This being my first ever Auto Show, I was not certain what to expect; however, my experience there completely blew away my minimal expectations. After my second day, I realized that there are actually two different exhibitions going on at the same time: one for the assemblers, and one for the parts suppliers.
The assembler exhibits were all about flash and noise -- an effort to draw attention without any shame. I was amazed at how easy it was for the manufacturers to draw attention to even the homeliest of cars by standing pretty girls next to them.
This Chery QQ, however, was cute enough to pick up and put in your pocket. (I'm talking about the car, not the girl.)
Whereas the assemblers only had a handful of people standing around to answer questions (compared to the throngs standing around their cars), the supplier booths were set up for making deals. The assembler areas were generally so loud that it was impossible to have a conversation. The parts areas were set up specifically for conversations to take place.
So that you don't think I was there only for business, I did manage to see this eye-catching act at the Hawtai Auto Group booth. (They were actually pretty decent musicians too!)
There were some interesting concept cars including this Hover H7 from Great Wall
As for Chrysler, well... I felt bad for them. Their exhibit lacked any imagination. It was a desert motif, which I thought quite appropriate for the times they are going through. They didn't bring any of their muscle cars, only the PT Cruiser (which was attracting some attention) and a bunch of warmed-over Jeep variations.
The Japanese exhibits were, except for the the pretty models they had hired, also pretty boring. Nothing but boring, dependable cars -- the kind of cars you would love to own, but that you wouldn't necessarily run out and brag about to your friends. Though Mazda did have an interesting concept car that looked like a grinning tiger.
This concept from Changfeng
That isn't to say the Chinese brands are ugly, just that many of them do not appeal to my personal taste. While I found many of them interesting, I didn't find many that I would be proud to own and drive. I don't know whether this is a stage that Chinese designers will grow out of, or whether it is simply a difference between Western and Chinese sensibilities that will always exist.
For example, this Geely Tiger concept is hard to look at, but also hard to look away from. I'm not sure what to make of it.
Edit: Some may also be interested to see the new four-door Porsche Panamera that debuted at this show. It was impossible to get close enough for a good shot. Fortunately, the Chery exhibit across the way had a raised platform from which to use my zoom lens.