Creepy smell, exaggerated startups, weakening demand. The present results of Shanghai 2019
Last week, the Shanghai Motor Show completed its work. What do we know about the largest of the world’s automobile exhibitions, which has been held since 1985? Ten years ago, many famous brands began to organize world premieres of their models in Shanghai. The Chinese quickly found their bearings and in 2015 built a huge new exhibition center for their main automobile exhibition. From time to time there are more and more journalists in it, but the number of new products has diminished compared to 2015. Did the salon in Shanghai, barely having time to compete with Frankfurt and Paris for the second place after Geneva, again slide to the level of the exhibition of local importance? We offer you a somewhat atypical review of Shanghai-2019 with an emphasis on the brands and models that emphasize the most characteristic trends not only in the exhibition but also in the Chinese automotive market.
For the first time, the stands of the automobile exhibition in Shanghai were located at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in 2015 – in fact, in the year of the center opening. The exhibition complex, on the one hand, was striking in scope, on the other hand, it pleased a surprisingly compact and logical arrangement of exhibition halls. The area of the pavilions is larger than in Frankfurt, and you don’t have to walk from the first to the last half an hour, jumping from a travelator to a travelator. In plan, the building resembles a clover petal, where each of the four segments is divided into two more. Thus, on two floors there are eight huge halls, which … are now experiencing problems with occupancy.
Yes, that’s such a paradox. Other experts expressly state that it is harder and harder to sell exhibition space in Shanghai. At the same time, car companies themselves are investing less and less in their expositions. Compared with the 2015 exhibition, when the Chinese auto industry appeared at the Shanghai stands in all its glory, armed with 8-speed hydromechanical machines and 7-speed double clutch boxes, the 2017 exhibition noticeably passed, and in 2019 looked frankly poor.
After the 4-year-old breakthrough, the pace of technical progress in the Chinese automotive industry, on the one hand, weakened, on the other, almost completely switched to the subsidized “electric” plane, prompting a scattering of stillborn startups to life. Flashing with cardboard mock-ups with supposedly innovative technical “stuffing”, they remained on the pages of the automotive press, not bringing to the conveyor a single development.
Those of them who, nevertheless, brought the model-another to the market, alas, cannot boast of either quality or originality of development. Their cars look terrible and are sold only on the condition of low prices, which, by the way, is very suitable for electric cars: now the Chinese buyer can compensate up to 40% of the price at the expense of state and local discounts, but it’s interesting that in big cities it’s not at all that pushes people to the purchase of “electric trains”.
The high-voltage battery is still the most expensive element of the electric vehicle along with the cooling system, which makes the Chinese reduce the cost of “electric trains” for everything else: on the materials of the cabin, assembly, and so on. This is typical not only for such puffy start-ups like “stinking Ozone”, but also for quite decent companies like Great Wall, which, on the one hand, promotes the luxury Wey brand with traditional power plants, on the other hand, it is trying to implement the state program “ environmental credits, launching the ORA brand.
We had the opportunity to inspect the iQ model – it is a three-volume subcompact car with high ground clearance. The photos look great, but live, especially in the cabin – terrible. Well, just like some Chery Amulet, once gathered in Taganrog. Not surprisingly, the ORA does not yet plan to bring “in people.” Is this copy from Hozon called U better?
Stated that the compact car Hozon U with a wheelbase of 2,750 mm is the latest development on the HPC platform. Alas, the visitors were not allowed to sit in the cabin, which is understandable, in front of us – just a mock-up sample with a bottom, either sealed with cardboard, or with a hardboard.
Put it on the stand exactly in order to collect pre-orders for the serial model, which will go into production at best in a few months. Actually, this is nothing more than collecting money at the foundation stage. It will turn out to type – the house will be built, it will not work – well, alas, investors will lose funds invested in the production of the “platform” and design.
By the way, the first task of car dealerships in China is to ensure sales of cars. There, you can buy any of the exhibited serial exhibits naturally, and with a substantial discount. If you look closely at the statistics of Chinese sales, you can clearly catch on which of the country’s car dealerships which company worked successfully.