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  1. This is an outside view of the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd factory located in Gurgaon on the old Delhi- Jaipur highway. A lot can be said by the impressions from outside for any automobile factory.A good thing I noticed is that there are so many bicycles moving around the factory and on the highway.We all are so used to cars, but lets for a while think as to how these people on bicycles help in keeping India green! Maybe, they will upgrade soon, but till then! The first pictures show the Car Despatch Centre gate.There are so many new cars parked inside.Some ACI ian may be the proud owner of one from among these! The main gate is where the action is. Its quite imposing, especially the two letters "Maruti Suzuki", that put India on 4 wheels and makes more than 1 million cars now.Its this main gate that Sanjay Gandhi used to gain his entry into the factory. The employee parking on the roadside (but barricaded)shows cars parked on the factory gate end near the exit, bikes, scooters next and bicycles (there are many bicycles ) towards its entry point. Then comes the entry point for the "Employee Parking". The "Employee Parking" area is between the Despatch gate and the Main gate and as I have said its the bicycles nearest just nearer to the Parking Entry gate, next bikes and then cars just near the parking exit point and very near the Main Gate. Its a parody that the cars parked are of other makes. A few Altos could be sighted however! And the Despatch trucks abound and are parked all along the highway.But the truck parking was quite orderly, with no obstruction or disturbance to the moving traffic. And there is a dealer who has his showroom just very near (not even 1 km away) near the factory. he parks the Test Drive cars outside. I am sure that this dealer receives the upgrades and new models from MSIL factory fresh and first in India. And does he get his cars driven out from the factory or loaded and unloaded from trucks ?These are intriguing questions??? ? anjan_c20072011-06-28 03:29:04
  2. Was driven around in a Tata Winger for about 70 kms very recently. The Winger is passenger friendly and one falls in love at first sight with the machine.The seats are ergonomic.Its more comfy than any other Tata bus (other than the newer breed of A.C. Buses they are making).The one I travelled in, had three seats behind the drivers seat (2+1). So the passenger near the exit door(the door is of the sliding Omni type and opens only to the left) has to exit himself for others to get out or get in. Much like the Standard Herald. There is no exit from the right. The front (driver's)row also has three seats, including the one at the centre.But its wiser to have only two seated in front, unless the passengers are too many.The seat (first row) just behind the driver's seat has to make some compromise with the legroom that abruptly ends due to some mechanicals being covered up by sheet metal.The other rows have better legroom. The bus has a lower ground clearance that is quite OK for city driving and to balance its centre of gravity. Its car like and the traveller feels he's in a SUV or a car at the most. Maybe for rural areas the going will be tough. As I said, the bus is quite comfortable by Tata bus standards, but its nothing so great to speak of. The suspensions need to be bettered to greater levels. This is an executive bus and cannot be left out of the factory with the old time tested and proven, Tata suspension designs. The A.C. is a bore and with seven plus one (driver) passengers, it was not in a position to do its duty properly.There are A.C. vents on the dash, two on the top of the A pillar and the rear unit is the biggest of them all ! Its located on the roof just above the driver's seat row ends. There are vents and the joints marked in the picture had water leaks all of a sudden. Tata for us all ! The dash plastic is a turn off and quite cheap looking. The dash is quite basic and has the glove box located at the centre. The exterior fit and finish is a tad better than the older Wingers, but nothing great to speak of ! The doors need muscle power to get closed- especially the sliding rear door needs a grrreat push to close and especially if there is a trim lady over there to do the job, the driver may say "bannd nahi hua deviji !" (meaning the door ain't closed).The drive is quite OK as the Winger could do 70-80kmph with ease on the expressway with low NVH and overtake many sleeker cars.It was never short of power to do its duty. I liked the running footboard as it was well located and the design is of a detached kind-detached from the body. Dirt accumulating on its can be washed away hence. Overall, its a great effort by Tata but needs to be bettered towards a greater perfection. n. BornFree2011-06-27 14:52:56
