Now that the Auto Expo-The Motor show 2020 has been done and dusted, let us analyse whether it was a success or a big flop show.
The year 2020 began on a disastrous note for the Indian auto industry. Month after month till the end of 2019, the Indian auto industry witnessed a free fall in sales of their vehicles. This led to production cut and part closure of plants for many auto companies and even retrenchment of workers.
You can blame all this to the young generation, because they prefer their Ubers and Olas for a ride, rather than buying their own vehicles. This was the argument given by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman when the media asked her about the reasons why the Indian auto industry was witnessing fall in sales of vehicles.
It was in these circumstances that the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) with the support of Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry had organised the Auto Expo-The Motor Show 2020 at Great Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
But then came a double whammy. Even though a lot of prominent Chinese Auto companies either directly or indirectly through collaborations had booked their spaces at the Auto Expo, senior Chinese officials from these companies had to cancel their visit to India because of the deadly coronavirus fears.
This year the show saw several misses. Prominent car names who skipped the Auto Expo this year included Toyota, Audi, BMW, Honda Cars, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford India, Volvo Cars, Citroen, Lexus Nissan and Datsun, among others. Car designer DC Design who usually brings in a very crazy looking modified vehicle, missed the show. We also missed a few Bollywood stars who are usually attracted to the DC pavilion.
Among the two wheeler companies that were absent from the show included Indian Motorcycle, Hero MotoCorp, Royal Enfield, TVS, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Bajaj Auto, Yamaha, KTM and Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Triumph, Lohia Auto, Revolt Motors, Ather, Benelli, Motoroyale Kinetic Pvt Ltd with their brands like MV Agusta, Hyosung, Norton, FB Mondial, SWM, among others. That meant more than 90 per cent of two wheeler companies in India did not participate in Auto Expo 2020. But then which were the two wheeler companies that participated? It was Suzuki Motorcycles India and a whole host of startups and a few existing players in the electric two wheeler market.
Generally at an auto expo, you get to see commercial vehicles too. This time, their number was also limited. Force Motors, Mahindra, Tata Motors, SML Isuzu, Olectra, JBM Auto and a few others showcased their products, but we did not get to see Ashok Leyland, the Daimler and Mercedes trucks and a few others.
One should also not forget that the last time we had an expo at Greater Noida, there were so many players and the organisers had to take up the ground floor as well as the first floor to accommodate everybody. It was huge. Compared to that, this time it was very, very subdued. The first floor space was untouched.
So was the Auto Expo 2020 a success? Yes, I would say it was a success, because SIAM pulled offa magic in such a terrible situation. At least it got those players, especially the electric ones, to launch their products. SIAM was a real brave heart for organising this show.
The show witnessed over 352 product displays from 108 exhibitors. This included 8 global premiers, over 70 launches & unveils. Around 35 electric vehicles were launched and 15 concepts were showcased. Big names from China who participated included Great Wall Motors, Olectra and Haima Automobile.
Pune based automotive major Force Motors (India’s largest van maker) showcased several passenger car vehicles that included a mammoth sized modified 3 door Gurkha 4x4.
This mini monster looked tall because of the raised suspension. Enhancing the looks were LED headlamps, the front bull guard wrapped in black rope, a winch, metal nets to protect the side windows, the luggage rack with the spare tyre on top, etc. The vehicle had huge ORVMs with mammoth tyres that had 17 inches rims. The tyre measure 40 inches in diameter and 13.5 inches in width. The large knobbly tyres are ideal for hardcore off-roading.
At the rear, the machine looked even more handsome with the two jerry cans enclosed in metal wraps. There is a small ladder too, to get to the storage space on the top. The tail lamps come with their own protection. There is a pick axe for your adventures too. With auxiliary lights, a modified and raised suspension with differential axles, this Gurkha monster stood out in the crowd.
The Gurkha from Force Motors has been traditionally a blue blooded off-roader and the 2020 version continues with that legacy. The company unveiled the 2020 3-door Force Gurkha. The Gurkha will now only have 2.6 litre diesel engine which now gets a BS VI certification. With this engine there are two output options, a 90hp, 250 Nm torque and another 114 hp, 350Nm torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed gear box. The Gurkha will come only in one variant and it will only be fitted with the 90 hp engine. The 114 hp engine is fitted in the new Trax Cruiser passenger carrier.
There have been subtle changes in the new version. The front gets a new grille, new LED headlamps and as one moves to the rear you get to see a new bumper and a redesigned tail lamp.
