This is Part 10 of my China 2014 Photo Report series, you can see all previous Reports here. After crossing the Taklamakan Desert, we now arrive in Kuqa (pronounced ‘Kootcher’) on the Northern Silk Road. Kuga is 715 km North East of Kshgar and 755km South West of Ürümqi, still in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. And now that we are back to the North of the region, Chinese cars are back in the game, showing that Hotan was truly unique in the way that its car landscape displayed almost no local brands…
ZX Auto Pick-ups are flooding the streets again with all generations of the model very successful here, along with the Great Wall Wingle of which I saw two brand new models in a matter of minutes. There are also a lot more Haimas than I have become accustomed to, as well as a few MG6, a car that has traditionally proved a little elusive in my trip so far. But the main striking element of the Kuqa car landscape is to be found in the MPV category…
Lots of new Wuling Hongguang confirm the ‘countryside’ trend I have observed in almost all towns I visited in Xinjiang Uyghur: the Hongguang has built its national pole position on the back of tremendous success in less populated areas of the country. However for the very first time in the trip, the Hongguang has found its match in the same category: clearly ‘inspired’ from its success, Dongfeng launched the similarly-sized and -priced Fengguang MPV almost one year ago and it has clearly struck a chord with Kuqa car buyers.
In the 2h30 I explored the streets of Kuqa I saw 6 Wuling Hongguang and as many Dongfenge Fengguang, which is more than I saw in any city I visited before in China even though I stayed a few days in some (Beijing, Chongqing and Kashgar)! Given the Hongguang was launched roughly one year before the Fengguang, this could mean the Dongfeng Fengguang leads the Kuqa sales charts whereas it ranks #87 so far in 2014… This success coupled with the huge gains delivered by the Chana Honor this year will form part of a strategic analysis of the Chinese MPV segment to be published shortly.
Kuqa new car buyers are also very fond of the Honda brand, with the all-new CR-V and Crider repeatedly spotted in town, as well as Kia with the Rio and K3 very well represented. Other successful models in Kuqa include the Great Wall Voleex C30, BYD F3, Hyundai Elantra Yuedong, Great Wall Haval H6, Nissan Sylphy & Sunny and Landwind X8, and I spotted one Luxgen5 Sedan.
The endless discovery of new Chinese brands and models continue: I discovered the Polarsun Shenyang SZS6503A2 (pictured above) as well as a still unidentified Chinese car (UCC) with only the code name “W8” as a hint (pictured just before the jump). This is where I need your help to identify this car dear readers!
The Full Photo Report continues below.