Thursday, January 09, 2014
By Kamal Swami
70 new vehicles expected from major car makers in Indian Auto Expo 2014
The longest-ever slump of 14-months may have hit automakers real hard, but it has not shaken the confidence of global carmakers that are planning to debut as many as 70 new vehicles in the upcoming 5-day Auto Expo to be held in Delhi from February 5. There will be 15 global launches of all-new cars and sporty utility vehicles during the mega event, according to people familiar with the development. Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest carmaker, is expected to debut blockbusters like the Celerio and the all-new SX4 to replace its existing products. Tata Motors is likely to launch at least five global vehicles and introduce a totally new range of hatchbacks and sedans coded under its Falcon and Dolphin range that will replace its ageing Indica and Indigo fleet. Its British marquee brand JLR will be unveiling two new products.
American carmaker Ford Motors is also expected to make a global debut of its next-generation Figo hatchback for the Indian market while South Korean carmaker Hyundai has lined up two new cars, including the sub-4 metre sedan and the Santa Fe SUV for India. Japanese carmaker Honda will unveil its new Jazz and the Mobolio MPV for India while Toyota could debut its next-gen global best-seller Corolla. Nissan will debut its new Sunny sedan. According to people familiar with the auto industry, there will be around three global launches of two-wheelers and eight world premier of new trucks and buses in the show. Also, 25 new products, specifically targeting the Indian costumers, will be introduced.
The Indian auto industry has been reeling under a massive slowdown with car sales having dipped by 10% in the April-November period while commercial vehicles have crashed by 29% during the same period. Only two-wheelers bucked the trend — they posted 6% growth and helped the Indian auto industry stay in positive territory with a marginal 1% growth to 12.40 million vehicles sold in the first eight months of the fiscal. Industry officials expect the auto show to feature the biggest display of vehicles with over two-dozen new concepts likely to be unveiled and showcased.
Capitalising on the current craze for SUVs, around half a dozen offerings are expected to be launched at the fair, including Chrysler's Jeep, Honda's all-new urban SUV and Maruti Suzuki's Alpha X based on the Swift platform. In the luxury SUV segment, the Mercedes compact SUV GLA, the new Q7 from Audi, and a new Range Rover are expected to fire up the expo.
Company executives are of the impression that SUVs are going to dominate the event unlike the hatchbacks and sedans that have been the mainstays of the Indian market in the past. Besides, Delhi-based Eicher Motors is likely to introduce at least half a dozen trucks and buses from its new Pro range, while Ashok Leyland will showcase more than 10 products from its Captain brand of trucks. The Delhi Auto Expo is Asia's largest motoring event and one of the largest motor shows in terms of visitor footfalls.
The venue has now been shifted to Greater Noida that is jointly organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), industry body CII and automotive component manufacturers' association ACMA. The event is likely to attract more than one lakh visitors per day. This show is expected to be the biggest-ever auto event with the total exhibition space of 48,000 square metres against 39,000 square metres in 2012. The list of new entrants includes Chrysler of the US, Isuzu Motors of Isuzu Motors of Japan and Hyosung of Korea, which along with 41 other companies, will showcase their new products at the Auto Expo next month.
Source: Economic Times