All roads lead to Delhi.

This year’s Auto Expo, organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), is the biggest yet and a reflection of the mood of the Indian automotive industry. Car makers are looking at 2008 with optimism and the hope that sales will pick up in the new year.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 08 Jan 2008 Views icon2651 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
All roads lead to Delhi.
The past year hasn’t been easy. With the exception of Maruti, most manufacturers have had a hard time, blaming high interest rates and stingy consumers for struggling sales. The real problem is that new car launches were too few and far between. There’s nothing quite like new models to excite buyers into picking up a car sooner rather than later and in fact, the sluggish car market is being propped by a handful of models that are fresh and recently launched. The problem is that the bulk of the cars produced in India are old and tired and their successors long overdue. But that’s all set to change. 2008 will give Indian consumers a record number of new models to suit every budget, from Tata’s 1-lakh car to Rolls-Royce’s Rs 5 crore Phantom Drophead Coupe.

However, it’s the action at the budget end of the market and the emergence of India as the global hub for small cars that will make 2008 a year to remember. Even a year ago, it was unheard of for a global manufacturer to launch a car in India before its home market. Hyundai has done just that with the i10 and this budget hatchback will be produced only in India and exported to the rest of the world. Suzuki will soon follow suit. India will be the global manufacturing base for the production version of the Concept A-Star and the Swift Dezire, the saloon version of the Swift hatchback, will also make its world debut in India.

But when it comes to small cars, it doesn’t get bigger than Tata’s one-lakh car which has captured the imagination of the automotive world. In fact, Tata’s new car will be the most significant new car since the Maruti 800. It has prompted companies like VW, Nissan (with Bajaj), Hyundai and even GM to seriously consider developing ultra low-cost small cars. The reason is simple. Car companies have realised that they must join the small car party or risk getting left behind.

And as the carmakers and the overall industry grow, the automotive components industry is ensuring that it brings in the latest technological advances and systems to cater to the burgeoning business.

Big increase in exhibitors The list of exhibitors has risen dramatically at Auto Expo 2008 from 1,200 in 2006 to over 2,000 and the number of vehicle manufacturers up from 24 to 41 this year. Also, 12 extra hangars have been put up at Pragati Maidan.

Going by sheer statistics, the 9th edition of the Auto Expo promises to be a big one and Southern India has a strong presence. Around 180 companies from Tamil Nadu are participating.

The theme of Auto Expo 2008 is ‘Mobility for All’ and the eight-day event will feature many firsts for the auto industry including future technology, concept vehicles and new launches, says P S Rajamani, co-chairman, manufacturing competitiveness sub-committee, CII – Southern Region and president, Simpson & Co Ltd. The expo will be among the biggest platforms for the Asian auto markets and will be the largest in terms of space, covering over 1,20,000 square metres. The number of auto components, accessories and other manufacturers will be around 1,900 this time, he said.

The presence of companies from across the world will add spice to India’s biggest auto show, Rajamani said. “With positive response from auto players across the globe, Auto Expo 2008 promises to come out as the biggest and most effective event in every manner.”

The Automotive Mission Plan (AMP) estimates the industry to touch $ 145 billion by 2016 from the $ 35 billion in 2006. It envisions the initiatives to be taken by the stakeholders in the industry to drive the Indian auto sector forward.

Talking about the AMP unveiled in 2006, which had set ambitious targets for the industry for the period 2006-2016, he said India is on the growth path and looks to achieve bigger things in the auto sector.

Talking about Tamil Nadu’s rising status in the sector, he said the State contributes around 25 percent to the Indian auto industry and 20 percent of two-wheeler production in the country happens there. Rajamani said the three auto giants Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Volkswagen have booked full halls along with Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor Company, Bajaj Auto, Force Motors and Hero Honda. The expo will also focus on advanced environmental and safety technologies, innovative designs and new forms of fun and comfort for the automobile.

Significantly, the Auto Expo has already achieved status of one of the ‘Top International Auto Shows’ by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobile” (OICA).

