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A coming of age for the Indian market

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017




The automotive blitzkrieg that begins this week at the Auto Expo will see participation from around 1,500 exhibitors from across 24 countries such as Canada, the US, the UK, Japan, Russia and Turkey.

Signalling a coming of age for the Indian auto market, this is a significant jump for the 11{+t}{+h} edition of the motor show that in its 1986 inaugural show saw just 105 exhibitors from a handful of countries.

“This highlights the fact that India has emerged as one of the biggest car markets and the second largest two-wheeler market in the world. India is set to cross Brazil as the sixth largest auto producer,” said Mr Rajive Kaul, Chairman, Steering Committee, Auto Expo 2012.

With a focus on alternative technologies such as electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cells, the theme is ‘Mobility for all'. An interesting point this time round is that the focus will shift from the huge small car segment to the fast-growing compact utility vehicle space.

Fair venue

Though participation is highest–ever, display space at Pragati Maidan this year has been reduced to 1.15 lakh sq.m. of space, from 1.25 lakh sq.m. in 2010. The first two days, January 5th and 6th will be business days, while 7th to 11th will be open to all. Three special parking depots have been designated outside for visitors, while a single Gate (No 10) has been kept for those arriving by Metro.

“Special buses will run from the parking lots on a circular basis. Tickets will be sold at 20 metro stations and online as well,” Mr Kaul said.

The current edition of the biennial show will see all 10 global automotive groups come together on home soil for the first time. Most have turned their attention to the vast market of India, as a de-risking measure from the poor economic conditions prevalent in Europe and the US.

This intent is underlined by the multiple global model and concept unveilings lined up, such as the Maruti Suzuki's compact sports utility vehicle and Hyundai's compact multi-purpose vehicle, apart from over 50 new vehicle launches across segments. Around nine new brands will display their portfolio, including BMW's Mini, Peugeot, Mahindra-owned Ssangyong and Triumph motorcycles.

Constraints

Though the scale of the Auto Expo will be massive, around 100 exhibitors (40 from overseas) have been denied participation because of a space constraint at the venue. General visitor entry has also been significantly limited to 30,000 a day to avoid chaos and attract a “quality crowd”.

“Some have been denied participation because of late entry. In the next steering committee, a big decision will have to be taken on whether to stay here (Pragati Maidan),” said Mr Kaul. However, he added that the motor show will continue to stay within the NCR region.

Interestingly, this year's Delhi Auto Expo is expected to be the second most expensive after Shanghai Motor Show in terms of rents per square metre.

This is because the venue operator has hiked the rates by 35 per cent.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 03, 2012

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