This week in Auto: SiAM estimates over 100 launches at Auto Expo, bookings open for new Maruti Swift

The buzz for Auto Expo is rising by the day as companies tease their line-up for the biennial event which kicks off on February 7. Scores of new launches and unveiling of models will set the tone for the week-long event.

Meanwhile, companies that are not participating in the event have started launching products to swim with the tide.

Here’s a round up of all auto news that made headlines during the week.

100 news models to be unveiled at the Auto Expo

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The upcoming Auto Expo 2018 will see 100 new models being unveiled including 24 confirmed launches across all categories of vehicles, the industry’s auto lobby body the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has said. This has given the event a substantial boost given more than 30 brands have opted out of the show.

The Motor Show is set on the theme of ‘Co-Create, Co-Exist and Celebrate’, which as per SIAM is in sync with its focus on the ‘Entire Mobile Eco-System’. The event will see participation from its regular members such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors as well as from new entrants like Kia Motors and Kawasaki Motors.

Tata Motors to unveil 3 models

Tata Motors, India’s fourth biggest passenger car maker, will showcase three new models at the upcoming Auto Expo for which the Mumbai-based company teased a video featuring its Managing Director Guenter Butschek.

Tata Motors will showcase a premium hatchback that will compete against the current best-seller in that segment Maruti Suzuki Baleno. In addition, it will also unveil a mid-size sports utility vehicle (SUV) that is expected to take on the Hyundai Creta and will go on sale in last half of this year. The third product is expected to be a smart vehicle perhaps featuring an electric powertrain.

Maruti opens bookings of the new Swift

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker has opened the bookings of the all-new Swift. The popular hatchback is all set for a commercial debut on February 7. Consumers can book the car for Rs 11,000 but deliveries will begin in February.

The hatchback will have 12 variants shared between petrol and diesel engines. For the first time Maruti Suzuki will offer the option of automatic gear shift (AGS) on the Swift on four of its variants. Each variant will come with dual airbags and EBD. Prices of the car will be unveiled at the time of its launch.

Lexus LS 500h, Audi Q5 launched

Toyota-owned luxury car maker Lexus launched the LS 500h, their flagship limousine, with prices starting at Rs 1.77 crore. The car will be offered in three variants with the middle variant costing Rs 1.82 crore and the range topping variant priced at Rs 1.93 crore (all prices ex-showroom, India).

German luxury car maker Audi launched the latest version of its best-selling SUV the Q5 in India with prices starting at Rs 53.25 lakh. The top end variant of this second generation version is priced at Rs 57.60 lakh.

Mercedes unveils BS-6 certified car

Mercedes-Benz, India’s biggest luxury car maker showcased a new S Class powered by in-line, 6-cylinder 350 CDI diesel engine that has been certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for Bharat Stage VI.

This is the first car in India which has received such a certification. This S 350 CDI can run on BSIV fuel too and produce lower emissions. Commercial launch of the car will take place later but Mercedes will offer similar technology on other cars.

Kia Motors appoints Manohar Bhat as head of sales

Kia Motors, a sister company of Korean giant Hyundai has made two senior appointments for its India unit. Yong S Kim has been appointed as the executive director while former Maruti Suzuki India marketing executive Manohar Bhat has been appointed as the head of marketing and sales at Kia.

Earlier this month Kia announced the appointment of Kookhyun Shim as its managing director and CEO. Kia will launch its first car in 2019 in India which will be manufactured at the 300,000 units per year, $1.1 billion plant in Andhra Pradesh.

Ashok Leyland, Israel co join hands for EVs

Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, signed a letter of intent with Phinergy of Israel to secure long-term arrangements for electric vehicles.

Phinergy has developed cutting-edge technology solutions for the use of aluminium air batteries for electric vehicles (EV) and other applications. With Ashok Leyland, Phinergy will be tailoring its unique technology to meet the demanding high-energy requirements of commercial vehicles in the Indian market.

Honda India recalls nearly 23,000 cars for faulty airbags

Honda Cars India (HCIL) the country’s fifth largest passenger vehicle maker, recalled 22834 units of Accord, City and Jazz models as part of its global exercise to fix faulty airbags.

The latest exercise takes the total number of recalled vehicles, equipped with airbags manufactured by Takata, by Honda to 3.13 lakh units in India. The recall will affect 510 units of the Accord, 22,084 units of City and 240 units of Jazz.

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