The 2020 Auto Expo is just months away and will open its doors to the masses on February 7, up to February 12, 2020. It is the largest biennial auto event to take place in India and has seen most major Indian automakers in participation, showcasing the top products, concepts and technologies. However, with the auto sector going through a massive economic crisis, several Indian manufacturers are shying away from the New Delhi Auto Expo and the latest one to join this list is Hero MotoCorp. The world's largest two-wheeler maker has announced that it will skip the event, as per the company's regulatory filing.
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A statement from Hero MotoCorp read, "The domestic two-wheeler industry has been passing through a time of volatility, with market demand still continuing to be sluggish. Notwithstanding these challenges, Hero MotoCorp - and indeed the entire industry - is gearing up for the migration to the new emission norms ahead of the mandatory deadline of April 1, 2020. At a time such as this, it is prudent for us to prioritise our resources towards meeting business objectives for the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders.
In the midst of these significant transitions, the Auto Expo - The Motor Show - is going to be held in Greater Naida in early February next year. As the market leader and one of the most vocal torchbearers of the industry, Hero MotoCorp has always been a flagship participant at the Auto Expo in the previous years. However, participation in the Expo would require months of preparation and allocation of massive resources - both in terms of financial spends and manpower. In keeping with the prioritised objectives, the Company has decided after much deliberation, to skip the upcoming Auto Expo."
Hero MotoCorp usually has one of the largest pavilions at the biennial event and its absence is a massive reality check for the auto industry's financial health. The brand has revealed future products, concepts and its existing range to visitors over the years, making it a grand affair to look forward to. With the announcement, Hero MotoCorp joins Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor Company, Yamaha and Royal Enfield, which will be giving the motor show a miss. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is also speculated to skip the event altogether to focus on upgrading its products to the BS6 emission norms.
The stringent emission norms, piling BS4 inventory and the economic slowdown have added immense pressure on automakers. There's also been the declining number of footfalls at the motor show, which has been under scrutiny making manufacturers question the financial viability. With the high costs and months of preparation involved for the Auto Expo, manufacturers find it financially more efficient to organise a separate event outside of the Expo and launch the products there. A number of manufacturers have resorted to such moves in the past, organising launches days ahead of the Auto Expo, and we do expect to see similar announcements next year as well. That being said, automakers will return to the New Delhi Auto Expo in the future, once the market corrects itself for a growth trajectory.