Sudhakar Shah


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

Mahindra Re-Engineering SUVs to Lighten Tax Burden 
For engineers seeking a way around higher taxes on most of the auto maker’s SUV range, the solution is not a simple one.
Quadricycle Caps Bajaj’s Development Dispute With Renault-Nissan 
Five years ago, the partners agreed to produce an ultra-low-cost car to compete with the Tata Nano, but that vehicle never got off the drawing board. Instead, Bajaj is rolling out a new road-approved 4-wheel model of its own.
JLR, Rescued by Tata, Now Sustaining Parent 
While Tata struggles, its luxury brands have flourished all over the world with attractive models, new technologies and a favorable exchange rate between the dollar and British pound.
Indian Auto Makers Look for Way Out of Doldrums 
Market reports indicate the slump may worsen in June, despite auto makers’ generous incentives, deep discounts and fresh launches of low-priced new-generation products.
Mercedes Seeks to Upend Audi in India Luxury Market 
Mercedes India CEO Eberhard Kem calls 2013 “the year of the offensive,” declaring, “The overwhelming success of the A-Class inspires us to push ahead even more aggressively with our new-generation cars for India.”
Indian Auto Makers Hope Investments Will Halt Slump 
During the 2009 downturn, most of the manufacturers curtailed spending and stopped adding capacity, only to be caught unawares when the market recovered in 2010. They do not intend to repeat that mistake.
Indian Government Probe Focuses on Underpaid Duties 
BMW India is suspected of importing semi-knocked-down engines and transmissions subject to a 30% duty but declaring them as complete-knocked-down components and paying a 10% duty.
Excise-Tax Increase Upsets Indian Vehicle Market 
India’s finance minister justifies raising taxes on vehicles exceeding certain ground-clearance, length and engine-displacement limits because they occupy more road space and create congestion.
Maruti Suzuki Cruising in High Gear Atop India Market 
The Japanese yen’s dramatic decline fueled profits, but the auto maker helped itself by increasing production and boosting investment in its products to make them more competitive.
Indian Auto Makers Fear Flood of EU Imports Under FTA
The auto makers’ arguments against lower tariffs on EU imports may be in vain. “Indian industry can no longer continue to seek duty protection,” a government spokesman says.
Maruti Suzuki Plots Strategy to Stay No.1 in India 
Maruti accounts for 30% of Suzuki’s global sales and 40% of its global profits. Its emphasis on small cars is an increasingly vital element of the auto maker’s worldwide success.
Few Bright Spots in March for India Vehicle Sales 
The Reserve Bank of India reduced short-term lending rates last month, but not enough to stimulate auto sales, industry representatives say.
Mahindra Charts Course for Indian Labor Peace 
Analysts say the unrest consuming much of the industry is rooted in the lack of communication between workers and employers. There are few forums where they can discuss views and ideas on objectives, policies and practices.
Amaze Belatedly Adds Honda to India’s Diesel Market 
The sedan isn’t arriving a minute too soon in India, where the lack of a diesel, small car or inexpensive light truck shrank the auto maker’s market share from 3% in 2009 to 1.6% in 2011.
New Taxes, Higher Tariffs Perplex Indian Auto Makers 
The car companies are dismayed by higher taxes on the SUVs, luxury cars and CBU units that have been the fastest-growing segments of the industry. Some worry about varying increases on vehicles competing in the same category.
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