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World: Which Chinese models are successful overseas?

Will the ChangAn Eado be the Chinese model to crack Western Europe?

* See the full article by clicking on the title! *

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.

Jinbei Haise, sold as Pyeonghwa Samchunri in North Korea

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.

Great Wall Wingle

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.

The Chery A5 is sold as Speranza A516 in Egypt

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.

Great Wall Deer

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.

The Holland Car Abay is a rebadged Lifan 520

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).

Geely Emgrand EC7

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.

Great Wall Hover

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.

The best-selling Chinese export in the world in 2012?

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!

To see the rest of the article click on ‘Read more’ below!
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Japan February 2012 Update: Toyota Aqua already #1 seller?

Toyota Aqua

* See the Top 75 best-selling Japanese models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

Thanks to the hard work of Austin Rutherford, I can now share with you a more detailed models ranking for Japan in February 2012, including break downs into different variants. And that little game has a surprise result: for only its 2nd full month of sales in the country, the Toyota Aqua is already the best-selling model (or more precisely body-style) in Japan in February with 21,951 sales.

The Toyota Prius Alpha SUV version sold 14,495 units last month, placing it at #7 while the Prius “standard” is at 21,380 sales, just under the Aqua. The other high seller in Japan, the Honda Fit, is now split between the “normal” Fit at 14,242 units and the Fit Shuttle #13 with 10,731 sales.

Kei cars are included in this exclusive ranking while we focus on Japanese models only. The Suzuki Wagon R is #3 with 16,861 sales, the Daihatsu Mira #4 at 16,757 units with the Mira Cocoa #21 and the Honda NBOX is #5 with 15,322 sales. Notice also the Mazda CX-5 at #75 with 693 sales.

The other Japan February 2012 articles are here:

Japan February 2012: Toyota Prius at highest ever, Aqua most successful launch in a decade

Japan Kei cars February 2012: Honda NBOX now on podium

Full February 2012 Top 75 Ranking Table below.

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Panama Full Year 2011: Hyundai Accent leads record market

Hyundai Accent

* See the Top 5 best-selling models and Top 10 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! *

Better late than never, I can now share with you Full Year 2011 data for Panama, bringing to 71 the number of countries with official Full Year 2011 data on this blog! (see them all by clicking on the link here) New car sales in Panama reached their record level in 2011 at 46,644 registrations. In the brand ranking, Toyota leads the way for the 28th consecutive year with 9,797 sales and 21% share, albeit only 160 units above Hyundai, #2 with 20.7% share, and had Hyundai not had supply issues this year it would have been a clear leader.

The Hyundai Accent passes the Toyota Hilux to become Panama’s best-selling model with 3,573 sales and 7.7% market share with the Hilux at #2 with 3,040 units and 6.5%. This means the Toyota Hilux is now #1 in an estimated 34 countries around the globe in 2011 (see the detail here). The Hyundai Tucson IX rounds up the podium with 2,544 sales, followed by another Hyundai, the Elantra at 1,848 units and the Toyota RAV4 with 1,629 sales.

Previous post: Panama August 2011: Toyota Hilux resists, Hyundai Elantra #2

Full Year 2011 Top 5 Ranking Table below.

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Colombia February 2012: Chevrolet Aveo keeps the pole position

Chevrolet Aveo

After breaking a record in 2011, new car sales in Colombia start even better in 2012 with 23,456 registrations in January, up 13% year-on-year, and 27,371 in February, up 7%. The 2012 year-to-date total stands at 51,253 units, up 11%.

Chevrolet confirms its newly acquired brands top spot over the period with 15,125 sales and close to 30% market share, and the Chevrolet Aveo is already on its way to top the Colombian models ranking for the 7th year in a row with 2,588 sales 9.5% share in February alone. Note the biggest selling version of the Aveo in Colombia should still be the 2003 first generation pictured above.

Source below.

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Tajikistan: Changhe Freedom and Toyota Camry most popular

Changhe Freedom in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

* See street videos of Dushanbe, Tajikistan by clicking on the title! *

Tajikistan is at a crossroads of various civilisations and its car market reflects this, with Chinese, Russian, Iranian, Kazak and Uzbek influences.

Up to mid-2010, almost half of the cars in circulation in the capital city Dushanbe were Chinese minivans, especially the Changhe Freedom (which just launched last month in Egypt) but also some Hafei and Chana vans. They were introduced in 2006 when authorities prohibited larger microbuses from the city centre. However, these minivans were abruptly banned over safety concerns in April 2010 and as a result must have all but dropped from the best-selling list.

Changhe Freedom in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The Toyota Camry could therefore be the best-selling vehicle in Tajikistan since then. Other very successful cars in the country are the Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Optra, with the Honda CR-V and Russian-built Chevrolet Niva a notch lower.

Contrary to Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Lada 2105 has not managed to stay on top of the sales ranking for too long after Tajikistan’s independence from the Soviet Union. A few Iran Khodro Samand and Peugeot 405/Pars from Iran can also be seen, as well as a lot of old gen UzDaewoo Nexia from Uzbekistan.

This speculation is based on the observation of the streets of Dushanbe through recent YouTube videos. Please get in touch by commenting on here if you have more information about the Tajik car market.

Street videos and more street scenes below.

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Somalia: Toyota Land Cruiser possible leader in limited market

Toyota Land Cruiser in Mogadishu, Somalia. Picture by danielzolli. All rights reserved.

* See more Somalian street scenes by clicking on the title! *

Under the spotlight today: Somalia.

