There is absolutely nothing like the Shanghai motor show Do not go there thinking it'll be something like an Asian Frankfurt. For a start it is far bigger than that king of European shows, already famous for wearing your shoe-leather.
Four years ago there were seven pavilions at Shanghai and we thought its size was awesome. Two years ago there were 10. This year there were 13 of them, thankfully arranged in two long, logical lines - two legs of an upturned ''V" with one mighty extra structure between them, reserved for premium marques. All of these permanent buildings enclose an inner space capable of embracing half a dozen football fields, though for this event it is almost entirely covered with tents occupied by component suppliers.
Apart, that is, from the part reserved for yet more new buildings. Shanghai's show ground isn't finished yet.
When you have an industry already one-and-a-half times bigger than that of the US (around 15 million cars) and estimated to be three times bigger in another 10 years, you can easily see why exhibition space is needed by the 70-odd competing car and truck manufacturers; only about half of them easily recognisable to you and me.
So far we've only talked buildings and exhibitors. What you also get on preview day is a seething, jostling mass of curious humanity, swirling around the cars: families, toddlers, platoons of inquisitive teenagers (all of who all seem to have negotiated the tortuous entry hurdles more easily than us Westerners).