The 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition: Evolution with the times

When the entire industry is still shrouded in the haze of lack of core, the highly anticipated 2021 Shanghai Auto Show still sounded the clarion call for change.

On April 19, with the theme of "Embracing Change", the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition officially kicked off at the National Convention and Exhibition Center (Shanghai).

During the two-day media day, this year's Shanghai Auto Show held a total of 138 press conferences, setting a new record for all previous years, and on the first day 10,692 reporters came in to report.

Behind these record-breaking data is the suppressed enthusiasm of the entire industry and the market in 2020.


As the "wind vane" of industry development, it is also the only international category A auto show that can still be held normally in the world. The Shanghai Auto Show also urgently needs to use the market to pick up quickly and the industry to return to the right track to create more benefits in the world's largest single market-including brand exposure , User traffic and terminal sales.

In fact, as a region that will stand out in the global market in 2020, the postponement of the successful Beijing Auto Show until the end of 2020, the resilience of the domestic auto market bottoming out, the rapid growth of new energy vehicles after getting rid of policy dependence, etc., all signals are in It shows that 2021 will be a turning point for the development of China's auto market, and it will also be an important juncture for industrial transformation.

In such a market and industry environment, the collision between car companies and users in the special field of the auto show is like a violent chemical reaction, which has stimulated the local changes and evolutions that have been hidden under the calm water for several years. The momentum gushes out.

Therefore, the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show actively "embrace change" is both an attitude and a choice. It's just that the entire industry is seeking the answer to the same proposition: In which direction will the industry market and product technology change? How should companies make changes? Even if you make various specific choices, you have to dare to make up your mind to revolutionize yourself.

At the Shanghai Auto Show in 2021, the upstream and downstream of the entire industry, including auto companies, and the supply chain, have handed over their respective phased answers.

Audi firmly occupies the C position of the advertisement with absolute space, and expresses the full expectations of the Chinese market with a slogan of "full energy storage, tribute to the golden decade".

On the side is Beijing Hyundai, which has suffered repeated development in recent years. It uses the two big characters "change" to mention the best creative award of this year's auto show advertising, and uses straightforward and concise answers to respond to the theme of "embrace change" at the Shanghai Auto Show.


The 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, which is at a turning point in the history of the industry, also witnesses the wisdom and determination of major brands to "change" and "reform" in parallel.

Hyundai and Beijing Hyundai, amidst the turmoil in personnel affairs, took up nearly one-fifth of the booth area in Hall 4.1H, bringing almost all domestic and imported models to the scene. Among them, the fifth-generation Tucson L and Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Nexo occupied booth C.

Similar to the straightforward creativity of advertising posters, the signal Hyundai is trying to convey is very clear: The two models that are being promoted with emphasis have shown an attitude to the entire industry that Hyundai should take into account the current market sales and the direction of future transformation. The existing product lineup must be changed and upgraded, and the future product layout must be innovated and forge ahead.

Such a strategy generally looks robust and balanced. However, the current global status of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is relatively declining and the short-term market is not optimistic. Will Hyundai bet on the technological direction of hydrogen fuel and will there be a disconnection and fault between the traditional automobile business?

Similar to the modern "idealistic" reform strategy, the French cars that are also in a difficult market in China not only retain the color of "idealism", but also "rarely" adopt increasingly pragmatic products. Strategy.

For example, at this Shanghai Auto Show, Dongfeng Citroen brought the C5X, with its unique cross-border design and practical functions, aiming at the trend of consumption upgrades and crowds, cutting into the B-class car SUV market, and once again rectifying the name of the French car. Dongfeng Peugeot, the same door of the French family, brought the new 4008 PHEV 4WD, which was officially launched at a sincere price of US$38,503 to US$40,045.

Although, in recent years, French cars have been suffering in the Chinese market, but they are still on the path of change without losing their own characteristics.

The company with the most pragmatic attitude of "change" at this year's auto show is still the most radical mass electrification strategy.

floor plan

At this year's auto show, Volkswagen Group, together with Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, and Jetta, took up nearly one-third of the 5.1H hall, with a huge presence and a large number of models.

While many people predict that Volkswagen will continue to focus on the promotion of ID.4 series models, Volkswagen still continued its vigor in the traditional SUV market for the previous two years, bringing the FAW-Volkswagen to the world, and taking the fastest action. Brought ID.6 CROZZ.

