DELHI - Ford Motor Company launches its "EcoSport" at one of the largest auto shows that has top carmakers coping with crazy crowds but vying for a slice of the Indian market.
DELHI - Getting into the Mercedes-Benz showing area meant a half-hour wait in a long line that went on and on. Not too far away, a model got jostled in a crowd while struggling to make her way to the car she had to pose with. Thousands of people had managed to get tickets on the auto show's second day that was blocked off for the media and invited guests.
The crush of people left little space to move about in the showrooms, which quickly got hot and clammy. Super-enthusiastic spectators strained against the ropes to click photos of the latest designs of SUVs, electric cars, bikes, tractors and lots more/ or get their own pictures clicked inside the vehicles. "No need to push brothers and sisters, " declared one nervous security guard as he failed to tame hundreds of people trying to squeeze their ways through the entrance doors-all at once.
There is serious concern about the chaos unfolding at Pragiti Maidan-a sprawling fair ground for large exhibitions in the national capital. It is expected to get crazier when this huge auto show officially opens to the public on Saturday and runs till Jan 11. Its organizers-Confederation of Indian Industry, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers-are already under fire for charging high rents for the stalls but providing a shoddy ambiance.
Still, the throngs of people are a boost for car companies especially after a bad year for the India automobile industry due to high fuel prices and high rates of interest. With business slow in the U.S., American companies like Ford and General Motors are out to woo consumers in developing countries like China, Brazil and India.
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the
computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with
technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00
cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release
stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a