New cars and manufacturer strategies unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2023

24 April 2023

Auto Shanghai 2023 has seen a range of automotive debuts and announcements, many relevant to the European automotive industry. Technology-laden concept cars gave attendees a glimpse into the future, while companies confirmed plans for new-market launches in the coming years.

Europe has seen a growing number of carmakers from Asia planning their entrance into the region. Auto Shanghai 2023 presented an ideal opportunity to cement these strategies as part of wider global projects.

Human Horizon confirmed its European launch will take place this year, with showrooms in Germany and Norway expected. Zeekr plans to arrive in Sweden and the Netherlands in the last quarter of 2023. SAIC Motor-owned MG also announced its Cyberster, last seen as a concept vehicle in 2021, will arrive in Europe and the UK in 2024.

European businesses used the motor show to highlight the models they believe will take the Chinese automotive market by storm. Volkswagen (VW) unveiled the ID.7’s 2024 launch date for Europe and China. The Polestar 4 will hit the roads in China early next year, with other markets including Europe following shortly after. Smart, which is part-owned by Geely, will be rolling out the #3 in the same year.

Seagulls to SUVs

Chinese carmaker BYD brought a range of new models to Auto Shanghai 2023, but one stood out in particular. Amongst a sea of luxury-electric SUVs, the Seagull is a small battery-electric vehicle (BEV), with pre-sale prices starting at ¥78,800 (€10,3000). Elsewhere, within its Ocean series, BYD also unveiled the Chase 07. The larger plug-in hybrid (PHEV) boasts a good amount of interior space and a pure-electric range of up to 200km (NEDC).

‘In the future, BYD will shape a new brand matrix consisting of BYD (Dynasty and Ocean), Denza, Yangwang, and a professional and personalised brand, catering to all-dimensional and all-scenario user needs and ensuring that every user can enjoy an eco-friendly ride,’ the company said.

The carmaker also recently confirmed it would bring its C-segment hatchback, the Dolphin, and D-segment sedan, the Seal, to Europe. These new BEVs will join the Atto 3, the Han and the Tang as part of BYD’s regional offering. The Dolphin is expected to arrive in Europe in June 2023.

Xpeng brought its fifth electric vehicle (EV), the G6, to Auto Shanghai 2023. This is the first production model based on the company’s SEPA2.0 platform. The carmaker points to a driving range of up to 755km and a maximum charging speed of 300km in 10 minutes.

‘G6 is born intelligent, conceived through Xpeng’s technological ingenuity and relentless innovation to continuously set new industry standards in the era of smartification,’ said He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of Xpeng. ‘We aspire to redefine the mobility experience of a broad customer base with streamlined configurations, outstanding performance, a unified immersive product experience and efficient development iterations.’

Honda brought two prototypes to the motor show, the e:NP2 and the e:NS2, as well as one concept model, the e:N SUV 序 (prologue). The models represent the company’s ongoing push towards achieving 100% EV sales in China by 2035.

The carmaker said it is ‘striving to realise carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities Honda is involved in by 2050. Toward this end, Honda is planning to introduce 10 Honda-brand EV models in China by 2027.’

Electrified European entries

BMW brought a selection of models to Auto Shanghai 2023. This includes the all-electric BMW i7 M70 xDrive, which was crowned the most powerful and fastest BEV in the carmaker’s portfolio. The vehicle’s two electric motors create an output of up to 485kW and maximum torque of 1,100Nm.

Then, powered by a V8 petrol engine and an electric motor, the visually striking BMW XM Label Red made its global debut. The carmaker also brought along a version of the all-electric BMW iX1 which was specifically developed for the Chinese market. It utilises an electric motor on each axle, as well as the BMW iDrive operating system. Visitors also got to experience the i Vision Dee, which was unveiled earlier this year at CES 2023.

‘BMW stands for innovation, for cutting-edge products and a broad technology approach,’ said Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW. ‘This enables us to address the individual wishes of our customers, especially here in China.’

The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV enjoyed its premiere at Auto Shanghai 2023. Drawing on the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, it is the luxury brand’s first all-electric model. Its two electric motors are predicted to produce an output of 484kW and a torque of 950Nm. Meanwhile, the carmaker has stated a provisional range of up to 600km.

‘Mercedes-Maybach customers expect the extraordinary, and we aim to exceed their high expectations. The Mercedes‑Maybach EQS SUV unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric with our focus on the luxury segment,’ said Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management for Mercedes-Benz Group.

‘The very first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Maybach complements the best technologies from Mercedes‑Benz with the extra comfort and individual details that are only available from Mercedes‑Maybach,’ he added.