Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HCIL announces “Longest Drive through Amazing India’ with Honda Amaze

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) flagged off at Jodhpur on September 15 its ‘Longest Drive through Amazing India’ drive with the family sedan Honda Amaze, to celebrate its success in the Indian market. The drive will cover a distance of over 23,000 km covering the length and breadth off the country. Moving through 250 cities and towns across the diverse terrains and picturesque corners of the nation, the drive will culminate at Greater Noida.

The family sedan, Honda Amaze, has seen tremendous response from its customers. In just 16 months since the launch, the iconic product has reached the 100,000 milestone number. This is the fastest in the history of HCIL in India.

Announcing the new initiative, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd., said: “Honda Amaze has witnessed great success in the Indian market and the sales milestone further reiterates that we have been able to meet up with the market expectations through our customer-centric innovation approach. We are celebrating this success by organizing the ‘Longest Drive through Amazing India’ initiative which is a part of Honda’s ‘Amazingly Indian’ campaign. The drive will traverse through mountainous terrains, coastlines, flat highways, congested city roads and the interiors of India showcasing the durability and reliability of Honda Amaze through this diverse terrain. We are really excited about the initiative and believe that the Honda Amaze shall triumph over all these conditions.”

During the drive, multiple customer meets will be organised across cities where in customers will not only be a part of the fanfare but also encouraged to participate in the drive. The Longest Drive is a part of Honda’s ‘Amazingly Indian’ campaign. Amazingly Indian has been launched to celebrate the success of Honda Amaze in the country and will be promoted through ATL, BTL and other mediums.

Honda Cars India forayed into the diesel car segment in the country with the Honda Amaze venturing into new market segment and increasing its operating universe. Powered by the revolutionary 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine and 1.2L i-VTEC petrol engine, the Amaze continues to be a perfect package which embodies the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver fun, agile and effortless driving, fuel-efficiency, spaciousness & safety. The car’s best in class fuel economy along with a host of other features ensured an equally smooth run for the Honda Amaze in the metros, mini-metros and tier-2 and tier-3 markets alike. Honda Amaze continues to have a strong sales momentum in the market and has lot of sales potential with Honda’s expanding dealership network which is expected to go up to 230 outlets in 150 cities by the end of 2014-15.

The Honda Amaze was declared as the “Car of the Year” and “Compact Sedan of the Year” by leading automobile magazines and has clinched 12 major automobile awards in 2013-14.

CII happy over fall in inflation to five-year low

CII welcomes the precipitous decline in inflation to a five-year low of 3.74 per cent in August 2014 from 5.19% during the previous month on the back of a sharp drop in food and fuel prices. The good news is that the prices of cereals, fruits & vegetables, onions, eggs have started trending downward after being on the ascendant for long.

“Going forward, the strengthening of monsoon in September, recent policy measures to lower inflation and a drop in global food prices to a four year low should further help contain food prices”, said Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. Besides, prices of manufacturing products have also moderated indicating that core inflation is within range. With strong actions coming in from the Government, we are hopeful of a sustained moderation in inflation.

Coming shortly before the Monetary Policy, this should also provide the necessary manoeuvring space to the RBI.

Nissan begins festive celebrations with exciting offers

Nissan has announced a host of offers and benefits to add to the festivities in India, this season. Various offers will be available on select variants of Micra hatchback, Sunny sedan, Evalia MUV and Terrano Compact SUV.

The company is offering an exchange bonus of up to Rs. 40,000 on the Nissan Micra. The Nissan Sunny will be available with special discounts and attractive schemes totalling up to Rs. 1,45,000 on select variants, which includes gift cheque along with other benefits. There is an exchange bonus of up to Rs. 60,000 on the New Sunny as well.

The Nissan Terrano will be offered with a festive bonus of up to Rs. 50,000 including gift cheque and exchange benefits on select variants. The Nissan Evalia will be available with free insurance for the first year. The attractive exchange bonus schemes are aimed at encouraging existing car owners to upgrade to Nissan cars of their choice.
Customers will be able to avail these offers up to October 31, 2014.

