Big players stay away from Auto Expo | india | Hindustan Times
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Big players stay away from Auto Expo

NON-PARTICIPATION of major automobile players in the ?Auto Expo 2006? on the premises of the Hotel Lake View Ashok robbed the sheen of the ambitious exhibition, arguably the first of its kind in Madhya Pradesh.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 15:22 IST

NON-PARTICIPATION of major automobile players in the ‘Auto Expo 2006’ on the premises of the Hotel Lake View Ashok robbed the sheen of the ambitious exhibition, arguably the first of its kind in Madhya Pradesh.

Nonetheless, the expo has attracted a reasonably good number of visitors, prompting the organisers to think of bigger and better organised show in future.

Missing players and brands

PLAYERS: Hindustan Motors, Fiat, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Swaraj Mazda, Mercedes, BMW, Daewoo, Mitsubishi, Eicher, Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto, LML, Kinetic and Enfield.

BRANDS: Ford Ikon, Escort, Skoda Octavia, Lancer, Toyota Qualis, Innova, Scorpio, Chevrolet Tavera, Honda City, Accord, Opel Corsa, Fiat Sienna, Jubilee Uno et al.

Promoted and organised by Hotel Lake View Ashok on its premises, the expo has also showcased interior & exterior business of the automobile sector. Though major focus was supposed to be on automobile sector, a large chunk of participants belong to other sectors – from modular kitchen to confectioneries. Out of the 38 participants, not more than a dozen comprise two- and four-wheeler distributors.

The participants in automobile segment are – Mechmen Motors (Tata Motors), My Car (Maruti), Narmada (Hyundai), Yamaha (motorcycle), CI TVS & Hyundai, Surjeet Auto and Pushpa Automobiles. “Initially, we’d planned 60 stalls but finally there’re 38 participants as some of the participants have occupied more space,” said general manager, Hotel Lake View Ashok, Kamal Bharti.

Automobile companies have no direct participation in it. Out of 50-odd distributors in the City fewer than 10 two- and four-wheeler company distributors have registered presence.

“Considering it was the first time, response of the automobile companies can be said to be positive. They have assured us support next year,” says Bharti. However, several company officials and distributors sounded indifferent to the expo.

“In approach as well as concept of the expo, the promoters don’t seem professional. So, our participation through distributor isn’t there,” remarked a company official requesting anonymity.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s distributor Vishal Singh said he could not make it this time as he was abroad. Several distributors have adopted the policy of ‘wait and watch’. They feel if the expo is successful, they would think of participating next year.

“Auto expo basically intends to present latest vehicles, yet to be launched in the market. But, here it’s just a display of old models. Moreover, the organisers have quoted abnormally high rates for the venue which isn’t viable at all for our target customers,” remarked Hero Honda’s Vishal Johri. A GM’s official echoed the sentiments.

But, if a visitor wants to know more about car accessories and interiors, he might find the expo useful. Overshadowing cars and motorbikes, it is the non-auto segment that has generated more interest among visitors.

“We’re providing information to visitors about our ACC Help Centre and about good construction practices,” said an official of ACC Limited, Rajnish Choubey. However, Tata Motor’s new brand ‘Xeta’ — improvised version of Indica V2 petrol — has stolen the show.

Other stalls of interest are those showcasing tubeless tyres, China-made automobile instruments, auto-LPG kits, modular kitchens, Silk saris of Benaras, carpets and decorative items et al.

Visitors would find it beneficial, if they want to know more on decorating cars, like Mileage Shoppe has come up with information on glass treatment, interior cleaning, polishing and automatic tyre changer.

In addition, few re-modelled cars and motorcycles are fun to look at. Surprisingly, the lackadaisical attitude of organisers was quite visible, as they failed to provide a copy of brochure about the expo even to the media.

“There’s nothing new in car segment and only attraction is that one can enjoy ambience of an exhibition and fast foods,” added Mridula Pandey, a banker.