Come February, all roads will lead to Greater Noida for India’s largest Auto Expo, scheduled to take place from February 9th – February 14th, 2018 at the India Expo Mart. While the Auto Expo has, in the past, received upto 100,000 foot falls each day, several auto giants as well as two-wheeler giants have decided not to participate in one of India’s leading auto events. The reasons for doing so are aplenty, from return on investment not being good enough to not attracting the right buyers for their products.
Perhaps the biggest blow will come from the Volkswagen Group which is going to be conspicuous by its absence, and that automatically means Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ducati, MAN and Scania are not going to be present with their product offerings. In an email reply to THE WEEK, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India’s spokesperson said, “Volkswagen Group as part of the structured approach and the evolving global business environment has decided to not participate in the upcoming India Auto Expo 2018. This is in-line with its global review of the Group’s event and show strategy as it entails huge commitments of time and planning. Volkswagen will however continue to focus and stay committed to the India market.”
While American giant GM exited India last year, the other American carmaker, Ford has other plans for showcasing its products in India. Ford’s spokesperson wrote to THE WEEK saying that “The Delhi Auto Show is a great event. For 2018, however, at Ford, we have decided to take a new approach. We will invest our resources and energy in creating Ford exclusive event platforms and experiences to bring awareness to the line-up of vehicles, technologies and mobility solutions in India. ‘The Ford Mustang India Tour’ or the recently held ‘City of Tomorrow Symposium’ are examples of this approach, which helped us to engage directly with our consumers.”
Japanese carmaker, Nissan, also, will not be present at the Auto Expo 2018. When THE WEEK contacted Nissan India, they replied saying, “We reviewed our activity plan in consideration of the various event and show possibilities. For our current priorities and business objectives, we plan to reach out to our target customers through innovative platforms and channels.”
Triumph’s MD, Vimal Sumbly told THE WEEK, “The Auto Expo is a great place to be. It is a large format auto show in India and Triumph has been there twice in the last four years since we launched in India. The Auto Expo has given us an edge whenever we launched new products and it is indeed a great platform. However, this time around because the BS III to BSIV happened at a two-day notice period, along with GST, which had an impact on our available stock in India, as our products are imported into the country, it has affected our planning. However, next time, we will be associated with Auto Expo again.”
American motorcycle giant Harley Davidson would also skip this year’s Auto Expo and will focus its resources on independent events. Peter MacKenzie, Managing Director, Harley Davidson India and China told THE WEEK that, “Auto Expo is definitely India’s finest mega product showcase event. However, given our priorities and business objectives at present, our full attention and focus is required on our independent brand events with the aim of providing the best experience to our consumers.”
Despite some of the biggest names such as Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat Chrysler, ISUZU, Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield, among others, not being there, the Auto Expo will still see some new brand-new launches and unveilings as MG, Kia and Kawasaki make an entry into India.