Editor’s Note Anniversary issue 2021
Setting benchmarks and crossing milestones.
Anniversaries are reminders of milestones. It’s our first since I took over the reins of TopGear India in February 2020. Our excitement was through the roof. We have made plans to create the best automotive content on the best roads with the best vehicles. Then Covid happened, and our first issue of TopGear, which came out of the printing press on 15th March 2020, remained stuck in transit and could not even reach our readers’ hands. Words cannot describe the disappointment. On top of it, some of the team hailed from other cities, and they had to be packed off due to the uncertainties that lay ahead as we gambled with WFH. We didn’t even get a chance to bond as a team, and with one big Covid strike, everything was in shambles. READ MORE
Editor’s Note February 2021
The suavity of SUVs.
The line between the compact SUV and mid-size SUV space is getting blurred. The whole band between compact size to mid-size as a pie is getting very exciting and confusing. On one end we already have Venue, Sonet, Magnite, XUV300, Urban Cruiser, Brezza, Nexon, and Ford Ecosport. On the other side we have the Creta, Seltos, Harrier, Safari, Jeep, Mg Hector, VW Tiguan Allspace, and coming up in between these are Renault Kiger, Skoda Kushaq, VW Taigun, and Citroen C5 Aircross. Now I can imagine if you are in the market to buy an SUV in the next three months, you will be spoilt for choice. Too much option is good but can render the decision-making process very complicated. READ MORE
Editor’s Note January 2021
A Fresh Start!
It’s that time of the year when I, along with my select team, are walking the aisles and hallways of CES in Las Vegas, at the world’s largest stage for innovation in technology across all beats of journalism, including auto. This I have been doing ever since I started Exhibit 14 years ago.2020 has been a year on which apocalypse movie plots can be based. The world has seen nothing like it and humanity has quickly adjusted to what we now call the “New Normal”. READ MORE
Editor’s Note December 2020
Towards New Beginnings.
2020 is coming to a grinding halt. In fact, the entire human race would have loved to slam a hard brake in April and turn the year to 2021 only if that meant braking the Covid away. For the auto industry in April, the jump from no sales to a resounding sales figures better than 2019 in the last few months has saved the Indian economy from total collapse. Don’t forget, the auto industry is 56% of manufacturing GDP of the country. But what does the future look like? The momentum will continue and exciting models like the Sonet, Hyundai Venue iMT and the luxury brands also dropping their aspirational badges have played a big part. READ MORE
Editor’s Note October 2020
GOOD TIMES ARE ABOUT TO ROLL
No one sitting in May 2020 could have imagined that six months ahead in October the automobile sales figure will even beat that of 2019 October. That’s precisely what has happened, and we are not complaining. Automobile industry growth means the Indian
economy bouncing back, and the GST collections going up is again a good sign. After months of turmoil, the uncertainty of the existence or continuance of life in general. It’s like opening up a McLaren at full throttle on long, uninterrupted, and unriddled roads.
Editor’s Note September 2020
Festivities Ahead, and its Time to Restrain Caution..
We started out this month on a raging bull chasing 0-100 in 3.3 seconds, making the loud engine roar but with restrictions thrown in. Then, we switched to the 3.6 seconds lane with complete liberation, generating sweet engine rumble and mellowed exhaust noise to finally hitting the 5.1 seconds lane discreetly with absolutely no noise. From driving an angry Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD in the city where you really can’t go ballistic with this missile to the Audi RS7 Sportback which can speed past traffic police without really waking him up to driving the Mercedes EQC which can earn you medals from the environmentalists, we tried them all. While the Lambo can wake up the town, the EQC can wake up your senses towards a greener world and is a fully capable luxury electric SUV whose ex-showroom and on-road cost would be the same. READ MORE
Editor’s Note August 2020
The Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds: India’s Automobile Industry Revs Up!
