LUCA CIFERRI

VW keeps cool in Beijing by planning ahead

Luca Ciferri is Automotive News Europe's chief correspondentLuca Ciferri is Automotive News Europe's chief correspondent
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Regardless of the weather, the temperatures inside most halls at the Beijing auto show are either uncomfortably hot or absolutely oppressive. One exception during this year’s show was Volkswagen Group’s new pavilion, where the well-prepared Germans avoided broiling visitors by making an excellent decision.

Warned by local officials that the massive demand for electricity from the show could force power outages, VW installed two huge diesel-burning generators so that it would always have enough juice to keep the air conditioners running.

While VW excelled at keeping its show area cool, it suffered a bit because its hall was not linked to the others via the convention center’s network of covered walkways. If it rains it is nearly impossible to get to or from VW’s pavilion without getting soaked.

Another oddity of the show was witnessed at the end of the first press day (Monday). Anyone wearing an exhibitor badge -- and there were many -- was forcefully and persistently asked by a group of young people to hand over his or her badge. Was this being done to prevent the floor from being littered with discarded badges? Not exactly.

The next morning those same young people were trying to sell the exhibitor badges in front of the show’s main entrance.

You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com.

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