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A file photo of visitors at the Delhi Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)
A file photo of visitors at the Delhi Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
(Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

Delhi Auto Expo may move to Greater Noida

Organizers of the Delhi Auto Expo may move the next edition of the event to Greater Noida

New Delhi: After being criticized for mismanaging the Delhi Auto Expo in January, the organizers are likely to move the next edition of the event to Greater Noida, according to three industry people familiar with the matter. None agreed to be identified.

The organizers also decided to hold separate shows for autos and auto parts to avoid any unmanageable rush. The auto event will be held at Expo Mart and the components show likely at Buddh International Circuit, both in Greater Noida, these people said.

So far, India’s largest auto show has been held at Pragati Maidan in the capital, hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (Acma).

Siam has sent a letter to various automobile firms asking for their feedback on the plan.

“We have recently received an intimation letter from Siam about their plans to move the Auto Expo to Greater Noida. They have already taken CII into confidence," said an executive at a leading automobile firm. “They want our feedback on the matter."

Siam’s director-general Vishnu Mathur could not be reached on his mobile phone. A message sent to Mathur on Friday did not elicit any response. Siam spokesperson Sugato Sen’s mobile remained switched off till press time.

The move comes after industry stalwarts such as Ratan Tata and Anand Mahindra criticized the Auto Expo organizers for poor management of the event earlier this year. The venue of the event was overcrowded on the first two days, which were reserved for the media and special invitees.

“They (industry bodies) plan to revamp the show completely. An event committee has been formed at Siam to look into the matter," said another official. “This is definitely in the wake of a demand for better management from the industry as we fork out big money each year just to participate in the event."

Domestic auto companies unveiled 24 cars and foreign firms eight in the latest edition of the Auto Expo. In addition to this, eight two-wheelers were unveiled by home-grown firms. About 1,500 exhibitors from 24 nations, including the US, China, Thailand and Turkey, participated in the event.

The Delhi edition, considered one of the largest auto expos in the world, is spread across 115,000 sq. m of exhibition space.

Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India, India’s largest-selling automobile magazine, said the organizers of the auto expo should take a cue from international motor shows such as those held at Frankfurt and Geneva.

“Organizers of the Delhi Auto Expo should take a cue from how international motor shows are done. I think they need to clearly separate bikes, cars, commercial vehicles and auto components within the show. Organizing events of such a magnitude is a massive task and the most challenging bit is dealing with the local authorities," said Sorabjee, who organizes Autocar Performance Show every year in Mumbai that focuses “on luxury and performance".

Sorabjee said auto events should not be looked at from merely a profit perspective.

“We are not looking at making profit. This show is about giving our audience a platform to see the best cars and bikes under one roof, especially in Mumbai where people are quite intelligent and discerning about automobiles," he said. “It should be more about sharing same kind of a passion for cars and bikes."

The eighth edition of Sorabjee’s auto show ended on Sunday in Mumbai. He was expecting at least 100,000 people to visit.

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