India’s auto industry is postponing the Auto Expo–The Motor Show 2022, in view of the pandemic and the uncertainty ahead, auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said in a statement. Scheduled to be held from February 2-9, 2022 at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, the show is being postponed keeping in mind the safety of exhibitors, visitors and all stakeholders involved.
This is the first time that the industry body is postponing the bi-annual annual auto show since it started organising it in 1986. India’s auto industry is not the only; several marquee international auto shows have been postponed in view of the global pandemic.
“The Indian automobile Industry and SIAM recognises the inherent risks in organizing the Auto Expo due to the on-going Covid-19 Pandemic and the apprehensions of a possible 3rd Wave. There is uncertainty around how Covid-19 would develop in the coming months and at the same time organizing Auto Expo would need a lead time of preferably a year,” said Siam.
The last edition of Asia’s biggest motor show in February 2020 too was shadowed by the outbreak of Covid 19. Though it was smaller in terms of participation, it was one of the biggest in terms of partaking by new entrants including MG Motors, Kia Motors, Great Wall Motors and FAW. Amid the disruptions, while Kia and MG as newcomers have made a place for themselves. But the geo-political tension between India and China stymied the India entry plans of FAW and Great Wall Motors.
A lot more has changed since the past 18 months in India’s auto market. The changes were precipitated by Covid-19 which transformed into a pandemic in the months that followed the expo. Passenger Vehicles sales dropped to a multi-year low in FY20 to 2,773,519 units, plunging further to 2,711,458 units in FY21.
The first wave followed by the second wave and now a lurking fear of a third one has made companies skeptical of demand sustenance. It has prompted them to conserve resources and tightened the purse strings in terms of marketing and advertising spend.
Auto Expo, said Siam, is like a festival of celebration, for the industry and the hosts look forward to receiving maximum people with no fear of spread of infection. The magnitude of the risk of spread of infection is extremely high in a business to consumer show like an Auto Expo which is visited by large crowds and maintaining social distancing would be difficult. It has therefore been decided to postpone the Auto Expo – The Motor Show for now, it said.
The exact date for the next edition of Auto Expo–The Motor Show would be finalised later this year keeping in view the Covid situation and in alignment with the OICA Calendar of global Auto shows.