Thursday, August 28, 2014

Honda Activa reiterates ‘Pole position’ in Indian 2-wheeler industry

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) once again sets higher standards as Activa reiterates its No.1 position. Continuing to register higher sales month after month, it’s for the third time in the last 11 months that Activa achieved highest sales amongst all 2-wheeler models sold in the country.

In July 2014, Honda Activa sold 1,91,883 units and achieved YOY growth of 64% from July 2013 to July 2014.

Speaking on the achievement, Mr. Yadvinder S. Guleria, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said: “We are excited that Activa has once again become the highest selling 2-wheeler of India. This is more significant since an automatic scooter displaced a motorcycle for numero uno position in Indian 2-wheeler industry. This clearly indicates that Activa is exponentially getting acceptance as the most preferred choice of 2-wheeler for commuting. In the last few years scooters have evolved and become more technologically advanced, fuel efficient and stylish. The high growth of Scooters in India has primarily been led by Honda and we are confident of maintaining this leadership in future.”

Since its launch in FY 2001-02, Honda Activa has registered phenomenal growth. Its consistent performance along with HET technology up-gradation for better mileage has won hearts of Indian customers. The latest launch Activa 125 has received an overwhelming response from the market. This versatile vehicle enabled mobility, empowered many families and continues to lay trust as female riders join the wagon. 

Peru open to investment in Innovation and Technology

“South-South relations are of increasing importance bringing with it new trade opportunities and consumers. One thrust area of investment in Peru can be innovation and technology specifically in the Energy and Telecommunication sectors”, said Mr. Edgar Vasquez, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Peru, at a CII meeting in New Delhi. He also emphasized the value of not only commercial ties but also the movement of opportunities in the form of skilled professionals. The importance of the strengthening of interests common to the two nations, including trade, tourism and commerce was highlighted.

Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs expressed that this interaction came at an appropriate time where India and Peru are in the process of discussing a potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Bilateral trade between the two countries has crossed the US$1 billion mark.

Earlier, while welcoming the Vice Minister, Mr. Dhruv Sawhney, Past President, CII & Chairman, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., highlighted that India and Peru should look to their existing trade agreements as models on which to base a new and improved potential FTA. This would in turn would help in enhancing bilateral trade and business co-operation between the two nations.

Honda Cars India introduces new grades in Mobilio line-up

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) has introduced two new grades of Honda Mobilio V(O) & RS(O) featuring first in segment Audio Video Navigation (AVN) and Rear View Parking Camera. The newly-introduced V(O) grade will be positioned on top of the existing E, S and V grade in both petrol & diesel. The exclusive sporty RS (Diesel) variant of the Mobilio will have an additional RS (O) grade featuring the AVN and rear parking camera. The availability of the RS and RS(O) will begin from mid-September.

Honda Mobilio’s Audio Video Navigation system features a large 15.7 cm Touch Screen loaded with maps, satellite-based voice guided navigation, and complete in-car entertainment and connectivity features (DVD/CD, Bluetooth, USB, AUX, i-POD, MP3, FM/AM) that make the user’s travel safe, convenient, smart and fun. The system comes with an integrated Bluetooth communication function that lets the user sync their phone with it and implement functions on screen including dialing, answering, history, address book and Bluetooth music play. The built-in navigation featuring intuitive and suggestive keyboard allows the user to search locations and helps to reach their destination conveniently.

Expressing delight on the introduction of the new variants of the Mobilio, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President - Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd., said: “We are delighted to offer these new grades of the Honda Mobilio to our customers in India. It’s our endeavor to provide class leading features in our cars so that we can delight our customers. The AVN system and Rear View Parking camera are one of the most sought after features and adds to the premium feel of the car. With these new features, stylish looks, best in class fuel-efficiency and uncompromising performance, the Honda Mobilio is one of the most compelling products in its segment today.”

The newly introduced grades will also feature Woody Interior Panel on the dashboard and Door Armrests to enhance the interiors of the car.

The complete range of the Mobilio has been expanded and is available in 10 variants. The Mobilio will be available as E, S, V and V(O) (New) in Petrol & Diesel. The sporty Mobilio RS will be available as RS and RS (O) (New) in Diesel.

Honda launched its mid-size stylish MPV Honda Mobilio in July 2014. The Diesel Mobilio powered by the 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine delivers a maximum power of 100 ps@3600 rpm, maximum torque of 200 Nm@1750 rpm and best in class fuel economy of 24.5 kmpl as per test data. The Petrol Mobilio with 1.5 L i-VTEC petrol engine delivers a maximum power of 119 ps@6600 rpm, maximum torque of 145 Nm@4600 rpm and best in class fuel economy of 17.3 kmpl.

