See all Shanghai Auto Show articles



Auto Show:  2011 Shanghai Auto Show

2011 Shanghai Auto Show - Preview

April 15, 2011

China is, by today's measure, the largest automotive market in the world. As if to commemorate that status, this year's edition of Auto Shanghai, known formally as the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, will be held in Shanghai's New International Expo Center from April 21 through April 28. And it will – according to those promoting the show – prove that China, as the world's largest automotive market, continues to have "its own unique charm."

Given the overlap between media days in New York and Shanghai, literally hundreds of journalists from throughout the US are faced with a dilemma: Do they fly into a foreign territory where they know no one, deal with cab drivers speaking a foreign language and wander aimlessly in search of news – or do they opt out of New York and fly to Shanghai? At AutoTrader we'll be watching – and attempting to understand – both.

Shanghai certainly won't be lacking for news. The teasing has already begun, while the wraps are fully off any number of global debuts. And if you thought the announcement of Chevy's next Malibu might be in the heart of the Big Apple, think again. Shanghai GM will pull the curtain on its all-new Malibu at Auto Shanghai. Joining them will be Buick's Envision Concept, a stylized take on a compact crossover. China remains the largest market for GM's revived near-luxury division.

The promoters of Auto Shanghai, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and China's Council for the Promotion of International Trade, are hyping both China's domestic industry and the number of foreign exhibitors. Some of the Chinese firms you may recognize from their studies of the North American market include Brilliance, Lifan and Chery. And others you may recognize for their international holdings, such as Geely – the newest owner of Volvo.

Above and beyond the usual auto show suspects, Auto Shanghai will be filled with those luxury companies looking for a piece of China's huge entrepreneurial pie. The Italian performance marques – Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini – are joined by Germany's Porsche and Britain's Rolls-Royce. And in a classic example of cross-pollination, BMW's Mini applies Rolls appointments to its iconic coupe and dubs the result Goodwood.

The compact crossover phenomenon won't, of course, stop with Buick's Envision. Audi will formally announce its new Q3 (and may tell us whether it's slated for the US), and Subaru debuts an XV concept reportedly based on its all-new Impreza. Finally, VW's new Beetle will be simultaneously revealed in both Shanghai and New York. Shanghai's debut is (natch) the Chinese Beetle.

For more information about the show, visit the official Shanghai Auto Show website.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Shanghai Auto Show - Preview - Autotrader