Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Beijing Motor Show to Push Through Despite Ongoing Pandemic


Delayed from late April, the Beijing Auto Show (Auto China) is set to begin on September 26, 2020. This makes it the sole survivor (so far) of all the major international auto exhibitions. Whether anyone attends is another matter.

The pandemic has remained largely contained inside China since mid-March, and no new domestic infections had been reported for 18 consecutive days as of September 2.

But there is no way for the Beijing show to escape its impact.

Because of the pandemic and travel restrictions China has imposed, most international automakers have chosen not to send executives to the show.

Among the companies to pass on attending are China's two largest players, Volkswagen Group and General Motors. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Ford Motor Co., and PSA Group also do not plan to attend.

Missing, too, will be Germany's three big luxury brands—Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz—even though China is by far the largest market for each of them.

Only a few global automakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp., said last week that they are still finalizing plans and remain undecided.

As September started, only one international brand intended to arrange for its senior executives to fly to China for the show: Polestar, the electrified performance-vehicle brand jointly owned by Volvo Cars and its parent company, Geely. Polestar’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath will participate in person.

Volvo though will not send anyone from outside China to the show.

One reason companies say they are choosing not to travel into Beijing is China's strict quarantine measures which require a two-week quarantine for people coming from overseas.

Aside from the quarantine rule, there also are increased difficulties in obtaining visa approval to enter China, and a more limited number of available international flights since the pandemic.

Beyond the travel challenges, automakers have yet to disclose what products they will display at the show. But initial information indicates that, because of increased efforts to cut costs around the industry and greater difficulty in shipping vehicles into China because of the pandemic, there will be fewer global model premieres than at previous auto shows in Beijing and Shanghai. Those shows have emerged as critical showcases for new models in recent years.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove these comments.