Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

THE BIENNIAL 18th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (or simply, Auto Shanghai 2019) was a huge showcase and opportunity for automotive and related businesses to flex their muscles and trot out their best. Themed “Create a Better Life,” the spectacle was once again held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center which holds the distinction of being the world’s largest facility of its kind — touting a floor area of almost 1.5 square million meters.

From ambitious concept cars quite a ways from realization, to more realistic vehicles just around the corner, Auto Shanghai is a testament to the vigor of the sector in China and a mirror of the aspirations and tastes both of local and foreign brands and obviously, the market they target.

If one could spot a trend during this staging, it’s probably one of increased technology within vehicles. Traditional analog gauges and moderately sized infotainment system screens have largely given way to tablet-like centerpieces within consoles. Physical needles have been replaced by virtual ones ensconced in high-definition screens. The experience is highly customizable, too.

A greater number of vehicles are also being powered by drivetrains other than internal combustion engines. Reports have it that Chinese have snapped up 35% of all the electric cars sold globally — and are on the way to owning 1,000,000 EVs by the end of the year. This is also a result of government policy that rewards owners with fiscal relief.

At any rate, the future certainly beckons as you can see from these images that all is well in the motoring industry.