New Delhi: The Auto Expo is a mirror to India. Thus, much like the typical Indian road or highway, Pragati Maidan, the venue for the show, has few signboards. For visitors, reaching the pavilion was more a function of luck than anything else. Moreover, people sporting organizer badges pleaded helplessness when asked for assistance. Pragati Maidan’s thoroughfares had garbage trucks, irregular traffic and chaos arising from vehicles. Only the cows were missing!
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Tickets for the Auto Expo are Rs100 for adults and Rs50 for children. That didn’t explain why one of Mint’s reporters saw a four-year-old and his mother wandering around Pragati Maidan during business hours. It turned out that the boy in question was the scion of a dealership empire and this was his initiation into the business.
Meanwhile, outside the exhibition centre, hopefuls were waiting in the expectation that someone would give them a free pass. The most common question one was asked when one entered or left the expo grounds was: “Free pass hai kya? (Do you have a free pass?)” Unlike the movie business, no parallel market sprung to meet demand.
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Tata’s Nano might have grabbed pole position when it came to hogging the limelight, but the Formula 1 cars on display came a close second, with firms such as Honda Motor Co.and Renault SAdisplaying them. Those who thought these were the cars used for racing, however, would have been in for some disappointment had they bothered to speak to executives of these firms. These cares lacked the most crucial part—the engine. “Everything is same as the actual F1 car except the engine,” an executive at the stall said. Why not display with the engine? Well, it costs much more and the car on display is never ever going to race!