VW and Elektro – the novelties of the Shanghai Auto Show


The progress made by the Chinese is impressive

China becomes world champion in electromobility

Volkswagen doesn’t want to lose touch. Chinese carmakers are more likely to take off with electromobility. They show their products at the auto show in Shanghai. Source: N24 / Ole Kamper


At the auto show in China, Mercedes is showing the revised S-Class, and the VW Group is relying on electric cars. But what is most impressive is the progress made by the domestic auto industry.

D.he sales at record level, the order books full and the hunger for new models is still far from satisfied. China remains a very pleasant market for car managers, especially for the Germans. Because nowhere do they sell better than here, and China is currently in the process of becoming the largest market in the world.

But on a tour of the motor show in Shanghai, concern should slowly mix with the joy of the Europeans. Because the Chinese manufacturers are catching up with great strides. Business in China is no longer a sure-fire success, many executives admit that.

For the moment, however, the foreigners can still hold their own very well. Not least because their trade fair premieres are precisely targeting the three topics that are currently defining the Chinese market: status, electricity and SUVs.

So did Mercedes Probably not by chance the revised edition of the S-Class in Shanghai revealed – more than a third of the units delivered now drive on Chinese roads. A new generation of engines is now on board, which Daimler paid for three billion euros, and the number of wellness functions has also been increased again.

VW and Elektro - the novelties of the Shanghai Auto Show-elektro

Skoda’s Vision E is a concept car that anticipates the brand’s upcoming electric cars

Source: Thomas Geiger

The latter is likely to be more important for the Chinese market than the former, in the traffic jam in Shanghai it is more a question of decelerating than accelerating. And so that the youngsters can continue to enjoy cars with the three-pointed star, Mercedes is showing a study of an upcoming A-Class with notchback anticipates. It should be so far in 2019.

In Shanghai, the VW Group relies primarily on Stromer – after all, China is increasingly becoming the engine of the electric revolution. The Germans want to be there and are therefore showing three new battery-powered cars: Audi is exhibiting a spectacular study, an SUV coupe between the Q7 and A7, with pioneering lighting technology and a high-tech interior. At the beginning of 2019, it should go into series production almost unchanged.

VW shows with the ID Crozz that the new electrical architecture also offers a class below the Audi handsome SUV with angled finish. And also Skoda is now committed to the current. Because with the Vision E the Czechs ring in a late battery offensive. Five purely electric vehicles with the Skoda logo are expected to hit the market by 2025. Plug-in hybrids such as the Superb planned from 2019 will also be added.

Sure – there is still plagiarism

The BMW-The appearance in the huge exhibition halls, on the other hand, seems much less focused: two fun cars, namely the M4 CS and the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works, plus a business sedan for the Chinese market in the form of the BMW 5 Series with a long wheelbase. Citroën shows the C5 Aircross, the first self-developed SUV (which will not come onto the market in Germany until 2018). With around 4.50 meters, it plays in the league of the VW Tiguan.

However, it only becomes really surprising at the stands of the local manufacturers. It starts with the fact that over a dozen domestic brands have been added since the last trade fair in Beijing. In the eight halls they present themselves no less representative than VW or Toyota.

And they show more and more very solid cars that are good to look at. Of course there are still a number of plagiarisms and copies – from the Range Rover Evoque as Landwind X7 to the Peugeot 3008 as Leopard CS9 or the Ford S-Max as Lifan M7 to the G-Class replica or the i8 clone at BAIC . And of course a couple of embarrassing armored vehicles like the General Patton and his escort fleet should not be missing.

VW and Elektro - the novelties of the Shanghai Auto Show-auto

No longer bizarre: the Cherry 5 is a Chinese car. However, the design does not reveal that

Source: Thomas Geiger

But by and large, the Chinese have now found their own design language and have put very handsome cars such as the Haval H6, the MG3 or the Cherry 5 on wheels – often with the help of European experts. And if you don’t look very closely and certainly don’t touch anything, many interiors now look surprisingly loving and high-quality.

SUVs also dominate among Chinese manufacturers. Especially since Beijing gave up the one-child policy and the people longed for large family carriages with three rows of seats. But with more vigor than anywhere else in the world, electromobility is breaking up in China Rail. There is therefore hardly a domestic brand that does not have a battery-powered car on stage, and a large number of companies do not offer anything else.

Some electric models seem rather bizarre, such as the small electric cars from Yudo, the battery bus from Iconiq or the plug-in SUVs from Singulato. But others are so serious that you can often see thought-provoking-looking top European managers at their booth.

Everything can change again quickly

Above all, this applies to the start-up Nio founded by Internet billionaire William Le, which in addition to the development department in Shanghai also operates a studio in Munich. This is also where the first ES8 series model was created, which was unveiled at the trade fair.

The SUV is not nearly as avant-garde as the Eve study presented a few weeks ago and doesn’t have to scare the designers at Audi or VW either. But it is a series model that should come on the market as early as 2018, if it goes according to the statements of those responsible.

However, as dynamic the market is and as much has happened in China in recent years, so much can change there again in the future. “A couple of show cars can be assembled quickly and a large stand is easily filled,” says an analyst from the West. "But I don’t want to bet on which of the new brands will be at the next trade fair."

