The Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition will begin on Thursday for professional visitors, making debut of many new technologies and new car models to direct the growth of the auto industry.
This year’s event is set to include more than 1,000 exhibitors, including many of the world’s largest car manufacturers, many of whom will be showcasing their latest models as well as innovations in new energy and autonomous driving.
Among the event’s major exhibitors will be BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen and Audi, as well as domestic automakers like SAIC Group, FAW, Dongfeng Motor, Changan Automobile, BAIC Motor and GAC Group. Over 140 new vehicle models will be premiered at the weeklong auto extravaganza, including four never-before-seen vehicles from BMW. There will also be concept and luxury vehicles from Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce.
Leading part firms like Bosch, Continental and Schaeffler will also display their latest products. Huawei and iFlytek will be joining the show for the first time this year too, with the former displaying its latest breakthroughs in 5G technology.
The theme of this year’s show is “Create a Better Life,” with the focus being on how cars can improve quality of life.
The show will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center and cover a total area of 360,000 square meters, according to organizers.
Still dynamic China Market
Despite slowing car sales and uncertain macro-economic conditions, carmakers still see China as one of the world’s most important and dynamic markets.
China holds great potential with younger consumer groups for Rolls-Royce, with some owners in the country under the age of 40, Torsten Muller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce’s CEO, told Shanghai Daily on Monday.
Rolls-Royce also recently opened a boutique store in downtown Shanghai last month, the first of its kind in China from the luxury brand.
Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group, said the boundaries of the auto industry have broadened to merge with sectors such as communication, art and entertainment. This trend has created space for further industry growth.
Domestic and international automakers have also seen strengthened design cooperation, making many new models like BAIC’s Arcfox competitive in the global market, Xu said.
Last month, Chinese passenger car sales totaled 2.02 million units, down 6.9 percent from a year earlier, but moderating from the 13.7 percent decrease recorded in the first quarter, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
China’s auto sales have been on a downward trend since 2018, when sales fell for the first time in more than two decades.
CAAM forecast earlier this year that total car sales will remain flat at around 28 million in 2019.
Spotlights of the Auto Show
New energy vehicles (NEVs), sport-utility vehicles and autonomous driving are expected to be highlights of the show. The technologies behind them will shape the future of the industry and reflect the effort by carmakers to meet changing consumer tastes, insiders say.
Among NEVs, carmakers will be displaying a range of green vehicles as well as plans for future clean-emission car production.
Despite slack performance in the overall market, NEVs remain a bright spot for the industry. China’s electric vehicle market will continue to boom in the second quarter of 2019, despite subsidy cuts, Fitch Ratings predicted recently.
In March, NEV car sales jumped 85.4 percent year-on-year. In the first quarter, they grew 109.7 percent, according to CAAM.
Sport-utility vehicles also remain popular in China.
Autonomous driving and driverless cars, despite growing pains in some overseas markets, are tipped as another highlight of the show.
According to the exhibition schedule, Tuesday and Wednesday are press days open only open for media. Thursday and Fridays are professional days. From Saturday to next Thursday, the event will be open to the public.
Nine halls will feature passenger vehicles (1H, 2H, 4.1H, 5.1H, 6.1H, 7.1H, 7.2H, 8.1H, 8.2H); one hall is for commercial vehicles and future mobility (3H); two halls are for parts manufacturers (5.2H, 6.2H).