Till 2012 the India Auto Expo was the most coveted and awaited event in the automotive world. Companies with no manufacturing presence in India also participated in the week-long event to showcase their brand power. But over time the mega event lost its sheen and companies started to drop out.
The 2020 Auto Expo, however, marks the return of the previous trend where the new entrants are Chinese. Four of the five Chinese companies who have confirmed participation do not even manufacturing operations in India.
More on this later in the copy, but first here is a complete round-up of all the top automotive news of the week.
Bosch to cut ‘thousands’ of jobs in India
Bosch India will cut thousands of jobs as the country battles a record slowdown in auto sales amid an economic downturn, Bloomberg reported.
Bosch India MD Soumitra Bhattacharya confirmed to the publication that the auto parts maker would axe 'a couple of thousand jobs over the next four years'.
New launches to light up January
Automakers have lined up at least a dozen launches in January, ranging from scooters to luxury cars as manufacturers become keen on starting afresh in the new year despite challenges at the retail end.
Three of the 12 launches will be powered by battery-electric motors, highlighting the growing trend towards India’s adoption of electric mobility sans requisite charging infrastructure support, which is still in the developing stage.
Record high discounts fail to cheer car buyers in December
Record-high discount levels failed to entice car buyers in December as eight of the top 10 car-makers in control of 90 percent of the industry’s volumes collectively posted a fall of 4.2 percent.
The passenger vehicle (PV) industry posted sale of 209,359 units in December as compared to 218,588 units sold in the same month in 2018, as per data revealed by the companies.
Big names to miss out in Auto Expo
Auto Expo 2020 will play host to a number of new launches when the event kicks off in February. However, it will miss the presence of the biggest names of the very companies that are taking part in the week-long event.
Senior executives holding important positions such as chairman, managing director and chief executive officer of large automotive companies including Renault, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz will not attend the Auto Expo.
More cars get top safety ratings in India
New-generation cars that were launched in India over the last two years have fared better in crash safety tests than older-generation cars that were awarded zero-star safety-ratings.
Tata Nexon, Kia Seltos, Renault Captur and Skoda Octavia, all of which are sold in India, are a handful of cars to have scored five-star safety-ratings (maximum that a car can get) in crash tests conducted by UK-based Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP).
Chinese companies face-savers in the upcoming Auto Expo
Nearly half a dozen China-based automotive companies will be lining up some of their best offerings in the upcoming Auto Expo. The week-long India Auto Expo that kick-starts in the first week of February will also see the largest ever participation by Chinese car companies.
FAW Haima, Great Wall Motor (GMW), SAIC, Changan and BYD have confirmed their presence at the event. In addition to this, two-wheeler Chinese companies that mostly deal in battery-powered vehicles will also be participating in the event.
SAIC’s MG Motor will be the star of the troupe having successfully launched the British brand in India through the launch of the mid-size sports utility vehicle (SUV) Hector. It further showcased its first fully electric vehicle ZS a few weeks ago. GMW is one of the largest SUV and pick-up maker in China.
GMW which runs a three-year-old a research and development centre in Bengaluru claims to showcase 13 products at the Auto Expo. These will mostly be SUVs with a mix of fossil fuel-based and battery electric vehicles (EVs) under the Haval brand.
The enthusiasm by Chinese auto companies for the Auto Expo comes amid muted response by several domestic giants who have opted to stay out of the mega event.Bajaj Auto, Royal Enfield, Toyota, Honda, Ford are some of the more than dozen-odd companies who decided not to participate. The poor response from automakers even forced their apex lobby body the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to contemplate pushing ahead the event by a year.
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