Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp appeared poised to unveil a wide-ranging partnership on Monday that could include the development of new technologies and procurement.
Both automakers, which said in October they were exploring a tie-up, said their boards would make a decision on the matter later in the day. The firms are also set to announce third-quarter earnings on Monday.
A partnership could offer Suzuki, a maker of affordable minivehicles and compact cars, access to Toyota's R&D expertise. Japan's fourth-largest automaker has said it has been struggling to keep pace with the breakneck speed of R&D in the industry.
While the two companies have yet to say how Toyota may gain from a partnership with Suzuki, insiders at the world' No. 2 automaker have said it will likely seek Suzuki's help in cracking the India market.
Suzuki dominates the Indian market through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, which sells roughly half of all cars sold in the country, whereas Toyota is still struggling to gain significant market share despite years of trying.
Access to Suzuki's tightly knit supply chain network in India, which the automaker has cultivated since the 1980s, could help Toyota to develop and sell more mainstream cars tailored for the local market.
Fujio Ando, an adviser at Chibagin Securities, noted that except for compact cars, the two automakers had little overlap in their production line-up, adding that Suzuki was already buying hybrid technology from Toyota.
"One question will be how much Toyota will open up to Suzuki given its relations with Daihatsu," he added, referring to Toyota's own minivehicle specialist firm.
Toyota invests heavily in R&D in areas including automated driving, artificial intelligence and lower-emission cars.
Suzuki has long sought a bigger partner. A partnership with Germany's Volkswagen ended on a sour note in 2015, after the German carmaker accused it of violating their pact by agreeing a diesel engine deal with Italy's Fiat.
Shares in Toyota and Suzuki were roughly flat, in line with the broader Tokyo market.
India’s economy grew faster in 2015-16 than earlier estimated, which could result in slower growth in the current fiscal because of a higher base
Data released by the statistics department on Tuesday showed India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.9% in 2015-16 against an earlier estimation of 7.6%
The statistics department earlier this month said India’s economic growth is likely to decelerate to 7.1% in 2016-17 based on the 7.6% estimate for the previous year, chiefly because of an industrial slowdown. However, it did not take into account the possible impact of demonetisation
On Tuesday, the Economic Survey 2016-17 authored by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said the demonetisation exercise could slow GDP growth by 25-50 basis points in 2016-17 on the baseline growth assumption of 7%. One basis point is 0.01%
For 2017-18, the survey projected the economy to grow in the wide range of 6.75% to 7.5%
The upward revision of the 2015-16 data was mostly due to a significant increase in growth estimates for the industrial and services sectors. While the industrial sector is now estimated to have grown at 8.2% against the earlier estimation of 7.4%, the services sector is estimated to have grown at 9.9% against 8.9% earlier. The farm sector growth rate was, however, cut to 0.76% from 1.2% estimated earlier
Gross fixed capital formation, the proxy for investment demand in the economy, was also underestimated earlier. It is now revised to 6.1% from the earlier estimate of 3.9% for 2015-16. Private consumption demand, however, has been marginally revised downward, from 7.4% to 7.3% for 2015-16
Agencies that have revised India’s growth projection downward after the note ban may be forced to further scale down their projections for 2016-17 based on the new information. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth projection for India to 6.6% for 2016-17 and 7.2% in 2017-18, taking into account the impact of the note ban
“In India, the growth forecast for the current (2016-17) and next fiscal year were trimmed by one percentage point and 0.4 percentage point, respectively, primarily due to the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative,” IMF said
Andreas Bauer, senior resident representative of IMF in India, said the downgrade for 2016-17 was because growth in the first half of the fiscal was slower than IMF’s expectations, as well as demonetisation. “We expect the impact of demonetisation will gradually dissipate in 2017-18 and there will be a recovery in economic growth,” he added
Moody’s and its Indian unit Icra Ltd on Monday said India’s gross value added (GVA) growth at basic prices will ease in 2017 to about 6.6% from around 7% in 2016, with a likely pick-up in the second half, as the economy readjusts after the invalidation of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes in November
The Economic Survey pointed out that demonetisation will have both short-term costs and long-term benefits. “Briefly, the costs include a contraction in cash money supply and subsequent, albeit temporary, slowdown in GDP growth; and benefits include increased digitalization, greater tax compliance and a reduction in real estate prices, which could increase long-run tax revenue collections and GDP growth,” it said.