  3. Saw the car at the Ambiance Mall, Gurgaon in black. They have displayed an automatic 2.0 L petrol Fluence. When asked they said the price will come to Rs 15 L on road in Gurgaon and for the 1.5 L manual diesel, they said the price will be Rs 14.25 L on road (Gurgaon).At the start these two versions will be launched it appears. The car looks quite chic and the design is too good for a French car. The matured and cool looking design is least expected from the raunchy French designers who mostly get finalised eccentric designs with the least of scrutiny and moderation at higher levels. The Fluence is a welcome change.In the fit and finish department the paintwork and the chrome are quite upmarket. The car has alloys as standard fitment.The boot is cavernous and the car cover is also a giveaway to the buyer it appears.. The dash and the meters have quite an upmarket look. Rear legroom is good. There is another rear AC vent for the back seat passengers (who mostly call the shots in such cars)who have Forward Control (of the driver). The car will compete with the likes of the Altis, Laura, Cruze, Sonata ( where is it now?),Civic and so on and Renault knows that this segment means more profits but the car should click! With the Logan they were treating us as a third world country and with the Fluence, we appear to be on a higher ground - kudos to Mr Carlos Gosn for that. that. BornFree2011-06-26 17:58:52
  4. This is a second death anniversary eve remembrance and tribute to the great KING OF POP! Michael Jackson died owing to a drug overdose on 26/06/2009.Really feel so sad and sorry. His later years were so very bad for him. The allegations came and came and almost annihilated the once vibrant and glamorous personality. Some of these were totally cooked up, all for money and nothing else. I think the phase from 1979 till the early 1990's was the best part of his life. Thriller (1982) was the best thing that happened to him and to the pop music world.Even as a child he was never happy, as he was into some sort of "forced labour" under the autocratic supervision of his father Joe, who made money and more money. His famous and recent Mumbai trip and concert here during his fading years showed the child like persona he was.He had developed an instant rapport with INDIA and all his fans out there who had cheered him. MICHAEL WE MISS YOU A LOT! anjan_c20072011-06-24 02:25:40
  5. A belated HAPPY birthday wish to Manish. Many Happy Returns of the day.
  6. Nice to know that your father will be discharged within a few days.Thats a relief for the whole family. About the 16 lane toll booth at the DL-Haryana border I was told a behind the scene story by a somewhat influential person here in Gurgaon. He said that there are 150,000 cars passing this toll booth every day. Each one is charged Rs 21 for one way. The Build Own Operate and Transfer system has provided the lessee M/s D.S. Constructions (the 8 lane highway maker) a 25 year lease by the NHAI.The lessee has entrusted the job of toll collection to an ex-armyman's company. One of the clauses in the contract is that if there is a huge jam of say nearly 200 cars in a single toll lane, the toll collector must release all the cars without collecting any toll tax to avoid jams and delays. But this is never followed. The categories exempt are the ambulances, VIP cars and motorcades and govt vehicles, commercial vehicles carrying food products, defence vehicles and some other categories that I may have missed here. Another category is the NHAI owned vehicles. So it is amusing that many trucks have got NHAI painted on their bodyline, though these have some other private ownership. Coming to the tag lane, there are many who when in a hurry move into the tag lane because this is a faster lane. If detected without the wanted tag, they are charged Rs 21 but not fined.The person manning this lane is under moral pressure not to waste time and argue with such users because there are cars following the non tag car who may be unnecessarily be delayed. So when in a hurry the tag lane is handy to move out at a brisk pace. I am sure many locals may be aware of such manoeuvrings on the toll lanes by users and the operators.
  7. Whatever said and done, the Brio is a terrific example of the Japanese resilience. The 11/03 earthquake had sent jitters all across the Honda management both in Japan and India.The Indian arm was not sure as to whether it will be able to keep up with the production schedules in the post-launch period. But the committed Japanese have done it and the Brio is coming on the roads soon. The design is a bit off the conventional ones. Look at the staid and conservative lines of the Toyota Etios and the hatch variant.Toyota has not taken any risks whereas Honda has! Owning a Brio will also make a style statement! But the sad part is that the body panels look so chic. Any simple hit or brushing by the rowdy road elements like most of the autos, Tata Aces and many other vehicles in this category will disfigure the lovely Brio and the owner will be poorer by huge amounts (sums which the insurance chaps don't pay).
