With as many as five global launches and 75 unveils, India’s flagship motor show — Auto Expo 2023 — is ready to kick-start this week, starting Friday. Clean mobility will drive the expo in this year’s edition, which kicks off with press days on January 11-12, followed by general public days from January 13-18, and will see a much larger participation of newer start-up players, especially in the electric vehicle (EV) segment.
This edition is set to see the highest industry participation, with about 80 industry stakeholders participating in the mega motor show, including 46 vehicle manufacturers.
While traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor India, Kia India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, MG Motor India, Ashok Leyland, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, SML Isuzu, and JBM Auto will be part of the event, there will be bigger participation from newer start-up players — most of them producing only EVs, ranging from two- and three-wheelers to passenger and commercial EVs.
“Auto Expo 2023 is providing a platform for companies to showcase advancements in new-generation electrified technologies and will provide experience to consumers on how the automotive industry has charged up for transformation of mobility that will be carbon-benign, safe, and connected. There are a large number of pure EV players showcasing electric passenger vehicles (PVs), two- and three-wheelers, and commercial vehicles (CVs),” said Rajesh Menon, director-general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The 16th edition of the Auto Expo will be held at the India Exposition Mart in Greater Noida after a gap of three years.
In the PV segment, pure electric OEMs will include BYD India, Vayve Mobility, and Pravaig Dynamics.
In the two-wheeler segment, electric OEMs include Ampere EV by Greaves, Tork Motors, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility, LML eMotion, Atul Auto, Matter Motor Works, MTA E-Mobility, and Motovolt Mobility.
Among CVs, pure EV OEMs include Omega Seiki Mobility, Hexall Motors, and Jupiter Electric Mobility.
The show will also give alternative sources like ethanol powertrain top billing. A separate ethanol pavilion will showcase technological developments in the overall ethanol value chain.
Some vehicle manufacturers will also display their working prototype of flex-fuel vehicles which can take a range of ethanol blends varying between 20 per cent and 85 per cent.
These vehicle manufacturers include TVS Motor Company, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Yamaha Motor India, and Suzuki Motorcycle India among two-wheelers and MSIL and Toyota Kirloskar Motor among cars.
With clean technology becoming the focus, manufacturers will be displaying developments on various powertrain options, ranging from biofuels like ethanol, gaseous fuels like compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, electrification technologies, including EV, hybrid and hydrogen, at their respective pavilions
The display of powertrain options will be much more extensive than the earlier editions.
Meanwhile, several major OEMs like Mahindra & Mahindra, Volkswagen India, Citroën, Škoda Auto, and Honda Cars India have given this year’s show a clear miss.
Legacy brands in the two-wheeler and luxury car space like Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar Land Rover will be conspicuous by their absence at the biennial show that was originally scheduled to be held in 2022, but deferred to this year due to Covid-19.
Automotive industry sources claimed that several players have given the show a miss since participation has become a costly affair.
“Companies spend a lot on launch events. Target audience footfall has shrunk because of the distance,” informed a source.
But Samir Malhotra, director and chief executive officer, Shriram Automall, holds a contrarian view.
“Auto Expo 2023 is happening after three years. We expect much greater footfall than the 2020 edition, leading to a respectable number of leads. With the economy on the mend, the market sentiment has turned positive across industries. Automotive OEMs are achieving higher sales numbers in the new vehicle segment and driving the used-vehicle market as well,” he observed.