Creating awareness For probably the first time in a major event in India, a concept to create awareness on counterfeiting of auto parts is being organised. Titled the ‘Asli-Naqli’ show, the display will not only inform visitors about counterfeits in the market but also help them learn how to distinguish genuine products from fakes. As part of the programme, member companies of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) hit by counterfeiting will display both genuine and fake products.

The Asli-Naqli show will see some leading component manufacturers participating to create awareness against counterfeiting. These include Delphi-TVS Diesel Systems, Brakes India, Lucas, GKN Driveshafts, Delux Bearings and Talbros, to name a few. It must be noted that ACMA under the aegis of its Consumer Affairs and Anti-counterfeiting sub-committee has been taking various measures to combat counterfeiting. A study commissioned by ACMA had revealed that counterfeit products account for close to 35 percent with a market size of Rs 5,300 crore of the current size of Rs 16,000 crore of the automotive parts to the replacement market.

A-Z of components The Expo will see components manufacturers, mostly from India, out in full force. Anand Automotive Systems is a strong exhibitor with its group companies displaying shocks absorbers, struts, engine bearings, gaskets, filters, climate control, hydraulic brake systems and air brake components. Likewise, the US-based Delphi which is showcasing an armada of products and systems.

Components manufacturer Remsons Industries Ltd, located in Hall 18, is showcasing manual gearshift mechanisms with push-pull cables as well as cables. Also its new joint venture, Orscheln Remsons Technologies Pvt Ltd will display patented fluid level indicators, push-pull cables, automatic gearshift systems, parking brake mechanisms and electronic acceleration control.

The Varroc Group has a booth in Hall 18, Stall No 9. It is displaying bumpers, door panels, trims, clusters, LED lights and hot forged parts beside its regular range of products namely plastic moulded parts (unpainted as well as painted), rubber parts, auto electricals, engine valves, catalyst, and cold forged parts.

ATS-ELGI, the subsidiary of ELGI Equipments Ltd, India’s largest integrated compressor manufacturer, will launch a number of products at the Auto Expo. They include clear floor 2 post lift, electronic measuring device for crash repair system, high-end spot welding machines, Bluetooth 8 CCD wheel aligning machines, nitrogen tyre inflator and lube management systems, among a host of products.

The New Delhi-based Eastman Group is to showcase its Addo Glitz range of alloy wheels with micro finish along with other products. Interestingly, there is a substantial increase in Chinese two-wheeler and component manufacturers at the Expo this year. Clearly, Auto Expo 2008 is all geared to set a new benchmark — in terms of exhibition area, exhibitors, business and general visitors, and total business enquiries generated. And, with the much-awaited Tata 1-lakh car to be revealed on Day 1 of the exhibition, the world is waiting for all the news from the ninth Auto Expo.

FACTFILE SECTOR REPRESENTATION
Auto Expo 2008 will have a fair representation of all sectors of the industry. There are over 2,000 participating companies covering the entire gamut of the automotive industry from around the world. These include a large number of vehicle manufacturers along with 1,900 components manufacturers.

Exhibition area: The Auto Expo is spread over 120,000 square metres covering 18 permanent halls, 10 hangars and eight State pavilions.

Auto Enterprise: A focussed show for the Small Scale Sector companies displaying a variety of products for the automotive industry.

Robo Expo: A concurrent show introduced at the Auto Expo for the first time. It focusses on Robotics and Automation Technologies for the automotive industry.

Special Pavilions: Special sector focus on Accessories/Audio, Alternate Fuel Technologies, Design and Software Solutions, Diesel, Garage Equipment Technologies and Infotronics.

Country Pavilions: Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and USA.

Overseas exhibitors: There is participation from 25 countries including Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Kora, Malaysia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK, UAE and USA.

Overseas Delegations: JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association), KAMA (Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association), SMMT UK (Society of Vehicle Manufacturers and Traders), SAE International, APMA – Canada, PSA Peugeot Citroen (Outsourcing) – France, Forum Indien – Germany, VDA-Germany, Centro Estero per I'Internazioalizzazione SCPA – Italy, MACMA – Malaysia, UK Trade Investment Board and Magna International (Outsourcing) – Canada, among others.
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