It’s coming…very soon. And every day there are more and bigger signs of how HUGE this will be. We’re bracing for the mammoth storm, anticipating the un-anticipatable (?), filling up gas tanks, stocking up on food, and canceling everything to do with Euro Plaza. It’s the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (also known as Auto China) and it’s a monster of a show.
For those of you who were here in 2010, can you believe that the auto show was actually divided between the old (city) and new (Shunyi) exposition centers? That’s right; the massive amounts of traffic here didn’t hold a candle to what we can expect for 2012 being in our single Shunyi location. I think we’re all starting to realize this fact by noticing hundreds of set-up workers, ginormous cranes, and the building of temporary structures to announce the coming of something major.
As in the past, housing villas and international schools will offer driving permits that allow you access to…well, your own home. This is above and beyond normal key cards and window stickers that gain you entrance to such gated areas; these permits simply allow you on a neighboring street. All can expect school buses to be severely delayed. In the past, some after-school-activities were simply canceled due to the traffic congestion, although there’s been no word of that thus far for next week.
However, after saying all of that, it is a pretty cool car show. Hailing from the Detroit, Michigan area where cars rule, it’s impressive even for my family to see the scope of this year’s Beijing Expo (Detroit is home of the North American version, which is pretty darn big). After all, there is rapid growth in the Chinese auto industry and a huge automobile consumer market here, making Beijing the perfect place to showcase all that the world has to offer.
A look at stats from the 2010 show:
- 785,600 visitors worldwide
- 12,500 journalists from 1,564 media organizations
- 1,100 foreign journalists from 200 foreign media organizations in 48 countries
- 220,000 square meters
- 990 vehicles on display
This year, show organizers are expecting 1,000 cars with 89 global debut models! The event schedule is:
- April 23-24: Press Days
- April 23-27: Auto Components and Parts
- April 25-26: Trade Days
- April 25-May 2: Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles
- April 27-May 2: Public Days
If you’re looking for something unique for your family to do, check out how to secure tickets via the auto show website by clicking here. It appears the only way to get them is through Taobao, with different ticket levels available. Maps and transportation can be found at this link. There’s even a particularly funny map about parking availability, which will never be followed so there’s no reason to look at it.
All things auto show? Their website is pretty complete for most information you might want to know. For those of you living in the immediate vicinity of the area, just prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Those of you wanting to come check out all the fuss, think of the most crowded of Spring Festivals you’ve ever attended, multiply it times 10, and come on over!