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Posts Tagged ‘shanghai auto show’

GM, Ford Stay on Offense in China

Ford sales down big, but maker on product offensive.

by on Apr.19, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, said the steady stream of new product is a big driver behind the automaker's March sales increase.

General Motors reported its sales climbed 16% to a record level in March, while Ford Motor Co.’s sales dropped 21%.

The sales increase left GM China executives in an upbeat mood as the critical Shanghai Auto Show officially opened this week. Overall GM delivered 345,448 vehicles in March for the company’s year-over-year growth since last August as the Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands all reached new sales highs for March.

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“SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles will help us further tap into the market’s growth potential,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. (more…)

Bigger, Faster, Mini Reveals John Cooper Works Countryman

Shanghai for Mini's new performance crossover.

by on Jan.17, 2017

The JCW version of the new Countryman.

The latest-generation Mini Countryman is the biggest model that the British automaker has ever brought to market. And now, Mini is about to launch the most powerful version of the all-wheel-drive crossover it’s ever produced.

Sharing the turbocharged engine found in other JCW models, the 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman All4 will churn out a hefty 228 horsepower, enough to sprint from 0 to 60 in just 6.2 seconds, or nearly a full second faster than the current Cooper S Countryman All4.

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But Mini has some other tricks up its sleeve, outfitting the new JCW Countryman with a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, 18-inch light alloy wheels and new sports seats and a sportier steering wheel.


Chinese Auto Market Could Soon be Larger than US, Europe Combined

But skeptics warn China's boom could go bust.

by on Apr.22, 2013

The Buick Riviera Concept.

Ford and General Motors are charging forward into the past this week at the Shanghai Auto Show, reviving two once-familiar nameplates in a bid to build market share in what has become the world’s largest automotive market.

The Ford Escort and Buick Riviera are just concept vehicles for now, but both offer hints of what the two U.S. manufacturers may have in store for Chinese consumers.  Indeed, once little more than a backwater event, the Shanghai gathering is this year one of the world’s most significant car shows, with dozens of new vehicles making their global debut there.

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And for good reason – by at least one estimate, the Chinese automotive market could soon be larger than the U.S. and European markets combined. By 2022, forecast senior GM officials, sales in the People’s Republic could top 35 million annually. That’s more than double the peak hit in the American market nearly a decade ago.

No surprise, then, that Tim Lee, the president of GM’s International Operations, told reporters that, “No market is more critical than the China market for us.”


VW Unveils CrossBlueCoupe Concept

Plug-in concept can run 20 miles on battery – or power your home during a blackout.

by on Apr.19, 2013

VW rolls into Shanghai with the CrossBlue Coupe Concept, a plug-in hybrid with 20 miles battery range.

We got an unofficial sneak peek at the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept earlier this week when a handful of renderings leaked out on the Web. Now, the maker is giving us an official preview prior to the weekend unveiling at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.

Like the 3-row CrossBlue crossover concept that was first seen at the Detroit Auto Show last January, the Coupe uses the compact MQB “architecture” that will be the foundation for more than half of all Volkswagen Group vehicles to come in the future, whether Seat, Skoda, Audi — or Volkswagen, which based the new Golf on the MQB.

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The plug-in hybrid prototype also suggests that VW is getting into the coupe/crossover segment that has caught on with so many of its German rivals.

The CrossBlue Concept features a long and broad hood – with short overhangs and a long, sweeping roofline.  The goal was to create a more sporty stance than that of the more traditional CrossBlue CUV unveiled in Detroit.


Pics Leak of New Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept

Show car scheduled for Shanghai unveiling.

by on Apr.17, 2013

Mercedes will reveal the GLA Concept in Shanghai this coming weekend.

It’s getting more and more difficult to keep secrets these days. Just ask Mercedes-Benz. The German maker had hoped to reveal its new GLA Concept on the opening day of the Shanghai Auto Show but images and details have already begun to leak out, as you can see here.

If the name sounds familiar, no surprise. Like the recently launched CLA, the new Mercedes GLA is based on the same basic platform as the maker’s A-Class line.  But it’s intended to create a more rugged appearance than the CLA hatchback – borrowing liberally from the larger and more familiar Mercedes GLK.

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Yes, it’s an alphabet soup as the Teutonic marque continues to fill every conceivable luxury niche. And if you like what you see, start saving.  The concept is expected to reappear in production form at the Frankfurt Motor Show this coming September, with sales set to begin around mid-2014.


Honda and Acura Have Big Plans for Shanghai

Concept C and Concept S, new MPV and two new crossover concepts on tap.

by on Apr.08, 2013

Might Acura be planning a new CUV smaller than its current RDX model for a Shanghai debut?

It wasn’t that many years ago when Chinese auto shows were relatively lame events, manufacturers rolling out production cars and prototypes we’d already seen at other global events, such as Detroit, Geneva or even Tokyo. Not anymore.  This year’s Shanghai Motor Show promises to be a major event with dozens of new offerings from global makers including Honda and its luxury franchise Acura.

