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Electric vehicles in spotlight at 26th Chengdu Motor Show

Updated: Aug 28, 2023 By LI FUSHENG China Daily Print
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Around 1,600 models of 129 marques are on display at the 2023 Chengdu motor show, which runs from Aug 25 to Sept 3 in Southwest China's Sichuan province. LI FUSHENG/CHINA DAILY

Event's cutting-edge domestic, international NEV offerings highlight huge public demand

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

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, according to Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai, one of the organizers.

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

Electric models are taking center stage at the event.

MG, a marque owned by SAIC Motor, China's largest carmaker by sales, is presenting its Cyberster, an electric two-door convertible. It 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 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 it is 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.

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

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. South Korean brand Kia started pre-sales of its EV5 SUV on Friday at the event.

On the same day, German premium carmaker BMW launched five NEVs. It said 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.

Volkswagen showcases its models at the 2023 Chengdu motor show on Aug 25. LI FUSHENG/CHINA DAILY

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

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

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

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.

Experts and analysts are optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market in the second half.

Paul Gong, an auto analyst at UBS, said sales in July, despite their dip year-on-year, were the second-highest in the month over the past decade, suggesting "strong momentum".

Chen Shihua, deputy secretary-general of the CAAM, said total deliveries this year are expected to grow further compared with 2022.

Statistics from the CAAM show that 15.62 million vehicles were sold in the first seven months, up 7.9 percent from the same period last year.

He said demand for NEVs, boosted by favorable policies, will continue its high-speed growth.

Total NEV sales are expected to reach 9 million units this year, up from 6.89 million in 2022, he said.

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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