New Chinese Car Models Revealed On Twittersphere: #BeijingAutoShow

Apr 22 2014, 4:06am CDT | by

It’s been a sharp switch of focus from New York to Beijing for car lovers this week. The start of the Beijing Auto Show 2014 over the Easter weekend saw hordes of the motoring press descend upon the venue on Sunday before the public take over the event that runs through April 29.

Without any particular shiny new highlights expected from this year’s show, there’s still been a slew of announcements and unveilings of new cars from automakers. Elon Musk, disappointingly, didn’t attend the opening ceremony in spite of reports to the contrary in the Chinese media. But expectations still linger for the chance to see Tesla’s Model S soon running on the roads in China. In a bid to arouse even more attention, Hyundai managed to get the Korean pop star Kim Soo-hyun to make a very brief and very late appearance at the show.

Tweets emanating from the festivities have featured the likes of Peugeot, Volkswagen, BMW, Citroen, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, Lexus, Jeep and many others. Mercedes-Benz even arranged to livestream its press conference. And there was, of course, some exclusive news, too. For instance, the comeback of the Ford Escort which will only be available for sale in the Chinese market.

Beset with underwhelming marketing and technology, again, Chinese-branded cars are a bit out of focus this year. Courtesy of a friend attending the show, I’ve managed to obtain a few photos of some Chinese autos that aren’t often seen but certainly worthy of attention.

BYD’s e6 – one of the car models populating the taxi fleets in Shenzhen, the city next to Hong Kong. No one can forget about Warren Buffett’s bet on the Shenzhen-based carmaker BYD, although many still wonder if the Oracle of Omaha has made the right choice. The e6 is a pure electric car selling at the low price range of 300,000 to 400,000 yuan. Will it be a direct rival of Tesla? It’s hard to say for now, but that day would come a lot sooner if BYD could fulfill its promise to mass produce the e6 and sell it to overseas markets.

Some people do tell me that drivers of the e6 in are pretty happy with the car’s performance. But charging stations are not easily found in China. Technology-wise, producing a stable battery for every pure electric car is the key. Many Chinese still harbor reservations about new technology cars and all the troubles and inconvenience they can bring. In other words, there’s still a lack of momentum for the mass market in China to switch from petrol cars to pure electric.

Hongqi H7 – In fact, Hongqi is the brand owned by First Auto Work Group in north-eastern China since the 1950s. First Auto Work Group is the oldest carmaker in China. If you’re a frequent business traveler to Beijing, you may have had a chance to hop on a taxi that’s not from Volkswagen or Peugeot. Instead, you’ll find that you are sitting in a Chinese-branded cab. In the past, most of the taxis in China were made by Volkswagen with its joint-venture partners of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp and First Auto Work. Some taxis in Central China are made by Peugeot and Dongfeng Motor. The Chinese government has tried many times to bolster demand for Chinese-branded cars, although success is still proving to be elusive.

Speaking of Taxis, Geely Automobile Group’s Chairman Li Shufu was the center of attention last year when he bought out the UK’s Manganese Bronze, made famous by its pricey London iconic Black Cab. A few Black Cabs are certainly up and running now in Beijing, but it’s not yet a popular choice. Regardless of whether imported technology from abroad or a domestically produced Chinese brands can grab the lead for now, it’s clear that more competition is on the horizon.

Follow me on Twitter  and On Forbes.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

UEFA rejects Sporting's request for replay of Schalke match
Lisbon, Oct 30 (IANS) Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has rejected Sporting Clube de Portugal's request for a replay of their Champions League match with Germany's Schalke 04 due to alleged refereeing...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
US approves first vaccine against dangerous meningitis strain
Washington, Oct 30 (IANS/EFE) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first vaccine against meningitis B following outbreaks in several college campuses over the past year. The vaccine Trumenba, to...
Read more on Business Balla
 
US condemns attack on refugee camp by Syrian military
Washington, Oct 30 (IANS/EFE) The US has condemned an attack by Syrian armed forces on a camp for displaced people in the northeastern region of Idlib in which 10 people died and dozens were injured. The attack was...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kenyan marathoner Makau ready to prove critics wrong
Nairobi, Oct 30 (IANS) Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau will be keen to silence his critics when he lines up at the Fukuoka Marathon in December. "It has been two years of frustrations. I have been in...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Novel treatments for autism on horizon
Washington, Oct 30 (IANS) Rare mutations in more than 100 genes affect networks in the brain that result in autism, showed two major genetic studies on the syndrome led by scientists at the University of California....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Kenya's Kimetto, Kipsang battle for marathon jackpot
Nairobi, Oct 30 (IANS) Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto will battle for the $500,000 World Marathon Majors (WMM) jackpot in Sunday's New York Marathon. The two boarded the same flight from here, heading for New York...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Market Share of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Strenghtens Apple’s Position in the Europe
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are continuing to dominate the global market, as a new report reveals that the market share of the devices have been increased from the same time frame of the last year.According to Mac...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Market Share of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Strenghtens Apple’s Position in the Europe
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are continuing to dominate the global market, as a new report reveals that the market share of the devices have been increased from the same time frame of the last year.According to Mac...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
'Form CARICOM panel to solve Windies contract dispute'
Bridgetown (Barbados), Oct 30 (IANS/CMC) Caribbean island St. Vincent's Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has advocated the assembling of a three-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) panel to help resolve the ongoing...
Read more on Sport Balla