By on April 24, 2011

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…)

By on April 24, 2011

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…)

By on April 22, 2011

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…)

By on April 22, 2011

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…)

By on April 22, 2011

This is the BYD F0. I’ll leave it to the experts which other car this resembles. It reminds me a bit of that car, but maybe only because it’s so small and red. It should be red. It’s embarrassing. (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2011

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…)

By on April 21, 2011

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…)

By on April 21, 2011

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…)

By on April 21, 2011

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…)

By on April 20, 2011

The fifth generation of that other legendary car was launched on China by Shanghai GM. Ample 50s cues were not spared. Rock’n’Roll and a historic Camaro were on hand that had served as the official pace car of the 1967 Indy 500. (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2011

It’s odd that China’s two largest carmakers, Volkswagen and GM chose Shanghai as the launchpad of their retro cars. After all, the 50s and 60s have zero appeal in China. Nobody thinks of Rock’n’Roll when they think back in China. Those were the forgotten times of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The iconic cars of China’s past are the Santana, the Buick Century, the Jeep Cherokee of the 1980s and 1990s.

73 years after the original Beetle was launched, 13 years since the first-edition New Beetle came out, a new New Beetle took the stage in Shanghai. (Read More…)

By on April 7, 2011

If you are a respectable auto manufacturer, better don’t show up at the Shanghai Auto Show (open to the public on April 21) without an EV or at least a hybrid. Not that there is a huge demand. Despite lavish subsidies (in Beijing, I could collect $9,000 from the government for driving an EV, an amount the city will supposedly double – a moot point if I don’t get lucky in the license plate lottery), where was I, despite lavish subsidies, the take rate in China remains minuscule.

Wharton says that ”EV sales today account for only 0.06% of all vehicle sales in China.” Hybrids? Google leaves us in the dark. This does not discourage consultants from McKinsey on down from promising that China will be a bonanza for new energy vehicles. On top of that, the government wants it. One of the many companies to show up with a green car in Shanghai is BMW. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2011


And finally, a car for the working masses. Never seen or sold before in Asia, we present to you: The new BMW 1 Series Coupe and the new BMW 1 Series Convertible. They look cute. And one is shown in the requisite red. Topless Einser gallery after the jump. Right this way .. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2011


Now this is a car where the Chinese will say:”Leave it right here.” If not, it could get impounded for – they’ll find something.  Premiering the BMW 6 Series Coupe in China is a shrewd move. It should sell quite well here. It’s the car for the man or the woman who has everything, including two other chauffeured cars. The slightly cramped rear of a fast coupe is big enough for a few children (the true sign of affluence in China.)

No other stats available, except that it comes with a Heads-Up Display and Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound.  They should bring it in this red. Chinese love red.

By on April 4, 2011


Now we are getting from the concept cars to the kind of real ones. BMW electrified its BMW 1 Series Coupe and uses it as a test mule.  “The knowledge gained from field tests with the BMW ActiveE will be fed into the further development of the BMW Group’s future Megacity Vehicle, which will be ready for series production in the year 2013,” says BMW. Guess they had to come to China with a plug-in, even if it will never see production.


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