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Indian Auto Expo reflects hope

By PTA News Bureau

The Indian Auto Expo held in the capital city of New Delhi has been a much awaited event and a huge crowd puller ever since the country’s automobile industry started luring global brands. The 2014 event, the sixth edition, once again proved how keen global auto makers are to engage with one of the most attractive markets in the world and also ready to wait for better times to return.

Despite the slow-down in auto sales, the expo continues to be in a growth curve. This time it was held in two parts in two different venues. The Auto Component show was conducted at Pragati Maidan on Feb 6-9, 2014 while the main attraction, the Motor Show 2014, was on Feb 7-11, 2014 in Greater Noida.

The Motor Show 2014 was inaugurated by Praful Patel, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. “There has been a temporary roadblock in the growth of the automobile industry during the last year and the ever-growing industry witnessed reversal of trend. It is important that the government takes the right measures and gives incentives and energy stimulus to achieve a turnaround,” he said.

The number of visitors dropped to 561,000 from 700,000 in 2013, but the launches of new models were higher. A total of 69 new models were unveiled by 47 auto companies, including a range of cars, two-wheelers, trucks, buses and three-wheelers.

Only two major Indian tyre companies, Chennai-based MRF and Yokohama, participated in the expo.

Seeing growing demand for luxury brands in the country, luxury car makers, Audi, BMW and Mercedes launched new models for domestics and international markets. Mercedes-Benz India Pvt launched a sedan and a SUV model, while Audi introduced AG’s A. Jaguar also launched the F-Type Coupe range including the 550PS F-Type R Coupe and also displayed Project 7 Jaguar F-Type.

From the Indian companies, the country’s largest auto maker Maruti Suzuki launched Celerio, which is hatch back and has automatic gear shift, as well as concept models, Ciaz sedan and cross SX4-Cross. Some key models that are meant to be introduced soon were also displayed during the show. Mobilio of Honda Car India Ltd’s, Zest sedan and Bolt hatchback by Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor India’s  Xcent, and Nissan Motor India’s sub-brand Datsun’s small car, Go, were among top attractions  for the visitors.

Electric and hybrids

In the electric and hybrid vehicles segment, Maruti Suzuki India launched Swift RE, Tata Motors introduced Iris and Magic and Toyota Kirloskar Motor came up with Camry Hybrid, while Mahindra and Mahindra’s e2o and Maxximo and TVS Motor electric scooter and electric three-wheelers were displayed.

Another major attraction in the car section was Mahindra and Mahindra’s two-seater electric sports car Halo, which runs on the top speed of 160kmph and gives mileage of 200km in a full charge.

Since the concept of hybrid vehicles is new for Indians, the show held sessions to educate visitors about the electric technology along with a practical experience of driving electric cars and two wheelers giving consumers a first-hand experience of the vehicles.

The vintage car pavilion proved to be one of the biggest crowd pullers, with cars, scooters and bikes of decades old displaying their charm enthralling one and all at the Expo.


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