Friday, April 24, 2015

Volkswagen presents new digital Supercar for PlayStation 3

Volkswagen is expanding its GTI fleet and sending a new supercar onto the digital race circuit. The engine roaring under the bonnet of the GTI Supersport is a 503 bhp VR6 TSI coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). The design of this digital supercar combines the Volkswagen icon with sheer racing design. Following last year’s roadster, another version of the GTI, with its long racing tradition, can now head for the starting line on Gran Turismo 6, exclusively on PlayStation 3.

The first impression of this racer already shows that the Supersport is what fans want and is designed for racing. 665 Nm of torque catapult the virtual GTI to 62 mph per hour from a standing start in only 3.6 seconds. At full throttle, the virtual racer reaches a top speed of over 297 kph. The gigantic power output is transferred to the virtual asphalt via 4MOTION all-wheel drive and 20-inch GTI advanced alloy wheels.

A glance in the rear view mirror is enough to worry competitors of the Supersport GTI: the basic shape of the body is still reminiscent of GTI ancestors but every pore of this latest GTI offspring exudes racing character. Proportions and body surfaces have been optimised for an extremely low centre of gravity and widespread use of carbon elements makes the new digital supercar a real lightweight with a power-to-weight ratio of only 2.5 kg per horsepower.

At the broad, powerful front end of the aerodynamically optimised body, prominent features are vertical light modules and generous air intakes with the honeycomb configuration typical of the model. While the broad shoulders at the rear provide the ideal ventilation for the brakes, the prominent roof-edge spoiler and flamboyant diffuser make the Supersport hug the track when fighting for the fastest lap time.

Volkswagen’s latest digital creation can be clothed in “Reflex Silver”, “Gran Turismo Red”, “Lapiz Blue” or “Oryx White” and is now available to Gran Turismo 6 players for downloading.

Suzuki Motorcycle launches Gixxer SF

Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Ltd. (SMIPL) has launched the Gixxer SF, a fully faired version of its flagship motorcycle, the Gixxer.

The premium looking Gixxer SF has aerodynamic full sport fairing which has been developed in the same wind-tunnel where the legendary Hayabusa, GSX-R and MotoGP machines are developed. The fairing has been designed to give maximum wind protection to the rider, reducing turbulence and drag, thereby delivering great aerodynamic efficiency. This directly results in higher down force for stable braking and lower drag for better handling at higher speeds.

Every feature of the new Gixxer SF is designed to give a sporty and premium look - from its futuristic-looking aluminum exhaust end cover to the new clear lens indicators. The pinstripe on the wheels gives it a sharp, edgy look, guaranteed to appeal to all motorcycle lovers. The Gixxer SF comes with a new key mascot to instil pride of ownership.

The Gixxer SF has the powerful and exciting engine of the most awarded motorcycle in 2015, the Suzuki Gixxer, which was just launched last year. The ultra-light weight and punchy engine with cutting edge SEP technology enables the Gixxer SF to deliver power without compromising on fuel economy. This 155cc engine with a five-speed gearbox beneath Gixxer SF’s sleek fairing provides exceptional running performance with a broad low-end torque and dynamic mid-range power for strong acceleration which gives riders a thrilling and superb ride.

According to Mr. Atul Gupta, Executive Vice President, SMIPL: “Young India is driving growth in the 150 cc bike category, a segment which has witnessed consistent growth in the motorcycle market. Suzuki is looking at expanding its presence and appeal among young customers with products that address their desire for style, performance and mileage. We have won customer hearts with the Gixxer. We are confident that the Gixxer SF too will thrill young buyers across India and further strengthen our market position.”

To commemorate Suzuki’s return to MotoGP racing in 2015, a special edition Gixxer SF is also being launched, which will sport Suzuki’s ’Racing Blue’ colours (Metallic Triton Blue). Gixxer SF will also be available in Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Mirage White, at a price of Rs. 86,450 (ex-showroom, Chennai).

New Govt. taking progressive measures: CII President

Since coming to power in May 2014, the new Government has adopted several measures to generate positive sentiment about the Indian economy, said Mr. Sumit Mazumder, CII President, while addressing the media recently. 

Reforms have been taken forward in diverse areas. Examples include opening up more sectors to foreign investors, easing the regulatory environment for doing business, implementing a non-adversarial and investor-friendly tax system and better allocation of natural resources by making auctions the sole method for granting mining leases. The Government should also be lauded for its management of the economy and fiscal performance. Its recent trade policy was appreciated for its effort to simplify procedures and enhancing trade facilitation.

