Let us be honest. It is cold in Delhi in january, and while residents up north are used to the weather, visitors from the rest of the country crib about the cold and the fact that flights or trains are delayed due to fog. But there is a very good reason to come to the capital in January.
The biennial Auto Expo held at Pragati Maidan has come a long way from a few years ago, when exhibitors complained that it hardly brought anything in the form of new or potential sales. However, since the last Expo two years ago, the industry has had the best 24 months in its history. So, which cars are expected to be the show stealers at the Auto Expo?
Tata’s Rs 1-lakh car
This car will be presented to the world in a blaze of flashlights but what will it be? A plastic contraption with the safety characteristics of a children’s toy, or a whole new paradigm in automotive engineering? The jury is still out and will be out till January.
Also see: Bajaj might well showcase some of the first prototypes from its association with Renault, for a super-cheap car.
Maruti-Suzuki’s new small car is expected in India later next year, but will that stop India’s largest carmaker from showcasing what might turn out to be a WagonR replacement with a super frugal engine?
After a five-year wait, the smaller Skoda is finally here and is expected to go on sale soon after the Expo concludes. They’ve even shot an ad with a bevy of nubile young things in the middle of the Rajasthan desert for this car.
VW might also have the mighty Toureg on display, but the smaller Jetta is the car that will grab most eyeballs. Expect it to be launched sometime in 2008 at an Accord-ish price range.
Also see: Toyota may show off the new Corolla and Honda, the new Accord. But will they? The answer will be evident in January.
This is the ultimate sports coupe. Mind-blowing handling and power make this car the gold standard for high-performance tuned-up cars.
Two-wheelers and trucks
Bajaj will unveil the latest versions of the Sonic motorcycle and Blade scooter. Hero Honda is likely to launch a brand-new high-performance bike and Honda an all-new scooter. Surprisingly, there might be a lot of good-looking trucks from Mercedes-Benz and MAN, which have recently entered the Indian market.