The 2020 edition of Asia's largest Auto Expo was a huge success and brought a lot of cheer to the entire Indian automotive industry that is currently going through a tough time. This year's Auto Expo witnessed the grand entry of Chinese OEMs, continuing domination of the UVs, and as always, a new roadmap for electric vehicles. Concept vehicles are always crowd pullers in auto shows and this edition was no exception. Electric powertrain, autonomous driving, cloud connectivity, and personalization options were the key highlights of the concept vehicles on display.
Arrival of the Chinese Centre of attraction at the Expo
The success of MG Hector, which was launched in 2019 in the Indian market, instigated a slew of other Chinese brands, including Great Wall Motors and Haima Automobile, to venture into the Indian market. The Chinese brands were the cynosure of Auto Expo 2020 in their maiden outing, courtesy of their wide array of products, picturesque presentations, and the ability to keep onlookers entertained.
Domination of UVs
The UV segment is the fastest growing in India and everyone, from traditional OEMs to new entrants, seems to be aware of this. This comes hot on the heels of the India launch of Kia Seltos and MG Hector in 2019, which redefined UVs and became runaway hits. This year, Kia's pavilion had the Seltos, Carnival, and new Sonet concept on display, while MG Motors showcased Hector Plus, the premium SUV - Gloster and the luxury MPV - G10. Meanwhile, Great Wall Motors launched its Haval brand in India and Haima Automobile showcased two of its global products - the 8S SUV and 7X MPV.
All the new entrants are trying to position their products in the fast growing UV segment in a bid to leverage the hype and ape the success of Kia Seltos and MG Hector. The stranglehold of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai that account for more than two-thirds of the passenger car market in India could have also been why the new entrants opted against venturing into the hatchback and sedan segments. Such was the buzz surrounding SUVs that, Maruti Suzuki decided to reposition the BSVI version of Ignis from hatchback to SUV.
Exhibit 1: Key OEMs and their Focus Segments
Electric Powertrains on Existing Vehicle Platforms The Way Forward
EV was once again the word on every major OEM's lips as they sought to position themselves as future-ready. Individuals, as well as fleet operators, had a wide range of options to choose from the electric cars on display. The majority of the EVs showcased in the expo were built on existing vehicle platforms. Indian OEMs Mahindra (eKUV100 and eXUV300) and Tata Motors (Nexon EV and Altroz EV) both had their fair share of electric cars. Renault had the K-ZE, an electric version of the Kwid. The biggest surprise was Maruti Suzuki's decision to not showcase any production-ready EV model at the Expo.
The response from the audience, whose interest was piqued by the multitude of EV options, was further proof that the future is now when it comes to EVs.
Auto Expo 2020 was not just about the glitz and glam, it was a reflection of all the changes happening in the Indian car market. The promise that the UV segment has shown in the Indian market was reflected in the plans of all the OEMs. Green mobility was another theme that was ineluctable, given the prerogatives of the Indian Government towards electrification. With the slowdown in the Chinese market coupled with the success of MG Motors in India, Chinese OEMs, like their consumer electronics counterparts, are looking to position themselves as tech-savvy alternatives to challenge the status quo. The Indian Auto Expo lived up to the maxim: the only thing that is constant is change.
DISCLAIMER: This information is published as per the press release sent to us. It has not been verified or ratified by OVERDRIVE.
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