The booths of Japanese automakers were mobbed today just like those of any other automaker at the Shanghai Motor Show. The action at the showrooms are a different matter. Sales of Japanese cars in China remain problematic more than half a year after rowdy crowds took to the streets last September to torch Japanese cars and showrooms. Sales of Japanese cars in China were down 14.3 percent in March while sales of U.S. carmakers were up 31.1 percent. Sales of German brands rose 24.6 percent.
Toyota does not expect to reach positive territory until August this year, Hiroji Onishi, head of Toyota’s China operations, told a small circle of reporters this morning at the Shanghai show. Asked why August, another Toyota executive quipped: “After previous riots in 2005 and 2010, it took half a year to recover. We figure, this time it might take twice as long.” Read More >
Category: Shanghai Auto Show
Buick shows a few interesting concepts in Shanghai. One, a business MPV attracted the interest on GM’s competition at Toyota. Soon-to-be Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada came for a quick visit, eyed the prototype for a few seconds, and left. Read More >
So Denza, the odd couple joint venture between Daimler and BYD, lifted the veil of its upcoming all-electric SUV. A car in heavy camouflage rolled on stage here at the Shanghai Motor Show. The car looked, well, like the old B-Class from which it is derived. Read More >
Lenses at the Shanghai Auto Show definitely test both sides of the envelope. Some photographers came with lenses long and wide enough to take close-ups of concept cars shown on the moon. Read More >
At last year’s Beijing auto show, a man walked up to the Roll Royce booth with a suitcase full of “Red Maos” – as the 100 yuan note is called in China, the largest note equals $15.40 – and walked away as the owner of a Rolls Royce Phantom. At least that’s what AFP heard. Because of taxes and duties, a Rolls-Royce Phantom started at 6.6 million yuan ($1 million) a year ago. That translated into 66,000 red banknotes. Read More >
Aren’t iPads supposed to be in short supply, affected by the parts paralysis? The visitor of the Shanghai Auto Show wouldn’t know. Actually, if everybody would stop using the flat gizmos, just supplying car shows with them would be a great business. They are everywhere.At most large automakers, someone said: “I have a great idea: We will give all our booth ba …. I mean, productspecialists one of these iPads with a multimedia presentation.” “Super! It’s cool, and it’s green. Think about all the paper we save!” Read More >
In Shanghai, you can see the latest cars, and the cars of the future with no future. You also can see a tiny bit of the past.
Citroen brought two classics. Read More >
When you have a larger joint venture with a Chinese automaker, at some point it will be strongly suggested to you to create a Chinese brand. At least this is how The Financial Times understands it: “Foreign carmakers wishing to build new plants or add capacity in China’s burgeoning car market are being told by the government that if they wish to expand, they must develop a low-cost local car brand.”
Early fruits of these suggestions can be seen at the Shanghai Auto Show. Read More >
Chery doesn’t have much new stuff in its booth this year.
There is a QQme covered in rosepetals and the usual assortment of not-quite-ready-for-market electric prototypes every Chinese company fields. But Chery trumps every other car manufacturer at the Shanghai show in one respect: Women. Read More >
As the luckless inventor of interactive video (at least when it comes to car shows), I usually avoid electronic attractions. But then, amongst TTAC’s Best and Brightest is Perisoft, developer of bitchen race simulators, and I absolutely had to test-drive the thing. If you are at the Shanghai Auto Show, it is at the Ford booth, in the left corner. Perisoft can remote into the machine from the U.S. to China, and we discussed cheating enhancing the performance of the simulator. We dropped the idea, because we didn’t want Perisoft to lose future business.
The simulator consists of three screens (made by Dell) and a cab that moves around. There also is a button that says “Motion Stop” – in case you get car sick, I guess. Before they let you drive, you need to sign a release form bigger than what I signed when I drove offshore race boats – a truly murderous undertaking at times. Read More >
It becomes immediately clear why the Chinese government did not want an upstart manufacturer of bridge pontoons to buy HUMMER: Unnecessary duplication of what is has been available at state-owned Dongfeng for ages. They even have a Chinese version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Read More >
“Herr Professor Piech! I guess all of us here at the Volkswagen Group are still working on becoming the world’s largest auto maker … by 2018, that’s right.
In the meantime, we built the world’s largest convertible!” Read More >
The attentive TTAC reader knew long before the Shanghai Auto Show what BMW would put on display. What they wanted to see were pictures of the inside of the M5 Concept. Attempts to fulfill that request were frustrated. First of all, access to the car is barred. A metal-glass barrier, along with an earpiece-toting muscular guard, make it impossible to fulfill the journalistic duty. Also, the glass of the car is heavily tinted. Not just from the side … Read More >