The Mercedes A-Class saloon is on show in Beijing
The BMW ix3 Concept previews the brand's first electric SUV
The MG X-Motion is one of several new cars expected to be shown in Beijing
Given the incredible size of the Chinese car market, the Beijing motor show - officially known as Auto China - is fast growing in importance on the automotive calendar.
It’s a key event for the major car firms to unveil some of their latest products in a huge market, and for fast-rising Chinese companies to shed stereotypes of churning out cheap copycats and showcase their increasing ability to make credible, good quality cars.
Many of the cars unveiled at the show will only be sold in the Chinese market, where status-driven buyers demand machines that are larger and bolder than you’ll find elsewhere. But with younger Chinese buyers fuelling the growth of SUVs and the government pushing car firms into producing electric vehicles, the machinery on show in Beijing highlights the future direction of much of the industry.
We’ll have extensive coverage from Beijing here on autocar.co.uk. Editor Mark Tisshaw and news editor Rachel Burgess are busily combing the halls of the China International Exhibition Centre and bursting out their finest Mandarin to check out all the new cars.
Meanwhile, digital editor James Attwood, senior staff writer Sam Sheehan and editorial assistant Sam Jenkins are co-ordinating coverage from Autocar Towers in Twickenham.
You can read all our stories from Beijing by clicking here, and check out some of the latest news and events below.
Beijing motor show: live updates
0410 BST / 1110 CST: Mark Tisshaw arrived in at the show a little later than planned. "Beijing is famous for its poor traffic, and having taken about 90 minutes to drive a few kilometres I can vouch for it," he said. Yet littered everywhere by the side of the road were abandoned bicycles from bicycle sharing schemes, dumped in ditches, woods, pavements and by the side of the road. It’s an ugly sight.
Still, it's not all bad news in Beijing, Tish reports: "It’s a roasting hot day, so thankfully the smog that typically dominates the air here is missing. In the past at the show, smog has even ended up in the motor show halls."
In non-bike and weather-releated news, Jaguar has a major presence in China, and has revealed a special XJ50, which celebrates 50 years of its XJ saloon model. It will be sold in both short and long wheelbase form, and is powered by a 296bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine.
0400 BST / 1100 CST: As is increasingly the case with motor shows, some of the big reveals in Beijing happened the day before the doors officially opened.
Mercedes-Benz grabbed much of the early attention with the reveal of tha A-Class Saloon - a machine that will be coming to Europe - and by showcasing the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate concept, an ultra-premium SUV that has caused quite the reaction from readers in the comments section of our story.
Not to be outdone, BMW has pulled the covers off the Concept iX3, an electric SUV that closely previews a future Jaguar I-Pace-rivalling production model.
Chinese buyers might go crazy for SUVs, but they still love saloons - and Volkswagen has shown the latest version of its China-only Lavida. Volkswagen sold 450,000 Lavida last year: not bad for a car you can only buy in one country...
Beijing motor show: the launches
BMW has released two preview images of the iX3, which is due on sale next year following a Beijing motor show reveal, although it's already been caught testing by our spy photographers. The car will be BMW's first all-electric SUV and a rival to the Jaguar I-Pace.
This car enjoyed an early limelight thanks to a sales brochure leak, but it's now been revealed officially ahead of a public debut in Beijing. The M2 Competition uses the S55 twin-turbocharged engine of the M3 and produces 405bhp – a 40bhp boost on the previous model.
Hybrid Kinetic Group will reveal two more Pininfarina-designed electric models this month that use micro-turbine range-extender technology. The K350 SUV and H500 saloon (above) will follow the Hong Kong company's HK GT coupé, H600 saloon and K550 and K750 SUVs.
The new ES has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Beijing motor show. It's due to arrive in Britain as a replacement for the GS.
Mercedes's upcoming rival to the Audi A3 Saloon has been leaked onto the internet via a single image, but it's not due for official reveal until the Beijing show kicks off.
Mercedes-Maybach has previewed a new concept that it will reveal in Beijing that is believed to be a precursor to the GLS SUV. The concept will be followed by a production model later this year.
Chinese-owned MG will reveal a new SUV concept to inspire a future production model set to hit roads in 2019. It’s not confirmed for Britain, but a UK spokesman told Autocar that the model could be introduced here in the future.
Skoda will reveal a China-only SUV in Beijing. The model, called the Kamiq, will sit below the Karoq and join a line-up tasked with doubling sales in the Chinese market to 600,000 units by 2020.
The world’s first 3D-printed car will be shown in public at the Beijing show before it makes production in 2019. Only a few components, such as the chassis, glass windscreen and tyres, are made using conventional methods. The rest are printed, drastically reducing waste and enhancing efficiency.