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Ford’s Mulally, Mercedes’ Zetsche to Highlight 2012 CES

Autos and automakers increasingly powerful force at annual consumer electronics show.

by on Oct.24, 2011

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will return to CES in January - though keynote duties will go to Daimler's Chairman Dieter Zetsche.

While the words, “consumer electronics,” are likely to bring to mind an iPhone or widescreen TV, the auto industry is becoming a more and more powerful force in the field as motorists search for technology that will keep them informed and entertained while driving.

That convergence was underscored, in recent years, by Alan Mulally’s three-peat appearance as the keynote speaker at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, held each January in Las Vegas.  The largest trade show in the country will once again turn to a member of the auto industry as keynoter for 2012, but this time to Daimler AG Chairman and Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche.  Mulally will be back in Sin City, however, as a member of one of the annual event’s opening panels.

The Final Word!

“Convergence is real,” said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, sponsor of CES, which is expected to draw at least 2,000 exhibitors and 150,000 attendees to Las Vegas next January.  “Innovation,” he stressed, is critical to both the automotive and electronics industries because “growth comes only from innovation.”

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Shanghaied: At Least 13 Global Debuts Expected at Chinese Motor Show

Porsche sets stage with world debut of Panamera.

by on Apr.20, 2009

The unveiling of the production version of the long-awaited Porsche Panamera highlights the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show, though at least a dozen other local and foreign products will make their global debut, as well.

The unveiling of the production version of the long-awaited Porsche Panamera highlights the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show, though at least a dozen other local and foreign products will make their global debut, as well.

They say the global recession has finally hit China, but you’d be hard pressed to tell by the frenetic pace of Shanghai, host of this year’s Chinese motor show – and the backdrop for a flood of new vehicles, including the production version of the Porsche Panamera 4-door sports car.

Once little more than a regional outpost for marginal native nameplates.  The Shanghai Motor Show – which alternates every other year with Beijing – has become one of the most important events in the automotive world.  And it could become even more significant in the years to come, considering that as of January, China is on pace to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest automotive market.

The Shanghai and Beijing shows, meanwhile, could soon eclipse the faltering Tokyo Motor Show, which organizers nearly cancelled for 2009 due to weak foreign participation.  With the Japanese market all but closed to imports, manufacturers would rather focus their recession-restricted budgets on markets where they might actually sell their products.  And China certainly qualifies.

In recent years, the Chinese government has steadily rolled back restrictions on the industry, and has taken numerous steps, at both the national and local level, to prop up automotive demand during the recession.  Beijing has, for example, enacted new tax cuts on fuel-efficient vehicles.  It’s also taking steps to boost sales in more poorer, more rural regions of the country.  All told, the various moves helped push demand, in March, to 1.1 million vehicles.  That was a 5 percent increase – and marked the third month in a row that sales exceeded those in the economically-depressed U.S.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comThe Shanghai Motor Show will play a critical role in building demand even further.  Close to 100 different manufacturers will display at the city’s sprawling convention facility, including scores of local marques, such as Roewe and Great Wall.  In recent years, Beijing has quietly been encouraging a shake-out among Chinese local makers, forcing the weaker among them to sell out or close all together.

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