Next Generation Gaming NASCAR 09 (Xbox 360)

•June 11, 2008 • 1 Comment
Hi all Gamers! Have you tried NASCAR 09 yet???
NASCAR 09 has been developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon. It features a completely rebuilt handling model. The game will be more accessible to newcomers while continuing to offer options that will challenge even the most experienced virtual driver.

NASCAR 09 is an authentic NASCAR experience that will appeal to every type of NASCAR enthusiast.Change is good, though. Just look at how NASCAR’s gracious acceptance of Toyota into a former Big Three-only institution is paying dividends this year. Or how energy-absorbent barriers and HANS-style devices are keeping drivers safe at speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour. Even Junior turned over a new leaf this year; a change that has him sixth in the Sprint Cup race and given his team a win in the Nationwide series with track maven Mark Martin behind the wheel. Events on typically tough NASCAR tracks, such as Bristol or those pesky road courses, will earn more Rep and are saved for the more “advanced” lessons of Jeff’s tutelage. Another way of saying that Tiburon has thoughtfully addressed the progression and depth problems that plagued last year’s offering. A quick look at the released screenshots will also make it abundantly clear that Tiburon put a lot of effort into making NASCAR 09 look every bit as good as it plays. A heavy dosage of anti-aliasing will be working hard to ensure spot-on models of the current NASCAR tracks.

I can assure you – it is addictive. It made me miss my office one day.
Try it and you’ll say “One more game honey..”

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going green-gaining profit

•June 9, 2008 • 2 Comments

Hi All!

As discussed in one of my previous posts, global warming is a major threat we are facing. I have some good news for all of us concerned about the effects of global warming. Now all the major global companies are adopting green or eco friendly options with an intention of controlling global warming and cutting down the costs of electricity and waste management. Here I am shortlisting a few companies compiled by DigiTech Magazine. Major IT firms Dell, Intel, Aricent, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Lenovo, Nokia and Tulip Telecom, among others, have realized that “going green” is a profitable business. Not only does it require a low initial investment but it also earns them brownie points for helping in reducing e-waste. While an estimated 3.3 lakh tonnes of e-waste is generated in India, about 50,000 tonnes is imported or dumped in the country. Only 40 per cent of India’s total e-waste is recycled, and the rest is left in storehouses due to an inefficient collection system.

Analysts estimate that companies typically invest between 5-10 per cent of their IT budgets on ‘eco-friendly’ IT processes. For instance, firms have started consolidating datacenters, using power-management tools to increase the life of batteries and reduce energy bills, replacing old and energy-consuming CRT monitors with the energy-efficient LCD panels and recycling personal computers. However, the returns are high. Consider this. Aztecsoft, which invests around Rs 6 lakh per annum on its green projects, will save a lot of money by conducting energy audits on its air-conditioning systems that consume nearly 50 per cent of its energy budget. Nokia, too, has redesigned its packaging to cut back on costs and paper wastage. By 2007-end, Nokia shipped 250 million phones using compact packaging, resulting in 5,000 fewer trucks being needed to distribute products around the world and creating financial savings of up to Rs 6,560 crore. Nokia accessory packaging has been trimmed to use 60 per cent less plastic while the cardboard in packaging has been made thinner.

Aricent will also soon come out with a company-wide policy on e-waste and proper disposal of its technology assets.

Over the past 20 years, Intel, too, has invested more than $100 million (around Rs 420 crore) in water conservation programmes at its facilities all over the globe. As a result of these efforts, Intel reclaims more than 3 billion gallons of wastewater annually instead of tapping into precious fresh-water sources. “Faced with an economic downturn, many organizations, which had earlier cut back on soft programmes – such as green efforts – as a cost-saving measure, are now pursuing these low-risk initiatives as they often provide quick returns and are especially attractive in a cost-cutting environment,” posits Steve Kleynhans, research vice-president, Gartner.

Don’t you think it’s a great idea? They are not only saving heavy electricity bills, but are doing good for the environment as well. As per my opinion every organisation should take such steps.

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Maruti Suzuki India: A Record Breaking Sales Graph

•June 6, 2008 • 6 Comments

Hi All!

Have you seen the sales figures of Maruti Suzuki in last months? Aren’t they record breaking? Have a look at these facts I compiled from Business & Economy news….

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd today reported a 16.2 per cent increase in total vehicle sales during May at 69,001 units, against 59,400 units in the same month last year.The company said its domestic sales increased by 14.6 per cent during the month at 64,143 units, against 55,952 units in May last year. Its M800 model recorded 25.2 per cent increase at 6,830 units in May this year as compared 5,456 units in the same month last year. The A2 segment comprising Alto, Zen Estillo, Wagon R and Swift registered a combined growth of 14.5 per cent at 44,539 units, against 38,889 units in the same month last year. The company said in May month, Swift recorded its highest ever sales, clocking 10,408 units in May 2008. The A3 segment comprising SX4 and Swift Dzire recorded 18.7 per cent increase at 5,946 units, compared to 5,009 units in May last year. Exports during the month stood at 4,858 units as compared to 3,448 units in the same month last year, up 40.9 per cent.

