Auto shows are becoming synonymous to a global pedestal that enthral a population not limited by geographical boundaries. In a globalised economy where information flow is at break-neck speed, motor shows are gaining prominence for introduction of newer technologies, path-breaking manufacturing benchmarks and viable concepts. Not long ago, auto shows were a ‘Mecca’ for new car launches. There were many cars that revolutionised the auto market with their presence, generating a new-found excitement amongst the people. Some of these cars gained iconic status. Over the years, auto shows have built a separate identity and brand image for themselves, often being pitted against each other in terms of magnitude, size, number of exhibitors, footfalls, etc. The opening of trade channels, impact of globalisation and competitive environment further helped cement the cross-cultural and geographical void, bolstering participation from neighbouring countries. This cross-cultural interaction of global proportion, apparent at most auto shows, stands testament to the concerted effort of countries to promote FDI, greenfield investment, technology transfer and tourism through large-format auto shows.
Auto shows are also a reflection of the state of the industry. Since auto industry is a major innovator, inducing huge investment in R&D and production, and major contributor to government revenues, it will always generate interest. Auto shows are the hub that provide the point of confluence for these interests. The fanfare associated with auto shows gives them a rather alluring status that simply cannot be emulated by an individual event done in isolation. Today, the quest for better, more efficient and cleaner alternatives of mobility has usurped a new era supported by governments the world over, complemented by auto manufacturers who have begun investing hugely in developing diverse platforms that run on alternative energy. Auto shows are adapting to the changing ecosystem, moving away from the conventional mediums of static display, employing newer tech and digital mediums for information dissemination.
Another reason for the increasing popularity of auto shows is the simple economics that helps companies derive better returns and more eyeballs in a short span of time. Auto shows also provide an opportunity to manufacturers in the form of synergistic advantages, like product specialists inside exhibit areas to answer any questions. Ultimately, auto shows add a new-found exhilaration, a larger integrated marketing opportunity for influencing the potential buyers’ decision.
Towards that, Auto Expo-The Motor Show 2018 has geared up for a transformational resurrection of its image this year. It moves from static display to offering insights on the future of mobility, displaying an array of EVs, hybrids and other alternative energy technology vehicles. The format of the show will see a new addition with special zones that would include motorsports, virtual reality, vintage vehicle, anti-counterfeiting, 70 years of Indian mobility and application vehicles. What’s more, there’s one more day added to the show.
The author is deputy director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Views are personal