By on April 3, 2020

The organizers of the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition have rescheduled the event on account of the novel coronavirus. Originally slated to cap off April, the trade show will now be held between September 26th and October 5th.

While China is supposedly coming out of health crisis in better shape than a lot of other countries, there are reasons to doubt the COVID-19 figures published by the Communist Party of China. The situation on the ground could be much worse than state-backed media and the World Health Organization indicate. However, even if the nation’s ludicrously low infection statistics are accurate, it is not surprising to see event organizers exercising caution.

Most countries have enacted travel restrictions and are advising (or demanding) people stay isolated to help combat the virus from spreading. Trade shows wouldn’t have attendees and those that did show up run the risk of spreading infection — which is why we’ve seen so many postponed or cancelled this year.

From the organizers of the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition:

In light of the serious challenges posted by the COVID-19 pandemic, after close consultation with the relevant parties, we, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 (16th) Beijing International Automobile Exhibition [sic] (AUTO CHINA 2020), have decided to postpone the auto show which was initially planned at the new and old venues of China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) in April this year so as to effectively protect the health and safety of exhibitors and spectators. The AUTO CHINA 2020 is rescheduled to the following date — September 26 to October 5, 2020.

The spread of the pandemic has entailed the world economy comprehensive shocks. At this difficult time, it has become the consensus and belief of the global auto industry to firmly boost the morale and collaboration to maintain the stability of the world economy. We believe that AUTO CHINA 2020 is destined to be an extraordinary exhibition in the sense of not only an industry grand gathering to display the latest achievements and promote the trade and exchange of the global auto industries, but also an important moment to witness the colleagues across the global auto sector working together, uniting their efforts, overcoming the difficulties and revitalizing the industry!

Consider this a tentative date for the show. While many automotive trade events are being pushed back until the fall — making it an extra busy season this year — some are simply canceling plans for 2020. Postponements could easily become full-blown shutdowns if the situation calls for it. Still, everyone seems to be hoping COVID-19 subsides enough to restore some semblance of normalcy by autumn.

[Image: Carrie Fereday/Shutterstock]

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33 Comments on “See You in September? Beijing Motor Show Delayed...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “promote the trade and exchange of the global auto industries”

    Does any auto show really accomplish that? Even before the CV, many mfrs were finding that the shows did not do this.

    Auto shows may go the way of pre-9/11 airport protocols, such as being able to see a loved one off at the gate.

  • avatar

    Did you say Beijing, or Boeing?

    Carry on.

  • avatar

    I really hope we don’t return to business as usual with respect to China’s auto market and especially parts supply chain.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      We won’t if consumers demand it

    • 0 avatar

      Unfortunately that is what exactly will happen. Americans have a memory span of __ (fill with the word which you find appropriate). And greed have no limits. Economy is global and driven by greed and quarterly attention span.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I think maybe the threat to withhold medical supplies may spark some legislation. I do think there will be some reprucussions.

      • 0 avatar

        Phil Donahue:
        “When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on?”

        Milton Friedman:
        “Well, first of all, tell me, is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed?
        You think Russia doesn’t run on greed?
        You think China doesn’t run on greed?
        What is greed?
        Of course none of us are greedy. It’s only the other fellow who’s greedy.
        The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus.
        Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat.
        Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.
        In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”


        • 0 avatar
          Steve S.

          Milton Friedman was as much an ideologue as Marx, Lenin, or Mao.

          • 0 avatar

            not really

            Friedman was not an ideologue and he was right

            your 3 stooges set the stage for mass murder and were wrong

          • 0 avatar

            The thing is, Marx, Lenin, and Mao all turned out to be wrong.

            Vladimir Lenin: “You have to break some eggs to make an omelette.”

            Winston Churchill: “Where the omelette?”

          • 0 avatar

            Marx was wrong because he thought communism could work at all. Impossible, human nature forbids it.

            Lenin and Mao were wrong because they claimed they were Marxist, but once they were in charge they decided they liked being in charge and became fascists instead.

          • 0 avatar

            “Communism” works only at the level of the family unit.

            Then the kids grow up and move into the wider world.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            12 Dudes literally spending every waking hour with Jesus himself having every need met with no less than God himself pulling food out of thin air, making wine from water, healing any sickness they encounter and yet Judas still just had to skim a little off the top for himself,

            Yeah if Communism didn’t work in that setting I’m afraid it just isn’t going to ever work.

          • 0 avatar

            “Milton Friedman was as much an ideologue as Marx, Lenin, or Mao.”

