Expo Ahead of Auto Expo

The biennial Auto Expo is a perfect platform to exhibit the latest that the Indian industry has to offer. Yet, there are manufacturers who choose to give the event a miss but plan their launches around the same time. Wonder why…

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The Auto Expo is something I look forward to each year. As an automotive enthusiast, the idea of being able to go to one place and see pretty much every manufacturer, both two-wheeled and four-wheeled, strut their latest stuff has an appeal of its own. Indeed the appeal is strong enough for enthusiasts (not unlike myself) to spend hard earned money to travel from their hometowns all the way to Delhi to visit this biennial event.

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No, there is no doubt that the Auto Expo has a huge pull where crowds are concerned. In the logical world, this would imply that every manufacturer worth its salt would be racing to get ahead of each other to launch, unveil, reveal or whatever it is that they choose to call their event at every such Auto Expo. Yet, inexplicably, I find that several not only don’t race each other to the Expo venue but also choose to reveal and launch their products outside the Auto Expo. Even more inexplicable is the fact that they showcase their products around the same time as the Auto Expo.

Take a look at this year for instance. The much awaited event is just three weeks from now but many manufacturers (some of whom have waited months to arrive at the right time) have deemed fit to launch and reveal their products ahead of the Auto Expo 2016. Some of them have even decided to launch their new products just a day or two ahead of the Expo! In fact, February 2, which is just the day before the first Media Day of the Auto Expo 2016, will see one major motorcycle launch and at least one four-wheeler launch.

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Does this mean that the Auto Expo is losing some of its earlier shine? Food for thought, isn’t it? Well, the obvious answer might seem like a yes but the reality is somewhat different. A couple of years ago when I was playing the role of a communication consultant to a reputed motorcycle brand, they decided not to participate at the Auto Expo 2014 at all. They obviously wanted their product/s to be the highlight of conversations and with a plethora of launches scheduled for the Expo, their product had only a slim chance of being a highlight. But then why launch it around the same time as the Expo? Well, their reasoning was that the Auto Expo was one time when interest in all things automotive was always at its peak.

I didn’t get it then. I don’t get it now. To me the Auto Expo continues to be the focal point of interest in things automotive and therefore the most logical platform to showcase one’s products. Each one of us enthusiasts look forward to this event for two full years and we hope to see all manufacturers with all their products here. Hope the manufacturers are listening.

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