As per the BSCB tradition, after August data we now explore in more detail the all-new locally produced models that enter the sales charts this month. Keep in mind we only cater for the models that have kick-started local production as imports data is still closely guarded when it comes to China. Even though the overall light vehicle market is down for the third consecutive month in August, the rhythm of new introductions has still yet to slow down, even increasing over the past couple of months: After welcoming 6 new entrants both in March and April, 5 new nameplates in May, two in June and 4 in July, we are up to 6 in August, half of them logically being SUVs. Only one new entrant sells over 500 units for its first month though, so all pretty discreet appearances for now.
1. Soueast DX7 (#99 with 4.409 sales)
The only “true” new start this month is this rather good-looking SUV: the Soueast DX7, the brand’s very first entry in this segment. After selling re-badged Mitsubishis, Soueast impresses with this Pininfarina design that looks better than most Mitsubishi current SUVs – an easy task, granted. The DX7 is based on the R7 concept displayed a the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and was unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show. Soueast is not wasting any time in getting this vehicle in market, and is rewarded with 4.409 sales this month – or 77% of the brand’s sales at home! The DX7 is priced between 96.900 and 139.900 yuan or US$15.200-21.900 and competes with the hugely successful ChangAn CS75. Its initial sales figure is already well beyond its target so let’s set up a stretch target for the DX7…
Bar for success: #50 or 8.000 monthly sales
2. Changfeng Leopaard Q6 (#267 at 406 units)
The Changfeng Leopaard Q6 was launched in the Chinese market in April 2014, just after its unveiling over a year ago at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. So it’s an enigma as to why it only appears now in the sales charts. Priced between 146.800 and 179.800 yuan (US$23.000-28.200), the Q6 is a facelifted Mitsubishi Pajero whose interior is a flashback to the basic 1980 4WDs. Changfeng traditionally supplies the Chinese army and this vehicle will have a hard time stepping out of its comfort zone commercially.
Bar for success: #200 or 1.500 monthly sales
3. Dongfeng Fengshan E30L (#336 with 61 deliveries)
Originally presented as the Dongfeng EJ02 EV in 2011, the Dongfeng Fengshan E30L finally finds its way into the Chinese market, mainly as a compliance car to show everyone that Dongfeng is also working on manufacturing EVs. A hand-me-down launch instead of the traditional festivities seems to indicate the E30L may not even see Dongfeng dealerships… Even when taking into account the 90.000 yuan government subsidy for a four-seat EV, the E30L will set you back 109.800 yuan or US$17.200…
Bar for success: #250 or 500 monthly sales
4. BYD Song (#339 with 35 sales)
The latest BYD hybrid SUV was unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show (as pictured above) and is named after the Chinese dynasty “Song” in a new naming code that I believe should be applied to the entire range. The Song is the PHEV version of the upcoming S3 SUV and hits 100km/h from stop in just 4.9 seconds thanks to a petrol turbocharged 1.5l engine and two electric motors. the Song is priced between 120.000 and 160.000 yuan.
Bar for success: #150 or 2.000 monthly sales
5. BYD T3 (#342 with 28 units)
The second BYD vehicle to hit the Chinese market this month, the T3 is a pure-electric minivan also unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show and derived from the M3 van – itself a copy of the Nissan NV200 yet to be launched in China. Specifications and pricing are yet to be released for the T3.
Bar for success: #200 or 1.000 monthly sales
6. Beijing Auto Senova D80 (#352 with 10 deliveries)
In 2009, Beijing Auto (BAIC) bought the platforms and production process for the Saab 9-3 and 9-5. The first Senova (“Shenbao” in Chinese) saw the light of day in May 2013 and was renamed D70 later that year. BAIC expanded the Senova lineup in 2014 with the D50 (April), D60 (September) and D20 (November). It is now the turn of the flagship D80 to hit Chinese roads after being unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show. It is derived from the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-Class built by Beijing-Benz on the V212 platform and is priced between 204.800 and 268.800 yuan or US$32.100-42.200. The D50 is currently the best-selling Senova at a shy #161 in August followed by the D70 (#248) and D20 (#276) so the ambitions of the D80 sales-wise are limited.
Bar for success: #200 or 1.000 monthly sales
Previous month: China July 2015: Focus on the All-new models
One year ago: China August 2014: Focus on the all-new models