rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Last updated on: January 4, 2012 20:56 IST

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

     Next

Next
Aabhas Sharma in New Delhi


The Delhi Auto Expo has grown into a high-profile event where car makers, Indian and foreign, announce new models and reach out to customers. Business Standard tracks the meticulous planning that goes into the event.

Record books will show January 10, 2008 as the day the 2G Spectrum scam began. It was on that day that the telecom ministry, then under Andimuthu Raja, started the sale of spectrum at throwaway prices.

The loss to the government, the Comptroller & Auditor General concluded in 2010, could be as high as Rs 176,000 crore (Rs 1.76 trillion).

That was also the day Ratan Tata drove the Nano into the Tata Motors pavilion at the Delhi Auto Expo.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Mini Cooper.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Few had believed that the company would be able to come out with its Rs 100,000 car.

Tata had proved the skeptics wrong. "A promise is a promise," he told journalists. It was a "wow" moment for all Indians.

Behind the scenes, a core team had worked hard to ensure that pictures of the car didn't leak out before the launch.

That would have stolen Tata's thunder. It was shipped in a nondescript container from Pune to Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, the venue of the Auto Expo.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Tata Nano Pixel
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Tata Motors' officials moved with the container to ensure the car's safety and, more important, secrecy.

The ordinary-looking container outside the pavilion drew nobody's attention. Months of planning had worked like clockwork.

For the next edition of the biennial, which starts on January 7, Tata Motors began preparations way back in March.

Every detail has been worked out: the theme of the pavilion, the sequence and angles at which the cars and commercial vehicles will enter so as not to ruin the carpets, et cetera.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Nano Pixel.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The display stages will be built according to the weight of the vehicle.

A team of 100, it is learnt, has been put on the job and the company will spend over Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) during the five-day event at which the company's researchers will meet hundreds of thousands of automobile enthusiasts and potential customers and record their views. It should be time and money well spent.

The stakes at the Delhi Auto Expo have become high. Companies showcase their best products and futuristic technologies here.

That's because India has broken into the ranks of the top ten car markets in the world. So the Delhi Auto Expo is not something car-makers want to miss.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Jaguar C X16.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Rents at Pragati Maidan, car-makers will tell you, have risen steadily and are now second only to the Shanghai Auto Expo.

Real estate is in short supply; every company gets less space than what it wants. So there is a scramble to outdo the others. The demand for young models in skimpy clothes too peaks around this time.

The halls are handed over to car-makers five or six days before the show. In that short time, they have to put up the pavilions, get the automobiles, train their staff and get the show going.

Most companies appoint event managers to ready their pavilions. Mercedes has given the job this time to a German event management company. All the cars on display at the Mercedes pavilion will be flown in from the company headquarters in Germany.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Toyota Prius C.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

All foreign-made cars at the Auto Expo come through Carnet de Passage, a document that allows temporary import of vehicles for a specific purpose or limited amount of time.

The import duty through Carnet is much lower than the prevalent duties. Companies work with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the event organiser, to ensure that the cars reach safe and secure.

The cars are transported to Delhi in trailers reaching two days before the Auto Expo, but getting them into the stall is a tough task.

At the last Auto Expo, a foreign car had got slightly damaged during transportation, and the company had to get a replacement model at the last minute. Some companies even cart the plywood used for designing the pavilion from abroad.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Skoda Fabia Scout.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A lot of attention is paid to the design of pavilions. At the 2010 Auto Expo, Volkswagen had used diffused lighting throughout the pavilion because it needed a white background to create a soothing effect.

Hero Honda had installed computer-controlled water curtains with the water falling from a height of about 20 feet in a sequential manner such that the falling droplets were actually in the form of messages that could be read.

Maruti Suzuki had a special theme called "Joys of Life" at its stall in 2010. The pavilion had dedicated sections on R&D, environment-friendly technologies, a Suzuki bike zone, a "discover" zone, a simulation zone and a central stage.

The company also had interactive touch-screens with options of customising a car to provide customers with a touch-and-feel experience of the brand.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Most companies want to make a statement of intent," says an event manager. Mahindra & Mahindra, which has put together a team of over 100 for the Auto Expo, will showcase the SsangYong range and Mahindra Reva electric cars this time round -- it has acquired these two companies, the first in South Korea and the other in India, since the last Auto Expo in 2010. "SsangYong is a core pillar of our philosophy of not accepting any limits," says Mahindra & Mahindra Senior Vice-president Vivek Nayer.

To grab attention, foreign car manufacturers sometimes want their models to be dressed in traditional Indian attire.

So event managers have to arrange for dresses according to the company's imagery -- not an easy task. Harley Davidson had got drummers from Kerala to perform in sync with the sound of its bikes; this year to create a buzz the brand will conduct fashion shows with models showcasing the range of its merchandise and MotorClothes.

For some brands, it is all about the models that stand next to, well, the car models.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: New Hyundai Sonata.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     Next

The SHOWSTOPPERS at the Delhi Auto Expo!

Prev     More
Prev

More

Mercedes is getting 12 models from Australia this year who will reach two days before the Expo and attend a day-long briefing session with the sales team to learn about the cars.

The most important thing the models are told is not to be rude with visitors.

"We tell them that at times there will be people clicking their photographs and not the cars," laughs an executive of an automobile company. BMW even gets most of the personnel manning the stalls from abroad, who too are trained in etiquette.

"Unsavoury incidents need to be avoided and we make sure that there's enough security," adds Reeva Lal of Showtime Events which is working with BMW for this year's Auto Expo.


Image: Renault Pulse.
Photographs: Courtesy, CarDekho.com

Prev     More
Source: