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Old 12th January 2010, 09:13   #1
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Default Delhi Auto Expo a giant mess

NEW DELHI: It is the world's biggest automobile show in terms of footfalls - visited this year by an estimated 2 million people. The participation But if these facts suggest that the Delhi Auto Expo, which ended on Monday, was a roaring success, nothing could be further from the truth. Most participating companies and visitors said that poor facilities, bad crowd management and lack of coordination among multiple organizers had robbed the event of its five-star billing.

"It has been an agonizing experience for us to participate at the Delhi Auto Expo. But the Indian car market is so important that we had no option but to make do with the poor infrastructure provided to us,'' said a senior official of a Japanese car company, on strict condition of anonymity.

The sentiment was shared by senior officials of many other companies. Many of them said they were ``nearly squeezed'' within stalls and had to cope with swarms of people, with fears of a stampede looming large all the time.

``The organizers seem to have sold each and every square inch within the pavilions and there was hardly any space for people to walk. We had to provide some space from our own pavilion so that people could walk a little more freely and there was some breathing space,'' a company official said.

The scale of the show, that seems to be rising with each passing event in line with the growth of the Indian auto industry, seems to be becoming a major problem for the organizers ^ the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

Companies also complained that basic facilities like clean toilets were missing, forcing many of them to hire mobile toilets for their staff. Some manufacturers said their CEOs and MDs had to slug it out in long queues as there was no proper arrangement for them to enter the venue.

``And this despite our paying such exorbitant fee to the organizers. We had to ask our senior officials, many of whom were from our global headquarters, to avoid visiting the expo,'' an official of a German company said.

As many as 2 million people are believed to have visited the show this time, two lakh more than the official figures recorded at the last expo two years back.

Poor crowd management was evident at pavilions like that of Tata Motors and also at halls housing German companies like BMW and Audi. Instead of a one-way passage, a common alley was left for people to walk to and fro, leading to pushing and jostling and making it virtually impossible to get a clear view of the cars and bikes.

Ironically, the scene was equally bad on the first two days of the fair meant only for the press, when companies made media announcements on their launch plans and other strategies. Schoolchildren could be seen roaming around inside the pavilions and so could many other people who clearly were not part of the media.

CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee admitted that things could have been better. ``We tried our best, but the infrastructure is inadequate to hold a world-class show of this magnitude,'' Banerjee said. However, he denied that there was a lack of coordination between the three organizers of the show.

`This is factually incorrect as our coordination was seamless,'' Banerjee said. The organizers have been toying with the idea of shifting the expo venue to some other location, like Gurgaon, though there is no adequate place for a show of this scale anywhere around the capital at present.

Delhi Auto Expo a giant mess - Delhi - City - The Times of India

Indian organising skills at its best! we want the best but dont want to give the best!
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Old 12th January 2010, 09:27   #2
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This is nothing new. It happens every time. I was very much part of DCIL marketing team on the year they displayed Maybach. It was an agonising experience.
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Old 12th January 2010, 09:37   #3
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Maybe they could increase the fee to say Rs.500/- to keep out non-serious visitors. That is the only way for it to continue in Delhi. Otherwise they will have to move it to a much more spacious venue.
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Old 12th January 2010, 10:22   #4
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Now it explains why people like Ford and Nissan probably pulled out,, they would have got extremely pissed off with the facilities. Again I am guessing probably.

But CII and the government on its own, can defenitely do a lot better than what it has been doing.
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Old 12th January 2010, 10:49   #5
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Originally Posted by CoolFire View Post
Maybe they could increase the fee to say Rs.500/- to keep out non-serious visitors. That is the only way for it to continue in Delhi. Otherwise they will have to move it to a much more spacious venue.
Keeping pricing high is not the solution. Organizer should have arrange all facility. If the pricing was high then they should only display higher end car not the car like eeko/venture ...
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Old 12th January 2010, 10:55   #6
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It was indeed a complete mess.
Regarding the fee hike, even if they increase the fee to 1000, we could only see 20% cut. As the Expo itself comes after 2 years, people are ready to pay steepest of prices to plunge in.

I also think that the expo should be moved out of New Delhi to maybe Greater Noida or it can split into couple of parts.

