Shanghaiist thinks there aren’t enough cars in Shanghai. The air, quite frankly, is incredibly clean. There’s nary a spot of traffic. And really, couldn’t taxi drivers be more conscientious by honking their horns just a LITTLE more often? Shanghai needs more cars. Definitely. And what better place to encourage additional consumption than the Shanghai Auto Show!
The Shanghai show has become a major stop on the automotive circuit. GM, BMW Audi, and many others are all unveiling new concept cars and production models for the first time here (check the links for details), and CEOs have flocked to our fair city to demonstrate the Importance of the Chinese Market in
slowing GM’s demise continuing the industry’s growth. You can read more about the Shanghai show, and its implications for the global automotive industry, here and here.
In the spirit of journalistic enquiry, Shanghaiist trekked to the Shanghai International Expo Center (near Longyang Lu metro) to brave the
maddened hordes rather large crowds on opening day. If you are interested in cars, or simply in the growth of China, the show is definitely worth a look. After viewing hundreds of cars, models, cars with models, and models modeling absolutely nothing, Shanghaiist offers several takeaways from the show:
The growth of green. Hybrid vehicles from both Chinese and American firms were everywhere. GM and VW even showcased concept fuel cell-powered cars. What does it mean? Instead of setting high car prices (like in Singapore) or pricing roads to limit driving (like in London) the government is targeting “green vehicles” as the best way to reduce emissions. Yes, Virginia, cars and trucks produce most of Shanghai’s air pollution.
Placing models at your booth will triple your attendance, even if the model is ugly or has nothing to do with what you’re selling.
Local Chinese automakers continue to be white-hot. Ten years ago, Chery didn’t exist—today it’s one of the top five producers in China, with a hefty contract from Chrysler to export small cars to the USA. Geely, Brilliance, Great Wall, Roewe to name a few—the list of local names is long and keeps growing. Beijing’s long-term goal is for Chinese companies to produce the majority of cars in China. It’s a matter of when, not if.
German booths are the best, because many of them offer beer! Volkswagen has never looked so sexy.
The 12th Annual Shanghai International Automobile & Manufacturing Technology Exhibition runs until Saturday at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center, 2345 Longyang Lu. Metro Line 2, Long Yang Lu station, or Number Three Airport Bus. Photos from Shanghai Eye and GM Blogs on Flickr.