On the Ground at the 2021 Shanghai International Auto Show

The Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, also known as the Shanghai International Auto Show, is one of the most influential auto exhibitions in the world. This April's show marked the first collective appearance of all major automakers worldwide after the pandemic.

In this video, KraneShares Cultural Analyst Xiabing Su takes us on the floor of the Shanghai auto show for a first-hand look at the latest cars from international giants BMW and Mercedes-Benz and also local Chinese Electric Vehicle (EV) brands like NIO, BYD, and XPeng Motors.

Xiabing also gives us a sneak peek at China FAW's Hongqi S9 electric hypercar. The S9 is the latest car in FAW's luxury Hongqi brand lineup. It debuted as one of the most eye-catching cars of the exhibition. The S9 was made possible through technical cooperation between China and Italy. With this car, China's oldest automaker is positioning Hongqi as a global luxury car brand with advanced technology.

The theme of this year’s show was embracing change. The world's largest automakers channeled the theme by putting their latest EV technology and innovative concepts on display in front of a full in-person audience.


At the end of April, I went to the Shanghai Auto Show, which is one of the largest international automobile shows held in China. 

Since everyone is using WeChat, the ticketing service within the app’s “Mini Program” is the easiest way to buy tickets.  

The show is held twice a year. This will be the first show of the year and the first very large gathering after the pandemic. I believe there will be a huge crowd of people going to see the exhibition.  

China has become the world’s largest automotive manufacturing country and automotive market since 2009. Annual vehicle production in China accounted for over 30 percent of worldwide vehicle production, which exceeds that of the United States and Japan combined.  

The total volume of automobile industry sales in China reached 25 million units in 2019. With the consumption upgrade of Chinese consumers, people’s taste in cars is becoming more sophisticated and they’re looking for newer models and cooler designs.  

Apart from established brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz, many Chinese domestic brands are also making their mark at the home show. They have increasingly gained popularity within the Chinese market, particularly for electric vehicles. China has introduced various policies to promote EVs, including tax exemptions and certain restrictions on petrol cars. China’s EV production grew from about 17,000 units in 2013 to over 1.2 million in 2020. China’s top EV brands BYD and NIO will be featured in the auto show this year. Nio just debuted its new car, ET7, with an over 600-mile range and autonomous driving features—which stands as a new rival to the Tesla Model S.  

Many Chinese domestic brands also build their own hybrid electric sports cars. Hongqi, meaning “red flag”, is a luxury car brand under FAW group, China's state-owned automaker. It was the choice of Chairman Mao and Hongqi has since become a symbol of China’s automotive culture. At the show, Hongqi debuted its new S9 hypercar with a top speed of over 400km/hour and it will only take less than 2 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 200km/hour. Through its technical collaboration with Italy, Hongqi is starting to position itself as a global luxury car brand.   

The theme of this year’s show is embracing change. New technology and innovative concepts developed by giant car makers resonate with this theme and showcase the future of the automotive industry. As innovation across these companies continues to accelerate, we believe China will remain an exciting growth opportunity for the sector for years to come.