The Ninth Auto Expo 2008, which kicked off on January 8 in the Capital, highlights the launch of new designs in the automotive sector. The expo would be open for public from January 10-17, and 29 countries are participating this year. It would also have largest ever overseas participation with countries like Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Spain Taiwan, the UK and the US.
Jointly organised by Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), media campaigns through outdoor, radio, print, sky balloon and direct mailers have been undertaken. The length and breadth of the Capital has been coloured with the different outdoor displays.
This year’s expo has been much awaited to see the launch of ‘Peoples’ Car’ by Tata Motors, which is speculated to be the Rs 1-lakh car. Tata Motors would also launch its New Sumo and unveil the New Generation Indica. In all, 30 new vehicle models would be launched during the eight-day expo. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s world premiere of Concept A-Star and the unveiling of Splash, SUVs from Volkswagen, Mitsubishi's i-MiEV would also find a place in the show. The expo would also exhibit General Motors India’s Cadillac CTS, Hummer H3, Chevrolet Sequel, Chevrolet T2X and Chevrolet WTCC Ultra, among others.
The event’s first ever Robo Expo would focus on robotics and automation techniques for the automotive industry. Compared to the Auto Expo last held in 2006, there are two new segments like ‘concept cars’ and ‘electric bikes’. The total number of exhibitors has also increased from 1,200 in 2006 to 2,000 this year.
“The car industry in India is growing by manifold, and so are exports and imports. We have 1.3 million cars on the Indian road, and this figure is expected to grow to 20 million by 2016. Imports touched the 4 million mark in 2007, while exports were near about 3.5 million in 2007,” said Sanjay Labroo, President, ACMA.