Hadn’t visited an exhibition/fair since quite sometime and when Santosh suggested we checkout Automall 2009 at Palace ground, I readily agreed. (he actually referred to it as AutoExpo). Sandesh and Ravi also gave me company. I’d thought it might take about half a day, but after an hour or so there wasn’t much to see inside. The event is a disappointment if one goes with certain expectations and OK-Ok if you visit without any expectation. Organizers did mislead with a yellow Lamborghini in the banner knowing fully well that there’re hardly any international models inside.Now that the show has ended my feedback is immaterial, still sharing a few observations made at Automall, for those of you who might be interested.
Several major automobile makers viz Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, Daimler Chrysler (Mercedes Benz), Audi, Nissan, HM and Volvo were missing. Rest who showcased their cars did more so like a ritual than with any enthusiasm to connect their brand with prospective customers and fans.
Got to about 6 vintage cars, of various makes. It was nice. Most of them had excessively powerful engines (about 3000cc and more, compared to 1 to 2 litre ones in present cars), but may be their efficiencies were lower. Also, anyone knows how can we know in advance if there’s a vintage car ralley scheduled to happen in our cities? I always read about them in newspaper next day and feel I could have gone there if I knew in advance.
Most of the expensive cars (BMWs, Honda Accord, Ford Endeavour, Skoda Superb) were kept properly locked and guarded by security and barricades, so there wasn’t a point in going to the fair to see them.
Only Chevrolet stall had some contests on (to write a slogan for Chevy Cruz). All other stalls were almost inactive, with visitors checking the cars on their own, while staff sitting comfortably in a corner. I asked a guy manning Honda stall how much it costs to replace an airbag, he was clueless.
Saw Suzuki Hayabusa, the 14 lakh+ two wheeler. Thought of buying it but decided against, after I realized that it can carry only one rider.
Bangalore Beetles club had several old Beetles on display. Volkswagen Beetle is a dream small car for many and it will be available in India from next month. A shiny yellow new age Beetle was also drawing attentions, but other Volkswagen cars were missing.
Off road ATVs (all terrain vehicles) were looking impressive and affordable (costing in the range of 1 lakh rupees). Though they are the best vehicles for Bangalore’s roads, unfortunately we’re not allowed to drive them on road (or on the potholed tracks referred to as Road)
Didn’t see people crowding around Tata Nano. Assume by now everyone have read enough about nano and also have seen a few of them around, so it no more turns heads.
Tata Xenon, powered by Safari engine was looking majestic, but not sure if it can grab Bolero’s market share in Utility vehicles segment.
Hyundai’s planned electric/hybrid variant of i10 was not on display
There weren’t any stalls for auto accessories. SatNav was the only exception.
Display area was very small-may be just as big as a medium size marriage hall. The crowd was busy clicking photos of themselves standing next to their favourite car, but somehow I didn’t feel like taking any photos.
The stunt show, done as a part of Automall, deserves a special mention for its bad organization
First, it was a bad idea not to have proper seating arrangements, while other blunders were inability to control the crowd and clubbing a dance show with stunt show. The unruly crowd never cared to obey any instructions and sat so close to the track,blissfully ignoring the impending dangers for the lives of riders and their own, if something were to go wrong. None of the riders had adequate safety gears other than helmet. A few rode in chappals. With everyone getting up from their seats to get better view, it was pointless to stay there after sometime. I could have written more, but since that is not going to serve anyone’s purpose, let me stop here.