The 13th Beijing Auto Show, also known as Auto China 2014, has kicked off and will run until April 29th at the China International Exhibition Center.
Over 1,000 autos are on display from more than 2,000 automakers. China is the world’s biggest auto market, with nearly 18 million vehicles sold last year.
Luxury automaker Bentley has revealed its first hybrid car in Beijing. The car, which is based off of the company’s Mulsanne model, was introduced alongside three additional designs.
The new hybrid model runs off of both petrol and electric power. The vehicle is able to be driven for 30 miles on electric power before needing to be recharged or fueled. Bentley claims that this dual approach to power reduces emissions by 70 percent and increases output by 25 percent.
The other cars that were launched include: the Flying Spur V8 sedan, the Continental GT Speed (Bentley’s fastest car), and the Continental GT V8 S.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Ricky Tay, managing director of Bentley’s China division said, “China has always been a key market for Bentley and, after a remarkable year in 2013, we have seen an impressive start to 2014 with a 19 percent increase in sales in the first quarter. Our customer base is growing and we are expanding our dealer network to offer our ultra luxury products and a unique brand experience throughout the region.”
Looking forward, Bentley says they plan to release a hybrid SUV by 2017 and hope to offer 90 percent of their vehicles as hybrids within the next ten years.
Bentley is not alone in its pursuit of the Chinese market though. Car sales in China rose by 16 percent last year to 18 million, the highest in the global market. Jaguar Land Rover is looking to release SUVs in China by the end of the year and Volvo, which is owned by the Geely company in Hangzhou, is expecting Chinese purchases to make up the majority of their sales.
China’s developing middle-class is proving to be very appealing to big-name automobile companies. With some businesses moving production to China, and others focusing on releasing new models to Chinese consumers, experts predict that the country’s market will continue to grow.
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