The latest from the Shanghai auto show

The days when the event was a glitzy showcase for poorly-designed rip-offs and copycat models, with leering rubberneckers ogling scantily dressed women on the stands, are well and truly over.

Beijing's central government has floated proposals to require carmakers to substantially boost sales of so-called new energy vehicles, or risk being penalised.

But manufacturers are showing and developing numerous battery electric and plug-in hybrid models in response to the government's desire for more green vehicles on the streets to counter China's chronic pollution.

SsangYong signed a letter of intent for a joint venture with Shaanxi Automobile Group in China in October in an attempt to build a production plant in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, a move seen as meant to locally manufacture cars to be sold in China. The discount will be the new energy vehicle discount that customers of electric and hybrid cars get in China.

Sales of NEVs rose more than 30 per cent to 16,500 units in February, from 5,400 units in January, illustrating just how quickly the market is growing.

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Chinese buyers have shown little enthusiasm for electric cars due to concern about cost, reliability and limited range.

SAIC, Geely and other rising Chinese automakers such a Great Wall 601633.SS and Chery Automobile Co Ltd [CHERY.UL] have a long way to go to achieve the sales levels of the U.S., European, Japanese and Korean brands in China.

Volvo Cars says the decision to make its first electric auto in China highlights the central role the country will play in Volvo's electrified future and underlines China's growing sophistication as a manufacturing center for the automotive industry.

Unable to afford a auto, Shanghai university student Long Yi faces a lengthy, expensive commute across his vast city but has found a solution in the car-sharing schemes quickly gaining momentum in China.

Expect lots of crossovers to make their debuts at Auto China this year, including the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman SE Cooper All4, the high-performance version of the popular crossover from the German-owned British brand.

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"Many middle class families that can afford a second vehicle are opting not to". The two models will be mated to either a seven-speed dual clutch transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Michael Yang, director of SAIC's worldwide division, revealed at Auto Shanghai on Wednesday said it will focus on its efforts in China and Europe for now. Hyundai also will unveil a new eco-friendly vehicle, FE, at the exhibition.

Though originally aimed at the Spanish market alone, the BMW M4 CS will also be offered in other markets as it is included at the Shanghai appearance. It's a spectacular upgrade on the C5 saloon, a family SUV which shares the Peugeot 5008's DNA.

In 2015, Volvo launched its XC90, which was its first vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. It was previewed as a concept past year.

The group's Skoda brand is also powering ahead with electrification with the unveiling of its Vision E concept.

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A former National Football League player has accidentally killed his three-year-old daughter at his home in Arizona, police say. Police later identified the young girl as the daughter of retired National Football League player and Pro Bowler, Todd Heap .

Additionally, Dana's new Spicer Electrified™ e-axles for electric transit buses and city delivery vehicles feature a fully integrated motor and gear box and leverage the company's vast experience in chassis drivetrain applications.

  • Kelly Blake