This week in Auto: Companies make high decibel noise at Auto Expo 2018

作者:Ashley    發表日期:2018-02-12 13:14:02

Little more than 50 automotive companies showcased more than 100 products in the first two days of the 2018 Auto Expo making the event one of the biggest in the world of its kind.

From the humble two pedal cycle to a mammoth 49 tonne truck manufacturers went all out to grab as much attention as they could as the automotive industry  stares at new challenges such as the BSVI transition and electrification.

Here is the compilation of news that made all the headlines this week.

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Electric theme dotted every stall

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More than 50 products, showcased by two-wheeler, car and commercial vehicle makers, were a mix of futuristic electric vehicle concepts and production ready models. This is the highest-ever participation of electric vehicles in the biennial auto event as the mandate from the government is to move to cleaner emission technology for the future. Mahindra and Tata Motors showcased 12 such products between themselves. Honda, Renault, Toyota, Maruti Suzuki, Mercedes, BMW and Hyundai showed several products. However with the exception of a handful none of the other products are even available outside of the country.

Companies like Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Renault and Mahindra have promised to launch new electric vehicles by 2020 in India. Others like Honda and Kia have adopted a wait-n-watch approach for the time being. Two-wheeler company TVS Motors too will foray into electric scooters this year and will rival Bajaj Auto (not part of the Expo) before 2020. These vehicles did arouse lot of visitor interest at the Expo as many appeared keen to know if the concept will make it to production lines.

Only unveilings, fewer launches

Most companies used the Auto Expo 2018 platform to showcase their product pipeline and display their engineering strengths. Barring the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Elite i20, Mercedes S650 Maybach, BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo and the M5 sedan, the event did not see any commercial launches. Manufacturers said they would wait till the start of first quarter of next year to launch the products. Many of these unveilings were concepts and would take another 12-18 months to hit the production lines.

Even in the two wheeler space only four brands, Kawasaki, BMW Motorrad, Yamaha and Suzuki, launched bikes commercially. Others like TVS Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Aprilia and UM merely showcased their concepts. Already other prominent names such as Bajaj Auto, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, KTM and Royal Enfield did not participate in the Expo.

Toyota reverses stance on India, Kia enters the country

Japanese giant Toyota reversed its stand on India and launched the Yaris sedan which will challenge the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The company in 2016 had declared that it will not launch any new product in India till 2020 and will only refresh the existing ones. Toyota has been unable to make a mark in any segment except the people mover category where it sells the Innova Crysta. The company had said that it would rather wait for Bharat Stage VI norms kick in before launching new products in to the country.

Kia Motors, the affiliate company of Hyundai, made a big product splash at the Auto Expo accompanied by details about its India launch and taking competition head-on including Hyundai. The Korean automotive brand will begin sales in India next year around September with a mid-size sports utility vehicle that will rival the Hyundai Creta. The company presently in the process of appointing dealers in various cities and as per officials the company has received a huge response.

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