How did Auto Expo 2020 redeem itself

The Auto Expo is India’s largest and most important biennial motor show. The 6-day extravaganza offers a peek into the world of new and upcoming vehicles in the future – cars, bikes, scooters and commercial vehicles in India. Automakers also showcase new concepts and futuristic technology. So, in the true sense, it’s a great platform for all stakeholders (OEMs, dealers, customers) in the automotive sector, to converge and connect.

This year’s event, from Feb 07-12, 2020 faced its own share of challenges – many large automakers pulled out, as they were hugely impacted with the industry slowdown in terms of poor offtake and financial constraints. And then the COVID 19 struck, further deflating the sentiment, as most participants from China and Korea had to skip it, due to the travel advisory.

The Auto Expo this year was particularly dominated by three prominent automotive players from China. Great Wall Motors (GWM), Chinese state-owned First Automobile Works’ Haima Automobile, and commercial vehicle manufacturer, Build Your Dreams (BYD). Although their top teams from China could not make it due to the COVID 19 outbreak and the strict advisory by the Indian government.  The organizers themselves had a lot to deal with, due to the challenges imposed by this epidemic and its impact on participation. SIAM too had announced about Chinese stalls being manned by Indian employees and representatives, discouraging visitors and delegations from China at the motor show, due to the impending threat of the virus. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had also issued an advisory to the Indian Embassy in China, to avoid travel to India. On the other hand, Chinese nationals employed by automobile companies, even those stationed in India, weeks before the Auto show, gave it a miss, due to the rising apprehension. The decision meant, those who were slated to visit the event, sat in their hotel rooms, so that visitors were not discouraged from coming to Chinese pavilions in the Auto Expo

Given these constraints, did the biggest auto show lose its mojo? On the contrary - it was a BLOCKBUSTER!

In the backdrop of waning consumer interest and poor auto sales, the Auto Expo, turned the tide!   With footfalls of at least 608,526 visitors – as reported by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM),  the event at Greater Noida Expo Mart was anything, but tardy! Arc lights, show biz, the who’s who of the auto sector, deals, it was all engaging and high paced.   

Rajan Wadhera, President SIAM too could not contain his excitement about how the whole event played out, ultimately! According to him, the footfalls were the highest ever in all the motor shows at Greater Noida,  a testament to customer interest and engagement with the automotive sector.   

New Entrants KIA Motors, MG Motors, Great Wall Motors bag trophies!

The expo enthused visitors, showcasing the future of mobility with at least 352 product displays from over 108 exhibitors, including 8 global premiers and over 70 new launches across hatchbacks, SUVs and MPVs. As many as 35 EVs and 15 concept vehicles were introduced.

Despite, the bevy of major global auto manufacturers of the Volkswagen Group, Honda, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Ford, Harley Davidson and local 2-wheeler leaders of  Bajaj Auto and Royal Enfield, giving the Expo a miss - though Skoda pitched in for Volkswagen – and were glaringly conspicuous by their absence, other participants leveraged and latched onto the opportunity and made an indelible impact on consumers, with their state-of-the-art new launches and concepts.  Automakers who made the cut, showcased their prowess in the areas of electrified mobility, newer concepts and artificial intelligence. SUVs and MPVs took centerstage with the likes of Kia’s Carnival, Tata Motors’ Gravitas, Maruti Suzuki's Jimny, Kia Sonet concept and Tata Sierra. Hyundai New Creta SUV slated to launch in March, was also a showstopper.


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