Serving the World's Largest Emerging Automobile Market
Home > Annual Roundup > Auto China 2008 Preview (Final-2470)

Auto China 2008 Preview (Final-2470)

Auto China 2008, or the 10th Beijing International Motor Show, will be held from April 20-28, 2008 at the New China International Exhibition Center (NCIEC) in Beijing.
Auto China will be divided into two sections, OEM and supplier. The OEM exhibition will be held from April 20-28 and the supplier section will be open to the public from April 20-26. For the first time in the history of Auto China, the first two days, April 20 and 21 will be entirely dedicated to the media.
Auto China has been China’s largest bi-annual automotive trade event held each even year since 1990, in alternation with Auto Shanghai held every odd year. At the 2006 event, Auto China featured 572 vehicles, 1,600 exhibitors and 120,000 square meters of display space. A record number of 6,376 reporters from around the world and 658,000 visitors attended the last event.
The following are some of the exhibiting companies and their vehicles to be displayed at this year’s auto show in April.
Benz C-class
Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler Co., Ltd. (BBDC) will exhibit its Chinese-made Benz C-class model which was launched on March 15. The vehicle has become Benz’s second locally-produced model after the E-class. Currently, the Benz C-class is available for three variants, C 200K Elegance, C 200K Avantgarde and C 280 Avantgarde, with prices of ¥378,000 ($53,200), ¥388,000 and ¥478,000.
The Sebring is Chrysler’s second locally manufactured model, which was also launched in March and will be put on display in the auto show in April. It has four variants with 2.0L, 2.4L and 2.7L engines, pricing at ¥182,000-¥227,000.
Elantra Yuedong
The new Elantra HDC will be renamed as Elantra Yuedong when it is on the market, available in 1.6L and 1.8L variants. The 1.6L variant is equipped with CVVT engine, providing a maximum power of 112 hp at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 145 Nm at 4,500 rpm. While the 1.8L engine provides a maximum power of 130 hp at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 161 Nm at 4,500 rpm. It will officially hit the market in April after Auto China 2008.
BMW will showcase its complete lineups, including 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series, at Auto China 2008. Two variants of BMW’s entry level 1 Series, BMW 120i and 130i, are expected to hit the market at the show with a possible price of ¥250,000. To cater to the requirement of energy conservation and emission reduction in China, BMW will also display its hydrogen-powered BMW H7 and BMW X6 hybrid concepts.
Brilliance-Jinbei will display eight models: Granse luxury MPV, new generation Jinbei Haise (HIS), Zhonghua coupe, Splendor FRV home and sports editions, Splendor wagon, Grandeur luxury edition and Splendor luxury version.
Splendor wagon
The Splendor wagon will make its world premiere at Auto China 2008. Equipped with independently developed BL1.8T engine and with dimensions of 4,648×1,800×1,450 mm, the Splendor wagon features foldable back-row seats and a 1,700-liter back luggage trunk, three to four times as spacious as the Splendor sedan.
Splendor FRV
The Splendor FRV hatchback, codenamed A1, was first displayed at Auto Shanghai last April. And this April the company will bring its latest home and sports editions to Auto China 2008. Equipped with Brilliance’s own BL1.8T 6MT powertrain, the Splendor FRV sports highlights sporty features of tail wing and spoiler and can satisfy Euro IV emission standards. Both sports and home editions will hit the market this summer, with a possible price range of ¥60,000-¥70,000.
The CV8, first released during Auto Shanghai 2007, is the first mid-to-high-level passenger vehicle from Chang’an. The new product will be powered by DOHC 2.0L engine and come in the hatchback and sedan versions. The dimensions are 4,505×1,725×1,450 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,630 mm.
New Fiesta
The new Fiesta is developed based on the concept vehicle of the Verve, which was first released in Frankfurt in 2007. The European version, to be powered by the Duratec 1.6L Ti-VCT gasoline engine, will be put into quantity production this autumn in Cologne, Germany. The Verve concept vehicle was first unveiled during Auto Guangzhou in 2007.
A new version of the QQ, the QQ5 will make its debut at the show. It is a cute model with cartoon-like features. The model will be equipped with airbags, increasing the mini car’s safety standards. At the same time, the QQ3 and QQ6 will also have their updated versions this year. Chery’s Tiggo 5, the A3 and the A2 will also make their first appearance at the show.
New Elysee
The new Elysee will make its global debut at Auto China2008. The new model is expected to be priced at the ¥80,000-¥110,000 range.
