Beijing auto show a hit

118 new models were exhibited at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

According to the organisers website, the 2014 Beijing exhibition will see over 100 models make their global debuts as carmakers seek to capture an increasingly important audience. Over 2,000 companies, including both foreign and domestic stalwarts such as VW, BMW, Toyota, FAW and Geely, will showcase their offerings at the event.

Honda hybrid concept

The Honda Hybrid Sedan concept Image: Honda

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its first Volkswagen Golf, the German auto giant launched a special Golf R series at the show, alongside a host of other hybrid and new energy vehicles includein g a new concept from Honda.

Foreign luxury carmakers such as Lincoln, Bentley and McLaren were also keen to capitalise on the event for the first time since its inauguration in 1990.

Holding down the luxury market for domestic brands, FAW's luxury Hongqi H5, a 3.2 ton 6.0L V12 ride costing close to 1m yuan ($161,000) was a hit at the show. However, unit sales have only reached 3,000 since May 2013.

BYD also introduced a nippy new number, the Tang hybrid SUV, which boasts 100km in 4.9 seconds. The eco-friendly SUV, hopes BYD, will corner the new found affinity of young car buyers for SUVs with their increasingly environmentally conscious attitude.

Audi's new off-road concept and BMW's futuristic luxury concept car also drew a large crowd. But perhaps the most dazzling offering was Bugatti's Veyron Black Bess Legend, styled in all black wtih a luxury cream interior.

That so many automakers are still clamouring for the Chinese car market reflects the growth potential in the booming sector.