China May 2014: Focus on the all-new models

Mazda3 Axela China May 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.163.comMazda3 Axela

* See the Top 327 models by clicking on the title! Thanks Carnewschina for the pricing info *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after going through detailed sales figures for May, I spend a bit more time acknowledging the all-new entrants in the models ranking, to ensure you are across the latest news in the biggest car market in the world. This month like in April 4 new models make their appearance in the Chinese ranking. Keep in mind all models detailed here are locally produced as import data is not communicated.

The most successful new entrant in May is the new generation Mazda3 Axela, differentiated from the other 2 generations of Mazda3 by its Japanese name. Priced between 114.900 and 159.900 yuan (US$18.500-25.800), it lands at a very satisfying #129 with 3,343 sales. This is already better than the Mazda3 Xingcheng (2nd generation) over the Full Year 2013 (#153) and the Mazda3 (first generation) at #203, so a great opportunity for Mazda to step up its overall sales in China with this new model… It will compete with the Ford Focus (#3), VW Golf (#20) and Honda Civic which it already nearly toppled (#126) so the sky is the limit for the 3 Axela which could push Mazda to new heights. A monthly Top 50 ranking before 2014 comes to an end would be a great achievement.

Beijing Auto Senova D50 China May 2014. Picture courtesy of pcauto.com.cnBeijing Auto Senova D50

Just below at #132 with 3,238 sales is the Beijing Auto Senova (or Shenbao) D50, which is now separated sales-wise from the Senova D-Series (renamed D70) and therefore appears in the ranking for the first time even though it launched in April. Year-to-date sales add up to 4,918 in two months for a #204 ranking. The D50 is priced between 74.800 and 119.800 yuan (US$12.000-19.300) and is positioned below the D60 which was unveiled at this year’s Beijing Auto Show and will launch in August. It is based on the new M-trix platform, itself based on the Saab 9-3 platform which BAIC bought from GM in 2009.

With its May score the Senova D50 already beats the D70’s all-time record of 3,194 and #151 reached last December, so it is assured to bring the Senova sub-brand to new levels this year. The D50 has an air of ChanAn Eado which is a good thing, the latter currently being the best-selling Chinese sedan in the country. Breaking into the Top 100 would be a great start, but expect some cannibalisation once the D60 hits dealerships over the last Quarter of the year.

Mazda6 Atenza China May 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sina.com.cnMazda6 Atenza

A second very important Mazda makes its entrance in China this month: the new generation Mazda6, named Mazda6 Atenza at #169 with 1,731 sales. It is priced between 179.800 and 238.900 yuan (US$29.000-38.500) and competes with the Toyota Camry (#22 so far in 2014), Ford Mondeo (#51) and Honda Accord (#91). Similarly to the new gen Mazda3, its Japanese naming differentiates it from the first (Mazda6) and second generations (Mazda6 Ruiwing) still in production here. The first gen is surprisingly the most popular by far but is logically down 28% this month to #98 with 4,946 sales, ranking #72 year-to-date after being #56 in 2013. The 2nd gen is #243 in May and #199 in 2014.

The level at which the 6 Atenza launched means it could replace the 1st gen, not the 2nd, in the sales charts. Breaking into the monthly Top 100 and passing the Honda Accord would be a very noticeable step especially given the Accord is also new now. Mazda can genuinely aim at a Top 50 annual ranking in 2015 for the 6 Atenza, which would place it at the same level as the Ford Mondeo. Teasing the Camry seems far-fetched, but possible on a one-off basis.

Maxus G10 China May 2014. Picture courtesy of xcar.com.cnMaxus G10

Finally the last new-entrant in May is the Maxus G10 which I described during my visit to the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year. Launched last March, it only appears in the ranking now at #303 with 36 units which may be due to the CAAM hesitating on its classification as a Passenger Car or Commercial Vehicle (as it did for the Wuling Hongguang). From May onwards it is considered an MPV but it may have sold more units as an LCV prior to this. Ah the tricks of Chinese data… The Maxus brand was bought in 2010 from the British LDV Group by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) which launched a first model, the V80, in September 2011.

The G10 is actually a pretty impressive-looking vehicle which picked my curiosity at the Auto Show. It is priced from 129.800 to 219.800 yuan (US$20.900-35.400) and has its sights firmly aimed at the Buick GL8, #58 so far in 2014 with 37,595 sales. Although we have seen that the budget-end of the MPV segment is the one currently booming in China, this is the first true attempt from a Chinese brand to compete in the luxury MPV segment. According to Carnewschina, these vehicles are used by many businesses as mobile offices, and by taxi companies for VIP transport. I did indeed spot an astounding amount of Buick GL8 in Beijing.

