The Shanghai Auto Show truly is a reflection of the Chinese car market: It is huge, and it is one big disorganized mess. This year, the media days were shrunk to one, with the effect that nearly 20 press conferences ran at the same time. If you went to Audi, you could not go to Fiat, Chery, Nissan, and a host of others. Getting admitted was a whole other matter.
I have been to the Beijing and Shanghai auto shows for the fourth year now, and I know that their on-line signup process can be daunting. You enter intimate personal details, beginning with your passport number, you hit SEND, and the website craps out. You do it again, it craps out again. Old China hands remember that one needs to use Internet Explorer exclusively to achieve results. This year however, even old IE did not do the trick. No go, even after an email said that they did reset the computer and to try it again. Catch-22: No successful sign-up, no confirmation number, no confirmation number, no credentials. Which led to long lines of irate international correspondents in front of little windows, where their professional qualifications, their visa status, and their reason for being here was questioned. Those who waved invitation letters by large OEMs were told to submit the original, no copy. If Kafka would still be alive, he would have been at the Shanghai Auto Show doing research.
For the fourth year, TTAC finally passed scrutiny, and could join the members of the professional media that covered China’s largest auto show. Here is a tribute to the credentialed members of the media that were let in.
A photo journalist from China Youth Daily, practicing the intricate art of large format photography.
Her colleague, taking still pictures of the Renault Alpine.
The East Asia Correspondent of Latex World.
The China correspondent of Christopher Street Monthly.
Of course, there was also higher caliber equipment.