Greater Noida, Feb 3 (IANS) India’s mega automotive show the biennial Auto Expo 2016 got underway on Wednesday here with vehicle makers unveiling their new and upgraded models — ranging from two-wheelers to luxury cars — several of which are likely to ply on Indian roads.
The event also saw the showcasing of India’s first adventure utility vehicle (AUV) by Japanese automaker Isuzu Motor India.
For a change, the shining vehicles were the cynosure of those who were present at the venue where celebrities and the skirted beauties distracted eyeballs.
Amidst the razzmatazz, a certain disquiet could be sensed among the industry officials, their minds bogged with a sense of regulatory uncertainty over diesel engines and emission norms.
India’s leading car-maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. took off the veil covering its compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) Vitara Brezza.
Developed at an outlay of Rs.860 crore, the new model having 98 percent local content is set to hit the Indian tar roads in two months’ time.
“Vitara Brezza is true to its category of a compact urban SUV,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive of Maruti Suzuki India.
“Built on a global Suzuki platform, Vitara Brezza has been conceptualized, designed and developed in India using Suzuki’s global development processes,” he said.
Another Asian auto giant, Hyundai Motor India displayed its global SUV Tucson.
The company said Tucson represents a significant step forward in the future SUV line-up for the Indian automobile market.
For the Korean parent Hyundai Motor Company, India is a major overseas market next only to the US and China.
Last year, Hyundai Motor India sold more cars in India than what it sold in the entire Europe, Y.K. Koo, managing direct and chief executive, told IANS recently.
Hyundai also showcased its ultra luxury Genesis model.
The Isuzu Motor’s stall saw the display of ISUZU D-MAX V-Cross, which the company claims to be India’s first adventure utility vehicle.
To be priced around Rs.15 lakh, Isuzu Motor will start rolling out the vehicle at its Sri City plant in Andhra Pradesh and will be launched during the second half of 2016.
The AUV comes with a 4WD (4X4) configuration, high ride and can be registered as a personal vehicle.
The company also showcased the commercial purpose ISUZU D-MAX to be priced in the range of Rs.8.5-9.5 lakh.
“The pick-up market in India is expected to grow manifold and Isuzu has laid strong emphasis on offering a range of its latest D-Max products. We have sensed intense anticipation for a thorough-bred Adventure Utility Vehicle, amongst Indians,” said Naohiro Yamaguchi, managing director, Isuzu Motors India.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on its part lined-up three SUVs — Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the high-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Jeep brand sales in India will start in mid-2016, a year that also marks the brand’s 75th anniversary.
American automobile major General Motors too announced the launch of an all new four-door Chevrolet Essentia next year.
Tata Motors and Jaguar-Land Rover too showcased their products to the media. Volkswagen unveiled their new compact sedan Ameo, Tiguan, Passat GTE and the 21st Century Beetle.
Honda Cars India Limited unveiled the BR-V for the first time in India while Mercedes Benz launched the much-awaited SUV GLC and the S-Class Carbiolet, said a statement from the event organisers.
In the two-wheeler segment, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India launched a new 110cc motorcycle NAVI and also announced six new planned production models slated for an India launch.
On its part, Piaggio India unveiled its forthcoming crossover two-wheeler Aprilia SR 150.
India’s Hero MotoCorp unveiled a new range of products — Splendor iSmart 110, Xtreme 200 S, XF3RA and Duet E — and concepts.
Suzuki Motorcycle India showcased its new Access 125 scooter and the revamped Gixxer motorbikes.
Presence of industry stalwarts and public figures like Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor and Sachin Tendulkar added to the glamour to the event.