Even if a motor show in China is successful, you can always find something that makes you say ‘but.’ This is because it takes time to conclude the largest auto market on earth and how it’s presented to the world.
This ‘but’ is often a copycat car or a vehicle that looks so poorly built that it will fall apart as soon as it leaves the display.
The 2019 Shanghai Motorshow is not that reason. This was the first time local automakers could display their cars alongside Western brands. In some cases, they demonstrated the kinds of designs and innovative concepts that made people talk more than established players.
BYD’s supercar concept was the star of the show, followed by Nio’s new electric saloon and Xpeng’s saloon.
This is not surprising at all. Ten years ago, we laughed at the poor quality of Chinese cars. Two years later, the copycats began. The copycats started appearing soon after. The designs were unique to the 2017 Shanghai show, and the build quality and dynamics needed to catch up. It is true that the first point still holds. But what a difference it has made in a very short time.
Landwind’s trademark infringement case against Land Rover was the last straw in a long-running battle to stop this unwelcome distraction.
Even the usual showgirls that adorn almost every stand needed to be included. This was an innovative show that had real global relevance.
This was the first time that Chinese automakers put dates to their intentions. Wey, China’s first premium brand, will be launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Consistently, an electric car manufacturer will debut in Europe next. Other manufacturers will follow.
Shanghai 2019 will be remembered as the show that China became a global automaker. The challenges are enormous, both in terms of branding and driving dynamics. However, given the progress made by Chinese car manufacturers and the successes Kia, Hyundai, and Dacia enjoyed in recent years, who could bet against their success?