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Tops and flops Auto China (2018): Editor's highlights

Gerd Stegmaier
Tops and flops from the editorial team for Auto China 2018
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W he himself in the past few years drifted around at a Chinese automobile fair, often collected flattering, exhilarating and sometimes calming impressions. The Chinese have long been known to be inspired by the design of successful volume models, or to put it casually: to copy them.

The Germans often secretly smiled to themselves when they passed through a supposed Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover Discovery or VW Passat crawled and mocked the inferior workmanship. Then there was an unpleasant smell of plastics, the plastic buttons were loose, the gaps were miserable and the fabric covers were poorly processed.

But these times are coming to an end. Chinese automakers are now serious competitors for the previous top dogs. Especially when it comes to electromobility, the Chinese are stepping on the gas - a technology that German automakers have long neglected in the eyes of many critics - promptly, there is often no longer any question of a lead.

Market share of electric cars and Co. is increasing

The market share of NEVs (New Energy Vehicles) in China rose to 2.7 percent in 2017, which corresponds to around 660,000 vehicles. The reason for this was the rigorous requirements of the Chinese government, which ensured that the e-car share increased by more than 50 percent within a year. The new goal is: at least five million electric vehicles by 2020.

Chinese carmakers such as Dongfeng, Geely, Nio, BYD and Co. apparently see these requirements as an opportunity to do well in a world market that has so far been less developed position. Anyone looking for new cars in China can hardly avoid NEVs.

This year's Auto China trade fair in Beijing was also teeming with electric cars: big, small, sporty, agile, pink, silver, simple or dazzling - hardly a model variant was missing. Another trend: In addition to the long-running sedans that are still popular, China is full of SUV fever. Market observers expect SUVs to account for 60 percent of new registrations as early as 2020.

SUV boom in China: represented at every stand

The vehicle types that are so popular in Germany with the comfortable Entry and the higher seating positions were represented at pretty much every booth. With one crucial difference to previous years: TheAutonomy in vehicle design has increased significantly. And the quality impression has also improved on many models.

But of course there were some eye-catchers and curiosities this year too: eye-catching radiator grilles or spoilers. From interesting taillights to polarizing color combinations to innovative drive technologies, Beijing pampered trade fair visitors with all its charms. Also included again of course: a huge selection of future studies from beautiful to weird. And the established car manufacturers also conjured up some model derivatives out of their hats that even knowledgeable connoisseurs will be amazed.

You can find all the tops and flops of Auto Peking in our picture gallery.


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