The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India has urged all states and Union Territories to maintain an optimal level of Covid-19 testing as cases across the country have gradually increased since mid-February. The ministry also noted that some states have been relying heavily on less effective rapid antigen tests and that testing levels are insufficient compared to WHO standards. The deputy general of the Indian Council of Medical Research has suggested monitoring seasonal influenza cases closely as the flu and Covid-19 share similarities. A countrywide mock drill will be conducted on April 10 and 11 to assess preparedness.
Taiwanese EV battery swapping infrastructure provider, Gogoro, is set to launch its Gogoro 2 and Gogoro 2 Plus electric scooters in India, with the models having been approved in the country. While the specs of the Gogoro 2 models differ from those stated on the company’s India website, they have been approved and certified by the Central Institute of Road Transport. The Gogoro battery swapping infrastructure will be developed in India, with partnerships already signed in Maharashtra. The network will take time to develop, but will help to reduce range anxiety and lower acquisition costs for drivers.
Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler maker, reported positive YoY sales in domestic markets in February 2023, but a de-growth in exports. The Hero Splendor commanded the list in both domestic and export markets, with the new Hero Xoom entering the top 10 scooter sales. While sales of the Splendor grew almost 49% YoY, sales of the Hero HF Deluxe dipped 25.86%, the Hero Glamour posted a 68.94% drop in sales, and every model in the company lineup suffered de-growth on a YoY basis except for the Xpulse 200 and Pleasure. Shipments
Maruti Suzuki has introduced a new Pearl Midnight Black colour scheme for its models sold via the Arena outlets, with the Maruti Brezza compact SUV being the first to receive this new colour scheme. The Black Edition is exclusively available in its top ZXi and ZXI+ trim, and is being offered at a similar price as that seen on its other colour options ranging from Rs 10.95-13.88 lakh (ex-showroom). The 2023 Brezza ZXi and ZXi+ have an all-black finished front grille, dual LED projector headlamps, floating LED DRLs, black cladding and side moulding while it rides on
OnePlus is set to launch its Nord CE 3 Lite smartphone in India on April 4, and reliable tipster Sudhanshu Ambhore has leaked its specifications. The phone is expected to run on Android 13-based OxygenOS 13, powered by Snapdragon 695 5G SoC, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of inbuilt storage. It will feature a 108-megapixel triple rear camera setup, a 16-megapixel selfie camera, and a 5,000mAh battery with 67W SuperVOOC fast charging. The phone will also include 5G connectivity, Bluetooth 5.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of disqualifying him from the Lok Sabha because he is “scared of my next speech on Adani”. Gandhi was disqualified after being convicted of criminal defamation in a trial court in Surat. Speaking at a press conference in Delhi, Gandhi said he would continue to ask who invested INR20,000 crore into the Adani Group via shell companies and what Modi’s relationship with Gautam Adani is. Gandhi also thanked opposition leaders for their support and claimed the disqualification would help the Congress party.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi reported a record drop in Q4 2022 revenue, as China’s COVID-19 restrictions disrupted consumption. Although there are early signs of recovery, Xiaomi’s group president, Lu Weibing, warned that it will take time. The company’s sales reached CNY 66.05bn ($10.2bn), down 22.8% YoY, while net income fell 67.3% YoY to CNY 1.46bn. All major smartphone brands experienced a sales slump in China in Q4, with Xiaomi the worst hit, according to Canalys, which revealed that Xiaomi’s shipments dropped 37%.
Hero MotoCorp is set to reintroduce the Karizma premium motorcycle brand in India this year with a new 210cc liquid-cooled engine that is expected to produce 25bhp of power and 30Nm of torque. The company has a new motorcycle platform ready to help it compete in the premium space. Details about dimensions, suspension setup and braking system will be revealed in the near future. The iconic Karizma brand had previously been phased out of the market after the last generation model failed to sell well.
Maruti Suzuki unveiled the 5-door Jimny lifestyle SUV and the Fronx crossover at the 2023 Auto Expo and began taking bookings for them. The Jimny SUV received over 23,500 bookings, while the Fronx crossover received around 15,500 bookings. The Jimny SUV will be sold with a 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine and Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro 4WD system, while the Fronx crossover will be offered with two engine options and a range of safety and convenience features. Both SUVs will be sold through NEXA dealerships and will be available for sale in 2023.
Toyota has launched the Innova Hycross and Hyryder SUV in India and plans to add more SUVs to its line-up in the next 2-3 years. The brand will launch a new SUV Coupe based on the Maruti Suzuki Fronx this year and is developing a new 3-row SUV based on the Corolla Cross SUV for the Indian market. The next-gen Fortuner SUV is expected to launch in 2025 with a new design and upgraded cabin. Toyota is also preparing a new SUV Coupe based on the Fronx crossover with two petrol engine options.