The First Auto Show of the year 2021 was held in Shanghai, China during the period April 21-28. The Auto Show in Shanghai is held every two years: last held in 2019.
Organizing the Show in 2021 amid the ravages of the Pandemic reflects the resilience and optimism of humanity to fight the very difficult odds. It offered a ray of hope for the beleaguered Auto Industry too.
China too got projected as a Nation on the recovery path. All the other major scheduled Auto Shows for 2021, across the world, have been postponed to 2022.
China is the biggest passenger car market in the World since 2009 and has been so for every consecutive year till now. It is also the fastest-growing market.
The market has been growing due to the stimuli provided by the Chinese Government for creating market demand thru tax cuts on lower cc automobiles, subsidies, and trade-ins for the buyers from the agriculture sector too. All kinds of passenger cars find space in the market: premium cars, economical cars, and now even the new e-Vehicle technology.
Shanghai is the most prominent industrial city of China, with a population of 18 million. It boasts of having one of the biggest harbors in the world, the biggest stock market of China as also having the unique distinction of running the Transrapid connection between the city district of Pudong and the International Airport.
The venue for the exhibition was the: National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), Shanghai, China.
The Organisers and supporters of the show were :
China Association of Automobile Manufacturers
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Shanghai Sub-Council wing.
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Automotive Sub-Council
The Co-Organizers were :
Shanghai International Exhibition Co.Ltd.
Messe München GmbH .
The show had been approved by the Shanghai Municipal Government and received special support from the China Machinery Industry Federation and the Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAE China).
The range of products on show ranged from :
Passenger cars, commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, and the special-purpose vehicles
Auto design and new concept product
Automotive parts & components, including:
Engine and mechanical systems
Gearbox, exhaust, axle, steering brakes, suspension, and body systems
Electric and electronic systems
Tyres and wheels
Automotive accessories, including:
Car Audio and video systems
Navigation and telecom systems
Air conditioning systems
Safety and vehicle security systems
Measuring, testing, and control devices & systems
Maintenance and repair, garage, workshop & workstation equipment
Car care products
Paints, lubricants, additives, and other auto supplies
Related manufacturing technology, machinery, equipment, and tools
Related computer systems and software
"Internet Plus" related automotive product and service publications as well as other related services
Automotive financial services
The Theme of the Auto Show was:
The highlights of the Auto Show are
New Energy vehicles had taken center stage this year. Both the domestic Chinese brand and the international brands focusing on these types of vehicles.
The Chinese major SAIC-GM-Wuling (a joint venture between GM, SAIC Motor, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors) debuted its Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV (Priced at just $4400).
The Chinese brands: Nio and XPeng are leading much of the EV innovation. This is backed by the digital giants Baidu and Huawei, which are looking to be at the forefront of digitization innovations in the auto industry.
Huawei, the new domestic leader showcased its tech-savvy offerings including smart cockpits, autonomous driving, pure EV systems, a smart cloud, and battery charging capabilities. Huawei has recently signed new partnership deals with Chinese automakers Changan and GAC.
Bill Russo, founder, and CEO of Automobility Limited and chair of AmCham Shanghai’s Auto Committee Insights, analysis on trends and opportunities were shared by the Auto Leaders: Mr.Bill Russo, founder and CEO of Automobility Limited and chair of AmCham Shanghai’s Auto Committee, Yang Jian, Managing Editor at Automotive News China.
and Gao Tao, manager of China Light Vehicle Production Forecasting at IHS Markysis.
Yang Jian, Managing Editor at Automotive News China.
There were also discussions on the challenges to the auto industry.
Global semiconductor shortage. This has led to many OEMs having to curtail production as also the need to formulate new future strategies to secure chip supply chains. Long lead times for manufacturing chips as also the increased dependence on Taiwanese chip producer TSMC, the largest car chip manufacturer in the world: China and Taiwan are facing frosty political relations at present, are also issues to be addressed.
The NEV market in China is very competitive and crowded. This would test the sales and marketing resilience of the new NEV startups. Tesla and other Electrical Manufacturers are facing challenges of operating in a sector that is, as yet under-regulated. Customer complaints are being lodged, claiming it from the systems. Handling these complaints at the technical and commercial level would be a big challenge and learning.
We share some of the major launches :
Genesis X Concept
The future of Genesis design, that has been spearheaded by the former head of design at Bentley. This is a futuristic GT Possibly full EV..
Audi A6 e-tron Concept
The futuristic full-electric Audi A6: as per Audi itself, 95% of what the production car will look like. The car will be powered by two electric motors producing a total of 469hp.
Zhiji IM Airo Concept
A concept car that has been built from a collaboration between Alibaba, SAIC, and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech, The car is aimed at urban transport and autonomous driving.
Nio’s offered its new flagship full electric sedan, full electric in various trims with different ranges.
The most powerful version will produce power of 643hp and 850nm of torque.
The range varies for 1 full charge would vary from 500km for the standard model to 1000km for the long range model.
A joint venture between NIO and GAC formed in 2019 to create electric vehicles. Doesn’t sound like the Taycan at all.
This offering from Ford would be for the Chinese market only ; and has been built by Changan Automobile, Ford’s local partner Changan Automobile.
It will be sold alongside the Chinese spec Mach-E.
It’s not an EV , powered by a 2.0L I4 turbo engine developing 245hp.
Another Chinese-specific model made by an American car company.
The sedan market in China is booming, especially for sedans with large leg room,
The Lincoln-Zephyr will likely be a full EV when it finally hits the market. The original “Zephyr” was made in the late 1930s and classified as a luxury car.
Lexus's first concept to use an all-new EV platform.
With this launch , Lexus will be launching the future electric vehicles using a series of new technologies.
Direct4 is being marketed through the new LF-Z, an intelligent AWD system that switches between AWD, FWD and RWD appropriately.
The LF-Z also seeks to revolutionize steer-by-wire technology by applying modern physics of driving.
It is amongst one of the many upcoming EV car companies in China, Hengchi has a total of 9 models that include SUVs, MPVs, and sedans.
Audi RS e-tron GT
Audi RS e-tron GT was debuted at the Auto Shanghai 2021. The car is identical to the Porsche Taycan in terms of technical components. The total output is 647hp and it can do 0-100km/h in just 3.3s.
Chery Antee X
Full EV sub-compact SUV from Chery.
Hongqi L concept
This is a very interesting concept car from China’s oldest car manufacturer Hongqi. The car has 3 seats, one at the front and two at the rear. There is a chandelier hanging from the roof and there is no steering wheel – a full autonomous vehicle.
With China leading the way for the global markets on how the auto expo can be done. China has managed to project itself as a Nation on the recovery path. All the other major scheduled Auto Shows for 2021, across the world, were postponed to 2022. China as the global leader in the PV market has shown intent and positivity in terms of recovery and conducting the auto expo, it remains interesting to see, how other Major Auto expos around the world adapt and learn from this start.