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Delhi Auto Expo says no to 100 firms due to space crunch

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Over 100 exhibitors from across the globe have been denied permission to participate at the forthcoming 11th Auto Expo due to space limitations at Pragati Maidan, the venue of the biennial show.

The organisers have decided to restrict the number of people present inside the venue to one lakh daily, including 30,000 people from the exhibitors' side, a move that could cost the Delhi Auto Expo its tag of being the world's second-largest auto show in terms of footfalls.

"Over 100 firms have been denied permissions on two criteria— late entry and past history of participation," Auto Expo 2012 Steering Committee Chairman Rajive Kaul told reporters here.

Out of these, about 60 exhibitors are from overseas countries, while the rest are domestic companies, he added.

The show will now present 1,500 participants from 24 nations, including the US, China, Thailand and Turkey.

"Pragati Maidan is going to be a difficult venue for expanding the show in future. We are examining at present how to address this issue. It is a big question and a big decision has to be made on whether we will stay here or relocate to a new place," Kaul said.

He said, however, the show will not move out of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The organisers had earlier explored the possibility of shifting the venue elsewhere in the NCR— to Greater Noida, in particular— but abandoned the plan due to the lack of proper connectivity, he said.

The latest edition of the exhibition will be spread across 1.15 lakh square metres of space, compared to 1.25 lakh square metres in 2010.

When asked if the event could be held at two separate venues, showcasing passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, or vehicle-makers and components-makers, Kaul said: "Certainly this is an option, but this is not the best option."

On the number of visitors, Kaul said this time, the number of visitors per day will be restricted to make the overall experience more convenient.

"On a given day of the expo, a total of one lakh people will be inside Pragati Maidan, of which 70,000 will be visitors," he added.

He had earlier said this restriction on the entry of people could cost the expo of its tag of being the world's second-largest auto show in terms of visitors.

With over two million visitors at the 2010 Auto Expo, the organisers had claimed that India's auto show was the world's second-largest after the Shanghai auto show.

Talking about the restrictions, Hyundai Motor India Director (Marketing and Sales) Arvind Saxena said: "We do not have any option. It is done by police and ITPO, which manages the venue. Moreover, we want quality people."

As many as 50 global brands will showcase their products at the expo and there will be 50 new launches across all vehicle segments at the event, which will be open to the public from January 7 to 11.

The main attractions will include the unveiling of 24 cars by domestic companies and eight by global players, besides eight two-wheelers by homegrown firms.

The 11th Auto Expo will also see Netherlands-based commercial vehicles maker Paccar, UK motorcycle brand Triumph and US off-road vehicle and bike-maker Polaris Industries showcasing their products here for the first time.

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First Published: Tue, January 03 2012. 17:09 IST