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Auto Expo 2014: What was Ratan Tata doing at Bajaj stall?

Last updated on: February 07, 2014 14:22 IST

Auto Expo 2014: What was Ratan Tata doing at Bajaj stall?

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Surajeet Das Gupta, Sharmistha Mukherjee and Sudipto Dey

Who was seen where

Bajaj’s quadricycle ripple hasn’t spared even the two companies which have been its harshest critics.

On Wednesday, Ratan Tata visited the Bajaj pavilion to check out the quadricycle and the U Car, in the absence of Rajiv Bajaj.

On Thursday, TVS group head Venu Srinivasan visited the stall to check out the vehicles.

Auto Expo 2014: Complete Coverage

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Image: Indian businessman Ratan Tata, former chairman of the Tata Group, and Ian Callum (R), design director at Jaguar, stand next to the Jaguar Project 7 concept car.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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While Bajaj was absent, executives of the company were seen explaining to Srinivasan the working of the four-seater quadricycles.

The two weren’t the only ones checking out the competition. T Suzuki, son of Suzuki Motors chief O Suzuki, was seen clicking pictures on his mobile of rival Hyundai’s latest launch, the Xcent.

When asked, the junior Suzuki conceded it was better to keep a tab on a competitor’s model that was likely to do battle with the segment’s best-seller, the Maruti Suzuki Swift D’Zire.

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Image: Suzuki Motor Corp Chairman and Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki (L) talks with Executive Vice President Toshihiro Suzuki.
Photographs: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

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Who let the crowd in?

The crowd on Day Two of Auto Expo 2014 took many exhibitors and the media by surprise.

The day was reserved essentially for business visitors and the media before the gates were thrown open to the general public on Day Three.

Apparently, apprehensive event organisers issued extra passes for dealers and business associates, who in turn brought their families and friends.

By afternoon, the exhibition halls were teeming with people - less business visitors and more trigger-happy mobile clickers.

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Photographs: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
Tags: Bajaj

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Going electric

A host of battery-operated vehicles - two wheelers, passenger carriers, transport vehicles - are on display even as large car makers, perhaps with the exception of Mahindra & Mahindra, seem to shy away from the space.

Most leading players who had showcased electric-powered concepts at the previous Auto Expo refrained from doing so this time.

But smaller players such as Lohia Auto had on display electric scooters and electric rickshaws, while Jalandhar-based Speedways Electric was giving free rides on its battery-operated golf carts.

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Photographs: Courtesy, M&M
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Get social

Most exhibitors indulged customers at their stalls with social media, exhorting them to post live on Facebook and Twitter. Many had illustrators making free digital sketches, while some had interactive 3D games.

M&M’s two digital Cheetahs sitting on top of the XUV 500 was a big draw with the crowds.

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