|Ratan Tata with the Jaguar C-X75|
The Auto Expo is the platform where all brands, be it mass vehicles or luxury brands display their latest offerings. While some of the launches were much hyped with a lot of media frenzy, some were quiet and understated. Many brands like Jaguar displayed some stunning concepts like the C-X75 super car and C-X16 sports coupe, while even Maruti Suzuki made a promising start with their latest XA Alpha concept, which is a rugged but compact crossover. Hopefully, that’s a sign of good things to come for the Mini SUV segment which everyone seems to be eyeing. The much awaited Ford EcoSport was also showcased in the same segment.
Volkswagen had the best pavilion and displayed the XL1 concept (too bad it will never hit the Indian roads!) and the brilliant new SUV Touareg which will give some tough competition to the new Mercedes M-Class which was also unveiled today. One of the most stunning concepts was the Concept A by Mercedes which is likely to become the new platform for their future cars. Alongside was the equally stunning SLS AMG roadster – the open top variant of the highly acclaimed SLS AMG.
The new Hyundai Sonata and the Peugeot 508 were also displayed and is sure to bring alive the D segment when they are launched.
|Hyundai launch event in progress|
|Ranbir Kapoor with Nissan VP Gilles Normand|
Celebrity quotient was high. Ranbir Kapoor was at Nissan and Farhan Akhtar alongwith Irfan Pathan and Chetan Bhagat were at Mercedes. Mr. Ratan Tata was at the Tata JLR pavilion and took a keen interest in Chevrolet’s small car concepts like the En-V. I met with Mr. Pawan Goenka, President of Mahindra & Mahindra and Narain Karthikeyan; and I heard Katrina Kaif, John Abraham and Amitabh Bachchan were there as well. But considering that the swelling crowds were going berserk by then, I had to give up!
Watch this space for details on all the new cars and concepts unveiled on Day 1 at the 11th Auto Expo 2012.