Opinion: India needs a CES (Consumer Electronics show)

    The CES can change the narrative, create a holistic experience and turn the table on India’s auto show.

    Published on Feb 25, 2023 09:30:00 AM


    Opinion: India needs a CES (Consumer Electronics show)

    CES is all about an integrated experience for consumers.

    Coming out of Auto Expo 2023, my business partner asked me, “So which will be the world’s best auto show post Covid?” “CES,” I replied.

    I did not have to think much before answering. It came to me quite naturally. CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is actually the premier auto show in the world today, overtaking the likes of Frankfurt, Geneva and Tokyo in no time. The 2023 edition in Las Vegas (the venue since its inception in 1967) saw the unveiling of close to 15 production and concept vehicles, from legacy automakers like VW and Peugeot to new kids on the block like Vinfast and Holon. Anyone in the auto industry who has anything cutting-edge to launch and tease wants to do so at CES! They rub shoulders with other big names in the world of technology like Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Intel and Google.

    It is all about an integrated consumer experience where different domain experts in the world of technology come together to present the living ecosystem of tomorrow. It is where the vehicle, whether a personal electric bike or an autonomous micro bus, needs to be seen in the midst of all others from the consumer electronics and digital world, to help the consumer in understanding the implication and impact of what the vehicle offers. It is where the vehicle is seen as an integral part of the entire ecosystem and not as stand-alone. That is how tomorrow’s consumer will view one. Therefore, it needs to be presented accordingly. Since Mercedes-Benz participated in the 2019 edition, almost all the global brands see this as the ideal platform to ‘make a splash’.

    Shows like CES will make the traditional auto show redundant. The legacy shows like Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris have been facing difficulties in keeping themselves relevant, and financially feasible. A few have simply folded up. Those that remain either depend on domestic automakers to prop them up till finances allow or are on the wane. Shows like MWC, IFA and GITEX will expand their scope to include automobiles. Or, CES might decide to expand with region-specific shows just like CES Asia in Shanghai.

    India needs a CES. As the Auto Expo continues to be in its comfort zone of being all about motors and not even mobility, it is offering the space to a show like the CES to step in, change the narrative, create a holistic experience and turn the table on India’s auto show. That might actually work better for the auto industry as brands would love to be seen jostling for attention and social media space with those from the consumer electronics, technology and mobile industries. And at the end of the day, that will surely benefit tomorrow’s consumer!

    Also see:

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