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Mahindra Picks up Pininfarina in Purchase! Another Mahindra Magic Move!

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Mahindra the Indian car giant has gone after the amazingly stylish Pininfarina which many know as the stylish Italian car designer  which has designed almost 1,000 cars across brands over the years.

Pininfarina were operating with a debt of approximately 47.4 million euros and Mahindra have now picked up the company for 25.3 million euros and will help enhance Pininfarina in the future.

Mahindra will also inject 20 million euros into the designer through a rights issue of new stock, and will provide a guarantee worth up to 114.5 million euros to its lenders, creditors and lessors.

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Mahindra now own 76.6% of Pininfarina, the remaining percentage to be left open to be purchased in the future.

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Pininfarina will continue to remain an independent company, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, with Mr Paolo Pininfarina continuing as the Chairman of its board, Paolo is the son of Sergio (above) who is son of the original founder Battista (image 2).

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2-Founder Battista Pininfarina battista

Battista Pininfarina the founder is where the Pininfarina brand came about; he began working in his older brothers car body workshop at the age of 12, in Turin, Italy, he worked here for decades and it was here where he learnt about body work and he even began designing his own cars.

Interestingly Battista incorporated his nick name Pinin meaning the youngest/little one in the family, so the logo read as Pininfarina and also in 2013 Mahindra the Indian company hired Hubert Tassin, a former Pininfarina designer.

The Pininfarina features their logo on many Ferraris and have collaborated with Alfa Romeo for over 70 years too. Other collaborations include Maserati and Lancia and General Motors and BMW, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar to mention the most prominent.

The logo is world renowned and a car featuring the logo is known to be an exclusive model. The Pininfarina site sums up their history from 1930 to date by saying:

“Starting from its roots and from the solid reputation achieved during 85 years of glorious history, Pininfarina has confirmed its role as standard-bearer of the aesthetic values of Italian design in the world. Today’s activities are focused on design (automotive and non-automotive), engineering services (product development, testing, prototype construction) and production of very small series or exclusive high quality cars.”

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“In its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the Thirties: the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty, constant striving for innovation, the strength of a tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research, the capacity to interpret the client’s requirements thus maintaining its brand identity, and a propensity for long-term collaborations. These values, together with the commitment of the entire Group, will enable us to build a bridge towards the future” – Paolo Pininfarina grandson of Battista Pininfarina.

Battista’s son was Sergio who managed the Pininfarina brand until 2012 when he passed away.

The Pininfarina brand is 85 years old and has worked with a variety of Car manufacturers, many of which are exotic. Paolo is currently chairman of the board. “The firm will remain in Italy, as will the workforce and management, the style and the brand are linked to our history.” Said Paolo Pininfarina.

The Pininfarina cars sell at Auction for millions especially the Ferrari models. Mahindra the Indian car manufacturer have purchased the Italian car designer at a discounted price as they were in financial trouble and needed the help of a bigger company to help them recover and continue their excellent work in the future. The Pininfarina website stated recently that they have become the latest jewel in the Mahindra crown.

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Mahindra will be able to feature more now internationally not just India, but also in Germany, Italy, China and the US. Pininfarina said of the acquisition “For Pininfarina, the acquisition will mean an ability to leverage Tech Mahindra’s presence across 90 countries and access to about 780 customers. Tech Mahindra’s global delivery model will lend Pininfarina a newly heightened scale to its operations.”

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It looks like we are soon set to see Mahindra continuing the work alongside Pininfarina to create super styled model cars and with the wealth of Mahindra these cars will be set to take the future by storm and allow Pininfarina to grow and produce more of these exquisite future models and set a new platform for the future of stylized cars.

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You can find out more about Pininfarina at : “Pininfarina.com” and more about Mahindra Tech / Mahindra and Mahindra at “TechMahindra.com”.

Written by Raj

December 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Rock N Rolls with Ministry of Defence Nuclear Submarine deal worth $1.3 billion

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Computer generated image of the new Astute Class Submarine, due to enter service in 2007.

Rolls Royce Limited have agreed to a submarine nuclear contract with the Ministry of Defence (UK) worth $1.3 billion.

The nuclear submarine contract is a ten year one and will help greatly with the Ministry of Defence department, as it will be sustaining up to 2000 jobs in the UK and the department will be saving up to 200 million pounds as this agreement is a consolidated cost long term agreement with Rolls-Royce of which 800 million has been awarded to Rolls-Royce and it focuses on efficiency and sustainability through all of Rolls-Royce’s business operations.

And with a thorough restructuring of the UK nuclear submarine industry the MoD are looking to save 900 million pounds. The choice of Rolls-Royce will also assist the UK economy as they are a UK originated company and “Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.”Source: Rolls-Royce website.

The MoD website states their target to save under Submarine enterprise performance programme (SEPP) they say: “This contract goes a long way towards meeting the government’s commitment to SEPP, as announced in the 2010 Strategic defence and security review, to make at least £900 million of savings by restructuring the UK’s nuclear submarine industry.”

On the MoD website it has been stated that: “The MoD has awarded an £800 million contract to Rolls-Royce to deliver and maintain the UK’s nuclear propulsion capability for submarines.”

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Jason Smith, Rolls-Royce President Submarines and Chief Operating Officer – Nuclear said: “I am pleased that we have agreed this enabling contract with the MOD which delivers significant savings to them over the next ten years and provides us with the stability to deliver these activities efficiently. It further reinforces the commitment to the submarine programme.”

