More than 50,000 auto fans stormed the Beijing International Exhibition Center on Thursday for the long-anticipated Seventh Beijing International Automotive Industry Exhibition, the first international auto exhibition to be held in China since its entry into the World Trade Organization.
More than 1,200 auto and parts manufacturers from 24 countries and regions are participating in the exhibition.
World famous auto-manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Volvo, Toyota, Honda and Fiat have brought their latest products to the exhibition.
"We are expecting far more visitors in the next few days as the first and second days of the exhibition were only open to professional visitors," said an exhibition official.
The exhibition organizers had predicted that more than 400,000 auto fans would visit the international auto show between June 6 and June 13, surpassing the 380,000 visitors attending the previous auto show in 2000.
The hot weather produced temperatures of 35 C on Thursday. Although the organizers took great care in their exhibition preparations, the traffic was heavy and parking space was at a premium. Inside exhibition halls, most car manufacturers erected big screens and hired music bands or dancers to entertain viewers.
Wang Li, an assistant sales manager in a local company, said her favorite auto in the show was the La Crosee concept car from General Motors and maintained that the US$3.79 million automobile was just for sightseeing.
Like Wang, many Chinese visitors at the exhibit are mainly interested in the economical family cars, while the luxurious and innovative ones are just an eye opener.
(China Daily June 7, 2002)