Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Kamal Swami
More than 70 cars and bikes will showcase their charm during Indian Auto Expo 2014
Car and bike aficionados are set for a treat with 70 new launches scheduled at the Auto Expo. Of these, 26 will be global unveilings. The biennial event will kick off at Greater Noida from February 7. This is the first time the event is being held outside Delhi after it was blamed for choking the capital's roads when it was held at Pragati Maidan.
Mass-market players like Maruti, Hyundai and Honda and luxury automakers Audi, BMW and Mercedes alike will be trotting out debutants.
Eagerly awaited launches include Maruti's Celerio, which seeks to make automatic driving affordable. The Celerio, which will compete with models like the Hyundai i10, Ford Figo, Honda Brio and some from Maruti's own stable, will sport a 1-liter petrol engine and Maruti promises that the auto version will not be priced prohibitively. The company will also unveil an all-new sedan, apart from concept models. Hyundai will take a shot at the entry-sedan segment with an all-new midsize built on the i10 Grand compact's platform. The new sedan -- which will be unveiled on February 4 — will take on models like the Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze. The company will also showcase a concept coupe while also launching the new Santa Fe SUV.
While the market heavyweights add to their line-up, Datsun will hold the world premiere of a new hatchback. The company, that re-enters the car market with the 'Go' small car in March this year, is banking on emerging markets like India. It will also showcase the Go Plus MUV, that was unveiled at the Jakarta Motor Show in September last year. Companies will also try to tap into the growing love of Indians for compact SUVs. Volkswagen will showcase its Taigun while General Motors will bring the sub 4-meter Adra concept. Fiat is also expected to showcase a new compact SUV, while Renault will unveil an upgraded version of its Duster SUV, a vehicle that created the mini SUV segment. Also joining this party will be homegrown Tata Motors BSE 0.82 % which is likely to unveil a concept for an all-new compact SUV.
Mahindra & Mahindra will not launch any new vehicle but unveil models like a hybrid version of the XUV500 and an auto-gear shift variant of the Quanto. Honda, which has seen a good run in the market on the back of models like Amaze and Brio, will unveil the new Jazz hatchback and Mobilio MPV, both of which will be launched later in the year. Moving over to the luxury side, Mercedes Benz will unveil the AMG version of its CLA sedan and the concept of the GLA compact SUV, which will come to India later. Also, it will showcase its F1 podium car, driven by Nico Rosberg. BMW will showcase its visionary 'i' concept vehicles while compatriot Audi will unveil the highly-awaited Audi A3 Sedan and the RS 7 sports car.
On the two-wheeler side, legendary bikemaker Harley Davidson will unveil the Street 750 bike while homegrown Hero Moto will showcase a variety of new models and concepts.
Media previews will begin from February 5, while February 6-7 will be for the media, special invitees and dealers. The event will open for the public from February with a ticket price of Rs 500 for business hours (10am-1pm, weekdays) and Rs 200 for general hours. The organizers plan to offer shuttles from the Botanical Garden metro station at Noida and from Pragati Maidan. The event is being seen with much hope and anticipation by automakers who have been struggling over the past two years as poor economic climate and general despondency among buyers have kept sales low.
Source: Economic Times