Report: Beijing Auto Show Dumped Over COVID Restrictions

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
report beijing auto show dumped over covid restrictions

The organizer of the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition has announced that the show will not go on due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. Though those with a memory longer than that of a goldfish will recall that the event was already postponed in April for that very same reason.  

While we’ve seen plenty of trade shows canceled over the last few years, it’s a little surprising to see China dumping one of the largest international venues it puts on annually – though the show technically alternates between Beijing and Shanghai each year. Having canceled so many times already, the original plan involved postponing the trade event until cases were down. But Beijing is reportedly seeing the highest infection rate it has seen in five months, which was apparently enough for organizers to scrap the rest of the year. 

That only equated to China’s capital city seeing 78 new infections on Wednesday. However, the local government has been directed to treat every bump in cases with the utmost seriousness and typically decides to exercise the maximum amount of caution. 

As other countries began witnessing lockdown protests, trucker rallies, and generalized civil unrest stemming from how government restrictions negatively impacted the economy, leadership was gradually pressured by the citizenry into backing down. However, the top-down governance style of China didn’t really allow for this. Local leaders were informed that any infections would be viewed as completely unacceptable, leading to sustained factory closures and the forcible isolation of citizens. Protests that emerged were put down early and often, with the consequences for dissent often being quite severe. 

While there were also plenty of holdouts in Western governments, the scope and severity of China’s response to the pandemic is truly massive and has managed to persist through 2022. Even China's top leadership body – the Politburo Standing Committee – recently called for the unwavering support of its stringent zero-COVID policy after last month's Communist Party congress. 

"We must take more resolute and decisive measures to curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible and restore normal production and living order as soon as possible," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Politburo leadership as stating during its meeting. "We must not relax the necessary epidemic prevention initiatives.”

Sadly, this means another year without an auto show. 

"Facing severe challenges for the country's epidemic prevention and control, [we] have decided not to hold the auto show in 2022," Auto China (the group organizing the event) said in a post on its official WeChat account. "The specific date for the exhibition will be announced separately when available.”

As of now, it’s unclear whether they’ll even bother trying to hold a show in Beijing with Auto Shanghai presumably happening in April of 2023. However, that event’s dates are currently listed as TDB.

[Image: humphery/]

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4 of 9 comments
  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Nov 10, 2022

    VoG OK. But tell me why 75% say the country is on the wrong track and Xiden has an approval rating of 38%? .............I have it. Ageism

    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 12, 2022

      "How'd mid-terms turn out for the right?"

      After 2020, we are very aware there are very stupid people in this country that are allowed to vote. 81 million for sure.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 10, 2022

    Makes sense. Because masks work and because the "vaccines" work, we need to cancel the auto show because we are worried about people getting body aches and a fever for a few days.

    It's totally not about control though.

  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch., changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.
  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Unrelated to this article but of interest I found this on You Tube which explains why certain vehicles are not available in the US because of how the CAFE measures fuel standards. I remember you commenting on this a few years ago on another article on TTAC. The 2023 Chevrolet Montana is an adorable small truck that's never coming to the USA. It's not because of the 1.2L engine, or that Americans aren't interested in small trucks, it's that fuel economy legislation effectively prevents small trucks from happening. What about the Maverick? It's not as small as you think. CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy is the real reason trucks in America are all at least a specific dimension. Here's how it works and why it means no tiny trucks for us.
  • Gabe A new retro-styled Montero as their halo vehicle to compete against the Bronco, Wrangler and 4Runner. Boxy, round headlights like the 1st generation, two door and four door models, body on frame.A compact, urban truck, Mighty Max, to compete against the Maverick. Retro-styled like the early 90s Mighty Max.A new Outlander Sport as more of a wagon/crossover to compete against the Crosstrek and Kona. Needs to have more power (190+ HP) and a legit transmission, no CVT.A new Eclipse hybrid to compete against the upcoming redesigned Prius. Just match the Prius's specs and make it look great.Drop the Eclipse Cross, I am not sure why they wanted to resurrect the Pontiac Aztec. Keep the Mirage and keep it cheap, make the styling better and up the wheel size. The Outlander seems fine.I like the idea of some sort of commercial vehicle, something similar in size to the Promaster City but with AWD.