Auto Expo: less stellar power this year
The slowdown in the automotive sector and the scare of the coronavirus caused the number of celebrities to decrease by almost half this year. While some celebrities attended, frequent visitors such as John Abraham, Sachin Tendulkar and Akshay Kumar did not
The section called 'Why attend?' On the official 2020 website Auto Expo It has a point that states that visitors can meet up close and in person to movie stars, sports icons. For years, celebrity observation has been an integral part of the mega car show. This year, however, a combination of factors, especially the slowdown in the automotive sector and the scare of the Coronavirus, meant that the presence of celebrities in the event was insignificant.
From a dozen celebrities in 2018 to only eight attendees this year
Held at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida between February 7 and 12, the exhibition registered a footfall of more than six lakh, the highest in history, according to organizers. The celebrity footprint, however, was reduced to almost half. Previous editions of the event have seen around a dozen celebrities at a time, and the 2016 exhibition received visits from 15 celebrities. This year, the number was eight. Shahrukh khan He was among the big rare names who visited the exhibition this year, but he did it on the day of the opening of the event, which is open only for exhibitors and not for the general public. In fact, the only movie stars who visited the exhibition on days open to the public were Gul Panag & Soha Ali Khan . Most of the other celebs, including Daler Mehndi & Huma Qureshi, visited on the first two days, when the show wasn't open for general public. This was in stark contrast with the previous editions that saw names like Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor , Alia Bhatt, & Ranbir Kapoor among others visit on the days open for public.
'There were fewer releases than ever at the Expo this time
According to an executive with a Japanese auto manufacturer at the expo, The stars are mostly called by the brands they endorse to launch a new vehicle. But if you notice, there were fewer launches than ever at the Auto Expo this time. That's why most brands did not bother calling their brand ambassadors. The number of launches has been low because of a general slowdown in the auto sector in India. Someone like John Abraham - who has been constant in the program for more than a decade, was noted for his absence.
Akshay Kumar attracted large crowds during his visits in the previous two editions; (Above) The actor at the expo in 2018 Akshay Kumar attracted large crowds during his visits in the previous two editions; (Above) The actor at the expo in 2018
Did the coronavirus scare keep celebrities away?
A lot of visitors & exhibitors at the event could be seen wearing face masks in light of the Coronavirus scare prevalent in all of Asia. Was that also a reason for some stars staying away? Exhibitors say it could have contributed to some of them giving the event a miss. "Nobody has said on record that this is the reason a star won't visit but many stars' representatives did express concerns about it. It may not have been the biggest reason but could have been a factor in some people's decision,” says an organiser on the condition of anonymity.
Katrina Kaif attended the expo in 2016 Katrina Kaif attended the expo in 2016
The absence of celebrities did not mean fewer people in the exhibition, but it did overshadow the experience for many. Nachiket S, a Gurgaon resident who has been visiting the exhibition since 2012, says: There is no timetable for when a star will visit the exhibition. But in previous years, there were one or two celebrities every year. This year, there was no one for days. The main purpose of my trip there was to see the cars, but it was strange not even to see a star. Tanya Singh, a student, adds: Our university is close to where we go every year. My seniors have selfies with stars they met at the exhibition in the previous editions. But this time we didn't find anyone there. It seemed a little low. key.
Kareena attended the exhibition in 2014 Kareena attended the exhibition in 2014
Not only the Bollywood stars, even the sports fraternity was missing
But it's not just Bollywood that has been absent from the expo this year. The sporting fraternity hasn't made its presence felt either. While previous editions of the event would see visits by top cricketers like virat Kohli , Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, & Gautam Gambhir , this year, the only athlete present was a former Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan . "With the Indian cricket team on tour & most other top stars busy with other commitments, none of them could be here. Sachin, who was a constant here for the auto brand he endorses, was also not available," says an insider from the organising team. The Indian cricket team – led by virat Kohli - They are touring New Zealand while Sachin Tendulkar was in Australia to participate in a charity cricket match held simultaneously as the expo. It is the first time in a decade that Sachin was not present at the biennial event.
Famous people who visited this year
mbad-5 SRK led a handful of celebs, including Huma Qureshi, Soha Ali Khan , Daler Mehndi, Gul Panag , Angad Bedi & Narain Karthikeyan , who did
attend the exhibition this year