April 3, 2013

Apollo Tyres – The Leader in Commercial Vehicle Segment

Indian Tyre Industry Indian Tyre industry is worth around Rs 300 billion for FY11. The industry was mainly dominated by the 5 players namely: MRF Apollo […]
March 7, 2013

Problems faced by the Auto Industry during the times of Recession

Auto Sector Auto Sector is among one of the most vital sectors for the economy as it is the key economic growth factor. Its direct dependence […]
March 3, 2013

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd – The Road Ahead

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) is an Indian multinational automaker headquartered in Mumbai Maharashtra, India. Company Information One of the largest automobile […]
July 22, 2012

Despite Car Troubles, BYD continues to Plough Money into Loss making Solar Panels

BYD When companies are facing trouble in their core markets, they tend to hive off unrelated assets to focus their energy on regaining their mojo in […]
June 16, 2012

LED Manufacturing Bubbles in China Bursts like the Solar Panel and Wind Turbine Bubbles

The LED chip industry flourished in China as the government provided capital subsidy to small companies to buy MOCVD tools which help in making these chips. […]
January 11, 2012

Train Accidents in India becoming as common as Road Accidents – Need Holistic Transport Solution

Train Accidents in India are starting to happen with surprising regularity with hardly a month passing by without a major collision or accident. Small accidents seem to be happening every day with news report of a collision not generating any mindshare these days. Road Accidents in India too happen with great regulatiry with some estimates of 1000 Road Deaths happening in India every day . This is due to government and people apathy towards safety regulation and following of laws and norms. It is just not resticted to trains but encompasses the entire system such as fire safety etc. Without a major change in the people attitude towards safety regulation expect such accident and waste of human life will continue to happen.
July 7, 2011

BYD Solar Panels (240w) Review and Comparison of Efficiency plus Specifications

BYD is China’s biggest producer of Electric Vehicles and Lithium Ion batteries.The Company was made famous when Warren Buffet bought a 10% stake in the company,one of his biggest Foreign Investments.China has become the dominant leader in Solar Manufacturing from being an nobody in a short span of 5 years.Chinese producers are going to produce about 60% of the global supply this year led by companies like Solarfun,Trina Solar,Yingli Green and Suntech.BYD too has decided to throw its hat into the ring with a big bang investment.There remain little details about the $3.3 Billion Solar Investment over 5 years for which it has already gotten the financing.The company is planning to spend 22.5 Billion Yuan on Solar Energy over the next 5 years for which it has already secured financing.The company has started a 100 MW cell plant in the Shaanxi province and plans to expand to 5000 MW by 2015.BYD signed a $300 million polysilicon supply contract with LDK Solar (another Chinese solar producer).This is a huge supply contract considering the 2 year time frame.Though wafer and polysilicon prices have recently become slightly constrained recently,there is no scope for the massive shortages seen in 2008.
July 6, 2011

List of Top Car Companies and state of Auto Industry in India – Facing Fuel Price,Interest Rate Hurdles –

Auto Industry in India is facing the twin problems of Fuel Price Hikes and High Interest Rates which have sharply reduced the growth of the industry.The Indian car companies were riding high in 2010 as the economy grew and many people in India graduated to the middle class.Some companies were showing triple digit growth rate as India become the hottest market in the world.All global car companies were in a rush to expand their India sales and distribution network at any cost.However 2011 has brought them down to earth with almost 50% increase in petrol prices keeping buyers away.On top of that car financing companies have also increased their interest rates for auto loans by around 2-3% which makes the servicing of the EMIs of car loan very difficult.This has made most buyers sit tight and wait for a better environment.The car companies which hiked price to pass on the increasing costs of steel and other commodities are in a pickle.They are being forced to sit on high inventories and can't afford to give big discounts as well. The sautomobile industry in India happens to be the ninth largest in the world. It is the fourth largest exporter of automobiles following Japan, South Korea and Thailand. It is the world's second largest manufacturer of motorcycles, with annual sales exceeding 8.5 million in 2009. Several Indian automobile manufacturers have spread their operations globally. India manufactures over 17.5 million vehicles (including 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler) and exports about 2.33 million every year. India's passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is the seventh largest in the world, with an annual production of more than 3.7 million units in 2010. In the commercial vehicle segment, Tata Motors is leader with a market share of about 64%, whereas Maruti Suzuki is leads the passenger vehicle segment with a market share of 46%. Hyundai Motor India and Mahindra and Mahindra are more interested in expanding their hold in the overseas market. (Source - Wikipedia).
July 6, 2011

What is an LED and How it Works – Advantages,Applications,Types and Costs of Light Emitting Diodes

