Commercial vehicle makers have hiked or are considering hiking prices of trucks by up to 4% this month to offset rising input costs, even as the segment saw return of demand
Commercial vehicle makers including Tata Motors Ltd, Volvo Trucks India Ltd and Ashok Leyland Ltd have hiked or are considering hiking prices of trucks by up to 4% this month to offset rising input costs, even as the segment saw return of demand, reports PTI.
Leading automaker Tata Motors has increased prices of all heavy vehicles (16 tonnes and above) and some models in the lower tonnage (3.5-7 tonnes) by 1% from this month.
Volvo Trucks India has hiked prices by 3%-4%. "Prices have gone up on account of high input costs, especially steel and rubber," Volvo Trucks India president Somnath Bhattacharjee said at the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi.
Mr Bhattacharjee, who is also on the board of the Volvo-Eicher joint venture, added that prices of Eicher products have also been increased by 2% for the same reasons.
The Hinduja Group-promoted Ashok Leyland said that it will hike prices of its commercial vehicles before March this year.
Ashok Leyland managing director R Seshasayee said that there has been a surge in demand of commercial vehicles in the last two quarters and the company expected to close this fiscal at total sales of about 62,000-63,000 units.
Commercial vehicle makers, who last year were forced to shut operations temporarily to cut operating costs, saw sales turn positive in August 2009. Sales jumped over 130% in November last year.
Prices of steel, a major input, have gone up by about $60-$80 to over $550 a tonne in the past two months due to rise in demand and increase in input costs.
ONGC was forced to exit from a gas block in Trinidad & Tobago after its partner Lakshmi N Mittal walked out of the project and its unit OVL would have had to foot the entire $304 million exploration expenditure
India's State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has been forced to exit from a gas block in Trinidad & Tobago after its partner Lakshmi N Mittal walked out of the project, reports PTI.
ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd (OEML)—the joint venture of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Mittal Investment Sarl (MIS)—had in 2007 won the offshore block North Coast Marine Area-2 (NCMA-2), that is estimated to hold reserves of 2 trillion cubic feet, beating Britain's Centrica Plc.
But last year, Mittal Investment Sarl (MIS) decided to exit the project possibly because of the global economic downturn.
"When we had bid for the block in Trinidad & Tobago, we had consciously decided not to take more than 51% stake. After the exit of MIS we had the option of doing the project entirely on our own but that did not fit into our scheme of things," an OVL official said.
OMEL had 65% interest in the block while Trinidad & Tobago's State-owned oil firm Petrotrin had the remaining. Under the initial agreement, OMEL was required to carry Petrotrin during the exploration phase (OMEL contributing Petrotrin's share of investment).
After the exit of MIS, OVL—the overseas investment arm of ONGC—would have had to foot the entire $304 million exploration expenditure with Petrotrin not willing to share any risk. "We tried to get an international energy firm as partner but did not succeed so we had no option but to exit the block," the OVL official said.
Google's new mobile handset Nexus One will not be available for consumers in India. In the US, it is being sold only through the Google Web store for $529 without a service plan
Internet search giant Google has launched its much-awaited, and correctly predicted by Moneylife along with some other media, its mobile handset titled as Nexus One. Google will sell the phone through its Web store. However, it will currently be available only for US consumers.
"The Nexus One belongs to the emerging class of devices which we call 'superphones'. It's the first in what we expect to be a series of products which we will bring to market with our operator and hardware partners and sell through our online store," Google said in a release.
Google said the Web store would allow consumers to purchase the Nexus One without operator service or with service from T-Mobile USA. Google further said that it expects to add more operators, more devices and more countries in the future, including Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Europe.
The Nexus One, which was garnering favourable first reviews on tech websites and forums, ships immediately from Google's online store for $179 with a two-year contract from Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA, or $529 without a service plan.
According to Techcrunch.com, Google has a lot riding on this launch. Sure, it would be nice for the phone to be a popular device in its own right. But, as many have pointed out, it’s the disruptive distribution model that’s going to have the biggest impact down the line. Google needs to show that this new online distribution model is something that people are willing to actually use, it added.
Manufactured by HTC, the Nexus One features dynamic noise suppression, a large 3.7-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) display and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset for blazing speeds. Running on Android 2.1, the newest version of Eclair, the software includes innovations like a voice-enabled keyboard so that you can speak into any text field, fun Live Wallpapers, a 3D photo gallery for richer media experiences and lots more. Of course, it also comes with a host of popular Google applications, including Gmail, Google Voice and Google Maps Navigation.
Nexus One's launch, especially in the US, assumes significance as T-Mobile and AT&T's exclusivity deals with Apple for its iPhone are about to come to an end. Google's phone would prove to be a shot-in-the-arm for these carriers, who so far had to depend on iPhone for higher-end mobile handsets.
The move also marks a rare foray into direct sales for Google. With the exception of an appliance it markets as a search tool to businesses, the company hasn't sold hardware in the past.
Google became a high-profile player in the mobile arena two years ago, when it launched its Android software. A number of leading handset manufacturers, including Motorola, built phones running the software, some of which contain branding "powered by Google". But the phones—many of which hit the market in recent months—haven't sold nearly as well as Apple's iPhone.
As far as India is concerned, Google's website says "Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country". Officials from Google India were not immediately available for comments. So for Indian enthusiasts, the wait could be a little longer.