China August 2016: Focus on the All-new models

changhe-q35-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-tom-comChanghe Q35

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 397 models by clicking here *

August showed an extremely dynamic 26% year-on-year gain in China for the second consecutive month. As is the tradition each month, BSCB puts a laser focus on the new China-made nameplates that make their appearance in market to you are on the bleeding edge of knowledge as far as the largest car market in the world is concerned. The August 2016 class is slightly disappointing given the strength of the market with only six new entrants and none above 3.000 sales. For once the sedan/SUV ratio is balance at 3 vs. 3.

1. Changhe Q35 (#174 – 2.556 sales)

After the Q25 last March, BAIC continues the revival of the Changhe brand with this Q35 unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April and none other than a rebadged BAIC Senova X35, itself launched last May with a personal best of 8.005 sales (July) at end August. At 4.29m and powered by the same 1.5L petrol engine, the Q35 is almost identically priced to its twin the Senova X35 at 65.900-86.900 yuan (US$ 9.700-12.800) vs. 65.800-88.800 which is both strange and dangerous, as the Changhe brand certainly do not have the access-premium credentials the Senova sub-brand has. Moreover, the Q35 enters a fiercely fought segment that already includes such blockbusters as the Changan CS35, Haval H2, JAC Refine S3 and Brilliance V3. The Changhe Q25, after hitting a splendid 5.259 sales for its third month in market last May, has fallen back below 1.000 monthly units for the past two months, so Changhe must be reasonable when predicting long-term sales for the Q35. Keeping the score hit during this first month in the long-term would be an achievement in itself.

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly sales

kandi-gleagle-k17-china-august-2016Kandi Gleagle K17

2. Kandi Gleagle K17 (#243 – 1.002 sales)

Looks familiar? That’s because the Kandi K17 is in fact an electric version of the now-defunct Shanghai Englon SC5… Confusingly, Geely has decided to transform its electric brand Kandi into Gleagle, a brand it killed a couple of years ago. So this vehicle is actually called Gleagle K17A in China… It comes along the existing K10, K11 and K12 which do not appear in China’s sales charts and competes with the likes of the Zotye Z100 EV. Priced at 164.800 yuan (US$24.300), it will be reserved to taxi companies and green car fanatics in the big cities. The K17 launched a few months ago already which makes it difficult to figure out whether this month’s figure is an aggregate of more than one month or the accurate August data. Keeping at this level in the long-term would likely make parent company Geely happy.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

baw-bj20-china-august-2016

3. BAW BJ20 (#264 – 807 sales)

Is the BJ20 the best-looking BAW SUV so far? It has a definite air of American Jeep with its six headlights and although convoluted, it marks a clear improvement on the brand’s previous offerings, the BJ40 and BJ80. Powered by a Mitsubishi 1.5T engine with only 147hp and at 4.45m long, the BJ20 is yet another BAIC vehicle based on the Senova X65.

baw-bj20-interiorBAW BJ20 interior 

Priced between 96.800 and 139.800 yuan, it slides in above the Huansu S6 (79.800-116.800), level with the Weiwang S50 (95.000-110.000) and below the Senova X65 (106.800-156.800) and Borgward BX7 (169.800-242.800). BAW vehicles have historically struggled to hit four-digit sales figures with the BJ40 peaking at 1.628 units in June 2014 and only crossing the 1.000 monthly unit-milestone twice since including this month. A long-term stint above that mark is a good target for the BJ20.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

faw-junpai-a70

4. FAW Junpai A70 (#295 – 479 sales)

Unveiled last April at the Beijing Auto Show, the A70 is the second Junpai-branded offering and the first sedan after the D60 small crossover. Produced by the Tianjin branch of FAW (First Auto Works), it is based on the FAW Besturn B30 launched in November 2015 and features a snout inspired from the VW Scirocco. At 4.61m long and powered by an FAW-made 1.6L engine, the A70 is sharply priced from 64.800 to 87.800 yuan (US$ 9.600-13.000), logically slightly below the more up-marlet B30 (69.800-92.800). It’s a very crowded and relatively stagnant segment in China though: after hitting a personal best of 6.219 sales last January, the B30 has since fallen back below 2.000 units (1.593 in August). The Junpai D60 for its part hit a record 4.154 sales in January 2015 but has not seen a 4-digit sales month since last April, seemingly indicating the Junpai sub-brand hasn’t yet struck a chord with Chinese customers. In this context the A70 may struggle to impose itself.

Bar for success: 2.000 monthly sales

hawtai-e80-china-august-2016

5. Hawtai Lusheng E80 (#372 – 30 sales)

Under the new name Lusheng E80 actually hides a E70 with a minor facelift. It doesn’t appear in many Chinese websites and its price in unknown, hopefully more will be known about this vehicle soon. Note the E70 hit a personal best of 2.776 sales in December 2014 and is down 79% this month to just 373 units, but it’s unclear whether it will be fully replaced by the E80.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

yema-e70-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-wechatstyle-com

6. Yema E70 (#381 – 17 sales)

The Yema E70 is in fact an electric variant of the T70, itself a clone of the VW Touareg. Unveiled almost a year ago at the Chengdu Auto Show in November 2015, the E70 is a rare electric entry in the SUV segment. Anticipated to be priced at roughly 260.000 yuan (US$38.400) after eco car subsidies have been subtracted, its claimed range is 250km. The E70 was supposed to be launched in January 2016 but comes in market with over half-a-year delay. Discreet sales at best are to be expected.

Bar for success: 500 monthly sales

Previous month: China July 2016: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China August 2015: Focus on the All-new models

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