Frankfurt car show opens as industry watches China
Tuesday 13 September 2011
The automotive world will be out in force for the 64th Frankfurt Motor Show this week but it will have one eye focused on what's happening in the largest car market there is - China - all the while.
It seems something of an anomaly that car makers are gathering in Frankfurt for the biggest event of its kind in Europe, which runs September 15-25, but Chang-an is the only name hailing from China.
The Chongqing-based automaker is showcasing the C201, a small-sized sedan it hopes can help it gain a foothold in the European market.
However, these days it is sales back in mainland China that are the lifeblood of the global car industry, with more than 18 million vehicles being sold there now each year - so while Chinese automakers are keen to expand, they first need to shore up their domestic markets.
The bad news is that sales in China have slowed so far this year, still up 6.4 percent with 9.2 million units moved in the first eight months of the year but well below the heady days of 2009-10 when China's car market grew by around 30 and 40 percent respectively.
The strongest sellers in China continue to be MPVs (multipurpose vehicles) - or mini-van like cars - which are up 21.1 percent, while SUVs (up 12.9 percent) and sedans (8.7 percent) also remained relatively strong, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
And while the likes of local carmakers Geely Automobile and Great Wall are this year pushing their brands hard in China it is the major foreign-made cars that still catch the Chinese consumer's eye.
General Motors - the biggest international presence on the Chinese motoring scene - says it has enjoyed sale growth of 13.4 percent so far this year, with 205,885 units sold. And although they are now under the control of the Shanghai GM group, the Buick and Chevrolet brands have picked up a rise of 21.7 percent in 2011, which equates to 98,674 more cars on the road.
Leading the purely "local" challenge has been the Baojun brand of passenger car - designed specifically for the Chinese market by the SAIC-GM-Wuling collaboration - which has enjoyed a sales rise of 8.2 percent, or in layman's terms, 102,959 cars sold.
Life & Style blogs
How old is your heart? US research finds three out of four people have hearts five years older than their actual age
iPhone 6s Plus photos: leaks show Force Touch display, subtly altered size
Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
Why do we have eyebrows? The social significance of our silent communicators
WhatsApp: How to discover who your best friends are - using a hidden tool within the application
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a qualified childcare p...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Network Support Engineer is r...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...