This concludes our focus on all-new models in China for May – stay tuned for the June update in one month!

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Full May 2014 Top 327 All-local models Ranking Table below.

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China April 2014: Focus on the all-new models

Haima S5 China April 2014Haima S5

Today we resume a BSCB tradition: after going through detailed sales for April, I spend a bit more time acknowledging the all-new entrants in the models ranking. 4 new models make their very first appearance this month, led by the Haima S5 landing directly in 139th position with 2,986 sales. The S5 was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show less than a month ago with a live performance from local popstar Wu Mochou, and is the second SUV for the Haima brand after the larger S7 which it already outsells (#153). It gives the carmaker an entry in the compact SUV segment, currently booming in China. The S5 price range is 89.800 to 107.800 yuan or US$14.400-17.300, and as such it should aim at the #44 ChangAn CS35 (smaller), #60 Great Wall M4 (smaller) and #66 Geely GX7 (bigger), keeping in mind Haima’s current best-seller in the country is the M3 at #77 so far in 2014.

Chevrolet Trax China April 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comChevrolet Trax

30 spots below at #169 with 1,846 sales we find the Chevrolet Trax, launched almost 2 years ago overseas but arriving fashionably late in China. This is basically a rebadged Buick Encore, but the Chevrolet is aimed at young buyers whereas Buick is more targeted at middle-aged consumers. According to Carnewschina, price for the Chevrolet Trax starts at 119.900 yuan and ends at 159.900 (US$19.200-25.600). The inevitable benchmark for the Trax is of course the performance of the Buick Encore, ranking #78 in April and #72 so far in 2014.

Peugeot 2008 China April 2014. Picture courtesy of cheshi.comPeugeot 2008

The third new entrant in China in April is yet another compact SUV: building on its incredible success in Europe, the Peugeot 2008 lands at #174 with 1,664 units sold. The 2008 is the second SUV to be manufactured by Peugeot in China after the 3008, but the French have bigger plans with the 4008 and the China-only 6008 waiting in line to conquer the Chinese market. You can never have too many SUVs if you want to succeed here! The 2008 is priced between 99.700 and 136.700 yuan (US$16.000-21.900) and competes with the Ford Kuga (#35 year-to-date) and Nissan Qashqai (#43). With the 3008 currently at #87 and the 308 being Peugeot’s best-seller at #66, a spot inside the Top 100 would be a good start for the 2008, breaking into the Top 50 would be ground-breaking and go a long way into helping Peugeot reach the next level here.

DS 5LS China April 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comDS 5LS

Finally the last newcomer in the sales charts this month is another Frenchie: the DS 5LS sedan arrives at #188 with 1,436 sales. This is great news for Citroen’s new premium brand, as the China-only DS 5LS immediately takes the advantage over the DS 5 hatchback (#220) which is the way it should be given Chinese buyers’ love for sedans. Price starts at 146.900 yuan and ends at 246.900 (US$23.600-39.600), however as Carnewschina pointed out, the cheaper models come without anything resembling a proper screen on the dashboard whereas these days a US$9.000 Chinese sedan comes standard with a 7 inch touch screen Must. Try. Harder.

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One year ago: China April 2013: Honda CR-V up to #4, Nissan Teana takes off

China January 2014: Focus on the all-new models

Fiat Ottimo China January 2014Fiat Ottimo

* See the Top 320 All-local models ranking by clicking on the title! Thanks CarnewsChina *

As is the tradition on BestSellingCarsBlog, after going through January data in detail, we now zoom in on the all-new locally produced 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 January we have 3 all-new entrants in the ranking, all quite low in the sales charts for now, starting with the Beijing Auto BJ40 at #237 with 600 sales.

Beijing Auto BJ40 China January 2014. Picture courtesy of Autosohu.comBeijing Auto BJ40

The BJ40 originally debuted as the Beijing Auto B40 at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, and over the years it has been seen testing all over the country, to finally launch this month. Interestingly, its appearance is basically unchanged and the engine is the same that ‘powered’ the 2010 concept. The price range goes from 146.800 to 186.800 yuan, or US$ 24.200 to 30.800. Its design is clearly inspired from Jeep and will appeal to consumers outside of the big cities. The BJ40 is already above the level of Beijing Auto’s other jeep offering (the BAW Jeep finished 2013 at #251) so breaking into the Top 200 within the next couple of months would be a good start.

