OnCars India Buzz: 15 May 2013

- BMW Performance Center Instructor, Johan Schwartz has shattered the Guinness World Record for the longest sustained drift as the BMW Performance Center near Greenville in South Carolina. Schwartz completed  a total of 322.5 laps around the 841 foot (circumference) Performance Center skid pad, cruising a total sideways distance of 82.506 km in a 2013 BMW M5. The previous record was set in February in Abu Dhabi, which provided the sideways drift for 5.74 km. The record breaking drift attempt generated over 20,000 U.S dollars in charitable donations for the BMW Charity Pro-Am, which in-turn benefits more than 150 charities. 

 

- Maruti Suzuki seems to be on a roll at the moment. After exporting its successful MPV, the Ertiga in the Indonesian market as a rebadged Mazda VX1 (under Suzuki-Mazda deal), the carmaker is all set to launch yet another model in yet another international market. Going by the reports, the exports of India’s bestselling car, the Alto 800 have begun in Chile, South America. 

 

- Ford Motor Corp who follows the "One Ford" approach, which entails developing vehicles meant to suit the global auto market, hence cutting-down on R&D and production costs are now working on projects to develop vehicles with India as a reference point market. The U.S based automaker believes that keeping the Indian market in mind would help them in achieving cost competitive advantage, while taking it to other similar markets. 

 

- Mercedes Benz India has subtly confirmed that its GLA Concept that was showcased for the first time at this year's Shanghai Auto Show will also be launched in India. The entry-level luxury SUV will directly rival the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the upcoming Volvo V40 Cross Country and will be priced below Rs 25 lakh.

 

- Just hours ahead of the scheduled unveiling the all-new 2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class today, the German automaker has released yet another teaser image - this time the S-Class is sitting inside a DHL cargo plane. The regular S-Class and the Long Wheel Base (LWB) version of the S-Class will be revealed today at the Airbus A380 delivery center in Hamburg, Germany, while the coupe, cabriolet and the Pullman versions of the S-Class will be showcased later this year. 

 

- Mahindra & Mahindra's South Korean subsidiary, Ssangyong Motor has recorded its highest ever sales since 2006 in the month of April 2013 with total sales of 12,607 vehicles out of which, 5,115 units were sold in South Korea and 7,492 units were sold via exports. 

 

- Bentley Motors have announced their entry in this year's Mille Miglia Challenge which will see two unique 41/2-Litre supercharged "Blower" Bentley - a 1930 Le Mans race car belonging to the perhaps the most daring of the Bentley Boys - Tim Birkin. The car will compete in the 1,600-odd km round-trip to and from Brescia. 

 

- Its not just the Indian market Honda is after to regain its position in the global auto industry. The newly launched Honda Amaze that has become a runaway success here will reportedly, also be launched in the Nepalese market in June this year. And we have no problem in believing that the Amaze will perform just as well in the neighboring country as it did in India. 

 

- Ford Motor Company of South Africa has announced that the company will present the EcoSport Crossover at this year's Grain SA's NAMPO Harvest Day Show - the largest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere, which is scheduled to take place from 14 May, 2013 to 17 May, 2013. The South-African spec EcoSport will be exported from Ford's plant in ChennaI.

 

- Mercedes Benz has reported that its next generation of C-Class will be lighter and larger than the out-going model. The 2014 C-Class, which is being tested across the globe and is just inched away to be pushed down the production line is expected to be ready by the end of 2013 and will rival the BMW 3-Series and the Audi A4. 

 

- Nissan Motor Company has revealed its new steel-blue-gray corporate logo that in addition carries the logos of the mass-market brand Nissan, emerging market brand Datsun and the luxury brand Infiniti. Until now, the company's emblem was red with NISSAN written in bold. The new insignia was presented by CEO Carlos Ghosn at the company's full-year earnings announcement. 

 

- General Motors and Nissan have signed an agreement, which will allow Chevrolet to rebadge the Nissan NV200 - which is known as the Nissan Evalia MPV in the Indian market - as the Chevrolet City Express to sell it in the United States and Canada. The only distinguishing aspect between the NV200 and the City Express will be the revised front fascia and of course, the badging. 

 

- Ferrari has reported to have clocked record revenue for the first quarter of 2013, registering 551 million euros, which translates to a 8 per cent growth. Ferrari also hit record net profit of 54.7 million euro, which means an increase of 35.5% compared with the same period last year. Ferrari dealerships received 1,798 vehicles during the first quarter, an increase of 4%, with the F12 Berlinetta and the 12-cylinder FF being the best-selling models.

 

- Volkswagen AG has issued a global recall for its urban vehicles - the Volkswagen Up!, the Skoda Citigo and the Seat Mii because of a problem detected with the airbag control unit. The affected vehicles were produced between January 2013 and March 2013. 

 

- Nissan has announced that its recently updated Nissan 370Z Nismo will take part in the Gumball 300 Rally in Europe that is scheduled to get underway on May 18, 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 3,600km-odd rally will take participants through 13 European countries over a course of seven days. The rally of cool cars takes place on public roads and will see some celebrity drivers such as David Haselhoff, Eve, Xzibit and others.