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Curtains come down on 7th Auto Expo

Out of the over 1 mn visitors that visited the expo, about 1.5 lakh came to have an interface with over 960 automobile and ancillary companies from 26 countries.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2004 18:42 IST

Curtains came down on the 7th Auto Expo, dubbed as Asia's largest auto show, with over a million people thronging the fair amid rollout of new vehicles and unveiling of future models.

Out of the over one million visitors, about 1.5 lakh came during the business hours to have an interface with over 960 automobile and ancillary companies from 26 countries, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said on Tuesday.

However, General Motors, Ford, Honda Siel, Mahindra and Mahindra, Toyota, Fiat, Hero Honda and Kinetic did not take part in the six-day show, citing steep participation fees and lack of new models to showcase.

The return of Maruti Udyog and Bajaj Auto, who abstained from the biennial event in 2002, brought some cheers to the organisers - CII, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Automobile Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

The hallmark of the show was the launch of the Rs 5 crore car 'Maybach' by DaimlerChrysler and showcasing of the Nissan sports-utility-vehicle 'X-Trail' and Audi 'TT Coupe'.

The expo was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, whoasked the industry to develop a Rs 1 lakh car.

Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata said the planned 'people's car' would be developed by 2007 and it would meet all the safety and emission norms. Tata Motors unveiled a station wagon model based on the 'Indigo' mid-size car and a new version of its premium small car 'Indica'.

Hyundai Motor launched a diesel model of the 'Accent Viva' while Maruti Udyog showcased the Suzuki concept car 'Concept S' and four other vehicles, including the world's fastest motorcycle 'Hayabusa'.

First Published: Jan 20, 2004 18:42 IST