At the world’s largest auto show, Volkswagen unveiled an electric luxury sedan with a battery range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), while Chinese and international automakers displayed their most recent SUVs, sedans, and muscle cars on Tuesday.
After the Chinese Communist Party spent billions of dollars promoting the technology, Auto Shanghai 2023 reflects the fierce competition in China’s rapidly expanding market for electric vehicles. Last year, China was responsible for two-thirds of all electrics sales worldwide.
Brands including General Engines, BMW and Nissan and Chinese opponents BYD Auto and NIO disclosed many new EVs in the huge Shanghai presentation focus. Brands talked about faster charging, satellite-linked entertainment and navigation, and the possibility of self-driving cars in the future.
Volkswagen’s ID.7, the new lead model for its electric vehicles, was one of 28 models showed by the German automaker, a big part of them zapped.
“We are turbo-charging our electric campaign,” said the CEO of VW’s passenger car brand, Thomas Schäfer, who rode onto the stage aboard an electric minibus.
At a time when American and European demand is low, automakers are looking to China to boost sales. However, this requires them to invest in developing competitive models in a crowded market. To meet government sales quotas for electrics, established global brands are under pressure from ambitious Chinese newcomers. To share the rising costs of development, many are forming partnerships.
In a recorded message displayed on a video screen, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley stated that China is “playing a leading role in the industry’s electric and digital transformation.”
While sales of conventional gasoline-powered vehicles decreased, electric vehicles made up just over 1 in 4 of the 23.6 million SUVs, sedans, and minivans sold in China last year.
The i7 M70L and the XM Label Red, two brand-new models in the all-electric BMW AG lineup, were displayed. The German game extravagance brand’s M760Le was displayed in China interestingly.
GM appeared an electric SUV, the Buick Electra E5, in front of the car expo. Two new bZ zero-emission vehicle models were unveiled by Toyota Motor Co. A self-driving taxi prototype developed with China’s Pony.ai, a leading rival in the rapidly developing autonomous vehicle industry in China, was also on display.
After anti-virus controls that had prevented the majority of travel into and out of China were lifted in December, executives flew in from the United States, Europe, and Japan for the show for the first time since 2019. In a demonstration of its dedication to the Chinese market, VW brought Porsche’s and its entire board of directors with it.
According to Chinese media, the organizers stated that automakers would introduce 100 new models, 70 of which would be electric.
Last year, drivers in the world’s largest auto market purchased 1.5 million gasoline-electric hybrids and 5.4 million pure electric vehicles, or roughly two thirds of the global total of 8 million. That represented more than a quarter of the total 23.6 million automobile sales. It is anticipated that EV sales will rise another 30% this year.
Beijing is slowing down government backing and moving the weight to automakers by expecting them to acquire credits for EV deals.