The prices (ex-showroom New Delhi) of the newly introduced grades of Mobilio are: 1.5L V(O) MT (petrol) - Rs. 9.46 lakhs, 1.5L V(O) MT (diesel) - Rs. 10.45 lakhs, and Mobilio RS(O) diesel - Rs. 11.55 lakhs.

Brand USA organizes India Travel Trade Mission to three cities

Brand USA will be organizing its’ third sales mission to India from September 7-13, 2014. The Brand USA mission will bring US organizations and India’s travel buyers to provide an in-depth look at US destinations and experiences to increase co-operation and travel bookings.

The travel trade mission will provide an appropriate platform for US suppliers to interact directly with India’s leading tour operators, airline representatives, travel agents and media. 43 participants representing 31 US companies, including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators are scheduled to hold a buyer-seller meet in Bangalore on September 8, Mumbai on September 9 and New Delhi on September 12.

Jay Gray, Vice President, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA, will lead representatives from the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, Caesars Entertainment, Cirque du Soleil, Hearst Castle, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Maxim Tours LLC, Nevada Commission on Tourism, NYC & Company, NYC Partner (Empire State Building Observatory), & NYC Partner (Broadway Collection), Papillon Group, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Red and White – San Francisco Cruises, San Francisco Travel Association, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sans Incredible Vacations, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Simon Shopping Destinations, Starwood Hotels, Tours Limited LLC, Universal Studios Hollywood, Visit California, Visit Florida, Visit Orlando, Visit Tampa Bay, Walt Disney World, 7M Tours and Brand USA.

India’s burgeoning solar and wind energy markets to boost employment: Finance a concern

Mr. Suresh P. Prabhu, Head of the Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy, and former Union Minister, released a series of reports on Renewable Energy Jobs and Finance published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in New Delhi. These reports are the first independent, external analysis of the employment opportunities for India solar energy and wind energy markets and draw from extensive discussions with stakeholders, and research and analysis of national, state and international programs. The reports also include an assessment of domestic and international opportunities to fund clean energy in India.

According to NRDC-CEEW analysis, India’s solar and wind programs have catalysed rapid growth providing much needed energy access, creating employment opportunities for India’s workforce. The analysis also finds that deployment of innovative financing solutions is needed in order to scale India’s renewable energy markets and widespread job creation.

“Energy access and clean energy development is a national priority,” said Mr. Prabhu while delivering the keynote address, “Solar and wind energy provides a tremendous opportunity to provide light to Indian homes and jobs to local communities.”

The Indian solar industry has been maturing at a rapid pace, growing more than a hundredfold in four years to reach over 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in 2014. India is the world’s 5th largest wind energy producer, with over 20 GW of installed capacity.

SLS Las Vegas debuts as first major Las Vegas Resort opening in several years

After years in the making, SLS Las Vegas, the lifestyle-driven resort by global hospitality leader sbe, will open its doors as the first major casino resort debuting in Las Vegas in several years. A $415 million renovation of the legendary Sahara Hotel, the highly anticipated SLS Las Vegas introduces an unparalleled resort experience as sbe’s largest hotel to date. SLS Las Vegas builds on the SLS Hotels’ distinguished reputation in an approachable setting with elevated style, intriguing design and an impressive collection of award-winning dining and nightlife concepts bringing renewed energy to the North end of The Strip.

“The opening of SLS Las Vegas is a major milestone, not only for the expansion of the SLS Hotels brand, but for the future of Las Vegas,” said Sam Nazarian, Founder, Chairman and CEO, sbe. “We’re very excited to welcome guests to experience the property and the incredible concepts we’ve built with our dedicated partners, and we look forward to watching the North end of The Strip continue to grow.”

As one of a handful of recent projects refuelling the local economy, SLS Las Vegas is ushering in a new era in the city. Through the combined vision of Nazarian, James Beard award-winning chef José Andrés as the property’s culinary director and design icon Philippe Starck consulting through Gensler, SLS Las Vegas sets the standard for Las Vegas hospitality with standout service and stylish rooms complemented by the best of sbe’s celebrated brands under one roof.

Every element of SLS Las Vegas’ guest rooms, multi-concept restaurants and social atmospheres was conceptualized by Starck and Gensler. Featuring more than 1,600 rooms in three distinctive towers – World, Story and Lux – each space was designed with elegance and sophistication. In addition, an exclusive collection of high-end suites was designed by Lenny Kravitz and Kravitz Design Inc.

