Final report

The car of the future becomes a reality at Auto Shanghai

May 8, 2019

Munich/Shanghai, May 8, 2019 – The changes that the automotive industry is currently experiencing were made clear at Auto Shanghai 2019. Alongside electromobility, the focus of the largest motor show in the world, which ran from April 18-25, 2019, was on connected and autonomous driving. More than 1,000 exhibitors from 20 different countries and regions were in attendance across around 360,000 square meters of floor space. A number of new Chinese brands made their trade fair debut alongside all the well-established manufacturers and suppliers. During the course of the eight days, almost one million visitors learned about what’s new in the world of cars and about forward-thinking automotive solutions. The suppliers in particular lived up the trade fair’s motto of “Create a better life” by showing what the future of cars looks like with innovative and user-friendly ideas.

A total of 1,500 vehicles were on display, including 129 world premieres and 218 new energy vehicles. What two years ago was still being presented as a concept car was now there on the trade fair stands of a number of manufacturers, ready to be driven away. China offers attractive conditions in this respect. The country is a pioneer in the field of electromobility and a major driving force behind the development of connected and autonomous driving.

“The automotive industry is in a state of flux, and this was very clear at this year’s Auto Shanghai”, says Peter Bergleiter, Managing Director of IMAG, who has been the European co-organizer of the trade fair since 2003. “A lot of Chinese newcomers are putting all their efforts into electric cars. The established car manufacturers and suppliers are also adapting their portfolio to e-mobility and autonomous driving. Even sports cars now come with alternative drive systems and hybrid formats.”

European suppliers focus on China

Three of the thirteen halls at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Shanghai were reserved solely for suppliers. As the largest car market in the world, China offers a lot of potential especially for European manufacturers. This is why all big-name European manufacturers made the trip to China’s economic capital to showcase their product innovations, which mainly focused on electromobility and digitization. Since cars are increasingly becoming more digitized, Internet and communications companies also had an increased presence at the trade fair.

“We expected a lot of our first appearance at Auto Shanghai beforehand. Honestly, it even exceeded our expectations”, said Benedikt Schultheiß, Vice President Business Unit at WITOL, a German manufacturer of intelligent fastening systems. “Particularly on the trade visitor days we were able to have a lot of interesting conversations and make new contacts. The interest that trade visitors showed in our stand confirms the potential that exists in the Chinese market for our intelligent fastening systems. Even now we’re already thinking about taking part again – see you in Shanghai!”

Growth market China

The Chinese automotive market has already more than doubled in this decade, from 11.3 million cars in 2010 to 23.3 million cars in 2018. The share of electric cars in this market is currently around 4.5 percent. Even though there has been a slight decline in sales in the past year, experts predict that the Chinese car market will continue its growth in the medium term and will continue to develop its potential.

Related images