China Auto 2024 Observations

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China Auto 2024 Observations

China Auto 2024 kicked off in Beijing last Thursday, warmly welcomed back by the China automotive community after a 4-year hiatus.

The Kadence team visited on press day and after walking the exhibition halls, here are 5 observations of things that stood out to us:

1: Polestar

As experts in the development of automotive sculpture we were captivated by seeing Polestar exteriors presented side-by-side; each model in direct comparison with the other. In our opinion, the entire range embodies high-level execution of surface treatment and proportions.

Along with Zeekr and Lynk&Co, it’s very hard to find other brands whose family DNA is expressed so cohesively across models.

2: Bold graphics used as a design statement

We saw plenty of examples of graphic and font design being incorporated into how new car designs were presented at the show, with eye-catching effect. It will be interesting to see how these designs transfer to ‘on-the-road’ models.

3: Outdoor lifestyle trends move into vehicle functionality

A big trend amongst Chinese consumers, particularly amongst the young, professional demographic with disposable income, has been a focus on outdoor pursuits. This has been reflected in fashion, leisure time, travel trends, and social media content. We noticed several brands at the show had tapped into this with the addition of camping/off-grid adaptations. Think roof tents, awnings, and functionality such as power sockets, fresh water tanks, etc.

Is this just capturing the current social media zeitgeist in China, or a broader adaptation of contemporary lifestyles?

4: Jetour SUV concept inspires off-grid dreaming

Following on from this off-grid / adventure vibe, we were really impressed with the Jetour T5 with its rugged stance and proportions. In addition, we were intrigued by the low-definition digital front grill and its potential functionality.

5: Lotus racing heritage with value and depth

Finally, we loved the presentation of the fabulous Evija from Lotus. The black and gold pinstriped livery was reminiscent of the classic Lotus 77 Formula 1 car famously driven by Mario Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson.

There is a value in seeing this depth of motorsport and brand heritage design references in a market that doesn’t have that history.

Two Decades of Automotive Design Service Excellence

The Kadence team spent time at Auto China 2024 recently. Here are some of our observations.