city anchor: Car-infotainment takes the wheel in autohub
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The car-infotainment scenario is getting bigger by the day — not only does it allow you to access the Internet but features like controlling the volume of your audio system with the help of the steering wheel or even making cellphone calls by using the dashboard are increasingly becoming common.
Auto Trendz India director Neeraj Banka says the city, which houses many auto companies, is among the top five markets for the Rs 500-crore car-infotainment industry in the country. "The combined original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and after sales market for the infotainment industry is Rs 500 crore in India; and Pune is a major market since it is an auto hub and most of the OEM-fitted mutimedia systems sold across the country roll out from here."
Auto Trendz, which sells Chinese car-infotainment system Caska in the country, recently introduced an E-car series that comes with facilities to use the Internet in the car and controlling of the audio and video system with voice command.
While the Caska E-car product is available in the after-market as a vehicle accessory, cars are also coming fitted with sophisticated audio and video systems these days. Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz offers models with high quality audio systems, wherein passengers in the rear seat can control the video system with a remote control unit besides high quality audio systems. "Besides the bluetooth interface, our cars have a command system that comes with specifications like radio, CD player, DVD player, navigation system with dynamic routing and integrated amplifiers. Our rear-seat entertainment system combines a DVD player with remote control unit and colour displays," a Mercedes-Benz official says.
Arvind Saxena, director (marketing and sales), Hyundai Motor India, also says Pune is an important market for the company. He says the type of infotainment system in a vehicle also plays a role in the purchasing decisions of people. "The Hyundai variants also have Bluetooth facility that enables people to take calls even when they are on the move. Our variants of i10, i20, Verna and Sonata come with integrated music system with siz speakers and steering-mounted controls."
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