  8. In Gurgaon the power supply is interrupted nearly five to six times a day. The maximum time is for about 30 minutes, while the minimum is around 10-15 minutes. This is an important auto and IT hub of the country! anjan_c20072011-06-21 13:28:24
  9. Thanks asethi919, TSiVipul and GOLF for the hearty welcome.Golf wish you all the very best for your exams. How is your father now Vipul ? I again wish him a very speedy recovery. Please explain him in a cool way the disadvantages of having the chocobar now at this moment. Patients get restless usually when their point of view is not well taken. I do not have my car here.These people with whom I am associated here are engaging taxis for my movement. Yesterday the driver did not pay toll tax at the Expressway Toll on the DL-Haryana border. I asked him why so? Were Haryana registered cars exempt? He said they pay monthly fees to the toll people and get badges.
  10. Just reached Gurgaon today evening for some work here.This town in the NCR falls on the Delhi- Jaipur Highway. The highway is an expressway and the whole sector along the highway from Palam to this place is full of architecturally ultra modern, high rises and concrete all around. Gurgaon is an auto hub. MSIL, HH, HMSIL,Honda SIEL (in the vicinity)are all here. I had travelled on this highway to Jaipur from Delhi more than two decades back. Even then it had motels and was buzzing with economic activity. Again I had been on this highway about 12 years back. There were a lot of changes with concrete taking over the greenery. But the changes seen today were unbelievable and drastic that has been consistent with our growth. Cannot believe that the founder of Maruti Udyog Ltd., Mr Sanjay Gandhi would drive from Delhi to Gurgaon in his famous green diesel Matador, during the emergency days. A very famous emergency story went on that he got a village that fell en route to Gurgaon shifted because livestock and cattle that loitered on the highway were speed breakers for him.The Haryana government did his job! anjan_c20072011-06-19 17:13:16
  11. Thanks Dr Nishu for the update. Some more details here. The 13 day strike as a majority of us have read or seen in the media, has been called off after a truce was reached between the management and workers. The finer details of the agreement reached are not made public, but the major decisions agreed upon are: - Reinstatement of the 11 dismissed workers, who will be however be subject to a departmental inquiry. -The company has agreed for the constitution of a new union for the Manesar plant. -The workers who participated in the strike will not get paid for the period they did not report for duties- the curt no work no pay logic applies ! Maruti lost a whopping Rs 380 crores for the estimated 12,600 cars that could not be produced.
  12. The Rolls Royce Silver Spirit continued followed by the Bentley Mulsanne:
  13. The strike continued on its 12th day yesterday. The production loss is a whopping 12100 cars! The total monetary loss is pegged at Rs 340 crore. The AITUC has said that the strike could soon spread to other units in the Gurgaon- Manesar-Dharuhera belt. The demand is reinstatement of the 11 dismissed workers and green signal for the formation of a new Union for the MSIL Manesar plant. The Haryana Labour Commission does not want any new labour union to come up. While the MSIL's stance is that they could permit a new union, but with no outsiders as office bearers. Meanwhile MSIL was also toying with the idea of shifting a part of production of the models made in Manesar and resume manufacture at its other facility. Cannot really fathom how that will come by? The impasse is quite a blot to the largely peaceful going MSIL has been having all these years. Meanwhile all the plants of MSIL will be shut for production w.e.f. 20-25 June 2011, for the annual maintenance ritual. Way back in 1984, when they started production at Gurgaon, the Japanese management philosophy and culture was a favourite for the media to write about, discuss and debate. Therein, all workers right from the lowest rung to the Chairman and MD would wear the same grey uniform and go to the same canteen. The Managers and workers would be free to discuss issues. Any worker finding fault anywhere in the assembly line had the power to ring the alarm bell and the production would stop. The concept of