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a special type of semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through it. It has two sides - one with an abundance of electrons called “n-type semiconductor" & the other with bunch of holes that need to be filled by electrons known as "p-type semiconductor ". With the help of these p-n junctions, these semiconductors can control the direction of the flow of electricity. The LED works on the principle that when electrons lose energy, they move from a higher orbit to a lower orbit. The energy lost is in the form of light photons. The color of the light emitted depends upon the frequency of the light photon released. The higher the frequency, the greater is the energy release. Gallium nitride is the light emitting ingredient in LEDs. It is used in the sapphire-based blue and green LEDs. Its practical application is in traffic signals & in lasers in high-definition DVD players.
April 8, 2011

Motor Insurance in India – Quick Guide to Steps in Buying Cheap Car Insurance,Car Insurance Laws,Government and Private Insurers,Best Motor Insurance Company

Motor insurance is an essential requirement for all new vehicles. This applies for both commercial and personal use. Under the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, all vehicles that ply in public places must have an insurance policy that at least covers "Third Party Liability" as specified under the Act. A Comprehensive Motor Insurance Cover in addition to the mandatory third-party cover also protects the car owner from financial losses, caused by loss or damage or theft of the vehicle.ost auto insurance companies in India have comprehensive policies to help their customers. Some of them have also tied up with top automobile manufacturers for a fast insurance process. Auto insurance companies have separate plans for two wheelers, four wheelers, commercial vehicles. Car Insurance Premium is calculated based on the car's Model, Age and the Registration City. Due to this Pricing Model, in some cases, the premium for similar cars could be higher as well. Some of the biggest Insurance companies in India are listed below:
April 5, 2011

India to Set up 2 Bodies NBEM,NCEM to promote Green Vehicles as Oil Prices Pinch

Note none of the Indian automakers has a decent EV or a Hybrid selling in the Indian market.Foreign markets on the other had are seeing fierce competition amongst major auto makers to gain a first mover advantage.GM,Nissan,Toyota are the leader in this market with other car makers also in the process of getting in.Hectic alliances and JVs are being forged as this market segment promises to be the fastest growing as the governments give massive subsidies and push.It remains to be seen whether the government in India can push given its record.
December 6, 2010

Hero Honda Promoters Stake Sale Increased Royalty Deal to Fleece Minority Investors

Here Honda which is a Joint Venture between Japanese Automajor Honda and the Hero Group of India is restructuring such that Honda will exit the JV.Note Hero Honda has been immensely successful over the last 2 years riding a vehicle boom in India.While other autos stocks like Mahindra,Tata Motors have risen a lot,Hero Honda has been the star with its leading marketshare in the motorcycle market of India.The terms of the deal in which Honda will sell its 26% stake in the company to the Hero Group is very damaging to minority investors in the JV.According to the deal proposed by the Hero Group and accepted in principle by Honda,the Hero Group will get the 26% at a sharp discount from its market price and in return Honda will get much higher royalties for the next 3 years.This is an open and blatant looting of the minority investors.Note the beneficiaries of this deal will be the promoters at the expense of minority investors since they will have to bear the burden of much higher royalties in the future.
November 23, 2010

Green Transport in India to get 20% Government Capital Subsidy with 30% Local Content

India has followed the example of Korea,China,Japan,USA and others in providing a capital subsidy to promote the use of Green Transport in India.Note China and Korea have been very aggressive in providing support and subsidy to the Green Industry.USA has also been providing soft loans and capital grants for manufacturing to Electric Vehicles and Lithium Batteries besides spending millions of dollar in R&D.Obama wants the US to become a leader in Battery Manufacturing with a 40% Global Marketshare while China recently unveiled a plan to create national champions in the Green Car Industry.Japan has also been supportive of Hybrid and Electric Car Technology with Honda and Toyota looking to dominate this emerging Auto Category.
November 18, 2010

Prius Producer Toyota set to Launch 2012 Blitz of New Models to Consolidate Hybrid Vehicle Leadership

Toyota is a Leader in Hybrid Vehicles with its iconic Prius the biggest selling Hybrid Car by Far.Toyota has been cautious about the growing rush into the Electric Vehicle Category.It has tied up with the much hyped up US Startup Tesla to introduce an EV RAV4,however its concentrating its energies on the Hybrid Car Market.Note another Japanese Automajor Honda is putting its bet on the Hybrid Segment of the Green Vehicle Market.The Economics of the Electric Vehicle Market as well as its Carbon Footprint is suspect despite all the media hoopla being created around it.While the Competition has increased substantially around both the EV market and its allied Battery Sector,the profits are far off.Hitachi has forecast losses for the next 2-3 years as China and USA compete to create national champions in the EV sector with Obama aiming for a 40% global marketshare .
November 13, 2010

Transport Policy or Lack of One Heading India towards Disaster on Pollution and Congestion

