Models stand next to Porsche's new Panamera S car.
Xu Guozhen, vice president of Ford Motor (China) Ltd., said global car makers are active in the show in effort to expand their market share in the growing Chinese auto market, which has become the primary engine to pump energy into the gloomy global market.
Teaming up with its Chinese partner of Chang'an Motor, Ford is planning to present 37 car models at the show.
The Shanghai auto expo has also been eyed by China's domestic automakers as a platform to compete with their foreign counterparts, said Wang Xia.
Geely, the largest independent Chinese automaker, is displaying 22 car models, and another home player, Chery, is also having a massive displays of 24 models.
Domestic carmakers including Geely and BYD announced earlier that they would unveil new-energy vehicles at the show.
New-energy autos are electric or electric-hybrid vehicles.
Miao Yu, vice minister of Industry and Information Technology, said on Sunday that the Chinese government will allocate 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) to boost technology innovation in the domestic automobile industry, which is part of a comprehensive plan to enlarge new-energy auto production.
According to the plan, China will have annual production capacity of 500,000 new-energy vehicles by 2011, which means 5 percent of new vehicles should be powered by new energy.