Business / Motoring

Cars will stand alone at event's new venue

By YANG CHENG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-20 13:54

Auto Shanghai 2015 won't feature sexy models in skimpy clothes to attract attention, in line with a decision by organizers, but instead a fabulous lineup of cars will shine at the 350,000-square-meter new venue for the show this year.

The event, which opens to the media on Monday and to the public on Wednesday, has moved to the National Exhibition and Convention Center in western Shanghai.

A total of 109 global debuts is expected to attract a record number of visitors this year.

Since the auto circle has embraced the new wave of the "Internet-plus" concept, more Chinese Internet firms including Alibaba and LeTV, have forayed into the auto industry. Their trend-setting cars are expected to be highlights of the show. In another development, since the Chinese government has encouraged the development of the new-energy car sector, the segment is expected to become a new battlefield for automakers.

More than 100 new-energy cars including 51 domestic independent brand models will display their cutting-edge technologies during the event.

Tesla, which blazed a unique road in its foray into China, will, for the first time, take part in a Chinese auto show, despite its senior management's constant complaints of sluggish growth in the country.

In addition, although women in revealing clothing won't appear beside the vehicles, some car exhibitors may give them other roles.

Regarding exhibitors who hold other events featuring models, Gu Chunting, president of the event's co-organizer, said organizers would decide how to deal with exceptions after the show opens.

Auto companies are still expected to hire beautiful women to work as exhibition guides or guest receivers at the airport and outdoor areas of the exhibition venue. BAIC Senova published an advertisement in a Chinese newspaper that read, " We have models, come to our stands." This triggered some public debate.

In another new move, children under 12 are not allowed to enter the venue because of safety concerns.

That ban may be related to an incident in Beijing a month ago when a child climbed into a Tesla car without his parents noticing and managed to start the engine.

Free shuttle buses will be on hand to ferry guests from Hongqiao Airport. Auto show visitors coming to Shanghai via the airport are advised to wait at door 3 of Terminal 2, as there may be a shortage of taxis during the show period.

Organizers have also announced that this year the full-week ticket option is unavailable and only singleday tickets are on offer.

The opening hours have also been changed to the 10 am to 6 pm from 9 am until 5 pm this year.

The new venue, with two floors, 13 indoor exhibition halls and advanced ventilation systems, is expected to be more comfortable for exhibitors and visitors than the previous triangle-shaped exhibition center, and is nearer the airport than the former space in Pudong, making it more convenient. Expanded food, rest and first aid zones are part of the venue, in addition to a greater number of toilet facilities.

Hao Yan contributed to the story.

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