As per the BSCB tradition, after September data we now explore in more detail the all-new locally produced models that enter the sales charts this month. For the last time we will only cater for the models that have kick-started local production, import data will come very shortly. After welcoming 5 new nameplates in May, two in June, 4 in July and 6 in August, we have another very strong month for newcomers in September with five new entries, and as opposed to August when only one sold over 500 units, this time only one sell less than 1.500 units… And this month all newcomers are Chinese, with three SUVs, two MPVs and one electric sedan. How very on-trend.
1. JAC Refine S2 (#83 with 6.930 sales)
With the Refine S2, JAC is hoping to build on the runaway success of the Refine S3 which sold over 180.000 units in just a year. Powered with a 1.5L engine, the S2 is logically positioned below the S3 and above the upcoming S1, and priced between 58.800 and 75.800 yuan (US$ 9.300-12.000). It competes full frontal with the Beijing Auto Huansu S2, the Dongfeng Fengguang 360, Weichai Enranger G3 and Haval H1. Its first monthly score has it beating all the aforementioned nameplates already, showing it can pretend to shake things up in its category. A Top 50 ranking is a good first target, flirting with the gigantic success of its big brother the Refine S3 an ambitious stretch target.
Bar for success: #50 or 12.000 monthly sales
2. Jinbei 750 (#107 with 4.810 units)
Just at the time when the MPV category is starting to lose steam (-5% in September whereas the market is back in positive territory), we welcome a new entrant that is showing great potential. The Jinbei 750, yet another Wuling Hongguang-inspired vehicle, land directly in 8th position in the MPV ranking – #107 overall – with 4.810 units finding a new home in September. Powered by a 1.5L engine, the 750 has a tightly controlled price range of only 53.800 to 63.800 yuan (US$ 8.500-10.100), undercutting both the Hongguang S 1.5L (65.800-69.800 yuan) and the Baojun 730 1.5L (69.400-80.800 yuan) and positioned right against the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 (46.800-63.800 yuan). The latter will sell well over 110.000 units for its first full year in market and constitutes a good stretch target for the Jinbei 750.
Bar for success: #60 or 10.000 monthly sales
3. Weichai Enranger 737 (#195 with 1.658 deliveries)
Only two months after launching their very first vehicle, the Enranger G3 SUV, Weichai Auto, a new Chinese manufacturer owned by Weichai Power specialised in diesel engines, already kick starts its second offering, the Enranger 737 MPV. In July the G3 started at #202 with 1.043 units, this time the 737 does 59% better in a much less saturated segment. Powered by the same Mitsubishi 1.5L petrol engine as the G3, the 737 starts at an equally cut-throat 56.800 yuan (US$ 8.960) but climbs up to 99.800 yuan ($15.700), the reason for this being the top-spec 737s are equipped with a gigantic 16-inch touch screen inspired by the Tesla Model S – no less:
With such a point of difference, the 737 can hope to shoulder its way towards the Top 100 best-selling nameplates in the country and start making a name for the Weichai brand – or is it Enranger?
Bar for success: #100 or 5.000 monthly sales
4. Zotye X5 (#200 with 1.526 sales)
The X5 is called “Dai Mai” in Chinese and was unveiled at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, confusing everyone with a different naming code whereas Zotye was very satisfyingly using T200 and T600 for its first two SUVs. The X5 is powered by a choice of two turbo 1.5L engines and is 4527mm long, once again a confusing 4mm shorter than the strong seller T600. Its pricing (73.800-108.900 yuan / $11.600-17.200) is a tad lower than the T600 at equivalent spec (79.800-115.800). Whatever game Zotye is playing with the X5 Dai Mai, it’s a dangerous one that risks cannibalising sales of the T600, for now completely unfazed at +49% and 10.415 sales in September. The next few months will give us the answer.
Bar for success: #100 or 5.000 monthly sales
5. BYD e5 (#323 with 125 units)
The BYD e5 is a full electric sedan unveiled at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, based on the BYD Surui. It is BYD’s second full-electric sedan after the e6 which has been sold to multiple taxi companies around the world. BYD indeed pushed the taxi angle to death at the Auto Show this year. Not destined for high sales figures at home, the e5’s sole purpose is to strengthen BYD’s green car credentials. For reference, the e6 is up 96% so far in 2015 with 3.922 units sold in 9 months at #293, so the e5’s start is already a strong future in itself, although it could hit higher ground due to its more affordable price of 140.000 yuan (US$ 22.000) with incentives and subsidies applied.
Bar for success: #270 or 500 monthly sales
Previous month: China August 2015: Focus on the All-new models
One year ago: China September 2014: Focus on the All-new models