Zhongxing C3 Urban ArkZhongxing C3 Urban Ark

At #240 with 581 sales, we have a model from Chinese manufacturer Zhongxing, also known as ZX Auto and famous for its Hilux-inspired Grand Tiger pickup used during the Libyan war. After the Landwind finished 2013 at #234, the small SUV C3 Urban Ark is only the brand’s second model to appear in the Chinese sales charts, and lands at roughly the same level. However its price (57.800 yuan / US$9.500) making it one of the cheapest SUVs in China (if not the cheapest) should be a very attractive element especially in the less-motorised West of the country. Competing with the likes of the Great Wall Haval M4, Jonway A380 and Lifan X60, this could be Zhongxing’s ticket to success in the passenger car market. Breaking into the Top 150 would be satisfying, the Top 100 would make it a runaway hit.

Fiat Ottimo China January 2014bFiat Ottimo

Finally, at #277 with 150 pre-sales for now (the official launch is in March) we have the Fiat Ottimo, the hatchback version of the Fiat Viaggio launched a year ago here. If the Viaggio has its Dogde equivalent in North America (the Dart), this hatchback is unique to China. It is priced between 95.000 and 145.000 yuan, or US$15.700-23.900, and marketed as a sporty car aimed at young first-car buyers in 1st and 2nd tier cities. However with sedans still being widely more successful than hatchbacks in China, don’t expect the Ottimo to beat the Viaggio in sales. A Top 150 ranking within the next couple of months would be encouraging.

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China December 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Chery Tiggo 5 China December 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comChery Tiggo 5

* See the Top 324 All-local models ranking by clicking on the title! Thanks CarnewsChina *

As is now the tradition on BestSellingCarsBlog, after going through December data by models and brands, we now zoom in on the all-new locally produced 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 December there are no less than 8 all-new entrants in the ranking, the most since we started this new update last June. The best-performing of all by far is the Chery Tiggo 5, landing just outside the Top 100 at #102 with 5,514 sales. This is the second SUV from Chery, positioned above the original Tiggo 3 and priced between 93.900 and 150.900 yuan (US$ 15.500-25.000). The Tiggo 5 enters an ultra-competitive Chinese SUV market with its eyes set on the Haval H6, the best-selling SUV in the country with 218,000 sales this year, and the Haima S7 (#115 and 42,000 units). The original Tiggo finished 2013 at #66 so a Top 50 ranking for the Tiggo 5 will mean success.

Toyota Yaris L China December 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comToyota Yaris L

At #164 with 2,494 sales we have the Toyota Yaris L, made in China by the Guangzhou-Toyota joint venture, and priced between 69.800 and 108.800 yuan (US$ 11.500-18.000). This is the hatchback variant of the new FAW-Toyota Vios that hit the Chinese market a couple of months ago and already stands at #28 with over 13,000 sales in December. The L is added to differentiate the new car from the outgoing Yaris hatchback, which was never successful here because Chinese car buyers considered it too small for the money. However Toyota has already struck gold with the Vios so we can expect the Yaris L to be much more popular than its predecessor. It will compete with the VW Polo (154,000 sales in 2013), Ford Fiesta (49,000) and Honda Fit (40,700), so a Top 75 ranking will make it a success, 100,000+ units in 2014 will make it a hit.

 

Suzuki S-Cross China December 2013. Picture courtesy of gtimg.comSuzuki S-Cross

The Suzuki S-Cross lands at #202 with 1,627 sales, this is the model we know in Europe, priced in China from 100 to 140.000 yuan (US$ 16.500-23.200). Suzuki dropped the SX4 from the name to differentiate it from the SX4 hatchback still on sale here. The S-Cross is aimed squarely at the Nissan Qashqai (#33 with 125,000 sales in 2013) but with the SX4 totalling 33,000 sales last year (#145), Suzuki should be happy with a Top 100 ranking or 50,000 sales for its first full year in 2014.

DS5 China December 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comDS5

We had been waiting for the next new entrant to pop up for a little while, and now it’s here: Citroen’s premium brand DS launched its first China-made model back in October, and it appears this month at #212 with 1,271 sales, although it is unclear whether this figure is for one or 3 months, as all-new brands always take a little while to register in the official sales charts (Fiat did). DS5 prices range from 219.900 to 301.900 yuan (US$36.400-49.950), is manufactured by the Changan-PSA joint venture, and will soon be followed by the DS4, DS3, and DS X7 SUV. Given this is en entirely new foray into the premium category and a new brand, it is very hard to set sales predictions. Citroen’s long-term goal with DS is to play with the ‘big boys’ Audi (31,000 sales in December), BMW (17,000) and Mercedes (13,000), so a first full year at 15-20,000 units would be a great start for the DS5.

