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All the news and information on the 2020 Auto Expo in the SIAM Show Daily published daily and live from the Expo. Download it all here
Day 1: Auto Expo Preview featuring the new Skoda and VW SUVs
Much like Kia Motros Seized the opportunity afforded by the 2018 Auto Expo to introduce not just their brand but also the Seltos (as the SP2 concept) to India, so too the 2020 edition of Asia’s largest motor show will be marked by the arrival of two new brands — Haval from Great Wall Motors and Haima from First Automobile Works – two of the largest manufacturers from the world’s largest automobile market – China. The Expo will also see established brands doubling down on their commitment to India. Prominent among those will be the Volkswagen Group with the fruits of the recent reorganisation on display at both the Skoda and Volkswagen stands in the form of the Creta/Seltos- rivalling Vision IN/Taigun, based on the India-specific MQB-A0-IN platform. The big theme for the Auto Expo will be electrics — not just concept electrics but EVs that we will be driving and riding very soon. The Expo will also mark the transition from BS-4 to BS-6 and that will mean most showroom floors will be completely refreshed. Tata Motors will lead the charge on this front marking their 75th birthday with four global unveils, 14 commercial and 12 passenger vehicles on their massive stand. Mahindra and Mahindra’s stand will be similarly impossible to miss with their entire range. The 2020 Auto Expo will have plenty to keep you engaged, engrossed and excited.
Click here to download Day 1 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 2: Tata Motors stole the show with the Sierra concept EV
The showstopper on the first media day of the 2020 SIAM Auto Expo, it would have to be the Tata Sierra. A legend of the Indian automotive firmament but reimagined for the future, the Sierra concept is a full electric based on Tata Motors’ new platform and looks absolutely stunning. I particularly like the glass house in profile that harks back to the original, as does the SUV DNA that oozes out of its butch muscular flanks. Design head Pratap Bose put it aptly when he said, “It is inspired by the past but is not a slave to it.” And that wasn’t it because next to the Sierra is the HBX concept that is very near to production, a compact SUV that will slot in below the Nexon and will hit the roads very soon. Electrics were the theme of the Expo and things kicked off with Maruti Suzuki Futuro-e concept that headlines India’s largest automotive manufacturers Green Million program to promote clean, green vehicles manufactured sustainably. Mahindra & Mahindra had the eKUV that will go on sale in a few months along with the Atom last-mile connectivity vehicle. MG is also bullish on electrics and showed the cute e200 electric concept. And Mercedes announced that the EQC will go on sale by April 2020. The big brand launch was from Great Wall Motors who made their formal entry into India showcasing their Haval SUV lineup and the Vision 2025 concept and the Concept H. They plan to invest a massive 1 billion US dollars into setting up a manufacturing, research and export base in India in addition to a second brand, the electric-only GWM EV brand. These are just some of the very exciting cars and Day 2 will have plenty more launches including the new Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Creta.
Click here to download Day 2 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 3: Shah Rukh Khan brings out the much-awaited Hyundai Creta
One of the biggest launches of day 2 was the new Hyundai Creta. The all-new Creta was unveiled by Hyundai’s brand ambassador Shah rukh Khan, who has remained on board for 22 years! The occasion was big and so was the unveil which meant the Creta was hounded by journos all day with some of them pestering Mr Khan for selfies and what not. I digress. The Creta is expected to go on sale very soon and Hyundai hasn’t specified what engine it will feature. Maruti Suzuki launched the refreshed Vitara Brezza and bookings have opened already although the launch is a couple of weeks away from now. Fresh design and a new engine under the Brezza’s hood should work in Maruti’s favour. MG has lined up a new unveil every single day, for the first three days and today was the turn of the Hector Plus. The Plus denotes two additional seats over the regular Hector. Yes, you can now have the ever-popular Hector either as a six- or seven-seater. Mercedes-Benz showcased its RV-ish V-Class Marco Polo which is basically a mobile home. You get a kitchenette with twin stoves, a double bed and even a full-fledged tent! We hope the V-Class encourages people to get out on the road, caravanning. At least those with over a crore to spare! There were bucketloads of two-wheeled EVs from all across the country and even some exotics from Italy. Piaggio showcased the classic enduro – the Moto Guzzi V85 TT and the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory but the star of their pavilion was the SXR 160. An SR 160 with the comfort of an Activa 125. You can now go grocery shopping faster than ever. Exciting times ahead for sure!
