Autocar The joint venture cars: Shanghai motor show 2013

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    Citroen-Shanghai-fh_0. This year saw more concepts from automotive collaborations than ever before at the Shanghai motor show; here's a rundown of the most important debuts Chinese legislation has for a long time dictated that any Western manufacturer wanting to build cars in China must first form an alliance with a domestic firm. Volkswagen was the first European company to embark on a Chinese venture, back in 1984 with SAIC Motor to create Shanghai Volkswagen.
    With the Chinese market continuing to rise in importance, further joint ventures and new brands are emerging. Last week BMW and Brilliance announced it would produce EVs for the Chinese market under the Zinoro brand, whilst the Shanghai motor show has played host to many similar models this week. Here's our rundown of the most notable:
    Citroën C-Elysee
    Already produced in Spain for European markets, the C-Elysee saloon will be made for China as part of PSA's alliance with Dongfeng. Mechanically identical to the Peugeot 301, the C-Elysee is powered by a 1.2-litre, 72bhp engine developed to run on the varying qualities of fuel found in emerging markets.
    Venucia Viwa
    Venucia is the brand created under the auspices of the Dongfeng-Nissan joint venture in China. The Viwa is a city car EV, designed to take advantage of China's expanding infrastructure for electric cars. Specifications for the Viwa have not been released, but Venucia promises the Viwa will be practical, efficient and accessible.
    Horki
    Similarly to BMW-Brilliance's Zinoro, Horki is a brand created through a joint venture specifically for the Chinese market. Horki will be produced under the Dongfeng Yueda Kia tie-up, and its first concept was unveiled at the Shanghai show. Based on the Kia Forte/Cerato, the small saloon has not yet been confirmed for production. Horki will eventually sell a range of models in China, using alternative power also.
    Hyundai Mistra
    Hyundai's joint venture with the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company was established in 2002 and created the Beijing Hyundai Motor Company. The Mistra concept previews a family saloon due in China later this year
    Geely Emgrand KC
    A large luxury saloon in the mould of the Audi A7 and using the current Volvo S80's platform, but not through a conventional joint venture. As owners of Volvo, Geely has a different relationship with Volvo than the other alliances mentioned here. The Emgrand KC is likely to be powered by a new 2.0-litre engine designed in-house by Geely.
    Audi A3 saloon
    Set to arrive in Britain later this year, the A3 saloon will also be made in China, where Audi expects most of its sales. Aimed squarely at the Mercedes CLA, the A3 saloon will use the same engines and gearboxes as the Sportback, including a 296bhp S3 flagship.
    Ford Escort
    Ford hopes to tap into the lucrative compact saloon market in China by reviving the Escort name. It uses design themes familiar from many other Ford models, including the grille design from the Fiesta facelift. The Escort is strongly tipped to make production, exclusively for the Chinese market under Ford's joint venture with Chang'an.
    Citroën Wild Rubis
    Another collaborative effort with Dongfeng, the Citroën Wild Rubis concept is expected to become a production SUV for the Chinese market under Citroën's DS model line. The 4WD Wild Rubis is based on the DS5's platform and uses a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. The DS range has been very successful for Citroën, with 300,000 sales in 30 months.
    Infiniti Q50 LWB
    With many car owners in China opting to be driven rather than drive, Western manufacturers are offering extended wheelbase versions of their smaller saloons which place an emphasis on the rear-seat experience. The Infiniti Q50 LWB is the latest of these, and will be built locally under the Nissan-Dongfeng tie-up. It will rival cars like the BMW 3-series LWB.
    Honda Concept M
    Honda has two joint ventures in China, one each with Guangqi and Dongfeng. The Concept M is aimed to bring additional comfort and refinement to the Chinese MPV market, which is currently dominated by commercial vehicle-based cars. A production version of the Concept M is due next year, and may be available outside China.
    BYD-Daimler Denza prototype
    Denza is Daimler-BYD's equivalent of the BMW-Brilliance Zinoro brand, sharing technology to produce cars for the Chinese market. The prototype revealed at Shanghai uses the previous generation B-class's chassis with a powertrain from the BYD E6. It is expected in the Chinese market next year.
    Ford Mondeo 1.5 Ecoboost
    The latest Ford Ecoboost engine made its debut in a Mondeo at the Shanghai show, with the car going on sale in China next month. The four-cylinder unit is expected to produce similar power and torque figures to the current 1.6-litre turbo, with improved economy and emissions. It's due in Britain with the next-generation Mondeo.
    VW Crossblue Coupé
    Volkswagen's latest hybrid SUV concept is a more sporting version of the Crossblue seen previously. It would be underpinned by the MQB platform and sit in VW's range above the Tiguan and below the Touareg. Aimed at the American and Chinese markets, a production Crossblue Coupé could be built in Shanghai as part of the Volkswagen-FAW joint venture.
    Acura Concept SUV-X
    The SUV-X is the first Acura to be premiered outside of North America, indicating the importance of the Chinese market. Though a production model is not due for three years, Acura is promising "the environmental performance of a small vehicle and excellent utility of an SUV".
    Matt Bird


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