Zotye T600 China December 2013Zotye T600

The next 4 all-new models in this month’s charts all sold less than 400 units, so unless there is a massive improvement in the coming months these will be deemed failures. We start with the Zotye T600 landing at #262 with 433 sales, the brand’s largest SUV so far, designed with a mix of Volkswagen and Audi cues and priced from 79.800 to 98.800 yuan (US$ 13.200-16.300). It competes with the Haval H6, BYD S6 and Chery Tiggo 5 mentioned above. Zotye’s other SUV, the T200, ranked #144 in 2013 with 33,000 sales so a Top 150 spot within the next few months would be a great step in the right direction for the T600.

Haima M8 China December 2013Haima M8

The Haima M8 hits the Chinese market two months ahead of scheduled when it launched on December 18 and ranks #277 with 246 sales. Price starts at 126.800 yuan (US$21.000) and ends at 166.800 yuan (US$27.600), positioning the M8 in the same category as the ChangAn Raeton (7,200 sales in 2013) and the Emgrand EC8 (10,300 sales). Breaking the 1,000 monthly sales mark and/or the Top 200 within the next 6 months will be a good, class-leading start for the M8.

Venucia Morning Wind China December 2013Venucia Morning Wind (aka Nissan Leaf) 

Whereas its local production is not scheduled to start until 2015, Nissan’s local low-cost brand Venucia lodges a second model in the ranking this month: the Morning Wind, aka E30, which is in fact a rebadged Nissan Leaf. It appears at #278 with 216 sales, and may well stay at that level for a good part of 2014 unless production is moved forward.

Chery Qin China December 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.com2BYD Qin

Finally, potentially the most spectacularly designed Chinese car to hit the country’s road in a while (ever?), the BYD Qin plug-in hybrid sports sedan lands at #283 with 142 units sold this month. Prices range from 189.800 to 209.800 yuan (US$31.400-34.700), but clean-car subsidies of central and local governments will bring price down by about 35.000 yuan (US$6.000). Almost impossible to tell whether Chery has hit gold with this model – it did release a gold-coloured showroom version, as plug-in hybrids have stuck to the bottom of the charts so far in China. Ranking inside the 200 best-sellers in the country would be an impressive achievement in itself for the Qin.

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China November 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Hyundai Mistra China November 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comHyundai wants to sell 100,000 Mistra in 2014, and will.

* See the Top 319 All-models by clicking on the title! Thanks CarnewsChina *

As is now the tradition on BestSellingCarsBlog, after going through November data by models and brands and the year-to-date update, we now zoom in on the all-new locally produced 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. This month 5 new cars make their landing. First we have the much-anticipated Hyundai Mistra at #90 with 6,260 sales even though it’s only been on sale for 10 days. The Mistra steps inbetween the Elantra and Sonata in the Hyundai range and is priced from 150.000 to 190.000 yuan (US$24.700-31.300).

Hyundai Mistra China November 2013b. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comHyundai Mistra

The Mistra competes with strong sellers like the VW Sagitar (#5 so far in 2013), Honda Crider (#67) and Citroen C4L (#94), and will be complemented in 2014 by the Kia K4 based on the same platform. Keeping in mind the Elantra Langdong is #14 in 2013 with 190,000 sales and the Sonata is #44 at 96,000 units, in a rare move in China, Hyundai recently announced its sales objectives for the Mistra. They are 10,000 units in 2013 which by the time you read this is already a done deal, and 100,000 over the Full Year 2013. If these numbers seem conservative, that’s because Hyundai always downplays its launches in order to surprise later. I predict at least a Top 30 ranking for the Mistra by the time 2014 comes to an end with sales somewhere between 120,000 to 160,000.

Brilliance H220 China November 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.youth.cnBrilliance H220

The 2nd most popular all-new entrant this month is the Brilliance H220 at #178 with 1,865 sales, the hatchback version of the H230 launched in August 2012 and ranking #93 so far in 2013 but down 79% year-on-year to #215 in November. The H220 is priced between 54.800 and 67.800 yuan (US$ 9,000-11,200), making it one of the cheapest sub-compact hatchbacks in China and Brilliance’s entry vehicle, with its rear looking a tiny bit like the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback. The H220 competes (and undercuts) cars like the Chevrolet Sail and Hyundai Verna hatchbacks. Given how volatile Brilliance models sales are and how unsuccessful in general hatchback variants are in the country, it is very hard to predict how well the H220 will do, but a Top 100 ranking at any point in its career would be a fine achievement.