India's military might, its cultural diversity and achievements in various areas were showcased at a grand parade here on Thursday as the nation celebrated its 68th Republic Day with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the Chief Guest.
The country's main celebration took place at Rajpath here where India's Who's Who assembled to watch a 90-minute parade that also focussed on the government's Make in India initiative to boost manufacturing.
Amid fears of possible terror attacks, a tight security blanket was thrown around the national capital including the venue. Nearly 60,000 police and paramilitary personnel were deployed across Delhi.
Despite rain-bearing clouds and a drizzle, thousands turned up on both sides of Rajpath to watch the grand march that wound its way over eight kilometres from Raisina Hill, with the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan in the backdrop, to the 17th century Red Fort.
The day began with President Pranab Mukherjee unfurling the Indian flag at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying tributes to the fallen soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
Modi welcomed the President and the Chief Guest, Sheikh Mohammed, the son of the UAE's founding president.
President Mukherjee, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, took salute as the parade began with a 149-member UAE military contingent marching down the boulevard. Led by Lt Col Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli, it comprised of the UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy, the Army and 35 musicians.
It was followed by military and paramilitary contingents, including mounted troops from the 61st Cavalry and mechanised columns. Martial music belted out by military bands filled the air as soldiers drawn from some of the finest military units marched with clockwork precision.
Paramilitary personnel and Delhi Police also walked, step to step.
Making their debut on the occasion were India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), both developed indigenously. Despite overcast conditions, three of the fighter jets flew at a height of 300 metres from the ground at a speed of 780 km per hour in 'VIC' formation, leaving the spectators in awe.
Developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Tejas, as a fourth generation aircraft, can fly at 1,350 km per hour and is comparable to the world's best fighters, including French Mirage 2000, American F-16 and Swedish Gripen.
The elite counter-terrorism force, National Security Guard (NSG), also made its maiden appearance with a contingent of 60 commandos in black overalls and armed gear giving the ceremonial salute to President Mukherjee. The other commandos were on seven vehicles.
After the armed forces came state tableaux, displaying India's oneness amid a rich diversity.
Haryana's tableau, dedicated to the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign, came first. The Jammu and Kashmir tableau was clad in white, depicting the popular winter sports destination of Gulmarg.
A Delhi tableau made its appearance at the parade after many years.
The parade ended with a spectacular fly past by the Air Force, with aircraft and helicopters setting the skies ablaze. Mi-17 V5 helicopters flew with the Indian flag and showered flower petals.
The President presented a posthumous Ashok Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award, to the wife of Havildar Hangpan Dada of Assam Regiment who killed four terrorists before dying in Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir.
The military parade was commanded by Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, General Officer
India becoming its largest two-wheeler market in the next three years. In an interview with ET’s Sharmistha Mukherjee, the Japanese motorcycle maker’s chief executive officer, Hiroyuki Yanagi, discusses demonetisation and the road ahead for the company in India. Edited excerpts:We were surprised with the change in the policy
We understand that besides this, new regulations (safety and emission norms) are coming in (the auto industry). But we are okay, we are managing. Though these are sudden changes, the market here is healthy.
Yamaha closed 2016 with a 32 per cent increase in sales. What is the road ahead for the company here
To me, 32 per cent is not enough. They have done a good job to increase sales. The next target is to reach the 1-million mark in domestic sales as soon as possible. So this year is really important for us. We must exceed 1 million in domestic sales.
We also want to export at least 200,000 units out of India this year. We export to South America and ASEAN out of India. We plan to scale up exports from India to Africa. We are gradually growing our business volume-wise and we want to reach the 2 million sales mark as soon as possibl
How soon do you expect India to become the largest two-wheeler market for Yamaha
The Indian market will be the top business for Yamaha very soon. That is my expectation because it is performing well… (It should happen) within the next three years.
Yamaha now has two R&D set-ups in India. What is your mandate to the team here
We have already set up the sixth R&D centre globally in Chennai. The mission of this R&D centre is to develop the best or the most suitable models for the market. The Chennai R&D has the mandate to develop the best model for the Indian market as per Indian customer requirements.