The vehicle now comes with a touchscreen infotainment system and a multi information display near the speedometer. The vehicle also gets dual airbags, ABS, and rear parking sensors.
GREAT WALL MOTORS
Great Wall Motors, China’s largest SUV manufacturer, globally premiered its Haval Concept H Plug-in Hybrid Electric SUV and had the India debut of the its pure electric SUV– Concept Vision 2025. GWM had on display models like the Haval H9, Haval F7, Haval F7x, Haval F5 and the GWM electric vehicles iQ & R1. They also showcased their Lithium Ion Battery, Haval Intelligent Home, Haval Intelligent Safety Display, and Great Wall Autonomous EV. GWM plans to invest an estimated 1 billion USD (Rs 7000 cr approx.) in India in a phased manner. They have bought the Talegaon plant of General Motors near Pune in the state of Maharashtra for their manufacturing of cars. The acquisition will be completed in the second half of 2020.
Haima Automobile, a leading Chinese auto maker, showcased two of its globally most successful passenger vehicles – 7X and 8S. Haima has neither set the specific deadline for the launch of these two passenger vehicles nor closed in on any price points for the models specific to Indian market.
The company said as part of the announcement that it is currently studying the auto market in India and would soon firm up its future plans for Indian market.
While Haima 8S is a 5-seater SUV supported by a 1.6-litre T-GDI engine, Haima 7X is a 7-seater MPV featuring the same enginegearbox combination as that of the 8S SUV. Haima 7X MPV, is the first right-hand-drive model of Haima Auto .
At present, Haima Automobile and Bird Electric of India have reached an initial cooperation intention in the field of new energy vehicles.
Bird Electric - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bird Group, an Indian business group along with Haima Automobile of China showcased the Bird Electric EV1. The hatch-back will be available in the range of Rs. 10 lakh on Indian roads.
The battery-powered vehicle, likely to be manufactured at soon-to-be-set-up plant in Manesar (Haryana), would be introduced in two variants with driving range of 200 km and 300 km per charge, respectively. The first lot of Bird Electric EV1 would take at least 12-15 months for the roll-out.
Bird Electric EV1 is fitted with high-energy lithium battery and electronic control system and has a torque of 95Nm/150Nm. The electric car will have a top speed of 120 km/h with the power consumption merely at Rs 60 per 100km. Bird Electric EV1 has the largest boot capacity of its category in five-seater configuration.
HYUNDAI MOTOR INDIA
Hyundai Motor India unveiled the new 2020 Tucson. With a sleek rear surface and a striking fascia, the 2020 Tucson has new penta-projector LED headlamps and LED tail lamps, cascade design bold front grille. It has flared wheel arches, twin-tip exhaust and panoramic sunroof.
The interiors are luxurious and comfortable with premium black colour theme and leather touch on the dashboard. The car is powered by a 2.0 litre diesel and petrol engines. The diesel engine is mated to a new 8 Speed automatic transmission giving best-in-segment power of 185PS and best-in-segment torque of around 400Nm. Further, the petrol engine delivers 152 ps power and around 192 Nm torque.
The company also unveiled a new Creta. The new Creta is a 2nd generation SUV. The front of the new Creta SUV is characterised by the 3 dimensional cascading grille with muscle like vertical and horizontal patterns and sculpted bumper with skid plates. Flared wheel arches coupled with thoughtfully crafted crease lines on the bonnet add to the imposing stance of the new Creta. The SUV has uniquely separated boomerang shaped LED DRLs along with LED head lamps, fog lamps, LED tail lamps and LED high mount stop lamps and the rear bumper comes with skid plates. The vehicle has R17 diamond cut alloy wheels and has side sill garnish. The new Creta will be equipped with many premium features like panoramic sunroof, enhanced Bluelink 1.5 and many more.
Kia Motors India introduced two new products for the Indian market at the show. Alongside the Kia Carnival premium MPV, the company also unveiled the new Sonet concept at the show.
The Kia Sonet, unveiled for the first time ever, previews a future global compact SUV from the brand. The concept will be developed further ahead of a launch in the Indian market in the second half of 2020.
The Carnival has been officially launched in India in three different specifications at a starting price of Rs 24.95 lakh for its Premium variant (ex-showroom), Rs 28.95 lakh for its Prestige variant (ex-showroom), and Rs 33.95 lakh for its Limousine variant (ex-showroom). Kia also revealed the rugged new Kia Seltos X-Line Concept, a bolder reinterpretation of the Seltos SUV.
