The new year kicks off with the Indian Auto Expo on January 5, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010.

India is one of the world's fastest growing markets and the show - which is held every two years - reflects this importance, with competition in the country becoming increasingly intense. The focus of the show appears to be on small models again, two years after the 2008 Auto Expo launched the world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano. In 2008, 1.8 million people attended Auto Expo.

Last week, Volkswagen stated that it planned to capture ten percent of the market as it began production of a special version of the VW Polo at a plant in India. Toyota has announced the world premiere of a compact car developed specifically for the Indian market, whilst General Motors will be unveiling the Chevrolet Beat, a new compact addition to the company's portfolio.

India has become a global manufacturing hub for the automotive industry and according to show organizers the Indian auto industry has been growing at a rate of 15-27 percent over the past five years. In 2008, the exhibitor balance was tipped in favor of domestic firms, with 1300 Indian firms on show alongside 700 overseas companies. Therefore, eyes will also be on Indian firms in 2010 - Mahindra is rumored to be releasing a new motorbike and Tata Motors is expected to unveil new models at the event.

The Indian Auto Expo is open January 5-10 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.


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