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DATE News (chronologically)
04/17/09
automotive
Mercedes, Porsche skip Detroit, Frankfurt, but not Shanghai
Daimler AG will skip this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Motor Co. passed on Frankfurt, Europe’s largest car extravaganza and Porsche SE will bypass Detroit. All will be in Shanghai.  Porsche SE Chief Executive Officer Wendelin Wiedeking will unveil the new Panamera sports sedan in Shanghai. Daimler’s Dieter Zetsche, Volkswagen AG’s Martin Winterkorn and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Katsuaki Watanabe will also be there.

“The hope for every automaker in the world is riding on China,” said Ricon Xia, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research (H.K.) Ltd. in Shanghai. “No matter how many difficulties they are facing, they have to be here and the Shanghai Auto Show will be the show for the year.”

A record number of automakers will attend the Shanghai Motor Show, which starts on Monday, as China threatens to usurp the U.S. as the world’s biggest auto market. General Motor Corp.’s China sales surged to a record last month, at the same time its U.S. sales plunged 45 percent.

More than 1,500 companies will attend the show, the most since it started in 1985, said Wang Xia, an official with the organizer. More than 600,000 people are expected to attend the nine-day event at the Shanghai New International EXPO Centre, he said.

“We don’t have enough space and there are people still asking for more,” said Lawrence Lu, executive vice president of Shanghai International Exhibition Co. “A lot of foreign exhibitors can see the potential here.” Bloomberg

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