We don't need to tell you that the Chinese car market is becoming kind of a big deal. The fact that it now rivals the U.S. as the biggest market in the world should tell you that. So it should come as no surprise that the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show will host a number of important debuts.
Only a handful of them will be destined for the U.S., however, as this year's Shanghai auto show shares its press preview dates with the New York auto show. With that in mind, expect to see mostly European and Asian market vehicles on display in Shanghai.
One such vehicle that has already been confirmed for display is a hybrid version of the BMW 5 Series. Built on a long-wheelbase platform sold specifically in the Chinese market, the gas-electric sedan will use a plug-in system to extend its usable electric range. Shanghai will also host the first public display of the 2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe.
Other possible debuts in Shanghai include the next-generation Volkswagen Beetle coupe and the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class subcompact. Add to that about two-dozen debuts from local Chinese manufacturers and the Shanghai auto show should have a busy show floor. Check back here starting April 19 for all the latest news from the show.