Beijing Auto Show: Is It Bigger Than Detroit?
Third, almost all of the world's automakers play in China. This is not like the U.S. where many automakers are nowhere to be seen. Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Fiat, Opel, Daihatsu, and a slew of Chinese auto makers are here. In all, 46 automakers build and sell models here. Why? Because only 15 percent of the Chinese adults own a car. There's immense growth potential here.
Fourth, auto execs are increasingly putting the Beijing show on their calendars and using this event to unveil models that will be sold around the world. Nissan'sCarlos Ghosn is here. So is GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner. They know China is the future and THE place to grow profits since the U.S., Western Europe, and Japanese markets are slow.
All of this is not to say Detroit and the U.S. market have become irrelevant. Far from it. The U.S. is still the biggest market. The Big 3 still wield sizable clout. But, the orbit of the auto world is increasingly tilting toward China. That means the Detroit, Frankfurt and Tokyo auto shows will have to adjust and share top billing with the Beijing show.
China's coming. Now we'll see if the auto world is ready.