Peugeot 301 China November 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comPeugeot 301

One year ago when Peugeot unveiled the new 301 designed for emerging markets, my reaction was: this is perfect for China. And it’s finally here, appearing at #191 with 1,629 sales for now. The 301 is priced between 84.700 and 116.700 yuan (US$ 13.900-19.200), virtually the same as its twin the new generation Citroen C-Elysee launched in September. The 301 is Peugeot’s first foray into a hugely popular segment in China: small-size sedans, and as such competes with massive best-sellers like the VW Jetta (240,000 sales so far in 2013) and Santana (160,000). If successful, the 301 could be the car to open Pandora’s box for Peugeot in China. The last time a Peugeot ranked inside the Chinese year-end Top 30 was in 2008 with the 307 at #28. So far this year the brand’s best-seller is the 308 at an encouraging #63 and 77,000 sales. In that context, breaking into the monthly Top 50 would be a good start for the 301 and 100,000 annual sales seems within reach if not in 2014 then in 2015.

BAW Beiqi Jeep China November 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comBAW Beiqi Jeep (this may not be the 2020 series)

The next two all-new entrants are not really ones but more models that have dropped in and out of rankings along the years. the Haima Prince had disappeared from the face of the earth even though it launched back in 2011, it is #270 this month with 182 sales while the BAW Beiqi 2020 Series is a jeep that has been around for ages, landing at #277 and 111 units this month. There is still no trace of the DS5 in the ranking, however I am in touch with Citroen China as we speak so hopefully I will have more info for you shortly. As far as recent launches are concerned, let’s salute the Beijing Weiwang M20 up 23 spots to #129, GAC Trumpchi GA3 up 24 to #145, Gonow Xinglang MPV up 26 to #182, Skoda Yeti up a spectacular 78 ranks to #190 and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport up 47 to #205. Reversely, the Honda Jade takes a break, down 15 spots to #82 and the Chery Arrizo 7 is down 29 to #153.

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China October 2013: Focus on the all-new models

JAC Heyue A30 China October 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comJAC Heyue A30

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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.

Gonow XingLang MPV China October 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comGonow Xinglang MPV

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.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport China October 2013Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

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.

Skoda Yeti China October 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.ifeng.comSkoda Yeti

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.

DS5 China October 2013DS5

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!

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China September 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Honda Jade China September 2013The Honda Jade lands directly at #79 this month.

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This month no less than 7 all-new nameplates make their appearance in the Chinese Passenger Car ranking, 6 of them Chinese. While the Honda Crider is currently 2013’s most successful launch, ranking #26 in September with 13,754 sales, another Honda is the most popular all-new model this month, landing directly at #79 with 6,157 units sold. It’s the most impressive new arrival in the country since the Kia K3 hit #63 in October 2012 (ranking) and since the Hyundai Elantra Langdong sold 11,613 units for its first month back in August 2012 (volume).

Honda Jade China September 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnHonda Jade

Marketed as ‘sedan avant garde’ locally, the Honda Jade is in fact based on the Stream and prefigures the 2015 Odyssey. It’s a blend of station-wagon and MPV, a segment much favoured in Japan but which has not had much success here until now. The Jade, starting at 149,800 yuan (US$24,600), is therefore a calculated bet for Honda, and one that already seems to have paid judging its high September volume. The Jade will easily break into the Top 50 in the next few months and a long-term Top 30 ranking is not out of reach.

Chery Arrizo 7 China September 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comChery Arrizo 7

Just as Chery is deleting most of its brands (Rely and Riich were killed earlier this year), it is creating new ones (Qoros) as well as new sub-brands! Did I hear anyone cough streamlining? This month Chery launches the first of a new range of Arrizo sub-branded vehicles, the 7, with an upcoming small sedan (3) and SUV being next. The Arrizo 7, formerly known as the Chery A4, starts at 78,900 yuan (US$13,000) and already sold 4,000 units in September to rank at #117. A very fine start which however seems to be an estimate, so the next few months will tell us more about the model’s performance. It’s a bit of a blank page for Chery with a slightly more classy sub-brand, so hard to predict long-time prospects.

Chery E3 China September 2013Chery has great expectations for the E3.

Back in the ‘core’ Chery range, we see the arrival of the E3 this month at #135 with 3,156 sales. The E3 follows Chery’s new naming convention and sits sits between the upcoming E2 and E5. It starts at 52,900 yuan ($US8,700) and competes with cars like the Great Wall Voleex C30, with the cheapest foreign model in the segment starting at 70,000 yuan (US$11,500). Judging by the amount I saw outside the Chery dealership I visited in Beijing, its objective is potentially a Top 30 or Top 20 ranking, which will be a tough gig to achieve given there is no automatic available which will limit the its appeal among first-car buyers.

