In case you are an car fanatic, and like to drool over glitzy new automotive fashions and future applied sciences, then your wait is lastly over. After a delay of a few yr, the nation’s flagship car occasion—Auto Expo 2023—is again on the town. Beginning January 13, the most recent version of the expo is predicted to host dozens of launches, as movie star model ambassadors glitter exhibition halls amid a frenzy of automotive lovers and trade stalwarts. Unfold over six days, the occasion this time is being organised after three years, as a substitute of two years, because the third Covid-19 wave in 2022 compelled organisers to postpone the flagship present, leaving many disillusioned.
Organisers, nevertheless, are ever extra enthusiastic in regards to the Auto Expo 2023 that shall be held in two venues throughout the Delhi Nationwide Capital Area (NCR). Whereas the auto parts galleries shall be hosted on the authentic venue of Pragati Maidan advanced in Delhi, the passenger four-wheelers and two-wheelers, together with industrial automobiles, can be lined up on the India Expo Centre & Mart in Higher Noida. And to lure the fence-sitters, producers are anticipated to fly down a number of crowd-pullers like Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and Varun Dhawan, amongst others. Conceptualised in 1985, the expo made its debut a yr later in Pragati Maidan and, by 2006, had begun to host new launches.
But, amidst the anticipated revelry, there’s a tinge of despondence. Whereas through the years, the Auto Expo has been witness to many ups and downs, this yr, a vastly shrunk line-up of main auto manufacturers is a dampener. Whilst main automotive makers akin to Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai, Tata Motors and Toyota are anticipated to unveil a few of their ideas, a number of auto majors together with Mahindra & Mahindra, Volkswagen, Skoda, Honda Automobiles, Nissan and Renault have determined to offer it a miss (see ‘Hits & Misses’). Within the luxurious vehicles phase—a crowd-puller for auto expos throughout the globe—the most recent version has drawn a close to clean. From Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Volvo to Porsche, Lamborghini and Jaguar Land Rover, a lot of the large luxurious automotive manufacturers are staying away, with solely Lexus confirming its presence within the present.
Within the ICE (inner combustion engine) two-wheeler phase, the curiosity is even decrease. Patrons will miss 5 of the nation’s high two-wheeler makers—Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorbike & Scooter India (HMSI), Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor Firm and Royal Enfield—on the expo. Coincidentally, these manufacturers have been absent within the earlier version hosted in 2020, too.
Whereas the businesses haven’t given any rationalization for his or her lack of curiosity within the occasion of late, trade sources say a number of elements have affected their determination. Based on a senior government from a serious two-wheeler maker, the timing and venue of the occasion have made it much less engaging. “Given the cruel chilly climate circumstances in early January and the distant location of the occasion venue (from Delhi), we don’t count on a lot returns on our funding,” he says.
Placing up a courageous face is the nation’s high trade physique for car makers and the organiser of the Auto Expo, Society of Indian Vehicle Producers (SIAM). Based on Rajesh Menon, Director Basic of SIAM, participation of producers varies from yr to yr. “In 2020, Toyota had skipped the occasion, however they’re collaborating this time. So, there isn’t any common development that automotive producers are shifting away from Auto Expo. Within the final version, we had document footfalls on the venue of over 600,000,” he tells BT.
Menon is correct. However it is usually clear that the cancellation of the 2022 Auto Expo because of the pandemic has resulted in some corporations not collaborating this time. “Corporations put together and plan for the Auto Expo over two years and line up their launches accordingly. Nonetheless, because the expo needed to be postponed for a yr, lots of the main manufacturers launched their deliberate fashions in 2022. It is a key issue behind them not collaborating this time,” an trade insider says on situation of anonymity.
On the identical time, declining curiosity amongst two-wheeler consumers for ICE fashions may additionally have performed a job in main manufacturers skipping the occasion since 2018. Based on Menon, this time, automobiles sporting alternate gasoline applied sciences shall be a serious attraction for auto fanatics. “It is a platform the place the trade and fanatics will get to witness the brand new developments of the trade, particularly by way of various kinds of powertrains which might be arising. There’s numerous concentrate on pure electrical automobiles and we now have a number of such gamers collaborating this time,” he says. An ethanol pavilion can be being set as much as showcase its utilization as a dependable future gasoline. Moreover, new alternate applied sciences akin to hydrogen ICE can be in focus this time with producers akin to Suzuki and Yamaha showcasing their idea choices, aside from CNG expertise.
The showstopper at this yr’s Auto Expo will most actually be Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), the nation’s largest passenger automotive producer, which is about to unveil its electrical car idea and a variety of SUVs at its pavilion. It would show an array of 16 automobiles together with an electrical idea SUV, two new ICE SUVs, WagonR flex gasoline prototype, and a customized vary of present merchandise like Grand Vitara, XL6, Ciaz, Ertiga, Brezza, Baleno and Swift, amongst others. “Our showcases at Auto Expo ’23 will spotlight Maruti Suzuki’s dedication in the direction of cleaner, greener, sustainable and carbon-neutral choices for tomorrow. We’re assured that our vary of all-new SUVs, futuristic idea EV, hybrid, flex-fuel prototype and merchandise will seize the creativeness of fanatics,” says Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director & CEO, MSIL.