4) Parking Fights - Most of Indian cities are unplanned without any parking for most houses.This leads to a huge problem in terms of illegal parking.Even Legal Parking sees fights between neighbours leading to fights and sometimes even deaths.With thousands and millions of car hitting the roads every day and month,the problem is growing even more acute.No solution in sight as Indian politicians happily line up their pockets in corruption scams. Summary India's Transport Policy is a total mess with no solution in sight.Public Transport is not given enough money or resources to make a difference while Indian auto companies are making huge profits.Construction of the recent Metro Railway to Delhi's satellite city of Gurgaon has already been filled to capacity not reducing the pressure on the main highways which remain chock a block with cars 24 hours a day.India needs to massively invest in public infrastructure and dis-incentivize private modes of infrastructure like cars through congestion and fuel taxes.
October 18, 2010

Underdog Hitachi's Lithium Battery Division to Team up with Lead Acid Battery Leader Johnson Controls

Hitachi has been running large losses at its Lithium Batter Division due the the severe global competition in the international Lithium Battery Market.With huge growth expected in the Green Automobile Industry in the future,everyone is trying to establish a strong foothold in this emerging segment.Hitachi is one of the lesser known names in the Battery Industry and the company does not expect profits in the next 3 years.However the company's fortunes in the Green Industry might change as it has teamed up with Automobile Parts Giant Johnson Controls.JCI is a multi billion US company with leadership position in the Energy Efficiency,Lead Batteries and Automobile Parts.The company has shown increasing profits and revenues in all of its division in the last quarter.It would suit both companies to design,develop and market batteries for the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Segments.
October 7, 2010

Mazda Late to Push the Pedal on EcoFriendly Vehicles to catch up with other Japanese AutoMajors

Mazda the Japanese Automobile Producer has decided to double the R&D spending on EcoFriendly Vehicles over the next 5 years.The Company has decided to up the percentage spend on Green Automobile Technology to 40% by 2015 from 20% at present.This implies almost $450 million in annual R&D spend on Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.Mazda has been a latecomer to the new generation Green Automobiles.Like Honda,Mazda trails Toyota and Nissan in the EV and Hybrid Car Technology. Mazda has already tied up with Toyota to fast track the development of Hybrid Vehicles,the first one which it plans to introduce by 2013.Note Honda and Toyota have already introduced Hybrid Cars and Mazda will face tough competition as it is a latecomer to the Hybrid Party.Other AutoMakers around the world like Hyundai,GM,Ford,Geely,BYD are already well on the way to introducing Green Cars.
September 29, 2010

Commercial Engineers & Body Builders IPO Analysis and Review – Bad Management,Negative Cash Flows and Super Expensive Valuation

2) Expensive Valuation - Despite Negative Cash Flows for 3 out of the last 5 years,Cyclical Industry and Customer Concentration Risk,the Management wants around 35x P/E Valuation for their company.This is quite amazing as I would not consider the company a Buy at even 20x.However even shadier and crappier issues have managed to listed.Prakash Steelage,Aster Silicates are all examples of investors trying their hand at such Junk. 3) Customer Concentration - The Company is dependent on a few customers like Tata Motors and Indian Railways for most of its revenues.Competition for supplying Wagons to Indian Railways has increased drastically with even State Owned Companies joing the fray.CV is a cyclical industry and margisn in the CV Body Building Business are nothing great.The Company has failed to show consistent margins in the business Summary This is one of the more crappier issues to hit the market.Investors should not be even considering subscribing to the issue given the bad management history,cyclical sector and competition.Margins are nothing great.Growth has been inconsistent and the stock is overvalued even at half of its asking price.
September 17, 2010

Should you invest in BYD – Strategy Skepticism vs China's Green Ambitions

BYD has fallen almost 35% this year heavily underperforming the market as sales growth has slowed substantially.After a 140% growth in Auto Sales last year,this year the sales growth will go down to 30% as the company has reduced sales target to 600,000 from 800,000 earlier.Chinese auto sales have fallen and BYD has been specially affected with its workhorse F3 Model declining in popularity.The company delivered a good first half with $100 million in 2Q profits.However the company is still quite expensive at $15 Billion Market Cap which would give it a P/E of around 38x.Also the company's strategy to enter solar energy does not make sense.However BYD is a good story for the future.China has made a new Green Policy to create National Champions in the EV and Battery Industry.BYD is a perfect candidate with its strengths in both areas.While its execution in the EV sector is yet to give results,it is already planning into the future getting into the Grid Storage Sectors.I would not put money presently but would wait for a better entry point in the future.
September 16, 2010

Hitachi feels the heat of Competition as Supply Glut in Batteries leads to Losses

