India’s biggest motor show, Auto Expo 2020, kick-started earlier this week as automakers from across the globe showcased new products and technologies to the audience. Owing to the troubled times in the sector many manufacturers gave the biennial event a miss, but the ones who attended made sure the show would be remembered for some big-ticket unveils.
Leading the charge at the Auto Expo this year were two indigenous carmakers— Tata and Mahindra. Both the companies showcased a wide range of automobiles that included everything from passenger to commercial vehicles and concept as well as electric cars. Tata Motors whose biggest forte in recent times has been design and safety took the game a few notches higher by showing great looking cars like the HBX concept as well as the Sierra electric concept. Apart from reviving an iconic name the SUV came with some unique elements like sliding doors and curved seats. The company also showed the 7 seat version of the Harrier called the Gravitas along with launching an automatic variant of the SUV at Rs 16.25 lakh (ex-showroom). On the other hand, Mahindra had a huge 18 vehicles at the show. The Funster convertible was a sweet surprise and it was a highlight at the company’s pavilion but it were electric vehicles that stole the show. Atom, intended to solve last mile connectivity was liked by many. The electric avatars of XUV300 and KUV100 were also there with the latter being launched at Rs. 8.25 lacs (ex-showroom). Maruti had a big unveil in form of the new Vitara Brezza which now gets a 1.5 litre petrol engine along with many changes most of which are on the outside. A coupe cum SUV electric concept called the FuturoE was also shown by India’s leading car maker.
The Koreans and the Chinese made for a major chunk of displays at the Expo. Hyundai unveiled the new generation of the Creta, one of country’s most popular cars. In its new avatar the SUV comes with 2 petrol and 1 diesel engine options and along with many design breakthroughs. The company also unveiled the even more powerful and feature rich Tucson at the show. Not far behind was Kia Motors which revealed their new compact SUV for the market. Shown in a concept form the Sonet will be launched later this year. The luxury MPV from Kia, the Carnival too was launched at the show starting at Rs 24.95 lacs (ex-showroom). MG motor had a huge lineup on display but the highlight surely was the MarvelX, a level 3 intelligent car whose core attributes are being electric, connected and autonomous. The company also showed a 6/7 seat version of the Hector called the Hector plus which will launch later this year. Making its India debut at the show was Chinese giant Great Wall motors which had on a display a big range of electric cars as well as SUVs from sub-brand Haval. The company also did a world premier of Concept H, a plugin hybrid SUV at the Auto Expo.
After skipping the last edition back in full force this time were Skoda and Volkswagen now working in India under a single identity. Apart from announcing a huge investment for the Indian market, both the companys focussed on the SUV segment to showcase their new offerings made specifically for India. While Skoda showed the Vision IN, a small SUV concept, Volkswagen showed a similar concept in the form of Taigun. The German giant also showed the slightly bigger T-Roc SUV along with a coupe shaped electric concept the ID.crozz. The only luxury car maker present at the show, Mercedes-Benz had some interesting cars on display. These included the V-class Marco Polo, a camper version of the luxury MPV which was launched starting at Rs 1.38 crore (ex-showroom). Speed enthusiasts were in for treat merely by looking at the AMG GT 4 door coupe at the show, a car that delivers 639 bhp and 900 Nm. It was launched at Rs 2.42 crore (ex-showroom). French car maker Renault showcased an AMT version of its latest success the Triber at the show.
What was missed at the show mainly were two-wheelers as all but one leading player gave the show a miss. The Auto Expo is on till February 12th in Greater Noida.