At the Auto Expo, which starts on January 11, eleven two-wheeler manufacturers who collectively hold a market share of approx 95% in volume terms will be conspicuously absent.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor, Bajaj Auto, Royal Enfield, and India are just a few of the major absentees. India, Yamaha Motor, Ather Energy, Piaggio Automobiles, Triumph Motorcycles India, Mahindra Two Wheelers, and Kawasaki Motors.
Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, started the trend of skipping the Auto Expo, a biannual event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry & the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, back in 2016. Hero MotoCorp and Royal Enfield followed suit in 2018. As of 2020, TVS Motor and HMSI did the same.
Bajaj was outspoken about his company’s non-participation, claiming that since it was a recognised brand in the nation, the expense of attending the exhibition served no useful purpose.
Customers swarming to the expo won’t be let down, either, as 20 or so electric two-wheeler segment startups, including Tork, Matter, and Ultraviolette, have taken up the space left by the large, established companies. Of course, there will also be established players like Okinawa Autotech and Suzuki Motorcycle India.
Rajesh Menon, director general of Siam, told FE, “The show is all about experiencing new mobility trends and technologies, and what’s happening in the mobility space. From that perspective, there is enough and more participation at the Auto Expo 2023”.
Menon stated that the expo’s first floor of the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida will be entirely occupied with EV startups. Even though they may not have large stalls this time, legacy players are still present. “TVS, Bajaj, Hero, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki will be showcasing their flex-fuel working prototypes at the Ethanol Pavilion,” Menon said. “The aim of the show is to showcase new technologies and that aim is being fulfilled.”
Diverse powertrain technologies, including electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen (both hydrogen ICE and hydrogen fuel cell), gaseous fuels like CNG and LNG, and biofuels like ethanol, will also receive a lot of attention. “There is a lot of investment happening in all these technologies and you will see that at the Auto Expo 2023,” Menon said.