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Feast for car lovers at Auto Expo '08

Though Toyota Kirloskar Motors and Ford India have opted to stay away, several large players in the Indian market are going to be present, reports Deepak Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2008 22:48 IST
Deepak Joshi
Deepak Joshi
Hindustan Times

The Auto Expo may be different this time around because of the large presence of component manufacturers, but it still promises to be a feast for car lovers as well.

And, although Toyota Kirloskar Motors and Ford India have opted to stay away, several large players in the Indian market are going to be present.

The focus clearly would be on the much awaited Tata Motors' Rs 1-lakh car, besides the luxury cars from the Mercedes-Benz stable – 3-series convertibles (2 and 3 litre) that will be on display. For the discerning consumer, the C-Class Mercedes with 1.8 and 2.2 litre engines and 3 Series Coupe in 2-litre petrol and 3-litre diesel would also be something to watch out for.

German luxury car maker Volkswagen is gearing up to give Indian customers a display of its full range of products, ranging from the Polo and the Jetta to the top-end Phaeton and Touareg.

Honda Siel Cars India, a subsidiary of Japanese major Honda Motor, is planning to give visitors to the expo the option of looking at its environment friendly cars, apart from the models currently available here.

The FCX Concept on display would be the second-generation fuel-cell car from Honda, which pioneered fuel cell technology. A fuel-cell vehicle is powered by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated by a fuel-stack, which uses hydrogen as its energy source. The concept car boasts a fuel cell system that delivers more power in less space, in a unique, low-floor fuel-cell platform. It is a next-generation sedan with a low center of gravity and a full-sized cabin, offering the kind of driving pleasure and roomy interior previously unimaginable in a fuel-cell vehicle. The FCX Concept also features Honda's advanced intelligent technologies that reduce burden on the driver, and the spacious interior allows for extra-large seats to maximise comfort.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India is showing off its new concept cars — Concept A-Star, Kizashi and Concept Splash, apart from a hatchback version of Suzuki Motors' world rally car SX4.

Mahindra & Mahindra and its joint venture partner for Logan would be displaying te 2.2-litre diesel Scorpio hybrid, a 7-seater sports utility vehicle, and the Logan multi convivial vehicle, a 7-seater vehicle with 1.4 litre and 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.

General Motors is launching the Chevrolet Captiva, its sports utility vehicle, at the auto expo. The Cadillac CTS and Trax, a concept car, would also be on display at the GM stall. Fiat India, which has a marketing alliance with Tata Motors, is showing the Grande Punto, Lineas and Alfa Romeo 159.