Ninth edition of Auto Expo sizzles with launches, unveiling

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (UNI) Even though the ninth Auto Expo 2008 rubbed elbows with the Detroit Motor show, the sheer number of participation, launches and unveiling proved to be staggering as the expo opened its doors for the press.

The day kick started with Volvo Car India unveiling its all new C70, which the company hopes to launch in the country soon.

Tata Motors, probably the most watched company in the expo, then unveiled a plethora of cars, trucks and buses.

Tata launched an upgraded version of its ageing workhorse Sumo called the 'Sumo Grande' priced at Rs 6.55 lakhs to Rs.7.49 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).

Tata also unveiled the its sub four-metre sedan, the 'Tata Indigo CS', which takes the distinction of being the first sub four-metre sedan in the world.

The vehicle has the compactness of the hatch, same interior space as the current Indigo, coupled with the benefits of a hatch in the city traffic.

The company also unveiled the new Xenon XT (Cross Terrain) 4x4 vehicle, powered by a 3.0 litre direct injection common rail (DICOR) diesel engine with a maximum power of 115 PS (at 3000 rpm) and maximum torque of 300 Nm (at 1800-2000 rpm).

The vehicle will be launched later in 2008.

The country's second largest passenger vehicle manufacturer also launched a new version of the Indica V2 DICOR priced at Rs 4.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).

Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd showcased three concept cars--A-Star, Splash and Kizash.

With Splash and A Star in the 'family' segment of the company, Splash is expected to have a bigger platform than the A-Star.

Fiat India Automobiles Pvt Ltd (FIPL) is on a spree to revamp itself in the country as it looks to launch its entire product line in the country, which will include Grande Punto, Linea, Bravo and Fiat 500 this year.

The company unveiled the Linea today and the car is expected to be a strong sales driver in its diesel segment, as the only other competitor it will face is the ageing Octavia.

Skoda launched its premium hatch back Fabia at a price range of Rs 4.99-7.68 lakh.

The Fabia will be available in eight variants in diesel and petrol engines. It will consist of 1.4 litre PDI (diesel) engines and 1.4 litre MPI (petrol) engine.

An aggressive Detroit-based General Motors seems to be increasingly looking towards emerging markets as fears of a resurgent Toyota becoming the largest car seller in the United States came to the notice of discerning auto makers.

The company launched its 'Chevrolet Captiva', priced at Rs 17.74 lakh, which will be a completely built unit. It expects to sell 1,000 Captiva SUVs this year.

The newly launched Captiva comes with a 2.0 litre in-line four cylinder, single overhead cam 16-valve diesel engine. The engine produces 150 PS of peak power at 4,000 rpm and 320 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm.

No to be left behind the luxury car makers like Daimler Chrysler India launched its Mercedes-Benz C-Class priced at Rs 27-31 lakh and introduced the Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class at a price of Rs 60 lakh.

There was a lot of activity in the commercial vehicle segment as Ashok Leyland launched its feature, filled concept intra-city 'iBUS'. The AC bus, priced at about Rs 60 lakhs, has 42 seats and can accommodate 30 people in standing, comes with several intelligent features like ABS, WiFi connectivity, closed circuit television capable of running advertisements adding to the revenue of the fleet operator.

Leyland also showcased the 4935 TT (6x4) Tractor capable of the highest permitted Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of 49 tonnes.

In commercial vehicles, Tata launched 'LPT 3118 TC' an 8x2 BS II Truck. It is an 8X2 Multi Axle truck with 'Lift Axle'. It delivers a maximum power of 177HP (2500 rpm) and torque of 650 Nm (1500) rpm.

The 28-seater Starbus was also showcased, which is among the initial offerings of the Tata Marcopolo joint venture.

The two wheeler space saw the leading two-wheeler maker Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) unveiling its new automatic scooter, Aviator, priced at Rs 39,675 (ex-showroom Delhi).


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