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Beijing Auto Show 2010: Luxury cars, green tech draws most attention
The Beijing Auto show 2010 saw the focus on green technology, though car enthusiasts preferred to throng to the luxury car displays. With China becoming a larger auto market, many big brands unveiled newer car models here.

THE ELEVENTH Beijing Auto show saw the focus on green technology, though car enthusiasts preferred to throng to the luxury car displays. The Beijing Auto Show 2010, which opened this Friday has seen several new car launches, from concept cars like the Ford Start to the hybrid Chevrolet Voltec, but these did not gain as much interest as the premium carmakers who unveiled their cars here.

The auto exhibitioon saw Ferrari bringing out the exclusive 599 GTO, Porsche showcasing Panamera 4, a bevy of Mercedes Benxz cars including the SLS AMG and the like. With the auto industry focusing on China as a potential market due to its economic growth, chinese car enthusiasts have much to feast their eyes on at this Auto show, which lasts till May 2.

Its not just the economic growth which has brought these brands here, but the spending on the auto industry. Last year China bought a whooping 13.6 million vehicles, while US, the top auto market till last year, purchased only 10.4 million vehicles.

And the most selling car models here are pricey, luxury ones. Luxury car makers like Mercedes and BMW are seeing their sales double in the first three months of 2010, as compared to 2009 BMW has taken note of this facet and announced boosting of sales in China by 20,000 cars here, thereby making China its third largest market.

Ian Robertson, BMW head of Sales said, "Nobody anticipated the growth here. Growth rates [like this] happen once in a lifetime in mature markets. Here, they're happening every year."

In fact, demand for BMW cars is particularly high end models like BMW series seven are so high, that there is a waiting list for car purchases here. In 2009, about 17000 BMW series 7 models were sold here.

Therefore, Audi's decision to unveil its Audi A8 LW12 Quattro, at the Beijing AUto Show makes perfect sense. The car, made for the burgeoning number of Chinese millionaires who can easily afford it, has features like extra legroom and a footstool at the backseat, for customers here who prefer to have chauffeured cars. There is also Bang & Olufsen speakers, ambient lighting with rotating colors, a walnut folding table, a 10.2-inch LCD screen and massage chairs for backseat passengers.

Matthias Mueller, Audi A8 project leader explained this trend towards luxury cars further. He said, "For China, this car has to make a statement. It has to show you've ‘made it.' "

On the other hand, the focus on green technology at the Beijing Auto Show, is another key facet that has been seen here. Hybrids, clean technology and green technology which also made an appearence at several other auto shows this year, is being touted as the future of the car industry. However, the ground realities are much different and a shift towards this technology does not seem to be happening in the near future.

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