So, now we can say that Maruti is a winner in India. The newly launched Maruti Swift DZire is already a hit. The waiting period for this car is around 40 to 60 days. The Diesel variant has a higher waiting period. But still I think Maruti will resolve these issues by this month end.

Hey, but the fuel prices are killing? Yesterday Hon’ble PM announced the fuel price hikes and said that they are trying their best to control the fuel price. Wonder how they will control.

See what will be next in our Automobile Industry. I’ll keep you updated.

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Govt tighten norms for import of cars, SUVs by travel agents

•June 3, 2008 • 2 Comments
Hi All!

Do you know about misuse of tax concessions available on import of vehicles? Now the government has made rules for this stricter. Take a look at the following article i found in yesterday’s newspaper.
The government tightened norms for import of high end cars and sports utility vehicles by hotels, travel agents and tour operators following reports of misuse of tax concessions available on import of vehicles for tourism.
“In order to ensure proper and intended use of vehicles under Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme, customs authorities will endorse that such vehicles have to be registered as a vehicle ‘for tourist purpose only´ while clearing such vehicles,” a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) circucians, businessmen and actors. The Revenue Department, which conducted enquiries in many such cases, has collected penalties and due customs duty from many persons.
Commenting on the decision, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Gupta told PTI, “One can import a vehicle at a concessional rate of up to 5% under the scheme against about 100% duties under normal imports.”
The DGFT has stipulated that import of motor cars, SUVs and all-purpose vehicles under the EPCG scheme would be allowed only to hotels, travel agents, tour operators or tour transport operators and companies owning or operating golf resorts whose total foreign exchange earning from these specific businesses in the current and preceding three licensing years is Rs1.5 crore or more.
However, the parts of motor cars, sports utility vehicles or all purpose vehicles such as chassis cannot be imported under the EPCG Scheme.
“The move will plug the loopholes and will promote the genuine transactions of motor cars and sports utility vehicles for use by hotels, travel agents and tour operators,” Gupta said.
“The move would make the purpose of import of vehicles ‘absolutely clear´, besides facilitating registration”, the circular said.
It further said, in all past cases where the Export Obligation Discharge Certificate (EODC) has not been obtained by June 30, 2008 and where vehicles were not registered as Tourist Vehicles, EPCG authorisation holders will get them registered as tourist vehicles, by August 31, 2008. The government vehicles imported under EPCG would now have to be registered as a tourist vehicle, the circular added.

Reliance moves out of liquid fuel but sticks with gas

•June 2, 2008 • 2 Comments
Hi all!
These days the rising fuel prices are the biggest newsmakers around the globe. Everyday there is news of price rise and rumours about how much it would be. However, Reliance Industries Ltd has made itself immune to these fluctuations now. I am referring to the following news that i have recently read:

India’s biggest firm by market capitalization, Reliance Industries Ltd — which has decided to stop selling petrol and diesel at its fuel stations — will continue to sell liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for automobiles, according to a company executive.

The owner of the nation’s largest refinery, Reliance Industries, will discontinue marketing petrol and diesel as it has not been able to compete with the lower prices offered by state-run operators, who are compensated by the government for selling fuel at a price lower than their cost.

With auto LPG, there is no such subsidy, placing Reliance on level with state-run companies. Both sides sell LPG at around Rs33 per liter in and around Mumbai.

A Reliance station sells between 5,000 liter and 6,000 liter of LPG per day on average in the region, an official at a company outlet said.

The Mukesh Ambani-run group has LPG facilities in around 200 stations across India.

“We are still receiving LPG supplies. There has been no directive on LPG so far,” an executive at a Reliance fuel station in Navi Mumbai, who did not want to be identified, said.

Another executive with Reliance said the company has no plans to expand its auto LPG facility to other stations.

A Reliance spokesperson refused to comment.

Essar Oil Ltd, which has around 1,100 fuel stations in the country, does not sell auto LPG at its stations.

Analysts say Reliance’s decision could be to protect its franchisees, as many of them have contracts and the company cannot suddenly take away a source of revenue from them.

However, auto LPG forms a negligible portion of the company’s revenues, they said.

Reliance does not segregate the figures for its fuel marketing business, and there is no way of knowing how much petrol, diesel or auto LPG contribute individually to its revenue.

“They can continue to sell auto LPG because they are not losing money by selling it. This also gives their franchisees something to hold on to, as they would have made a lot of investment,” an analyst with a domestic brokerage, who did not want to be named, said.

“There is also an element of investment involved in setting up an LPG dispensing system at a fuel station. It requires about 20 sq. ft, typically, to accommodate two cylinders of 7,500 liters each,” a manager at a state-owned Indian Oil Corp. Ltd franchise station said, but did not wish to be named.