SLS Las Vegas offers a diverse range of cuisine including José Andrés’ Bazaar Meat, a carnivorous reinvention of his famed restaurant The Bazaar. A mix of new and re-imagined concepts include the Mediterranean escape Cleo; Katsuya by Starck; 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria; iconic breakfast hotspot, The Griddle Cafe and Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book, featuring an outdoor patio and a sports book operated by global gaming leader William Hill. The property also introduces all-new concepts like Ku Noodle, a casual Asian eatery also by Andrés, The SLS Buffet and The Perq.

Additionally, SLS Las Vegas introduces three premier nightlife concepts that will energize the guest experience with cutting-edge technology and immersive entertainment. A celebration of sight, sound, scene and form, LiFE is a 20,000-square-foot mega club featuring a rooftop pool and emerging DJ talent. Foxtail delivers a sophisticated yet edgy nighttime atmosphere highlighted by open format music and celebrity appearances, with the adjoining Foxtail Pool Club that comes to life during the day. SLS Las Vegas also welcomes the second location of The Sayers Club, one of Los Angeles’ best-loved live music venues.

Along with standout dining and nightlife, SLS Las Vegas offers an array of entertainment experiences on property including a 60,000-square-foot casino floor featuring nearly 800 slot machines. Additionally, SLS Las Vegas offers a 10,000-square-foot Fred Segal shopping experience as the property’s exclusive retailer, and for a luxurious retreat, guests can indulge at Ciel Spa and the property’s salon.

“We’re thrilled to introduce the newest resort experience on The Strip and confident that guests will enjoy the range of amenities on property,” said Rob Oseland, President and COO of SLS Las Vegas. “We’re excited to see our vision for the property come to fruition and look forward to creating memorable experiences for our guests for many years to come.”

Mahindra launches Centuro Rockstar with never before attractive features

Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd. (MTWL) has launched the stylish new Centuro Rockstar. It sports head-turning style, great performance and mileage, unique features and unmatched ride comfort. By introducing the Centuro Rockstar at an attractive price point, Mahindra has expanded its award winning and popular Centuro portfolio to target the mass 100/110 cc consumers.

The Centuro Rockstar features never seen before, bold ‘Rockstar’ graphics in a stunning combination of bright red, black and gold. This coupled with the distinctive ‘Golden Ribs’ – now synonymous with Centuro motorcycles – means the Centuro Rockstar will always be the centre of attraction on Indian roads.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Viren Popli, Chief of Operations, Mahindra Two Wheeler Ltd., said: “With the launch of the Centuro Rockstar, we now have a full range of truly differentiated motorcycles, each of which delivers a tremendous value proposition as part of the award winning Centuro brand. Each Centuro now addresses a different consumer sub-segment in the large 100/110 cc category. The new Centuro Rockstar is the style and value leader and comes with premium looks that ensure the consumer always stays in the limelight wherever he goes. Backed by our very large sales and service network and a 5 year warranty we are confident that the Rockstar will prove to be a Rock Star in the market as well.”

Further enhancing the style quotient, the Centuro Rockstar is packed to the hilt with premium, car-like, first-in-category features like the stylish Flip Key, a feature pioneered by the Mahindra Centuro. The distinctive six Pilot LEDs are the crowning glory on Centuro Rockstar’s big headlamp. The first in segment LED Brake Light adds oodles of style to the bike and makes rides safer. The aircraft style, fully flush Fuel Cap atop the big, masculine fuel tank completes the plush look of the Centuro Rockstar. With so much style packed into the Centuro Rockstar, one could be excused for thinking it’s a premium bike!

Like other Centuro’s, the Centuro Rockstar is also powered by Mahindra’s indigenously developed intelligent MCi-5 (Micro Chip ignited-5 Curve) 110 cc engine delivering a power output of 8.5 BHP @ 7500 RPM. The MCi-5 technology and the patented lubrication system of the Centuro Rockstar not only ensure the longer life of the engine but also deliver an astounding ARAI mileage of 85.4 kmpl. The Centuro Rockstar comes with the reassurance of Mahindra’s 5-year warranty as a standard feature.

The Centuro Rockstar is designed with an Extra Long Seat for carrying loads and passengers with ease. The 5 Step Adjustable Rear Suspension means that even long, tough commutes are very comfortable and relaxing. The handle bar mounted Self Returning Choke ensures cold starts are a breeze. The Centuro Rockstar also offers electric start & alloy wheels as standard. The Centuro Rockstar comes in 2 striking colours Blazing Black and Heavy Metallic Red.