New Delhi: The seven-day Auto Expo, which drew to a close on Monday, had over 2 million enthusiasts passing through its doors to catch the buzz surrounding some of the most advanced cars showcased by global majors.
The global economic gloom notwithstanding, the show saw more new launches than any other previous edition with international firms taking the lead and a total of 25 new models being unveiled.
The success of the expo is a testimony to India`s emergence as a global manufacturing hub, Union Minister of state for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Monday at the valedictory function of the 10th Auto Expo.
>"The expo has grown from strength to strength since 1986. This year we received two million footfalls," Scindia said.
He said the Indian automobile market is a "relatively virgin" one with only nine cars per thousand persons as against 27 per thousand in China.
"...India is becoming attractive choice for its low-cost design innovation and design of scale and is becoming hub for manufacture of small cars... The Indian automobile market is growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 30 per cen and last fiscal exports grew by 52 per cent," he added.
Speaking at the occasion, Hero Group`s Sunil Kant Munjal said 2,105 exhibitors took part at the biennial auto show.
"In terms of product launches, this expo surpassed all the previous editions with 25 new models revealed. This is the biggest and the best show we have ever had so far. We hope this expo will be the springboard for future development of the automobile and manufacturing sector," Munjal said.
Eyeing the volume segment in India, big car makers, including Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, showcased their small cars at the week-long expo.
While the compact cars were the cynosure of all eyes, green technology made a strong mark with many companies showing hybrids and alternate fuel vehicles.
Most of the companies are looking at garnering a seizable chunk of the Indian car market, which is heading towards the milestone of two million units a year.
"Even in difficult times, the Indian economy is growing at 7 per cent and is cynosure of the world," Scindia said.
Companies like Suzuki, Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Honda are already in the process of ramping up capacities, he added.
Talking about the component industry, Scindia said it is exporting over USD 3 billion worth of auto parts from the country.
At a concluding day event, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki India won accolades for having the largest display areas, while the credit for the largest country pavilion went to Germany.
Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland also got appreciation for their continuous support for all the 10 editions of the expo.