SUVs, MPVs to dominate Delhi Auto Expo this year

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 3 2014, 14:35pm hrs
Honda MobilioThe much-anticipated Honda Mobilio will be unveiled at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo.
The twelfth auto expo that is set to kick start this Wednesday, will witness a flurry of utility vehicle (UV) launches, including Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs), as global auto makers are keen to tap into the increasing demand for utility vehicles in the country.

The expo, which opens for public on February 7, 2014, will offer Indian consumers a first-time view of Hondas MPV Mobilio, Chryslers Grand Cherokee (the SUV that will see the entry of the brand entry into the country), Datsuns MPV Go+, a compact SUV from Mercedes GLA, Korando C from the stable of Mahindra & Mahindras South Korean subsidiary Ssangyong.

Hyundai Motors India will showcase the new Santa Fe while Renault will introduce the Lodgy (an MPV).

India, which is primarily a small car market, will for the first time see so many launches in the UV category.

The reasoning behind these launches is the increasing sales of UVs in the country, which had increased by 52.20 per cent in FY13, when passenger vehicle sales had increased by just 2.15 per cent.

This auto expo will also be the biggest ever with as many as 70 launches, way higher than the total of 47 products showcased and launched at the 11th Auto Expo in January 2012.

Overall, 47 automobile makers will participate in the auto expo this year, making it the largest auto show ever hosted in the sub-continent.

The participants include 23 passenger car and utility vehicle manufacturers, 14 two-wheeler firms, 10 commercial vehicle makers and six electric vehicle producers. Around 35 auto makers had exhibited products in the previous edition.

The highest number of product interventions is expected from the Tata Group, which is set to launch/unveil 11 models this year - seven products would come from Tata Motors, the remaining four models would come from the stable of British subsidiary JLR.

One of the interesting global launches is expected from Maruti Suzuki, which will introduce a new technology automatic manual transmission (AMT) in small car expected to be named Celerio. The model will have automatic as well as manual options without the clutch.

The auto expo, for the first time, will be held at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. The expo, till last edition, used to be held at Pragati Maidan.

Due to the shift to Greater Noida, the venue this year will be offering 64,000 square metres of space, up from 44,000 last year, for vehicles.

The components expo will be on display in an area of 26,000 sq metre at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

The venue also has space to provide sidelights in line with the global trend. The new venue will see activities like safety driving, stunt driving, simulator and ride-on electric vehicles.