Automotive Engineering Show is now a Messe Frankfurt event


Industry expects strong international traction in India’s automotive sector as Messe Frankfurt announces acquisition of Automotive Engineering Show

Messe Frankfurt India Trade Fair Pvt Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of one of the world’s leading trade show organisers, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, formally announces its acquisition of the Automotive Engineering Show, India’s only trade fair focused on technologies for automotive manufacturing. Previously owned and managed by Focussed Event Management Pvt Ltd, the Automotive Engineering Show further expands Messe Frankfurt’s portfolio of mobility and infrastructure fairs by promoting innovations at the manufacturing level, for one of the world’s fastest growing automotive markets.India is quickly becoming one of the most popular markets for automotive manufacturing, with a number of key global brands already operating production plants within the country. The country’s automotive industry is estimated by experts to experience unprecedented growth due to domestic automotive production reaching a CAGR of 12.2 percent between the fiscal years 2005 – 2013. Additionally, India’s export of domestically-built automobiles recently increased by 2.03 percent. With its acquisition of the show, Messe Frankfurt intends to utilise its global network to bring together more domestic brands with international firms possessing world-class solutions, further propelling India’s automotive sector.

Drawing from its successful history in hosting similar sector trade fairs around the world, Messe Frankfurt intends to implement its highly-recognised international standard in trade fair organisation to the Automotive Engineering Show. Mr Raj Manek, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt in India stated: “The Automotive Engineering Show has already established itself as a credible industry platform. We are delighted to add the fair to our existing portfolio, which will greatly complement our existing trade fair on the automotive aftermarket – Automechanika.”

Since its debut, the Automotive Engineering Show has maintained its focus on automotive plant processes and technologies. With the last edition in 2013 attracting 120 participants and more than 5,600 industry visitors from OEMs as well as tier-one to tier-three suppliers, the show continues to be a well-recognised platform for the automotive sector.

Mr. Sameer Khedkar, Director of Focussed Event Management Pvt Ltd commented “We are pleased to work with Messe Frankfurt, as we believe that their expertise and unmatched global presence will become an invaluable asset to the Automotive Engineering Show’s future development. With Messe Frankfurt acquiring the show, I believe we will see the Automotive Engineering Show gain a stronger foothold in the domestic industry as well as receive more international participation.

Messe Frankfurt India’s portfolio of trade fairs includes: ACMA Automechanika New Delhi, Techtextil India, Light India, Heimtextil India, Ambiente India, SPS Automation India, Watertech, Pollutech, Cleantech, Wastetech and Secutech India. The organiser plans to bring the Automotive Engineering Show on par with international events in the same sector and present the perfect trade platform for companies looking at reaching out to both vehicle and auto-component manufacturers within a strictly business-to-business environment.

Automotive Engineering Show will be held from 29 – 31 May 2014 in Auto Cluster Exhibition Centre, Chinchwad, Pune, India.  For more information, please visit or email


Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade show organisers with 543* million euros in sales and 2,026* active employees worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and approx. 50 international Sales Partners, giving it a presence for its customers in more than 150 countries. Events “made by Messe Frankfurt” take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2013, Messe Frankfurt organised 114* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds, featuring 578,000 square metres, are currently home to ten exhibition halls and an adjacent Congress Center. The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.
For more information, please visit our website at:
*Preliminary figures (for 2013)
Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt. Ltd.
215 Atrium, 2nd Floor, B-Wing, Andheri East
400 059 Mumbai India

Tata Motors executive Karl Slym dies after Bangkok hotel fall

Karl Slym, managing director of India’s Tata Motors, died on Sunday after falling from a hotel room in Bangkok.

Slym, an Englishman who joined Tata Motors in 2012 after a 17-year stint at General Motors, had gone to Bangkok to attend a board meeting of Tata Motors Thailand.

Thai police on Monday said early findings indicate that Slym committed suicide. “We didn’t find any sign of a struggle,” said Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, who is heading the investigation.

“We found a window open. The window was very small so it was not possible that he would have slipped. He would have had to climb through the window to fall out because he was a big man. From my initial investigation we believe he jumped,” he said.

Slym, 51, was staying with his wife in a room on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel.

Leadership vacuum

Tata Motors shares fell 6 percent, the most since Jan. 24, 2013, to 348.25 rupees at the close Monday in Mumbai trading.

Slym’s death creates a leadership vacuum at the maker of the sub-$3,000 Nano car at a time when the country’s passenger-vehicle industry is bracing for its first fiscal year of sales declines in more than a decade.

“His death comes at a time when the company seems to be close to turning the corner,” said Anil Sharma, an analyst with researchers IHS Automotive. “It comes before his efforts bear fruit. We should be able to see the results in a year or two.”

Tata Motors recently introduced a new gasoline engine for its passenger vehicles and was planning to launch a hatchback and compact sedan this year, the first all-new Tata-branded passenger vehicles since 2010.

In an interview last year, Slym said he was seeking to breathe new life by adding improvements into the egg-shaped Nano and that Tata Motors overhauled its manufacturing process to ensure fewer problems after cars roll off the assembly line.

GM career

Slym was born in Derby, central England. He began his career as a general manager at Toyota before moving to GM in 1995. He held various roles with the U.S. carmaker in locations including Poland, Germany and Canada.

He was hired in 2012 to revive Tata’s flagging sales and market share in India.

“Karl was providing strong leadership at a challenging time for the Indian auto industry,” Tata Motors Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry said in a statement.

Slym led Tata’s operations in India and international markets including South Korea, Thailand and South Africa, but he did not look after the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury unit. Ralf Speth heads the bigger and more profitable Jaguar Land Rover, which Tata Motors bought from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for more than $2 billion.

Before joining Tata Motors, Slym was executive vice president of SGMW Motors, China, a General Motors joint venture. Before that he had headed General Motors in India. Slym oversaw the sale of a 50 percent stake in GM India to SAIC of China and announced the company’s plans to enter the light commercial vehicle market in India.

Cricket and Bollywood

Friends described Slym as a jovial man who loved cricket and Indian films. He was also active on Twitter, often promoting Tata Motors products and avidly commenting on sports.

On his Twitter profile, Slym described himself as a “Britisher who just can’t stay away from India!! Crazy for most sports and loves to know what’s going on everywhere!! And hearing from everyone!!”

“He was quite an affable, chilled-out, cool guy. He loved cricket and Bollywood like any Indian,” said Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India and a friend of Slym’s. “From his point of view, at Tata Motors there was definitely light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Thai police said they were called to the Shangri-La hotel around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday after staff found Slym’s body. They woke up Slym’s wife, who looked shocked when she was told what had happened to her husband. Police found a three-page note, written in English, which they were translating into Thai.


American bike maker ‘Indian’ plans to make inroads into domestic market

There’s an explosion of super bikes in India: after the Italian and British brands like Ducati and Triumph fired up the Indian market, the oldest American bike maker ‘Indian’ – the ninth entrant – is set to hit the domestic shores.

The Indian super bike market has swelled multi-fold to around 3,000 units a year in the past halfa-decade and is doubling almost every two years despite the economic gloom and fall in domestic demand. In fact, cars sales had been rapidly declining and had posted the decade’s steepest fall of 10 per cent last year. These super bikes are expensive mean machines and cost anything in excess of Rs 10 lakh and goes all the way up to Rs 60 lakh.

Eight global players such as BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Triumph and Kawasaki have introduced their big machines in India, which has the world’s largest young population, under 35-years, that typically love riding such fast bikes. Analysts tracking the sector said that super bikes are making waves in India because of better roads and rise in motor sports events in the Indian circuit.

“Super bikes are dream machines for speed aficionados. India has hosted the F1 in recent years and global racing events for bikes are expected to arrive soon. This has led to a strong demand for super fast machines and companies like Suzuki, Harley or Ducati are leveraging this potential,” says Abdul Majeed, partner PwC India, a global consultancy.

Indian, the oldest American bike maker since 1901, will bring its legendary large 1811 cc engine traditionally styled Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain to India. The Indian bikes are better known for the legendary efforts of New Zealander Burt Munro who devoted almost half his life modifying his Indian Scot motorcycle just to fulfill his dream of racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.

In 1920, when he bought the bike, its top speed was 50 mph, but after 47 years of rebuilding and tuning, the motorcycle went nearly four times faster than that. Although suffering from a bad heart, Munro rode his special machine at 183.58 mph to set a world record in 1967 in the ‘streamlined’ motorcycles category under 1,000 cc.

Munro still holds that record, and as a mark of respect, this category was frozen for all time. Munro’s inspirational story was the theme of Anthony Hopkins-starrer movie “The World’s Fastest Indian”, released in 2005.

The movie was released a year after Walter Salles’ Motorcycle Diaries, two iconic movies on motorcycles. When contacted for comments, the Indian chief and MD of Indian Bikes, Pankaj Dubey said they would stick to importing these bikes. “Unlike most of our competitors, we just have one manufacturing plant and have no intention to set up any other factory or assembly unit. We stick to pure motoring experience to leverage India’s fast growing super bike market,” he said.

Indian is owned by Polaris, the $3.2-billion American off-road and leisure vehicle maker. Polaris entered India in 2011, and is a market leader with its range of all-terrain vehicles that come with a price tag between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 30 lakh. Indian would compete with well-entrenched brands like Harley Davidson, Honda and Yamaha in the Rs 10-25 lakh segment, and the first dedicated showroom is likely to come up in Gurgaon.


Maruti to raise the bar with new clutch-less car; to be unveiled at Delhi Auto Expo 2014

The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki will soon introduce a revolutionary technology allowing manual gears to be used like automatic transmission without engaging the clutch.

What’s more, the improved technology will not affect fuel efficiency or the price of the car. Maruti will be the first in India to debut this automatic manual transmission (AMT), a technology derived from the famed F1 motorsports arena that is expected to be a turning point in the small-car segment, thereby improving the overall driving experience.

Introduced in its upcoming global hatchback (codename:YL7), which will make its world debut at the New Delhi Auto Expo 2014, it allows the driver to directly change gears without engaging the clutch. Maruti is going to name the new offering Celerio in India, it is learnt. “It gives the comfort of an automatic transmission and the fuel efficiency of a manual transmission,” said a senior Maruti Suzuki executive, requesting anonymity. “Customers can change gears like any automatic transmission car but the cost of this will be like a regular manual-geared car,” he added.

Officially though, Maruti Suzuki did not respond to a query citing that the company does not comment on its future models. These cars will not have the third clutch pedal, and the hydraulic system will allow the driver to shift gears without using the clutch, either sequentially or fully automatically. The biggest advantage of this technology is that it will deliver high fuel mileage like manual transmission cars. At present, auto transmission cars compromise a great deal on fuel efficiency.

The new car is expected to be a shade more expensive than the regular manually-operated gear cars, but way cheaper than the automatics that are priced almost 25 per cent higher. Automatic gears have failed to make an impact in compact cars and hatchbacks due to their higher prices, though they are a big hit with larger sedans and luxury cars.

For instance, Maruti’s manual-geared A-Star LXi starts at Rs 3.88 lakh, while the automatic version is priced at Rs 4.77 lakh. According to people familiar with the development, Maruti is taking the lead to incorporate this sophisticated technology in its mass-market compact cars to maintain its leadership position.