Lifan 530 China September 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnLifan 530

While Chery’s range continues to be relatively convoluted, Lifan has done simple: it has renamed its 320, 520 and 620 passenger cars to 330, 530 and 630 for the 2013 model year, even though these are merely facelifts. But the -20 models will continue to be sold alongside. Not so simple after all. The 530, starting at 51.800 yuan (US$8,500) is the only one of the group to be an all-new model. After a false start in the ranking last January, it lands at #191 with 1,332 units this month which is an excellent performance given the 520 currently stands at #205 year-to-date. According to Carnewschina.com, Lifan cars are designed to appeal to elderly buyers living in third and fourth tier cities, a huge market of over 300 million people looking to buy their very first car.

Lifan 330 China September 2013. Picture courtesy of gb.cri.cnLifan 330 already in rally attire

At #222 with 749 sales we have the all-new Lifan 330, marketed as a slightly more up-market version of the Mini-inspired 320 with a price starting at 39,800 yuan (US$6,500). Lifan designers have added a dose of Fiat 500L on top of the Mini cues. Note the 320 currently ranks #154 year-to-date.

Lifan 630 China September 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comLifan 630

At #225 with 654 sales this month we have the Lifan 630, complete with its Infiniti-inspired grille and LED lights in the bumper. The 630 is priced from 54.900 to 65.900 yuan (US$9.000 to 10.800), making it one of the cheapest small sedans money can buy on the Chinese auto market according to Carnewschina.com. As a reminder note the Lifan 620 is #132 year-to-date. I expect all -30 models to rapidly lodge rankings above their -20 counterparts.

Zotye Z100 China September 2013. Picture courtesy of gt.comThe Zotye Z100 starts at US$3,900 in China!

Zotye is another local carmaker that has cut to the chase when it comes to model-naming: this month the Z100, a shameless copy of the current generation Suzuki Alto priced at 23.800 yuan (only US$3.900!), arrives at #242 with 478 sales. It’s the latest addition to the Zotye range along with the Z200 and Z300 passenger cars and the T200 SUV, formerly known as 5008. Zotye still makes a legal clone of the 2nd gen Alto called the Jiangnan TT but does not have the rights to the current Alto. Its extremely attractive price coupled with automatic availability could allow it a Top 100 spot soon. For comparison, the Chery QQ is at #37 YTD but only #71 in September, the real Suzuki Alto is at #82, BYD F0 at #91 and ChangAn Benben Mini at #94.

Beijing Weiwang M20 China September 2013Beijing Weiwang M20 sales are up 136% on August.

Finally let’s touch on the few launches from the last couple of months that are improving in September: while the Honda Crider (#26) and Ford Mondeo (#51) are already off the charts, notice the Brilliance H330 gaining 38% on August to #90, the Dongfeng Fengguang continuing its steady progression at +29% but remaining #102, the Luxgen 5 Sedan up 59% to #166 and the Beijing Weiwang M20 up 136% to #195.

September post: China September 2013: Discover the Top 313 All-models ranking!

Previous month: China August 2013: Focus on the all-new models

More analysis and full September 2013 Top 313 All-models Ranking Table below.

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China August 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Ford Mondeo China August 2013. Picture courtesy of autoifeng.comThe new generation Ford Mondeo lands directly at #119 this month.

* See the Top 309 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

This is a new series on BSCB, focusing on the all-new models entering the Chinese ranking, and we are now kick starting its 4th instalment. After a couple of slow months, the newcomer frenzy is back in China, with 4 all-new models landing in the ranking in August, including 3 inside the Top 120! We’ll also have a quick look at the best performing launches of the last couple of months. Remember this update always only considers models manufactured in China as imports data is unavailable for now.

Brilliance H330 China August 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comBrilliance H330

The most successful new entrant this month is the Brilliance H330 landing at #99 with 3,853 sales. Now for those of you who have followed BSCB meticulously you will know the H330 has already appeared in the Chinese ranking indeed, even reaching #66 last month, alongside with the FSV it replaces. However H330 sales are now being treated separately from the FSV, hence the new entrant status. The H330 is an illustration of the brand’s new naming system, which also includes the H320 hatchback (the least successful at #245 this month), the smaller H230 (#70) and larger H530 (#192).

