Sunday, November 19, 2006

Breathless at the Beijing Auto Show

Given the state of the air in Beijing (and Hong Kong is even worse these days), it is something of a cruel joke to use the phrase "breathless" in relation to cars in China. The country is set to overtake Japan to become the world's 2nd largest car market and the opening of last week's Beijing Auto Show seems to have generated a lot of excited and, dare I say, breathless commentary.

The China Rises blog includes two very excited posts including one which begins:

The annual auto show in China is one of the major automotive exhibits in the world today, up there with Detroit, Frankfurt and Tokyo.

Tim Johnson, the blog's author follows up with a second post which includes some fun pictures (his, so I'll not repost them here) of Maserati, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Porsche exhibits at the fair.

Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press suggests "With its deafening music, raffle drawings, flying acrobats and dance acts, and Disneyesque costumed donkeys, roosters, penguins and oranges strolling around, plus all the copycat cars and names, the atmosphere is more carnival than world-class business event". He goes, on though, to say "But Auto China 2006 is no more a pretender than its host country, China".

People are paying this event pretty serious attention and a variety of international auto industry B2B media are congregating around it. Crain's Automotive News has been organising a major conference in Beijing and recently launched the latest in the company's series of China e-newsletters (see here for previous posts on what they're up to) in the auto sector.

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