2012 Beijing Auto Show: Press Causes Monster Traffic Jam

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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2012 beijing auto show press causes monster traffic jam

First media day at the Beijing Auto Show. Accredited working press only. Half of Beijing must be accredited, and the other half must be on their way to China International Exhibition Center (New Venue) – that’s what it’s called, no joke – in order to finagle one of those hard to get press passes.

The city had strongly suggested leaving the auto at home and instead to take the subway to the auto show. Who are they kidding? A traffic jam on media days?

They were not kidding. Starting out at 7am from downtown to beat the masses did not help. I’m stuck, and this policeman is worried.

This taxidriver loves it: “Me on clock. Me big money.” The passenger is still smiling. Hours later …

… we are still stuck. They are bringing in accredited media by the busload. I receive a nervous phone call from a PR manager:

“Did they reschedule our press conference?”


“Nobody is here!”

“Of course not. They are all here, stuck in traffic.”

Police is helpless.

Locals offer their services. This taxi can and will take the sidewalk for a slight surcharge.

Several hours later, we finally made it. Just a few hours more, standing in line.

The reporters of a small blog from Hubei Province celebrate the successful issuance of press passes. Let’s go cover the show!

Actually, let’s eat first. It’s lunch time already.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Xman Xman on Apr 23, 2012

    Bertel, have you never been to Beijing, or any other Chinese city before?

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Apr 23, 2012

    You took a Taxi in Beijing? Even on a good day your asking for a traffic jam. Throw in an event or 2 and traffic is basically a standstill. Next time, take the subway. The Shanghai Car show is better that way for traffic it's out of the busy area of Shanghai but still it's not great. Even there, you're better off taking the subway. And as an FYI I could've gotten a Press pass or a manufacturer pass etc. They are a joke to get here in China. It's laughable and sad at the same time.

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