* 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.
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.
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.
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$36.400-49.950), is manufactured by the Changan-PSA joint venture, and will soon be followed by the DS4, DS3, and DS X7 SUV. Given this is en entirely new foray into the premium category and a new brand, it is very hard to set sales predictions. Citroen’s long-term goal with DS is to play with the ‘big boys’ Audi (31,000 sales in December), BMW (17,000) and Mercedes (13,000), so a first full year at 15-20,000 units would be a great start for the DS5.
The next 4 all-new models in this month’s charts all sold less than 400 units, so unless there is a massive improvement in the coming months these will be deemed failures. We start with the Zotye T600 landing at #262 with 433 sales, the brand’s largest SUV so far, designed with a mix of Volkswagen and Audi cues and priced from 79.800 to 98.800 yuan (US$ 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.
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.
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.
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.
Previous month: China November 2013: Focus on the all-new models
Full December 2013 Top 324 All-models Ranking Table below.