New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) With India emerging as a market for over 15 million vehicles each year, virtually every domestic and global major in the business will seek to mark more than their presence at the 11th edition of Auto Expo that kicks off here Thursday.
The five-day event at the sprawling Pragati Maidan exposition grounds also promises a slew of launches and first-time exhibits of vehicles in virtually every segment, and hopes to draw some 500,000 footfalls, said the organisers.
Held every two years, the event is being co-hosted by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).
'In the long run, auto companies are very bullish about the Indian market. That's why they'll showcase all their product offerings to familiarise customers,' Abdul Majeed, partner for the automotive practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told IANS.
'There may not be an immediate increase in sales or so. But the companies would want the customers to know about their product offerings,' he said, adding that fuel price hikes and rising interest rates had affected car sales last calendar year.
The trade show begins at Pragati Maidan in the capital Jan 5. Some 1,500 exhibitors from 24 countries are to participate in the show, with over 37 German firms coming together under the slogan 'Made in Germany'.
The previous Auto Expos have also been a major draw, having provided a platform for visitors to see what is in store in the domestic and global auto space, like the unveiling of the world's cheapest car - the Tata Nano.
This year, the main attractions are expected to be:
-Bajaj Auto's likely unveiling of entry-level passenger carrier, RE60.
-Maruti Suzuki rolling out its multipurpose vehicle Ertiga.
-Maruti Suzuki also showcasing a compact SUV Swift Sports and a hybrid version.
-Hyundai unveiling multi-utility vehicle HND-7, three-door utility coupe Veloster and premium sedan Elantra.
-Tata Motors' likely showcasing of a diesel variant of Nano.
-Italy's Fiat lining up its new Linea and Punto.
-French Renault's plan to unveil hatchback Pulse and SUV Duster.
-Germany's Mercedes showcasing its new M-class, sports car Roadster, and concept car A-Class.
-Germany's BMW's plan to unveil a wide range of minis.
-Germany's Audi showcasing its compact SUV Q3.
-First-time participation of Ferrari and Peugeot.
Over the years, India has emerged as a major market for the auto industry, with domestic sales during April-to-November growing at 13.08 percent to 11.34 million units from 10.03 million units in the corresponding period of last fiscal.
The country now is also a hub for exports, with 2.34 million units in 2010-11, apart from shipping out tens of millions of dollars worth of spare parts and components.