Auto Expo 2016 kicks off
India's flagship biennial automobile show, the Auto Expo kicked off today. Nearly 30 new cars have been unveiled already with a corresponding number of two-wheelers on the first day of the mega auto show. Notable absentees from this year's Auto Expo include major automakers like Royal Enfield and Bajaj Auto. There were new participants like Jeep, Polaris, and Italian motorcycle maker Benelli.
Auto Expo is India's pre-eminent show dedicated to the country's automotive and auto ancillary industry. Held in Delhi, it is Asia's largest and the world's second largest motor show. The expo is held every two years. It was conceptualized in 1985 with its first show in 1986. Auto Expo is accredited by the 'Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles' (OICA), federation of automobile manufacturers.
The Auto Expo is jointly organised by Society of Indian Automobile Association (SIAM), Automotive Component Manufacturer Association (ACMA) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Auto Expo 2016 is the 13th edition of the Expo. It is likely to attract over 6 lakh visitors. While the first two days February 3, 4 are restricted for the media, the expo will be open to general public from February 5-9. The Auto Expo Motor Show, held at Greater Noida, attracted over 100 exhibitors, 65 out of which are automobile manufacturers.
The Auto Expo is organised in two parts: the Component Show (Feb 4-7) at Pragati Maidan, Delhi and the Motor Show (Feb 5-9) at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
The most anticipated car launches of this year include Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai i20-based sub-compact SUV, Toyota Innova 2016, Honda BR-V (bold runabout vehicle) compact SUV, Tata Nexon compact SUV, Volkswagen Ameo, and Datsun GO-Cross. TVS Apache RTR 300, Suzuki Gixxer, and 250 Honda Navi are some of the much awaited vehicles in the bike category at the expo.
Rajiv Bajaj, whose company Bajaj Auto skipped this year's Auto Expo, said it was too expensive to participate in the Expo. He said to participation in such event takes around Rs. 10-15 crore to make concepts. Bajaj said for instance, to launch their new bike V it would cost Rs. 5 Crore at the Expo while they could manage it for Rs. 5 lakh.
The first launch of Expo was by Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), which unveiled its compact SUV Vitara Brezza. This is set to compete with the likes of Ford EcoSport and Mahindra & Mahindra's TUV300. Other big launches on Day 1 of Expo were BMW 1 series, Hyundai Tucson, Honda BR-V Compact SUV, Jaguar XE, Chevrolet Beat-based compact sedan, Chevrolet Corvette, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet.