Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top Auto Brands Will Introduce 'Strategic Models' At Indian Auto Expo

. Sunday, January 3, 2010

By stockOzone team

Two years ago, when Ratan Tata stepped out of what looked like a giant jellybean on four wheels, millions watched with bated breath, awestruck by India’s concept of the ‘people’s car’. That very day, Tata’s $2,500 Nano, permanently placed the Delhi Auto Expo, and the Indian auto industry, on the world map.

Though Tata Motors doesn’t seem to have a comparable ace up its sleeve this time around, the Auto Expo still promises to be a blockbuster. Call it a multi-starrer. With major domestic and international automakers planning to showcase and launch their strategic models, this year’s expo is slated to smoke prestigious big brothers such as the Detroit Auto Show and Tokyo Auto Show in terms of footfalls.

The 10th Auto Expo starting on January 5 will witness over 10 global launches and nearly 2,100 participants from around 30 countries. The expo is touted to witness around 1.8 million footfalls and the buzz in the industry claims that this might be the highest ever in the world yet.

It doesn’t get any bigger than this. Small cars, SUVs, super cars, accessories — all under one roof. Though the tiny Nano was the protagonist of the last auto expo, this time too other automobile companies such as Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen and Honda are lining up an interesting array of compact cars.

Some of them, such as Toyota’s Etios have been especially designed for the Indian market since compact cars rule almost 70% of the domestic car market and the only way to rake in the numbers for a company is to have an array of small car models.

German carmaker Volkswagen too has realised this and will showcase its much-awaited super-mini Polo. Then, American automobile company General Motors will add a radically different looking car named the Beat to its existing line up of compacts here.

Honda can’t be far behind? We don’t have a name for Honda’s concept small car yet, as the automobile manufacturer has been very secretive about it till now. But by the looks of it, the package promises to be a cracker of a vehicle. The only catch: Honda has to be spot on with the pricing. It can’t afford to be too jazzy.

While big car specialists are taking a micro view of things this year, small car expert Maruti Suzuki is actively sprucing up its image. Displayed during the last expo in the capital as a unique concept, the Kizashi is now etched out in flesh and blood and ready to be unleashed. It is Suzuki’s first foray into the premium car category and is likely brush shoulders with the cars such as the Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and the recently introduced GM Cruze. With a 2.4 litre engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission the Kizashi is set to usher in the good times for the country’s largest carmaker by sales.

In the fat cat segment of the market, there is bound to be some excitement. German premium automobile company Bavarian Motor Works aka BMW will be yanking the cover off its ‘affordable’ and entry-level SUV, the X1. And to add some excitement to its stall, General Motors too will be showcasing the Chevy Camaro, dream car for some and muscle car for others! But don’t expect to see it on the road for some time.

Expect some fireworks from Mercedes-Benz as well as it rolls up its sleeves to launch the SLS AMG. With gulf wings in its repertoire, don’t be surprises if it flies off the shelves soon after its launch.

Czech car-maker Skoda will be adding the much-anticipated Yeti to its line up of cars. An SUV, the Yeti will complete Skoda’s portfolio in the country and will compete with the likes of well-entrenched competitors such as the Ford Endeavour, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Toyota Fortuner. And close behind will be Korean carmaker Hyundai with another of its SUVs, the Santa Fe.

Till now it was only about cars. And it is just a small part of the auto expo. Commercial vehicles, two-wheelers and an unthinkable variety of automobile accessories will also be on display during the seven days.

But seven days? Last time, the exhibition went on for nine days but this time the duration has been reported cut down to a week, as participants want to curtail expenditure. But even then, 1.25 lakh sq metres of exhilaration for seven days do not look too bad. Especially since the world is waiting.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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Nirmal Kumar said...

Could you plz suggest me which brand is reliable. i wanted to purchase a hutch back and my budget is around 5 Lakh.

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