Rolls-Royce are producers of the finest luxury cars, yet they also specialise in being a world leader in the departments of power systems in the use of air, land, sea, and nuclear technology. Focusing on the Marine aspect they have been leading in vessel design, the use of complex systems and power and propulsion equipment.
There website states: “Our marine business serves more than 4,000 customers and has equipment installed on over 30,000 vessels, including those of 70 navies.”

The maintenance spoken of will be of the Royal Navy’s Astute Class submarines and the contract extends further to the future successor submarines which will be acting as deterrent submarines.

Mr Dunne Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said of the agreement: “Rolls-Royce’s work in the production of submarine propulsion systems is an important national strategic capability. It is necessary in order to meet the present and future defence and security needs of the UK and this contract ensures the MOD can continue to benefit from this unique capability on the best possible business terms.”

The MoD have constantly backed their nuclear deterrent policy for their submarines attack and deterrent subs, operation trident has been a matter of controversy as many have said it costs too much and also that it is out-dated in today’s world.  Operation trident is the UK’s nuclear weapons development, procurement and operation of current generation weapons and the ability to use them in extreme cases.

A quote from Trident is “the minimum effective nuclear deterrent as the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threat”.

The legality of having nuclear weapons has also been questioned internationally by many Non-governmental organisations and the questioning has arisen in relation to Human Rights Law and International Customary Law.

On 25 January 2007, Des Browne, UK Defence Minister, defended the use of Trident:

“I do not believe it makes sense to say that nuclear weapons are inherently evil. In certain circumstances, they can play a positive role – as they have in the past. But clearly they have a power to do great harm,” he said. “Are we prepared to tolerate a world in which countries which care about morality lay down their nuclear weapons, leaving others to threaten the rest of the world or hold it to ransom?”

Despite opposition to Trident, the MoD will go ahead with this contract with Rolls-Royce and it is certain that over the next 10 years UK submarines will be at the forefront of deterring a nuclear threat.

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The BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster!

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*This article is soon to be featured on Autoraiders.com

Read on for more on the BMW Z4 ZAGOTO ROADSTER BELOW:

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Initially BMW had a stint with Zagato one of the worlds finest craftsman of cars (Zagato is from Italy) and they produced for their first partnership together the BMW Zagato Coupe` for The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este held at Lake Como in northern Italy; the car showcased there on May 25th 2012 and what a beauty the partnership produced! (See above photo featured in red)

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Three months later (August 2012) saw the alliance join together for the second time, between the two they showcased the BMW Z4 Zagato roadster! An even more beautiful showpiece and showstopper! The venue was Pebble Beach (California) and the Z4 Zagato Roadster was a commodity that everyone wanted to see!

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The prestigious Concours d’Elegance (California) 2012 was a perfect pit stop for this car to be showcased and you know it will only go on to attract more and more attention wherever it goes. This is the second collaboration between BMW and Zagato and I for one, hope it will not be the last. (See photo below featured in silver)

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Zagato is known for their handscraftsmanship and this fiery roadster was made within six weeks, from design to finished product, and it does not succumb to its predecessor in any ways. Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design said of the partnership “It was only with the expertise of both companies in the manufacture of high-end one-off cars and another display of outstanding teamwork that we were able to finish the car on schedule.”

Andrea Zagato says of the six week process “BMW is a high-achieving carmaker boasting a vast well of knowledge and technical capability in this area. When you combine that with our expertise in the creation of micro-series cars and our streamlined production processes, everything is in place to produce a beautiful model like the BMW Zagato Roadster in double-quick time”.

The Z4 Zagato Roadster and the BMW Zagato Coupe` will undoubtedly be collectors items as all Zagato models are, and of course the BMW Zagato Roadster has its distinctive trademark of a silver ‘Z’ on its sides near the front wheels. Alfa Romeo were the first to work with the Zagato coach builder and since then Zagato have made more than 200 Vmax concepts, special editions and micro-series, they focus on the shell of the body and incorporate their traditional measures of ensuring aero-dynamicty and lightweight construction as initial body designer Ugo Zagato learned his trade in aviation. The company has a family heritage passed on from Ugo Zagato to Andrea Zagato and Marella Rivolta-Zagato, who are now the third generation of Ugo’s family to continue with the Zagato studio and creations. Zagato was founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato. (See Photo Below of Ugo Zagato)

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The Roadster is a convertible two door and a two seater car, obviously a car for the hot countries where there will be no rain to soak up only sun, although there is always the Z4 Zagato Coupe` which has a double bubble roof for those countries where there is torrential rain and the soft-top of the Zagato Roadster just won’t cut it although it too has a double bubble roof feature in a traditional Zagato hallmark, which will add to the value of the car in appearance and price. Unfortunately there is no price being given because this concept is not to go on sale, also BMW have not released any photos of the BMW with the roadster’s soft-top roof up, they have however raised the bar, standard, and the roof, metaphorically speaking, with this concept model.

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There are many features about the Zagato Roadster which are endearing to everyone and anyone, here are the most prominent of them:

