Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mahindra's Beautiful Dream XYLO running on the road

A stylish, feature packed ‘Sedan Plus’ vehicle starting at an unbeatable price of Rs. 6,24,500

A sketchy summary of the main points:

The much anticipated Mahindra XYLO debuts in India starting at an unbeatable price of Rs. 6,24,500 loaded with HVAC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking and transponder-based immobilizer.

Technology, style, space, luxury & comfort make the XYLO an apt choice for sedan buyers.

The XYLO boasts a wide array of unique features:

* Flat Bed front seats

* Digital Drive Assist System (DDAS)

* Foldable flight trays

* Surround cool dual ACs

* Captain Seats

* Powered by state-of-the-art 2.49 litre mEagle CRDe engine

* Available in 4 variants and eight elegant shades

* The XYLO is now open for bookings in a phased manner at 57 select Mahindra dealerships in January and another 44 dealerships from February.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), India’s undisputed market leader in utility vehicles, today unveiled the eagerly awaited Mahindra XYLO at its Nashik plant. The XYLO is perhaps the most complete car with luxury comforts to enter the Indian market with everything that today’s sedans offer and much more. Available at 57 select Mahindra dealerships in January and another 44 dealerships from February, the XYLO price range starts at Rs. 6,24,500

With the launch of the Mahindra XYLO, the era of sedans is under serious threat! The sedan has long been considered the ultimate in high-end mobility but the XYLO is all set to change this perception. The famed Mahindra DNA of 'tough & rugged' meets an unprecedented level of sophistication and luxurious comfort in the XYLO. The XYLO is the ‘Great Indian Traveling Machine’ and will redefine the future of road travel in India,” said Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.

The Mahindra XYLO is perhaps the first vehicle in the country which has been completely engineered around the customer. The powerful 2.49 litre mEagle CRDe engine is fuel-efficient and delivers 112 bhp, allowing you to literally fly from 0-60 kmph in just 5.8 seconds. Moreover, the Mahindra XYLO offers class-defining lavish space all around such that even a 6ft tall person can stretch in comfort on the 3rd row seat. The XYLO offers an extraordinary level of luxurious comfort at a very cost-effective price for prospective sedan buyers,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

A perfect amalgam of performance and style…

Sleek contours coupled with structured edges and the signature Mahindra front grille give the XYLO the sophistication of a sedan and the aggressive stance of an SUV. Integrated bumpers, chunky alloy wheels and strong curves on the bonnet and fenders add to the car’s stature. Body side cladding with chrome rails and rear lamp clusters with well defined edges add oodles of panache to the car’s design. All this makes the XYLO an eye-catching vehicle on the road.

To complete the picture, the XYLO is available in 4 exciting variants & eight elegant shades to suit a variety of tastes – be it masculine and powerful or contemporary and classy. These include Fiery Black, Mist Silver, Mint Green, Lucky Lilac, Gold Shimmer, Toreador Red, Java Brown and Rocky Beige.

XYLO variants, loaded all through….

All XYLO variants conform to stringent BS III emission norms.

Far more luxury than any sedan, inside out…

What makes the XYLO unique and far superior to sedans is simply the manner in which it was conceived and designed. Completely created from the inside out, the XYLO keeps all the needs and wants of the would-be passenger in mind. This translates into surprising legroom, both in the second and third row. Theater style seating ensures that none of the passengers feel left out of the conversation, even if they are seated in the back row.

Independent AC vents ensure that the Surround Cool Dual AC cools all corners of this spacious car with individual controls for each passenger. The car’s stylish exterior is aptly complemented by plush interiors available in three sophisticated shades – Black, Walnut and Granite.

The Mahindra XYLO is also the only car to offer flatbed front seats, just like in the business class of a world-class airline. Additional unique features include foldable flight trays behind the front seats, individual reading lamps for each passenger and conveniently placed laptop and mobile charging points.

Close attention to the finer details is what makes the XYLO a winner. The car's doors are fitted with puddle lamps, giving passengers visibility while alighting from the car at night. Cabin lights in the XYLO shut gradually after a few minutes, giving passengers enough time to settle inside the car. A wide arm rest in the front row provides the driver and co-passenger with comfort, while an integrated foot rest allows easy entry and exit.

Ahead in technology too…

One of the most revolutionary features of the XYLO is the tech-savvy Digital Drive Assist System (DDAS). An alphanumeric display in the centre panel, the DDAS has features such as an onboard computer to calculate mileage and distance permissible. The system is easy to read and provides useful data at a quick glance. Standard information available includes date, time, inside and outside temperature and relative humidity. It also lets you know exactly which direction your Mahindra XYLO is headed in. Press a button and you are informed of your gear position and speed. The DDAS will even tell you how long your fuel will last and share information on your average speed and the instant mileage clocked by you. All of which ensures that you derive optimum mileage from your Mahindra XYLO.

