Amid economic slowdown, Auto Expo, the biggest spectacle in the Indian automobile sector, will begin next week with the industry hoping for a reignition of demand through the show which will see 70 new unveilings. Unlike in the past, the 12th edition of Auto Expo will be split into two due to space constraints, with the motor show being held at Greater Noida and auto components exhibition at the traditional venue of Pragati Maidan during February 5-11.
“There is pent-up demand, but consumers are delaying purchases because of factors like lesser income, high interest rates and inflation. We are hoping that this Auto Expo will draw them out to trigger demand, although the revival in the automobile market is unlikely unless there is a revival of economic growth,” SIAM President Vikram Kirloskar told reporters here.
During the expo, co-organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), there will be 70 new unveilings. Of these, 26 will be global models.
“Moreover, 15 global cars will be unveiled during the show…,” Kirloskar said. The Indian auto industry has been reeling under a prolonged slowdown, with annual car sales having declined for the first time in 11 years in 2013, posting a 9.59 per cent dip.
On the splitting of the show into two, he said: “Thoughwe would have liked to have the event at a single venue, the paucity of space has led us to have two different venues for auto and component makers. We don’t like the idea of having the event at two separate places.”
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He, however, evinced hope that the government would look into the issue of providing adequate space so that in future the event could be held at a single venue. The organisers ruled out the possibility of moving the show from Delhi-NCR saying the expo has been globally identified with the Capital, which is also the biggest market for cars along with the adjoining regions of Gurgaon and Noida.
SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said a total of about 5.40 lakh people were expected to visit. At the last expo in 2012, an estimated 7 lakh people had visited the expo.
“We expect around one lakh footfalls per day on the public days between February 7-11 at Greater Noida for the motor show. At the component show at Pragati Maidan, we expect 10,000 people per day,” Mathur said.