Given the country’s last 17 years of on and off civil war, the car market in Somalia is rather disorganised and limited. A good bet is most of the new cars sold in the country go to international Non-Governmental Organisations active in Somalia or to the Somalian government, which seem to favour the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 and 200.

This speculation is based on the observation of Flickr photos of the streets of the capital Mogadishu, and Hargeisa in Somaliland. If you have more information or official data about new car sales in Somalia please make sure you get in touch by commenting on this article!

More Somalian street scenes below.

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Morocco January 2012: Renault Kangoo ahead of 3 Dacias

Renault Kangoo

* See the Top 5 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

Excellent start of the year for Moroccan car sales, up 19% year-on-year in January to 9,752 registrations. Having reclaimed the overall pole position towards the end of last year, the Renault Kangoo stays ahead this month with 1,024 sales and 10.5% share, however a new piece of information is that the version of the Kangoo that leads the ranking in Morocco is actually the previous, 2006 generation and not the current one called ‘Evolution’ and that sold 107 units in the country in January.

Dacia Duster

No less than 3 Dacias (the brand’s entire range) follow in the ranking: the Logan, #1 up until 2011, ranks 2nd at 831 units and 8.5%, the Sandero is third with 593 sales and 6.1% and the Duster is 4th at 474 sales and 4.9%… A great performance for the Romanian brand, keeping in mind that like the Kangoo, both the Logan and Sandero are assembled locally, and the Duster is the best-selling imported model in the country.

Previous post: Morocco September 2011: Renault Kangoo reclaims leadership

Full January 2012 Top 5 Ranking Table below.

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Egypt February 2012: Chevrolet TFR and Hyundai Accent shine

Hyundai Accent RB

* See the Top 85 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Ldman *

13,950 new vehicles found a buyer in Egypt in February and for the first time since last October the Chevrolet TFR pick-up is the best-selling model in the country, by far, with 1,404 sales and 10.1% market share, making it the best-seller in 2012 year-to-date as well at 2,225 units and 8.5%. After a January off at #19 the Hyundai Accent RB is back in great shape and ranks #2 this month with 1,005 sales and 7.2%.

Chevrolet TFR

The Hyundai Verna, #1 in January and in Full Year 2011, is down to #3 at 974 units and 7%, followed by the third Hyundai in the Top 4 this month: the new Elantra with 965 sales and 6.9%. Very solid month for the Chevrolet Aveo up to #5 and the Renault Logan up to #6 but not as good as the Skoda Octavia up 7 spots to #8 and up to #10 year-to-date vs. #29 in 2011. The new generation Kia Rio is also ramping up, from #37 in January to #23 now.

Changhe Freedom

Brilliance FRV

There are quite a few new models in the Egyptian ranking this month – and they are all Chinese! The Changhe Freedom manages to rank #28 for its very first month of sales in the country with 73 sales while the Chevrolet N300, originally a Wuling Rongguang, is #30 with 69 units. On sale in the country since 2008 but enjoying a nice revival, the Brilliance FRV is up to #37 with 50 sales. Other newcomers include the JAC A10 at #57 and the JAC J3 at #62.

Previous month: Egypt January 2012: It’s Kia’s month!

Full February 2012 Top 85 Ranking Table below.

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Portugal February 2012: VW Up! lands directly in 14th place

VW Up!

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Tuga *

The tough times continue for the Portuguese car market, down 48% year-on-year in February to 6,932 registrations, the slowest month of February in 26 years! The Renault Clio reclaim a pole position it used to hold in 2008 with 329 sales and 4.7% share, but not year-to-date: #2 for the 2nd month in a row, the Renault Megane is rewarded with the first place year-to-date at 543 units and 3.9%. Up 12 spots on January, the VW Polo rounds up the podium with 251 sales and 3.6%.

Fiat Punto Evo

Only #10 in 2011, the Fiat Punto Evo enjoys a much better 2012 so far, #4 in February and #3 year-to-date. Other excellent performers in the Top 20 include the Smart Fortwo up to #7, the Nissan Qashqai up to #8, Mercedes C-Class up to #10, Audi A3 up to #13, Chevrolet Aveo up to #15 and BMW 1 Series up to #18.

Smart Fortwo

But the hero of the month in Portugal is the VW Up! For its very first month of sales in the country the mini Volkswagen finds 127 Portuguese buyers, boosting it up to 14th position. This means Portugal is now the Up!’s highest performing country in the world, beating the 15th place it reached in Denmark

Previous month: Portugal January 2012: Worst January in 24 years

Full February 2012 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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France February 2012: Now with Top 200 models ranking!

Citroen C4 Aircross

* Click here to access the updated France February 2012 article! *

Thanks to info shared by STAC I can now share with you a Top 200 best-selling models ranking for France in February 2012! At #120 the Peugeot 208 takes one step back (it was #83 in January) so it can jump better in March/April, with the official French launch scheduled for March 29 – meaning February sales are still only demo models.

Quite an eventful month with no less than 4 newcomers in the Top 200: the VW CC replaces the Passat CC and lands directly at #133 with 134 sales, the Citroen C4 Aircross starts a promising career at #158 with 94 demo units sold to dealerships (vs. 18 for its twin the Peugeot 4008, not in the Top 200 yet), the Subaru XV is 190th with 55 sales and the Mazda CX-5 is #200 at 45 units.

Previous post: France 13-19 March 2012: Last days of glory for the Peugeot 207

Previous month: France January 2012: VW Polo #4, Citroen DS5 up

Link to full February 2012 Top 200 Ranking Table below.

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