Mazda CX-5 China August 2013. Picture courtesy of fblife.comMazda CX-5

Missing out of the Top 100 as early as for its first appearance in the Chinese ranking is the Mazda CX-5, now produced locally and already selling 3,654 units at #101, meaning it is already the brand 2nd best-selling model in the country after the Mazda6 at #60… Two years after its launch in the rest of the world, the CX-5 continues to gain traction in most markets, so we can expect a great word-of-mouth for the model in China, plus the SUV segment is on fire here so a Top 50 ranking as soon as next month could well be in the cards. The sky is the limit in the longer-term, and a Top 20 teasing the VW Tiguan, Honda CR-V and Hyundai ix35 could mean the CX-5 is Mazda’s ticket to vastly increased Chinese sales in 2014…

Further down we have the new generation Ford Mondeo, a US Fusion modified for China selling 3,155 units in its first month to rank at #119. It is counted separately to the old model which is down 79% this month to #197. Ford wants to sell between 70,000 to 110,000 units of the Mondeo a year in China, which means at least 6,000 a month and should warrant a Top 50 ranking. This would make the Mondeo Ford’s third best-seller in the country behind the Focus (#2 this month) and Kuga (#42).

Beijing Weiwang M20 China August 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnBeijing Weiwang M20

Finally, the last newcomer this month in China is a mini MPV: the Beijing Weiwang M20, selling 519 units to rank #225. Not much is know about this model, it’s however interesting to notice that this is Beijing Auto’s second new entrant in the last 4 months alongside the Senova D advertised by Nicolas Cage which has stabilised around 1,000 monthly units. The other mini-MPV Beijing Auto sells is the E-Series, loosely based on the last generation Mercedes B-Class, which has impressed so far in 2013, knocking on the Top 100’s door in August at #106…

GAC Trumpchi GA3 China August 2013. Picture courtesy of hugcar.comGAC Trumpchi GA3

Among recent launches, apart from the Honda Crider already playing with the big boys at #27, let’s salute the DongFeng Fengguang, up a further 76% and 38 spots on July to rank at #102, the Luxgen 5 Sedan multiplying its July sales by 3 to 1,304 and up 44 ranks to #179, the GAC Trumpchi GA3 even more impressive: increasing its sales 4-fold to 1,302 and up 56 spots to #180 and the prestigious FAW Hongqi H7 up 6% on last month but down 3 ranks to #241.

Previous post: China August 2013: Great Wall Haval H6 breaks sales record again

Previous month: China July 2013: Focus on the all-new models

One year ago: China August 2012: Ford Focus leads, VW Lavida back in the game

Full August 2013 Top 308 All-models Ranking Table below.

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China July 2013: Focus on the all-new models

GAC Trumpchi GA3 China July 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnThe GAC Trumpchi GA3 is the best-selling all-new model in China this month.

* See the Top 306 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

This is a new series on BSCB, focusing on the all-new models entering the Chinese ranking, and just when I start zooming on the new entrants it looks like the newcomer tap stops to just a dribble… Not to worry, we’ll also look at how the models that appeared in the last couple of months are faring. For July we have two all-new vehicles in the ranking and one model changing name, yes Sir. Remember this update will always only consider models manufactured in China as imports data is unavailable for now.

GAC logo. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnA logo we don’t see too often: GAC’s

So in July the best-selling all-new model in China has a grand total of 328 sales and points its bonnet in 236th position: the GAC Trumpchi GA3  is the 4th addition to the Trumpchi range for Chinese carmaker GAC (Guangzhou Automobile Group Co) which also manufactures the Fiat Viaggio and the Gonow SUV range. Where do I see the GA3 ranking in the near future? Based on the performance of the other members of the Trumpchi range, not too high. The ‘original’ Trumpchi, launched in 2010, peaked at #118 in December 2011 and ranked #201 over the Full Year 2012. Looks like it was then renamed GA5 with a best of #196 in February 2012 and currently #222. The only truly performing Trumpchi model is an SUV: the GS5, launched in April 2012, reached #72 last month. A Top 100 ranking for the GA3 would be a true success, but realistically it should stay around the #150-#200 mark.

BAW (Beijing) Knight China July 2013BAW Qishi

The only other all-new model this month is the BAW Qishi (Knight), a slightly disguised 1984 Jeep Cherokee (!), at #281 and a minuscule 48 sales. However similarly to the BAW 007 we covered two months ago, the Qishi was originally launched in 2005 and is actually 2 years old in its current generation but is only appearing in the rankings now because BAW has finally made sales figures available. Don’t expect the Qishi to climb very high in the ranking. It will be a true achievement if it hits #200.

Chery X1 China July 2013The Riich X1 becomes Chery X1 and is also named Indis in Russia and Beat in Ukraine.

The next ‘new’ nameplate this month is actually a rename. This is an extremely rare event that normally only occurs when a brand gets bought out or disappears. Well it’s more or less what happened here. Chery, China’s largest exporter, launched 2 separate upmarket brands in 2009: Riich for passenger cars and Rely for business vehicles (roughly). Neither really took off, and at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year Chery announced it was killing off both brands, but would phase out its models rather than abruptly stop their production. First off: the Riich X1 becomes the Chery X1 and ranks #254, down 86% year-on-year. Expect more renaming activity happening later on this year.

