Guangzhou auto show: 10 percent increase from last year [video] image

Global carmakers turned out in force for the 2009 Guangzhou International Motor Show in China this week in a bid to capture a chunk of the world’s largest car market. On display were 720 models from 70 manufacturers from around the world, about a 10 percent increase from last year despite the global recession.

The number of visitors on the opening day on Tuesday was tallied at 51,200, up from 48,000 last year. This year’s event is expected to draw over 500,000 visitors in total, surpassing last year’s 470,000, an organizer said. Companies this year are focusing on promoting their brands, new technologies and new propulsion systems, he added.

The Chinese auto market has been expanding at a remarkable pace. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects the number of cars sold there this year to reach 13 million, up 38.5 percent on-year. Thanks to the rapid growth, China replaced the U.S. as the world’s largest car market in May.

Local and foreign brands from Korea, Europe and the U.S. sold particularly well. Beijing Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors outperformed the 38.5 percent growth of the Chinese auto market with 89.3 and 55.3 percent respectively. As of Saturday, Beijing Hyundai had sold 500,000 passenger vehicles in China so far this year, surpassing sales in the Korean market for the first time, which stood at 486,000 units over the same period.

Another conspicuous aspect of this year’s show is that foreign carmakers are making extra efforts to promote their premium models. China’s luxury car market expanded by around 6 percent in 2009, but with signs of a rapid economic recovery it is expected to grow 26 percent next year, a local analyst predicted.

Source:The Chosun Ilbo