Sudhakar Shah


Sudhakar covers the Indian auto industry from his base in Mumbai.

Indian Automakers Scramble Aboard Utility Bandwagon 
Automakers plan to launch at least 33 new utility vehicles in the next 33 months.
Indian Automakers: Don’t Rush Us on Clean-Air Rules 
Automakers argue shorter deadlines would force them into using untested or inadequately tested technologies that could lead to safety risks and reduce fuel efficiency. Meantime, the air in India’s cities is getting progressively dirtier.
GM Gearing to Reinvent Struggling Indian Operation 
Loss-making GM India’s four-part strategy comprises fresh investment, consolidation of business in a single plant, launching new models and focusing on exports.
Celerio Leads Maruti Suzuki’s Push Into Rural India
India’s No.1 automaker saw rural sales jump 23% in 2014, the year of the Celerio’s introduction, compared with 11% in urban areas.
Ford India Raising Product Profile Locally, Globally 
Ford President and CEO Mark Fields plans to transform the company’s India subsidiary into a multiproduct manufacturer with entries in several segments and aiming to grow volumes and profitability.
FCA, Tata Expanding Indian SUV Production Capacity
Initial products to be assembled from kits on the 100,000-unit-capacity line are 5- and 7-seat SUVs being developed jointly by Tata and its Jaguar and Land Rover subsidiaries. Codenamed Q501 and Q502, the vehicles are due on the market in 2017.
Volkswagen India Putting Down Deeper Local Roots 
With Indian sales having risen 12.9% year-over-year through May, according to WardsAuto data, VW is investing in production capacity and local sourcing with an eye toward expanding the domestic market.
Maruti, Hyundai Launch Compact SUVs in Indian Market 
The Creta and S-Cross join a segment whose top sellers currently are the Mahindra Scorpio and Ford EcoSport. Other compact SUVs on the Indian market include the Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and Mazda CX-3.
Kwid’s Modular Architecture Tailored to India Market 
The alliance introduced its CFA architecture in 2013 with the all-new ’14 Nissan Rogue CUV. It and other CFA models are sold in developed markets, but CMF-A designates affordable vehicles destined for emerging markets such as India.
Tata Plots Comeback With Reinvented Nano City Car 
“This is a make-or-break opportunity for Tata,” Girish Wagh, senior vice president-product planning and the original Nano’s chief engineer, says of the extensively upgraded Nano GenX.
Head of India’s Toyota Kirloskar on Complex Mission 
Naomi Ishii wants Toyota to address challenges facing India. This includes improving fuel economy and reducing both pollution and road fatalities. The assumption is that an automaker helping solve these problems will increase sales.
Light Trucks Could Make Hyundai India’s Good Times Better 
Hyundai had a 21.2% share of India’s car market in the year’s first three months, but its lack of light trucks left its share of total light-vehicle sales at 13.7%. New utility vehicles are meant to raise overall market share to 20% by 2020.
Rural Focus Helps Keep Maruti Suzuki on Top in India 
In the automaker’s fiscal year ending March 31, sales totaled 1.17 million, including 415,380 in rural areas, a 23% year-over-year improvement.
Volvo Eyes More Than Sliver of India Luxury Market 1
Volvo’s objective of 20,000 annual sales in India by 2020 is the same number set by larger luxury rivals Audi, BMW and Mercedes – but they hope to hit their targets by 2018.
Maruti Suzuki Stands Down as Suzuki Targets India 
Maruti Suzuki’s chairman says the Japanese automaker finds the India project attractive because it has plenty of surplus funds and interest rates in Japan are low.
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