Ten things we learnt in August 2017: From new Hyundai Santro to Rolls Royce going pink

July 2017 ended on a positive note, automobile sales in the country reported a double digit growth bringing in a sign of relief for automakers as they managed to sell their existing stock making way for fresh new and special edition launches in August.

By: | Updated: August 31, 2017 12:35 PM

July 2017 ended on a positive note, automobile sales in the country reported a double digit growth bringing in a sign of relief for automakers as they managed to sell their existing stock making way for fresh new and special edition launches in August. Jeep Compass was launched on the last day of July and the talks went on through the month of August. Other top news makers in India were the likes of Mercedes-Benz India, Hyundai Motor India, Maruti Suzuki, Yamaha Motor India with its new products and globally it was Lewis Hamilton on securing as many pole positions as the legend Formula 1 driver, Michael Schumacher, Ferrari’s F1 team also extended the contracts of both of its drivers Raikkonen and Vettel for the 2018 season. Aston Martin is finally making profits and the BMW third member of BMW i family in the form of BMW i8 Roadster has been officially teased by BMW. The other German car manufacturer Audi has had a rough month of August as it lost the plot twice. Other global car makers like Volvo Cars, Mitsubishi also made it to news chasing the famous eclipse.

Here are the top ten things that August will be remembered for:

1. Bajaj-Triumph Alliance:

Earlier in August, Two of the top motorcycles manufacturers globally, Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles have joined forces to manufacturer range of mid-capacity motorcycles. The idea behind the conception of this partnership is to create mid-size bikes to take on the likes of Royal Enfield.

Earlier in August, Two of the top motorcycles manufacturers globally, Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles have joined forces to manufacturer range of mid-capacity motorcycles. The idea behind the conception of this partnership is to create mid-size bikes to take on the likes of Royal Enfield.
The products as a result of this partnership will be manufactured at Bajaj’s Chakan plant and with design inputs provided by Triumph Motorcycles. This has allowed Triumph Motorcycles to cancel its investment of Rs 850 crore which according to reports suggest that was going to be invested in a manufacturing plant in Karnataka. On a lighter note, Bajaj Auto also introduced a new television commercial for its Dominar 400 motorcycle taking a dig at Royal Enfield. It will be interesting to see a response from Royal Enfield if they decide to make one.

2. Rolls Royce ‘Dawn in Fuxia’:

Rolls Royce had a client who ditched the existing 44,000 colours available on Rolls Royce Dawn for that one special shade of purple. At the pebble beach in California last month, renowned car collector Michael Fux added another Bespoke colour to his palette and added

Rolls Royce had a client who ditched the existing 44,000 colours available on Rolls Royce Dawn for that one special shade of purple. At the pebble beach in California last month, renowned car collector Michael Fux added another Bespoke colour to his palette and added an eleventh a Rolls Royce car to his existing personal collection. The Rolls-Royce ‘Dawn in Fuxia’ (colour: Fuchsia) is a vibrant colour matched to a flower that Mr.Fux found last year during his visit to the pebble beach. In total, he has commissioned ten other Rolls-Royce vehicles, each highly personalized to his exact specifications.

3. New Hyundai Santro:

At the launch of 2017 Hyundai Verna the company confirmed that it will launch a brand new compact hatchback and if reports are to be believed then the company might revive its popular Santro badge back and the car is expected to make its market debut around mid-2018. The car might also break covers at the 2018 Auto Expo. Hyundai Santro played a crucial role to establish Hyundai as one of the top automakers in India. The new compact hatch will be positioned between Hyundai Eon and Hyundai Grand i10.

At the launch of 2017 Hyundai Verna the company confirmed that it will launch a brand new compact hatchback and if reports are to be believed then the company might revive its popular Santro badge back and the car is expected to make its market debut around mid-2018. The car might also break covers at the 2018 Auto Expo. Hyundai Santro played a crucial role to establish Hyundai as one of the top automakers in India. The new compact hatch will be positioned between Hyundai Eon and Hyundai Grand i10.

4. New products and special variants launched in August 2017:

While the memories of the Jeep Compass India launch were very much fresh throughout the month of August, the month also saw the Green Beast Mercedes-AMG GT R and GT Roadster coming to Indian shores. The sports cars have been priced at Rs 2.23 crore and 2.19 crore. With these products Mercedes- AMG GT family in India is now complete. Probably the biggest new launch of the month was by the Korean automaker Hyundai with its next generation Verna, The introductory price of 7.99 – 12.24 lakh on the petrol variant and 9.2-12.62 lakh on the diesel variant is indeed a good deal on the mid-size sedan. However, these prices are restricted to only first 20,000 customers. Triumph Street Scrambler made its India debut last week and at Rs 8.1 lakh(Ex-Showroom). The new motorcycle is based on Triumph Street Twin and also gets off-road specific equipment. Special variants of cars right from right entry level segment on Renault Kwid to hatchbacks like Honda Jazz and also the premium vehicles like the Audi Q7 and Audi A6 were introduced in August. Petrol variant of Audi Q7 will make its market launch on Sept 1, 2017. Market leader also introduced Maruti Suzuki Ciaz S just before the launch of Hyundai Verna.

