China trip – 18. Shanghai motor show 2017

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What makes you think is the best place to showcase cars?   normally car shows are in Geneva, Milan, Paris or even Monaco?  These are almost certainly dwarfed by this event.   The Shanghai automotive show is THE biggest car show in the world.

You will see European, Jap & Korean and American brands, but also Chinese makers that are unfamiliar to the rest of the world.   Every brand I could of think of is represented here.   Actually, the most popular brand of car in China I noticed was VW.

Imagine, a large sports stadium, multiply that by 6, there are so many vehicles to see, it was actually closed by the time I got round to see everything.

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Qoros is little known in the west, they are Chinese car maker which worked with Israeli hi-tech partners to do some of the R&D.

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The Chinese saved the MG brand from Rover’s demise in 2006, they are still going strong in Asia, but I’m sure how well they convinced British and Europeans to buy MG again.

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World famous brands like Ford and Toyota will have family cars and sports cars alike, as well as a small museum with some vintage models as well.

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Marketing cars in China, is from before when car shows in the UK were nervous of political correctness, as armies of beautiful girls in identical outfits are paraded around and supply visitors with marketing literature.   I took home a Chinese language Jaguar F type brochure.

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Not just conventional, exotic cars and SUVs, but commercials, trucks, buses and military vehicles too.    Above: makers of car components are there to sell to makers also.

Much of the western motor manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes, build their cars in China to sell to the Asian market.    This event showed a staggering scale of the demand for nice cars amongst middle to high earning Chinese families.

17. Chinese street food breakfast

19. Shanghai’s big open food market

Chinese made MG cars for sale in Israel?

Back in 2005 I worked for a vehicle leasing company, the same year the British car manufacturer MG / Rover went bankrupt, and a famous name associated with motor manufacturing in the West Midlands disappeared.

Before I went off to a bible study group, I sat in a coffee shop and there were no English newspapers there, so I flipped through a Hebrew paper there and this ad caught my eye.  There had been rumours of a rebirth of this brand, albeit with the cars made in China to start with the intention of kick starting the factory in Longbridge, Birmingham after that.   This seems enormously challenging given that the car industry has suffered the most during the recession.

This car built by SAIC Motors, China and this appears to be an entirely new model.  It would seem enourmously difficult to convince the public to buy new cars when a recession is on, and also how do you convince the previous dealerships to stock these model cars again?  The other problem is people don’t always associate Chinese manufacturing with quality, it may be hard to shake off this stigma.

Cars are way more expensive in Israel than they are in the UK or Europe.   I think a basic model 1.4 Peugeot 207 costs about £8000, where as in Israel I saw this car listed at the equivalent of £15,000.

Most of the cars I see here are very bland Mazda, Toyota or Hyundai models.  I rarely see any MG or Rover cars from before 2005 here, so this is most unusual seeing this ad here.  I hope MG has great success.  Check out