Yamaha has made a successful foray into the scooters segment and has brand presence in the premium motorcycle space, but volumes elude you at the entry-level. Why
Certainly. We prioritised the premium segment first and also decided to focus on new segments like scooters, rather than on the mass market. So we continue to develop our capability, strengths and value in the premium segment. That is our first priority.
Will Yamaha be bringing in electric bikes any time soon
There are technical constraints in e-bikes. The difference between two-wheelers and four-wheelers is the size. Four-wheelers or cars can contain the electric battery within the structure but motorcycles are not so good in terms of structure. There is some limitation on space. So still there are lots of constraints from the technical aspect. The lithium ion battery is expensive, not just for two-wheelers but for four-wheelers too. We are developing our technology for e-bikes, but it is not so easy…
Honda and Yamaha have forged an alliance in Japan. Are you considering expanding the scope of the tieup to India
I don’t think so. The tie-up is limited to the Japanese market and even there it is restricted to 50 cc scooters.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is on a three-day visit to India.
In his second visit to the South Asian nation within in a year, the Crown Prince is the chief guest of honour at India’s 68th Republic Day celebration in the country’s capital New Delhi on January 26.
Al Nahyan is the first Arab leader to be India’s chief guest after late Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2006 and the warm welcome the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince received speaks volumes about the importance of the two countries’ relations and their mutual respect.
On Wednesday, both the countries signed 14 agreements, including a comprehensive strategic partnership. Agreements included cooperation in energy, defence industries, maritime transport, cybersecurity, shipping and transport.
Trade relations between the seven emirates of the UAE and India date back to nearly 3,000 BC. In the first half of 2016 alone, bilateral trade between the both countries accounted for $17 billion. It totalled $50bn in 2015. India is the UAE’s second largest trading partner after China.
The two countries are looking to increasing trade by 60 per cent to $100bn, reaching $368bn by 2020.
The UAE’s imports from India reached $11bn in the first half of the last year, while non-oil exports to the South Asian nation rose to $6bn during the same period.
Moreover, the UAE is the largest investor from the Middle East in India and the 11th biggest foreign investor in terms of foreign direct investments (FDIs). The total value of Emirati investments in India was estimated at $9bn in 2015.
The UAE’s first energy security deal led the raft of memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed with India during Al Nahyan’s visit.
The deal allows the Gulf OPEC country to fill nearly half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangalore in South India, which is part of New Delhi’s strategic reserve system. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) will store approximately six million barrels of oil at the facility.
India, hedging against energy security risks as it imports most of its oil needs, is building emergency storage in underground caverns to hold 36.87 million barrels of crude, or about 10 days of its average daily oil demand in 2016.
The UAE is India’s fifth-biggest oil supplier.
Largest expatriate community in UAE
The UAE is home to 2.6m Indian passport holders. The Indian expatriate labour force constitutes nearly 30 per cent of the total population of the emirates. The biggest chunk of foreign remittance to India (38.7 per cent) comes from the UAE, which is nearly half of annual individual overseas money transfers from the latter.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015, both the sides agreed to set up a $75bn fund to develop India’s infrastructure. The ambitious plan still exists only on paper, however.
Many hoped it will materialise during Al Nahyan’s latest trip, but media reports suggest that there will be further delays. But once realised, the fund will be a major achievement for the UAE.
The Crown Prince’s visit comes a few days after the attacks in Afghanistan, which killed five diplomats from the UAE.
The UAE and India have decades-old strong defence ties. After Modi’s visit, a combined military exercise called Desert Eagle was resumed by the two air forces last year after an eight-year gap.
The MoU signed between the two sides will allow cooperation in defence manufacturing and technology. The agreement stipulates collaboration in studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries.
“The Republic of India is considered an effective regional and international force, which has a significant role in ensuring stability in the region and the world. The UAE looks forward to effective Indian contributions in tackling the challenges and dangers faced by the region and the world, finding fair solutions to the problems, crises and tensions in the Middle East, especially in light of India’s international policy, its balance and wisdom, and how it is widely accepted regionally and internationally,” says Al Nahyan.
The bond between the two nations can be summed up in the Crown Prince’s words: “The UAE considers its relationship with India a priority and views India as a linchpin of stability and security in the Asian continent.”