The 13th edition of the Delhi Auto Expo kicked off for the media at the India Expo Mart (IEM) in Greater Noida on Wednesday, with brands from over 20 countries showcasing various cars, bikes and automobile trends.
The expo opens for public viewing on Friday, February 5, and will go on till February 9.
Among the big launches of the day are Maruti Suzuki’s crossover Vitara Brezza, BMW 1 series and Hyundai Tucson.
Started in 1986 as a 9-day domestic convention of automakers in the country, the Auto Expo has steadily grown in both size and influence over the last three decades. With 1,580 participants unveiling over 80 new cars and bikes, the show is expected to attract nearly 7 lakh people.
Watch | Auto Expo 2016 kicks off with media preview
The 2014 edition of the expo saw over 60 new launches with nearly 560,000 people in attendance.
Along with the Motor Show in Greater Noida, the Components show will be held in Pragati Maidan’s exhibition halls from February 4-7, with a focus on the cutting edge technologies and tools the automobile world has adopted.
The Auto Expo is jointly organised by the Automotive Components Manufacturing Association (ACMA), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) and is accredited by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
Contests like the “Passion for Innovation” challenge for currently enrolled engineering students and the Asli Naqli campaign against counterfeit products, conferences on automotive design, discussions on the industry and technology will also be held.
Notable absentees from this year’s Auto Expo include major automakers like Royal Enfield and Bajaj Auto. While Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj said the expo was “too expensive to participate” and opted to launch the new Bajaj V bike in a Delhi hotel on Monday, Royal Enfield decided to unveil its new off-road bike, Himalayan, in a South Delhi theme park the following day.
The Delhi Auto Expo 2016, in the wake of Make in India and Skill India campaigns, has the potential to establish India on the world automobile map as one of the premier manufacturing hubs for the motorvehicle industry. But with recent curbs on diesel vehicle sales in the National Capital Region (NCR), and a simultaneous push for eco-friendly transportation, the real success of the expo will be determined by how it promotes and visualises hybrid and electric vehicle technology in the near future.
Also, while major auto shows of the world are miles ahead discovering self-driving car technologies, the theme “Mobility for all”, carried-forward from the 2014 edition, will need to make an impact on the clogged Indian roads and over-populated public transport.
Also during recent years, ventures by global brands, rising production costs, and Indian legislators’ opposition to diesel engines have kept the Indian auto sector abuzz, which is set to be the third largest in the world by this year.
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