The Auto Expo has long served as a platform to launch new vehicles in Asia. However the trend has changed this year. Instead of launching new vehicles, automakers chose to showcase them to grab attention from prospective buyers. Some vehicles were declared as launched in the press release but prices weren’t declared and a soft launch took place later. Most of the vehicles which were expected to hit showrooms have already done so but there is no clarity about others. Ford has clarified that the EcoSport will hit showrooms in 2013 and had shown a prototype of the vehicle. However other manufactures showed production ready models, which are yet to be launched. Four such highly awaited vehicles with no clear date of launch are –
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Tata Safari Storme – The much awaited update to the Safari was all over Pune with heavy camouflage. After the Expo unveil, many expected Tata Motors to bring in the Safari Storme by March but that did not happen. Tata Motors missed a gear opportunity to cash in when bookings for the Mahindra XUV500 was closed. The reason for the delay is still unknown and the probable launch date is now in the festive season. However the new Safari won’t have it easy as it has another rival to fend off, the Renault Duster.
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Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 – The Chennai based automaker pulled out a surprise at the Expo by unveiling the Thunderbird 500. The cruiser is already a huge hit in Asia and with the engine of the Classic 500, it could become a very sought after motorcycle. However RE hasn’t hurried up the launch, which was expected to happen in May. The Thunderbird 500 produces 27.2 BHP of power and 41.3 Nm of torque. The launch is set to happen next month.
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Toyota Camry – The 2012 Camry looks quite promising but with only a petrol engine on offer, the Japanese automaker seems to have internationally delayed the launch. The fuel price hike has led to a decline in demand of petrol vehicles and this seems to have delayed the new Camry’s arrival here. The 2.4-litre petrol engine produces 165 BHP and 224 Nm. The car is big on space with a comfort oriented suspension.
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Nissan Evalia – The much awaited New York taxi would be the first launch of Nissan Asia this year. Called the Evalia, the MUV has the goods to challenge the Toyota Innova and will be launched in the second half of August. It is powered by a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine which also powers a range of Renault-Nissan cars in the country. The Evalia can do to Nissan what the Duster has done to Renault, put their sales chart on fire.