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Delhi Auto Expo dazzles visitors with future vision cars

By Korea Herald

Published : Jan. 5, 2012 - 16:35

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DELHI, India ― The 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo debuted more than 50 new cars Thursday, showcasing a future vision of mobility with everything from electric commuters and greener SUVs to supercar concepts at the country’s largest motor show.

More than 1,500 carmakers and component makers from 24 countries are taking part in the 11th edition of Asia’s biggest motor show, which runs until Jan. 12.

India’s largest SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra showcased four vehicles from Korea’s Ssangyong Motor Co. as premium offerings in the Indian market. Two SUVs, Ssangyong Rexton and the Korando Sports, will carry the baton for SUVs for Mahindra, the parent group of Ssangyong since November 2010 with a 70 percent stake in the Korean carmaker.

“We have high ambitions for the Indian market. We plan to sell up to 3,000 Rexton in the Indian market this year and expand this further in the years to come,” Ssangyong Motor CEO Lee Yoo-il told reporters at the opening of the company’s first participation in India’s Auto Expo.

“Our partnership with the Mahindra Group has now allowed us to explore joint product and technology development opportunities and synergize global operations and purchase,” he said.

Ssangyong also brought in two electric vehicles, namely XIV-1, formerly introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the Korando E, the electric vehicle based on Ssangyong’s flagship SUV Korando C.
Ssangyong Motor CEO Lee Yoo-il (right) and Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra & Mahindra, pose with Korando Sports at the New Delhi Auto Expo on Thursday. (Ssangyong Motor) Ssangyong Motor CEO Lee Yoo-il (right) and Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra & Mahindra, pose with Korando Sports at the New Delhi Auto Expo on Thursday. (Ssangyong Motor)

Hyundai Motor Co., Korea’s largest carmaker, showcased the Sonata i45, which will be manufactured at Sriperumbudur in India’s southern city of Chennai. It also introduced its latest concept car Hexa Space, a multi-purpose vehicle with innovative sliding rear doors that allow ease of entry, exit and loading.

U.S. carmaker Ford introduced a remodeled version of its small EcoSport SUV, targeting wealthier buyers wanting a greener engine. EcoSport is equipped with a 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine, a signature product of Ford which is downsized from the normal 1.6- liter four cylinder engine so that it supplies power with just three cylinders.

“The capable EcoSport is a perfect showcase for the advanced small-displacement petrol engine, demonstrating the strength and breadth of Ford’s development and engineering capabilities,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president of Ford’s Global Power Train Engineering.

In the luxury segment, Mercedes-Benz exhibited the new M-Class, a concept version of A-Class and the SLS AMG Roadster. BMW showed its M5, Individual 7 Series Composition, 3 Series Convertible, 6 Series Coupe and X-Series. A far bigger crowd was gathered for MINI than other makers, with Countryman and MINI Convertible attracting young Indians looking for cars with attitude. 

By Cynthia J. Kim, Korea Herald correspondent
(cynthiak@heraldcorp.com)