Green, aspirational and optimistic - trends from Chinese automakers at Auto Shanghai

Although international automakers at this week's Auto Shanghai show had one very transparent aim - capturing the Chinese market - the same couldn't be said for China's automakers, which offered several more thought-provoking ideas for the future.

The proliferation of green vehicles from brands such as Geely, Great Wall and BYD proved that electric motoring isn't just for the west, and Chinese automakers intend to be at the front of the charge of going green.

The technology might not be 100 percent there yet, but healthy subsidies from major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have encouraged many automakers to try their luck in the hope that a successful model could push them into the global lead on electric vehicles.

This week saw the launch of the Shuaike electric vehicle from Dongfeng, with the accompanying promise that it would sell 100,000 of the vehicles by 2015, while China's number six automaker Guangzhou Automobile said it planned to sell 200,000 "new energy vehicles" by 2015.

Geely, which drew a lot of attention with its McCar concept (complete with an electric scooter at the back) also promised it would start production of electric and hybrid vehicles by the end of next year.

Despite this sentiment, thanks to China's rapid urbanization and soaring wealth the country's automakers were also able to display more aspirational models than ever before - the number of SUVs on display gave the show a feel that was reminiscent of pre-recession Detroit.

Among the big launches were the Jinbei S30, the Brilliance BS4 Crossover and the ambitious Haval IF concept from Great Wall.

Of course, it would be easy to dismiss the Chinese automakers displaying their products on their home turf as visionaries catering to their own market - if it weren't for the constant reminders that they are soon likely to be international automakers.

More than ever, Chinese brands are talking about international expansion - Great Wall is set to open a new dealership in the UK this summer and believes it can be in the US by 2015.

Shanghai-based automaker SAIC is developing a dealer network in the UK to sell MG models, according to reports, while BYD is still heralding its US operations, despite several delays for the first electric vehicles it planned for the country.

So while western automakers fight to bring their products to the world's largest auto markets, it seems the Chinese brands are biding their time, developing their niche markets, and waiting for the day when their products will take the spotlight at a western auto show.

Auto Shanghai runs April 21-28 in Shanghai, China.

http://www.autoshanghai.org/en/

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

    Maths Teacher

    £90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

    Maths Teacher

    £22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week