China overtook the US in 2009 to become the world's largest car market and a record 18 million cars were sold in 2010.
This week, the world’s largest automakers descended on Shanghai to launch their latest models in an attempt to increase their market share in this rapidly growing market.
The 14th annual Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition features 2,000 carmakers and parts suppliers from 20 countries. In all, 75 new car models are being showcased, 19 of which are making their world debut.
We’ve put together a list of some of the show-stoppers ranging from luxury concept models to the anticipated new Chevrolet Malibu.
Click ahead to see highlights from this year’s show.
By Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani
Posted April 21, 2011
Making its premiere at the Shanghai and New York auto shows, the Mercedes A-Class Concept is a complete overhaul from its older boxy design.
The model looks sportier and has a turbo charged four-cylinder engine from the M270 series targeted at a younger demographic.
Earlier this week, the German carmaker announced that it’s aiming to sell 300,000 cars annually in China by 2015.
The Renault DeZir concept car is powered by an electric motor, which is a growing theme at recent auto shows.
Making it's Asia debut, the two-seater coupe is designed with a flare of what Renault calls "emotional styling."
The DeZir sports 21-inch wheels, and can run up to 160 kilometers on a single charge.
The new Porsche Panamera Turbo S is making its world debut at the Shanghai auto show.
The hybrid version of the Panamera produces 380 horsepower, and is being marketed the most fuel-efficient Porsche ever.
Trying to compete with the electric car market, both the Panamera and the Cayenne have enhanced diesel engines that will improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions.
Volkswagen unveiled its latest Beetle model at the Shanghai auto show and their head of design Ulrich Hackenberg described the new model as having more “testosterone.”
Attempting to make the Beetle more of a man’s car, the new model is wider, lower and with more interior features.
Volkswagen has the biggest market share in China, followed by Japanese carmaker Nissan.
It’s the ultimate sports car, and it’s doing very well in China.
The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 sold out in the first year and a half of production and a fifth of the sales are from Chinese buyers.
Retailing for $364,000, Automobili Lamborghini SpA CEO Stephan Winkelmann says he believes China will be the company’s most important market this year.
First unveiled at the Seoul motor show earlier this month, the Hyundai Blue2 concept car is a striking vision and shows the carmaker’s aim to be recognized as a luxury brand.
With the release of the Genesis series in North America, Hyundai is also looking to release a competitor to the BMW 3-Series.
Hyundai executives say the 3-Series competitor will take design inspiration from this concept car.
ZAP Jonway, a company created by the merger between China's Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. and ZAP of the U.S., showed two new electric cars that will be in production later this year.
The Zap Alias is a futuristic looking three-wheeled vehicle with two tires in the front and one large tire in the back. Each of the wheels have an electric motor, and batteries are fitted underneath the car.
The carmaker hopes to attract Asian buyers with its quirky design.
The Chevrolet Malibu is part of GM’s big expansion plan in emerging markets.
The new-look mid-size sedan takes a mix of styling from the Camaro and the Corvette, and was GM’s best selling car in the US last year.
The Malibu will be built at two U.S. plants, along with a facility in China. The new model will be sold in 100 countries compared to 20 previously.
The Mazda Shinari concept car first made its debut in Paris last year and is set to become the future styling for the carmaker.
The concept theme has been named “Kodo,” which translates to “soul of motion.”
Mazda opened a Shanghai based company in 2005 to create a further presence in the Chinese market.
The Chevy Camaro – one of America’s top muscle cars – made its Asian debut at the Shanghai auto show.
The fifth generation model will retail for nearly $70,000 in China, and has also been renamed "Ke Mai Luo" for the Asian market, because it sounds closest to Camaro in Mandarin.
Noted as an affordable option for buyers looking for a zero-emissions all electric car, the Nissan Leaf retails for about $32,000 in the U.S.
The Japanese carmaker is planning to boost production in the U.S., by adding a battery plant for the Leaf in Tennessee by the end of next year.
Carmakers are trying to cash in on the demand for electric cars with many countries such as the U.S. offering drivers thousands of dollars in rebates for environmentally friendly vehicles.
With an all-encompassing name, and a bold design, Volvo’s concept car — The Universe — drew a lot of attention at the Shanghai auto show.
Some of the car’s features include a touch screen in the front that moves towards the passenger and cabin color that changes as rear passengers enter.
Chinese company Geely Holding Group bought the Swedish carmaker from Ford Motor Co. last August in a $1.5 billion deal.
Introduced at the Geneva Auto Show last month, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept car demonstrates the possible future of driving.
The car uses smart technology to tell the driver about the surroundings.
For example, it has the ability to connect to the music being played in a bar that you are driving by.
Auto shows are known for their wacky concept cars, and the Citroen Survolt concept car lived up to those expectations.
The colourful electric racing car can cover zero to 60 mph in under five seconds and has a top speed of 162 mph.
The Survolt was first introduced in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
GM hopes to double its sales in China by 2015. The Envision — a Buick concept car — is one of 60 new and upgraded vehicles that will be introduced in China and other Asian markets over the next five years.
The plug-in hybrid SUV has a panoramic roof and scissor doors as special features.