With manufacturers cutting costs left, right and centre, it would seem 13 is the lucky number – at least where the Shanghai Motor Show is concerned.
Shanghai will host what has become an increasingly high-profile motor show next week and with China one of the world’s few remaining growth markets car makers are trying their utmost to impress show visitors with no fewer than 13 world debuts.
One of the highlights will be the unveiling of the Panamera grand tourer, Porsche’s fourth model line and its most important product launch in years.
German rival BMW will also take the wraps off two brand new models, including the 760Li sedan, the first car to feature its newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.
While the other premieres are mostly local brands, both organisers and external parties are confident in the show’s success.
“China is the only healthy large car market in the world right now,” said Graeme Maxton, a Europe-based auto analyst. “That means it’s going to get far more attention. Everything else is collapsing. The only place you can grow is China.”
Many Chinese automakers will join their foreign rivals in showcasing such advanced technologies to demonstrate they have the means to compete when environmental regulations are eventually tightened.
Top Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor will display an electric car developed in-house as well as a hybrid version of its Roewe sedan, which is expected to hit showrooms next year.
Privately held Chery Automobile is also due to display vehicles in the hybrid and pure electric car segments, which BYD Auto is keen to dominate.
Perhaps more staggering is the sheer number of prototypes that will be on display from some of the Chinese brands.
Geely will unveil no fewer than 22 new models, mostly under three new upcoming brands: Gleagle, Emgrand and Shanghai Englon.
Chery and Great Wall Motor will also join Geely in unveiling mid- to high-end sedans as local brands attempt to move upmarket.
CarAdvice will keep you posted on all the news from Shanghai next week.