New Delhi: India's flagship automobile show Auto Expo kicks off on Wednesday with companies hoping that new models to be unveiled during the spectacle will help revive demand at a time when the sector is going through a prolonged slump.
The first two days of the expo to be held from February 5-11 has been reserved for media and entry for general public will open from February 7.
Unlike in the past, the 12th edition of Auto Expo has been split into two parts due to space constraints, with the motor show being held at Greater Noida and auto components exhibition at Pragati Maidan during February 5-11.
During the expo, co-organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), there will be 70 new unveilings. Of these, 26 will be global models.
Having learnt lessons from the previous expo, which was marred by poor crowd management that led to business leaders like Anand Mahindra criticising the event saying it should be "serious business" and not a "tamasha". So, this time the organisers are expecting to put up a better show.
SIAM President Vikram Kirloskar said the expo has been split but the organisers would have preferred a single show under one roof.
With the new launches and unveilings, Kisloskar stated that the industry hoping for a reignition of demand through the show.
"There is pent-up demand, but consumers are delaying purchases because of factors like lesser income, high interest rates and inflation. We are hoping that this Auto Expo will draw them out to trigger demand, although the revival in the automobile market is unlikely unless there is a revival of economic growth," Kirloskar said.
Moreover, 15 global cars will be unveiled during the show.
The Indian auto industry has been reeling under a prolonged slowdown, with annual car sales having declined for the first time in 11 years in 2013, posting a 9.59 per cent dip.
The organisers have, however, ruled out the possibility of moving the show from Delhi-NCR saying the expo has been globally identified with the Capital, which is also the biggest market for cars along with the adjoining regions of Gurgaon and Noida.
SIAM expects a total of about 5.40 lakh people to visit the event. At the last expo in 2012, around 7 lakh people had visited the expo.
It is expecting around one lakh footfalls per day on the public days from February 7-11 at Greater Noida for the motor show.
"At the component show at Pragati Maidan, we expect 10,000 people visiting per day," Kirloskar said.
"This time around, there will be 55 exhibitors at Greater Noida in comparison to 45 in the last edition of the Expo," he said.
However, the number of exhibitors at the component show, which will be held on February 6-11, is less at 1,100 from 1,500 in the last exhibition.
The ticket prices for general public have been kept the same as last time at Rs 200 and Rs 500.
The Greater Noida venue will have a gross exhibition area of 60,000 square metres, while the Pragati Maidan show will have a total gross area of 5,000 square metres.