But the Chinese car market is quite different from others, as it’s still regional. Around the big cities, Western companies dominate the market: Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Peugeot. But dozens of local Chinese companies are pumping out new models, working hard to improve their quality and design, with their eyes on export markets. Companies like BYD, Geely and Great Wall already sell cars outside of China, and eventually plan to enter the U.S.
We’ve broken down what we saw at this year’s Beijing show into a few categories: significant and interesting entries for a quickly growing emerging market, Chinese-built vehicles we think have possibilities in the U.S., and some other silly stuff. Click through to see our takes.
Most Significant: Ford Start
The car springs from the advanced concepts group at Ford led by Freeman Thomas and supervised by J Mays. It's difficult not to see the thematic similarities between this Start concept and the VW Beetle -- the arch of the roof is the obvious one. There is some history here, after all, as Thomas and Mays were the team that designed the concept that became the New Beetle.
Most Significant: Chevy Volt MPV5
Most Significant: BMW Concept Gran Coupe
Most Significant: Lamborghini Murcielago Superveloce LP670-4 China Editione
Most Significant: Ferrari 599 GTO
Five Vehicles We Like For The U.S.: Geely Englon TXN
Five Vehicles We Like For The U.S.: BYD S6
BYD said it has its eyes set on the Lexus RX with this car, but that may only fly in some emerging markets. The engine is either a 2.0- or 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which isn't much displacement for our market. Features include a power sunroof, back-up camera, keyless entry, DVD multimedia system, GPS navigation, automatic climate control, tilt steering column, and 17-inch alloy wheels and tires.