The Competition in the Battery Segment of Energy Storage keeps on increasing with entry of new players.While established players like LG Chemicals,Panasonic are increasing capacity,there has been a raft of new startups and biggies entering this segment.Toshbia,NEC,SK Energy,Sumitomo,Samsung SDI everyone wants a piece of one of the fastest growing segments of the Electric Vehicle Sector.This has already led to a supply glut leading to a decrease in ASPs.A123 Systems has recently opening a huge factory manufacturing Lithium Cells in Michigan with the help of US government grants.With Obama aiming to capture 40% of the EV Market by US companies,more such factories are expected to come online resulting in a further supply demand mismatch.China also wants to create national champions in the Clean Transport Sector and has line up huge subsidies as well.
September 9, 2010

South Korea continues its Green Quest with Launch of its First All Korean EV Hyundai BlueOn Powered by SK Energy's Lithium Batteries

The South Korean Government has been one of the most proactive ones in promoting Green Industry.During the Global Financial Crisis,the Stimulus Program of South Korea had the highest percentage devoted to Clean Technology Initiatives.Driven by the Government,South Korean Conglomerates have been investing into Green Sectors.Samsung the biggest South Korean has already committed huge investments into CleanTech Sectors like Solar,Wind,LEDs.Korean Shipbuilders like Hyundai,Daewoo and Samsung are getting into manufacturing of Wind Turbines while Chemicals Giant Hanwha
September 5, 2010

India and China suffer from Crippling Traffic Jams as Road Infrastructure fails to keep up with Exponential Car Growth

Indian Cities are in general totally unorganized with drivers being scant attention to traffic rules.Space constraints make most cars park illegally as there are no garages.In India's Capital Delhi,it is a common sight to see fight between neighbours for parking spaces.Some of these fights have even led to murders and jail terms.Road Rage has become common malaise as nobody follows traffic rules and jams stretch on for hours.Indian cities are seeing a huge influx of cars on a daily basis with little expansion in road infrastructure.Sick people are known to have died in traffic jams as ambulances can't navigate the serpentine jams.
August 31, 2010

Japan joins EU and USA in raising concerns over Chinese Muscle Flexing of its Monopoly on Rare Earth Minerals

Japan is the latest country to raise concerns over the Chinese Monopoly over Rare Earth Minerals.These 17 Minerals are essential for High Technology and Green Industries of the Future and China has a control over 97% of the global deposits of these minerals.The EU had recently warned over the adverse effect over the shortage of these rare minerals while USA is contemplating taking China to the WTO over the same matter.China has defended its action saying that mining of these minerals leads to environmental degradation has reduced the export quota drastically by 72% in the 2nd half of 2010 compared to the First Half.Japanese automakers like Honda,Toyota and Nissan have big plans in the Green Vehicle Sector which uses big amounts of these minerals imported from the mainland.However China's cracking down over illegal exports and tightening control over these rare minerals has sent down tremors in Japan.
August 9, 2010

Honda gives shape to its Hybrid Strategy by introducing the Cheapest Hybrid in Japan

Honda's strategy of promoting Hybrids is a good one as Hybrids make much more economic sense than EVs.Without massive government subsidies EVs are expensive big toys and will unlikely generate large sales or do anything to improve the environment.On the other hand Hybrids are an excelllent intermediate solution to the climate problems.
August 6, 2010

Is Obama's expectation of a 40% US Marketshare of Vehicle Battery Industry Realistic?

President Obama has said that USA expects to capture 40% global marketshare of the EV/Battery Industry by 2015.This claim is predicated on the Massive Subsidies that […]
August 6, 2010

Is "Peak Lithium" Shortage a Possibility in the near future

Lithium has been claimed to be  the “new oil” with a new dedicated ETF recently launched to take advantage of the investor interest in this area.Lithium […]
July 29, 2010

Suzuki sucks dry the shareholders of its India subsidiary Maruti through massive royalty payments

Suzuki which is a global Tier 2 automaker is the biggest automobile company in India through its Indian subsidiary Maruti.The company which was formed in the […]
July 20, 2010

Honda bets on the success of Hybrid Vehicles instead of Electric Vehicles

Honda is betting more on the success of  Hybrid Vehicles than on Electric Vehicles.It seems that the Japanese auto giant thinks that Hybrid Vehicles will get […]
July 2, 2010

China approves only Domestic Automakers for Fuel Efficiency Subsidies

It was earlier reported that China would promotes its CleanTech Industry through Electric Vehicle subsidies.It would give between $7000-9000 in subsidies to Electric Vehicles and Hybrid […]
June 11, 2010

Green Investing in Japan – Panasonic Discovers a Green Goldmine in Sanyo Acquistion

Panasonic hits upon a Green Goldmine in Sanyo Panasonic has hit upon a Green Goldmine with its acquisition of Sanyo .It is now capitalizing on  Sanyo’s […]