Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Carmakers promise Chinese drivers a breath of fresh air

Published on Apr 27, 2014 12:24 PM
This picture taken on Dec 5, 2013, shows traffic (left) in downtown Shanghai during a period of severe pollution. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Air that's cleaner inside your car than on the outside - in smog-weary China it's an attractive sales pitch, and the world's biggest automakers are racing to cash in.

To drive the point home, thick smog blanketed the Chinese capital when the Beijing auto show opened to the public in the past week, showcasing more than 1,000 vehicles in the globe's largest car market.

The grey haze is a familiar sight over Chinese cities, where an explosion of traffic in recent years has further worsened the pollution belched out by booming factories and coal-fired power plants.

Carmakers have long boasted of their ability to cut their vehicles' harmful emissions - but increasingly, they are also adding in air purifiers to lure China's army of drivers.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!