The DDAS also has an inbuilt warning system which will prompt you to put on your seat belts in case you forget or if you attempt to drive with the handbrake engaged, for instance. The Intellipark Reverse Assist has a visual prompt in the rear view mirror which shows you the distance between the rear bumper and any object behind your car.

The 2 Din Entertainment System is also feature packed. It enables playback from MP3s and CDs, SD cards and USB devices, giving you a superlative acoustic experience on the road.

A driver’s delight as well…

Plenty of innovation has gone into making the XYLO a superior vehicle to drive. The sporty dials, the centre bezel curves and the advanced Digital Drive Assist System combine to give you the feel of an aeroplane cockpit. The driver's seat is ergonomically designed with height adjustment control to maximize comfort on long drives. Lumbar support can also be adjusted to three positions while the unique tiltable steering wheel gives you the perfect driving position.

An illuminated keyhole ring allows you to conveniently locate the keyhole even in pitch dark conditions. Utility spaces abound in the Mahindra XYLO with a well defined Centre Console housing space for CDs, magazines, etc.

Outpace, out-manoeuvre the sedan…

This muscular car is powered by a state-of-the-art 2.49 litre mEagle CRDe engine which delivers a power-packed 112 bhp with 24 kilogram meter torque over a range of 1800 to 3000 rpm. The 2.49 litre engine is meshed with a five-speed manual gearbox and has been built on the Scorpio NEF CRDe engine family with relevant technological advancements. When a burst of power is needed, the top mounted intercooler delivers. Dual pilot injection increases the XYLO's drivability scores, while advanced engine damping, hydraulic lash adjustor technology and auto tensioner ensure minimum service frequency and a pleasurable drive. On a long drive, you can zip down the straights with the long wheelbase and multi-link suspension keeping the XYLO composed and rock steady. The vehicle also tackles sharp bends effortlessly and skirts bumps with ease.

Sourced from the best…

Leading vendors from India, Japan, America, Germany, etc., have contributed to the development of the XYLO. To name a few, Bosch, Lear, Motherson, Nippon, Subros, JBM, Spicer, Visteon, Lumax, Alf, Asahi, Sharda, Rane and Varroc have played a key role in creating the XYLO.

I think, it will reach the line at which the sky and earth appear to meet.

Related Articles : Wheel Industry
01. Honda : What Next

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Honda : What Next

Honda Motor Co. is looking beyond Brazil, India and other big emerging economics for the next phase of growth at its motorcycle business by working its way into markets where small, no-name Chinese and Indian brands have grabbed the lead. However, the company has declined to give timeline for entering the “Next” markets.

Honda, the world’s top motorcycle maker with a share of roughly 30 per cent, has been growing consistently - thanks to surging sales in Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia. But it misread latent motorcycle demand in Africa, Eastern Europe and most of Latin America.

“We realized about two or three years ago that we had underestimated the pace of income growth in these countries, “Tatsuhiro Oyama, chief operating officer for Honda’s motorcycle operations, told.
“In the meantime, Chinese and Indian makers came in and created a significant market of cheap motorcycles and we found ourselves behind, “ he said.
Honda estimates global motorcycle demand at around 50 million units this year, of which just 4 million or so are in the United States, Japan and Western Europe. Around 38 million was in Southeast Asia, China, India and Brazil, where Honda leads Yamaha Motor Company.

Oyama said the other grouping – which Honda has internally started calling the “Next” markets – will account for roughly 8 million new motorcycle sales this year.

Honda is trying to come up with a winning strategy for these markets, where const-competitiveness will be key. Oyama said. That probably meant making more use of low-cost countries such as China and India to develop and build such products – something he said Honda not done effectively until now.

“UP to now, we have relied on Japan for product development, and then we had built locally. But China is fast becoming the benchmark for low-cost bikes so we have to change our ways.”

No Timeline:

Though Oyama did not say when they will enter the markets in earnest, but said it was urgent. He had been to Argentina last week, and was off to lean about the Nigerian market next month, he said.

For this year, Oyama said Honda expects to boost motorcycle sales by more than 10 per cent to around 15 million units.

“People talk about the car business being difficult, but you don’t hear that about the motorcycle business. That’s because all the economic growth is happeing in “developing markets’, and that’s where most of the motorcycle demand is,” he said.

Japan’s No. 2 carmaker, which began as a motorcycle maker in 1949, sold 13.5 million motorcycles worldwide in 2007, and has a goal of lifting that by a third to 18 million units in 2010.

Oyama said potential sales from the “Next” markets were not part of the 2010 target, meaning the 18 million figures was the “very minimum” Honda expects to sell in 2010. There were also signs of a pickup in demand for commuter bikes in North America as consumers seek fuel efficiency, he said.

Honda’s motorcycle business tends to fall under the radar but its contribution to the company is sizeable and growing.

The division made up around 13 per cent of Honda’s total revenues in the business year to end-March 2009but accounted for 16 per cent of operating profit.

Honda’s motorcycle division has a higher profit margin than that from cars. Last year, the division had an operating profit to-revenue margin of 9.7 per cent against 7.0 per cent for the car division.

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