New Delhi: The organizer of the Motor Show (Auto Expo 2018) is trying hard to keep the interest high, despite some prominent names being absent. The key organizer SIAM informed ETAuto that they will extend the biennial show by one more day compared to the previous edition. The organizers expect to attract about 7 lakh visitors to this Motor Show compared to the 6-lakh visitors it drew across 5 days at the 2016 show.
The biggest auto show in India seems to have taken a cue from the international motor shows on exhibits and longevity of the event this time. The international shows normally have public visit days, ranging between 8-10 days and are increasingly earmarking a large display space to advanced mobility technologies as well as startup innovations in line with changing industry dynamics. At a rough estimate, these events clock around 7.7 lakh to 9 lakh visitors during public days.
Auto Expo 2018, too, for the first time will display a separate zone for exhibiting innovations of startups, especially in the electric vehicle segment, indicating gen next’s growing role in the Indian automotive industry.
In Auto Expo 2014, a separate hall had been earmarked for displaying electric vehicles (EV), but at this year’s event that will occupy 47,500 sq m of area, EVs will be housed in individual companies’ stalls.
There will be Experience Zones one of which will exhibit a Jaipur NGO Cartist that has set out on an 11,000 km travel across the country to promote use of a splash of colours on cars through painted Nanos. The end of the travel will coincide with the Expo dates.
Among other Experience Zones at this Expo will be the Future Decoded (VR zone) that will simulate autonomous driving, while others will be dedicated to Auto Gaming for the millennials, a motorsports arena for the auto buffs, a zone depicting 70 years of the Indian auto mobility and one for application vehicles in line with the evolving technologies of the future that are finding rising traction at all the international motor shows.
The ongoing Detroit Show coming soon after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early January, where Toyota and Ford discussed about their upcoming technologies in driving, has incorporated a large canvas for displaying mobility, tech startups, universities, government organizations and technology.
The recent Asian -Tokyo Motor Show in Oct-Nov 2017 had also exhibited future mobility that would connect drivers, vehicles, road and communication infrastructure, besides offering test drives and ride programmes.
Meanwhile, the Auto Expo 2018 will host 13 passenger vehicle participants, with notable absentees being the Volkswagen Group, Nissan, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Over 23 two-wheeler companies, including luxury two-wheeler manufacturers and 15 commercial vehicle players, will take part in the show. Volvo and Eicher Motors as well as Daimler have decided to sit out in the CV space, besides Bajaj Auto and Royal Enfield in the two-wheeler category.
Home-grown Tata Motors has taken the largest space at the fair venue of 5,789 sq metre on similar lines as in the 2016 event, where it will house its entire product spectrum, including commercial vehicles. In 2016, Jaguar Land Rover rubbed shoulders in the same stall but will now be taking a separate display area for its own product display.
Sugato Sen, deputy director general of SIAM one of the organisers of the show told ETAuto that Tata Motors has been taking the largest space at Auto Expo for many years now. Even when the expo was held at Pragati Maidan, the carmaker held this mantle.
Maruti Suzuki India, on the other hand, will take the crown for occupying the largest display area in the passenger vehicle segment, with an area of 4,120 sq m, a 31 per cent hike over last time, when it had taken a display space of 3,147 sq m.
In two-wheelers, TVS Motor Company will have the largest exhibit stall with an area of 1,352 sq m, a slight improvement over 2016, when it had a display area of 1,313 sq m.
The show will play host to 24 new product launches. Sen said these models will see a commercial rollout within 3-6 months of their display. Of the 100 products unveiled at the Expo, some will be concept vehicles like Maruti Suzuki’s Future Concept S compact crossover. Tata Motors, M&M will be displaying electric vehicles, along with other car manufacturers.
“The international motor shows brand their events by the name of the city that popularises it. That is where Auto Expo loses out as people don’t know, where it is being held. Also SIAM should reconsider bringing it back to Delhi from Greater Noida, the current venue, as it is too far to travel and the show is losing its sheen as the right people are not attending it,” believes Gaurav Vangaal, senior automotive forecasting analyst from IHS Markits.
The Tokyo Motor Show 2017, which had participation from 153 companies, had displayed 380 vehicles and had about 40 product launches. The Detroit Motor Show is also seeing daily unveilings of futuristic models from across the OE segment.
Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP-sales & marketing Honda Cars India, who visited the Tokyo Motor Show, added that he did not find it too different from the Indian Motor Show, except for the crowds that he feels are larger in India. Also he is of the opinion that car brands could be different at various shows with product launches and companies that are relevant for that market participating in it. For instance, Tata Motors and M&M were not present at the Tokyo Motor Show.
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