In contrast, the actions of Japanese car companies are more pragmatic-fuel vehicle business is still the focus of current development, electrification is generally still at the stage of concept cars, and mass production and popularization will still take some time.


For example, Lexus wants to strike an extreme balance in the change, not only bringing the new ES debuted, but also bringing the LF-Z concept car, which was launched in the world just recently.

At the same time, Toyota's participation in the exhibition is the same as Lexus.

On the one hand, like Volkswagen, it continued to increase its weight in the fuel vehicle market, and quickly made the legendary Crown’s first SUV model-Crown Lufang; on the other hand, the world's first pure electric brand bZ4X CONCEPT. According to reports, Toyota plans to produce a mass production version of this bZ4X Concept in Japan and China, and start global sales in the middle of 2022.

Similarly, Honda also continued to increase the volume of Accord and other models, and introduced the third-generation IMMD hybrid system. The e: concept concept car was exhibited. While Nissan launched the new X-Jun, it continued to let Nissan Ariya stand to show its determination to innovate.


Cadillac LYRIQ concept car

Unlike the silence at major domestic auto shows in recent years, the GM series has returned to the high profile of the past. Buick launched Envision Plus, Weilang Pro, and Weilang Pro GS on the "Buick Brand Day" before the show, and set the theme of "Smart Action Potential" for the next stage of development. After the launch of this round of periodic products, Cadillac finally brought the LYRIQ concept car to the country for the first time, indicating the direction for SAIC-GM's next electrification reform.

Ford, which is also the main force in the U.S. series, is still transforming quickly, and its determination is not diminished. It not only officially launched the Mustang Mach-E before the show, and fought hand-to-hand with Model Y, but also unveiled its new mid-to-large SUV Ford EVOS at the auto show. Take into account the technological transition and evolution of traditional fuel vehicles.

At the same time, GAC Fick, whose market position and brand influence are increasingly marginalized, mainly expressed its stoic attitude and determination at this auto show, and continued its efforts to introduce Wrangler 4xe into the Chinese market.

In summary, although Japanese cars also have reforms, they do not have the mentality of swift execution. They still have the consistent word "stable" at the head. It can be said that "the breeze is coming and the water is not thriving." In contrast, American cars are full of expectations for change and continue to persist, but the shortcomings of the product lineage and the slow pace of technological advancement also make the reforms of SAIC-GM and GAC Fick seem "weak."

Anxiety, beneficiary

Perhaps, to the surprise of many people, in the wave of "Embracing Change" at the Shanghai Auto Show, the German BBA, which enjoys the consumption upgrade dividends in the Chinese market for a long time and the sales volume has been soaring, will be the most anxious and radical among them.

On April 18, on the eve of the Shanghai Auto Show, within 3 kilometers of the Expo source, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi almost simultaneously held a huge brand night event, vying to release blockbuster products for the next stage of transformation.


Mercedes-Benz EQS

For example, Mercedes-Benz "Three Arrows", bringing a maximum battery life of up to 770km under WLTP conditions, the central control triple screen electric flagship sedan EQS, and also released two electric SUV models, EQA and EQB, which are relatively friendly to the people.

On the other hand, BMW brought the iX, a pure electric SUV model of the same size as the X5, which took over the electrification strategy from the BMW i8, hoping to open up a luxury travel experience beyond electric; Audi borrowed from SAIC Audi to launch again The new concept car Audi Concept Shanghai also debuted the A6 e-tron concept car and the new Audi A7L at the booth for the first time.

In fact, after choosing the anchor points for the next stage of transformation of enterprises, BBA has not given up on the traditional fuel vehicle market.


At this auto show, Mercedes-Benz still brought a new domestically-made extended new C-Class on time, and officially launched the new Mercedes-Maybach S480 4MATIC. BMW brought the innovative BMW X2 Night Edition/Edge Edition, and officially announced the official price of the new M3/M4.

Audi not only brought all the models of the RS family to the scene, even including the rare S8L. Of course, the new Audi A7L is still the highlight of the Audi booth, and SAIC Audi has also created a new business model for it.


Unlike Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, which coexist with "anxiety" and "radical", Huawei, as an outsider in the industry, is more like a hidden master like Feng Qingyang, and quietly accumulates strength behind the busy and lively industry transformation wave. , And then wait to surprise everyone and become one of the biggest "beneficiaries" at this auto show.

