In pics | A look back at 30 years of Delhi Auto Expo

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2016 15:52 IST

As Delhi gears to host the 13th edition of the Auto Expo in the first week of February, we take a look back at 30 glorious years of Asia’s largest motoring event.

The theme of the Delhi Auto Expo 2016 is “Mobility for all”, which was also its theme back in 2008 and 2014.

First edition - 1986

The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at the auto expo on January 11, 1986. (SN SInha/HT File Photo)

Conceived in 1985, the first expo was a domestic convention of 152 exhibitors organised from 3 to 11 January 1986 by ACMA, CII and SIAM with over 560,000 people in attendance, including the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Second edition - 1993

Display of cars from the era bygone, at the first edition of the Auto Expo on January 02,1986. (SN Sinha/HT File Photo)

The next Auto Expo took more than seven years to materialise. In 1993, the auto show was the first after economic liberalisation in the country with a keen eye on international ventures in the Indian auto sector. Inaugurated by the then finance minister Manmohan Singh, the expo’s punch line was “to make the future happen”. This edition of the expo saw participants from seven countries.

Third edition - 1996

The Auto Expo 1996 was inaugurated by the then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, and is most remembered for the EU-India Automotive Business Forum and the France Day celebrations under the leadership of Brijmohan Lall Munjal, the founder of Hero Motocorp.

January 16, 1998, the day that saw a major shift in the way Indian common man moved on four wheels. Tata Indica unveiled at the Auto Expo 1998 by Ratan Tata (Subhendu Ghosh/HT File Photo)

Fourth edition - 1998

The Master Blaster’s love for cars in hidden from none. And on one of those days when he was not busy creating records, Sachin Tendulkar was seen at MRF Tyres Stall at the auto expo on 22 January 1998 . (Pradeep Singh/HT File Photo )

In 1998, the Delhi Auto Expo saw a record number of 50 participants as well as over 150,000 visitors daily, as major carmakers like Hyundai, Ford and Daewoo chose India as their platform to raise the curtain on their latest models for the world. This year was also the year the Delhi Auto Expo became a biennial affair.

Fifth edition - 2000

The Josh Machine as it was aggressively branded, the Ford iKON GT unveiled on January 11, 2000 by the managing director of Ford India. (Pradeep SIngh/HT File Photo)

The next edition in 2000 saw the number of exhibitors surpass 1,000 and 25 new vehicles and 22 auto components were launched at the show. There was also, for the first time, a Green Pavilion to keep an eye on eco-friendly transportation technologies. Also, the first Asian Two Wheeler Conference was held on January 13, a stepping stone towards India becoming the largest two-wheeler market in the world.

Sixth edition - 2002

Beauty on wheels: Colourful latest Cars displayed at the 2000 Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi (Prakash Singh/HT File Photo)

Delhi motor show now started having a theme and 2002 featured a pavilion dedicated to “Safety Technology, Road Engineering and Enforcement”. A key development during the show was an Indo-American agreement between SIAM, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the National Alternate Fuels Training Consortium of the US to facilitate training on alternate fuel vehicles and systems. This was a major step towards converting Delhi’s diesel-fuelled public transport to CNG in view of the spiralling pollution levels.

Seventh edition - 2004

David Freidman and Randy Stockley of Ford India during the unveiling of the FORD IKON SPORT at the Auto Expo 2002,at Pragati Maidan in the capital on Monday.Photo-:KAUSHIK RAMASWAMY

The 2004 motor show was inaugurated by the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, and saw close to 960 participants. The show focused on the environment, road safety and breakthrough technologies.

Eighth edition - 2006

A model poses in front of a Ford car In-Xs at 8th Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on January 13, 2006 (Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo )

The year 2006 provided a much-needed boost to the Delhi motor show. Special thematic pavilions, trucking events, Auto Trade Dialogue and Styling and Design Conclave were some of the highlights of the eighth edition. The result was participation from over 26 countries, over a million visitors and business worth Rs 540 crore.

Ninth edition - 2008

“The one lakh rupee-dream”: Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata launched Tata Nano at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi January 10, 2008 (HT File Photo/Arvind Yadav)

There couldn’t have been a more apt theme than ”Mobility for All” of the ninth edition of the Delhi Auto Expo that saw Ratan Tata’s dream of Rs 1 lakh car turn into reality. Tata Nano not only made headlines around the world, it also made people take note of Indian innovation in the automotive market. Other highlights from the 2008 edition included a special pavilion for hybrid vehicles, another one for Diesel technology and over 1.8 million visitors to see products and technologists from over 40 countries. This was also the first time the expo was accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA).

Tenth edition - 2010

Maruti Suzuki presented a concept car at the Auto Expo, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on January 06, 2010. (Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)

The 10th auto expo was the biggest yet, witnessing as many as 72 launches, including the Honda Brio, Toyota Etios, Audi Q7 and Jaguar XJ. The stars of the show, however, were Honda Karizma ZMR and the Royal Enfield Classic 350.

Audi Motors unveiled the Audi Sportsback Concept at Auto Expo on December 05, 2010. (Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

Eleventh edition - 2012

A Chevrolet Concept car during the 11th Auto Expo 2012,at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Jan 11, 2012. (HT File Photo/Virendra Singh Gosain)

The 2012 motor show was the last to be held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, from January 5 to 11, 2012, with the first two days reserved for business, media and VIPs. The 11th edition saw close to 1,500 participants from 23 countries, with over 50 car and 20 bike launches, including exhilarating line-ups for the first time from Ferrari and Peugeot.

Twelfth edition - 2014

Renault concept KWID: What we see on the roads today is what was conceptualised like this in the last season of Delhi Auto Expo, in Greater Noida. (Raj k Raj/HT Photo )

The12th term of the Delhi Auto Expo was divided into two sections, and for the first time held at two different venues. The Components Show took place from February 6 to 9, 2014, at Pragati Maidan, while the Auto Show was held at the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida from Feb 7 to 11 that year. Around 60 new models including BMW i8, Renault Kwid concept, Ford Figo Sedan (now called Figo Aspire) and Chevrolet Adra were unveiled for India.

Thirteenth edition - 2016

This year, the Components Show is scheduled for February 4-7 and will showcase technology from more than 900 Indian and 600 international brands in 18 halls spread across 800,000 sq metres.

The Motor Show 2016 to be held from February 5 to 9 will host at least 1,580 participants from over 20 countries, with more than 80 new automobile launches. This figure was around 60 just two years back. The latest edition is expected to attract close to 700,000 motor enthusiasts.


Contests like “Passion for Innovation” for engineering students and “Asli Naqli” campaign against counterfeit products, conferences on automotive design, discussions on the industry and technology are likely to make the Delhi Auto Expo 2016 an engaging and exciting event.

Keep checking this space for more on the Delhi Auto Expo 2016

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