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
Mahindra & Mahindra displayed a wide range of EVs and related technology solutions. These included the:
1. Funster, a thrilling roadster electric concept with a playful convertible mode
2. Atom, a new age electric urban mobility solution for Smart India’s last mile connectivity needs
3. e-XUV300, the electric version of the popular compact SUV
4. e-KUV100, India’s most affordable EV starting at a competitive price of Rs. 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi, post FAME benefit)
Maruti Suzuki began the show by unveiling the Concept Futuro-e as part of Mission Green Million. Concept Futuro-e is a futuristic, dynamic and stylish coupé SUV concept. Maruti Suzuki India Limited has announced an aggressive plan to sell one million green cars over the next few years under its ‘Mission Green Million’. Concept Futuro-e is defined by its distinctive SUV-coupé silhouette and balanced proportions. The crisp geometric surfaces lend a bold yet stylish presence to Concept Futuro-e.
Maruti Suzuki also unveiled a new Vitara Brezza equipped with a 1.5 Litre K-series BS6 petrol engine. The new Vitara Brezza compact SUV offers enhanced sportiness, bolder looks, stronger stance, premium interiors and a host of new features.
Mercedes-Benz India showcased an array of products at the show. The company launched the world’s fastest series production four door coupe and the fastest AMG ever in India, the AMG GT 63S 4MATIC 4 Door Coupe. Alongside, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the AMG A35 4M Limousine. The A-Class Limousine will play a key role in further strengthening Mercedes-Benz’s strong sedan portfolio and will be one of the key products to be introduced in India in 2020. Mercedes-Benz also unveiled the sporty and stylish luxury SUV the new GLA, which had its world premiere in December 2019. Also showcased was the all-new generation GLE ‘hip-hop’. It is packed with all manner of cutting-edge active driving assistance and the state-of-the-art MBUX user experience multimedia system. It comes equipped with touch and AI-based voice control, which offers an unrivalled urban and off-road SUV experience.
It also showcased the recently unveiled EQC Edition 1886. The company also showcased the V-Class Marco Polo, Volocopter and Hackathon. The V-Class Marco Polo is one of a kind vehicle, eminently suitable for long journeys, and also for day-to-day and urban motoring. Elegant design, high-quality materials and a light colour scheme, together with discreet ambient lighting, give the Marco Polo an unprecedented level of high- class appeal for the compact camper van segment. The vehicle also makes a winning impression with its highly practical features – from the stowage facilities and seating/ sleeping arrangements to the camping equipment for outdoors. The V-Class Marco Polo is launched in two variants, the Marco Polo and the Marco Polo Horizon. While the Marco Polo Horizon price starts at Rs 1.38 cr, the Marco Polo price starts at Rs 1.46 cr.
MG MOTOR INDIA
MG Motor India showcased a huge line-up of global products – including the Marvel X, the world’s first mass-production model to achieve Level-3 Intelligent Driving. Marvel X is part of MG’s focus on developing cutting-edge products with integrated Internet, Electric, and autonomous capabilities. The carmaker showcased a total of 14 internet, electric and autonomous cars across hatchback, sedans, and utility vehicle segments. MG Motor India was participating for the first time at the Auto Expo.
MG Motor India also unveiled its luxury SUV Gloster and the luxury MPV G10 which are headed to the Indian market.
Renault India really had no surprises at the show. It revealed the Triber Easy-R AMT which will be launched in the first half of this year. Renault Triber, the less than 4 metre car has stood out as being a super-spacious, ultramodular, affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle with attractive interiors which boasts of many modern and practical features. . Renault Triber Easy-R AMT comes fitted with the Energy engine - a 1.0-litre petrol engine, offering a balance between performance and fuel economy, with low total cost of maintenance.
Tata Motors showcased an all-new range of passenger and electric vehicles with a focus on connected, electric, shared and safe at the show. Two concepts based on the ALFA ARC, ‘Agile Light Flexible Advanced’ Architecture, were unveiled. One was the HBX Showcar as a natural extension of the H2X Concept - readying for production. The other was the Sierra EV Concept, a fully electric vehicle that goes beyond a SUV. Tata Motors also unveiled the Hexa Safari Edition –combination of two of SUVs – the Safari and the Hexa.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
MAHINDRA XUV300 PETROL AUTOSHIFT - SHIFT to Power
It’s been around two years since the Mahindra XUV300 has been launched. It was launched with both a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine. While, the petrol engine had only an option of a six-speed manual transmission, the diesel engine had an additional option of a six-speed automatic transmission or AutoShift. This is an Automated Manual Transmission or an AMT.
