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I wouldn't exactly call this a auto show (no concept models on display), but yesterday I had the chance to attend the Nanning auto expo (it's done once or twice a year here and you can see all the newest models that are available to the public). My MAIN reason was to see the new Shanghuang copy of the Smart car.........but there were a few other surprises as well. Obviously I didn't drive anything, but I DID see a few new cars that I thought weren't available yet!!

First, the Smart car - cute, bigger than I thought it would be (it's very TALL) and OVERPRICED. They only had one model on display and it was 53,000rmb - WAY too much in my opinion. Big tires for a car of this handling should be ok. The interior appears to be somewhat "spartan"....but I couldn't sit inside (there was only one, it was pretty crowded around the car and it was locked) so maybe it's no big deal once your actually SITTING in the car. I'm sure there will be a base model that will be cheaper, but my first impression is...............:nono:

OK, other my surprise there was a BYD F3-R at this show!! Yes people, it's ALREADY here. First impressions.........from the outside it DOES bear a strong resemblance to the HRV....but not enough to consider it a copy. The interior is definitely different (hints of Toyota styling here) and it seems to all work ok. There is one GLARING omission though....the rear seat back is a BENCH seat and NOT a 60/40 could BYD possibly overlook this?????? For some people it won't be a big deal, but MANY consumers want to have the choice of folding down part or all of the rear seat when carrying things. BYD wants to compete with the likes of the Polo, HRV, Fit, etc.....well, guess what? ALL of those other cars (as well as almost ANY hatchback in the 70,000-100,000rmb price range) offer a split rear seat!! BYD, what WERE you thinking????:confused:

I also was surprised to see the 4 door version of the Xiali C1.....a NICE looking small car!! The interior arrangement is a virtual copy of the 5 door version (which is to say a good layout) and other than the fact that I think it's a bit high priced (around 61,000rmb if I remember correctly) it SHOULD sell well.........don't forget that the Xiali C1 was named a "car of the year" by CCTV - advertising like that can't hurt at all!!

Let's see, what else? I saw the Roewe 750 (BEAUTIFUL inside and out), the Citroen C4 (a pretty cool car), the Volvo C70 (its new to Nanning....what a AMAZING folding hard top) and the Ford Focus S-MAX (amazing room for a minivan style). The Chery QQ6 was getting a LOT of attention from shoppers (no surprise there), as was the Changan CV6. Hafei has also released the 1.3 liter version of the Lubao, but it's pretty much the same car otherwise. Prices have also DROPPED on some cars as well......Shanghai Maple in particular. You can now get a 205 (the AA) for as low as 39,999rmb (and the one I saw at the show was 41,999rmb - I looked at this EXACT model almost a year ago and it was 48,000rmb). The same with Geely - you can now get a 1.05 liter version of the MR for as low as 32,000rmb (34,000rmb with power steering). Chevy has also lowered the price on the base model Spark......39,800rmb (HOWEVER, this is basically the OLD base 0.8 model.....power windows in the front only, no tachometer or CD player).

Shanghai is STILL the real place to be to see all the new cars (and it starts TOMORROW!!!!), but it WAS nice to go to yesterday's show and still see some of the new cars............I can't WAIT to see all the pics from Shanghai!!!! :thumb:
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