Now that the Auto Expo is over let us take a look back and see how this times show stacked up with the previous ones. For a start let me say this that this times Expo was easily the best yet in all terms. It was the best organised with excellent attention to detail and the bare basics like proper facilities were looked after. A major drawback has always been the fact that media days have been overcrowded making it difficult for us journos to do what we do. This time- ateast on the first media day, things were wonderfully different.
It was well and truly a show fit to international standards and thats no mean feat. However what about the show itself? Some of the shock value was lost as some manufacturers chose to unveil their products before the expo started but there was plenty to look and yes to ogle at.
The Figo concept from Ford looks superb and this is another 'EcoSport' in the waiting while Tata showed the Zest, Bolt with a new engine, AMT gearbox. Hyundai had the Xcent which will continue the good show from the Grand i10.
From the cars point of view this time there was lots to see. Maruti started the day with the Ciaz and SX4 S-Cross. Now the Ciaz unfortunatley was just in concept form and the production version will be toned down. The bigger event came the next day with the Maruti Celerio launch with a killer price-tag.
Renault showed the funky Kwid which I quite liked and the world premieres started with that and then Datsun, Honda, Tata, Chevrolet and Fiat showed their concept crossver offerings. This times expo belonged to the SUV concepts shown.
Tata continued their aggressive product strategy with the Nexon SUV and various other concepts and new variants. Fiat surprised everyone with the stunning Avventura SUV. Yes we can all get excited about Fiats again. I also loved the Chevrolet Adra and they really need to fast track and launch it here. The Honda Vision XS-1 basically came from outer space. Volkswagen showed a further developed Taigun SUV sporting the required spare wheel at the back.
A lot of cars were shown for the first time in India and got a lot of attention and among them was the Datsun GO+, Toyota Etios Cross, New Corolla plus the new Honda Jazz and Mobilio.
Actual car launches were quite less and most were shown only to be launched later. Hyundai however launched their new Santa F, Chevrolet launched the new Beat, BMW launched the 3GT. Isuzu showed its entire product range comprising of the MU-7 and the D-Max pick-up.
Speaking of BMW the star had to be the i8. The BMW i8 along with Sachin Tendulkar was one of the biggest events of the first day. Mercedes had their own star and it was the CLA45 AMG which needless to say just looked incredibly gorgeous.
The GLA SUV also looked fantastic as well and this is a potential big seller for Mercedes. Audi had the important A3 sedan and also needless to say this will overtake the Q3 and A4 in sales.
Other things? Automated manual transmissions are in fashion and that is the next big thing. Electric cars unfortunately are not and our Goverment needs to support the car-makers here. The Mahindra Halo surprised me with its great looks and I can only dream of it being on sale here.
So there you are. That was the expo and lets the hope the next one is even bigger and better!