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2009 NAIAS - Detroit Auto Show Hosts Chinese Automakers Again in 2009


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The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2009 will host at least two Chinese automakers. One makes an encore appearance; a second is a newcomer to the NAIAS.

Brilliance Auto, BMW's Chinese partner, will make its first appearance at the NAIAS - and its first appearance at any North American auto show. BYD, which made its debut at NAIAS 2008, is back for a return engagement.

The NAIAS has been a leader among North American auto shows in attracting Chinese automakers to the U.S. At NAIAS 2007, Changfeng Motor became the first Chinese auto manufacturer to exhibit in Detroit or any other North American auto show. The company's press conference, held in Cobo Center's concourse, was jam-packed with reporters peering over the upper levels for a view. Changfeng returned to NAIAS in 2008 and was joined by BYD.

Brilliance and BYD will later reveal details of vehicle debuts and models on display.

Brilliance has appeared at shows in its native China as well as in Europe, where it currently sells vehicles. The automaker intends to eventually sell vehicles in the U.S. In China, Brilliance builds the 3 Series and 5 Series for BMW to sell in the country. It also builds and sells its own Zhonghua brand of vehicles. A Brilliance subsidiary builds Toyota models under license for the Chinese market.

BYD - which translates to Build Your Dreams - is a young company, established in 1995 as a battery maker. It quickly has become one of the world's largest producers of rechargeable batteries and claims a 30 percent share of the world's cell phone battery market.

In 2003, BYD entered China's burgeoning car business by buying bankrupt government-owned automaker Qinchan. While the automaker has established a presence at other international auto shows in China and Europe, the NAIAS is the only show at which BYD has exhibited.

BYD recently got a shot in the arm when American billionaire investor Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings paid $230 million for a 10-percent stake in the automaker to support its green technologies. BYD, using its immense battery expertise, is developing electric-hybrid cars that it expects to sell in China later this year, Europe and Israel by 2010 and eventually North America.

NewsFlash and ShowTalk Go Digital This year, the Auto Show's key industry publications are being designed and delivered in a digital format. This move reflects the Auto Show's commitment to deliver both event and industry-related news in a more timely and productive way. The new approach to NewsFlash and ShowTalk is part of a larger auto show communications' initiative that will be implemented beginning in 2009. Experience more at the new Auto Show web site, www.naias.com.

About the North American International Auto Show Entering its 21st year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most - up close and in one place. One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. The NAIAS Web site can be accessed at www.naias.com.