Peugeot 207CC
The folding metal roof convertible will be introduced in China in April 2008 with a price starting from ¥220,000. The model has three engine options.
Citroën C4
In 2008, Dongfeng-Peugeot-Citroën will commence production of the four-door C4, which shares the same platform with the new Peugeot 307. The model will officially enter production in July, and is expected to carry a price tag of ¥110,000-¥160,000.
The B131 sedan
FAW Car Co., Ltd. is reportedly to debut a new passenger vehicle model with the codename of B131 at Auto China 2008 in April.
As revealed by sources, the B131 is built on the platform of the Besturn, an independently developed mid-luxury sedan by FAW. Blueprinted by Italdesign Giugiaro which originally designed the Besturn, the B131 model looks very much like a smaller Besturn, but is in sporty style.
Developed as a B-class car, the B131 will have a wheelbase of around 2,650 mm, about 25 mm shorter than that of the Besturn. The new model will be equipped possibly with BWH1.6L engine, which is used in the Bora by FAW-VW, or a locally produced Mazda 2.0L engine. As planned, the B131 will be launched in the market in the second half of the year, and its price will be set at around ¥120,000.
Positioned as a mid-level model, the B131 will confront fierce competition in this market segment which is crowded with German, Japanese, American and Korean vehicles, as well as Chinese independent-branded vehicles.
Hongqi SUV concept
A new Hongqi series vehicle, a SUV concept model, the first of this kind in the HQ lineup, will be unveiled at Auto China 2008 in April, according to sources from FAW Car. This concept SUV is completely designed and developed by FAW. Starting from the HQ3, the company will introduce a series of mid-to-high-level vehicles, including B- and D-class models and SUVs.
New Mazda 6
Mazda’s flagship model, the new Mazda 6, which has been launched in the overseas market, will be shown at Auto China 2008 in April, according to sources from FAW-Mazda marketing department.
Like the older generation, the new Mazda 6 has three body styles: sedan, hatchback and wagon. It is longer in size than the older model, but still embodies Mazda’s zooming sporty look.
Equipped with front independent double wishbone suspension and rear independent E-Type multi-link suspension with EPAS system, the new Mazda 6 can operate more smoothly.
New and improved features in the interiors include readjusted tilt steering wheel, separate HVAC air conditioners, in-dash 6-disc CD changer and multi-function information screen, and steering wheel-mounted audio, temperature and gear shift controls.
In safety performance, in addition to the standard options of ABS, EBD, BAS and dual front airbags, the new Mazda 6 2.0L and 2.5L variants also have dual front side-impact airbags and front and rear side air curtains.
The new generation model will be available in the Chinese market at the end of this year. With a price range between ¥200,000 and ¥250,000, it is positioned to compete with the Accord from Guangzhou-Honda and the Camry from Guangzhou-Toyota.
Tianjin-FAW-Xiali will showcase the new generation of the Xiali in both sedan and hatchback versions. Besides the new Xiali models, the company will also display a new Vela and the remodeled versions of the Weizhi sedan and hatchback.
New Bora
The new Bora, codenamed Model X, will be unveiled at Auto China 2008 by FAW-VW. The new A-class model is based on the Bora platform (PQ34), with an extended body slightly longer than the Jetta. It will be equipped with 1.6L, 2.0L and 1.8T gasoline engines and a MQ200 manual transmission or AQ250 automotive six-speed transmission. Its estimated price will be ¥100,000-¥110,000.
King Kong hatchback
Geely Automobile will display over 20 models at this year’s show according to media reports. Its CVVT engine and four-speed transmission will also be showcased. Among the new models to be displayed, there will be the King Kong hatchback. The model uses Geely’s MR479Q 1.3L and MR479QA 1.5L engines, and has been put under volume production.
China Dragon
The model, which first made its appearance in IAA held in Frankfurt in 2005, is the first sports car from the automaker. The model will also use Geely’s independently developed engines of 1.5L, 1.6L and 1.8L displacements. The 1.5L variant will use Geely’s four-speed transmission.
LC-1 (Xiongmao)
The design of the model LC-1 resembles the Chinese panda, especially its eyes, body size and colors. The model will be equipped with Geely’s CVVT engine, and is expected to hit the market in August. As reported by the media, the model will have four-door and two-door options.
Great Wall
Great Wall Motor will display 16 models at this year’s auto show, according to company president Wang Fengying. Its three engine products and one automatic transmission will also be exhibited. Three new car models, which are all energy-saving products, will make their first appearance at the show. Media reports said a 1.5L model codenamed CH051 will be showcased. It is a cross model between SUV and MPV. Its small car GWPeri will be displayed at the show. The 1.3L model satisfies Euro IV emission standards.