  • The large yet elegantly stitched beige letter ‘Z’ on the headrests of driver and passenger, giving further association to its designer specification. Behind the headrests are beige shadow headrests which incorporate roll bars.
  • The BMW has its trademark kidney grille and it is an exquisite grille made up of small letter ‘z’s.
  • The front of the car has McLaren styled scoops although smaller in size, giving this Zagato roadster a racer look.
  • The lights are shaped finely and compactly and they are attractive to look at, directly above the headlights are razor-light LED’s.
  • The lights are twin and circular shaped.
  • The bonnet has been made with three-dimensions to it and has V lines from the BMW logo at the front creating the letter V, and gives the car further impressiveness about it.
  • Beautiful leather finish on the interior seats and roll-bars and side doors.
  • There is a small lip at the front of the car and this fits in with the look of the car and it adds to the cars racing appearance.
  • The alloy wheels are 19″inch in size and star-shaped with five spokes and include a matte finish to complement the rest of the paintwork on the body.
  • A meshed grille is present on the front of the car and are contained within the air scoops and above the lip at the front.
  • The seating is low and the driver sits down in a race like position inside the cockpit, making this car a real roadster.
  • There are futuristic concept styled indicators on the wheel archs, yellow at the front and red at the back.
  • The rear of the car has eloquent matte finished exhausts, one on either side, however BMW decided to be subtle in this aspect as they do not protrude from the car.
  • The lights on the rear of the car are one long strip with a black tint all across this strip and the lights cannot be seen, providing the roadster with a sense of mysteriousness about it.
  • There are also sporty looking scoops on either side of the car, behind the front wheel archs and on the bonnet on either side.
  • A curvaceous line is visible occurring from the rear of the door and reaching to the rear of the car.
  • The rear of the roadster features a diffuser ensuring smooth airflow.
  • Long wheel base.
  • The roadster is based on the  Z4 sDrive35is there are no specifications as to the engine under the bonnet or top speed, however estimates are that it has a 3.0-liter six speed engine. With this engine it would take a time of 4.7 seconds to go from 0-60mph and the top speed is said to be the same as the Z4 sdrive35is which has been electronically-limited at a maximum speed of 155 mph.

The rear is smartly created, it is smart, prim and proper with no sharpness about it and smooth curves around the edges, it is sculptured rather than chiseled. BMW had this to say about it: “Taken as a whole, the rear of the BMW Zagato Roadster has a very broad, low-slung appearance, giving the car a wide stance and planted muscularity on the road. Beneath it, the dark diffuser gives the BMW Zagato Roadster a squat, powerful stance. The body-colored surfaces between the tailpipes draw the final lines in the distinctive, low-to-the-road and broad-set looks of the rear end.”

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The interior is particularly worth mentioning in some detail, BMW says that the exterior and the interior both compliment each other well by blurring the two together: “The BMW Zagato Roadster consciously allows the boundaries between inside and outside to blur.” The interior is beige in colour and there is evidence of fine stitching everywhere, use of curvaceous brown lines on the inside of the doors and lights for both driver and passenger above the windscreen; attached to the windscreen is the rear-view mirror in a neat way.

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The left hand drive steering wheel and the seats make use of the colour beige and black and the armrest between the driver seat and passenger seat is beige and can be flipped up to conveniently store whatever is necessary; it leads forward to the idrive dial (controlling the on-board computer/display) and the gear shifter which has been richly doused in the beige colour too, providing this car with an expensive look to match its exterior outfit. The idrive display is hidden in the dashboard and rises from out of nowhere for the driver to view. 

The gear shifter allows you to drive the car in manual although the car is an automatic. There is also a switch which can be used to put the car into park, other switches that can be accessed with ease are the sport and comfort mode switches placed close to the gear shifter. There is a cd-slot to listen to music as you cruise along in this wonderful machine. The Zagato roadster has a start/stop engine button which is neatly placed to the right of the steering wheel on top of a metallic finished strip, alongside this button are four large dials which allow you to control different functions such as fan heating or cooling all laid on top of the same metallic strip. The Speedometers are large and shaped in a futuristic racing style, yet again an attractive feature of the car.

BMW says of the interior colours featured and the ‘Z’ for Zagato: “The interplay of colors and composition of details bathes the interior of the BMW Zagato Roadster in a sumptuous ambience, while the brown “z” embroidered into the seats is a further clue to its origins.”

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BMW also go on to mention the interior design and say “The interior itself boasts the clear structuring one would expect from BMW and invites the driver to give the machine around him a thorough workout. Details such as the sweeping horizontal lines along the inside of the doors and the full-length center console lend a rarefied sense of exclusivity to the sporty promptings and driver focus of the interior.”

BMW have mentioned that the Zagato Roadster is like its partner the Zagato Coupe` by being able to drive well at high speeds and also intended for these speeds.

The best quote from BMW on the Zagato Roadster is the following from the official press release: “The taut hallmark BMW surface treatment and Zagato’s clearly defined distribution of visual mass lend the BMW Zagato Roadster an athletic appearance – poised and eager, demanding to be driven.”

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Whether the Zagato Roadster will go into production remains to be seen although BMW have not ruled it out as yet! The same is to be said about its counterpart the Zagato Coupe`. Everyone will be wondering if their is soon to be another collaboration and many including myself will be keeping are eyes open for the next showstopper from these two companies.

The Zagato Roadster and the Zagato Coupe` may be celebrated pieces, yet they are still a matter of argument, as to whether they are different pieces when compared or whether the Roadster is the Coupe` with the roof off, some argue that they have different features and that what makes them different, others say there features are similar and they look alike. I personally would add to the debate by saying that the Zagato Coupe` is not as attractive as the Zagato Roadster and the roadster is exactly what it should be, which is a fine specimen of a roadster!

The Zagato Roadster was launched in California and it seems only right to provide some additional information about BMW’s presence in America:

BMW own the Rolls-Royce brand as well as the MINI brand and the figures for the car dealers in the USA are as follows:

“The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.”

BMW of North America, LLC has been around in the United States since 1975 and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars began distributing vehicles in 2003.

“The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars.”

In South Carolina, is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing plant, for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. BMW in 2010 announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Spartanburg plant. This investment will produce around 240,000 vehicles a year, making Spartanburg the largest car plant in the United States through its number of employees. All signs that BMW are doing well and BMW will be wanting to continue to develop their standing further in the USA.

