NEW DELHI: The gloom in the Indian auto market has taken the sheen off the industry’s biennial mega show as some of the top makers, including Hero Moto, TVS, Royal Enfield, Honda Cars, Toyota, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Audi have decided to give the event a miss. Others who are not participating are Jeep, Ford, Lexus, Fiat and Harley-Davidson, while companies such as Honda 2-wheelers and Nissan are still weighing their options, sources told TOI.

The expo, which is held at Greater Noida in February every two years, is pitched as India’s answer to mega auto shows held in global cities such as Detroit, New York, Geneva, Paris and Shanghai.

However, with the industry remaining under a prolonged slump, the focus has been on cost conservation and “practical spending”, forcing many to opt out of the expo that is believed to be charging the participants in line with global big-tickets shows.

However, there are some brands who still see value in the event and will showcase their line-up with concept cars and electric vehicles.

These include Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and foreign makers such as Renault, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Skoda. Newer brands such as Kia and MG Motors will also participate, and so will China’s Great Wall Motors that plans to make its India debut soon.

Companies who are skipping the event blame a “cocktail of negatives” for their decision. These include time and effort that will be spent on migrating to new BS6 emission norms that kick in from April 2020 (two months after the Auto Expo).

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Many non-participants said the “cost of participation is not commensurate with the benefits” that they get. “We spend anywhere upwards of Rs 30 crore for a credible participation, including cost of space, constructing the stage and other paraphernalia, getting in new cars including imported ones, local and overseas staff, hotels, logistics, etc. However, returns are minuscule considering walk-ins do not result in incremental sales, and there is a just a temporary upside,” an official with a luxury brand said.



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