This week in Auto: Tata Motors pips M&M to win govt’s electric vehicles contract; JSW Energy joins EV bandwagon

The week saw very diverse action spanning across vehicle segments ranging from abrupt leadership rejigs to investment in electric cars an energy producing company to new launches. Here is a list of the crucial developments in the automotive space.

Tata Motors pips M&M to win large EV order

Tata Motors has won a contract to supply 10,000 electric vehicles to a government-owned company piping Mahindra & Mahindra, the pioneer of EVs in India. The Mumbai-based company will supply 10,000 electric version of its recently launched compact sedan Tigor to Energy Efficiency Services (EESL).

 This is the single largest order for electric vehicles in the country and would be fulfilled by Tata Motors starting this year. Besides Mahindra & Mahindra, Nissan and Hyundai were also believed to be a part of the tendering process. Only M&M has commercially launched EVs in India whereas Tata Motors has promised to launch electric Tiago this year.

Nissan moves India MD to advisory role, reshuffles two more portfolios

Japanese car maker Nissan abruptly moved current Managing Director of India operations Arun Malhotra to the role of a corporate advisor and reshuffled the portfolios of two others.

Further, Jerome Saigot, currently Vice President, Marketing and Datsun Business Unit, Nissan India Motor (NMIPL), will now be responsible for sales and marketing, NMIPL, for both Nissan and Datsun brands. Peter Clissold, currently general manager, Marketing, AMI, will take up the role of Vice President, Marketing, NMIPL, with responsibility for both the Nissan and Datsun brands in India. The announced changes to its senior management team will be effective from October 1, 2017.

Mahindra launches TUV 300 T10 at Rs 9.75 lakh

Utility vehicle market leader Mahindra & Mahindra launched top-end versions of the TUV 300 called T10 with prices starting at Rs 9.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) will have four sub-variants Base, T10 AMT, T10 Dual Tone and T10 Dual Tone AMT.

The range-topping T10 gets gloss black finished inserts in the grille and the fog lamps. The headlamp gets carbon black finish. The alloy wheels are also painted in metallic grey and overall looks good. Other changes include the addition of a rear spoiler and blacked out roof available with a certain variant. The car now gets dual tone black-beige colour combination.

Maruti Suzuki launches upgraded S-Cross

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker, has launched the upgraded S-Cross, roughly two years after it first launched the premium cross-over in the market through the Nexa channel. The company will announce prices of the car in the next few days.

The new S-Cross gets sculpted bonnet, new headlight assembly, new fog light assembly, 7 inch infotainment panel as new additions. The company decided to discontinue the 1.6 litre diesel engine option for lack of demand. The car will now be powered only by the 1.3 litre diesel engine that generated peak power of 88 bhp.

JSW Energy to set up EV plant in Gujarat

JSW Energy to set up Rs 4,000cr plant for electric vehicles. JSW Energy, a part of the Jindal Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government for setting up a Rs 4,000 crore electric vehicle manufacturing plant.

The facility is believed to have a capacity to make 200,000 electric cars a year. To be set up at Vanod near Dasada in Surendranagar district, will also manufacture electric batteries, electrical storage solutions and charging infrastructure. The facility is expected to generate 2,000 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs.

MG Motor inaugurates Gujarat facility

UK-based automotive marquee MG Motor has inaugurated a manufacturing facility in India, through a minimum initial investment of Rs 2,000 crore. With an initial capacity of 80,000 units per annum in the first phase, MG Motor India will roll out its first product from the plant in 2019.

The facility, spread over an area of 170 acres, will be completely revamped by MG Motor by 2019. The company has already hired an initial workforce of 70 employees at the plant.