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Get set for a glitzy auto show

New Delhi, Dec. 25: The country’s top car manufacturers are about to set the stage on fire with latest concept cars and new models at the auto expo to be held in the capital next month.

Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Fiat India, Volvo Cars, Honda Siel Cars India, Volkswagen and Skoda will take part in the week-long fair, which will be spread across 1,25,000 square metres.

However, players such as Ford and Toyota Kirloskar Motors are keeping out of the event, which is held once every two years. According to a senior official of Toyota, there is no model the company needs to display at the expo.

Toyota last participated in the expo in 2002. “Our product launch plans and the auto expo do not coincide,” he said.

This year the organisers, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, have booked more than double the 60,000 square metres it had taken up for the event in 2006.

Around 41 vehicle manufacturers and over 1,900 auto component and accessory manufacturers are participating in the show.

The Tata Motors ‘people’s car’ will be unveiled at the expo on January 10 — the second day of the event. The commercial launch, however, will take place later in 2008.

The company is also planning to display a range of new passenger vehicles, while Fiat will showcase passenger cars from its international range.

From its commercial vehicle stable, Tata Motors will display buses made in a joint venture with Marco Polo of Brazil, newly developed multi-axle heavy trucks, pickup vehicles, applications of panel vans and new mini trucks.

Sources say Fiat too will display the Grande Punto and the sedan Linea.

Maruti Suzuki will showcase two small cars, the concept A-Star and the Splash.

A high-level delegation from Honda Japan is expected to be present at the event. It will showcase the Jazz Concept, which could be the prototype of Honda's first small car in India. This car is called the Fit in some markets.

The biennial event has generated a lot of interest among car and motorcycle manufacturers. First-time participants include Eicher Motors, Enfield, Isuzu, Eletrotherm, Asia Motors and Volvo Cars.

Volkswagen will also display its mini car Up!. Companies such as Hyundai, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler will also be there.

Volvo will showcase three of its models — the Volvo S80 (S80 V8 Executive and S80 D5, a large prestige sedan), Volvo XC90 D5, the first purpose-built sports utility vehicle from Volvo Cars, and the Volvo C70, a second generation convertible.

There will be a pavilion for vintage cars too. The Chinese have booked two pavilions for component manufacturers and the French too have a pavilion.

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