Auto Expo 2014 promises to be bigger and better
The biennial automotive industry event, scheduled to begin in the first week of February, will be hosted in two different locations for the first time. The motor show part of the event (February 7-11), to be hosted at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, will be spread over a gross exhibition area of 60,000 square metres, as compared to 41,000 square metres in the 2012 edition held at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The motor show will have 50 vehicle OEMs showcasing their latest products and concepts to showgoers. There will be 14 exhibition halls in the 2014 edition, six more than the 2012 edition. Though the number of halls is more, the organisers say it will be easier for visitors to visit the pavilions as the layout is much more compact than the one at Pragati Maidan.
However, the only apprehension regarding the venue is its location, which falls outside the city state of Delhi. The Auto Expo venue in Greater Noida is a good 40km away from Pragati Maidan and 51km from the airport. “The good part is that 25km of that distance is high- speed expressway,” said Vishnu Mathur, director-general, SIAM, at a media meet in Mumbai today. He feels that a lot of the fears are misplaced as the new location is a better choice in terms of infrastructure. “There will be a 75-acre parking space for 8,000-10,000 vehicles,” he added.
Regular bus shuttles will also be available from Noida Botanical Garden (the nearest metro station) to the motor show venue throughout the day. In addition, there will be two dedicated lanes at the Delhi Noida Direct (DND) toll gate for visitors to the motor show of the Auto Expo.
“The primary reason for the shift (to the new location) is that the show’s size has outlived Pragati Maidan,” said Dr Pawan Goenka, past president, SIAM and president – automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra. Given the size of the show, its “primary objective is to showcase India,” said Dr Goenka. The last edition of the Auto Expo had attracted strong criticism for poor infrastructure and management which did not help build India’s image, especially in the eyes of the foreign exhibitors.
SIAM says it will tap multiple avenues to publicise the event, apart from the news media. It is for the first time that the organisers have opted for online ticketing for the event. “Tickets can also be collected from Barista outlets by showing the proof of purchase. We are also in talks with Delhi Metro for selling tickets in 4 metro stations,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director-general, SIAM.
The component show of the Auto Expo (February 6-9) will remain at Pragati Maidan. It is learnt that some component manufacturers have expressed apprehension regarding the success of the event since OEMs, the major crowd pullers, will be absent at Pragati Maidan. However, SIAM has assured the vendors full support for the success of the suppliers show. “We have instructed key people to visit Pragati Maidan during the Auto Expo,” said Vikram Kirloskar, president, SIAM and vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. Over 1,200 companies have confirmed participation at the Auto Expo 2014 with the component show spread across 50,000 square metres. Exhibitors from countries like China, Taiwan, UK, Canada, Korea, Japan and Germany are among the participants list.
Accommodating component manufacturers in the Greater Noida venue could have been very challenging, but it may be that the component manufacturers and the vehicle OEMS may not stay apart for too long. “We would like to have a combined location in the future. We will look for the best option in 2016,” concluded Kirloskar.
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