The cost of the investment, according to him, is generally borne by the company. He did not disclose the amount of investment, though.

The cost of auto LPG has gone up in the past few months, but it continues to be a cheaper alternative to petrol. Car makers such as Tata Motors Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Hyundai Motor India and Mahindra Renault have launched or are planning to roll out LPG versions of their cars. Auto LPG sales rose 57.4% between April 2007 and January.

Something that the reliance dealers can hold on to for now.

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BMW Launches Sport Series M3 in India

•May 29, 2008 • 5 Comments

Hi All!

I have a good news for all Indian luxury car freaks – BMW has already introduced it’s sports series M3 in India. Having recognized the potential of the automobile market in India, BMW is all set to explore it fully. After scrutinizing the bright prospects of its super luxury, super high performance M cars in the Indian automobile market, BMW has decided to exploit it by launching its M (Motorsport) cars. The company launched its M3 model in the country in January 2008 and with this, it has expanded its presence in the luxury cars market. BMW M3 will be sold as CBU (complete built unit), in limited numbers, and has been priced around Rs 74 lakh. The sleek and suave look of the car is definitely going to win the heart of the automobile lovers. Loosely based on the standard 3 Series coupe, the luxury car boasts of an all new, 4.0 liter, V8 engine. The style is distinct, but none of the curves and cuts is without a purpose. The 3999 cc engine of BMW M3 gives a maximum output of 420 bhp@8,300 rpm and a maximum torque of 398Nm@3,000 rpm.

The car can go from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds, while it takes just 15.8 seconds to go from 100 km/h to 200 km/h. The maximum speed that can be attained by BMW M3 is 248 km/h. Being fitted with compound brakes; it can come to a standstill, from 100 km/h, within 34 m. Though the car comes packed with 18-inch wheels, you can go in for 19-inch rims too.

bmw interior

So, if you want a car with stunning looks, smooth performance and unbridled fun, BMW M3 is just the thing for you!

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Oil on the boil

•May 26, 2008 • 1 Comment

Hi All!

We all agree that increasing petrol prices is a big headache for us. Now how to commute? The biggest auto players are working on fuel efficient model. I came across a detailed report on this subject on livemint online journal. Take a look.

Oil, currently hovering around $120 per barrel, is set to cross $200 barrel in the next 6-24 months due to lack of adequate supply and increased demand from China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, say analysts. The same set of analysts from Goldman Sachs had predicted oil would cross $100 a barrel when it was trading at close to $55 a barrel.

Costly ride: Fuel efficiency is also of concern in India where driving in cities involves frequent starting and stoppages, low-speed, bumper-to-bumper traffic and potholded roads.

And so, it’s hardly a surprise that around 84% of auto industry executives polled by audit and consulting firm KPMG last year cited fuel efficiency as an extremely important factor in their future strategy.

“We are clearly seeing huge global warming issues and oil at a $100 is not academic any more,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto Ltd, had said in a January interview, before he unveiled the prototype of the car, when quizzed about his vision for the yet-to-be-finished car. “I really don’t think it’s important whether a car costs a lakh of rupees, or Rs1.5 lakh because the cost of the car contributes to only a third of (cost of) ownership.’’

He wasn’t available for comment for this story.

Bajaj, 41, has always said that given the rising price of oil, it is necessary to give consumers a vehicle whose cost of ownership doesn’t pinch. When he first announced plans to make a small car, he seemed to care much less about the initial price tag of the car and seemed to veer instead towards a small car, which, while offering limited speeds, would do the job just fine by using a smaller quantity of fuel to run a longer distance.

Indeed, small and cheap cars are somewhat in favour.

Tata Motors Ltd, India’s largest auto maker by revenues, unveiled the Tata Nano earlier this year, after spending some four years in a bid to build the country’s cheapest car. The Tata Nano, with a price tag of around $2,500, has set the benchmark for other cheap cars that want to capture the mass market for individual four-wheel transportation.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, for example, is promoting its Scorpio as a fuel-efficient sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the US with the tagline, “SUV without guilt”. In the UK, for example, Fiat offers about £1,000 (Rs80,800) worth of fuel to customers who buy the Grande Punto small car.

Lawmakers across the world are also getting stricter on fuel efficient norms. In the European Union, for example, legislation considered for carbon dioxide emissions — that are closely related to fuel efficiency — will have lighter taxes for smaller cars.

In India, the primary market for the Bajaj-Nissan-Renault car, customers are protected from oil price surges to an extent, because petrol and diesel prices are subsidized by the government. Still, customers here are among the most value conscious drivers in the world.

“In India, the mindset is such that a certain section of customers ask about the fuel efficiency even when they are buying a (Rs)80 lakh car,” said Rishi Goel, who heads marketing at the local unit of German luxury car maker Audi AG. The cheapest cars in this category are priced above Rs25 lakh and are typically bought by millionaires.

Let’s see how soon can we come up with a car that is immune to the fuel price fluctuations.

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