Men (women too) and machines converged in one venue for the annual automobile extravaganza, Auto Expo, in the National Capital. And as is the usual norm, several auto majors had significant announcements to make. Like Day One, Day Two of the Expo also saw auto majors unveil some of the most awe inspiring machines.
Tata Motors caused quite a stir with the unveiling of the first Indian limousine on Friday. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Motors, launched the limousine, with top-of-the-line features. Also on display is the X-over, a crossover concept vehicle, which is a family tourer with the looks of a sports utility vehicle.
Speaking at the launch, Tata said, “Tata Motors has just crossed the landmark of 50 years in automobile manufacturing. It has established a firm imprint in every segment of the automobile industry in the country and several markets abroad.”
The prime exhibit, the Long Wheel Base premium version of the Indigo XL, is a luxury sedan with a wheelbase of 2650 mm, a stretch of 200 mm and top-of-the-line features. The Indigo Xl is scheduled for launch towards the latter half of 2006.
The company also launched a reconfigured and newly speed entry-level petrol range of the popular new Indica V2 Xeta. The Xeta range is priced between Rs 2.69 lakh and Rs 3.65 lakh.
In another important development, Fiat Group and Tata Motors announced the signing of a pact to cooperate on dealer network sharing, which encompasses the sale of Fiat branded cars through selected Tata outlets throughout India. Tata Motors will manage the marketing and distribution of the Fiat branded cars in India.
Another auto major, Ashok Leyland also unveiled its Inter City Luxura and Newgen Aero. The Inter Century Luxura is a 12-meter long super luxury, intercity coach built on space frame and suspended on air springs. Newgen Aero 4026J is a futuristic offering keeping in mind the expected changes in the Indian commercial vehicle market.
Honda SIEL Cars India (HSCI) showcased the technological might of Honda with a grand display of several hi-tech vehicles, including the much-awaited Honda Civic. In keeping with its theme at the Expo, “Raising the Bar”, HSCI gave the Indian public a glimpse of the world’s most advanced next-generation technologies – the eco-friendly hybrid “Insight” and the fuel-cell powered “FCX”. HSCI is the first company to display these technologies in India.
Addressing the media at the Expo, HSCI President and CEO, M Takedagawa, said, “The Civic you see here will be launched in India this year with some minor modifications to suit Indian tastes and conditions. As part of our efforts to pave the way for the new product, we have already increased our production capacity. We are also in the process of increasing our dealer and service network in the country to reach out to more customers in more cities.”