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Beijing auto show to kick off on Sunday
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Chinese customers will be able to see almost 100 new cars for the first time during the show. Twenty-four models will make their debuts in Asia.

All the world's major auto makers, including General Motors, BMW, Toyota and Honda, will exhibit at the show, the organizers said.

Germany's Volkswagen AG, German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota from Japan said the Beijing show was the most important event outside of their home countries.

About 225 overseas manufacturers and more than 1,800 domestic producers will participate in the show.

Many auto makers will present their environment-friendly models, including those run on alternative fuels, hybrid and electric cars, said the organizers.

Mercedes-Benz will display a particularly clean diesel hybrid model, while Ford will show off its latest engine technology called EcoBoost that will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy on 500,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in North America during the next five years.

Some energy-saving technologies still in development will be demonstrated at the Beijing show following their appearance at other overseas shows like that in Detroit in January.

Luxury brands such as Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Spyker will also exhibit.

Almost 100 overseas media organizations will cover the event, including the Associated Press, the Washington-based United Press International, Bloomberg, Reuters, AFP, ZDF from Germany, the Asahi Shimbun from Japan.

Among about 8,000 Chinese reporters, most are from outside Beijing.

"More individuals are buying cars in Xuzhou, though a second-tier city, so the readership is rapidly expanding," said a female reporter from a newspaper in Xuzhou city, in east China's Jiangsu Province.

The show will open exclusively to journalists on Sunday and Monday and to the public from Tuesday.

The biennial exhibition is one of the three major auto shows in China. The other two are staged in Shanghai once every two years since 1989 and annually in Guangzhou.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2008)

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