By on April 22, 2013

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.

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5 Comments on “Shanghai Auto Show: Oh, What a Media Day...”


  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    To me the young journalist and the ‘latex lady’ (and probably other, similar kind of ‘booth proffesionals’) doesn’t seem to belong in the same venue…

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Are there cars behind the clicking cameras and all the hoopla?

  • avatar

    “A photo journalist from China Youth Daily, practicing the intricate art of large format photography.”

    When I noticed people using their tablet computers to take photos at the NAIAS I suggested that maybe someone should sell focusing hoods like photographers use with large format cameras.

  • avatar

    I think that last gent is shooting with a 200 mm f/2 Nikon lens.

    That’s a fairly sensible lens in this environment (super-fast, fairly long but not stupid-long on a full-frame body), though you need to be a pro to justify the heart-stopping cost of one. (Nikon MSRP: $6000. Dealers may sell for less.)

  • avatar

    I actually didn’t have much of a problem registering on the Saturday morning at arond 9am. Just walked straight up without waiting and handed over my passport an invitation letter in Chinese from Bentley with my name on it and a generic one from Rolls plus a copy of an article of mine about the show in 2011. I hadn’t pre-registered and didn’t have the correct visa. I was issued with a one day pass – no questions asked. I had more problems in 2011 when I was pre-registered.

    Once in the show, I completely agree. How most of the people got in there to the media day is beyond me. Plus the attitude of a lot of the manufacturers left a lot to be desired. Many had no information in English or had run out of stuff by the afternoon.

    Volkswagen was completely packed up at 5.20 and had closed their display despite the show only ending at 6.00!


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