Click here to download Day 3 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 4: MG brought out the big guns with the Gloster
The big unveil on day three of the SIAM Auto Expo was the Gloster that MG will launch in India this year. A full-size SUV with proper 4x4 (based on a ladder-frame platform) and three rows of seats, this new SUV will be spot on to excite buyers in this segment and has the stance and presence to make an impact. The surprise at the MG stand was of course the G10, a large MPV that MG Motor India president & MD Rajeev Chaba said, “Will be launched very soon”. No word on the powertrains of this big MPV but it definitely looks luxurious with the vehicle on display having captain seats in the second row, lots of space in the third row plus a usable boot. It sits on a large wheelbase and that should make it very spacious. The final unveiling at the Expo was the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, now with the BS6 engine and a facelift. The 15th Auto Expo is now open to the public and there is plenty for show goers to feast their eyes on. Electric concepts are on almost every stand from the Futuro-e at Maruti Suzuki, to the Sierra at Tata Motors, eXUV 300 at Mahindra, Haval Vision 2025 and GWM R1 at Great Wall Motors, Marvel X at MG and more. New electric cars we will be driving very soon include the Mercedes-Benz EQC that will be launched in April and the Mahindra eKUV100 that has been launched at `8.5 lakh. Other exciting new cars include the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Creta, the all-new Force Gurkha and updated Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. And you simply must not forget to check out the VW Taigun and Skoda Vision IN that will be hitting our roads by early next year. And finally I must remind you to check out all the new electric two-wheelers.
Click here to download Day 4 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 5: We take a deep dive into all the Electric Vehicles on display
Is the future electric? Walk Around the Auto Expo and you will be convinced it is! From the entry gate of the Expo, you will be able to hitch a ride in the Mahindra Atom, an electric last mile connectivity solution that is set to transform inter-city commuting in the country when it gets launched this year. Quiet, air-conditioned, spacious, configured like a London Taxi with space for bags, very small in terms of its physical footprint and cute styling – our cities will be much nicer with these running around between offices and metro stations. Today the Atom will drop you off outside Hall 14 where you can walk into the Tata Motors stand and win a ride in the Nexon EV that is running rings inside their massive stand, and then go check out the Altroz EV that looks almost production ready. Over at Mahindra, you should check out the eKUV100 that has been launched at `8.25 lakh making it the most affordable passenger electric vehicle. As Dr Goenka said, “Now there’s no excuse for not buying an electric car.” There’s also the eXUV300, the electric version of India’s safest car that we have highlighted on this very page and is launching next year. Speaking of affordability, at Renault they’re showing the electric Kwid that is already on sale in China. As for high-end EVs, VW is showcasing the cool I.D.Crozz SUV in concept form. And Mercedes will put the EQC on sale by April. Great Wall Motors have launched their electric-only GWM EV brand and are showcasing the cute R1 concept and MG have a whole host of EVs on display at their huge stand. Plus there are a slew of e-bikes from established brands to start-ups, all featured in this issue of the Show Daily.
