Highlighting the theme Mobility for All and Green Environment, the 10th Auto Expo is expected to be a packed show, riding on the back of economic recovery and robust sales
Historically, automobiles in India have always been associated with the wealthy and the powerful. With the states and maharajas becoming a thing of the past, automobiles are today reaching the mass in India, turning the Indian auto industry into the ninth largest in the world with an annual production of over 2.3 million units according to industry experts. In 2009, the Indian automobile industry is set to climb a few slots up. Asia's fourth largest exporter of automobiles behind Japan, Korea and Thailand, the Indian auto industry, encouraged by government policies, is turning into a global small car hub for companies like Hyundai, Suzuki and General Motors. Despite recession the Indian economy, as a whole, clocked good growth. This translated into healthy auto sales from July 2009 onwards. Zeroing in on the auto sector and the second half of 2009 proved to be a good time. November 2009 was especially good with most automakers and across the spectrum clocked good numbers.With the visibility of new, revolutionary cars like Tata Nano increasing, the Indian auto industry is all set to turn a leaf in history. While the New York Times has reported that India's strong engineering base and expertise in manufacturing low-cost, fuel-efficient cars has resulted in the expansion of manufacturing facilities of several automobile companies like Hyundai Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Suzuki, the forthcoming Auto Expo is expected to set the tone for the next two years, which is certain to witness prolific activity. A CII, SIAM and ACMA organised event that was first held in 1986, the Auto Expo has turned into a meeting point for the global auto industry in India and largely South East Asia. The only show in India accredited by OICA, the 10th Auto Expo 2010 is already showing signs of turning into a packed show with record bookings and a long waiting list! Showcasing automobiles, automotive components, accessories and more, the 10th Auto Expo will play host to a number of automotive premieres along with the launch of new accessories, systems and parts. Prominent among the new launches would be two-wheelers, small cars and commercial vehicles. With an estimated 12 new small cars expected to be launched between this event and the next, the 10th Auto Expo is expected to highlight upon the important developments in the direction of mass mobility and green environment. This is also the theme of this year's show. While a number of "green" initiatives are expected in the form or electrics, hybrids and concepts, among the launches that are expected to draw attention is the launch of a new small car from GM called the Beat; premiere of a Maruti sedan Kizashi and Eeco, a five door C-segment vehicle that has been specifically designed for India and can seat between five to seven people; introduction of a new 100 cc two-wheeler by Honda; higher powered (TJet and MultiJet) engines for the Punto and Linea by Fiat; launch of Skoda Yeti and unveiling of the Superb Combi; world premier of Toyota's small car (in Hall 6) and many others. While a battery of hybrids including the Toyota Prius and Maruti-Suzuki Swift hybrid is expected to make an appearance at the show with a possible launch in the near future, small cars are certain to steal the show. Recognised as a gateway to the Indian market, a place where every auto manufacturer wants to be a part of, or already is, the 10th Auto Expo will witness the premiere of Harley Davidson! Apart from Harley Davidson and what is considered to be India's Harley, the Royal Enfield, which introduced the Classic Bullet 500 recently, a battery of CBU imports is expected to premiere at the show. These would be iconic scooters as well as big-capacity machines. Coming to iconic autos and big capacity machines, both four-wheeled and two-wheeled, apart from the ones mentioned above there is a long list of participants that includes Bentley, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar, Renault, Reva Electric and many more. Apart from Reva Electric, which is expected to display the two-door, attractively styled NXG electric car, Electrotherm, Emmel Wheelers and Tara International will forward the cause of environment-friendly electric mobility at the show. Special vehicles will be taken care of by DC Design, Metaltech Motor Bodies and Tratec Engineers whereas the utility vehicle space is expected to get a fill-up with the launch of a MPV from Tata. Mahindra, too, is expected to launch a new vehicle at the show. Apart from autos, the show will also host an engine pavilion focused on engines and their technologies. Other pavilions would cater to equally interesting areas like accessories, audio equipment, alternate fuel/gas technologies, design and IT, garage equipment, etc. The diesel city pavilion, like the one at the last event, is expected to focus on the new developments in the field of diesel technology. The Asli/Naqli pavilion, at the other end, is expected to focus on issues like duplication and adulteration. A new avenue - Styling & Design My Car Contest - will encourage students and engineering students to take up automotive engineering and designing. Interestingly, the engine pavilion will see the participation of engine makers like Cooper Corporation, Honeywell, Turbon India, Kirloskar Oil Engines and Mahindra Navistar among others. On an international level, the 2010 show is expected to witness the largest ever overseas participation with country pavilions from Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemborg, Spain, Taiwan, UK, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Dubai, Malaysia, Sweden among others. The show will have close to 2000 participants from 29 countries covering, according to the organisers of the Auto Expo, spread over an area of 1,25,000 sq.m. Of the country pavilions, the German pavilion, which is also probably bigger than others, will include some of the well known names in the business like Bosch, Continental, Doerken MKS, Hella India, Jost India, Klueber Lubrication India, Schaeffler KG, Brose, Huco, Norma, Edag, Voith Turbo, ZF and many others. Many of these are OE suppliers to major automakers across the globe. Continental, at the show, would be displaying the "IDOL" concept car, which represents the integration expertise of continental combining innovative subsystems and components and uniting them into one vehicle.Component suppliers like Allison Transmission and Michelin announcing plans to set up a manufacturing facility in India, and the ones like Metalman Auto which is setting up a joint venture facility with Cellino of Italy, supported by heavy investments, the India auto industry has truly come of age. Eaton, which commissioned its auto transmission plant for commercial vehicles at Pune in 2008, will be exhibiting its range of automotive (including a supercharger) and CV transmission products at the show and is neighbored by commercial vehicle majors like Volvo, Ashok Leyland, AMW, Force Motors and others. Of the CV makers mentioned here, Volvo is expected to exhibit a new luxury coach with fresh interiors.At the last Auto Expo in 2008, the components industry showed its mettle by owning up more than half the available space. They could be found in no less than six to seven halls out of an estimated fifteen halls. Spread over 140,000 sq.m, this year's show is set to witness participants dealing in not just automobiles but also in the allied branches of the industry like components, accessories, automotive IT, garage equipments, oil and lubes, auto electronics, leasing and finance, insurance, CAD/CAM solutions, alternate fuel systems/kits, coach builders/designer vehicle manufacturers, design concepts, finance, etc. Of these fields, the garage equipment section will witness the participants of big players like Protec, Manatec, Chicago Pneumatics, Dent Masters, Dynabrade, Man Machine, Rai Automotive, Madhus and more. Madhus, a household name in garage equipment arena, will display a new, Hunter wheel aligner, a spot welder and a Hunter 9600 heavy-duty system. Auto component and aftermarket parts will be represented by numerous companies including the likes of Varroc, Endurance, Yapp Zoom Automotive, Wabco TVS, Tech Auto, Sona Group, SKH Metals, Sigma Group, Shriram Pistons and Rings, Sector Automotive, Pricol, Neolite, Motherson Sumi Group, Mark Exhaust, TVS Group, Fenner, Federal Mogul India, Dow Corning, Delphi, Enkei Castalloy, Anand Group, Amtek Auto, ANG Auto and many others. Celebrating a silver jubilee, the 10th Auto Expo is exceed expected to set new standards, reflecting a new level of maturity earned by the Indian auto industry. Something that is extended by the kind of investments this sector is attracting off late. More could be coming by the time the 10th Auto Expo takes off!