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In fact, their stands look likely to be crowded with an assortment of new offerings of both the concept and production type. That includes a pair of show cars of which the maker is saying little which makes it unclear whether they will be more CUV or minivan in character.


(Almost) Official First Shots of BMW X4

Images leak ahead of Shanghai Auto Show debut.

by on Apr.04, 2013

One of a handful of BMW X4 images that have leaked out ahead of the official Shanghai debut.

BMW seems to be averse to leaving open any white space – or alphanumeric combinations – it seems, with all manner of new product filling in the gaps.

And so, with the replacement for the 3-Series Coupe and Convertible being rebadged the new 4-Series, the German maker had to come up with the coupe/crossover X4, as well. Long expected to debut later this month at Auto China 2013 in Shanghai, these images we found leaking out across the web appear to be the real thing – just a little earlier than BMW had apparently planned.

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The downsized version of the familiar X6 maintains the controversial, coupe-like roofline of the larger Sports Activity Vehicle but shares the same basic mechanicals as the smaller BMW X3.  The front and rear also adopt some of the basic design cues of the latest-generation 3-Series sedan, though there’s a fair bit more chrome here, tweaking out the distinctive new bumpers.


Wuling: GM’s secret weapon in fight for China

Targeting the next generation of Chinese motorists.

by on Apr.26, 2011

The new Baojun 630 will target the next wave of new Chinese car buyers.

Far from the bright lights and sophistication of its base in Shanghai, General Motors has developed a secret weapon in the duel for supremacy in the Chinese market.  In 2010, SGMWuling, or Wuling for short, generated roughly 50% of all GM’s sales in China.

Based in LiuZhou, a gritty industrial city some 1,400 kilometers (875 miles) south of Shanghai, Wuling is now the single largest brand sold in all of China – by far dominating the more familiar Buick brand that was GM;s first entry into the Chinese market. Wuling’s small, utilitarian vans dominate one of the largest and most important segments in China’s fast-growing vehicle market and it’s quickly adding capacity to capitalize on its recent success.

In addition, Wuling is launching its own car brand, Baojun, which will fill in price points below Chevrolet and appeal to motorists in China’s second, third and fourth-tier cities where buyers tend to be more concerned about value and affordability than status.

“Wuling is most respected in rural areas,” notes Kevin Wale, president of GM China, adding Baojun is aimed at market where buyers want value. Thus, the prices for the Baojun 630, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show last week, is expected to start at around $8,500. SGMW hasn’t confirmed any prices yet, however no vehicle in the line now costs more than $9,500.

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Wuling already sells one passenger car, the Letchi, which is based on the old Chevrolet Spark, and the plans are to add more models to the Baojun line fairly quickly.  It will compete for sales in inland China with regional brands that play an important role for ambitious local Chinese auto companies such as Geely and Chery.

Matthew Tsien, Wuling vice president and one of a small cadre of GM personnel assigned to LiuZhou, explained that Wuling is a three-way joint venture between GM, its Shanghai-based partner SAIC and a local, state-owned enterprise, LiuZhou Wuling Motor Co. Ltd.


2013 Chevrolet Malibu Gets Shanghai Welcome

Maker plans global roll-out for classic American model.

by on Apr.19, 2011

The 2013 Chevy Malibu noses into Shanghai

The Chevrolet Malibu got a Shanghai send-off, this week, marking a significant shift in strategy for not just that most American of mid-size sedans but for the Chevy brand itself.

The top-selling passenger car for the largest General Motors division, the Malibu will undergo a significant update for 2013, just three years after it was named North American Car of the Year.

The new version of the sedan will borrow some key styling cues from the wildly popular Chevrolet Camaro, including a more sculpted, coke bottle-style shape, while the interior will be larger and significantly more refined, more in line with cabin benchmark Audi.  Meanwhile, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will deliver improved fuel economy, company officials noted.

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But one of the most significant changes has nothing to do with the features or content of the 2013 sedan.  The outgoing Malibu is sold in just 20 countries, mostly in various parts of the Americas, North and South.  Going forward, it will be offered in more than 100 national markets, reflecting the ongoing transformation of Chevrolet into a global, rather than U.S.-defined brand.


Optimism Rules at Shanghai Motor Show

How far is up for the world’s largest auto market?

by on Apr.19, 2011

Ford may be an also-ran in China, but it plans to catch up quickly with a range of new products.

The astonishing growth of the Chinese appetite for new cars and trucks is showing no sign of slowing down, good news for the scores of automakers gathered for this year’s Shanghai Motor Show.

The industry saw sales surge by 32%, last year –after a 2009 gain of 46% — to a global record of 18 million vehicles, leading makers foreign and domestic to announce billions of dollars in investments – and scores of new products – during a media preview that has drawn an estimated 10,000 journalists and top executives from around the globe.

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“I know this is the most exciting auto show I’ve ever been too,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co. executive in charge of the company’s global marketing effort.

Farley compared the energy unleashed by the show’s opening day to the excitement created by General Motors’ once popular Autoramas, a highlight of the U.S. car boom of the 1950s.