Some of the planet's top automakers are showcasing their latest concepts and models at the 2012 India Auto Expo in New Delhi, as they seek to boost sales in one of the biggest markets in the world, despite the recent slowdown in turnover.
Most of the time, the biennial show displays new concepts in small cars, but this year its exhibition of 50 new vehicles includes sedans and sport utility vehicles.
Among the debuts are the Jaguar C-X16, Tata's new Safari-Storme SUV, Nissan's Evalia car, and Jaguar's Land Rover, as well as General Motors' new versions of its Chevrolet Captiva and Tavera SUVs.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the new offerings come as automakers worldwide are increasingly targeting emerging markets such as India, Brazil, China, and Russia, which are seen as key growth markets, in contrast with Europe and the United States. In addition, the new offerings reflect the confidence that local and foreign companies still have in India's auto market, despite the recent interest-rate hike and increases in fuel prices there.
The overwhelming feeling is that this current sales slowdown is a temporary phenomenon and global carmakers are certainly betting on India to bounce back. There's no slackening of interest here, R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS), India's biggest carmaker, told Reuters.
Automakers and analysts are optimistic that despite the odds, there will be a rebound in sales in the Indian auto market.
Take a look at the celebrities, launches, and new concepts at the 2012 India Auto Expo in the slideshow: