A VISUAL DELIGHT FOR CAR BUFFS OF ALL AGES
RAIN was not a dampener for the Express Auto Expo that was conducted at the Chennai Trade Centre on Saturday.
The two-day event was inaugurated by racer Alisha Abdullah, and saw visitors of all ages flock the premises to admire the wide range of cars on display while gathering knowledge about the latest in innovation and the best features of each model.
The highlights of the event were three cars — in varying shades of red — parked right near the entrance of the exhibition hall: the fiery Ford Mustang, the slick Mercedes AMG C43 coupe, and the majestic BMW X6.
As one navigated their way through the hall, there were high-end luxury cars from the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Skoda, Ford, Isuzu, Datsun, Hyundai, and Honda. Even local players like Mahindra, Tata and Maruti Suzuki made their presence felt. There was something to suit every budget and taste. Apart from the cars, there were a number of two-wheelers on display. These included Honda’s, Vespa’s, and BMW’s range of bikes.
“I am very happy to be here and I wish the expo good luck,” said Alisha Abdullah, India’s first woman to win a national racing championship, who also said that she adores the Mercedes AMG C43.
The racer is making a comeback to bike racing after eight years. “It was difficult but I managed somehow, because four-wheelers are very different as compared to bikes, both in terms of technique and skill. It’s very sad that we are not getting sponsors (for women’s racing). It’s a very expensive sport and we can’t manage on our own. Though it’s popular, we don’t get enough support from government or corporates.”
A number of car enthusiasts at the exhibition were seen wide-eyed or flashing their toothy smiles while taking pictures in front of exhibits. Some visitors, like V Navaneethan, decided to mix work with pleasure. “I work on the Ford account for Tata Consultancy Services,” he said. “I had decided to drop by at the expo so that I can understand the innovations being used in upcoming vehicles, and also to gauge the competition in the market. Since my son is very passionate about cars, I brought him along as well. He loves racing cars and refused to come to the expo without his toy car.”
Children were seen having a field day at the spot, most of them accompanied by parents. While the latter discussed things like budget and safety, the children compared colours, design and speed.
“My brother loves cars,” said 14-year-old Sanika Manoj. “I have school to- day but since my father was taking my brother, I tagged along. After we have a look here, I will get dropped off at school. I am not crazy about cars, but I love looking at the colours and like comparing the outer features of different cars. My favourite colour is red and I’m happy that as soon as I entered, the first three cars were all in beautiful shades of red.”
While Sanika loves red, her 6-year-old brother Thomas, who not only knows features of cars but also their prices, prefers blue. To his delight, there was a BMW X1 in Mediterranean blue at the expo.
However, it was not just fun and games at the expo. There were many who came in order to find out more about the options available in the market before making an informed decision on which car to buy.
Alisha Abdullah, country’s first female national racing champion, inaugurating the Express Auto Expo 2017, at ChennaiTrade Centre |