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Auto show posts sterling performance

A RECORD high number of 600,000 enthusiasts and higher-than-expected orders won by car makers has cemented Auto Shanghai 2009's reputation as the exhibition to showcase numerous new and concept models as well as extol China as a promising market that global auto makers can't ignore.

According to the organizer, the biennial auto show, which ended yesterday at the Shanghai New International Expo Exhibition Center, attracted 1,500 vehicle and component makers from 25 countries and regions and covered an area of 170,000 square meters, 20 percent bigger than the last edition.

The 13 cars making their global debuts at the show attracted much global attention and a total of 918 cars, including 316 imported vehicles and 602 Chinese-developed models, were displayed during the nine-day event.

Auto makers also saw encouraging sales, for example, Chongqing Lifan Auto said it won US$170 million worth of orders from overseas dealers, especially for its new Lifan 320 compact car that was launched at the show.

Most of the luxury car makers said their show cars were sold out despite an economic downturn.

"Amid the economic downturn, the sales were even better than the last edition," said Leo Wong, general manager of Bentley Shanghai and Bentley Hangzhou. "We believe more vehicles will be sold after the auto show."

Bentley said it sold 15 models over the past few days, including all its show cars which cost between 3.98 million yuan (US$581,871) and 6 million yuan.

More than 10 customers showed buying interest in the Lamborghini luxury sports cars which cost 7 million yuan.

Rolls-Royce said it sold 18 cars in the east China region, including its latest RR4 model.


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