Most importantly, for business business visitors, there should be strict criteria, the entry should be allowed only after online verification of certain documents like VAT Registration certificates. There was really no fancied, "Business Hours" at this expo !!!!
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Old 12th January 2010, 11:08   #7
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i think it was a bit better than last time around. crowd wasnt big initially but it increased gradually... went on sunday.. so crowd was expected. but iwas surprised that was able to see quite a bit of the expo inlike last time. but the real maal .. cudnt see. i ouldnt even get a peek of the jaguars beemers audis skoda volkswagon....that hall was damn crowded. harley n yamaha hall as well. it was a lot better a lot less crowded than the last time imo.

but i do agree a lot of trolls do come out. and i dont get why old auntys feel it is imperative to visit an auto expo. is it a picnic spot? pffft. the number of passes handed ot should b decreased and only corporates shud b allowed on passes. half the janta was havin a pass.
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Old 12th January 2010, 11:10   #8
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It's a shame really isn't it? A similar article appeared on CNN.com a couple of days ago. Not the kind of publicity India needs.

I was there on Friday (8th Jan) during the business hours and even then the rush was too much. The Audi & BMW pavilions were next to inaccessible. Even outside the Expo the traffic situation was chaotic.

Originally Posted by CoolFire View Post
Maybe they could increase the fee to say Rs.500/- to keep out non-serious visitors. That is the only way for it to continue in Delhi. Otherwise they will have to move it to a much more spacious venue.
IMO people paying entry fee do not form a significant chunk of visitors. The day I was visited entry charges were 500 as there was no general visitor entry but even then the rush was too great to explore the Expo meaningfully. The problem is more to do with the entire management of the Expo - managing visitors being the number one focus point. The exhibitors were trying to do their best in the circumstances. Not sure if I can say the same about the organizers though.
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Old 12th January 2010, 11:48   #9
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Not surprising at all considering the people behind it: ITPO, CII, traffic police, and also the car makers. Have worked with CII a lot and so know their attitude of cutting costs, delaying payments, increasing profits. ITPO's attitude is to make profits and shift the social costs onto the general public. I have lived in Delhi almost all my life and this general mess is nothing new.

As for car makers, considering the various attractions of various kinds, it was not surprising to see the turnaround. Have decent hosts who put the spotlight on the car and not on themselves, and footfalls may fall substantially. But then, that is not the objective.
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Old 12th January 2010, 13:00   #10
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I second it. While it was easy was to the Expo with the Park & Ride facilities. The situation inside was chaotic to say the least. There was almost a stampede in the Hall which housed Skoda & Audi. After just spending 3 hours at the expo and almost being caught in a stampede twice decided enough was enough.
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Old 12th January 2010, 13:12   #11
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Yes, exp guys should have made better facility, no doubt about it. But if we are going to have huge crowd, we are going to have this issue to some extent.
In India, we have masses. We have large population. We are one of fastest growing economy. All car manufacturers want to sell their cars and so they are /were at Autoexpo. They want to make mark, sell cars. If everyone in crowd would book cars, these car makers will not complain.
Why there was bad rush at first 2 days of Press as well? People are interested, they want to see these great products. It's good, at such time in economy. If we have similar quality expo in other cities, people from other places will not turn up.
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Old 12th January 2010, 13:19   #12
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It is going to continue this way for a very long time i guess.
Big players like Lambo, Ferrari or Porsche will never participate to show off their cars ever in Auto expo i guess.

I think business hours are better to attend the fair.
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Old 12th January 2010, 13:28   #13
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I visited Auto expo yesterday which was the last day of the event. The place was crowded and really a mess. Forget about having a good look or getting to know the features of the models on display, I could hardly get to stand in the popular stalls like Yamaha and Mercedez Benz that I happened to visit. There was jostling and pushing everwhere.

I believe most of the crowd was trying to get in as business visitors for which i guess there is no entry fee and there were very few people like me who were actually buying entry tickets for the show.

After a couple of hours I walked out a little disappointed. For the record i can say "I visited Auto Expo" :-)
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Old 12th January 2010, 14:57   #14
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I went on Saturday & absolutely agree to the last word that it was a Mess. The simple reason behind all of it is the huge population which was there not even intrested in cars or anything but was just to party, like in a fair. In delhi even trade fair is taken as a fair & so is auto expo. We dont treat these as special events but regular fairs where we accompany our children & family members even if they are not intrested. Also having good looking models add to chaos & for serious visitors they dont make a difference. I mean stall like Chevrolet & Toyota & Honda were there only to gather huge amount crowd. Add in to this the presence of celebrities which for serious visitors would not make a difference but certainly adds a lot of non wanted visitors & mess.

All this is required when you dont have crowds like in book fair but not in expo like auto expo
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Old 12th January 2010, 15:00   #15
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How much was the entry ticket for the Auto Expo?
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