First world automobile market since 2009, China will continue to drive in the head before the United States. And, if the local economy overheated and pollution of its mega-cities grow for some time its leaders to reduce the allure, its auto sector remains one of the most dynamic. What precipitated the 14th exhibition of the Shanghai Automobile (which opens its doors to the press Tuesday, April 19, before welcoming the public from 23 to 28 April) some 2,000 builders and equipment originating from 20 countries and ensure a show coming already, according to its organizers, as "the largest this year in its category.
In total, some 1,100 vehicles over 230,000 m2 will be exposed to the attention of approximately 700,000 visitors. Among them: 75 new models, including 19 revealed in first world. Models developed by Chinese manufacturers, sometimes very inspired by Western models. But also some good European surprises (Q3, limited Mini Series "inspired by Goodwood" BMW, CitroŽn DS 5...) and American (Chevrolet Malibu) which the scoop was not reserved to China by chance. Discover in our General Motors and the German group Volkswagen, who is there engaged a struggle in leadership fierce in joint ventures with local manufacturers SAIC and FAW, have largely survived the crisis with the appetite for their cars for Chinese, have become their first customers.
In the first quarter, they had them much of their growth, GM having elapsed 685.583 vehicles in the country (i.e. 10 over a year) and the German 548.400 ( 19), worn by the local success of its VW brands ( 18.4, to 429.517 sales) and Audi ( 24.6, to 64.122 units). A success that the constructor of Wolfsburg, well strengthen again, taking advantage of the Shanghai trade fair to present its New Beetle vintage 2012 (unveiled simultaneously in the United States and Europe) and mainly introduce the Chinese public its Spanish trade mark Seat.
As Chinese consumers still basically buy access and midrange models. But another interest for Western groups - they also displayed a pronounced taste for statutory vehicles as the 508 Peugeot China, or even of great luxury. Vehicles, much more remunerative for the manufacturers, that they are also more likely to offer. China is indeed now the country with the largest number of billionaires behind the United States, according to the US magazine Forbes with the 2011 classification number 115, two times more than in 2010.
The margin of progress remains high for foreign manufacturers, according to J.D. Power, is grant currently of "30 to 31 of this market, but in terms of turnover, not weigh yet only 17 ". As more Chinese are also beginning to look closely at "green" vehicles, another area of potential growth currently explored by Westerners, as the demonstrate on the show the rechargeable hybrid BMW series 5 extended database developed by the Bavarian Builder in partnership with brightness and concept Peugeot SCX.
Because the problems of air pollution in Chinese cities and bottling are already similar or even worse than those of some Western cities. To cope, some, such as Shanghai or Beijing also already took measures (prohibition of cars registered outside the capital at peak hours, alternating traffic, increase in rates of plates of registrations...) that they should harden shortly.
These measures combined with the judgment of incentives tax in place, as in many countries during the crisis, led in February a unsurpassed form of market drop for two years. But in March, sales are distributed forward ( 6.5) to complete the first quarter rose by 5 to 4.98 million vehicles, according to the association of professional CAAM. What encourage manufacturers.
By as much as the Chinese Government, which has already promised last year to invest $ 14 billion in cars to alternative energy by 2020 but without yet to detail his plans, could disclose until late July, a plan of development of these vehicles.
Not surprising therefore that "the centre of gravity of the activity moves clearly to China", as most recently recognized Patrick Blain, President of the international organization of motor vehicle manufacturers (OICA). No wonder that auto brands are so many to the Shanghai show.