Beijing Auto Show Preview
Like it or not, more and more car makers elect to premiere their newest creations not at the IAA in Frankfurt, or the Detroit Auto Show, but in China. What do you expect with China being the world’s largest car market, and growing like gangbusters. TTAC will cover the Beijing Auto Show on press days of April 23 and 24. With daily posts, helped by the fact that China is not only ahead in sales, it’s also 12 hours ahead of the East Coast.
Here is a short random preview, gleaned from various posts on Chinese websites.
Above is a drawing of the Mercedes Benz E-Class Pullman to be Made in China, and possibly on display at the show. It’s not that it’s a secret anymore. The drawing is from a Chinese patent application.
Brilliance, called Zhonghua in China, will bring a facelifted BS4, called Junjie in China, says TheTycho. Judging from the image title, it could also be a BS6, we’ll see. As someone who has the same initials, I question the wisdom of calling cars meant for (but not doing so well in) export “BS.” But who knows, maybe Brilliance is thinking like me and wears the BS as a Badge of Honor.
Want something a bit sportier? Brilliance pimps up their “rather boring FSV sedan with this new FSV Sport,” says TheTycho.
Greatwall will show a new SUV called the Greatwall Haval. TheTycho says originally, the plan was to call it Greatwall Hover. But maybe that was to close to Rover. Or Roewe. Or whatever.
Speaking of which. SAIC’s Roewe (nee Rover) will show a facelifted Roewe 750. Carelessly parked at the kerb, as they would say in Rover-land.
In the non-SUV-dept, Greatwall will show the Tengyi C50. The English name of the beast? Voleex C50. I don’t know. Shades of Solex. Associations a Chinese car maker should avoid.
Dongfeng is busy with joint ventures. But like most Chinese JVs, they start making their homemade brands. One attempt is “, Fengsheng .“ Above, the Dongfeng-Fengsheng H30 Cross. If I’d be Dongfeng, I’d stay with my joint ventures. Or intensify their search for Western car companies.
Chang’an, also big in the joint venture game (for instance with Ford) will show their sport sedan-coupe hybrid prototype, the C201.
Shanghai GM will show their long awaited new Buick Excelle, here caught “standing somewhere outside the factory in Shanghai,” as TheTycho says.
Geely will show their Emgrand-branded EX7. Here the first model running of a not too well lit assembly line.
This is a bigger Emgrand, the EC825. According to TheTycho, it will be powered by “Mitsubishi’s ancient 2.4 four cilinder and a little less ancient Mitsubishi 2.0.”
For the sportier crowd, Geely will show a GLEagle. Concept only.
Fiat-cognoscenti will say: “Didn’t I see that car before?” When Fiat dissolved their joint venture with Nanjing Automotive in 2008, it sold the Palio and Siena platforms to small automaker Zotye. They will launch a not too much updated Siena at the Beijing Auto Show.
More Beijing Auto Show previews can be seen here. Oh well. I guess I have to bide my time until Friday, when we’ll see the really interesting new cars, which have been hidden from prying eyes. Or not, as we say at TTAC.
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Well I can see why GM is doing so well in China. The Buick Excelle looks like a spaceship relative to that sea of tracing paper or Korean-reject design.
Even looking at the exteriors, the Chinese OEMS have a long way to go. Question for the BS or another soul familiar with Chinese auto market (please don't recommend something if you haven't at least lived in China for a few months): my company is moving me to China within this year. 1: should I get a Chinese made car? 2: Are there any that are anywhere near sporty? 3: How about a used car? My current car is a 06 TSX, of course, I can accept lower levels of refinement/performance if the price is lower; as long as it doesn't feel like a Camry. As I understand it, an Accord costs something like 50k USD in China...that's not going to work for me, since my assignment is going to be 3 years and I don't want to take a huge hit on depreciation, nor do I wish to fork over $50k off the bat. I'd like to stay within 30k, preferably 20k USD. Originally, I wanted a Mustang, I thought it'd be awesome to drive a rare car (for China), and do some crazy burnouts once in a while (nobody seems to ever do them in China). But seeing that it's not available in China, and even if it was to become available, the price would likely be well over 50k, that is no longer a possibility. And since I'm not a diplomat, I can't import my own car or a Mustang.