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April 25, 2011

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Luxury cars draw huge crowds at auto show

NEARLY 300,000 people visited the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition over the weekend.

Saturday saw more than 150,000 visitors pack the New International Exhibition Center and only slightly fewer, over 133,000, were there yesterday, organizers said.

Entrance tickets originally designated for weekend visits have been made valid for weekdays until April 28.

Three temporary parking lots at Yanggao Road South, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and Yuanshen Sports Center were open to ease traffic pressure on Longyang Road and shuttle buses were available between them and the venue.

Extra traffic police were drafted in to cope with the inevitable congestion near the venue.

The traffic problems didn't dampen the desire to buy a car -especially a luxury model.

Bentley Shanghai Motor Sales Co said it had received more than 50 orders from visitors to the show.

Beyond expectations

"The orders were more than two times that of the last auto show in 2009 and way beyond our expectations," Assistant General Manager Kingston Chang at Bentley China told Shanghai Daily.

Some of the cars will be delivered by the end of this year while some clients might have to wait until February or March next year to get behind the wheel.

"More than half of the sales are of our New Continental GT. Some of our clients are very familiar with the new models and quickly put in their orders after they see it for real at the exhibition," Chang said.

The New Continental GT was making its Chinese debut at the show. Customers will pay in excess of 3.5 million yuan (US$538,460) for their new car.

Chrysler said it had received around 40 orders and some customers were even willing to order models that won't be rolled out until June, the Oriental Morning Post said yesterday.

Sales of passenger cars rose 9 percent from a year ago in the first quarter of 2011 to 3.8 million units after China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest auto market.


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