There will be everything from hypercars to eco-minded electric vehicles having covers whipped off them, but the biggest news at the Frankfurt motor show is likely to be triggered by something thousands of miles away in China.

How so? The weekend's news that officialdom is about to declare a target end date for combustion-engined cars later this week has potential to send shockwaves through the industry. Similar announcements by the UK, France and India in recent months have been irrelevances compared with what the world's largest car market is planning.

The suspicion is that China will push hard for electrification - as a country reluctant to spend money with suppliers outside its own frontiers, a shortage of natural oil reserves has never sat well with China's economic planning. Likewise, its mass industrialisation programmes have prompted as many environmental concerns as they have induced economic progress. China has downplayed these concerns over the years, but increased globalisation has brought pressure that it must address, especially in big cities.

And then there is the alluring prospect of leap-frogging the world's established car makers. China has long been focused on the electric car as an opportunity, investing heavily to that end. If it could deliver a credible electric car for a lower price or with more range than is offered by established manufacturers, who's to say that today's accepted order couldn't be disrupted? You need only look to the mobile phone market to see what's possible. It is no coincidence that Chery is dipping a toe into European markets next year - Chinese car makers have always been ambitious to break beyond their borders, and this could be their opportunity.