Automobile companies are looking forward to display their best vehicle models in the lucrative domestic market will pay more this year than they would shell out in more developed markets such as Europe and the US.

After six years the changes were there, that had the rents for display space at the Delhi Auto Expo less than two months away are now higher than the prestigious motor shows at Frankfurt, Geneva and Detroit, say industry sources. Incidentally, the only auto show where rents are more expensive is Shanghai – China being the fastest growing and largest auto market in the world.

At Delhi, the peak rent for non-members of auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is Rs 11,500 per, compared with Rs 15,000 at Shanghai, Rs 11,000 at Frankfurt, Rs 6,500 at Geneva and Rs 5,000 at Detroit. In the 2008 Auto Expo, around 1.2 million people turned up over seven days to see the extravaganza.

“The rentals are not market-oriented but depend on the cost of the venue – our costs have gone up 35 per cent from the last time. The demand (for space) this time has been three times that is available at Pragati Maidan. We expect around one lakh people more to turn up this time,” said an official from one of the organising bodies, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The higher fees have been largely attributed to an increase in basic income by the Government, local owner of the Pragati Maidan fair. Furthermore, there is a basic supply and demand function in the game - with limited space, automotive companies are struggling to the display area. The number of companies exhibiting their products has also increased this year.

“The main problem was that we could not expand the fair area, though we even tried alternative locations. We had to ration space as per a formula … some premium carmakers wanted space but had to be refused,” a SIAM official said.

Added Mr Abdul Majeed, auto sector analyst at PwC, “All companies want more display space because India is a key market. Going forward, they will have to look at alternative venues.”

Delhi Auto Show

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