Auto Shanghai 2023 opened its doors this week to over 1,000 manufacturers and exhibitors, with the show promising to enjoy record attendance as visitors continue to fill the bustling exhibition heading towards the event’s second week.

Hosted at full scale for the first time since 2019, the event marks an impactful return for one of the world’s largest automotive and e-mobility shows, as players from world-leading OEMs to start-up manufacturers seek to place their new offerings and future-facing products firmly in the global spotlight.

The event has seen a host of vehicles from manufacturers across the world make their debut at the 20th edition of the exhibition, highlighting key themes set to define the industry agenda – both in the near and longer-term future.

With our team leveraging their global automotive and e-mobility expertise in activating at the event, here are some key takeaways from what the show has had to offer so far:

The scope of the global electric vehicle market is diversifying – and quickly. Certainly, e-mobility has been the defining theme of OEMs’ activities at the event, with EVs taking centre stage in vehicle reveals and audience interest – both in terms of visiting consumers and exhibiting manufacturer personnel carefully monitoring rivals’ offerings and product strategy.

Auto Shanghai can very much be seen as a microcosm of vehicle sales trends in multiple markets across the world; indeed, new battery-electric vehicle registrations in the European Union increased by 58% in March compared to the same month last year, while year-on-year Q1 sales rose by 43.2%.

OEMs are also gathering pace when looking at their shifting product strategies, from electrifying existing models to increasingly introducing new, bespoke electric product lines to the market. On the technical side, this shift is enabling manufacturers to make increasingly capable, high-performing products using bespoke EV architecture – while also helping them to carve out their own character and customer appeal.

Diversification and customer appeal is requiring increasingly novel innovation and sales tactics. As the EV sector becomes more saturated with competitors vying for market share, it is evident from this year’s edition of Auto Shanghai that manufacturers are seeking new, much bolder ways to attract new customers – not least in the realm of on-board entertainment.

From next-generation user interfaces with advanced graphics, to integrated on-board games to keep passengers entertained, manufacturers are leveraging the e-mobility shift as a prime opportunity to tap into broader industries, such as video gaming and entertainment.

This not only brings more value to the mobility experience and engages new audiences, but also affords OEMs a critical avenue for establishing a point of difference in the market – allowing them to offer customers more features for the same price.

Such is the close competition in the market, that manufacturers are also increasingly taking on customer purchase incentives themselves – with industry analysis showing some OEMs discounting EVs by nearly half, in a bid to win customers over.

Amid this fascinating stream of new-generation product launches and extraordinary innovation, it is clear that opportunities to effect transformation in the automotive and e-mobility sectors is growing apace.

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