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Shanghai auto exhibition kicks off on Monday

Hu Yumo
The 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition opened to the media on Monday and runs until April 28, showcasing Shanghai's strength in technology and innovation.
Hu Yumo

The 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition opened to the media on Monday and runs until April 28, showcasing Shanghai's strength in technology and innovation.

"Embracing Change" is the theme of this year's exhibition with a focus on technology transformation in traditional car manufacturers, new-energy vehicle startups and newcomers such as Internet and technology companies.

The exhibition takes place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, and covers a total area of 360,000 square meters. Altogether 138 press conferences will be held , and around 1,000 exhibitors will take part.

Industry insiders say the auto show will serve as a significant shot in the arm to auto sales in China, promote development, enhance confidence in the global automotive industry and accelerate the domestic economic circulation strategy as well as economic stability abroad.

The country’s auto sales reached almost 6.5 million units in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of more than 75 percent year on year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

This year's exhibition will provide clear direction on the outlook for transformation in the global industry. China has entered a new industrial era, and Shanghai is well positioned to benefit.

Transformation for traditional automakers

Traditional car manufacturers realize new-energy vehicles are the key for future growth, and are accelerating their transition to electric vehicles in the Chinese market. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are rolling out their latest electric vehicle models to appeal to Chinese consumers.

New-energy vehicle startups such as NIO and Xpeng are at the forefront of the new eco-friendly trend, targeting different consumer groups with both high-end and lower-priced electric vehicles. With continuous breakthroughs in new-energy vehicle technology, consumers are expected to have a variety of choices in the coming years.

Changes brought about by Internet and tech companies

Internet and tech companies are taking part in the exhibition to showcase products that can be integrated into electric vehicles, including 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and big data.

Chinese tech giant Huawei is stepping up efforts to partner with Chinese auto manufacturers on intelligent electric vehicles. Chinese automaker GAC plans to introduce a model with autonomous driving functions developed with Huawei in the next few years. Shenzhen-based drone manufacturer DJI unveiled DJI Automotive, a division focusing on hardware and software for self-driving vehicles. 

Innovation in the vehicle and auto-parts supply chain

The automotive supply chain is also undergoing tremendous changes. With rising demand for new-energy vehicles, auto suppliers are focusing on batteries, electric control units and intelligent systems.

"The number of local suppliers in the field of electrification at this year's auto show has increased significantly," said Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association. "Traditional mechanical suppliers need to transform themselves into suppliers of electronics, semiconductors, software and other types of new technology."

Many of the suppliers in the new-energy vehicle supply chain are based in China and other parts of Asia, which will bring new opportunities.

Exhibition information

According to the exhibition schedule, today and tomorrow will be press days only open to the media. Industry professionals can attend from April 21 to 23, and from April 24 to 28 the event will be open to the public.

Due to limited parking, visitors are encouraged to use public transportation via Metro Line 2 to East Xujing Station or Line 17 to Zhuguang Road Station.

Visitors will be required to provide a Shanghai health QR code, have their temperatures taken and present a valid personal ID before entering the exhibition hall.

All tickets for the auto show are paperless and can be purchased through the Shanghai Auto Show's official website and WeChat account.

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