World: Which Chinese models are successful overseas?
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We have covered how Chinese models were struggling to rule their own market, but how do their fare outside of China? Based on all the data I have been collecting on Best Selling Cars Blog, there are at least 13 countries and territories in the world where a Chinese or Chinese-manufactured model managed to break into the Top 10.
The country where Chinese models are most successful in terms of ranking (but not sales) is, unsurprisingly, neighbour North Korea: local manufacturer Pyeonghwa assembles Chinese models and they dominate the (still very quiet) streets: the Samchunri, a rebadged Jinbei Haise, is likely to be the best-seller ahead of rebadged versions of the Brilliance BS4, FSV and Huanghai Shuguan.
Two other countries/territories have had a Chinese model top their ranking, and only one officially: in Tajikistan, the Changhe Freedom must have been the best-selling car in the country for a couple of years before such minivans were abruptly banned over safety concerns in 2010. In New Caledonia, the Great Wall Wingle made history last November when it lead the tiny market while the DongFeng Utah (aka Rich) was up to #7 last May.
In Egypt, Chery manufactures its models under the brand Speranza with outstanding success: it has been the 4th best-selling passenger car brand in Egypt since 2008, selling more than Toyota since 2009! The Speranza A516 ranked #9 at year-end from 2007 to 2009. In 2011 the best-selling Chinese model was the Speranza Tiggo at #14 (and #9 in December), with the A113 (#11 in December), M11, JMC Pick-up, Brilliance FSV and FRV also popular. The Changhe Freedom landed directly #28 for its first month last February.
Chinese manufacturers have launched a full-scale ‘invasion’ of the African and Middle-Eastern car markets but the absence of regular official figures makes it hard to measure properly. In Iraq the Great Wall Deer (a rebadged previous generation Toyota Hilux) and Sailor (a rebadged Nissan Frontier) should be among the best-sellers, in Madagascar JAC was #5 with 7.3% share in Q2 2010 thanks to the JAC Tojoy (aka Tongyue) and in Cote d’Ivoire Great Wall was #10 in 2010 at 3.8% with the Hover most popular.
In Ethiopia, Lifan and JAC have cooperated with Holland Car, the country’s first car brand, to assemble models locally and the Abay, a rebadged Lifan 520, is starting to get noticed in the crazy Addis Ababa traffic. Holland Car’s range also includes the Tekeze (JAC Tongyue hb), Awash (JAC B-Class) and Shebele (JAC B-Cross).
The Chinese had delayed their formal Western European launch on the back of disastrous crash tests for the Brilliance BS6 and Landwind SUV in 2007. This is now changing with the Geely Emgrand EC7 getting 4 NCAP stars late last year, and ChangAn harbouring great ambitions for its new Eado – pictured on top of this article.
The only country in Western Europe with established Chinese brands, Italy made history last December when the Great Wall Hover reached an amazing 32nd place, the first time a Chinese model ranked within the Top 50 of a major European country. Chery has made a habit of creating new brands in the countries it assembles in order to appear more local and in Italy it sells as DR Motor, with the DR1 the best-selling Chinese model in Western Europe in 2011 at #259.
We can’t leave Western Europe without mentioning MG, now the property of SAIC and reintroduced in the UK market last year with the MG6 but to disappointing results. Will the MG5 fare better? Answer later this year when the model is scheduled to launch in the UK.
But Eastern Europe and most significantly South America are two regions where Chinese manufacturers have truly established some very solid foundations for large scale success in the near future. Plus the best-selling Chinese export in the world in 2012 may be a…Chevrolet! Discover all this after the jump by clicking on ‘Read more’ below!