Bajaj Auto sales up by one percent, jump in bike exports

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New Delhi, May 16: Two-and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto today reported a marginal increase of one percent in net profit for 2012-13.

The net profit stood at Rs.3,044 crore from Rs.3,004 crore in the fiscal year 2012-13.

The company reported a three percent growth in turnover for the period under review at Rs.20,793 crore from Rs.20,137 crore in the first quarter of last fiscal.

The company's total sales in 2012-13 declined by three percent at 4,237,162 units from 4,349,560 the 2011-12.

"Company's strategy to build strong brands and offer differentiated products in the front-end, and focus on cost and productivity improvements at the back-end, has yielded the desired results. On a full year basis, operating EBITDA stood at Rs.3,990 crore as a percent to net sales and operating income," the company said in a statement.

Domestic motorcycle sales were down by four percent at 2,463,874 units from 2,566,757 units. However, exports were up two percent at 1,293,231 units from 1,267,648 units.

Overall motorcycle sales in 2012-13 were marginally lower by two percent at 3,757,105 units from 3,834,405 units sold in 2011-12.

In terms of commercial vehicle segment sales, the company reported a decrease of seven percent at 480,057 units. Exports plunged by 19 percent at 253,926 units.

New SUV launch by Mercedes-Benz

German automobile major Mercedes-Benz today launched an all-new luxury SUV (Sports Utility Vehicles) at Rs.77.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Unveiled by Tennis star Boris Becker, the GL class car named 'Launch Edition' has at present only 100 units to buyers in the form of CBUs (Completely Built Units) and boasts of features like AMG body kit, heated leather seats and temperature-controlled cup holders.

However, from September, the assembly of Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) kits will begin at Mercedes' Chakan plant in Pune, Maharashtra, which will result in a drop in price as well as some accessories. India will be the second market after US to locally produce the car.

Currently, cars with a landed cost of over $40,000 (around Rs 22 lakh) and engine capacity of more than 3 litre for petrol and 2.5 litre for diesel have to pay 100 percent customs duty, and those below that pay 60 percent while only 30 percent duty is levied on SKD cars.

"The GL Class with its proven off-roading prowess and luxurious appointments exudes absolute supremacy statement and is ideal to suit the taste of growing number of off-roading aficionados in India," said Eberhard Kern, managing director and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz India.

The second generation of the GL 350 CDI which was first launched in India in 2010 is powered by a 3 litre V6 diesel unit which puts out 258 bhp-34 hp more than the outgoing model.

When it comes to safety, the SUV is packed to the gills with intelligent light-assist system, night view assist plus, a 360 degree camera, active park assist, collision prevention assist, attention assist as well as nine airbags.

IANS

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