Category Archives: Industry Trends

Car Window Tints & the Legal Alternative

In 2012, the Supreme Court of India banned the use of tinted glass and sun films on vehicles for the safety of passengers. The rules governing tinted glass are defined in The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and state that the visual light transmission (VLT) limit for front and rear windshields are set at 70% and 50% for side windows on all vehicles. On 27 April 2012, the Supreme Court of India ordered black films on windows to be removed.

However, in a country like India, where temperatures are constantly high, it is impossible to drive a car without some protection from the sun. With this mind, you can have tinted glass on your car as long as they fall within the law guidelines. Car manufacturers do provide tinted windows that follow government regulation, but we cannot apply dark films of our choice freely on our car.

Before looking at alternative options, here’s a list of existing tints that are available to car owners.

Dyed Window Tint
Used more for appearance rather than functionality, dyed window tints are a good choice if you are on a budget. They block sunlight using multiple layers of dye, but the dye fades over time from excessive UV exposure. This type of film can block 5-50% of the light from entering your vehicle and they do provide some level of heat reduction, but it doesn’t block as much heat as different types of tint.

Metalized Window Tint
Combining the benefits of dyed window tint with better heat rejection, metalized window tints also filter out heat by reflecting it. These films make use of tiny metallic particles to block sunlight instead of using dye. Although this tint doesn’t fade and has durable features, it interferes with GPS, radio and cell phone signals due to the metal elements within its layers.

Hybrid Window Tint
The hybrid tint is a blend of the advantageous features of both dyed and metalized tints. With the dyed layer, hybrid films can block a fair amount of light, while its metallic parts, it creates a cool, dark appearance. The hybrid tint retains a lighter appearance but manages to block heat, making it one of the most high-performing options comparatively.

Ceramic Window Tint
Considered one of the best options for a window tint, this recent addition offers 99% UV protection and blocks 50% of solar heat without blocking visibility. It contains ceramic particles known for their non-conductive properties, increases shatter resistance and allows radio signals to pass through it.

The Legal Alternative
Asahi India Glass (AIS) has introduced a new legal alternative for tinted windows and sun films. Their Dark Green UV Cut Glass fully complies with the Central Motor Vehicle Regulation for transparency. It is made to absorb energy from solar radiation, cutting down the sun’s heat inside the cabin and eliminating UV radiation by more than 80%. This further reduces the usage of air-conditioning by 10-15%, improving fuel efficiency. With AIS being one of the largest supplies of automotive glass in India, various OEMs have already shown interest to work with AIS and roll out cars with this befitting alternative.

Made in India: Cars & Bikes To Be Proud Of

Being one of the largest markets in the world for the automotive industry, India proudly boasts some great cars and bikes made in the country.

Bajaj Pulsar
Introduced in 2001, the Bajaj Pulsar was the bike that kicked off the sporty motorcycles trend amongst the youth back in the day. Its affordability and design made it the most powerful Indian motorcycle and was on the wishlist of every bike enthusiast. With a 180cc engine, the Pulsar was the fastest motorcycle in India at that time, creating a new segment called ‘Sports Biking’ in Indian motorcycling. The ever-evolving range comprises of eight stunning and powerful motorcycles that turn heads wherever it goes.

Mahindra Scorpio
Launched in 2002, the Scorpio was the first in-house vehicle developed by Mahindra and India’s first SUV for urban India. It signalled the arrival of the urbane SUV with all the luxuries of a car and all the thrills of an SUV. Designed in India and the UK, engineered in Germany and Austria, with American interiors, seats made in Italy, panels in Sweden and a body in Korea. It went on to win the prestigious CAR/SUV OF THE YEAR award in 2003.

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Royal Enfield Classic 350
Nothing sparks pride in an Indian than “the oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production.” The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is the best-selling Royal Enfield model in India and also the best-selling model for the brand. It also holds a place among the top 10 best-selling bikes in India. Although other models in the Royal Enfield lineup are just as popular, with its timeless old-school, post-war design and dependability makes this a machine you can count on.

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Tork T6X
The work of Pune-based startup Tork, the T6X is India’s first electric performance motorcycle to be developed and put into production by an Indian company. With several features like cloud connectivity, integrated GPS, and in-built navigation capabilities, it became the first smart motorcycle.

Throwback: Tata and the first fully Indian car – The Tata Indica

The Indian auto industry has become the 4th largest in the world. And while India has seen an invasion of foreign automakers enter the country in the late 90s and 00s, the country can proudly boast of its indigenous models, and it’s all thanks to the country’s very own Ratan Tata.

It all started back on 30 December 1998, when Tata rolled out a 1.4-litre in-house diesel car that was built from scratch indigenously. It was launched amidst huge fanfare at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show and made it to the Indian Auto Expo later in the same year. Tata Motors introduced the first and most modern car to be designed by an Indian company – the Tata Indica.

The Indica was a 5 seater passenger car and was also the first in-house developed diesel hatchback. It offered options such as air conditioning and electric windows which were previously limited to imported cars in the market. While competitors brought in foreign cars modified for the Indian user, The Tata Indica was a car that was tailor-made for Indian consumers. Its knockout, however, was the design. The sleek hatchback was unlike all local Indian cars and had an unmistakable international appeal.

Unfortunately, the downside was its performance. The motor vehicle was not without several defects. As word of mouth spread, sales declined. But with resilience, Ratan Tata stood firm and rallied to fix all the issues with the Indica. He went on to release the new and improved Indica V2, which was a huge success. It went on to become a permanent fixture as a top car choice for decades ahead.

Sadly, after a great run of 20 years, the Tata Indica was discontinued in 2018. But it is sure to forever remain a favourite among Indian drivers.

BS6: What is it?

India has a large volume of population, most of whom have a car or bike. The daily commute of these population masses is a huge contributor to pollution and destruction of nature on a daily basis. To counter this, the government signed an agreement in 2017 to cut the carbon footprint by 35-55%, which led to the introduction of BS4 or Bharat Stage 4. The Bharat Stage Emission Standards are emission regulations from the government of India to regulate the amount of pollutants from motor vehicles. It was first introduced in 2000.

However, at the time of BS4, NOx (Nitrogen oxides) emissions of petrol and PM (Particulate matter) emissions of diesel engines, were not reduced as expected, which led to the new launch of the BS6 on April 1, 2020. This BS6 will be pushed to automobiles rolling out in 2020.

Benefits of BS6:

Bharat Stage 6 was instituted by the government of India to control the pollution from internal combustion engine of vehicles. The BS6 norms will see the NOx emissions come down by 25% approximately in case of petrol engines and 68% in the case of diesel engines. The PM emissions for diesel engines will come down by 80%.

Impact of the cost:

The BS6 engines will see a small rise in fuel prices. This is due to the additional costs factories have to incur to upgrade equipment and refinement processes for BS6 norms. Because industry specialists believe the higher costs of upgrading diesel vehicles will make them pricier, but not too pricey. Where Petrol car costs area unit are expected to vary between Rs.10,000-20,000 more, and diesel cars to about Rs 80,000-1,00,000.

While the auto industry in India has hit a low, the Bharat Stage Emission Standards is a good effort by the government to control the rising levels of air pollution across the country.