The show is a culmination of the growing shift towards an alternative source of power for vehicles as demonstrated by the breadth of EVs and disruptive technologies showcased.
Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018, jointly organised by - Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), was held from February 9 to 14, 2018.
This edition of the Auto Expo culminated with a resounding success and has been the harbinger of transformation for the Indian auto industry. The Motor Show witnessed over 500 product displays from 119 exhibitors. This included 53 original vehicle manufacturers showcasing over 100 products, included 22 launches, 81 product unveilings and 18 concept showcase. There were 14 new brand launches that included Kia Motors India, India Kawasaki Motors and Cleveland CycleWerks.
A total of 11 start-ups marked presence in India through this edition of Auto Expo 2018. The crowds converged in large numbers, not just on the weekends but also on regular weekdays. The additional day saw large congregation, especially at the special zones created this time.
Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM, said, “Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018 is yet another milestone as a grand exposition that has built a brand image for itself over the years. It is the biggest platform for the Indian automobile industry to showcase its journey towards the future of ‘Mobility in India’, with competitive and world class products, technology, and futuristic concept.”
Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM, said, “The successful completion of the Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018 is a great achievement for the industry. We had 6,05,175 footfalls during this edition of the Auto Expo, as was expected. The extension of the Auto Expo by one day has been welcomed by visitors and manufacturers alike. It helped us manage the crowd efficiently, use the infrastructure optimally with no bottlenecks on roads and parking. The feedback received from all quarters has been positive and has been a wonderful experience for all which was one of the key objectives of the Motor Show.”
The Motor Show and the Components Show were inaugurated jointly by Anant Geete, Minister, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, who felicitated the auto industry for supporting the government in its endeavor and applauded the Auto Expo for being a platform that brings together the entire automotive fraternity on a level plinth.
EV in focus
There were 25 electric vehicles showcased in this edition of the Auto Expo with 6 of them belonging to the Mahindra Group alone. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd unveiled its plans to shape the ‘Future of Mobility’ at the Auto Expo 2018. The Future of Mobility is a showcase of Mahindra’s sustainable mobility solutions that are technologically advanced and aim to optimally address the evolving needs and preferences of the consumers. It highlights the company’s future-ready suite of unique passenger and mass mobility products, concepts and solutions built around its ‘3Cs’ philosophy of ‘clean, connected and convenient’. As India’s EV pioneer, Mahindra also displayed its widest range of electric vehicles, including concepts and technology.
M&M showcased its entire range of electric vehicles as well as mobility solutions and concepts from three wheelers to buses. This included the Udo, a two- seater electric pod concept; the Atom, a new age urban mobility solution for emerging India; the Treo, a cutting-edge Lithium-ion battery powered electric three-wheeler; the e2o NXT, a refreshed version of the e2oPlus hatchback; the eKUV100, India’s first electric mini SUV; and the e-Cosmo, the company’s new electric bus. Apart from its wide range of electric vehicles, Mahindra also showcased its futuristic range of products. This included SsangYong Motor’s new G4 Rexton, the global SUV with Mahindra badging, which will be launched in India with an all new brand name; the TUV Stinger, the first Indian convertible SUV.
The Udo has been conceptualised to address the issues that plague urban mobility, including traffic congestion and pollution. Moreover, the battery recharges as you pedal, thereby extending the Udo’s range in an environment-friendly manner.
Atom aims to reimagine last-mile connectivity while its minimalist design philosophy allows it to retain a compact footprint without compromising on interior space. The Atom is powered by Mahindra’s new electric powertrain which features batteries that can be swapped to extend the vehicle’s range, allowing it to operate uninterrupted for long hours. As India’s first electric SUV, the e-KUV100 combines the benefits of an SUV with the unique advantage of an electric vehicle. The motor has a range of over 140 km, and optional fast charging which can extend its range by 80 per cent in less than an hour. Mahindra also showcased its first electric bus, the e-Cosmo. Powered by a direct drive motor developed in partnership with TM4, Canada, this zero-emission bus has a highly reliable electric power train system and regenerative braking system.
Much like the previous editions, this year saw participation of glitterati including legendary sports personalities, actors and performers. The event also saw the world premiere of the next generation Honda Amaze. The company unveiled the fifth generation Honda CR-V and much awaited tenth generation Honda Civic which makes a comeback to the Indian market. All these models are scheduled to be launched in India in FY 2018-19. Already being a very popular model among the petrol premium SUVs, this is the first time that Honda CR-V will also be introduced with Diesel powertrain. The globally acclaimed tenth generation Civic will also be introduced in both petrol and diesel in India. HCIL displayed their current models including advanced Accord Hybrid, best seller Honda City, Honda WR-V, Honda BR-V, Honda Jazz and Honda Brio.
