HONG KONG, May 5 — The pressure of public — and international — perception is something the Chinese car industry has been feeling over the past few years.
As the car market in China has risen to become the world’s largest — with an estimated 18.5 million units moved last year alone — Chinese consumers have constantly been calling for new and exciting designs while those outside the country have kept careful watch on what is emerging from the country’s auto makers.
The good news for China, judging by reactions to Auto China 2012, which closed its doors Wednesday, is that the local industry seems in bullish shape.
The country’s largest motor show attracted an estimated 800,000 visitors over eight days and local cars were very much in the spotlight.
Chery Automobile Co, based in the eastern Anhui province, lifted the curtain on three new models at the fair as part of a massive display featuring 20 cars.
The Cowin 5 sedan (price beginning at 75,800 yuan or 9,150 euros), the Riich G2 hatchback (60,000 yuan/7,230 euros) and the new Eastar sedan (110,000 yuan/€13,250) were the new makes on show, alongside the more established Tiggo, QQ, A3 and G3 models.
Chery also showed off two concept cars, the SUV TX, which the car maker claims has a body design inspired by the “surface tension of water,” and the energy-conscious small car @ant.
The green theme was taken up by China’s BYD brand, too, as it unveiled its electric Denza (no price set), developed with the help of Daimler and featuring luxurious wood and copper detailing.
One of the Chinese car makers with huge global plans was a force at Auto China 2012, too. Geely, based in the eastern Zhejiang province, had its new Emgrand series on display.
The sedans are designed for those taking home middle to high-end incomes, the company says, and were presented next to the brand’s youth-oriented Gleagle compact SUV series The Emgrand EC7 is set for import into Europe by 2013, according to the company, where it will retail for around the same price it does in China — around 80,000-100,000 yuan or 9,645 to 12,000 euros.
“We’re now using the most advanced test lane in the world to examine our product quality, because our target market is not only in China but also in Europe and even the US,” Geely Holding Group deputy general manager Wu Guoda told China Central Television.
Geely also said it would continue to push its influence into already established markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Cuba, Turkey, Syria and Egypt where the Emgrand line was already proving popular. — Afp-relaxnews