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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.

Previous post: China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records in market up 13%

Previous new car post: China January 2014: Focus on the all-new models

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

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. @Maxime

    The DS 5LS is really an amazing product.

    And don’t forget that the DS 5LS is just a compact premium sedan. The direct competitor of the BMW S3 will be the new DS 6 which will be launched in 2016 i guess 🙂

    1. Hi Thomas – many thanks for your praise.
      I’m not into ‘banning’ people, more letting people understand what’s constructive and what’s not…
      All the best,
      Matt

  2. @Bryan
    Saying this without any prejudice against the DS brand, i honestly don’t believe in the success in this brand at least in the long term, because as i said before sometime, what PSA now tries -to establish a high-end division of its product line- have been tried by many carcompanies before and up to now all have failed. Why this ? The answer is complex, but the main reason is, that it takes a long, long time to build up an image of a brand, backed by technology leadership, that costs a lot, lot of money. Broadly speaking: you can’t just pretty up a car with some chrome trims and hope everybody considers this as something special, as in another field you e.g. can not bring a new parfum on the market and believe, it can compare to the high-end ones of the french manufacturers 😉

    1. Tengil,

      DS never said they would be at the German premium manufacturers’ level immediately. They admitted it would potentially take decades. Keep in mind Audi started as a poor parent of Volkswagen (it was actually priced below VW) in the seventies. At least DS as a sub-brand, and now a brand, has always been above Citroen. So there is consistency where there wasn’t at the start for Audi. So technically DS is ahead of Audi here, whether you like it or not.
      And also keep in mind I’m saying that even though I do think Citroen’s attempts at premiumising their DS models have been wobbly to-date. But it is way too early to judge, and the brand seems to now get some traction in the Chinese sales charts thanks to the 5LS.

      Finally, it would actually be very refreshing if, for once, you could express opinions that are actually not agreeing with the VAG Group. I’m sure you have some. But the more biased your comments are, the less credible you are with all other readers of this blog who are labelling you with names I’m sure you don’t like to hear. As a result I now have to constantly remove comments that are actually pretty aggressive (coming from you or other readers), as is the case today. You haven’t seen the full comments because I edited them. And to be honest I’d rather be spending my time actually writing articles rather than moderating comments like I am in pre-school.

      Thanks,
      Matt

  3. @tengil

    I will repeat: Too high priced in comparison with the same vehicle in Europe or United States.

    For example, the cheapest E-Class costs 51,806€ :O (price without taxes!)

    Well, this is good for the Citroen DS premium brand because in China, at least by now, the others premium brands don’t have to face so much competition from the Germans like in Europe.

  4. @bryan
    . . . too high priced? Obviously not, as they sell like hot cakes and apart from that they are worth it!

  5. The premium car market in China is very interesting because the three German premium manufacteurs price their cars too high in comparison with the rest of the World.

    For example, the BMW X1 has a base price (the price without taxes) of 24.415,72€ in Europe.

    In China the same exact car has a base price of 33.751,53€. Yes, it’s a huge diference of almost 10.000€!

    This also happens with Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

  6. Hi Matt, in the car world, nothing is free… if you need a touch screen, you got to pay for it. I don’t need it, so I don’t want to pay for it. I like to have the choice. A 7″ touch screen cost about 400$… Why should I pay for something I will not use?

  7. Good start for the DS 5LS and great start for the 2008! I think that the 2008 will certainly be a hit in China like it does in Europe! Very good results for PSA, they make great cars!

  8. Nice work Matt. It helps to understand the market.
    Do you know why Audi A3 Sedan is not really in the market after 2 months of production? They sold only 10 in april, I think they did the month before… By the way, I have read they got a catastrophic notation from a Chinese car organism, but I can’t find the article… I wonder if it’s linked…

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