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CURRENT AFFAIRS LEARNING MATERIAL 26th September09 2nd October09

1.Nissans 370Z sports car to race into India by Jan26 September Nissan Motor India is planning to launch its sports car 370Z in India by January 2010. The company has drawn up an aggressive plan for India which will see a business model comprising five locally-made cars and four imported models by 2012. The company considers India as one of the key market and expects to sell 300-odd units of its Teana and X-trail models, which have already been launched in the Indian market. It has appointed Hover Automotive India as its service partner for marketing, sales, after-sales service and dealer development in the country. Under the service provision agreement, Hover will undertake the implementation of Nissans marketing and sales strategy and support dealer development in India. Speaking to Business Standard ,Hover Automotive India Vice-Chairman G M Singh said: We are planning to launch the sports car 370Z in India by January 2010. Although, the market size for sports car is small, the demand will definitely increase in the near future and we are bullish on it. He added Nissan is already investing close to $1.4 billion for setting up a manufacturing facility in Chennai, having an initial installed capacity of 200,000 units per annum and which can be upgraded to 400,000 units per annum. The new plant is likely to be operational in the first half of 2010. The company has plans to launch its hatchback car Micra also in first half of 2010. Singh added: Micra will be built on new platform and we will launch the car by the end of June 2010. It has also plans to export Micra to Europe and 100 other countries. Nissan India, which already imports the X-Trail SUV and the Teana sedan as CBUs (completely built-up units), plans to sell over 300-odd units of these cars. On the supplier front, he added that the company has plans to source 70-80 per cent of the components locally over aperiod of time.

2.One day internationals: Caught and bowled T2027 September Time was when a one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and Pakistan on a Saturday evening during the festival season would be the pride and joy of the broadcaster and mean a day of losses for other channels. That was before the 20-oversa-side game, or T20, took

guard and began to hit ODIs, 50 overs a side, out of the ground. As India capitulated to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa on Saturday, just about enough television viewers tuned in to give the match an average rating of 2.8 on STAR Cricket, according to overnight television ratings agency a Map. That is a sharp fall from the 44.5 garnered by any ODI involving India in the recent past. Sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports, the broadcaster for the ICC Champions Trophy, is targeting Rs 200220 crore in advertising revenue from this tournament. The future of ODIs look to be under a cloud if you compare the ratings with T20s. Even a nonIndia match like the final of the T20 World Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in May generated an average rating of 3.7. But it was the final of a tournament, one might argue. But then the group match between India and West Indies got 5.2, making it the most watched match of the tournament. Even when one looks beyond international events and on to the Indian Premier League, ODIs still seem to be losing out. The 59 matches of IPLII during April-May garnered an average rating of more than 4 on SET Max, according to a Map data. The four Champions Trophy matches before the India-Pakistan tie generated average ratings that were 0.60.8 lower than those of any major cricket tournament in the recent past, including IPL-II and the T20 World Cup. Expectedly, advertisers are all aflutter. The 40-50 of them that together put more than Rs 1,000 crore every year in buying time on cricket broadcasts on private sports channels, are looking at putting more in Twenty20. While IPLII generated over Rs 400 crore in ad revenue for SET Max, the forthcoming Airtel T20 Champions League may generate over Rs 250 crore for ESPN, much more than what it expects from the ongoing Champions Trophy," says an IPL executive.

3.Renault-Nissan looking at engine unit for car JV27 September To support their mega car production plans in the country, French car maker Renault and Japanese auto giant Nissan seem likely to set up an engine and transmission facility that would entail further investment. Both initiated work on the Rs 4,500 crore, 400,000 units per annum joint venture plant at Oragadam near Chennai in June last year. This was after the share in investment amongst the partners was rearranged after the withdrawal of utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra from the originally tripartite venture. As both Renault and Nissan will be launching volume generating vehicles, including compact cars and sedans, over the next two to three years, they are also in the process of finalising the idea

for an engine and transmission plant. Currently, Renault imports all its three engines (petrol and diesel) for the Logan sedan (built jointly with Mahindra) from Romania and Spain, as volumes of the car are significantly low. Since the localisation content is low, it has pushed up overall cost of the car. Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and CEO, Nissan Motor India, said: Our current plan is to utilise a capacity of 2,00,000 and (later) 4,00,000, which is our commitment to the government of Tamil Nadu. We are not discussing product specification or product details as yet....(but) soon, I believe, we will start discussing some of the product specifications, such as engine capacity, transmission. According to experts, typically a, engine plant with a size of 4,00,000 units or more will require an investment of aminimum of Rs 1,500 crore. The joint venture Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL) is a high volume project, comprising sales in not just the domestic market but exports as well. Both companies have expressed keen interest in taking advantage of the low cost of manufacturing in India and shipping production to markets abroad. Earlier, US auto giant Ford Motors signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government for setting up a 250,000 engines a year capacity unit, primarily to assist the companys compact car, Figo, while increasing the localisation content to be price-competitive. Although Nissan hasnt revealed price details of the compact car it intends to roll out in May next year from Chennai, the vehicle will need to have localisation content as high as 80 per cent to compete effectively with peers such as the the Suzuki A-star and Hyundais i10. Similarly, Renaults compact car, sedan, derivatives of the Logan and other products of Nissan, which will come out from the same plant, will have to be priced competitively. The proposed engine plant of RNAIPL will cater to requirements of both companies, although the power, performance and character of the engine will be tuned to suit the basic needs of the typical vehicle. Move appears inevitable to boost localisation content, for cost control The joint venture Renault Nissan Automotive India is a high volume project, comprising sales in not just the domestic market but also exports The proposed engine plant will jointly cater to requirements of both the companies although the power, performance and character of the engine will be tuned to suit the basic needs of the typical vehicle Currently, Renault imports all its three engines (petrol and diesel) for the Logan sedan (built jointly with Mahindra) from Romania and Spain, as volumes of the car are low

4.Mundra Port in talks with Vietnam govt to set up portPRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, 27 September Gujarat-based Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd is holding talks with the Vietnamese government to set up a port in that country. Talks are in progress with the Government of Vietnam to set up a port there. Things are still, however, in the initial stage but we are hopeful (of setting up the port), Mundra Port Director Rajeeva Sinha told PTI. Sinha declined to divulge details but said that, if things materialise, then Mundra Port will be the first such Indian company to set up a port abroad. On the companys plans to set up ports on the east coast of India, Sinha said, the company plans to set up at least one port in the region in the next three-four years which will basically cater to the iron ore and coal bulk. Mundra Port was talking to the governments of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for setting up the port, he said, without giving a specific time-frame for the project. Just a few days ago, Mundra Port had signed a 30year concession with the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) for development of a coal terminal in Goa on a build, operate and transfer model. The project, which will take shape in two years, will handle 10 million tonnes of coal per annum and will generate a revenue of Rs 200 crore per year. Around Rs 350 crore will be invested in the project, which will be commissioned by March 2013. MPT currently handles import of 5.5 million tonnes of coal annually. He also informed that work was in progress for another specialised coal terminal at Mundra which is expected to be completed by 2011. The project, at an investment of Rs 2,200 crore, will be commissioned by 2010, he said. The project will handle 10 million tonnes of coal per annum Dutch shipbuilding group plans India unit Dutch shipbuilding group IHC Merwede plans to set up a facility in India to manufacture dredging equipment. We are planning to set up a unit in India in the next few years as the Indian maritime industry is growing, IHC Merwede Dredging and Mining Area Manager for India Philip De Bats said.

IHC Merwede, the largest global player in dredging and off-shore work has supplied both small and large dredges to India from its Netherlandsbased units for over a decade. The com