TVS RADEON BS VI - Smart Workhorse
If you have seen the Hindi blockbuster movie Sholay, you will be familiar with the word “Dhanno”. Dhanno was Basanti’s trusted horse and it took her from one place to another, carried travelers in the little carriage and even galloped like crazy when Gabbar Singh’s men chased Basanti on their horses. In today’s world, a vehicle like the TVS Radeon is the Dhanno of the common man, a trusted and faithful machine that takes you from point A to point B, day in and day out without any fuss. No slipper clutch, no ride by wire technology, no disc brakes and no fancy feature to boot, yet millions can afford it to commute daily.
FIRST DRIVE - 2021 TATA SAFARI 4X2 SUV - A SMOOTH SAFARI
Not to be content with the good looking Harrier, Tata Motors has now got along a sibling in the form of the new 2021 Safari. Similar to the Harrier, this SUV too combines the Tata Motors’ Impact 2.0 design language and the capability of OMEGARC, architecture derived from the D8 platform from Land Rover.
HONDA H'NESS CB350 - ROYAL CHALLENGE
Let me reiterate that the Honda H’ness CB350 was launched in October 2020 and comes in two variants DLX and DLX Pro. We rode the DLX Pro which costs roughly around Rs 2.26 lakh on-road in Delhi.
ROYAL ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR 650 BS VI -UNPARALLELED TWIN!
Royal Enfield, for long, was content with making single cylinder motorcycles. These motorcycles are strong, good looking and very affordable for its size and performance. But all that changed when, at the Eicma show in Milan (Italy) in November 2017, it showcased two twin-cylinder motorcycles, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. While the former is a roadster, the latter is a café racer.
RENAULT KIGER joins crowded sub 4-metre compact SUV segment in India
Groupe Renault globally premiered the Renault Kiger compact SUV in India. This sub4-metre compact SUV has been designed and developed for India before making its international debut.
DUAL Purpose E-Vehicle
Okinawa Autotech has launched Dual, an electric scooter that is aimed at both the B2B as well as the B2C segment. Since its speed is restricted to 25kmpl, the Okinawa Dual will not need any government registration and neither will one need a driver’s license to ride it.
TATA ALTROZ iTURBO - Turbo Thrill
It’s been more than a year since Tata Motors has launched the Tata Altroz i-Turbo hatchback. It has sold more than 50,00 units in the first year of launch since January 2020, despite the covid times. The vehicle came with a 1.2 litre petrol Revotron petrol engine and a 1.5 litre tubocharged Revotorq diesel engine.
A WIDE option
We all know this beautiful phrase in Hinglish, “Dil Maange More”. Well I am sure a lot of BMW 3 series customers would have wanted more from their BMW 3 series models in terms of space, the rest I am sure is almost perfect. So BMW India has brought in a long wheelbase version of the BMW 3 Series exclusively for the Indian market. It goes by the name of BMW 3 series Gran Limousine.
Union Budget 2021-22 & Indian Auto Industry - Indirectly Perfect
The Union Budget 202122 presented by Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance may have got a standing ovation from the punters of the Indian stock market, but for the Indian auto industry, the direct benefits are miniscule. Indirectly though, the benefits seem to be quite a few.
I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.
FORD TO GO ALL ELECTRIC IN EUROPE BY 2030
Ford announced a major push into electric vehicles in Europe, vowing to convert its entire passenger car lineup on the continent to electrics by 2030.
When the Signal Goes Out
Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent
Giving More, Taking Less
FRANCOIS BOUDERLIQUE learnt about the basic principle of Nature – to give more than you take – when he left a high-powered banking job in Paris to live and farm in Kutch, India. He realized that his understanding of eco farming was colored by his past and he needed to open his eyes to a new reality.
Moringa – Cook With Color
In India, moringa has long been used medicinally. This nutrient-dense green food, best known for its energy-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, adds a mild spinach flavor to recipes like this delicious dip.
Wild-card playoff: Buffalo 27, Indianapolis 24
Stefon Diggs and the rest of the passing game ultimately came through in the end
CHINESE APP TIKTOK CUTS JOBS IN INDIA FOLLOWING BAN
Popular short-video Chinese app TikTok is cutting its workforce in India after hundreds of millions of its users dropped it to comply with a government ban on dozens of Chinese apps amid a military stand off between the two countries.
GAP YEAR ADVENTURES in the Age of CV19
Welcome to 2021, where it seems that masks are no longer just for Halloween. Few would dispute that 2020 was a year of major ups and downs. And, for many, the conditions sparked the question, “What am I doing with my life?”
Region To Region
Region To Region