New Indian Express - Bangalore

Auto Expo 2018 to see 24 launches, 100-odd product unveilings

Date: 19/01/2018 | Edition: Bangalore | Page: 15 | Source: Bureau | Clip size (cm): W: 15 H: 12

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Extracted Text data: Auto Expo 2018 to see 24 launches, 100-odd product unveilings SESA SEM @ Chennal SOME of the regular participants of the Auto Expo will be conspicu-ous by their absence this year but those who are taking part will have quite a bit to show off. For starters, at least 2A launches along with 100-odd product unveilings are scheduled at the expo slated for February 9-14 in Greater Noi-da. "This is a huge increase from last edition's number that did not exceed two or three launches," said Sugato Sen, deputy director-general, Society of Indian Auto-mobile Manufactures. These mod-els will see a commercial rollout within 3-6 months of their display, he added. A notable feature of this year's biennial event is the focus on the entire mobility ecosystem, not just motor vehicles. On display will be electric vehicles and eco-friendly fuels considering how these have become important in combating pollution. "We will have multiple zones for different activities keeping in tune with the theme of the expo and will be more focused towards new tech-nologies and innovation in the auto industry" Sen noted. For the first time, the expo will display a separate zone for exhib-iting innovations of start-ups, especially in the electric vehicle segment. "EVs and innovative technologies are among the high-lights of the show and will be housed in companies' stalls," said Arun Malhotra, chairman of Siam Trade Fair Group. The Auto Expo 2018 will host 13 passenger vehicle partici-pants, with notable absentees be-ing the Volkswagen Group, Nis-san, Ford, Fiat Chrysler along with two-wheeler companies like Bak Auto, Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield. Volvo and Eicher Motors as well as Daim-ler have also decided to sit out in the CV space. However, Kia Mo-tors, a sister concern of Hyun-dai, and India Kawasaki will make their debut at the event. A whole lot of smaller start-up electric firms such as 22 Motors, EmFlux, and others will also be showcasing their products. On companies not participat-ing due to "high expenses", Mal-hotra said the cost per square foot of space has remained con-stant since 2012. "In every edition of the Auto Expo, there will be some companies which do not have any new major product to showcase which keeps them from participating in the event." Maruti Suzuki India will take the crown for occupying the larg-est display area in the passenger vehicle segment, at 4,120 sq m. The carmaker said it will launch the all-new version of its popular hatchback Swift at the expo. The model will be available in both petrol and diesel engine options.