Global automakers gripped in an industry recession are wooing chances of the upcoming Shanghai auto expo as China overtook America to become's the world's largest auto market in the first quarter.
A battle heated between 13 new car models by automakers including Mercedes-Benz and BMW will start in the show's 170,000 square meter showroom on Tuesday. The event has registered 1,500 foreign and domestic automakers, according to the organizers on Monday.
Models stand next to a Smart Cabriolet car at the Shanghai International Auto show April 20.
"The numbers are unprecedented, which reflect a confidence given by global automakers to the prospect of the Chinese market," said Wang Xia, deputy director of the auto industry division of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, one of the organizers of the biannual show.
China's auto sales hit a monthly record of 1.11 million vehicles in March, exceeding US sales for the third month in a row, and up 5 percent from last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
This session of the Shanghai auto expo is likely to be the world's most influential auto show this year, said Wan Jifei, chairman of the council.
Mercedes-Benz is setting up a 2,500 square meter booth to accommodate its release of four new car models and Asian debut of six other models at the show.
Despite the plight in the home market, America's top three automakers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have sustained their position at the show by jointly occupying 5,000 square meters of exhibiting area.