Braving chilly weather and long distances, more than 1 lakh people visited India’s flagship automobile show on Saturday, forcing organisers to periodically close entry to one of the display halls. Through the day, auto enthusiasts thronged the venue of Auto Expo 2014 in Greater Noida, about 35 kilometres from the national capital, to get a glimpse of luxury cars, superbikes and Bollywood stars.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, 1.1 lakh people visited the expo on Saturday. The show had attracted more than 60,000 visitors on Thursday.
The Greater Noida Expressway, a six-lane highway that connects Noida in Uttar Pradesh with Greater Noida, which normally sees little traffic on weekends, was clogged up as Delhiites made their way to the show. The Uttar Pradesh police had a tough time managing the rush, especially at the entry point of the exhibition area.
The display hall housing German luxury car makers had to be closed several times during the day as long queues of visitors lined up outside to see cars showcased by Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Halls hosting the stalls of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Ford, Renault, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover also attracted huge crowds.
Two-wheeler makers, too, had a tough time controlling the crowds as people thronged their pavilions.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India brought brand ambassador Akshay Kumar to its pavilion. Kumar, 46, known for his comic timing and action roles, attracted a large number of fans to the company’s pavilion, giving security personnel a tough time.
Although an online ticketing system was set up this year, long queues formed at the ticket counters during the day. Many people had to ask for directions to reach the counters. Ticket prices have been kept at Rs 200 and Rs 500.
The expo opened to the general public yesterday afternoon and will be open for them tomorrow as well. From Monday, the first half of the day would be for business visitors only.
Space constraints forced the organisers to split the 12th edition of the auto expo, which runs until February 11. The motor show is being held at Greater Noida and the auto components exhibition is at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.