            All economists are ideologues. All people driven by one or another ideology. It just used to be in the past that free market types prevailed in US and pro-government social democrats and Marxists in Europe.

        • 0 avatar

          Friedman was a great man and always won his debates w/ Leftist economists

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Thornmark, I would disagree with that claim and ask that you provide proof. Friedman was an idealogue. He misinterpreted history. His theories are out of vogue. Even the British Conservative Party have disavowed them. And the current American administration has enacted numerous programs that are directly against what Friedman espoused.

            Friedman’s theory was nothing more than a restatement of what was termed the ‘horse and sparrow’ theory of economics. Meaning that if you feed the horse (the rich) lots of oats, that eventually the horse would expel enough for the sparrows (the working class) to live on.

            Friedman ignored the fact that capitalism left unchecked a tendency to create oligopolies.

            Friedman ignored the fact that every time that restrictions have been taken off of capitalism that the result was a major recession or depression.

            Friedman ignored the fact that his theories, whenever implemented led to greater income inequality.

            Friedman ignored the fact that the Renaissance, Reformation and the establishment of the Rule of Law were all enacted without capitalism.

            Marx was also an ideologue and did not provide a workable solution. However he asked the right questions and identified key issues.

            Keynes provided solutions that worked. Until subverted by governments that used debt to buy votes.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not here to argue against capitalism, but you’re literally using a communication tool developed by the government to argue that the government has never created anything worthwhile.

          • 0 avatar

            People like him always manage to find convenient exceptions for themselves.

          • 0 avatar

            How so? I was just pointing out that everyone is greedy; it’s human nature. The old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ economy was based on greed. The PRC’s is today. And the United States’ is today.

            Government, our federal government anyway, is responsible for six things:

            “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

            Now, that can be interpreted to mean “and invent the internet”, but that would be a stretch for the general welfare clause. The internet would have been created regardless.

    • 0 avatar

      “I really hope we don’t return to business as usual with respect to China’s auto market and especially parts supply chain.”

      Change is not too likely.

      My employer uses a Chinese supply chain for electronics and small manufactured parts.

      The kind of companies which serve our needs don’t seem to exist in the US. It would take years and billions of dollars worth of investment to build a new supply chain like this here in the US, and it might lot be profitable when it’s built.

      I’d love to own and run an electronics factory. I’ve never done it before, the market has established high-volume low-cost players, and I’d need $20m-$30m to build it, and I don’t know if I’ll make money once it’s up and running. Would you lend me the money?

      The reason Silicon Valley exists is that, starting in the 1940s, government labs (first), Stanford University, and private companies (later) have been paying engineers to move there. That’s almost 80 years of constant investment in building up the capability of the area. That’s what it takes to build a tech/economic cluster.

      The United States hasn’t invested in itself this way for half a century.

      We could build a second Shenzhen, or a second Silicon Valley, or rebuild Detroit to it’s former glory. But, it’ll take a gazillion dollars of government investment over a decade or two in order to create the conditions for the free market to work its magic. Doing this goes against right-wing ideology (taxation is theft) and left-wing ideology (corporate handouts), so I’m not holding my breath.

      My employer, and everyone else, will continue to use the resources in existing economic clusters for the foreseeable future.

      • 0 avatar

        I dunno, Jabil Circuit still seems be able to manufacture electronics here. But- as with most assembly line type manufacturing- a lot of it is automated. the people running the plant are monitoring, maintaining, and re-supplying the machinery.

        • 0 avatar

          The electronics that are manufactured in N/A are higher value-added items with lots of proprietary IP. It’s often the software that runs on the hardware that makes it viable to “on-shore” manufacture. Or they are “sensitive” products under the ITAR umbrella and that’s a limited-distribution market.

          Luke42 is right; the supply chain for the OEM is better-developed in China than it is in the U.S. for price-sensitive products. We prattle on and on about “buy American” but the vast majority of what you find at Wal-Mart and Best Buy et al isn’t manufactured domestically and they cater to the price-above-all buying habits of the hoi polloi.

          JimZ is also right; there is very little touch-labor in any electronics today (and that labor is cheaper overseas) unless it is an almost one-off product. Most of the electronics components made today are designed exclusively for automated assembly.

      • 0 avatar

        US automobile car manufacturers thought they had a lock on the market after WWII and they did, until they didn’t.

        Rising labor costs and ever-increasing baksheesh requirements were driving low-margin manufacturers out of the PRC and into Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and India even before Trump slapped tariffs on the ChiComs. But those tariffs are pushing many high-margin manufacturers out of the PRC now; some of them are even bringing manufacturing back to the US. The Wuhan Virus debacle can only accelerate that process.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        “It would take years and billions of dollars worth of investment to build a new supply chain like this here in the US, and it might lot be profitable when it’s built.”

