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Japan’s Suzuki Motor sees 9.1 per cent profit slide

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Tokyo: Suzuki Motor Corp forecast a 9.1 per cent slide in operating profit for the current financial year as it expects a stronger yen and higher R&D costs to offset rising car sales mainly in India, its biggest market.

Japan’s fourth-biggest automaker expects profit of 340.0 billion yen ($3.10 billion) in the year to March 2019, versus a 374.6 billion yen median of 21 analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The forecast is based on an assumption that Japan’s currency will average around 105 yen to the US dollar – appreciating from 111 yen in the just-ended year – and 1.65 yen to India’s rupee, versus 1.73 yen.

 

That will result in a 22.0 billion yen hit to profit from currency swings, while increased research-and-development (R&D) expenses will have a negative impact of 20.0 billion yen.

With most of Japan’s seven major automakers having reported full-year profit forecasts, Suzuki and bigger rivals including Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd see a slide due to a stronger yen.

A firmer yen eats into profit repatriated from abroad and raises costs of exported vehicles and parts, making Japanese products less competitive overseas and denting profit margins.

Suzuki reported operating profit of 374.2 billion yen in the year ended March, outperforming analyst estimates.

It anticipates a 2.3 per cent rise in global vehicle sales to a record 3.3 million units, led by a 6 percent rise in India. It expects to sell 1.65 million scooters and motorcycles globally, up 4.2 per cent from last year.

Suzuki’s bet on growing in emerging markets continues to pay off after the automaker for decades focused on expansion in India over other markets including the United States – the world’s second-largest auto market and a key country for most Japanese automakers but where Suzuki no longer sells cars.

Its Alto and Baleno compact hatchbacks and Vitra Brezza compact sport utility vehicle are among the best-selling cars in India, the world’s fifth-biggest passenger car market. Suzuki dominates that market through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s largest automaker.

Suzuki plans to spend 160 billion yen on R&D this year, from 139.4 billion yen last year, as it focuses on automated driving functions and electric vehicles (EV) to keep up with competition.
To establish a presence in the local EV market, Suzuki and Toyota have been dee

pening a wide-ranging partnership which will enable Suzuki to leverage Toyota’s massive R&D firepower to help it make EVs, while Toyota taps Suzuki’s expertise in compact cars.


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Business

WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices

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New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.

Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.

 

This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.

Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.

Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.

The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.

The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.

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Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport

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New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.

Three phases of facial recognition technology

 

First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.

Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.

Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.

The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.

When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.

Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.

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Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000

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New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.

Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.

The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.

 

Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.

The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.

“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.

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