5. Lewis Hamilton equals Michael Schumacher’s record:

Augusts’ sole F1 Belgian GP saw British driver Lewis Hamilton equaling Schumacher’s all-time record of 68 Formula 1 pole positions at the Belgian Grand Prix. On achieving this, current F1 boss Ross Brawn read out a message from Schumacher’s family and said: “His wife Corinna said that Michael always believed records were there to be broken, and they want to offer their congratulations.” A report on Formula 1 website quoted Lewis saying, To hear the message that Ross just gave, I have to say a big thank you,” said an emotional Hamilton. “I pray for Michael and his family all the time. “I’ve had the privilege of racing with him, from karting days in Kerpen to on the (F1) track and I’ve always admired him – and still do today – so I’m just honoured to be up there with him now in the poles, but he will still be one of the greatest of all time.”

6. Audi’s double trouble: One with VPN the other with nomenclature:

The idea of putting a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to a vehicle is to back track its history but Augusts’ last week saw German prosecutors have alleged that within its knowledge Audi shipped out thousands of A7s and A8s to China with same VIN. While the investigations are still continuing, reports suggest that this could be done to dodge import duty on vehicles.

The second trouble is created by Audi itself, the company has yet again made changes to its nomenclature by adopting a standardized name for the power output designations of its entire global product range. Now, within the model families, combinations of two numbers will replace the various type designations previously used. The new designations stand for the specific power output and have been added on both the cars with combustion engines and to e-tron models with hybrid and electric drives. Audi says that the reference value for the new model designation is the power output of that particular model in kilowatts (kW). This will allow Audi to sub classify different performance levels each identified by a two-numeral combination. This is just going to further add to confusion among the buyers and Audi enthusiasts.

7. BMW i8 Roadster:

BMW will soon be welcoming its third and latest member of its i family. In 2018 BMW i8 Roadster will make its global debut and most likely the car will be launched in India by the end of next year. BMW says that the new i model will unlock the door to whole new dimension in open-top driving. Watch the teaser below.

8. MotoGP:

Andrea Dovizioso ousted former championship leader Marc Marquez from his position following a spectacular win in the British GP. The same race that saw Marc Marquez’s bike go up in a cloud of smoke exiting the race. The win puts Dovi a full 9 points ahead of Marquez with 183 points. This was the Ducati rider’s second win on the trot in August after winning the Austrian GP earlier, after a brutal battle between him and Marc Marquez.

Andrea Dovizioso ousted former championship leader Marc Marquez from his position following a spectacular win in the British GP. The same race that saw Marc Marquez’s bike go up in a cloud of smoke exiting the race. The win puts Dovi a full 9 points ahead of Marquez with 183 points. This was the Ducati rider’s second win on the trot in August after winning the Austrian GP earlier, after a brutal battle between him and Marc Marquez.

9. Maruti Suzuki Arena:

Maruti Suzuki is upping their ante, Nexa was their first master-stroke dividing their cars into premium and mass market seller. Now Maruti Suzuki is putting in a plan to upgrade all their showrooms to be more 21st century. What that means is, that you could start your research on their website, then make your way down to the showroom enter your phone number into one of the tablets left there and you can pick up where you left off. There’s a coffee bar, with refreshments on offer on-the-house, and there are digital standees next to each car that allow you to browse through the list of features on the cars and much more. Now Maruti intends to implement this change across all its 2050 showrooms over the next 3 years,starting with a 100 across major cities by the end of the year.

10. See-Saw Cess:

The end of the month saw all the GST- benefits being withdrawn from midsize and luxury cars. Pre-GST the government announced big tax break for luxury cars and SUVs that were taxed at almost 53%. Naturally the announcement was welcomed across the Indian automotive sector, the automotive industry boomed, with pre-GST discounts and all the rave surrounding it. A few weeks into the GST roll-out, the government decided to roll back the tax-breaks in the form of an addition 10% in Cess. However, that wasn’t enough. The government further added another 10% Cess on all vehicle above the 4m, 1.5 litre mark which propelled most prices all the way back to square one.

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