For the city's speed lovers

Auto Expo

The biennial automotive show Auto Expo will kick off on Wednesday with over 80 new models slated to be unveiled in the next two days reports PTI. While the first two days are open to media and business visitors, the expo will be thrown open to the public from February 5-9.

An estimated seven lakh visitors are expected during the expo. The show, jointly organised by SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), ACMA (Automotive Components Manufacturers Association) and the Confederation of Indian Industry, will take place at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. SIAM President Vinod K Dasari had said that the expo this time would focus on electric and hybrid vehicles with a theme of mobility for all.

The auto expo is being held at a time when the automobile manufacturers are under pressure amid rising concerns over pollution, specially in Delhi-NCR, where diesel SUVs and cars with engines above 2,000 cc have been banned following a Supreme Court order. Some of the major participants would be Maruti Suzuki India, Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India, Tata Motors and Audi, among others.

New participants include Jeep, Polaris, and Italian motorcycle maker Benelli. Some companies have also given it a miss citing high costs and low returns on investments. These include Bajaj Auto, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson. Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj yesterday said it is too expensive to participate in the biennial show and wasteful to create expensive concepts. Nevertheless, the organises have been upbeat that there will be an increase in the number of footfalls to seven lakh this time. Around 5.6 lakh people visited the show during the last edition.

The show will see 65 exhibitors as against 55 in the previous edition which saw launch of around 70 products. Exhibition space has also been increased to 73,000 square meters from the earlier 69,000 square meters. Coinciding with the Auto Expo, ACMA will host the components show at the Capital's Pragati Maidan from February 4-7, in which around 1,500 exhibitors are expected to participate.

Around 900 of them are Indian firms, while the remaining 600 are from overseas, including China, Canada, Germany, Japan and South Korea. Auto Expo is being held at Greater Noida for the second successive time as its original home Pragati Maidan proved inadequate to host the show, which has grown over the years.

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