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Slump in Economy, Auto Sector Fails to Dampen Spirits of Automakers Still Bringing Vehicles to India

© AFP 2023 / SAJJAD HUSSAINThe MG Motor ZS EV pure-electric car is displayed on stage at the Auto Expo 2020 at Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 6, 2020
The MG Motor ZS EV pure-electric car is displayed on stage at the Auto Expo 2020 at Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 6, 2020 - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): India is currently witnessing a 6-year low in its economy, with car sales dropping by 41 percent in 2019 - the steepest fall in 20 years.

Despite the ongoing rough patch in the Indian auto market, the 15th edition of the biennial Auto Expo event showcased how both international as well as domestic vehicle manufacturers, still have faith in its long-term potential.

On Friday, UK-based British automaker MG Motor marked its entry into India's sports utility vehicle (SUV) and multi-purpose vehicle (MVP) segment with a full size beast called "Gloster" and its new G10 model. The prices of the cars remain undisclosed as of now.

​"Auto Expo is the perfect platform for us to unveil our products under consideration for India," said Rajeev Chaba, the President and Managing Director, MG Motor India. "The Gloster and G10 will be launched later this year in India.”

The Auto Expo 2020 is revolving around introducing newer technologies, electricity-powered mobility and showcasing 5G-enabled concept cars that, according to experts from the auto industry,  are "not too far away from entering the markets globally".

Earlier this week, Italian motor vehicle manufacturer Piaggio showcased different engine versions of its latest premium electric scooter called "Aprilia SXR" in India. The two-wheeler that is expected to roll out commercially by October 2020 would be manufactured in Piaggio's India facility in Baramati, Maharashtra.

​South Korean multinational automotive brand Hyundai, which witnessed a 10 percent nosedive in domestic sales in December 2019, did not hesitate to introduce the successor of its successful car "Creta", which is specifically designed for India.

German global automobile marque Mercedes-Benz, which has been holding the number one position for five years in the luxury vehicle category, launched its V-class MVP called "Marco Polo". The starting price of Mercedes' V-Class vehicles in India is roughly $95,760.

The new launch from the German giant comes after it posted an 11 percent sales drop in the Indian auto market. Despite the decline, the company ended 2018 with a 37.5 percent market share in India, rising to 41 percent in 2019.

The Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo that's been launched in India at the ongoing Auto Expo 2020 is the third addition in the V-Class family in just over a year's time.https://t.co/xzfzPkZHPD

In August 2019, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) reported a dip of 31.57 percent year-on-year (to 196,524 units).

So what makes India an attractive market for international automotive giants?

"The country's diverse population of 1.37 billion makes it a lucrative market for companies of all sectors -- including automobile. The current economical instability, though being analysed, could not put a halt to newer products entering the markets. These new products are capable of helping the Indian economy to overcome the slow-phase it is currently going through," an auto-enthusiast attending Auto Expo 2020 told Sputnik.

The auto industry in India, which is second worldwide in manufacturing commercial vehicles, directly or indirectly employs nearly 35 million people. The sector also generates over seven percent of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Trusting the potential and hoping for quick market recovery, Chinese brands Great Wall Motors and Haima are working on and planning to introduce concept as well as ready-to-be-on-road vehicles in the country.

The Indian subsidiaries of German company Volkswagen and its Czech Republic-born brand Skoda are also planning to launch nearly 12 SUVs in the Indian market.

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