Shanghai Auto Show: Oh, What a Media Day

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
em shanghai auto show em oh what a media day

The Shanghai Auto Show truly is a reflection of the Chinese car market: It is huge, and it is one big disorganized mess. This year, the media days were shrunk to one, with the effect that nearly 20 press conferences ran at the same time. If you went to Audi, you could not go to Fiat, Chery, Nissan, and a host of others. Getting admitted was a whole other matter.

I have been to the Beijing and Shanghai auto shows for the fourth year now, and I know that their on-line signup process can be daunting. You enter intimate personal details, beginning with your passport number, you hit SEND, and the website craps out. You do it again, it craps out again. Old China hands remember that one needs to use Internet Explorer exclusively to achieve results. This year however, even old IE did not do the trick. No go, even after an email said that they did reset the computer and to try it again. Catch-22: No successful sign-up, no confirmation number, no confirmation number, no credentials. Which led to long lines of irate international correspondents in front of little windows, where their professional qualifications, their visa status, and their reason for being here was questioned. Those who waved invitation letters by large OEMs were told to submit the original, no copy. If Kafka would still be alive, he would have been at the Shanghai Auto Show doing research.

For the fourth year, TTAC finally passed scrutiny, and could join the members of the professional media that covered China’s largest auto show. Here is a tribute to the credentialed members of the media that were let in.

A photo journalist from China Youth Daily, practicing the intricate art of large format photography.

Her colleague, taking still pictures of the Renault Alpine.

The East Asia Correspondent of Latex World.

The China correspondent of Christopher Street Monthly.

Of course, there was also higher caliber equipment.

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Rcousine Rcousine on Apr 22, 2013

    I think that last gent is shooting with a 200 mm f/2 Nikon lens. That's a fairly sensible lens in this environment (super-fast, fairly long but not stupid-long on a full-frame body), though you need to be a pro to justify the heart-stopping cost of one. (Nikon MSRP: $6000. Dealers may sell for less.)

  • Mark Andrews Mark Andrews on Apr 23, 2013

    I actually didn't have much of a problem registering on the Saturday morning at arond 9am. Just walked straight up without waiting and handed over my passport an invitation letter in Chinese from Bentley with my name on it and a generic one from Rolls plus a copy of an article of mine about the show in 2011. I hadn't pre-registered and didn't have the correct visa. I was issued with a one day pass - no questions asked. I had more problems in 2011 when I was pre-registered. Once in the show, I completely agree. How most of the people got in there to the media day is beyond me. Plus the attitude of a lot of the manufacturers left a lot to be desired. Many had no information in English or had run out of stuff by the afternoon. Volkswagen was completely packed up at 5.20 and had closed their display despite the show only ending at 6.00!

  • SCE to AUX "Volvo has suggested it’s capable of yielding 275 miles of range"Every non-US car's range estimate is based on WLTP - worth mentioning.EPA range never 'backs up' WLTP; it's always about 15% lower - so figure maybe 234 miles. Not great, except as a commuter.As for the interior - it's obviously a Model 3 clone, but the screen is substantially smaller. Incidentally, I suspect Tesla made the Model 3/Y interior so minimalist to save money - not just to be different. When you're trying to become profitable on EVs, every dollar counts.
  • Dukeisduke I know it really isn't, but the central display looks like it's being held by one of those cheap spring-loaded mobile phone mounts. Poor interior design.
  • Fred Remember when radios were an option? Do you know you can use your phone to listen to any radio station in the world? This is just a whole waste of time.
  • Pig_Iron ASTC 3.0 AM radio was successfully demonstrated at CES. It is a common standard shared with terrestrial television, so the audio equipment is commonized for broadcasters. And no royalty fees to pay, unlike HDRadio which has been a less than stellar success. 📻
  • Art Vandelay Crimes that are punished with fines encourage abuse by those enforcing them. If it is truly dangerous to the public, maybe jail or give the offenders community service. People’s time tends to be very valuable to them and a weeks lost work would certainly make a high earner think twice. If it isn’t a big danger why are police enforcing it (outside of raising money of course). Combine it with a points system. When your points are gone you do a week imitating Cool Hand Luke.