Outlining his views on the economic outlook, he said that India is now the fastest growing economy in a global environment that remains soft. CII expects GDP growth to lie in the range of 7.8-8.2% in 2015-16. Industry and services are expected to continue on the path of recovery though there are risks that agriculture may be a dampener if the monsoon disappoints. However, given earlier successes in implementing mitigating measures such as wider use of drought-resistant plant varieties, he said he did not expect a decline in production. In the medium term, a multi-pronged strategy of focusing on the manufacturing sector, providing greater impetus to skill development and investing in agriculture and infrastructure would raise the growth rate to 9-10%. 

The CII President talked about some areas of opportunity in the present economic scenario that could be harnessed with an improvement in the policy environment. Land acquisition is a key bottleneck that is preventing the implementation of large infrastructure projects, which, he said would be beneficial for the poor and underprivileged. Farmers who have surplus land to sell are unable to do so under the current provisions of the land legislation. He said that CII will work with state governments and political parties to advocate for a more industry-friendly legislation on land acquisition. 

He added that there are two other areas where legislation needs to be more accommodative of industry interests, viz., Companies Act and Labour Laws. While CII will advocate for these changes, it will continue its work with companies to improve their governance, transparency and integrity.

Mr. Mazumder said that the agenda for building India is a shared responsibility, not merely the Government’s. In line with this belief, CII’s theme for the year is to Build India: Invest in Development. This would involve CII’s engagement in four broad areas: promoting growth and competitiveness, developing human capital, promoting infrastructure investments encouraging social development. CII is involved in three national missions – on smart cities, on digital India and on Sanitation in schools. CII is working with Central, State and local governments for the successful implementation of these missions.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cloud-based Mercedes-Benz Apps available in S-Class, GL-Class, ML-Class and all AMGs

Mercedes-Benz India has announced the introduction of Mercedes-Benz Apps with COMAND Online, taking internet connectivity to a whole new level. The Apps provides convenient access to a wide range of some of the most popular apps and services on the internet. Starting with the launch of the stunning new CLS 250 CDI and new E-Class Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz Apps are now available with all Mercedes-Benz cars equipped with the COMAND Online system (New Telematics Generation (NTG) 4.5 and above (NTG 4.5, 5*1 and 5*2).

Mr. Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said: “We at Mercedes-Benz have always strived to bring the best in modern luxury and latest technology for our customers. The introduction of the Mercedes-Benz Apps is yet another inititative towards this direction. We are confident that the Mercedes-Benz Apps will delight our customers and will not only be a standard offering for our new cars, but also for all our existing customers who have COMAND Online system in their cars. This reiterates our committment of offering the best ownership experience for our customers”.

In addition to the unrestricted internet browsing feature, the following apps are currently a part of the Mercedes-Benz Apps service portfolio in India based on app content relevance. These are:

Mercedes-Benz Radio: It is an exclusive web radio with an inspiring and unique selection of music and carefully selected content created exclusively for Mercedes-Benz owners.

TuneIn Radio: TuneIn Radio offers the ability to listen to radio stations and podcasts from around the world. TuneIn covers over 100,000 real radio stations and four million on-demand programs and podcasts.

Weather: Customers can stay a step ahead of the weather by viewing a daily or a 5-day forecast for their current location or a location they specify. The Weather App also allows them to view a nationwide weather map and move the map to display weather to a specific location.

News (Audio news with text-to-speech function): The News App with a news-reading function allows the customer to access on-the-go worldwide news. The one-click read out aloud (text-to-speech) feature allows you to listen to all the news as you drive without distraction of looking at the screen.

RSS Newsfeeds: Reading news on the move is part of many of our customers’ daily life. RSS feeds help subscribers stay informed about current news and manage their subscribed feeds. With RSS Reader Service, subscribers can scan headlines of news items to mark them for future reading or listen to full articles that can be read aloud to them while they are driving.

HRS Hotel search: The app allows search and selection of accommodation according to various hotel categories, in the current location or at any specified location. Details like price and address of the hotels can be seen with the navigation option.

Morningstar® Finance (available only with CLS-Class): Customers can get global market data from Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research and services. Searches can be done for information from over 416,000 investment offerings including stocks, currencies and commodities. Customers can also create a “Watch List” to keep them on top of their financial game.

The use of cloud-based connectivity means updates and access to the latest apps are available and sent to the vehicle over-the-air. This also ensures the customer’s vehicle will remain current with the latest Mercedes-Benz Apps without the need to visit the dealership. The portfolio of applications continues to expand throughout the life of the vehicle.

These apps can be accessed via internet data connectivity through a Bluetooth® tethered smartphone* including Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and Android or Windows-based smartphones.

With Mercedes-Benz Apps, customers can now enjoy the latest technology and connectivity in a wide range of Mercedes-Benz models. Going forward, Mercedes-Benz Apps will be made available with more models.

