The first day of the auto expo witnessed a host of launches and concept cars from major automakers in the world’s second fastest growing auto market.The 11th Auto Expo, which began with Maruti Suzuki India unveiling its XA Alpha concept SUV and the Hyundai showcasing the new Sonata and its concept multi-purpose vehicle Hexa Space.German automobile giant Volkswagen on Thursday launched new versions of its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Touareg and its small car Beetle. It also unveiled its concept hybrid car XL 1.”The new Touareg will have a more efficient engine and the body is lighter and more aerodynamic. It is the first in its class to have an eightspeed automatic gearbox,” Volkswagen board member Ulrich Hackenberg said at the 11th Auto Expo here.Maruti’s SUV XA (Alpha)Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Company on Thursday unveiled a seven-seater car, the Evalia. Besides, the company also showcased the zero-emission electric car Leaf, the Nissan GTR and the Compact Sports Concept.Tata Group chief Ratan Tata made an appearance at the expo together with his successor Cyrus P. Mistry, who remained the centre of attraction at the Tata Motors’ pavilion. Tata Motors displayed four concept cars equipped with alternate fuel technology under the brands Tata Nano CNG, Indigo Manza diesel-electric hybrid, Tata Starbus Fuel Cell and Tata Indica Magic Iris CNG.US car maker Ford Motor displayed its compact EcoSport SUV in India for the first time.Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) unveiled an SUV, the Rexton, from the stables of its Korean subsidiary SsangYong.advertisementAmong automobile brands, BMW group’s iconic Mini brand was the highlight of the day as the company announced the India launch of the model, which is priced up to Rs 31.99 lakh.Rival German auto maker Mercedes Benz too, unveiled its AClass concept car.Hyundai’s HexaSpaceWhile only a few auto-makers launched new cars and twowheelers, many showcased new concepts and yet-to-belaunched models.Premium car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz launched its luxury M-Class SUV, priced at Rs 58-60 lakh, along with a powerful open-top vehicle, SLS AMG Roadster, with a price tag of about Rs 3 crore.It also showcased the future of automobiles with its A-Class concept and fuel cell technologies.In the two-wheeler space Suzuki Motorcycles and Yamaha India unveiled new products.Japanese auto major Suzuki launched a 110cc motorcycle Hayate and a 125cc scooter Swish, targeted at the youth while Yamaha unveiled its scootie targeted at young women. Royal Enfield unveiled its 500cc bike Thunderbird 500, which will hit the Indian roads later this year.American motorcycle giant Harley Davidson too, launched two locally assembled models of FXDB Street Bob and FXDC Super Glide Custom at a slashed price saying it was expanding its completely knocked down (CKD) production in India.