I’ll conclude by saying that this BMW Zagato Roadster is an exclusive concept model and if it does not go into production, it will, many would hope, have some influence on the design of future production models.

See Below for a Video of The designers of the BMW Zagato Roadster – Karim Habib, head of exterior design at BMW and Norihiko Harada, Chief Designer Zagato, where they touch upon the relationship with Zagato, the six week deadline, the launch for Pebble Beach and the design of the Zagato roadster.

   

Feel free to leave comments!

Raj Mehta

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BMW: First the expression of Joy – ART Campaign (Z4), and then: a BMW ART GALLERY@LONDON NCP CAR PARK!

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The Z4 has been campaigned by BMW as a car which is an:

Expression of Joy!

The people at BMW went all out in showing the world exactly how expressive the Z4 is, and by word, it is so exasperatingly, eccentrically, expressive that it produced an artwork which is not only a masterpiece, but also of epic proportion! The New Z4 is BMW’s latest showroom piece and is undoubtedly the undisputed champion – especially the Z4 GT3!

Which one is of preference to most is up to the public at large, the Z4 is already proving popular and is gaining further in the ranks of the classic cars of the future! The Z4 and the GT3 version are a duo of incomparable vision compared to their competition!

The vehicles competing with the Z4 are: The Infinity G37, The Audi A5, The Mercedes SLK, and The Porsche Boxster, The Audi TT, and The Nissan 370Z! As you can see there are many competitors to the Z4!

The BMW Z4 has been around since 2002:

(BMW Z4 2.5 (2002-2006), BMW Z4 2.2i (2004-2005), BMW Z4 M Coupe (2006-2009), BMW Z4 M Roadster (2006-2009), BMW Z4 2.5i Sport (2006-2009), BMW Z4 Coupé (2006-2009), BMW Z4 sDrive 23i (2009 onwards) BMW Z4 sDrive30i (2009 onwards), BMW Z4 sDrive35i (2009 onwards),

And continuously seen of the competition throughout the years! The Z4 brand is still going strong with the latest model on the market being the BMW Z4 sDrive28i (2012 onwards)!  Re-shaped, Re-styled, and Ready for everything! The Z4 starts from £29,485 and if you want the M version, the price starts at £32,650, all models are only available in petrol, and the CO2 emissions (g/km) is 159. The Z4 is said to be in a class of its own and all that is required!

However the Z4 M version is the icing on the cake and will look slightly better with the sports customizations!

The Z4 and the GT3 Z4 are double trouble! Both are fun and funky! Some of the features of the BMW Z4 are the mean looking contours for the roadster which emerge from the BMW emblem, which makes this roadster look smoking and full of swag! The Z4 is made easily recognisable by these contours and there’s no mistaking the GT3 Z4 as that has a huge winged spoiler at the rear of the car. Double trouble indeed! The combo models will make you say WOW!

As for the interesting parts here are some of the most important :

BMW uses keyless technology to start the engine at the push of a button (the start/stop button), and the remote key sends a signal to the car to unlock it or lock it, at which point the door handles illuminate to provide further assisted entry to the car!

Electric Power Steering, BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, Auto-Start/Stop, Optimum Shift Indicator, Brake energy Regeneration, Tyres with reduced rolling resistance, and Lightweight construction. (All of which are part of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics Green Initiative!)

The Z4 is available in Manual (6-speed transmission) or Automatic which has an 8 speed transmission making the Z4 a real roadster!

There’s also a turbo-charger which eases the roadster to a speed of 156mph (the roadster has been limited to this speed).

The Z4 comes complete with a retractable hard top roof which can be retracted at speeds of up to 25mph, as for more on the BMW hardtop, here’s a quote from BMW:

“long bonnet, short overhangs and deep, way-back seat – in a modern idiom create a look that is as familiar as it is unique. A look that is complemented to perfection by the retractable hardtop. Whether open or closed, this folding roof maintains the low-slung lines typical of a roadster. With it you can savour one of the finest ways to drive in comfort.”

The Z4 is a rear-wheel drive (17″, 18″, 19″ alloys), has ABS as standard, a CD player and Radio, cruise control as standard, air conditioning as standard, good safety with airbags  for the driver, passenger, and front side airbag, electric windows, and is a two-seater roadster with four cylinders which performs well and reconvenes a time of 5.6 seconds to 60mph! Additional safety features include rollover bars fixed behind the headrests and stable “A” pillars along with the feature of the bonnet automatically rising in a collision. The head and upper body airbags protect the head, ribcage and pelvis areas acting as cushions in a collision.

A little car the Z4 may be but the German roadster’s 2012 update is getting bigger in name, even the lights (xenon and round) on the car are smaller than the grilles and this gives the Z4 a wicked look and only adds to the cars flair! The car has daytime running lights. The front of the Z4 looks hungry for the road and there are further additions beside the grilles which are air intakes on either side and lowest to the ground beneath the kidney grilles is a fierce looking meshed carbon front splitter!

Quick enough for BMW who used to produce engines with their trademark 6 cylinders; yet in their efforts to be greener have chosen to use a four-cylinder blueprint for the Z4 which performs well although there is less power being produced whereas torque is increased. The car is available in Single or Twin exhaust tailpipes! And has cruise control, and a high-beam assistant.

The Z4 is a rear wheel drive and can be operated manually (via gear paddles) or automatically. BMW have made this roadster with the vision of it being an everyday car for use 365 days of the year! They say that the temperature within the car will be suitable for whatever weather conditions the car is in, and there are options of four round air conditioning controls or automatic air conditioning. There is also the iDrive onboard control system which controls the different functions such as accessing, Telephone, Sat-Nav, Settings, Drive-mode and Radio/CD.

