* See the Top 314 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *
As is now the tradition on BestSellingCarsBlog, after going through October sales and a year-to-date update for China, given this is the most dynamic car market in the world we zoom in on the all-new models making their first appearance in the Chinese ranking this month. This way you know all there is to know about absolutely all new cars getting into production in the most important car marketplace there is. In October we have four newcomers making their way into the Chinese ranking, two of them Chinese, with scores still relatively discreet for now. There are a lot more new launches to come in the next few months so be sure to check this monthly update often!
The most popular arrival is the JAC Heyue A30, landing at #144 with 2,800 sales. The A30 is a small sedan starting at 62.800 yuan ($10,300) and ending at 82.000 yuan ($13,500). It brings local manufacturer JAC into a new segment in which Chinese carmakers have no competition from foreign manufacturers yet: affordable small sedans. The JAC Heyue A30 therefore competes with the likes of the Great Wall Voleex C30, Haima M3 or the recently launched Chery E3. According to Car News China, “this segment is very popular in second and third tier cities where many citizens now have the cash to buy their first car, and what they want is a no-bullshit cheap sedan. JAC cars are rare in the big cities on the east coast where most car buyers go for the more expensive foreign brands”. I can confirm I only spotted a couple of JAC cars during my recent stay in Beijing. How far up can the A30 go? The answer is very far. Ranking at #144 it already is the brand’s #2 best-seller below the JAC Refine MPV at #106 and JAC’s #1 passenger car just above the Heyue down 55% to #145… A spot in the Top 100 seems guaranteed at this stage, a spot in the Top 50 would get JAC into the next level at home.
Further below we have the Gonow Xinglang MPV (meaning ‘bright star’) making its entrance at #208 with 960 sales. Gonow is a subsidiary of GAC who was granted in November 2011 a patent by Dongfeng-Nissan to manufacture a clone of the Nissan NV200 which is what the Xinglang MPV is. So we’re looking at a legal copy here. It starts at at 52.800 yuan ($8,700) and ends at 79.800 yuan ($13,100): incredibly, cheaper than a cheap sedan! For comparison, the Nissan NV200, also produced locally and ranking #187 with 1,469 sales this month, costs double: it starts at 105.800 yuan ($17,400) and ends at 131.800 yuan ($21,600). It’s very hard to predict long-term sales prospects for the Xinglang, as it is already the best-selling of all 3 Gonow models present in the ranking! (the Aoosed GX5 is #233 and the Aoosed G5 is #240) and the brand’s first incursion into MPVs. It should be able to gather more sales than the Nissan NV200 so a spot inside the Top 150 could be a possibility.
The next new arrival will be familiar to you: it’s the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, switching from import to local production and therefore making its first appearance in our monthly sales charts at #252 with 347 sales. The way to differentiate import from locally produced Pajero Sport is the horizontal bars inside the grille for the Chinese version vs. vertical for the import. The Pajero Sport is produced by the GAC-Mitsubishi joint-venture founded one year ago and which already gave birth to the local ASX. Mitsubishi has also been producing passenger cars locally through another joint-venture with SouEast. For reference, the ASX ranked inside the Chinese Top 100 for the first time last September and currently stands at #144 year-to-date with 26,929 sales, meaning a spot inside the Top 175 for the Pajero Sport would be a neat achievement.
Another model switching from import to local production this month is the Skoda Yeti. The Chinese Yeti starts just under 200,000 yuan ($32,800), positioning it as an entry-premium SUV, which can seem rather strange if you live in Europe. But both Volkswagen and Skoda are considered very classy here in China. The Chinese Yeti’s wheelbase stretched by 8 cm for more space in the back. Stretched variants are not uncommon in China but usually apply to luxury sedans like the Audi A6L and BMW 5 Series L, making the Yeti the first stretched small SUV to go on sale here. It lands at #268 with 180 sales, but given virtually all Skodas have been met with success in China this is a very temporary ranking. A stint inside the Top 100 is almost a certainty within the next 6 to 12 months, anything better will make the Yeti a blockbuster. For comparison the Octavia ranks #38 this month, the Rapid #93, the Superb #128 and the Fabia #153.
Finally, I know a lot of you have asked about sales figures for the DS5 now produced locally by the new Changan-PSA joint venture, which will be soon followed by the DS4, DS3 and DS X7 SUV. The official launch occurred on September 30, however there are no sales figures for October, which could mean actual sales of the locally-produced model have not started even though orders are being taken, or Changan-PSA does not share sales figures yet. I am looking into this matter as I am writing this article so stay tuned!
Previous month: China September 2013: Focus on the all-new models
Full October 2013 Top 314 All-models Ranking Table below.