It’s time to showcase our Exclusive Guide to all 176 active Chinese brands again! 8 months after we first published it, 48 brands have already been added. It is the result of research spanning three years and multiple investigating trips to China and includes car, electric vehicles, pickup, bus and truck manufacturers. For now we are keeping roughly 50 LSEV makers out, that’s low-speed electric vehicles that don’t require a drivers license and are restricted to rural towns. Nowhere else will you find such a exhaustive and up-to-date compilation of all active Chinese automotive manufacturers. Like it has been the case for this very website, it’s my need for such a list and its absence anywhere online that have triggered this endeavour. A very simple way to take stock of how much the Chinese brands list has grown over the years is this: there are probably just as many active automotive brands in China than there are in the rest of the world combined…
The largest new vehicle market in the world, China is evolving at lightning speed with a myriad of local brands currently operating. Recently, the allocation of electric car production licenses by the Chinese government has triggered the creation of dozens of new NEV manufacturers and brands. In a way, China is now where the North American and European markets were in the 1920s with over a hundred brands competing for share in booming volumes. There is no doubt the number of Chinese brands will drastically reduce over the next few decades, but for now, with sub-brands becoming brands, brands appearing and disappearing on a weekly basis, it can be a truly confusing maze. No more.
This is a Live Guide, updated as new information comes about. Since the first version of this guide was published on 5th January 2018, 48 brands have been added: Aiways, CHJ, Chufeng, Ciwei, COS, CRRC, Dali, Dialev, Doda, Dorcen, Everus, Folor, Green Wheel, Hanergy, Huashen, Huatong, Jetour, Jiulong, JLM, Lark, Leap Motor, Link Tour, Linyu, LvChi, Neta, ORA, Qingling, Qingxing, Red Star, Sany, Senyuan, SF Motors, Shifeng, Sinogold, SiTech, SKIO, SOL, STR, Sunike, T-King, WAW, YGM, Yinlong, Youngman, Yuancheng, Zedriv, Zoomlion and Zuojun. 1 was discontinued (Hafei) and 1 demoted to sub-brand (Exeed). If you have information that would impact this Guide please make sure to share it in the comments below.
Founded in 2017, Aiways (in Mandarin 爱驰 Aichi) is an electric car manufacturer based in Shangrao in the Jiangxi Province with a subsidiary in Germany. The company’s factory is rather grandiose, under construction and announced to initially have a 150.000 annual capacity able to be cranked up to 300.000. In the long term, its range will include a few SUVs, crossovers, a sedans and an MPV. For now, the RG (pictured) is the carmaker’s halo vehicle and was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2018, as well as an SUV concept called U5 ION. Aiways’ claimed specs for the RG are spectacular: 1200 km range, 0-100 in 2.5 seconds and 300 km/h top speed. RG stands for Roland Gumpert, the founder of supercar manufacturer GMG – now Apollo Automobil – and Chief Product Manager of Aiways as well as CEO of the German subsidiary. Confusingly, the RG had no Aiways branding in Beijing and was instead called the Roland Gumpert Nathalie. It is unclear whether the sportscar will remain under the Aiways brand when commercialised. The official website is here.
Founded in 1997, Anhui Ankai Automobile (安徽安凯汽车) is headquartered in Hefei in the Anhui province and specialises in the production of buses and coaches. The company has three principal subsidiaries and distributes its products worldwide. The name “Ankai” is the abbreviation of Anhui-Kässbohrer, marking the cooperation between Hefei Feihe Automobile Factory and Kässbohrer from 1993 onwards. The official website is here.
Aolong: see Jiulong
Arcfox is a BAIC brand dedicated to upmarket electric vehicles. Launched at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2016 when it displayed an impressive concept car inspired by the BMW i8, Arcfox unveiled its first production car, the Lite, in November 2017. The Lite is vying for the title of coolest Chinese electric car, with its bubbly design, its dashboard made of three giant touch screens and the fact that both driver and passenger can write and display digital messages on the car’s grille and rear end. At under 3m long, the Lite is light (895 kg) but not cheap: from 93.800 yuan (12.000 € / US$14.300) including government aids. Arcfox launched in market in December 2017 with 472 sales.
The full Chinese Brands Guide is below.