        Fine. Build it and spend it. We just spent 2 trillion as a start for cleaning up a mess that went global because people want to save a buck.

        Either that or tax the companies that refuse to change when all of this is done. Tarriffs…whatever it takes. Sure, I’ll pay the cost in increased prices, but then again I am already going to pay it in increased taxes.

        This in my book is the same as people that exploit illegals and claim they are just “living in reality”. So were slaveowners circa 1861. These companies are just outsourcing the exploitation. At least use a country like South Korea or Japan if you can’t do it here.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        For over a century Canada operated with a ‘mixed economy’ endorsing government support of ‘critical’ industries.

        In some instances these industries were either partially owned/controlled by the government or were Crown Corporations, totally government owned.

        The UK had many government controlled corporations until Thatcherism, (using Friedman’s theories) dismantled entire industries such as the coal, steel, shipbuilding and auto industry. (Insert British Leyland jokes here.)

        Japan has done the same.

        So did the USA from the time of FDR until at least JFK.

        • 0 avatar

          Those UK industries needed dismantling. The were moribund. It made perfect sense to get the government out of those businesses, as later Sweden did with Saab:

          “The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories.”
          Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson (2009)

  • avatar

    Our Chinese contract manufacturers as are back in business, and things are getting back to something like normal for them.

    My colleagues in China tell us they have to get their temperatures taken when they go to wholesale markets, but that they can go there and get things done in a timely way.

    BUT, China is banning foreigners from visiting, ostensibly because said foreigners might re-introduce COVID-19 back into China. Regardless of the actual reason for the travel ban, you can’t host an international tradeshow when travel bans are in place.

  • avatar

    I have no doubt that an authoritarian government — or an elected leader with authoritarian preferences, for that matter — would fudge the numbers.

    But it’s also true that China took this much, much more seriously than we’re doing. Check out the article in the New Yorker by the author who was living in Wuhan when this went down. Outside literally every apartment building stood a person who would take your temperature to make sure you had not gotten sick (with one of those remote sensors they just point at your forehead), and would have you walk through a pan of weak bleach solution to disinfect even your shoes, before you went back home. They also would send anyone who was ill to a quarantine center immediately for observation and escalation to treatment if needed (not that there’s much we can do about this virus in terms of treatment, other than sticking you in an ice bath if your temperature becomes life-threatening, or use drugs in an off-label way that’s probably a coin flip as to whether it will save you or kill you, but I digress). As the world’s shop floor, they could turn on a dime to manufacture an enormous amount of tests and protective equipment. And with the Party’s plan-for-literally-everything orientation and immense mobilization capability, they built hospitals in days.

    Here we have so few tests, and such slow test results, that a) it’s a statistical certainty that we are undercounting cases, and b) by the time we have enough data to identify a hotspot, we’re already much too late. We also don’t have nearly enough PPE, and we make states bid against each other for it in the market instead of just providing it. And after 30-40 years of small-government foolishness we literally lack the capability for competent federal emergency response to a major emergency of, well, any kind, whether it’s Hurricane Katrina or COVID-19. We used to take this stuff seriously in case the Russkies nuked us or unleashed smallpox or whatever. God help us now.

  • avatar

    “But it’s also true that China took this much, much more seriously than we’re doing.”

    That’s funny:

    “Doctor Li had already become a national hero for alerting fellow doctors Dec. 30 in an online post about the emergence of a SARS-like illness, warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection. Li, along with seven others in Wuhan, were later arrested by local security police on charges of spreading rumors and forced to sign a document disavowing his statements and agreeing to quit speaking out.”
    — ‘South China Morning Post’

    “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel corona virus identified in Wuhan, China.”
    — World Health Organization (WHO), January 14, 2020

    “In January President Xi Jinping made a decision that would ultimately condemn the world: allowing 5 million people to leave the epicentre of the virus without being screened.”
    — ’60 Minutes Australia’ | March 29, 2020

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, China screwed up for about three weeks.

      We’re still screwing up three months later.

      • 0 avatar

        Compare and contrast:

        Deaths Per Million Population
        Spain 282
        Italy 273
        Belgium 143
        France 133
        Netherlands 108
        Switzerland 90
        United Kingdom 81
        Sweden 47
        Iran 46
        Ireland 36
        United States 33

        China’s not on there but of course no one except the CCP knows what their real numbers are. In the immortal words of a Hong Kong protester:


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