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Auto Expo begins at India Expo Mart today

The biennial automotive show Auto Expo 2016 kick started today at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida with more than 80 new models slated to be unveiled in the next two days.

The first two days of the event are open to media and business visitors. However, it will be open to the public from February 5 to 9.

The 13th edition of the show is jointly organized by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

According to SIAM President Vinod K Dasari, the expo, this time, would focus on electric and hybrid vehicles with a theme of mobility for all.

The auto expo is being held at a time when the automobile manufacturers are under pressure amid rising concerns over pollution, especially in Delhi-NCR, where new registrations of diesel Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and cars with engines above 2,000 cc have been banned following a Supreme Court order. 

Around 1500 companies are participating in the Auto Expo 2016. Around 900 of them are Indian firms, while the remaining 600 are from overseas, including China, Canada, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Some of the major participants would be Maruti Suzuki India, Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India, Tata Motors and Audi, among others. The new participants include Jeep, Polaris, and Italian motorcycle maker Benelli.

However, some companies have also given it a miss citing high costs and low returns on investments. These include Bajaj Auto, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson.

During the launch of its new 150cc Motorcycle 'V', Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj on Monday said it is too expensive to participate in the biennial show and wasteful to create expensive concepts.

Nevertheless, the organisers have been upbeat that there will be an increase in the number of footfalls to 7 lakh this time.

Notably, around 5.6 lakh people visited the show during the last edition. The show will see 65 exhibitors as against 55 in the previous edition which saw the launch of around 70 products. Exhibition space has also been increased to 73,000 square metres from the previous 69,000 square metres.Whereas, six large halls, with an additional carpet area of 37,240 square metres, have been constructed with air conditioning and adequate power supply cabling. The venue previously had only 8 permanent halls measuring 27,648 square metres.

The components show will be held at the Capital's Pragati Maidan from February 4-7.

Auto Expo is being held at Greater Noida for the second successive time as its original home Pragati Maidan proved inadequate to host the show, which has grown over the years.

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