And it continues, rains and lockdown but the dark clouds seemto be getting its tone down towards the brighter side with the automobile industry’s worst nightmare to be behind them. The numbers always speak for itself, where Maruti Suzuki has actually grown 1.3 percent over July 2019 sales figures and has closed its July 2020 books at 97,768 units. The other big boy – Hyundai just dipped 2 percent to 38,200 units in July 2020 over July last year. Overall 1,97,523 passenger vehicles sold in July 2020, compared to 1,99,534 units in July 2019. Shouldn’t we just pop the champagne in that case? This is a great sign amidst the challenges in the production supply chain and with the covid sentiments but the great July figures are also pent up demand over previous months when we were strapped and tied under strict lockdown. The next three-month sales figures will be the real report card. Bottlenecks on the supply side remain another pain point. READ MORE
Editor’s Note July 2020
A Legacy of Soldier with Different Weapons
The frontline – soldiers, police, doctors, nurses, and all those who have no option but to go out to save the world and also fend for themselves and their families, a big salute to them all from TopGear India. My team has been on the ball this month and we’re back in action, having covered and reviewed all major launches along with three supercars, no less. In a way we automotive journalists are also going out and while trying to be safe, being outdoors is indeed a risk. But given of our passion for cars, we all have been waiting for WFH to end. More importantly, though in the form of reviewing cars, we also have a responsibility to say so – help potential buyers make the right choice. READ MORE
Editor’s Note June 2020
Unlocking 1.0 Speed Breakers Ahead
The Indian automotive industry is finally slotting in a gear, after being stuck in neutral literally for the past couple of months. The Government easing restrictions has meant the wheels of commerce and life are both beginning to rotate again, though the fight is far from over. Previously impossible to imagine, an invisible, unknown virus slammed the brakes of the economy and life hard and has taught us some invaluable lessons. That WFH is possible and can be more productive. That life can be lived with only the ‘essentials’ and that it doesn’t matter who you are in the society – a minister or migrant labourer – you are equally vulnerable. Another lesson COVID-19 has taught us is that the indomitable human spirit cannot be tamed and the show must go on. The world bounced back after the catastrophic Spanish flu 100 years back without any of the technological, medical, media and communication advancements we have today and we are sure to bounce back yet again. READ MORE
Editor’s Note May 2020
Keep calm and read on!
I hope you and your family are safe and have utilized this downtime to brush up your skills, pick up new hobbies and tank up on family time. To say these are unprecedented times would be stating the obvious, but think of how much more deep can we fall in the pit. The virus is out there, invisibly looking at us through possibly every other person and object, we don’t have a vaccine yet, the world economy is on the verge of collapsing, job losses and salary cuts are at an all-time high, businesses have drilled holes in their cash flows and are mounting losses and we are locked up in our houses. The good bit is food supplies are on and so is the internet and of course, we are inhaling cleaner air. Forcing yourself to staying sane is not going to be easy but that’s the only task we have at hand in our fight against COVID-19. READ MORE
Editor’s Note April 2020
Got V12, but nowhere to go!
The world order has changed. By the time we all come out of the COVID-19 outbreak – and no crystal gazer can circle the date boldly on a calendar – things will be different. For once, people literally might start sleeping in offices after getting tired of WFH (work from home) or corporates could be more relaxed in policies and make WFH compulsory 1-2 days a week! On the positive side this might be the answer to our global climate change battle and will give us empty stretches to accelerate – both in life and on roads. No one in their lifetime – and this applies to whoever is alive now – has seen anything like this. The word ‘pandemic’ was a text book term that has formed the basis for movie scripts, until now that is. READ MORE
Editor’s Note March 2020
The Lion is Back!
Imagine your boyhood room, the walls of which are covered with posters of some of the most stunning cars in the world. And now imagine you grow up and get a chance to get behind the wheel of these very poster-worthy supercars – that’s a dream. A Super dream that’s turned into reality and the brand you have grown on is in your own garage. Ladies and Gents I am overwhelmed in introducing myself and my very excited team who drinks petrol for coﬀee for the TopGear 2.0 stint. If you’ve ever followed automobiles even remotely in your lifetime, chances are really good that you would know that TopGear is the most creative motoring media brand in the world today, known for dishing out some of the best automotive content there is. READ MORE