Organisers of the upcoming Auto Expo have decided to restrict entry at India’s largest automotive show to 100,000 visitors a day to prevent a repeat of the chaos seen during the earlier exhibitions. The Auto Expo 2012 will be a week-long affair, beginning January 5 in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, making it a smaller show than the previous edition when 1.2 million visitors turned up over 10 days.
The exhibition area will be reduced to 1.15 lakh square metres with 16 permanent halls from the 1.25 lakh sq metre spread in 2010.
This makes the Indian Auto Expo the second largest automotive exhibition after the Shanghai Motor Show. “There is a limit to the infrastructure that can accommodate the exhibitors and visitors,” the Auto Expo 2012 Steering Committee Chairman Rajive Kaul said, “So we have decided to restrict the number to manage the show effectively.”
Attendance of the general visitors will be restricted to 70,000 a day, reserving the rest of the slots for the 1,500 participants from 24 countries and other officials. Nearly 60 new cars, bikes, buses and trucks will be launched at the upcoming show, however, doubling the launches from the previous edition.
The highlights include 24 new cars to be unveiled by domestic companies and eight by global players, besides eight two-wheelers by Indian manufacturers such as Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto. The all-new BMW Mini, Maruti Ertiga MPV, Ford Ecosport, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen UP! are among the big ticket launches that the industry is awaiting.
The exhibition comes at a time when the Indian market has slowed considerably from its 30 percent annual growth until last year. “While the sentiment in the Indian auto market has been impacted by a series of interest rate and fuel price hike, the mood is upbeat among all automakers,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The biennial exhibition is organised jointly by industry lobby groups SIAM, the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry.