Innovation to Transformation: A Look at Auto China 2016

China has 2 really big auto shows, each during opposite years.  This year it is Auto China 2016, otherwise known as the Beijing Auto Show.  In 2017, the big show will be in Shanghai.  If anyone wants to take me….

So let’s take a quick trip around the horn with a look at the trends, happenings, and developments at Auto China 2016.

China Wants to Speed Implementation of Self-driving Cars Through New Regulation

China is looking to usher in self-driving cars by modernizing automotive and highway regulation.  In the US and other countries, regulatory efforts aimed at integrating semi-autonomous and self-driving cars are being approached in a haphazard way.

In this special Auto China 2016 report from Reuters, the government’s idea is to create a regulatory structure first, theoretically making the integration of self-driving cars to their roads much quicker than the West.  Common standards for V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) will help automakers bring cars to market faster and cheaper.

The upside? The faster these cars can get on Chinese roads, the faster they can help ease epic traffic and pollution problems.  As well as help lower the number of accidents, saving lives and property.

Another bonus?  If automakers can coalesce around a common standard in the largest auto market on the planet, it should be easier to bring these standards to other countries.


Buick Introduces a Lacrosse Hybrid for the Chinese Market

Speaking of reducing pollution, Buick is bringing a hybrid version of the Lacrosse to the Chinese market.

“GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems, at the event. “In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.”


This version of the LaCrosse, introduced just before Auto China 2016, will be 35% more efficient than the old eAssist model.  And faster, as 0-60 is now at 8.9 seconds.  LaCrosse HEV shares the Voltec platform with the Chevy Volt, Malibu Hybrid and Cadillac CT-6 PHEV.  Outside of badging, the styling of LaCrosse Hybrid will remain unchanged.


VW Unveils the T-Prime Concept GTE, an All-electric Luxury Hybrid for China

The Tiguan is one of Volkswagen’s most flexible and valuable platforms.  In the US and Europe, it’s a fiery TSI and hybrid.  In China, it becomes a luxury hybrid testbed loaded with technology like gesture and voice control.


The Mercedes Benz GLE 500 e Hybrid SUV: Save Chinese Skies in Luxury

Mercedes Benz made it’s presence known at Auto China 2016 with 4 world premieres, and 3 Asia premieres–among them the new GLE 500e hybrid.  The replacement for the ML class is all-new with a hybrid version capable of economy, ecology and luxury. The ML-Class replacement has a system output 325 kW (442 hp) paired with CO2 emissions of just 78 g/km (3.3 l/100 km), and can drive up to 30 kilometers electric-only.

“With our first plug-in hybrid model for the Chinese market, we are showing that the very highest energy efficiency can be combined with amazing performance,” says Nicholas Speeks, President and CEO of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co., Ltd. (BMBS).



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Sebastian James

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