The doors to the Beijing motor show open officially on Monday morning. Read our show preview
20 April 2012

The past three years have been considered easy ones for new car sales for Chinese manufacturers. But 2012 is a different animal all together. First quarter sales stood at 4.79 million units, down 3.4 per cent on the previous year. Chinese car manufacturers now have a 30 per cent market share.

With the easy sales gone, and market share eroding, Chinese manufacturers have to look at boosting their marketing and technology, the big focus for the Chinese this year seems to be technology, specifically small displacement, high output engines.

Green was the big focus of previous motor shows, but the industry seems to have realised that consumers are not in a great rush to buy hybrids or pure electric vehicles just yet, so the short term focus is on fuel sipping engine tech. Turbo charging and direct injection seem to be the hot buzzwords. BYD, SAIC and Great Wall will all air their turbo line ups.

Business orientated vehicles, especially saloons, which once ruled the Chinese sales charts are giving away market share to more lifestyle-orientated vehicles. SUVs and MPVs have therefore become the driving force behind the Chinese market. As salaries continue to improve in China, so do people’s habits, people are thinking ahead of making money and starting to enjoy life. SUVs and MPVs have filled in the perceived gaps in the Chinese consumers life.

Chinese motor shows of past have been great gambits of whose been copying who. It was always fun to see which famous car model had inspired whom and how much less they were planning to sell it for.

By 2009 Chinese auto manufacturers started to enter into a period of maturity. Cloning was noticeably down at the 2009 Shanghai show and by 2010 in Beijing it was virtually non-existent aside from a few smaller manufacturers that were still keen on appropriating existing designs for their own use.

This year’s Beijing motor show is going to be the biggest, and most important ever. Such is the demand from exhibitors, both domestic and foreign, and the amount of new products they want to show, the biggest challenge will be fitting them all in the show halls.

Ash Sutcliffe; Editor, China Car Times

Enjoy the week's top pictures in our free Car Pics iPad app - great high-res photography (1024x768 pixels) exclusive to the iPad

Download the Car Pics app for your iPad now


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out