It is finally here! The much awaited event “The Auto Expo 2012” kicks off against the backdrop of one of the worst slowdowns to hit the industry in recent times. Though we are posting this blog almost half a day after the actual curtain raiser for the event happened, we belive in a policy of better late than never. Coming back to the Auto Expo blog, More than 50 new launches are expected from the big names in the business such as Maruti Suzuki, Ford, Renault, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz. The rising interest rates and the economic slowdown have hurt demand and sales growth has slowed to 3-4% from the heady 30% clip in posted in 2010–11.
Auto Expo is the largest automotive show in India as well as in Asia which is accredited by OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles; English: International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers). The theme is “Mobility for All”.
The 11th Auto Expo is being organized by ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India) which is the national body of the Indian auto component industry, CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) which works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, SIAM (Society of India Automobile Manufacturers) which is the apex national body representing the leading vehicles and vehicular engine manufacturers in India.
This year it is scheduled from 5th – 11th Jan. 2012 at the Pragati Maidan , New Delhi. The forthcoming edition will showcase latest technological products, components and vehicles. The special focus will be on Green technologies and environment. There will be 1500 exhibitors from over 24 countries.
The Auto Expo is India’s equivalent of the Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Geneva motor shows. The Auto Expo at Delhi is gaining size and stature worldwide with the global demand for cars shifting from developed western markets to emerging economies in the BRIC ( Brazil, Russia, China and India) bloc. It seems that Delhi show is trying to mimic the Shanghai Auto show, which is now the hottest destination for global carmakers. In the last two years, India has seen a growth of 26% and 30% respectively in this segment which has made Delhi a “must present” destination as car companies are lining up for a piece of the fastest growing market in the world after China.
The big names in the business are familiar to the Delhi show. This year, Ford Motor’s chief executive Alan Mullaly, six board members from the from Europe’s biggest car company Volkswagen including Ulrich Hackenberg and Skoda Auto’s global chairman Winfried Vahland are already in the town.
The Expo is full of segment-busting debutantes as car makers’ position products in new niches for some incremental volumes. The big list includes the new multi-purpose vehicle Ertiga from Maruti Suzuki, Audi’s Q3 compact luxury SUV, Ford and Renault’s mini SUVs and the Mini Cooper from BMW.
The Ertiga depicts the entry of Maruti into the multi-purpose vehicle section. It is based on the rIII concept that made its debut at the 2010 Auto Expo. The car is expected to be priced somewhere around Rs. 7 – 8 lakhs. This car is being treated as a “big launch” as Maruti is always known for its strength, durability and understanding of the Indian car market in the sub Rs 10 lakhs segment. The Ertiga, competitor of Toyota innova and Mahindra Xylo, will be loaded with a 1.3 litre diesel engine (used in SX4)and an all new 1.4 litre petrol engine. Maruti is hoping to create a new segment with the product and expects to not only generate fresh demand but also poach sedan customers, Shashank Srivastava, Chief GM, Marketing and Sales, said.
The Audi Q3, the new vehicle from the German car company, will be a rival to BMW’s mini SUV, the X1, and is expected to priced at around Rs 22 lakhs. With the Q3, Audi is expected to move up to the second position in the luxury market, ahead of Mercedes Benz and behind BMW. “It will be a game-changer product for us and we are confident that Q3 will help us gain an edge in the luxury space” Michael Perschke, Audi India Head, said.
A number of SUVs pricing in the range of Rs 10 lakh will debut at the expo, including the EcoSport from Ford and Duster from Renault. These new products are expected to compete with the homegrown Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari. Mahindra will also be unveiling the Rexton and Korando SUVs from Ssangyong, the Korean company it acquired last year.