Click here to download Day 5 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 6: The Suzuki Jimny finally makes its India debut
While electric vehicle are the big theme of the Auto Expo, another big trend is the shift to SUVs. The newly-christened Skoda Auto – Volkswagen Group India, kick-started the launch of new SUVs at the Expo with the unveil of the Skoda Vision IN and VW Taigun. The two SUVs are based on VW’s MQB-A0-IN platform that has been re-engineered to use Indian steels and that will be a key reason for the 92-95 per cent localisation that has been targeted for the two, when they go on sale next year. Slotting between a compact and mid-size SUV, these two will also have locally-built engines of which the 1-litre turbo-petrol will be the main stay. On the SUV theme, Great Wall Motors introduced their SUV brand to India – Haval. This is the largest- selling SUV brand in China, incidentally the largest automotive market in the world, and is backed up by a 1 billion US dollar investment in the Indian market. This Show Daily is a run down on all the important SUVs at the Auto Expo and on the cover, we have the all-new Force Gurkha. Designed and engineered completely in-house, the Force Gurkha is based on a new ladder-frame chassis that is crash compliant, and it also gets twin front airbags and ABS. There’s a new dash, much better fit-and-finish and it is more civilised on the road while retaining its class-leading off-roading prowess. There’s also information on the MG Gloster, Hyundai Creta, Kia Sonet and the Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLA. Bookings for the latter are now open and it will drive volumes of India’s best-selling luxury brand. And we have news on the new 1.3 turbo-petrol engine that will go into the updated Renault Duster, the SUV that really initiated this trend in India.
Click here to download Day 6 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
Day 7: Concept cars special at the Auto Expo
ONCEPTS ARE THE EYE CANDY THAT draws in visitors to motor shows but, for the most part, they are there for a reason — and that is to showcase the future. The future styling of brands, the future technology direction and, in some cases, the future of mobility in itself. Take the Funster concept that is centre-stage on Mahindra & Mahindra’s stand. It ties in with Mahindra’s push for electric mobility with long-range and high-performance electric powertrains but the other significant bit is the front end that, based on the reaction of visitors to the stand, might inform the styling of the next range of Mahindra SUVs. It is the same for the Sierra concept and if all of you love what you see, Tata Motors might just be inclined to put the Sierra into production very soon. Speaking of Tata Motors, the other big star is the HBX and that is almost production ready. It is a super-compact SUV that will be launched in the space of a few months and will slot in under the Nexon and be Tata Motors’ big push towards volumes. Ignore the roof rack, off-road tyres and jacked up stance and the HBX is as good as production ready, and so too is the interior. Over at Maruti Suzuki you will see the Futuro-e concept and while it has an electric powertrain, of more significance is the styling that previews the new design language for India’s largest car manufacturer and will translate into a production car very soon. But will we be driving cars or taking a flying taxi? That’s the question Mercedes-Benz are asking with the Velocopter concept on their stand. Who knows, maybe in a decade, you might be making your way to the Auto Expo by air!
Click here to download Day 7 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here
It's the final day of the 15th SIAM Auto Expo and going by the response it looks like this will end up being the most visited Auto Expo ever. On Sunday over 100,000 visitors thronged the 14 halls of the Expo and the stream of visitors hardly slowed down with Monday clocking over 90,000 visitors. And not without reason! This Auto Expo, more than anything else, showcases the might of the Indian automotive industry. Mahindra has made a massive statement of its intent to not just assume a leadership role as far as the electrification of the Indian automotive market goes but also its commitment to conventional IC engines. The mStallion range of engines has been completely developed in-house and it will not only go into Mahindra vehicles but also future SsangYong and Fords. At the other end of the spectrum there’s the Atom EV that is set to revolutionise last mile connectivity. Tata Motors also made a massive splash with their Sierra and HBX concepts, the latter of which is going to hit the roads very soon. At the other end of their stand they also had their massive trucks, the Prima range, now looking even more stylish what with Pratap Bose and his styling team working their magic on the design. The Winger van too has been completely revitalised and now sports Tata Motors’ SUV styling treatment. I must close by also highlighting the commitment global auto majors are making in the Indian market. Great Wall Motors is investing 1 billion US dollars which includes a full-fledged manufacturing facility while the first fruits of the VW Group’s 1 billion euro investment is on display in the form of the VW Taigun and Skoda Vision IN mid-size SUVs.
Click here to download Day 8 Auto Expo Show Daily PDF here