Engine & Power:

Standard Engine 2L 240hp I4      
Horsepower 240 @ 5000 RPM      
Torque 260 @ 1250 RPM      
Valves 4      
Displacement (cc) 1997      
Bore X Stroke (in.) 3.3 X 3.5      
Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Exterior Dimensions & Weight BMW Z4 sDrive28i

         
Curb Weight – Automatic (lb.) 3262.8      
Wheelbase (in.) 98.3      
Length (in.) 167      
Width (in.) 70.5      
Height (in.) 50.8      
Track Front (in.) 59.5      
Track Rear (in.) 61.4

SOURCE:  http://www.automobile.com

MORE ABOUT THE GT3 Z4! – (shown above)

BMW has released new details about the Z4 GT3: “BMW Motorsport has further developed the BMW Z4 GT3 specifically for the 2012 season. The engine now turns up to 9,000 rpm and has a new exhaust system. The rear wing is now made from carbon fibre instead of aluminium and produces greater downforce – with less drag.”

It is a star on the race track and has many accolades to its name: the BMW GT3 Z4! The car shines spectacularly in every way and looks like it could easily produce flames firing out of the GT3’s exhausts! A personal favourite of mine! Its place is however, I would say on the race track!

It has been taken up by private racing teams! The GT3 Z4 has done well in competitive racing and has made an impression! The racing car proving it had the mettle to produce a 1st place finish at the Dubai 24 Hour endurance event, and also securing second place from a low 49th position at the 24 Hour Spa Francorchamps event!

As you can imagine it is a much grander scale than the standard Z4! Whereas the Z4 says Zoom! The GT3 Z4 says ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!!!!!!!!!!  It’s further enhanced in engineering, styling, and capability! It has a six-speed sequential transmission with a “Quick Shift” function, and an engine management system and the engine consists of a 4.0-liter V8! Being a race car there is also a racing anti-lock braking system present, a roll cage, and rims with central locking and safety clips.

Here’s the best bit!

It is available as a road car!

So prepare for take off!

It has been priced at €340,000.

Technical specifications BMW Z4 GT3  
Length: 4,387 mm
Width: 2,012 mm
Height: 1,210 mm
Wheel base: 2,509 mm
Weight: 1,190 kg
Tank capacity: 115 litres
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration
Capacity: 4,361 ccm
Bore x stroke: 92 x 82 mm
Compression: 13.0 :1
Max. output: 515 bhp (8,200 rpm)

http://www.bmw-motorsport.com/en/cars/bmw-z4-gt3.html

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF BMW Z4 vs BMW Z4 GT3

For those of you, whom have not had the opportunity to be acquainted with the Z4 and its mastery of art, please read on as I elaborate further.

“The BMW Z4 is a modern interpretation of a classic roadster and the most admired characteristics of a sports coupe`” In celebration of the BMW Z4 being an ‘expression of joy!’  BMW hooked up with the artist Robin Rhode who is a South African artist based in Berlin and gave him the privilege of creating an art piece to be the front of the BMW Z4’s campaign! This art-piece you see above is the creation of his vision which was then painted by the Z4 roadster! With the use of many colours and tyres! (Each colour was painted by a different set of tyres). Mr Rhodes did not drive the car, however operated it via remote control! Making this art-piece, even further wonderful! For those of you wanting to find out more there is a video of the artwork taking place and it is directed by Jake Scott.

The link is: http://www.expressionofjoy.com/#

“THE CAR IS A LITERAL PAINTBRUSH!”

The link shows you the different processes from the artwork taking place on a piece of paper by Mr Rhodes to the Z4 being a tool of art on a huge canvas! It also shows the preparation that went into the larger than life artwork! BMW have really gone all out with this campaign they even have an Iphone Game for this art based campaign! Not enough can be said of this art-piece, it is a fusion of car and colours! (I’ve got my own take on it which is why this article is no ordinary article it too is a fusion! A fusion of writing, colour and of course the Z4 and Z4 GT3!

There is more though!!!

‘Read on’

To find out more about BMW’s and their relationships with other artists!

This SECTION is on The BMW ART GALLERY THAT WAS IN LONDON!

BMW’s as you’ve never seen them before! And they have arrived in an array of flair and style, which none of them are lacking in! The Art Gallery lasted only two weeks and began in July and finished in August, it certainly made the rounds with Art Critics and Enthusiasts of Art and Cars! The Gallery was put on by the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) at the NCP Car Park in East End of London and the admission was free. Do not despair if you did not go to see it, as you can see the photos of the Art Cars within this post!

This Art Gallery was a first for the UK! And the Art collection had begun over 35 years ago and using the cars as their canvasses leading international artists have been making their mark on what are classic art-pieces of the highest standards! Artists include Andy Warhol!

The London Olympics 2012, ICA and BMW all collaborated to put this exhibition on as part of the London 2012 Festival! And it was called the Art Drive! Artists included: artists: Alexander Calder, Sandro Chia, Ken Done, Ernst Fuchs, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Matazo Kayama, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Esher Mahlangu, Cesar Manrique, M.J Nelson, A.R Penck, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol as mentioned before.

So here are the cars and the Artists’ work! Videos included! Enjoy!

Raj Mehta Signing out!

1. First up there’s Jenny Holzer with the BMW V12 LMR! (1999)

2. Alexander Calder 3.0 CSL

A 1975 BMW 3.0CSL by Alexander Calder was the start of the BMW art car project and this was the first commissioned Art Car by BMW! Mr Calder was convinced by his French racing driver friend to take this project up, and it was used in the Le Mans Race in 1975.