*List of compatible smartphones can be checked at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

PM Trophy for JSW Steel’s Vijayanagar facility

PM dedicates to the nation Rs. 12,000-crore modernised Rourkela Steel Plant

The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, recently dedicated to the nation SAIL’s modernised & expanded Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) at a glittering function attended by around one lakh enthusiastic citizens of Rourkela.

In his address, Mr. Modi described Rourkela as the town which has given India the strength of steel. He added that RSP plays a key role in the nation’s defence.

The historic occasion on the auspicious ‘Utkal Diwas’ was witnessed by the Odisha Governor, Dr. S.C. Jamir, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, State Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Steel & Mines, Mr. Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas (Independent Charge), Mr. Vishnu Deo Sai, Union Minister of State for Steel & Mines, Mr. Rakesh Singh, Secretary, Steel, and Mr. CS Verma, SAIL Chairman, besides other dignitaries and senior officials from SAIL and the Central and State Governments.

The modernisation and expansion programme of RSP implemented with an investment of around Rs. 12,000 crores would not only more than double the plant’s hot metal capacity from 2.0 to 4.5 million tons per annum (MTPA) but would also usher in a new era of green and high quality steelmaking.

Before the function, the Prime Minister visited the new 4.3 m wide plate mill installed under this modernisation and expansion program and showed keen interest in its operations and capabilities. The mill is designed to produce very high strength plates for strategic sectors like power, renewable energy, shipbuilding, defence, oil & gas, etc., and would largely reduce the Nation’s dependence on imports of plates for these key sectors. This new mill would further add to RSP’s reputation as a manufacturer of high quality plates, including those which have been used for the construction of the first indigenously built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

Besides the new plate mill, the new facilities at RSP include the country’s second largest operating blast furnace of 4060 cum volume, a 7 m tall coke oven battery with coke dry cooling plant, a 360 sqm sinter plant, a 150 t basic oxygen furnace with combined blowing facility, a RH vacuum degasser and a 2500 mm wide slab caster.

Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar restated the importance of the steel industry in realizing the dream of ‘Make in India’ and the crucial role SAIL will play in reaching the modernisation and expansion goal of creating 300 MTPA steelmaking capacity in the country. The current program at RSP would provide an apt platform for its further capacity enhancement to 10 MTPA as part of SAIL’s plan to increase its capacity to 50 MTPA.

Mr. Naveen Patnaik commended RSP’s contributions in development of Odisha and reminisced how RSP played a key role in transforming the entire region through its economic and CSR activities. He assured SAIL of all support for its ventures in the State. 

During the function, the Prime Minister also awarded the PM’s Trophy for the Best Integrated Steel Plant for 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant, declared winner for 2011-12, was the proud recipient of the coveted trophy for a record 11th time.

BVR Mohan Reddy elected NASSCOM Chairman, CP Gurnani Vice-Chairman

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has announced that the Executive Council has elected Mr. BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Cyient Ltd. (formerly Infotech Enterprises), as its Chairman for 2015-16. Mr. CP Gurnani, CEO and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra, has been elected Vice Chairman.

Mr. Mohan Reddy, a member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council, took over from April 9. He succeeds Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Executive Vice Chairman of Cognizant India, who served as Chairman of NASSCOM for 2014-15. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mohan Reddy said: “It is truly a great honor to be the Chairman of NASSCOM. We are in the middle of exciting times with the IT industry gaining maturity, several technology disruptions, and the Government’s intent to deploy more IT for betterment of society and economy. We have many opportunities and challenges ahead of us. The work done by NASSCOM membership in innovation and transformation can be well used to build a digitally empowered nation. I look forward to continued involvement from our membership to accelerate momentum on all initiatives at NASSCOM.”

Mr. Gurnani said: “I am grateful that this responsibility comes on the thrones of a significant Digital storm that is reshaping the global marketplace, necessitating IT investments in every function to remain competitive and relevant. The political stability in India combined with game-changing initiatives such as Digital India, Smart Cities, Make in India are opening up unprecedented opportunities for the industry to contribute and benefit from the growth momentum. The spurt in product start-ups and the investment climate are reflective of this renewed confidence. I look forward to working with the NASSCOM Executive Council on catalysing Innovation and Transformation.” 

Mr. Chandrasekaran said: “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with NASSCOM and contribute in aligning the industry focus with the government’s vision during the last year. It has been heartening to note that the IT-BPM sector has played an important role in achieving the envisioned scale of the Skill India, Digital India and Make in India programmes. It has been a great opportunity to lead the industry as Chairman of NASSCOM. I am really hopeful for the industry with NASSCOM playing a critical role in evangelizing and leveraging newer opportunities for the sector.”