FAW Hongqi H7 China July 2013. Picture courtesy of auto.sina.com.cnThe FAW Hongqi H7 sells 303 units in July in China.

Now onto the models we covered over the last 2 months to see which ones are faring best. Two are totally overpowering the rest and have ‘graduated’ to the overall July update: the Honda Crider multiplies its sales by 3 and gains 95 ranks to land at #30 with 10,357 sales and already by far Honda’s best-selling passenger car in the country! The VW Gran Lavida is up 39% to 8,493 units which would earn it a brilliant #41 spot but I have now incorporated this figure into the Lavida sales total. The Dongfeng Fengguang continues to progress: up 40 spots and 35% on June to #140 and 2,074 sales as does the Beijing Senova D up 14 to #185, the Luxgen 5 Sedan up 35 to #223 and the FAW Hongqi H7 up 18 to #238.

Previous post: China July 2013: VW Jetta #3, Great Wall Haval H6 #7, Honda Crider above 10,000 sales

Previous month: China June 2013: Focus on the all-new models

One year ago:  China July 2012: Hyundai Elantra and VW Sagitar shine

Full July 2013 Top 306 All-models Ranking Table below (with June comparison).

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China June 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Honda Crider. Picture courtesy of bitauto.com

* See the Top 306 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

Last month I inaugurated a new series on BSCB, focusing on the all-new models entering the Chinese ranking. And just when I start this new series there are only 2 all-new entries in June in China… Classic. That’s fine, because today we will also follow the progression of the models that appeared last month. Remember these will always be models manufactured in China as imports data is unavailable for now. If last month the most successful all-new entrant (the VW Gran Lavida) landed at #157, in June the Honda Crider does much better and appears at #125 with 3,107 sales. Honda what? I hear you ask, and that’s exactly why I created this series.

The Honda Crider is a medium-sized sedan slotted in-between the Civic and Accord in the Honda range, produced solely in China through the Guangqi Honda joint-venture and starts at US$18,675. The Crider is set for mass-production, so we should see it climb up the ranking pretty fast, but up to where is hard to predict. This category is hit and miss for Japanese manufacturers in China, with larger models traditionally doing better. The relatively bold design (supposedly inspired by a dragon) should limit its potential to the east coast of the country where the market is very competitive. For reference, the Accord currently stands at #46 YTD while the Civic is at #73 but up to #55 in June. A long-term spot in the Top 50 for the Crider should make Honda happy.

Luxgen5 Sedan China June 2013Luxgen 5 Sedan

The only other all-new model is originally from Taiwan: the Luxgen 5 Sedan has had some pretty good results in its home country so far, hitting #10 there last December. It appears in China this month in 257th position with 139 sales. The launch of the 5 Sedan in China completes the Luxgen offer with absolutely all existing models now in production locally. Luxgen has struggled so far though, with its best score delivered by the 7 SUV at #132 over the Full Year 2012. It is #165 so far in 2013, while the Master CEO and 7 MPV lag at #274 and #275 respectively. So no big expectations for the 5 Sedan, breaking into the Top 200 sometime in the next few months will be a good start.

VW Gran Lavida China June 2013VW Gran Lavida

Now onto the all-new entrants from last month. I have mentioned it already in my overall June article, the VW Gran Lavida is once again by far the best performer, literally taking off this month: it tripled its May result and gained 91 spots to reach an excellent 66th position at 6,122 units. A very interesting performance indeed as China does not have a tradition of buying station wagons en masse. This should spark a few ideas for carmakers strong in this segment. Did I just hear someone say Chinese-owned Volvo? 🙂

Dongfeng Fengguang China June 2013. Picture courtesy of yuanchina.comDongfeng Fengguang

After a weak start at #242 and 308 sales last month, the Dongfeng Fengguang multiples its score by 5 and gains 62 ranks to hit #180 and 1,539 units, more in proportion with other successful Dongfeng MPVs the Future (#52), Joyear (#107) and Shuai (#131). Next step: the Top 100? The Beijing Senova also improves markedly on its first month: up 94% and 26 ranks to #199. Reversely, the BAW (Beijing) 007 is already down 90% to #287 while the Hongqi H7 has disappeared from the ranking altogether…

June overall post: China June 2013: Ford Focus leads, Great Wall Haval M4 up

Previous month: China May 2013: Focus on the all-new models

Full June 2013 Top 306 All-models Ranking Table below.

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