3. Matazo Kayama 535i (1990) is a Japanese artist who studied at the Painting Academy in Kyoto this is his airbrushed Art Car!

4. César Manrique from Spain his Art Car features the BMW 730i (1990)

5. Frank Stella BMW 3.0 CSL, American abstract painter and printmaker this Art Car was done in 1976.

6. Andy Warhol BMW M1 Art Car. Mr Warhol is known for being a key and influential figure in the American Pop Art movement. This was the fourth Art Car commissioned by BMW. (1979)

7. Roy Lichtenstein BMW 320 CSi (1977) New York born artist. Again has a Pop Art theme to it.

8. American artist Robert Rauschenberg, Art Car BMW 635 CSi, (1986), he is said to have bridged the gap between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.

9. Australian Artist, Michael Jagamarra Nelson, Art Car:  BMW M3, was very keen on promoting and keeping aboriginal art around, the Art Car was produced in the time of (1989).

10. Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car 525i (1991), she is from a tribe in South Africa, and has kept alive the centuries old traditional wall paintings of her tribe and her artwork reflects this.

11. Ken Done, Australian Artist, Aboriginal/Australian themes, Art Car is a BMW M3 group A, (1989)

12. Sandro Chia, BMW Art Car M3 GT2 Series Race Car (1992) – Italian/Painter Sculptor.

13. English Painter, David Hockney, BMW Art Car painted on BMW 850 CSi (1995)

14. German Painter, A.R. Penck, BMW Art Car Z1, (1991).

15. Ernst Fuchs BMW Art Car 635 CSi, Austrian visionary painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, architect, stage designer, composer, poet, and singer. (1982)

16. This is my favourite! The Artist is American Jeff Koons, the BMW Art Car is a M3 GT2! (2010)

SWARAJ – Swaraj Mazda and Punjab Tractors Limited – India’s original pioneer!

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The Swaraj Brand, Mazda and Punjab Tractors Ltd have been around since the beginning of the Indian Automobile scene; selling Tractors and vehicles such as Ambulances, Police carriers, Water Tankers, Buses, Trucks, and special vehicles such as Harvesters, Orchard Tractors, Tourist Buses, Rail Track Inspection Vehicles, Fork Lifts and Crane Vehicles.

Video of Swaraj Tractors

As for Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd they have a rich history:

Punjab Tractors limited was promoted by the Indian Government’s department for Industries and Commerce – PSIDC (Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation)  as one of its projects in 1970 for the manufacturing of agricultural tractors, its objective was to promote new industrial projects in the State of Punjab. Swaraj tractors conceived in 1965 by a team of dedicated engineers and scientists working at Central Mechanical Research Institute.

(http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf)

“The Unit went into production in 1974. The tractor was based on completely indigenous design and was the result of six years of design, development and field proving effort at the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), a national laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Government of India. The group of design engineers, who had developed the first model at CMERI, were later transferred to Punjab Tractors Limited to commercialise the product.”

In 1983 the Swaraj design along with its promoter Punjab Tractors Ltd who now owned Swaraj (since 1970), went into a financial collaboration with Toyokogyo Ltd, a company from Japan which was now working with PTL to manufacture light commercial vehicles; the name Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was formed.

A year on (1984) was a time for a Joint Venture (JV) which occured between Punjab Tractor Ltd, Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan) & Sumitomo Corporation (Japan). Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was renamed Swaraj Mazda  Ltd. This JV’s commercial operations began in 1986 and by 1987 the JV produced and introduced an indigenously developed bus. Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd had forged an alliance with Mazda in particular and this saw them working together in an alliance which has seen much success until 2009.

Between the years 2004 and 2009 there was a drift between Mazda and Swaraj as both companies had their own agendas – for example Swaraj were focusing on Swaraj tractors, Swaraj engines, Swaraj Automotives and Swaraj scooters, whereas Mazda were looking to focus on passenger cars.

In 2004 Mazda withdrew from its partnership with Swaraj and since then this has seen Swaraj have a couple of name changes from Swaraj Mazda to – Swaraj Buses and Trucks Ltd, this indicated an end to working with Mazda (who ceased to be a shareholder in 2005). Mazda however gave the go – ahead initially to Swaraj to continue using their name without any royalty fees till 2007.

The Mazda Motor Corporation later in 2007 also notified Swaraj to not use their name in alliance with Swaraj Enterprise and thus the company name that used to be Swaraj Mazda was now going to be called Swaraj Vehicles Ltd as agreed by the board of directors this however was contested by the other shareholders such as PTL and did not go through. Swaraj no longer used the name of Mazda in their title.

Punjab Tractors Ltd were now without their main partner and a lot of speculation surrounded the Swaraj brand, with links to a TATA take-over, this didn’t happen instead Mahindra Tractors had made a smart investment in 2008 which saw them buy all of PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj.

This investment by Mahindra saw conflict over the use of the Swaraj name with Sumitomo who had purchased a 41% controlling stake in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) from Mazda in 2005, the Sumitomo Corporation purchased PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) in 2009; Mahindra and Mahindra along with PTL took the case to court whereby Sumitomo were ordered to continue using the name for a further two years only – in 2006 Sumitomo hooked up with Isuzu motors and in 2010 Swaraj (Swaraj Mazda) became SML Isuzu Ltd this was one year before the Sumitomo Corporation were ordered to stop using the Swaraj Brand name.

Today there is speculation that TATA are looking to buy a 50% or more stake in SML Isuzu.

