In 1885, the legendary German innovator, Karl Benz, launched Motorwagen – dubbed the first modern car. This particular invention would forever change the way people moved from one place to another, a process, which up till then, was made possible by horse-drawn carriages. Incidentally, the word, ‘car’ is short for carriage. If you see pictures of Motorwagen online or at a museum, you would be amused to notice that it resembled our very own cycle-rickshaws! But, that was then. Since 1885, cars or automobiles have come a long way and evolved to look entirely different; sleek metallic exteriors, luxe interiors and gadgets of all kinds imaginable. The same evolution has been seen in the purpose of owing these. Now, cars are not just a mode to commute, but a style statement to many. People want cars that look good; some even consider their automobile an extension or rather a physical manifestation of their personality. This is what has primarily led to the rapid increase in the focus being put into the innovation of their design and functionality. There are hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, luxury wagons that are extremely expensive and those that go ridiculously fast (over 300 kilometres an hour)! This has blown the competition among manufacturers wide open. What made it even more intense in India was the entry of overseas automobile companies. Everyone wants to create the most futuristic car and showcase it to the world. The major event in India, for which manufacturers and prospective owners wait earnestly, is the Auto Expo. Read ahead to know more about this event. An Insight  First held in 1986, the Auto Expo is a biennial exhibition, dedicated to the showcase and promotion of the latest automobiles and innovative technologies in the industry. This grand event is among the largest in the world, so it’s no surprise that companies from everywhere exhibit their products here. Apart from cars and bikes, Auto Expo is also graced by celebrities, making it a truly star-studded event. Until 2012, it was one huge exhibition, hosted at Pragati Maidan. But, considering its popularity and the number of exhibitors and visitors, it was split into 2 huge events in 2014: Components Show and Motor Show. Auto Expo 2018 Like the previous two times, the 2018 edition of the Auto Expo is also split into the Components Show and Motor Show. COMPONENTS SHOW

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Scheduled from February 8th to 11th, the Components Show will revolve around the theme, Automotive Technologies that Drive the World. The special focus would be on technologies that aid innovation, production and logistics. From nuts and bolts to GPS navigation systems and containers for transportation, objects of all shapes and sizes will be exhibited. You can also scout for state-of-the-art audio systems to play your favourite tunes out loud. You can look at pretty much everything you would need to spruce up your automobile, including horns, dashboard instruments, alloy wheels, stylish seat cushions, interior parts, car clocks, carpets, macho radiator grills and what not. The most insane things on display are perhaps turbochargers! Oh boy, if monster trucks were legal in India, I’d certainly be getting the biggest one I could possibly see. Venue  The Components Show will be hosted at Pragati Maidan, the original home of Auto Expo. Spreading across more than 60000 square metres, it is one of the largest convention centres in the country. The components Show exhibitions will be held inside Halls 7A-H, 8-12A and Lake Hangar (Hall A-C). Reaching Pragati Maidan is quite easy as it has its own station on the Delhi suburban railway network as well as on the Blue Line of Delhi Metro. Pragati Maidan is so huge that just walking around might make you hungry. Dates and Timings Business Visitors: February 8th to February 10th (10 am to 6 pm) and February 11th (10 am to 1 pm) General Visitors: February 11th (1 pm to 6 pm) MOTOR SHOW

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 The Motor Show is what most people know Auto Expo for. This is the event, where companies from across the world display or launch their latest automobiles. It is not only in-production automobiles that are launched, but also those that are currently in the conceptual stage. Some of the prominent models to be displayed or launched at the Motor Show over the years have been Tata Sumo, Mercedes-Benz E Class, Tata Indica, Maruti Zen, Audi A4, Tata Nano, Mercedes-Benz CLK Class, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi Q7, Bajaj Pulsar 135, TVS Apache RTR 180 and BMW M5. This year too, the event promises to be an extravaganza with reputed names like Ashok Leyland, BMW, Hero MotoCorp, Honda (motorcycles and cars), Hyundai, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Kia Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Renault, Atlas Cycles, Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors, Toyota and TVS announced as participants. Apart from automobile manufacturers, you can also see the innovations of IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, DTU and MRF. Venue  Since 2014, the Motor Show has been organised at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. You can easily access the venue as it is on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway near Pari Chowk. This mammoth venue consists of 14 halls, a banquet, showrooms and lounge, totalling a whopping 58 acres in area. That’s not all as India Expo Mart also has three helipads! Dates and Timings Business Visitors: February 9th, 12th and 13th (10 am to 1 pm) General Visitors: February 9th, 12th and 13th (1 pm to 6 pm), February 10th and 11th (10 am to 7 pm) & February 14th (10 am to 5 pm) I am so excited to attend it that I have already bought my tickets, and I advise you do the same soon.