2018 Beijing Auto Show: BMW, VW, Nissan in the Spotlight

Car buyers in China are seen as a key part of the global connected car industry’s future, as evidenced by the presence of major automakers including BMW, Volkswagen and Nissan at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, which wrapped up last week.

Nissan’s Sylphy Zero Emission, which debuted at the auto show, will be the company’s first mass-production electric vehicle for the market in China and one of the 20 electrified models that Nissan plans to introduce over the next five years.

Built on the same platform as the Nissan Leaf electric car, the Sylphy Zero Emission will go on sale later this year and include a connectivity feature that allows the vehicle’s audio and video to be remote-controlled from a mobile phone.

Infiniti, the luxury vehicle division of Nissan, announced it would build five new vehicles in China in the next five years, beginning with the all new QX50 SUV, and debuted the electrified Q Inspiration concept car.

As part of the company’s roadmap to electrify its portfolio, Infinity anticipates that by 2025, more than half of new Infiniti vehicles sold globally and in China would be electrified.

Luxury German automaker BMW unveiled its Concept iX3, which offers a look ahead to the expansion of the model line-up in all-electric mobility, which features a next-generation high-voltage battery.

The company announced a joint venture would produce the future series-production version of the Concept iX3 in Shenyang, China.

Rival Daimler unveiled the Mercedes A-Class L sedan, which is made specifically for the Chinese market and comes equipped with driver assistance systems and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system.

The new long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Sedan also had its world premiere at show, which is built in China for that market, features the latest iteration of Intelligent Drive, as well as a fully digital instrument display and larger media screen.

Volkswagen unveiled the E20X, an SUV that is the first model for Sol, an electric brand launched by the German automaker with a Chinese partner and is aimed at the market’s lower-priced tiers.

The auto show was attended by the company’s newly appointed board chairman and CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, who said during a event that Volkswagen would be starting local production of battery-electric cars in at least six factories by 2021 in China.

The debut is part of the German company’s drive to invest $15 billion by 2022 with its joint venture partners SAIC, FAW and JAC, as well as a move into ride-sharing services with the Chinese ride-share provider Shouqi.

Under its Roadmap E strategy, Volkswagen plans to launch 40 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China in the next seven to eight years.

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