China. One thing we known for sure is that they have designed(?) some really funny looking cars. We also know that their quality has been laughable. Another thing we should know is that they shouldn't be taken for granted. Might be a few more years before they land in North America, but watch out when they do.
At this time the Chinese car market is the second biggest in the world. A life saver for companies like GM, which I believe is the number two foreign company behind VW in that market. So it follows that the Shanghai Auto Show should be a big deal and feature all sorts of new intros or concepts. The latest show opening this week certainly lived up to expectations. Let's look at a few of the intros that I found interesting.......
For a country which now sells more Ferraris than almost anywhere else, it makes sense that a domestic tries to break into that market. So here is the Icona Vulcano - no other info other that it looks very hot.
When MG faced closing in England, it was bought by a Chinese company and here is their first completely new vehicle, a rather wild looking small suv. A pretty hot market segment these days.
Now I find this Acura concept, the SUV-X to be particularly interesting. Designed to compete against the X3, it is RDX sized, but with much wilder lines. Any place for it in our market? I wouldn't think so due to the RDX, but who knows in this suv crazy country of ours.
Kia is starting up a sub brand in China, not sure why, but it will be called Horki, which is a combo of names meaning "China driving". Probably won't be sold anywhere else and with that name it's a good thing. If they are trying to attract attention, this mauve clad lady should do the trick.
Over the years, the Chinese have had a penchant for what sound to us, bizarre car names. But just to show us that China doesn't have a monopoly on strangeness, the French company Citroen showed the DS Wild Rubis concept......
Great looking whatever it is with a rather unusual back end typical of some of their European products. Trust the French to try to one up the Chinese.
Remember the Ford Escort? Probably not with any sort of fondness, but everything old is new again and I guess the Escort's time has come. Not sure where this little beauty would fit into their line, as it looks to be Focus sized. Late comer Ford is struggling to build their market in China, so they'll need cars like this.
And finally to show you that car manufacturers still have a sense of humour, I present the Toyota Me-We........
Looking like a bombed out Mini, this concept is hopefully just that, a concept. Strange for a conservative company like Toyota, but funny is funny. Just don't park it outside your home on garbage day.
Shanghai offered many, many more new intros and concepts than these few, but as I wrote at the beginning, these ones really appealed to me. Will we see any of them in Canada? Patience, my friends, patience.
Until next time.......
- Barry (the Carguy) Thomas
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.