We went back to the Auto Show on Sunday. To save time, we took a taxi which are very cheap here, and, as we got close, the crowds got bigger and bigger. Just to get tickets, we had to wait in line for about an half hour. To get in the first time, we went through metal detectors and put our cameras and day packs through a x-ray tunnel. This time the system was overwhelmed. The crowd just walked through the metal detectors, each detector dutiful beeping as each person walked through – but nobody stopped and nobody was actually checked.
This show is huge. The building is V-shaped with five halls in one wing and six in the other wing. Each hall is so big, it is hard to show it's actual size. And each hall is so crowded, it is hard to move around. Most of the time, the crowds are fun – people jumping up and down trying to see the cars or jamming forward to see a show or model with a car - sometimes, the crowds are annoying – bumping and pushing into us while we are trying to take a picture or are just standing looking at something – once the crowd got scary – when it got so packed nobody could move, somewhere between the Bentley and Subaru areas (the police and fire department in full gear had to come in to get break up the jam). This pic, taken by Michele by holding her camera over her head, sort of shows it.
Of the eleven halls, nine are filled with cars, plus there is a large area between the legs of the V for parts vendors a couple who we saw as we walked from the West Halls to the East Halls.
In short, anybody who expects to be in the car business on the world stage, has to be be here – in force.
The big players even put on various types of shows to drawn attention to their displays (in this case, Chery successfully drew a large part of the crowd from the new 4 door Porsche across the hall):
and everybody has impossibly beautiful, tall, presenters.
The overwhelming, overall, impression we walked away with is that China is a serious player on this stage. China is in it for the long run and is looking towards the future. If you like cars, this is one show you should see at least once in your life.