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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’s trade deficit narrows by 7.98% to $15.28 billion in June, exports falls by 9.71%

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New Delhi: India’s trade deficit for June 2019 narrowed by 7.98 percent to USD 15.28 billion as against the deficit of USD 16.60 billion in June 2018, government data showed.

The country’s exports registered a negative growth of 9.71 percent during June 2019 to USD 25.01 billion as compared to USD 27.70 billion in June 2018. Non-POL exports for June 2019 declined by 5.73 percent; non-POL and non-gems and jewelry exports declined by 4.86 percent.

India’s imports in June 2019 too fell 9.06 percent to USD 40.29 billion in June 2019 as compared to USD 44.30 billion in June 2018, data further showed.

 

The major commodities which contributed towards decline exports in June 2019 have been Petroleum products (-32.85 percent), Rice (-28.05 percent), Cotton yarn/Fabrics/made-ups (-19.73 percent), Gems and Jewellery (-10.67 percent), Readymade garments (-9.18 percent), Organic & inorganic chemicals (-8.17 percent), and Engineering goods (-2.65 percent), data showed.

Import of petroleum crude & products in June 2019 (USD 11.03billion) has recorded a negative growth of 13.33 percent as compared to June 2018 (USD 12.73billion). In this connection it is mentioned that the global Brent price ($/bbl) has decreased by 15.81 percent in June 2019 vis-à-vis June 2018 as per data available from World Bank, official data said.

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It will take 2-3 days for scheduling to use Pakistani airspace: AI

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New Delhi: Hours after the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority ordered its airspace to be opened to all civilian traffic for flights between India and Pakistan, Air India official said that it will take 2 to 3 days for scheduling to use Pakistani airspace.

Indian airlines resumed flight operations over the Pakistan airspace, after the latter removed access restrictions, following Balakot airstrikes by the Indian Air Force in February. Air India was saddled with heavy financial losses following this.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation wrote on Twitter, “After cancellation of NOTAMS by Pakistan and India in the early hours of Tuesday, there are no restrictions on airspaces of both countries, flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines”.

 

In March, Pakistan partially opened its airspace but did not allow Indian flight to fly over its airspace.

Since then, foreign carriers had been using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.

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RBI slaps Rs 7 cr penalty on SBI for violating various norms

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Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India said it has slapped a penalty of Rs 7 crore on the country’s largest bank SBI for non-compliance with norms related to NPA identification and fraud risk management, among others.

The penalty has been imposed on the bank for non-compliance of income recognition and asset classification (IRAC) norms, code of conduct for opening and operating current accounts and reporting of data on Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), and fraud risk management and classification and reporting of frauds.

Giving details of the case, it said the statutory inspection of SBI with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2017, revealed, non-compliance with IRAC norms, sharing of information about customers with other banks, reporting of data on CRILC, fraud risk management, and classification and reporting of frauds.

 

Based on the inspection report and other relevant documents, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI.

“After considering the bank’s reply and oral submissions made in the personal hearing, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charges of non-compliance with RBI directions were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty,” the RBI said.

The penalty, RBI said, is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

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