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DRIVE IN, DRIVE OUT

What: SBI presents The Telegraph Auto Carnival 2009.

Where: 22 Camac Street.

When: October 9 to 11.

With over 35,000 footfalls over three days, the carnival, spread over 12,000sq ft, was packed with four wheels, two-wheels and plenty of two-legged visitors! From day one, people trooped in not just out of curiosity but with a definite purpose — to check out the latest models, haggle for bargains and find the best finance options. It was a one-stop shop for car buyers with nine leading manufacturers showcasing their offers.

Road hog

Toyota Fortuner seemed to be a favourite among SUV lovers. There were a total of 50 enquiries at the Toyota stall. “I like the Fortuner, it is spacious and has a lot of features,” said Tarun Bhatia from Alipore.

Dealerspeak: “Most of the enquiries were for Fortuner. Customers checked out the features and asked for test drives,” said a spokesman of Topsel Toyota.

Hot-seller

Chevrolet Spark has always been the best-seller in the carnival. Families, first-time buyers, senior citizens — the Spark has customers across the spectrum. This year at the carnival, Spark saw half a dozen spot bookings, including one outright purchase. “We are a family of four and Spark suits us the best. We had been planning to buy a car and the carnival was the best opportunity,” said D. Roy of Beleghata.

Companyspeak: “The east sells the highest number of Sparks countrywide. It’s been very successful and the most popular Chevvy model here,” said Gagandeep Singh, zonal sales manager, General Motors.

Utility wheel

The Xylo is all utility and space. Mahindra, its maker, had a total of 148 enquiries.

Pop pick

The top draw of the fair was the most expensive car as well as a small car. Priced at Rs 15 lakh, the Fiat Cinquecento — sitting small and smart between the Mahindra Xylo and Toyota Camry — held its own with every visitor stopping by if only to peep through its windows, drool a little and catch it on their phone cameras. “It’s a lovely looking car. I came to check out the other models but was pleasantly surprised to find the Fiat here,” said Panjak Duval of Ballygunge.

Dealerspeak: “We have had about 15 enquiries about the Fiat Cinquecento,” said a Lexus Motors spokesperson.

Biker bonanza

The Yamaha Fazer was the favourite choice among bikers with four spot bookings during the carnival. The 153cc bike priced at Rs 78,585 drew the maximum crowd with college-goers, young adults and older enthusiasts all getting an eyeful. “I was interested in booking a bike for my son,” said Shyamal Sarkar of Kamarhati.

Companyspeak: “It’s been a great experience participating in this carnival. We have had the opportunity to showcase the best of our models,” said Ravi Rastogi of Yamaha.

Stylish hatch

The Fabia enticed the most number of enquiries and even a spot booking at the Skoda stall. Priced at Rs 5 lakh-plus, the Fabia drew the discerning crowd. “I booked the Fabia on Saturday with Rs 50,000. I was looking for a stylish hatchback and Fabia seemed to fit the bill,” said Amiruddin.

Dealerspeak: “We have had 110 enquiries and one Fabia Ambiente was booked,” said a Skoda spokesperson.

First stop

At the entrance was Tata Motors, a regular at The Telegraph Auto Carnival, with a white Indigo CS and an Indica Vista on display. With over 250 enquiries and three spot bookings, Tata Motors made the most of the fair. “We visited the fair on Saturday after reading about it in the paper. We were already planning to buy a Tata Indigo but went to the carnival to see the other models. We finally settled on the Indigo and booked it,” said Reshma Khatun of Kidderpore.

Companyspeak: “We always get a fair response at the carnival and with the festive season on, people came to check out our models,” said Gautam Mukherjee, regional manager (east), Tata Motors.

Fun & feisty

Ford won the confidence of Calcuttans, with 32 enquiries over three days. It displayed the Fiesta Sport and the new Endeavour. “We want to buy a car and so went to the carnival to make our enquiries instead of running about to dealers. I have zeroed in on Ford Ikon and will replace my Alto with it,” said Prabha Jena of Ballygunge.

Dealerspeak: “We have two leads which we intend to follow up and turn into actual purchases,” said a Ford Ganges spokesperson.

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