Guangzhou auto show sets records

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The ongoing annual Guangzhou auto show shows its power in the south with record-high1,095 models on display and 56 world premieres.

Despite license plate restrictions in the city, most industry insiders agree Guangzhou remainsthe weather vane for the auto market in the Pearl River Delta and even southern China as awhole.

That is likely the reason for a bigger presence by volume brands and premium plaques alikeat the show, which is expected to attract 600,000 visitors.

Household names Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Hyundai are all showing their latestproducts in addition to the usual high-profile presence by Honda and Toyota, which haveGuangzhou as their base of operations in China.

Premium brands including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Infiniti as well as super-luxury brands Bentley, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Maserati and McLaren also showcase their sleekmodels to attract increasingly affluent Chinese customers.

SUVs remain among the most popular, with choices ranging from the BMW X6 to Great Wall’sHaval H9.

Jaguar Land Rover is displaying its first China-made model, the Range Rover Evoque, thateven as an import was already one of the British automaker’s most popular models in thecountry.

Another sign of its success is the X7 by Chinese automaker Land Wind on display – it looksalmost exactly the same as the Evoque. Media reports say JLR may consider legal actionagainst Land Wind, a joint venture between Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors Co.

In addition to traditional gasoline-powered models, the auto show has a separate halldedicated to new-energy vehicles, a first for China’s large auto shows.

Though the sector faces technical and infrastructure challenges, statistics show sales of new-energy vehicles reached 38,163 units in the first three quarters of 2014, almost three timesthe number in the same period last year.

More than 20 automakers including Tesla are presenting their latest new-energy products.

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