The Shanghai auto show was striking this year for the amount of attention given to Chinese brands compared with foreign rivals.
The domestic brands captured the majority of interest from media and influencers during the show's press days, leaving the exhibition stands of global brands much emptier than those from Chinese rivals.
It did not help that global brands were outgunned on new model reveals. Around 100 new vehicles were launched at the event, of which 70 were all-electric. The vast majority of those 100 were from Chinese automakers.
Most participating automakers – local or foreign -- spent a lot of money to attract attention at an event that has not been held to a global audience here since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Eye-catching gimmicks were everywhere. Polestar, for example, positioned its new Polestar 4 midsize SUV and Polestar 3 large SUV on a narrow runway strip above a field of 80,000 tulips.
The Geely-owned brand was unusual, however, in restricting the number of cars on its stand. Most automakers flooded their floor space with vehicles, enabling visitors to crawl around in new production models.