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Toyota, Suzuki to produce cars for each other in India

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Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp agreed to produce cars for each other in India as Toyota aims to increase its market share in the world’s fifth-largest passenger car market.
The agreement follows an R&D tie-up announced by the two Japanese automakers a year ago, and will see Toyota, one of the world’s biggest automakers, secure production from its much smaller rival, which dominates India with its line-up of affordable compact cars.
Suzuki will supply gasoline and mild-gasoline hybrid versions of its Baleno hatchback, along with the Vitara Brezza compact SUV to Toyota while the latter will produce gasoline and gasoline-hybrid Corolla sedans for Suzuki, the automakers said.
Analysts said the arrangement would help Toyota expand its presence in India, where it has struggled to grow sales due to lean demand for its lower-cost models.
“India is a big blemish on Toyota’s otherwise strong track record for breaking into emerging markets,” said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities.
“By selling rebadged and slightly changed Balenos and Vitaras, Toyota can bolster its distribution network and move more towards expanding its market share.”
Manufacturing will begin by mid-2019. Under the deal, vehicles made by Suzuki will be rebranded and renamed as Toyota cars, while the Toyota vehicles will sport the Suzuki badge.
A Toyota spokeswoman declined to give details on production figures, while the Nikkei business daily reported that Toyota would supply around 10,000 vehicles to Suzuki, while Suzuki would produce up to 50,000 units annually for Toyota.
The deepening partnership between the two automakers will enable Suzuki to tap into Toyota’s R&D firepower to develop lower-emission vehicles and self-driving cars – areas which Suzuki has admitted it is struggling to keep up with.
The two companies plan to introduce electric cars in India around 2020.
Suzuki has dominated the Indian automobile market through a majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest automaker, which sold roughly 1.6 million vehicles last year, accounting for every other car sold in the country. Producing 50,000 vehicles for Toyota would represent just a sliver of what Suzuki sold in India in 2017.
Toyota lags far behind with a roughly 5 per cent market share. An additional 50,000 units could push Toyota’s annual sales above those of Honda Motor and Tata Motors, but it will still lag far behind the top three manufacturers – Suzuki, Hyundai Motor Co and Mahindra & Mahindra.
Last year, Toyota sold roughly 140,000 cars in India, leaving its two plants in the country to operate at about half their capacity of manufacturing more than 300,000 vehicles a year.
Toyota has produced cars specifically for the Indian market for 20 years, but sales have been dented by poor demand of its last two no-frills models made specifically for India, the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback, which were criticised for compromising on quality and finish to keep costs low.
The supply from Suzuki would alleviate pressure on Toyota to develop its own low-cost models for the country under its Daihatsu compact car brand, which has made limited progress in developing affordable, appealing models for emerging markets.
In the past, Toyota had looked to Daihatsu for help to develop affordable, competitive cars in India. But its engineers and parts purchasing managers have told Reuters that establishing supply chains from scratch which can compete with Suzuki’s would be highly time-consuming.


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Business

RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das

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New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.

India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.

The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.

 

Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.

India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.

The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.

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Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud

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Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.

“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

 

“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.

“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.

According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.

According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.

“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.

“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.

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In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

 

Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”

He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”

Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.

“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.

While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”

The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.

“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.

“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.

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