Players flock biggest car market

SHANGHAI, China (China Daily) — Major global carmakers are showcasing their latest products and services at the fifth China International Import Expo in Shanghai, signaling their commitment to the world’s largest vehicle market.

“The world’s top 15 carmakers by value are present at the event. Focusing on low-carbon transformation, many are demonstrating their latest new energy vehicles,” deputy director of the CIIE Bureau, Sun Chenghai, said.

Tesla’s flagship models, the Model S Plaid and the Model X Plaid, are making their China premieres at the expo.

The Model S Plaid can accelerate from 0-100 kilometers per hour in just 2.1 seconds, and the Model X Plaid has a three-electric motor system that can generate a maximum output of 750 kilowatts. Highlights at General Motors’ 850-square-meter stand at the CIIE include the Cadillac Celestiq, Hummer EV SUV and Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

The models represent GM’s innovation in the ultra-luxury, all-electric full-size SUV and supercar segments, said Felix Weller, president and managing director of The Durant Guild, a platform GM has created for its import business.

“We learned at the CIIE in past years that Chinese consumers are looking for more exclusive, more diverse and more premium products, and high-quality service and experiences. This year, we are showing that we can deliver,” Weller said.

The electric Cadillac Celestiq is appearing in China fresh off its global debut in the United States. Built on the Ultium platform, the handcrafted electric sedan is the most technologically advanced Cadillac ever.

The GMC Hummer EV SUV is making its maiden appearance in China at the CIIE. It combines off-road adventure with zero emissions. It can achieve 0-96 km/h acceleration in just 3.5 seconds.

Representing The Durant Guild’s racing DNA, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a new American supercar that is enthralling motoring enthusiasts the world over.

“Over the last few years, the CIIE has provided us the opportunity to listen to the feedback of the Chinese market. In fact, it accelerated our decision to launch The Durant Guild,” GM executive vice-president and president of GM China, Julian Blissett, said.

“This year marks an important step forward for GM with The Durant Guild, as it prepares to begin rolling out a curated portfolio to meet the increasing demand in niche segments,” Blissett added.

Ford is showcasing a lineup of heavyweight models including the electric F-150 Lightning pickup and the muscular Bronco SUV. They are brought here for Chinese customers’ feedback, Ford said.

The F-150 Lightning is the first electric model of the popular F-series pickups. It has a maximum torque of 1,050 Newton meters and can accelerate from 0-96 km/h in 4.5 seconds, which is almost equivalent to the eight-cylinder Mustang GT.

“It is the smartest and most innovative pickup in our history. It is not only electric and smart but as powerful, endurable and reliable as all other F-series products,” the carmaker said.

Ford said it has received more than 200,000 orders for the model across the globe since it hit the market earlier this year.

Audi, Volkswagen’s premium marque, is showcasing the RS e-tron GT and the Q5 e-tron, as it is speeding up its electrification campaign.

Audi China President Juergen Unser said the brand is introducing more high-end electric models into the country, its largest market worldwide.

By the end of this year, Audi will be selling seven new energy models in the country.

“As a trustworthy partner, Audi will scale up its investment and deepen local production and innovation to support China’s carbon-neutral future,” Unser stated.

Hyundai has a 1,200-sq-m booth at the CIIE, the largest among carmakers. The South Korean carmaker is highlighting hydrogen, electrification and imported vehicles, as well as future mobility at the event.

The fuel-cell Nexo SUV is tailored for the Chinese market. It has a maximum output of 120 kW and a top torque of 395 Nm. Its hydrogen tank takes five minutes to fill, which enables the model to run for up to 550 km.

The electric Ioniq 6, which made its global debut in July, is making its China premiere. It is the second model under Hyundai’s Ioniq versions, with a range of 610 km among other things.

The Kia EV6 is another electric model on display at the Hyundai booth. The first model built on the carmaker’s electric platform can drive for 600 kilometers on one charge, and accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.

Hyundai said it is not only an exhibitor but also an investor, and it is turning the exhibits into commodities. “We will introduce more and more new products and technologies into China,” said the carmaker.

It said China is one of its most important markets in the world, and it will scale up its investment in the country. The carmaker came to China in 2002, and since then its total investment has reached $18.5 billion.

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