Greater Noida: India's flagship automobile show, the Auto Expo, kicked off Wednesday as 51 new products made their debut, with Bollywood celebrities, including Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor, along with sportstars Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli adding to the glamour quotient.
Keeping with the theme of 'mobility for all', the expo opened with car market leader Maruti Suzuki unveiling its much-awaited compact SUV Vitara Brezza, while a host of hybrid and electric vehicles from different manufacturers represented technology of the future.
The show, jointly organised by SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), ACMA (Automotive Components Manufacturers Association) and the Confederation of Indian Industry, will be opened for public from February 5-9.
"At the Auto Expo you will see a lot of vehicles, which are covering the underlying theme of mobility for all. At the same time, you will see a lot of electric and hybrid vehicles and many new launches," SIAM President Vinod Dasari told PTI.
With the expo being held at a time when automobile companies have come under the scanner due to rising concern over pollution, Dasari said: "Auto industry has always been saying it (vehicles) should be safer, greener. Whatever are the norms, auto industry will meet and you will see the auto industry showcasing products which are far ahead of regulations."
When it came to alternate fuel technology, Hero MotoCorp showcased its electric scooter concept Duet-E, while Mahindra GenZe, unveiled the GenZe 2.0, the first connected all-electric scooter.
Toyota displayed its range of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, including the Mirai hydrogen car. German auto major VW showcased its plug in hybrid Passat GT and Hyundai displayed it fuel cell electric model Sonata FCEV.
The motor show 2016 began at the India Expo Mart here with the industry hoping that the new models will boost sales.
Apart from the Vitara Brezza, which is scheduled to hit the markets in the upcoming weeks, General Motors announced Chevrolet Essentia and Chevrolet Beat Active for India.
Hyundai unveiled its SUV Tucson, while Honda Cars India took the cover off its SUV BR-V for the first time in India. Toyota Kirloskar Motor drove in its all-new Innova Crysta.
In the luxury segment, Tata Motors-owned JLR launched its all new Jaguar XE sports saloon priced at upto Rs 46.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while Audi launched the new R8 V10 Plus, which will have an ex-showroom price (Mumbai and Delhi) of Rs 2.47 crore.
BMW launched its new 7 Series with price ranging from Rs 1.11 crore to Rs 1.55 crore (ex-showroom Delhi) along with all-new X1 have priced between Rs 29.90 lakh and Rs 39.90 lakh.
On the other hand Mercedes-Benz unveiled its global SUV - GLC and S-Class Cabriolet along with premium luxury Maybach S 60 Guard at the 13th Auto Expo here.
The two-wheeler segment saw unveiling's from UM Motorcycles, DSK Benelli, TVS and Suzuki Motorcycles.
Hero Motocorp unveiled Splendor iSmart 110, the first motorcycle developed completely in-house by the firm's own research and development (R&D) team.
Rival Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India introduced six new models which are scheduled for their India launch later.
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.
The organisers have been upbeat that there will be an increase in the number of footfalls to 7 lakh this time.
Around 5.6 lakh people visited the show during the last edition.