China: Electric vehicles take centre stage at 26th Chengdu Motor Show

Chinese and international carmakers are showcasing an array of new models at the 26th Chengdu Motor Show, which are expected to inject vitality into the competitive vehicle market.

One of the organizers, Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai, said around 1,600 models of 129 marques are on display at the event that runs from Aug 25 to Sept 3 in the capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.

Of them, 26 models are making their global debut and 31 are being unveiled to the public for the first time in the country.

President of Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai, Liu Guoliang said the motor show will help boost vehicle sales in Sichuan province and Southwest China as a whole

MG, a marque owned by SAIC Motor, China’s largest carmaker by sales, is presenting its Cyberster, an electric two-door convertible, that was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England in July.

MG said the model, which accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 3.2 seconds, will hit the market later this year.

BYD, China’s largest new energy vehicle maker, is also showcasing a number of models from its Song L SUV to the Bao 5 off-roader.

The Song L SUV is expected to become a rival of Tesla’s Model Y when launched in the fourth quarter of the year.

The Bao 5 is the first production model of the Fang Cheng Bao brand, which BYD unveiled one week ahead of the Chengdu motor show.

Founder and chairman of BYD, Wang Chuanfu, said the Fang Cheng Bao brand will not only meet drivers’ transport needs but also cater to their desire to display their status and individualism.

Meanwhile, Avatr, a premium Chinese electric vehicle brand, launched a new version of its Avatr 11 SUV on the eve of the motor show.

Featuring Huawei’s latest smart vehicle solutions, the model enables an onboard experience on its displays for drivers and passengers alike, much like the one on mobile phones.

International brands are also showing their latest electric models, as South Korean brand Kia, started pre-sales of its EV5 SUV on Friday at the event.

German premium carmaker BMW, same day
launched five NEVs, stating that it will have up to 11 electric models by the end of this year in China.

Besides sedans and SUVs, electric MPVs are gaining traction as well.

A highlight of the Maxus booth, a brand under SAIC, is the Mifa 7 MPV, available in two variants. The marque said the segment will be popular because of the growing number of bigger families in China.

Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that MPV sales in the country totaled 524,000 units in the first half of the year, up 21.6 percent year-on-year.

Denza and Zeekr, both of which are Chinese marques, are showing their electric MPVs as well.

Swedish carmaker Volvo had on Thursday said it will unveil its first electric MPV, the EM90, in November.

Chengdu is now home to more than 6 million vehicles, making it one of the cities with the largest number of vehicles in the country.

Lin Tao, a Mercedes executive in charge of its business in western China, said the region has become an important engine of its growth in the country.

Mercedes launched three new models on Friday at the motor show, where it is showcasing 27 models.

From January to July, NEV sales totaled 4.53 million units, up 41.7 percent year-on-year, accounting for 29 percent of total vehicle sales in the same period.

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