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Volkswagen takes localised route to cut maintenance costs in India

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New Delhi: Struggling to make a mark in India, German auto major Volkswagen (VW) is taking a localised approach to address high maintenance cost of its VW brand of vehicles that has been one of its biggest hurdles here.

The company said that it is introducing new schemes which will slash regular service cost by 24 per cent to 44 per cent across different models of the VW brand.

“The brand (VW) has been taking conscious efforts towards addressing its key requirement of the customer — high maintenance costs,” Volkswagen Passenger Cars Director Steffen Knapp said in a statement.

 

By adopting an India-centric approach, he said, “there’s been an overall reduction in the total cost of ownership while retaining the same quality, safety and value-for-money proposition that is expected of a Volkswagen.”

VW has struggled to make its presence felt in India, where it had high hopes of doing well. In 2018 the company’s sales declined by 22.5 per cent to 37,038 units as compared with 47,796 units in 2017.

Last year, the VW group said it would invest 1 billion euros (around Rs 7,900 crore) between 2019 and 2021 to enhance its presence in India, which would be led by group firm Skoda with more affordable products to be launched from the ‘MBQ’ platform.

The group has set a target of capturing 5 per cent of the Indian passenger vehicles market by 2025. The VW group, which sells Skoda and Audi besides the VW brand, has around 2 per cent market share in the domestic PV segment which stood at around 3.2 million units in 2017-18.

As part of the strategy to make ownership experience more affordable, VW said under its India-centric aftersales approach, “regular service cost has been reduced by 24 per cent to 44 per cent across Volkswagen carlines with the introduction of three free services up to 15,000 km or one year”.

Beginning 2019, Volkswagen said it will offer three free services to its new VW customers across models up to 15,000 km or one year as compared to just one previously.

Moreover, it has increased free road side assistance to four years from two years, while standard vehicle warranty has also been increased to four years or 1 lakh km from two year with unlimited kilometres earlier.

“Volkswagen is determined towards providing the best of our offerings to the value driven Indian customers,” Knapp said.


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India one of world’s fastest growing large economies:IMF

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Washington: India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, asserting that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years, but more needs to be done.
Responding to a question on India’s economic development in the last five years at a fortnightly news conference here, IMF communications director Gerry Rice Thursday said, “India has of course been one of the world’s fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about seven per cent over the past five years.”
“Important reforms have been implemented and we feel more reforms are needed to sustain this high growth, including to harness the demographic dividend opportunity, which India has,” he said.
Details about the Indian economy would be revealed in the upcoming World Economic Outlook (WEO) survey report to be released by the IMF ahead of the annual spring meeting with the World Bank next month, he said.
This report would be the first under Indian American economist Gita Gopinath, who is now IMF’s chief economist.
“The WEO will go into more details. But amongst the policy priorities, we would include accelerate the cleanup of banks and corporate balance sheets, continue fiscal consolidation, both at centre and state levels, and broadly maintain the reform momentum in terms of structural reforms in factor markets, labour, land reforms and further enhancing the business climate to achieve faster and more inclusive growth,” Rice said.

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Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 6.8 pc

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New Delhi: Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8 per cent from its previous estimate of 7 per cent, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy.
“While we have cut our growth forecasts for the next fiscal year (FY20, ending in March 2020) on weaker-than-expected momentum, we still see Indian GDP growth to hold up reasonably well, at 6.8 per cent, followed by 7.1 per cent in FY21,” Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook. Fitch Ratings cut India’s FY19 GDP growth forecast to 7.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent on December 6.
The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent from 7.3 per cent, respectively. According to Fitch, the RBI has adopted a more dovish monetary policy stance and cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage at its February 2019 meeting, a move supported by steadily decelerating headline inflation.
“We have changed our rate outlook and we now expect another 25 bp cut in 2019, amid protracted below target inflation and easier global monetary conditions than previously envisaged,” it said. “On the fiscal side, the budget for FY20 plans to increase cash transfers for farmers,” it added. Fitch said, it’s benign oil price outlook and expectations of accelerating food prices in the coming months should support rural households’ income and consumption.

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India’s total wireless subscribers grew to 1.18 bn in January 2019: TRAI

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New Delhi: India’s total wireless subscribers grew by 0.51 percent to 1,181.97 million (1.18 bn) in January 2019, as per a report by telecom regularor TRAI.
Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) increased from 1,176.00 million at the end of December 2018 to 1,181.97 million at the end of January 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.51 percent, the TRAI report said.
As on January 31, 2019, the private access service providers held 89.95 percent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 10.05%, the regulator said in its report.
The Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 647.52 million at the end of December 2018 to 654.20 million at the end of January 2019, however wireless subscriptions in rural areas declined from 528.48 million to 527.77 million during the month.
The monthly growth rates of urban wireless subscription was1.03 percent and rural wireless subscription was 0.13%, the report said
The Wireless Tele-density in India increased from 89.78 at the end of December 2018 to 90.15 at the end of January 2019.
The Urban Wireless Tele-density increased from 155.48 at the end of December 2018 to 156.85 at the end of January 2019, however Rural Wireless Tele-density declined from 59.15 to 59.04 during the same period.
The share of urban and rural wireless subscribers in total number of wireless subscribers was 55.35 percent and 44.65 percent respectively at the end of January 2019.

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