Alternating each year with the Beijing motor show, Auto Shanghai has evolved into the Frankfurt motor show of Asia.
Like that event in Germany’s financial capital, the Shanghai salon, which runs throughout the week, tempers its smattering of flamboyant concepts with a heaping of production-bound machinery. The majority of vehicles on display will directly impact the profits and perception of their makers.
Chinese manufacturers have hired away executives from European and American automakers in recent years to acquire some of the quality control know-how and distinctive styling of world-class brands. And with each iteration, the Shanghai show demonstrates that the domestic market has wizened.
Western automakers, meanwhile, are ecstatic to sell their products in the world’s largest auto market, even as they gird themselves for Chinese companies’ inevitable push into the markets they have long dominated. Taking a look at the highlights from Shanghai– as we do here – that reckoning appears closer than ever.