Beijing Auto Show Preview

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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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6 of 13 comments
  • Slowpoke Slowpoke on Apr 18, 2010

    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.

    • Analyst Analyst on Apr 19, 2010

      That's not it. These are probably some of the worst designs I've seen in a while coming from Chinese companies. They buy Buick because it's American. No kidding.

  • YZS YZS on Apr 18, 2010

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Apr 20, 2010

      YZS, If you'll be living in Wuxi, a car isn't a bad option. If living in Shanghai, I wouldn't. Easier to have someone at your beck and call, no? That said, if I had to live in Wuxi, I'd rather live in Suzhou. License plates will be less expensive outside of Shanghai, but you'll pay additional tolls and be subject to restrictions, which you can guarantee this Expo hooplah will bring. Used cars will be easier to find outside the city. Not sure if the GTI is on sale or not, my VW guys are all out. It's shown on but not on; there is, however, a "Secondhand Cars" tab on the FAW site at the top right, but it's all in Chinese so I don't know what they have. As for Chinese-brand vehicles, I'd probably trust the SAIC Roewe 750. 291,000 people bought a BYD F3 last year, they can't all be wrong. The only sporty Chinese-brand car I've seen is the Geely Beauty Leopard, which you could say looks like a Tiburon if you didn't mind insulting the Tiburon. Getting it all said and done for $30k will be, as far as I can tell, difficult. If you manage it, good on ya, lord knows I've been wrong before. And in the interests of full disclosure, I don't work for any OEM so really have no horse in this race.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.