More than 60 vehicles will be launched, including several global debuts, at the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi early next year despite the recent slump in the Indian car market, industry officials said.
German carmaker BMW’s small luxury car Mini, which will make its India debut at the show, and Bugatti, maker of the world’s fastest car, are expected to be among the show-stoppers at the 6-day event starting on January 7.
The highlights of the show-the world’s most popular auto fair attracting more than 2 million visitors, up from 1.2 million in 2010-will be a new breed of sports utility vehicles and super bikes that will hit the Indian roads soon, officials said. Leading the pack will be Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, which has finally woken up to the potential of SUVs in the country. It will showcase a new ’made for India’ five-seater concept SUV on the first day of the fair, signaling its intention to look beyond the ageing Gypsy and Grand Vitara models.
“It’s the best bet from Maruti Suzuki so far to tap the potential of younger customers,” a top company official said. “Essentially an SUV, it will have the affordability of Maruti and durability of Suzuki,” added the person, requesting anonymity.
A line-up of 1,000 different vehicles spread over 1.25 lakh sq metres will be on display, including at least a dozen new cars made specifically for Indian customers. Tata Motor, which stole the show in 2008 with its Nano, is looking at a repeat with three new global launches to be done by its chairman Ratan Tata.
Tata Motors has also lined up all new sedans, SUVs and concept vehicles from its Jaguar and Land Rover brand. In fact, Jaguar Land Rover has decided to skip the Detroit Auto Show, which overlaps with Delhi expo for three days. After posting some stunning sales in China with it new range, JLR is betting high to unshackle the dominance of German players in luxury car segment. It is expected to bring its new sedan range and the DC100 concept from Land Rover.
There will be at least six launches in the luxury car segment including the Audi S6 and its smallest SUV Q3, BMW’s new M5 Series and the Mercedes Benz GLK compact SUV. South Korean major Hyundai Motor is looking at getting its new small car and a compact SUV concept besides launching its new Sonata limousine.
The number of hangars has almost been halved to 10, said Sugato Sen, senior director of SIAM, which organises the event along with the CII and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India.