Event Watch: Shanghai Auto Show (April 23-28)

Shanghai Auto Show To Be Site Of Several World Premieres

The number of world debuts at this year's Shanghai Auto Show underscore the importance of the Chinese market

The number of world debuts at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show underscore the importance of the Chinese market

Despite coinciding with the 2011 New York International Auto Show, which runs from April 22 to May 1, many automakers are planning to unveil new cars at the Shanghai Auto Show. This year’s Shanghai Auto Show will be the largest ever organized in Shanghai, occupying a total of 205,000 square meters (2.2 million square feet). However, Shanghai’s auto bash will be big in more ways than one. While the 2011 New York International Auto Show will be host to 30 some world and North American debuts, Shanghai will see more than 60 world premieres.

Below are some of the premieres and launches expected at the Shanghai Auto Show:

Audi Q3 SUV – A crossover model that will use the same platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan and will be produced in Spain but marketed towards the Chinese consumer. Audi’s competitor to BMW’s X1 SUV will finally be premiered at the Shanghai Auto Show.

Volkswagen’s New Beetle – Volkswagen will be premiering the 2012 Beetle in Shanghai first, before bringing it to the New York International Auto Show. The brand will also be using the Chinese show to introduce its “Seat” brand to the domestic market.

Volkswagen Sharon – The Shanghai Auto Show is looking to become a main platform for Volkswagen, as they plan to show off a new 2.0T imported model of the Sharon.

BMW’s 6-series Coupe, 5-series electric plug-in hybrid, and their new M5 sports car – BMW plans to premiere its 6-series Coupe, as well as its 5-series plug-in hybrid built for the Chinese market. Additionally, the Shanghai Auto Show will be host to the latest M5 sportscar model, which will include 4.4L twin turbo V8 engines.

Citroën’s DS9 – The release of Citroën’s DS9 concept car will bring the Metropolis design project closer to production. The Metropolis design was released last year and will be Citroën’s competition strategy in China against German luxury car brands.

Cadillac’s CTS-V – While the Cadillac CTS-V was first shown at the Guangzhou Auto Show a few months ago, the official China launch will be at the Shanghai Auto Show. The large sedan will be available in Cadillac dealerships across China later this year and is expected to be priced around 500,000 RMB.

Baojun 630 Sedan – Baojun plans to launch their first car, the 630 Sedan and is highly anticipated as the Baojun brand was the first sub-brand announced by a Chinese joint venture company and won’t be limited to just the Chinese market.

Buick compact SUV concept – GM and other American automakers have yet to put SUVs in production in China. Buick, as one of GM China’s biggest brands will be releasing their new compact SUV concept, designed by GM’s Pan Asia design center and to hit production in China in 2015.

Roewe W5 SUV – After undergoing testing in May 2008, there has been speculation of its launch at each Auto show since. The Chinese automotive press seem fairly certain that it will launch at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, along with a new iteration of the Roewe 550 Sedan.

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