Announcing the festive offers, Mr. Ajay Raghuvanshi, Vice President - Sales, Marketing & Dealer Development, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd., said: “The festive season is the most awaited time of the year amongst Indians for bringing home a new car. Our festival offers are aimed at making our range even more attractive and accessible to car buyers this season. We have lined up several innovative offers to make it a very special and truly auspicious festival season for our customers.”

Honda inks nationwide bank retail finance MoU with Punjab National Bank

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) has signed its landmark Memorandum of Understanding with India’s leading nationalized bank – Punjab National Bank – to provide attractive retail finance to Honda’s two-wheeler customers across India.

Present at the MoU signing ceremony were Mr. S.S. Bhatia, General Manager - Retail Assets Division, Punjab National Bank, and Mr. Yadvinder S. Guleria, Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

With this landmark MoU coming into effect, two-wheeler customers can now buy a Honda two-wheeler at Industry’s lowest finance rate of 12.25% and more importantly Honda’s customers can now save up to Rs. 10,000 on an average loan compared to open market schemes.

Buying a Honda two-wheeler in this festive period is set to get more affordable as customers can get double benefit of the limited period festive offer by Punjab National Bank.

Elaborating on this partnership, Mr. Guleria said: “This alliance is first of its kind in the two-wheeler industry - both for Honda and PNB. Propelled by this partnership with Punjab National Bank, we aim to grow Honda’s retail finance significantly in coming months.”

On the occasion, Mr. Bhatia said: “We are proud to unveil Retail finance scheme for two-wheelers by associating with the World’s Number One two-wheeler brand Honda. PNB has announced Festival Offer under Housing, Car, Two Wheeler and Personal Loan Schemes. Our Bank has 80 specialized Retail Asset Branches at prime locations for financing only Retail Loans.”

Mr. Bhatia further informed: “PNB, with more than 120 years of strong existence, is serving more than 8.9 crore esteemed customers with more than 6,000 branches and approx. 7,000 ATMs. PNB, being one of the largest nationalized banks, has continued to provide prudent and trustworthy banking services to its customers. Honda is synonymous globally with high quality products at reasonable prices that spread joy in the lives of millions of its customers. Through customized and convenient finance options, we look forward to partnering Honda in fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of millions in India.”  

Punjab National Bank focus on financial inclusion and “Banking for the unbanked” will give Wings to Honda’s Wave 2.0 strategic plan of going rural. With 40% of branches in rural areas and additional 24% in semi-urban areas, Honda’s strategic alliance with Punjab National Bank will help it make deeper inroads into hinterlands.

Brand USA successfully concludes Third India Travel Mission, launches Culinary Guide and USA Discovery Program in India

Brand USA concluded its third annual India Travel Mission organized from September 8-13, 2014. The mission, traveling across three Indian metro cities, witnessed a tremendous response with over 600 Indian travel industry professionals attending buyer seller meetings in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi. The US delegations comprised of forty-one participants representing thirty US companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators. The India Travel Mission extended its reach this year by including Bengaluru (September 8) in the program, and returned to the major metros cities of Mumbai (September 9) and New Delhi (September 12).

The mission provided a platform for US suppliers to interact with India’s travel buyers with the goal of increasing destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings. The invitees included major stakeholders from the Indian travel trade, airline representatives, hospitality representatives and tour operators. Additionally, a dedicated media day was organised in New Delhi with leading travel trade and consumer media.

During the mission, Brand USA announced the launch of their training program, the “USA Discovery Program” for the Indian travel trade. The “USA Discovery Program” is an online learning tool created to train and empower Indian travel agents to sell USA like never before. Hosted at, agents can find information on US States, regions and territories, as well as experiences and holiday themes to provide a holistic overview of the USA as a destination and to enable cross-selling on all aspects of sales to the USA.

Brand USA also unveiled its culinary guide, “Discover America: Great American Food Stories” aimed at promoting gastro-tourism in the US and showcasing the country as a top culinary destination for world travelers. It brings together some of the best-known American chefs and showcases the culinary highlights of each region of the country.