Here is a quote from Swaraj and Mahindra and Mahindra :

(http://www.mahindra.com/What-We-Do/Farm-Equipment/Products/Swaraj)

“The combination of Swaraj’s longstanding reputation with our cutting edge design and manufacturing has made the name Swaraj synonymous with power, reliability, and expertise.  We enjoy a market share of nearly 12 percent and a community of more than 700,000 satisfied owners in India alone.  We bring our customers excellent tractors and product support at 600 dealerships across India.  We are 2,100 dedicated, highly trained, and customer-centric employees working to bring you the best in farming equipment and customer support.

In addition to our strong presence in India, Swaraj tractors are used across the world in the US, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana.  In each region we enter, we seek to provide farmers with tractors and implements precisely suited to their agricultural conditions, helping them maximize their prosperity.”

Ravinder the CEO of M & M Ltd Swaraj Division says:

http://www.indianexporters.com/M-and-M-Ltd-Swaraj-Division-com-555662764.html

“We feel honored to get an opportunity to introduce our brand SWARAJ to you. SWARAJ was India’s first indigenously designed, developed & commercialized tractor manufactured by erstwhile Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), a company promoted by Punjab Government. In 2007, PTL was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the world’s largest tractor manufacturers. Mahindra & Mahindra is a leading Indian business conglomerate with group revenues of $ 6.7 billion. Mahindra & Mahindra, Farm Equipment Sector, of which Swaraj brand is now the part, has the distinction of being the only Tractor Company in the world at present to have received two of the world’s top most quality prizes i.e. Japan Quality Medal and Deming prize. We have a tractor portfolio of 9 models with more than 100 variants in the range of 22 HP to 75 HP. We have a strong domestic presence with more than 0.7 million satisfied customers. Swaraj tractors, ruling the rural hinterlands for more than three decades, are synonymous with power, ruggedness & reliability. We have also expanded our presence in the overseas markets including select African and SAARC nations.”

As you can see – the Swaraj brand has a long-standing history with many companies trying their utmost to keep this brand to themselves – however Swaraj has withstood the test of time and is still continuing to operate as an Indian brand name and company which exports world-wide and to many developing countries and also America.

“In Hindi, the word “SWARAJ” means freedom from bondage – and self – rule. Since P.T.L. was the only first largest tractor project in India, moreover fully based upon Indian technology. So SWARAJ was appropriately chosen as its brand name. SWARAJ group sells its products under this same brand.

(http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseminarprojects.com%2Fattachment.php%3Faid%3D3359&ei=Y3LFT4SCNay20QXjvJDqBQ&usg=AFQjCNHqxzY10FgMCVpZoK7l6vFSCswGKA&sig2=-fSq8w8c73kx3DKawjsQ0A)

“With more than 2 lacs of tractors and harvesters combines operating in Indians farms, SWARAJ are now well-established brand name in the country.”

(Same source as above)

The Original factory where the tractors were built by Swaraj and PTL is at S.A.S Nagar – Punjab in the City of Mohali. The factory was one of its kind in the industrial town which is 5km away from Chandigarh. The Tractor factory was the beginning of this town.

“A Tractor is a self-propelled vehicle capable of pulling a load. It is usually powered by an internal combustion engine, and is used on highways and in factories; but its greatest use is on agricultural land. Tractors can be classified according to their main functions such as farm tractors, industrial tractors and highway tractors. The farm tractor has revolutionised the mode of farming wherever it has been used. It has relieved farmers of arduous work and made great increases in production possible. Through the use of the tractor, farmers can control power that is equivalent to many horses and men. The average man is rated at 1/10HP, but when he drives a 20HP tractor across his fields – he is doing the work of 200 men. Tractors are used for a variety of purposes such as ploughing, harrowing, sowing, harvesting, pumping and transporting.”

Click to access MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf

“These tractors have contributed significantly to the green revolutions in India. Tractors are also being exported to a number of developing countries.”

It is the farmers that are the most important to the country and the alliance between Swaraj and Mahindra has seen the farmer benefit not only through the use of the tractor they purchase but also in the way they make the purchase; Mahindra Finance has been providing customized loans to farmers and as a result this has helped India; in 2004 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Syndicate Bank and Punjab Tractors Ltd (Swaraj) to provide finance to farmers who purchased Swaraj Tractors – where the bank would finance 95% of the farmers costs and the farmer would have to finance 5% themselves. This is just an example of how banks and Swaraj have been operating – there are other similar agreements between banks and Swaraj too depending on the state and banks of India.

The Swaraj tractors have certainly been effective in India and World-wide and the company will only look to grow further in the tractor and automotive industries. Swaraj has been doing much for India and its development and its operations in developing countries is helping to raise the standards of World development. To conclude Swaraj has survived through a lot and many evolutions along the way and has always adapted and evolved – it is truly one of India’s pioneers and has shown this through many decades – they will want to continue doing this throughout the future too.

I’ll leave you with the quote from one of Swaraj’s adverts : “Swaraj Tractors – Kissan Ka Power, Desh Ka Bharosa!” – Which translates to Swaraj Tractors the Farmer’s Power and the Countries’ Trust!

(http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm)

Additional Information:

“In 1974 it went into commercial production with SWARAJ 724, 26.5 bhp as its first model. During its 38 years of production, it has not only expanded its manufacturing capacity to more than 24000 tractors per annum but added more products into its manufacturing range.”

Its product range includes the following (FE – Is the vehicle specification given to denote it is a tractor/truck/lorry (tractors are under the heavy vehicle category and could also denote Fuel Economy):

Tractors:-

Swaraj 722 super                                                                  Swaraj 724 FE

Swaraj 733 FE                                                                        Swaraj 735 FE

Swaraj 744                                                                             Swaraj 834 FE                                Swaraj 855

Here’s a timeline of the key dates and what happened at these times in Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd history.