At Auto Expo 2018, Honda pavilion showcased a concept model, the Sports EV Concept, which combines EV performance and AI (artificial intelligence) inside a compact body. Along with this the Honda NeuV, an EV concept model that explores the potential of mobility products, will be further expanded by automated driving technologies and AI. NeuV makes judgments about the driver’s state of stress based on facial expressions and tone of voice and provides assistance to the driver to support safe driving, and by learning the driver’s lifestyle and preferences, provides suggestions to the particular driver.
The pavilion also showcased Honda Sensing, the new suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies that can help sensing things you might miss while driving. Honda Sensing operates to detect and take action to avoid situations such as one-car accidents, collisions, pedestrian injuries, and missed road signs and provides safety.
Auto ancillary suppliers also used the occasion to introduce innovative products to vehicle makers. TVS Srichakra Ltd, which markets its two & three wheeler tyres and off-highway tyres under the brand names of TVS Tyres and Eurogrip, showcased its diverse product portfolio that includes two-wheeler radial tyres with the special focus on Protorq, which is the company’s high performance radial tyres for premium motorcycles. “We feel extremely happy to associate with the 2018 Auto Expo and showcase our product range in the two-wheeler segment. This prestigious show serves as a great platform for our brand to effectively maximize our visibility and further strengthen our presence in the domestic market,” said P Vijayaraghavan, Director, TVS Srichakra Ltd.
A collaborative effort
BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad debut together in India for the first time with an unparalleled product offensive. The sixth generation of the high performance sedan, the all-new BMW M5 was launched at Auto Expo 2018. The all-new BMW M5 features innovative technologies such as BMW Gesture Control which is part of a rigorously thought-out operating concept that recognizes six pre-defined hand movements for control of a number of functions. All acceleration and braking actions are monitored and controlled by the Park Distance Control (PDC) with the Parking Assistant.
The first-ever BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo was also launched at the expo. BMW Gesture Control, which is part of a rigorously thought-out operating concept that recognizes six pre-defined hand movements for control of a number of functions. The BMW Display Key allows drivers to keep in contact with their car round the clock. Besides fuel level and service-related information, the colour display can also indicate whether the car’s doors, windows and panoramic glass sunroof are closed or not. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, it blends maximum power with exemplary efficiency. The two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine of BMW 630i produces an output of 190 kW / 258 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 1,550 – 4,400 rpm. The car accelerates from 0-100 km / hr in just 6.3 seconds.
The real attraction this year were the special zones that generated a lot of buzz around and also had massive crowds congregating in the special zones. These zones not only gave a fresher unconventional perspective to the Auto show but were also instrumental in drawing a younger audience. More than 750 government school children were given a unique opportunity to visit the Auto show. A session on the future of mobility expounded the essence of ‘70 years of Indian Automobility’. An Indo-German joint working group meeting was also organised to develop industrial synergies between auto industry in both the countries and an ‘Auto Trade Dialogue’ was organised, where global industry experts from China, Japan, Germany, Italy, the UK and Canada deliberated upon the need for greater levels of collaboration for the development of driverless, connected and autonomous zero emission vehicles for future mobility.
During the Auto Expo, a job fair was also organised by the Automotive Skills Development Council, in association with SIAM. The job fair offered 136 jobs to youngsters in the field of automation and auto-ancillary segment. A delegation of State Road Transport Undertakings from across the country also visited the Motor Show. There were various interesting and engaging activities at the anti-counterfeiting zone and quiz at “70 Years of Indian Automobility”. The 12th SIAM Styling and Design Conclave 2018 was also held at the Auto Expo where experts spoke on the emerging facets of styling and design of automobiles to enhance design for sustainability. The vintage car pavilion also witnessed massive footfall.
This edition had other aspects that made it stand out amongst the long list of auto shows around the world. The Motor Show 2018 witnessed a tremendous response on social media as there were more than 1.5 lakh tweets on its official hashtag. The social media of Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2018 used every possible medium like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube to engage and inform the audience who could not visit the show. A mobile phone application is also available for Android and Apple users providing details about ticketing, hall layout, exhibitors, location etc.
The impressive consumer response and influx of visitors coming to the Auto Expo is a testament to the success of the year’s show, setting the tone for the next financial year for the auto industry.