The Auto Expo is one of the most anticipated automobile events in India as it showcases upcoming cars and motorcycles from domestic as well as international automobile manufacturers. This iteration of the global expo is scheduled to take place between February 9-14 2018 at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. While there are new names attending the motor show next year, there are others who have decided to ditch the auto fair in Delhi.
Last year, Volkswagen showcased the Ameo sedan, Polo GTI performance hatch, Passat GTE plug-in hybrid and the Tiguan SUV among others. While the Polo GTI and the Tiguan SUV are already on sale, the new-gen Passat arrives on October 10 this year. This new-gen Passat sedan that arrives next week in India will not be the GTE plug-in hybrid. Instead, it will be 177PS 2.0-litre TDI motor mated to a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The company has not let out any additional information on a petrol motor or a manual transmission option.
Skoda India has already had a busy year with the launch of the new Octavia, Monte Carlo Rapid, Octavia vRS and the recently launched Kodiaq SUV. The Skoda Octavia vRS, launched at Rs 24.62 lakh, is a thoroughbred performance sedan. The Skoda Kodiaq, priced at Rs 34.49 lakh, is the Brand's first seven-seater SUV and is based on the familiar MQB platform that also underpins the Audi Q7 as well as the Porsche Cayenne. The two upcoming offerings that Skoda is expected to roll out in 2018 are the petrol Kodiaq SUV and the Karoq SUV, that is believed to be the now-discontinued Yeti's successor.
The Skoda Karoq will compete with the likes of Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan
Audi India was present at the 2016 Auto Expo wherein it launched the new-gen R8 V10 Plus along with displaying the new A4 sedan and the S3 Cabriolet. In addition, the German car manufacturer also showcased the Audi Prologue Concept which is said to take shape of A9 or a rival to the BMW 8 Series. Audi also displayed the SQ5 SUV and
A6 allroad quattro station wagon.
The more exotic brands like Lamborghini, Porsche and Ducati will continue to remain absent from the 2018 Auto Expo in India
The American car manufacturer was present at the 2016 Auto Expo wherein it had showcased the Mustang that was launched later that year. In addition to the Mustang, Ford had also displayed the Figo and the Endeavour. As the year comes to an end, Ford will be launching the new EcoSport with a more premium design and an updated cabin. However, the most important update of the 2017 Ford EcoSport is the 1.5-litre Dragon petrol motor that puts out. The new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ti-VCT Dragon petrol replaces the 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol, and produces 123PS / 150Nm. The engine has 10 per cent more power and 7 per cent more torque with a similarly higher claimed fuel economy compared to the engine it replaces.
In addition to the new Ford EcoSport, we believe Ford will also bring the new Mustang that debuted internationally, significantly updated Figo cars and also the new Endeavour. These launches will be spread across the year in India.
Royal Enfield will be continuing its hiatus from the Auto Expo 2018 as well. The Chennai based motorcycle manufacturer has often shied away from the global motor show. Royal Enfield launched its adventure motorcycle Himalayan just a few days before the Auto Expo. While the company has not officially communicated the reason for the absence from motor show, it has been speculated to be a marketing decision of the brand, especially considering the expensive affair the Auto Expo is considered to be. It is already known that Royal Enfield is working on launching a higher displacement motorcycle, which might be called Interceptor. It is being said that the upcoming Royal Enfield motorcycle will unveiled at the EICMA show at the year.
Bajaj Auto has been one of the few companies who have been vocal about their absence from the Auto Expo. To participate in such event it takes around Rs 10-15 crore to make those concepts and the poor R&D department is spending half their time creating these concepts. There are some big car companies who have big money, they can do it. We are a small company. So to spend such amount is not affordable for us," stated the company. To support its statement against the participation in the Auto Expo, Rajiv Bajaj had stated that the showcasing the Bajaj V at the motor show would have been a Rs 5 Crore affair, which is exorbitant compared to the Rs 5 lakh that was spent by the manufacturer to launch it at another venue.
Nissan and Datsun
The Nissan pavilion at the 2016 Auto Expo showcased the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid, a SUV that was expected to launch later this year. However, we believe it might be pushed to 2018. The other cars that were shown at the Auto Expo were the GT-R, stylised Terrano and the facelifted Sunny. Datsun had showcased the GO-Cross Concept that was expected to take shape of a compact SUV based on the same platform as the Go cars. In addition to that, Datsun had also showcased the spruced up Go.