Mr. Jay Gray, Vice President, Global Partnership Development at Brand USA, said: “Like earlier years, the India Travel Mission has been a great success and has been enthusiastically received by the Indian travel trade. New initiatives like the USA Discovery Program will engage the travel trade to learn the diverse travel options in the US. Additionally the recently published Culinary Guide with encourage gourmet enthusiasts to discover cuisines of the USA like never before.”

Ms. Sheema Vohra, Managing Director of Sartha Global, marketing representative office for Brand USA in India, added: “The US has witnessed a continuous increase in Indian travelers arrivals in the last three years. We are confident that this trend will continue over the next decade and the India Travel Mission provides an excellent opportunity for Indian travel partners to cultivate lucrative business opportunities to the USA.”

The US has witnessed a steady increase in Indian travelers. In 2013, India is ranked 11th amongst the top 20 tourist generating countries for the US with 859,000 arrivals, an increase of 18.6% over the previous year according to the U.S Department of Commerce. In 2013, Indian visitors also ranked 10th globally in terms of money spent in the US, with a total spend of $5.6 billion - an increase of 14% over the previous year.

Brand USA led a team of representatives from 7M Tours, Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, Caesars Entertainment, Cirque du Soleil, 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 & Co., Empire State Building Observatory, Broadway Inbound, Papillon Group, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Red and White Fleet – San Francisco Cruises, San Francisco Travel Association, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sans Incredible Vacations, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Simon Shopping Destinations, Starwood Hotels, Tours Limited LLC, Universal Studios Hollywood, Visit California, VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Orlando and Visit Tampa Bay.

Tourism Minister announces focus on 50 circuits to expand tourism

The Ministry of Tourism has identified 50 tourist circuits for development. These include Cruise Tourism for Goa, Core Buddhist Circuit, Pilgrimage circuits which include Varanasi Ghat, etc. The latter will help augment the initiative undertaken to reinstate the sanctity and development of the holy city.

Mr. Sripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, disclosed this at an interactive Meeting organized by CII in Goa recently. He said that India will be positioned as a Global brand by making travel hassle free and user friendly through implementation of e-visa that will be introduced in a phased manner at nine airports in India including Goa very shortly. This will be a game changer for the tourism industry and will attract large number of foreign tourists.

Mr. Arjun Sharma, Co-Chair of CII National Committee on Tourism, emphasized that for India to achieve its goal of attracting 12 million foreign tourists annually, and to combat issues pertaining to taxation, visa, infrastructure, and other concerns, it is essential that the government and private sectors collaborate and work together to achieve the set targets and help India become a major tourist destination.

CII too suggested the creation of an empowered National Tourism Board comprising of the government, public and private players who can work in partnership. A step by step approach and deliberation over the existing suggestions of cost of visa and its link to reciprocity, simplifying visa form and procedures, improvements in visa processes, exempting hotels and tour operators from service tax on foreign exchange earnings and alleviating the problem of multiplicity of taxes at various levels will help the sector prosper and become a major foreign exchange earner for India.

Another suggestion made by CII was to create a task force on cleanliness and security and engage ex-servicemen who can provide insights to make an impact. Also, commercial tourist vehicles can make use of smart cards to facilitate seamless travel through State borders.

Tata Motors Group global wholesales at 73,524 in August

The Tata Motors Group global wholesales in August 2014, including Jaguar Land Rover, were 73,524 nos.

Cumulative wholesales for the fiscal were 381,935 nos.

Global wholesales of all Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range – were 30,536 nos. Cumulative commercial vehicles wholesales for the fiscal were 149,321 nos.

Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles in August 2014 were 42,988 nos. Cumulative passenger vehicles wholesales for the fiscal were 232,614 nos.

Global wholesales of Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles in August 2014 were 11,338 nos. Cumulative wholesales for the fiscal were 46,341 nos.

Global wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover for the month were 31,650 vehicles. Jaguar wholesales for the month were 4,658 vehicles and cumulative wholesales were 31,650 vehicles, while Land Rover wholesales for the month were 26,992 vehicles and cumulative wholesales were 154,623 vehicles. Cumulative wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover for the fiscal were 186,273 vehicles.