Eastern India’s first auto show opens in Kolkata

Kolkata, Nov 21, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): State Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu here on Friday inaugurated the eastern India’s first auto show — one that hopes to boost the region’s sub-par contribution to the national automobile sector.

Admitting that his ministry did not take the auto show seriously at first, Kundu underscored the government’s commitment to the auto industry and its measures to make transport in the state more environment friendly.

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Auto Show East, modelled on the lines of the Delhi Auto Expo, intends to act as a networking platform for the sector stakeholders and also boost sales.

“The eastern region accounts for only around 13 percent of the national auto sector in terms of sales,” a SIAM spokesperson said.

While the South and the West hold 25 – 30 percent shares each, the largest chunk belongs to the North with close to 35 percent. Thus there is a larger potential for industry growth here said SIAM Executive Council member P Balendran.

“We have come to a point where the Delhi Auto Expo is just not enough. We want this show to go beyond the Delhi Expo,” he said.

The organisers said Auto Show East focused more on local involvement and and had a more industry faced outlook addressing the need for regional exposure and growth.

“Even though West Bengal’s share to the industry grew by over 25 percent last year it accounts for 4 percent of the national sales,” SIAM Senior Director Sugata Sen said.

Therefore encouraging sales is being seen as a prime onus on the Auto Show East. To attract visitors, special such as bike racing and a 4X4 track have been set up.

With around 20 exhibitors including industry majors Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai, Toyota and more setting up pavilions at the Salt Lake Stadium, the auto show will go on till Nov 22.

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