On April 17, Huawei launched the Alpha S Huawei HI version under the name ARCFOX Extreme Fox. It is reported that the Alpha S Huawei HI version is the world's first mass-produced car equipped with 3 lidars, which can achieve 1,000 kilometers of uninterrupted autonomous driving in urban areas. Prior to this, the industry knew almost nothing about Huawei's technical level of autonomous driving.

Just like the slogan at the press conference-"Two partners in struggle, a world-class car", although Huawei has repeatedly emphasized that it does not build cars, it can help automakers build better smart cars. Partners are responsible for building the torso of smart cars, and Huawei is responsible for enriching the brains and nerves of smart cars.


"Recently, the amount of information on brands, technologies, and new cars has exploded. This Shanghai Auto Show is destined to be an auto show in the annals of history." A senior reporter exclaimed after watching several conferences including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Polar Fox.

Judging from the booth scene on the two media days on April 19 and 20, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi have each received the applause and traffic that they deserved after their efforts to showcase their innovative electric vehicle products. The top stream of the auto show.

At the Huawei booth, many B-end customers patiently lined up in a long queue in front of Huawei's smart cockpit, waiting for their first-hand experience. On the sidelines, Huawei's concept stocks Beiqi Blue Valley and Xiaokang have set several daily limits recently.

Take a look at the leopard.

From the consistent movements of the top three luxury brands at this year’s auto show, as well as the topics and traffic created by Huawei, which crossed the border into the new smart car track, you can get a glimpse of the anxiety that prevails in the entire industry and the direction of change. Tactical choices.

For a long period of time in the future, seizing the traditional mainstream market share without losing, while not being left behind by new industry, technology and product trends, will be the common background color of the leaders of change and long-term winners.

Of course, in addition to the above two huge forces, the small phenomena on the two booths also confirmed the trend of "change" at the Shanghai Auto Show.

First, at the lively Mercedes-Benz booth, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the new Mercedes-Maybach S480 4MATIC received an unprecedented "cold reception" by the media. More media reporters gathered around the three electric cars to take pictures, Live. Because the latter has more topics and traffic.

Second, in addition to Huawei's popularity, Baidu and Horizon also set up independent booths and "embedded" in the new car exhibition area, opening up a "dancing together" model with car companies. In the hot sensor direction this year, Velodyne, DJI, Sagitar Juchuang, Leishen Intelligent, and many other lidar companies are also competing on the same stage. In contrast, vendors that focus on smart cockpits are somewhat cold-received.

It can be seen that in recent years, after the continuous evolution of intelligent networked applications that have been generally concerned and preferred by Chinese users, autonomous driving technology has become the focus of the next stage of technological innovation and product planning.


Starting from Zebra Zhixing, after the smart cockpit has undergone iterations of 2.0 and 3.0, the market has changed from an incremental market to a stock market. Smart driving technologies with higher technical thresholds are becoming more mature in technologies such as lidar, and the automotive industry continues to lack cores. "Under the stimulus, it will become a track with more development potential in 2021, which represents the direction of industrial technological innovation in the future.

In addition to the above intuitively perceived booth conditions and mainstream trends, there are also some flames of change in some long-tail segments. The market opportunities waiting for a single spark to start a prairie fire are also worthy of attention.

First, in the Chinese brand camp, changes in product planning and brand marketing have quietly occurred. What has changed is the continuous evolution of product power and the increase and decrease of intelligent configuration, and the innovation is the change of marketing thinking, focusing more on circle marketing, and continuously expanding the boundaries of youth and possibility in terms of brand independence and product naming system.

For example, the Krypton brand was born out of the Lynk & Co brand; the tank brand achieved independence, and Euler went further and further on the road of "catching cats". Roewe also began to play tricks and launched the "Whale" series of products.

Second, at the underlying technology level, Chinese brands have taken advantage of the last wave of growth of fuel vehicles to consolidate the foundation of engine and hybrid technology, and wait for opportunities to transition and transform to full electrification.

It is not difficult to see many cases of this trend from the scene of the auto show. For example, Great Wall bucked the market and launched the brand’s first 3.0L V6 twin-turbocharged engine, while BYD and Great Wall relied on DM-i and Lemon hybrid technology to take care of the same. The balance between "change" and "revolution".

Throughout the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, which has a lively atmosphere and many highlights, it can be said to be a microcosm of the current automotive industry. Whether it is major auto companies, suppliers in the upstream and downstream of the industry chain, or outsiders involved in cross-border car manufacturing, it can be said to be a microcosm of the current automotive industry. Between "change" and "revolution", efforts are made to evolve with the times.

Post time: Apr-23-2021