Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM, discusses with us the behind the scenes of the Auto Expo Show 2018. With more than 15 years of working with SIAM, Sen is in charge of the activities related to Trade Fairs which includes the Auto Expo. The Expo is all set to be a raging extravaganza with several aspects of the auto industry’s 70-year run on display, providing a complete view of the industry’s rich history to the patrons.
Could you elaborate on how the Auto Expo Show 2018 will be different from 2016?
Auto Expo – The Motor Show, the automotive industry’s much-awaited biennial event, witnessed the unveiling of over 108 global and Indian products in the 2016 edition.
The upcoming edition of The Motor Show will be a class above for industry stakeholders and visitors. It aims at creating an alluring experience for the visitors by resurrecting the exhibition’s image. The event will not only focus on static display of motor vehicles, but also on ‘Entire mobility eco-system’, a complete automobile package with the theme of “Co-create, co-exist and celebrate”. This metamorphosis will not only rechristen the image of ‘Auto Expo – The Motor Show’ internationally, amongst the illustrious line-up of motor shows but will also allow the discerning visitors to experience, comprehend and appreciate the kaleidoscopic journey of the automobile industry, especially over the last 20 years. The auto show will portray a complex labyrinth of safety, emissions and sustainability in a juxtaposed blueprint, to share the complex evolutionary cycle of the automobile industry. Going ahead with the massive success of the previous edition of the Auto Expo which has developed as a destination with a wide range of visitors, the Auto Expo organisers have offered one additional day for the Auto Expo Show exhibitors and visitors to celebrate.
What is the role you and your organisation will be playing in making this show a reality?
The growing popularity of the Auto Expo has stimulated us to come up with some new and exclusive offerings, which takes the Auto Expo several leaps ahead, making it an automobile destination. As it will be a holistic experience, this will allow the visitors to understand the automobile industry better and appreciate the progress it has made over the last 20 years, impacting aspects of safety, emissions and sustainability.
What has been planned for visitors at the Auto Expo-The Motor Show 2018?
The 2018 Auto Show will have six special zones introduced to provide the visitors with a holistic experience of the industry. The Exotica zone will see display of heritage cars and super cars and will be curated by their associations.
The Motorsports zone by the Motorsports club of India will display rally vehicles and various memorabilia. The Auto Gaming Arena by the E-gaming Society will organise the first all-India Auto Gaming Championship. The Future Mobility Experience zone will provide a VR experience of driving connected and autonomous electric vehicles to introduce the concept of future mobility. The zone ‘70 Years of Indian Automobility’ is a a special zone dedicated to 70 years of the automobile industry in India. It coincides with the 70th anniversary of our independence.
The Application Vehicles zone will display various application vehicles like law enforcement vehicles, army truck, school bus, dumper placer, ambulance, two-wheeler-based, media-assistance vehicles, etc.
What are the market trends you have observed in 2017? How much do you think this will impact the launches in the show?
In 2017, the Indian auto industry witnessed some interesting trends such as increasing sales of alternative technology vehicles, especially hybrid and electric. The industry also witnessed the introduction of BS IV vehicles across India an an increased penetration of cab aggregators, and shared mobility services in major cities.
Within the passenger vehicle segment, utility vehicles continued to witness growth in double digits, due to strong growth witnessed in the smaller utility vehicle segment where new launches and successful products continued to do well.
In the commercial vehicle segment, sales of light commercial vehicles (LCV) goods carrier did well due to good performance in the SCV segment (< 3.5 tonnes), whose demand was, in turn, driven by growth in replacement demand, improved financing and recovery in rural demand. In the two-wheelers segment, scooters segment did well due to increasing urbanisation and increased number of female buyers.
How do you expect the industry to grow in 2018? What new trends (manufacturing, production, end-product, connectivity) would emerge?
The auto industry is expected to witness high single digit growth in most of the vehicle segments. The year 2018 is expected to witness launches of new models in the small utility vehicle segment and scooters segment. Sales in small utility vehicles and scooter segment will continue to grow. Sales in M&HCV segment is expected to grow due to implementation of GST, which might lead to warehouse consolidation and hence demand for higher tonnage vehicles.
We might see cab aggregators increasing use of two-wheelers for taxi services. Globally, auto OEMs are moving towards autonomous vehicles, we do not see this to be a reality in India anytime soon. However, post vehicle tracking devices becoming a reality in India, it is expected telematics will play a major role in the new launches in 2018. Many companies are also expected to launch electric vehicle and others invest in electric vehicle technology looking at the emphasis Government of India has placed on it.
Do you think that some of the expectations of the auto industry would become a reality in 2018?
A clear policy direction, moderation of taxes, benefit for companies investing in R&D activities, etc is expected by the industry. We hope that some of these would become a reality. We wish for a clear policy direction for alternative renewable fuel vehicles so that OEMs can invest accordingly. Vehicles are one of the most heavily taxed manufactured product in the country. Even commercial vehicles, which are for general public attract the highest GST rate of 28 per cent. We hope some moderation in taxes would take place.
Please mention any other comments or opinions that you would like to share with our readers.
The Auto Expo has conventionally been one of the most pursued platforms for the automobile industry in India and with the continued success of the show; it has gained a global thrust giving the participating brands a worldwide exposure & offering the visitors a world class facilities. The Motor Show 2018 will witness participation of OEMs such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mercedes Benz, Mahindra and Mahindra, Honda Cars, SML Isuzu, Renault, Hyundai, Toyota Kirloskar, Hero MotoCorp, Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor, HMSI, Piaggio, BMW, Honda Motorcycles and Scooter, India Yamaha, JBM Auto, Suzuki Motorcycles, and many more major players in the Indian market. Apart from the above vehicle brands, there will be some new entrants in this edition like Kia Motors and India Kawasaki etc.