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Business News/ Auto News / After 3 years, Auto Expo holds promise for emerging technologies

NEW DELHI : With India emerging from the shadows of two disruptive waves of covid-19 to become the third largest automobile market in the world, passenger vehicle companies are gearing up to showcase future products and technologies at the much -anticipated Auto Expo 2023, scheduled to be held at Greater Noida between 13 and 18 January.

The show, the largest of its kind in the world, returns after almost three years due to the covid-led disruptions.

Compared to the last edition in 2020, the 15th edition is bigger in terms of participation, with significant representation from electric vehicle startups and OEMs.

The show will see participation from 114 exhibitors, out of which 48 are vehicle manufacturers, compared to 108 exhibitors and 35 OEMs in 2020. 15 entities are manufacturers of only electric passenger vehicles, two- and three-wheelers.

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors are also gearing up for their electric and SUV launches, including the five-door Jimny, Suzuki’s EV concept, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 EV and Tata Motors’ new EVs.

However, many leading 2W companies are not participating the event, . Mahindra and Mahindra, too, will skip.

The event is expected to see the launch of 75 new products, including five global launches.

Apart from EV-only startups the expo has a special focus on ethanol powertrain technology, with a separate pavilion showcasing developments in the ethanol value chain. Several two-wheeler manufacturers will display working prototypes of flex fuel vehicles that use ethanol blends of 20-85%. These manufacturers include TVS, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle, Yamaha, Suzuki motorcycle, Bajaj Auto, Maruti and Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

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OEMs will also be displaying powertrain options, including biofuels, gaseous fuels, electrification and hydrogen technologies. It will also have a separate pavilions for vintage cars and supercars.

“We believe the automobile industry is going through once in a century transformation in terms of fuel types, technology design as well as communication. The expo is about showcasing where automobiles are heading and where the future lies. India is a very important market for Hyundai. The role of the expo goes beyond displaying and launching cars it’s about direction, brand image, and bringing in global concepts. It’s a big platform and we do not only look at it from an immediate return-on-investment point of view. Hyundai Motor Co. has a plethora of sustainable solutions, globally, and this an opportunity for us to showcase them to our customers. This expo will be unlike any other. It’ll be very high on engagement with customers," Tarun Garg, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Ashok Leyland subsidiary, Switch Mobility, a carbon-neutral electric bus and commercial vehicle maker, will unveil three product concepts at the show. “This Auto Expo is very critical for us at Switch. It’s important that the industry is meeting after three years to share what we’ve been doing in this time. We’re looking forward to meet and get feedback from industry experts and stakeholders", said Mahesh Babu, global chief executive, Switch Mobility.

Premium and luxury European auto majors have, however, given the show a miss, as they find their marketing dollars better used in curated customer experience. “Our customer profile at the top-end wants personalized experiences, so we would rather invest in that than in a mass platform like the expo. We don’t see our target group coming all the way to the expo," Santosh Iyer, managing director and chief executive officer, Mercedes Benz India said.

“It’s like advertising in cricket—mass brands get opportunity to reach out to many people, but niche brands may not need that sort of outreach", Iyer added.

Alisha Sachdev
Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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Updated: 10 Jan 2023, 06:21 AM IST
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