of the vehicle are expected to start by December.
 
Premier Padmini, a reincarnation of the Fiat 1100, was one the most famous models of Premier Automobiles in India during the 1990s.
 
Mumbai-based Premier has been absent from the passenger car segment after Fiat Uno and the failed collaboration with Peugeot in 2001. The company also tried to make a comeback in 2004 with a new diesel van called Sigma, loosely based on Mitsubishi Varica from the 1980s.
 
At present, Premier manufactures CNC machine tools for both batch and mass production besides offering machine components to other automobile companies in India. The company also has a light commercial vehicles division which makes ‘Roadster’ mini trucks based on a compact Mitsubishi design.
–Aditya Kshirsagar [email protected]
 
 
 

User

Bollywood celebrates Diwali with blockbusters

This Diwali proved to be a blockbuster for the Hindi film industry (Bollywood) which was reeling under the recession. Over this long weekend—four days to be precise—out of the three movies released, two movies starring Sanjay Dutt were able to report very good collections; however the third film starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor just managed to survive. 

Blue, the underwater action movie starring Sanjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar collected over Rs19 crore across India during the weekend. The movie produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision (SACV) and directed by Anthony D’Souza had a budget of almost Rs80 crore, excluding promotion cost.

All The Best, the Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn starrer has also garnered Rs15 crore during the weekend while Salman and Kareena starrer Main Aur Mrs Khanna was able to collect just Rs4.2 crore. The production cost for All The Best and Main Aur Mrs Khanna was Rs40 crore, each.
 
"It is one of the best weekends of the year. On Sunday, we had 80%-85% occupancy for Blue and All The Best while the same for Main Aur Mrs Khanna was about 50%. In multiplexes where we have five to six screens, we are screening 10 to 12 shows for all the three movies and in other places we have been screening around eight shows," said Prakhar Joshi, head programming, PVR cinemas.
 
PVR which holds the distribution rights of Blue in the North and Uttar Pradesh territories, did a gross business of about Rs2.2 crore across the country. The box office collections of PVR for All The Best and Main Aur Mrs Khanna were Rs1 crore and Rs45 lakh, respectively.
 
"All the three films cater to different audiences and have got a mixed response. Blue has opened very well with more than 80% occupancy level across India and it should keep up till Monday night. All The Best has also reported almost 65% occupancy level and Main Aur Mrs Khanna has reported below average opening," said Shunali Shroff, head, corporate communications, Fame Multiplexes.
 
While Blue and All The Best are likely to continue to attract viewers, Main Aur Mrs Khanna has chosen another route. Reliance BIG TV has bought the DTH rights of Main Aur Mrs Khanna from UTV Motion Pictures and said the film will be available for viewing to its subscribers just after four days of its release, from 20th October onwards for a month on its pay-per-view channels. Subscribers of Reliance BIG TV will have to pay Rs150 between 20th to 26 October and Rs100 from 27th October onwards to view the movie.
 
There is an interesting tailpiece. PVR has bought the distribution rights of Blue, in an advance payment deal under which, the producers, SACV, will bear the losses in case the film fails to garner sufficient money. The exact figures of the deal are not available, but after the initial euphoria, viewers are reportedly avoiding Blue because of a weak storyline and just 20 minutes of the much publicised underwater scenes.
 
Earlier releases during Diwali have also proven to be box office hits. Two years ago, it was clash of two personalities, Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali with their offerings Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, respectively. While Om Shanti Om won at the box office, Saawariya stars Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor went on to grab other interesting films.
 
The story in 2008 was, however was slightly different. Rohit Shetty directed Golmal Returns become a super hit overnight while Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion had to wait for some more time to set the cash registers ringing.
This Diwali, while Main Aur Mrs Khanna has taken the television route, it will be really interesting to watch the race between Blue and All The Best to see which flick emerges the real winner over the long-term.
-Yogesh Sapkale with Pallabika Ganguly [email protected]
 

 

User

Companies anticipating big windfall from impending Pay Commission payout

With the second instalment under the Sixth Pay Commission due to be released, several companies and banks are waiting with baited breath to take advantage of the potential demand

The big pay day for Central government employees is around the corner and that, along with the ongoing festive season have put banks and durables manufacturers on a high gear. The payment of the second and final instalment of the arrears under the Sixth Pay Commission is expected to set the government coffers back by roughly Rs176 billion. The payout is expected to benefit roughly 5 million government employees and 3.8 million pensioners.
 
Already, the impending cash injection is creating a flurry of activity from corporate entities and banks alike. In anticipation of the potential demand, several banks have revised interest rates downwards. Industry experts are predicting a windfall for sectors like retail, automobiles and realty. Given the huge amount at disposal, most banks see good business in the retail loans sector.
 
KK Sharma, executive director, Bank of Rajasthan, said, “Government employees are a huge section that the banks are waiting to tap. People have got arrears and it is a tremendous amount. This amount will get converted somewhere either to meet the marginal requirement of a home or organising a wedding or buying a car or buying white goods because it is a bonanza. It will also improve the repayment power of employees who plan to take loans or have loans outstanding.”
 
 “The payment of arrears in the Sixth Pay Commission would be beneficial for the banks,” said a spokesperson for ICICI Bank.
 
Not only banks, consumer durable companies are also targeting this huge surplus amount. Hyundai Motors plans to continue with its special discount schemes for State and Central government employees. Last year, in September, when the first instalments of arrears were announced, Hyundai had announced special discounts on specific car models.
 
"With the approaching Diwali and the flow of funds from the government employees, we expect our sales to go up by 8%-10%," said Nilesh Gupta, managing partner, Vijay Sales, a consumer electronics and durables retail chain in Mumbai.
 
As was the case with the first instalment of the arrears, government servants would be permitted to deposit their arrears in their general provident fund (GPF) accounts. However, this is not mandatory this time, which leaves a significant potential for discretionary expenditure on part of the beneficiaries.
 
According to official government estimates, the total arrears are estimated to cost Rs293.70 billion to the government kitty. As per the new pay scales approved by the Union Cabinet under the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, the government employees would receive their dues, applicable from 1 January 2006.
Last year in August, the Union government decided to pay the arrears in two instalments of 40% and 60%. The first instalment of 40% was paid in the last fiscal itself while the remaining arrears would be paid now.
 
However, the downside is that the resulting inflated wage bill of the government will put additional burden on an already stretched fiscal deficit. Besides, it remains to be seen whether the big demand boost that India Inc. is witnessing will taper off.
–Sanket Dhanorkar with Amritha Pillay  [email protected]

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)