After having burnished its reputation for reliable machines through the TDI or turbocharged direct injection diesel engines since 1989, Volkswagen-owned luxury car-maker Audi India is now acting on plans to shift from diesel to petrol engines across its product portfolio, say those in the know. The company currently sells some 14 different products, of which roughly 33 per cent feature petrol options. Plans are afoot to scale it up to 50 per cent or half its repertoire, starting next year. This will apply to all cars lined up for launch. The move reflects thinking at the top that the focus should shift to gasoline and electric engines that will likely rule in the not-too-distant future.
Clinching King’s lounge
The irony is hard to miss. After repeatedly bailing out the horse-racing industry through sponsorship of Indian Classic races, absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who had his initials stamped all over the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai, now faces a wipeout... literally. Mallya's box or private lounge, which went through an auction process, will go to former RWITC Chairman and horse breeder Zavaray Poonawalla for Rs16 million as rental, for a tenure that is typically 15 years. Poonawalla, president of Poonawalla Investments and Industries, is a popular race-horse owner, breeder and patron of the sport. Mallya's lounge, which sported stallion heads as door handles and had the initials VM embossed on the frosted glass panel at the entrance, went up for auction after his 15-year lease ran out, and the absent billionaire failed to renew his lease.
Liquor season in Bhopal
In the election season, country liquor and English wine have flooded the Madhya Pradesh market. The official data on liquor sales in state capital Bhopal is astonishing: Between October 6 and November 30, liquor amounting to Rs 1.15 billion was sold in the city. The city registered sales of Rs 750 million in November alone. This is the highest in any given month of the current year. Liquor sales in the city stands at Rs 10.5 million a day on an average.