New Fit
Guangzhou-Honda will debut its new generation of the Fit at Auto China 2008. The new model is as spacious as the old one, but has a more fashionable and sporty look. Some improvements have been made to the powertrain system, which makes the new model more competitive in the market. Currently, the old Fit sells at around 5,000 units per month.
JV brand vehicle
Guangzhou-Honda will reveal the logo of its JV independent brand and its brand strategy. A concept vehicle under the JV brand will also make its debut at Auto China 2008.
Guangzhou-Toyota will launch its Yaris at Auto Beijing 2008 on April 20, targeting monthly sales of 6,000 units.
A107, A108
Jianghuai Auto (JAC) will unveil two newly developed A-class models, A107 and A108, at Auto China 2008. The new models are powered by 1.3 and 1.3T engines independently developed by JAC. The new models are expected to be put into the market in September this year. Currently JAC has four passenger car platforms respectively for MPV, sedan, hatchback and compact vehicles with single shift capacity of 200,000 units. JAC plans to introduce 10 new passenger vehicle models before 2010.
Lifan Auto
Lifan 320
The Lifan 320 adopts Mini elements in design, but a different size of 3,898 mm, 1,773 mm and 1,482 mm in length, width and height. The five-door hatchback will be powered by the LF479Q3 1.3L engine. The model is reportedly to be launched in July 2008 at a retail price of around ¥50,000, competing with the QQ from Chery and the Benben from Chang’an Auto.
Lifan 520i
The Lifan 520i, the first hatchback version of the Lifan passenger car, will be introduced to the market this August. The engine displacement of 1.3L and 1.6L will be available, to be priced between ¥40,000 and ¥70,000.
Lifan 620
The Lifan 620 will be the first mid-level sedan of Lifan. The dimensions are 4,550 mm, 1,705 mm and 1,490 mm in length, width and height respectively. The new model will be first powered by the imported 1.6 Tritec engine, and later the models fitted with the independently developed 1.6 and 1.8L VVT engines will be available. The price range will be between ¥70,000 and ¥90,000.
The MG TF is to be launched in April after months of delay, according to media reports. The model will be exhibited by NAC-MG at Auto China 2008 as the carmaker’s second product when it enters mass production.
The MG3 SW will be one of the models to be displayed by NAC-MG at Auto China 2008. As a cross SUV, the MG3 SW will have 1.4L and 1.8L displacements as well as manual and continuous variable transmissions respectively. As reported by media, the model was expected to be launched this March and had accepted orders.
Infiniti EX35
Nissan will display its Infiniti EX35 at Auto China 2008. The EX35 is a typical crossover model, combining features of SUV and luxury two-door coupe. The model made its global debut last year at the 2007 New York International Auto Show. Besides, a Nissan-branded vehicle will make its global debut at the event.
New Teana
The new Teana to be produced in China will borrow some designs from the Intima concept which was showcased at last year’s Tokyo auto show. The new Teana will be powered by the VQ2.5L engine instead of the 2.3 V6 engine. The new Teana will hit the market in the second half of 2008.
Roewe 550
The Roewe 550 will make its global debut at this April’s Auto China 2008 and be put into mass production this year. It is the second self-brand model developed by Shanghai Automobile Industry (Group) Corp. (SAIC) after the launch of the Roewe 750.
Based on the concept model W2, which was displayed at last April’s Auto Shanghai, the Roewe 550 aims at the most contested mid-level domestic market, and is likely to be sold overseas in the future. Analysts said the Roewe 550 is the original innovation by SAIC while the Roewe 750 was mostly a modification on the Rover design.
The Lavida, codenamed Model Y, is also based on the PQ34 platform with an extended body length. The model will have similar powertrain equipment with that of the new Bora. It is reported the Lavida’s body styling looks like a smaller Phaeton. Insiders told CBU/CAR that the intellectual property rights of the Lavida belong to Shanghai-VW.
Southeast Motor
Southeast Motor will launch two new models at Auto China 2008. Jointly developed by Mitsubishi Motor and Southeast Motor, the crossover will make its China debut. The other A0 class model is independently developed by Southeast Motor and will have a top-level configuration.
Southeast Motor is a three-party joint venture among Fujian Motor Group (FJMG), China Motor Corporation of Taiwan’s Yulon Enterprise Group and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motor with a ratio of 50:25:25.

Leave a Reply