Sudhakar Shah


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

Bentleys, Porsches Mask VW Group’s Struggles in India 
Sales have plunged since jumping by triple digits in 2010 and 2011, with VW and SkodaAuto deliveries tumbling 19% year-on-year to 82,239 units in 2013, WardsAuto data shows. Indian production fell by roughly half.
Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra Ratcheting Up India Spending 
While Mahindra has earmarked Rs40 billion next year for facilities and capacity expansion, Maruti Suzuki roughly will match its rival’s 2015 spending level to develop new models and marketing and upgrade R&D facilities.
Thinking Bigger Key to Toyota Kirloskar Retrenchment 
Managing Director Naomi Ishii is drawing up a growth map for the Japanese automaker’s Indian affiliate based on midsize, executive and premium sedans and utility vehicles.
Ford India Workers Emulate Gandhi in Pay Protest
Recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation strategy that won independence for India in 1947, the Ford employees are showing up for work but are refusing the company’s offers of a free lunch and free round-trip transportation to and from their homes.
India Market Shifting to Automatic Manual Gearboxes 
Automakers are making automatic-manual transmissions affordable by simplifying the technology and overcoming the cost disadvantage. AMTs also save money in the price-sensitive India market by offering fuel efficiency equal to, or better than, manual gearboxes.
Suzuki Creating Sibling to Market-Leading Indian JV 
A dispute over royalties paid to multinational corporations by their Indian operations appears to be at the heart of Suzuki’s plans to develop a wholly owned subsidiary.
Gainers Dwindle as India LV Sales Lose More Ground 
Stagnant sales are reflected in the decline of the industry’s 5-million-unit plant capacity to 60%-65%. Large discounts and even larger incentives have squeezed profit margins, forcing many automakers to shelve investment plans.
Indian Suppliers Work to Circumvent Auto Makers’ Woes
Insiders list the industry’s biggest challenges as inexpensive Chinese imports, currency fluctuations that cut into profits and relatively small investments in product development.
Needle Barely Budges on India's August LV Sales 
Last month’s result largely was skewed by Maruti Suzuki, which saw total LV deliveries climb 51.6%, but prior-year production was crippled by a strike that lasted for weeks.
Fiat Enlists Chrysler in Bid for India Breakthrough 
Aiming for a 4% market share in three years from the less than 1% now held by Fiat, the alliance will launch nine new and refreshed models, four each from the Fiat and Chrysler-Jeep family and an Abarth-brand small sports car.
Tata Trying to Stop Tailspin With Product Tweaks 
The Indian auto maker is not ready to introduce any new vehicles that could attract buyers, so it has simultaneously unveiled eight facelifted models across several brands.
Premium-Car Sales Bright Spot in Gloomy Indian Market 
This robust growth of the luxury segment sharply contrasts with the 7.3% year-over-year decline in Indian light-vehicle sales through July, WardsAuto data shows.
Indian Subsidies Could Amp Up Camry Hybrid Sales 
Prospects for hybrids in India look good for two reasons: The cars may offer relief from rapidly rising costs of conventional fuels, and government subsidies may help offset relatively high ownership and operation costs.
Ailing Indian Auto Makers Shed 5,000 Temporary Jobs 
Under both Indian law and their contract terms, temporary workers can be dismissed on the spot without notice. They receive no unemployment compensation.
India Key Player in Ford’s Small-Car Growth Strategy 
Ford India expects to reach annual production of 200,000 units on a single platform on which three cars initially will be based.
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