The major manufacturers of tractors in India are:

  • Escorts Ltd.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Ashok Leyland
  • Swaraj Enterprise
  • Force Motors

Special Features of Swaraj Tractors at the time of writing include:

  • Higher capacity 60 liters diesel tank
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Ammeter
  • Lockable battery

You can visit: http://business.mapsofindia.com/automobile/heavy-vehicle/tractors.html for a full specification/features list of other non-Swaraj tractors.

You can also visit: http://www.indianmirror.com/indian-industries/tractor.html for an insight into India’s Tractor Industry.

There are still some serious issues being looked at, and to be resolved for farmers such as how to economise on fuel (through the effective way of changing gears at the right time), research has shown that many farmers spend a lot on the cost of fuel for their tractors and there is a need for support for the farmers with the help of efficiently economising their fuel consumption – research is ongoing as how best to support farmers, such as through the use of digital technology to inform the tractor driver as when to change gear. Another issue which is ongoing research at the time of writing is the dangerous vibrations being sent from the tractor to the driver and the threat it poses to the drivers head. Lastly it is important to stress the importance of farmers, tractors and agriculture, here’s a quote from the above website: “India is an agrarian economy and so mainly depends on agricultural produce. As a result, tractors play an important role in the growth of the economy itself. Tractors help farmers increase the output and in turn help the economy to grow further.”

PTL HISTORY

 

1965            Govt. of  India‘s  research institute(CMERI) at Durgapur initiates design &     development of SWARAJ tractor based  on indigenous know how.

 

1970

 

Punjab Govt. through PSIDC acquires SWARAJ tractor’s design from CMERI and establishesPunjab Tractors Ltd. (PTL) for its commercialization.

 

1971-73

 

PTL sets up SWARAJ Project for 5,000 tractors per annum at a capital outlay of Rs. 37.0 million with an equity base of Rs 11.0 million.

 

1974

 

Swaraj 724 (26.5 HP) tractor commercially introduced.

 

1975

 

2nd tractor model SWARAJ 735(39 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1978

 

3rd Tractor model SWARAJ 720 (19.5 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced. 

 

Maiden equity divided declared.

 

1980

 

Guided by social concerns and responsibility, PTL takes over PSIDC’s sick scooters unit –Punjab Scooters Ltd. (subsequently renamed as SWARAJ Automotives Ltd.)

India’s first Self propelled Harvester Combine – SWARAJ 8100 developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

SWARAJ Foundry Division set up in Backward area.

 

1981

 

Issue of maiden Bonus Shares (2:5), paid-up equity moves to Rs 15.4 million. 

 

1983

 

4th Tractor Model – SWARAJ 855 (55 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

Expansion of annual capacity to 12,000 tractors per annum at Plant 1.

 

1984

 

SWARAJ MAZDA Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Mazda Motor Corpn. & Sumitomo Corpn. Japan for manufacture of Light Commercial Vehicles. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 30.4 million (29%) and that of Mazda and Sumitomo’s Rs. 27.0 million (26%).

 

1985

 

SWARAJ Industrial Forklift Trucks developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1986

 

SWARAJ ENGINES Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.(KOEL) for manufacture of diesel engines. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 6.9 million (33%) and that of KOEL’s Rs 3.6 million (17%). 

 

1989

 

1st Right Issue (1:1) at a premium of Rs 50/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid up equity moves to Rs 31.6 million.

 

1990

 

2nd Right Issues (1:2) at a premium of Rs 60/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid-up equity moves to Rs 50.6 million.

 

1992

 

2nd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up capital moves to Rs. 101.2 million.

 

1993

 

Annual tractor capacity expanded to 24,000 per annum at Plant 1. 

 

1995

 

Setup of tractor Plant II at Village Chappercheri with annual capacity of 12,000 per annum.

 

1996

 

3rd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up equity moves to Rs. 202.5 million.

 

1998

 

Commencement of expansion to 60,000 tractors(30,000 at each plant). Capital outlay of Rs 1000 million, funded mainly through internal accruals. 

 

1999

 

5th and 6th tractor models – SWARAJ 733 (34 HP) & SWARAJ 744 (48 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

FY 1999’s divided @ 250% was corporate India’s highest.

 

2000

 

Expansion of annual tractor capacity to 60,000 completed.

4th issue of Bonus Shares (2:1), paid up equity moves to Rs 607.6 million.

 

2001

 

PTL won National Championship trophy in competition organized by All India Management Association (AIMA) for young managers.

Economic times and Boston Consulting Group selects PTL as one of the India’s finest 10 companies out of Economic times top 500 Companies.

 

2002

 

Cumulative tractor sales crosses 5,00,000.

 

2003

 

PSIDC’s disinvestment of its entire Equity holding (23.49%) in PTL in favour of CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) Ltd. With this, total holding of CDC & its associates in PTL stands at 28.48%.

 

2004

 

7th & 8th tractor models – Swaraj 939 (41 HP) & Swarj 834 (34 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

2005

 

PTL disinvested 15,73,000 euity shares of Rs. 10/- each of Swaraj Mazda Ltd. (constituting approx. 15% of SML’s paid up capital) in favour of Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, a joint venture partner in Swaraj Mazda Ltd. at a total consideration of Rs. 629.2 million

 

2007

 

CDC/Actis Group and Burman Family’s disinvestment of their Equity holding in PTL (43.3%) in favour of Mahindra Group (M&M).

M&M made open offer to shareholders for another 20% equity of the Company.

Mahindra Group’s equity holding in the Company stands at 64.6%

Cumulative Tractor Sales cross 600,000.

Swaraj Track Type Combine designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

 

2008

 

Swaraj 3 Tonne Battery forklift, designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm

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