Luxury gets the rock star treatment in China

Luxury carmakers are doing better than ever in China, mainly thanks to competitive pricing, local manufacturing and a true understanding of the discriminating tastes of Chinese buyers.

Judging by the media reaction during the opening of the Shanghai auto show, foreign manufacturers aren't backing off the accelerator.

Every major foreign luxury brand is using Shanghai to demonstrate a willingness to deliver new entries to a region of the world aching for more product.

And Shanghai is proving to be an even better test bed for new product.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche faced a mob of Chinese journalists following the reveal of the A Class concept. Audi's Q3 small crossover was choked by crowds of journalists.

In Shanghai, the red carpet is out for luxury brands as journalists and visitors admire models such as the Mercedes-Benz SLS roadster and its gull-wing doors. Photo credit: JASON STEIN

Aston Martin, Jaguar and BMW all showed what is possible with fuel efficiency.

Even Volvo, under Chinese ownership, flexed its muscle with fresh product -- the Concept Universe, a 4-door luxury sedan.

If luxury has a new home, it's in China where foreign manufacturers will test drive consumers' insatiable appetite for what's new and cool.

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