BEIJING, April 21, 2014 (AFP) - From fast cars to luxury sedans, leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the China's biggest car show which opens to the public this week.
Their eagerness to attract buyers in the world’s largest car market is on full display at "Auto China 2014" Beijing International Automotive Exhibition which opened to the public on Monday with more than 1,000 vehicles on show. Motor enthusiasts crowded around the displays with their spouses and children in a festive atmosphere to seek inspiration from the new models, while executives representing brands from across the globe also made appearances at the show.
China has become a vital market for foreign brands as business in other regions flags. Last year, car sales in China rose 14 per cent to 22 million vehicles. But it is expected to see slower growth this year as the economy cools, and limits on car sales come into effect in more cities to curb congestion and pollution.
The following are some new and concept cars at the show:
SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
- Mercedes-Benz of Germany’s Daimler presented a Coupe SUV concept, aimed at competing with BMW’s X6, which was the first to combine the utility of an SUV and the attractiveness of a coupe, with great success.
- Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, likewise presented the TT Offroad, a five-door model with traditional Audi features such as a prominent single-frame grille, trapezoidal headlamps and a heavily curved roof line.
- Lexus, the premium brand of Japan’s Toyota, displayed a compact 4x4, the NX, which will be available in two versions, one with a traditional engine and a hybrid-powered one
- France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen showcased the first premium SUV from its DS line. The DS 6WR was inspired by the Wild Rubis, a concept car unveiled last year.
- Citroen offered a small SUV concept, dubbed the C-XR it has a wide front grille. The vehicle is expected to be launched in China at the end of the year.
SEDANS AND OTHER TYPES
- French brand Peugeot presented a concept for a large sedan, the Exalt, featuring a hybrid engine
- America’s Ford, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of its iconic Mustang brand on Saturday, presented its latest incarnation of the model just as China happens to be marking the Year of the Horse.
- Britain’s Rolls-Royce, the leading luxury automaker, unveiled its Pinnacle Travel Phantom, the new edition of its flagship luxury sedan, which boasted intricate marquetry in its interior and can be customised at the buyers’ request.