VW and Elektro - the novelties of the Shanghai Auto Show-elektro

Yes, there is still something like that. The Warrior, for that special taste

Source: Thomas Geiger

It is quite possible that you won’t hear from Way, Leopardo, or Qiuantu again. But there are already half a dozen other brands in the row behind them that are just preparing for their debut. One of them is called WM-Motors and is conveniently headquartered directly on the exhibition grounds.

If you visit the start-up, you won’t see a production car between astonishingly large offices, but you will stumble across the name. Because when written out, WM stands for "World Champion". The Chinese are no longer lacking in self-confidence.

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

12 thoughts on “VW and Elektro – the novelties of the Shanghai Auto Show”

  1. I haven’t put up with this mess of German car manufacturers for a long time. For a minimal quality advantage, which you often have to pay for with expensive and short-term maintenance, they pull the fur over your ears. And engine or transmission damage to German high-priced cars, because of the sophisticated diesels with mileages below 200,000 km, are unfortunately not uncommon? I have to go wrong so that I can make the Piech / Porsche family or the Quandt family (BMW) even richer? What are they doing for me? Why should I finance the high hourly wages of the band workers. And my neighbor has to clean for 9 EUR.

  2. I can remember very well that in Germany almost everyone made fun of how bad Chinese cars were. Kind of like Trump’s syndrome to the Chinese. As the saying goes about who laughs at the end. laughs best.

  3. The price / performance ratio is crucial for a comparable car end.
    How much car (means of transport) do I get for how much money!
    This is where the German carmakers come off particularly badly.
    The quality is practically the same, because all electronics are manufactured in Asia, it makes no difference. Whoever wants to pay for design and brand names should pay for it.
    An example, I have been driving a Citroen C5 for 11 years, without Defket, with at least 272,000 km without repairs and I had paid 28,000 EUR (full equipment) including super suspension at air suspension level. In addition, an incredible amount of space. For a comparable vehicle from a manufacturer in Germany, I would have to put twice as much if that’s enough.
    By the way, the car before was also a Citroen, which provided excellent service for 13 years and had 345,000 km, even without repairs.
    I can also imagine buying a Chinese car, but not a German one.

  4. The German and European market is prestigious but not as important in terms of the number of items as we might like it to be.

    Since it is admittedly extremely difficult to score points here with new brands, the Chinese would prefer to forego it, but at the latest when electromobility gets going, they will stand by their feet and then stir up the market.

    E.g. Almost the entire development department of the BMW I models was poached and now works in China. An enormous loss for German electromobility and especially for BMW, which were really good at it.

  5. the Japanese were also ridiculed by European manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s, because it was said that they would need decades to be able to produce in comparable quality. As far as I know, Toyota became the world’s largest car maker back in the 90s (correct me if I’m wrong).

    It is probably similar with the Chinese. These were also ridiculed here until recently…
    If the safety of the vehicles gets even better now, there will soon be more Chinese models on the road.

  6. Yes, but the Japan comparison has been around for 20 years. Japanese cars were ridiculed in the 70s / 80s but they existed..
    ..Which Chinese brands can you smile about on German streets??

  7. The comment from "cybertobi" best shows how arrogant the German auto industry still is..
    Today’s electric batteries are developed and manufactured in China. The Europeans may still be one step ahead. But everyone who looks at the development. Can see just how quickly the Koreans are catching up. The KIA or a hyundai are already better than a normal Golf … However, it is also because the Chinese buy up many good companies and then appropriate their technology. So everyone should be warned. Last but not least, China comes as well as in the smartphone sector! Huawei is the best example.

  8. You can’t compare Korea to China. They have various competitive products and their own innovations.

    Huawei is an iPhone clone at best.

    ..and for years I have heard how great China is developing its own products. Just tell me one innovation from the last 20 years.

  9. Let’s put it this way, ten horses wouldn’t make me buy a Chinese car. I wouldn’t even take a French or Italian vehicle because I don’t like the quality and the susceptibility to defects. According to my previous experience at international auto shows, things look much worse with Chinese manufacturers, and the quality of the materials, workmanship, design and driving characteristics are by no means up to date. Most Chinese cars that are not built in cooperation with Western manufacturers are extremely careless and questionably cobbled together products made up of little rags, which, as the article also suggests, often disappear from the automotive market after a short time. Anyone who buys something like this pays compensation for pain and suffering and must assume that spare parts supply and service will no longer be available in the future. It can now be assumed that the Chinese will improve over time with European help from bought-in engineers, just like the Koreans, but as the example of electronics shows, they will still never quite catch up.

  10. Quite arrogant and not just proverbial arrogance comes before the fall.

    So hopefully your opinion is not represented that often on the management level of the German automobile manufacturers.

    In the area of ​​electromobility in particular, the Chinese auto industry is more ahead of the German. It may be that the interiors of German vehicles are of even higher quality.
    But buyers who attach greater importance to it are in the minority. The large mass market and only that keeps large corporations alive has different priorities.


Leave a Comment