One of the world’s largest auto industry exhibitions got underway on Monday in Shanghai, highlighted by electric vehicles from newcomers in China.
About 1 million people are expected to visit Auto Shanghai 2021, officially known as the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, even as many major global events have been suspended or downsized due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automakers are exhibiting mainly electric vehicles, aiming to raise their profile in the large Chinese market as the economy recovers from the COVID-induced slowdown.
Auto Shanghai is China’s largest car show, held in the city every two years, alternating with Beijing. The 2020 event, which was originally scheduled to be held in Beijing in April, was postponed until September due to the pandemic. Last year’s event drew 530,000 visitors amid tighter infection-control measures.
This year, visitors are required to have their body temperatures measured at the entrance and present a “health code” indicating that they have not visited places where the infection risk is high.
Measures to prompt wearing of face masks and sanitize the venue have been stepped up. On-site staff and exhibitors were required to test negative using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
The venue measures 360,000 sq. meters, about the same as the size of the venue in 2019, before the pandemic. About 1,000 companies from China, Japan, the US, and Europe are taking part this year.
According to one Chinese media outlet, nearly 150 new car models, many of them electric, are being shown off by manufacturers, including Germany’s Volkswagen, Toyota Motor of Japan, and domestic carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The event will run through April 28.
In addition to exhibits from conventional automakers, participants from other industries, including big internet companies, are in the spotlight.
Among them is Baidu, China’s largest search engine operator, which is showcasing its self-driving technology. An affiliate of China Evergrande Group, a real estate developer, is participating for the first time to announce its new electric vehicle.