Welcome to our Exclusive Guide to all 190 active Chinese brands. 95 brands have been added since its original publication in January 2018. This guide is the result of three years of research and multiple investigating trips to China. It includes car, electric vehicles, pickup, bus and truck manufacturers. For now we are keeping roughly 130 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 an 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, 95 brands have been added: AITO, Aiways, AvatR, Baizhi, Bestune, Bordrin, Byvin, Chufeng, Ciimo, Ciwei, COS, Costin, CRRC, Dali, Dialev, Doda, Domy, Dorcen, Enoreve (previously Enovate), EV, Everus, Ezoom, Farizon, Fukang, Geometry, Green Wheel, Grove, Gyon, Hanergy, Hengchi (previously Evergrande), Hengrun, HiPhi, Homan (previously Folor), Huashen, Huatong, Hunkt, Hycan, IM, Imperium, Jetour, Jiulong, JLM, KYC, Lark, Leap Motor, LI, Lingbox, Link Tour, Linyu, Lite, Maple, Modern, Neta, Niutron, ORA, Pao, Pocco, Qingling, Qingxing, QYEV, R, Raoten, Red Star, Reech (previously LvChi), Saloon, Sany, Sehol (previously SOL), Senyuan, Seres (previously SF Motors), Shifeng, Sinogold, SiTech, SKIO, Skywell, Skyworth, Sokon, Songsan, STR, Suda, Sunike, TANK, T-King, Vantas, VGV, Voyah, WAW, Xiaohu, YGM, Yinlong, Youngman, Yuancheng, Zedriv, Zeekr, Zoomlion and Zuojun.
34 ceased activity: BAW, Bordrin, Bisu, Dali, Dearcc, Enranger, Gonow, Hafei, Hawtai, Hengtong, Huasong, Hyosow, Iconic, Jiangnan, JMCGL, Jonway, Kandi, Leahead, Leopaard, LeSee, Linyu, Qingling, Ranz, Red Star, Senyuan, Shuchi, Traum, Xinkai, Weiwang , YGM (now Link Tour), Yu Lu, Zhi Dou, Zotye and Zuojun.
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AITO (in Mandarin Aotu 傲图), translated as “Adding Intelligence to Auto”, is a high-end EV brand launched in 2021 by Huawei and Seres (Sokon). The brand’s first model, the M5, was revealed on 2 December 2021. It is a range extender, meaning the car is a PHEV where the petrol engine’s only function is to charge the battery. Orders started on 23 December 2021 and reached 6,000 only five days later. The M5 comes with its own fragrance system, advertised as having the fastest on-board charging in the industry, 66W wired fast charging, 40W wireless fast charging, a total of five 1A4C charging ports, and is also equipped with advanced crystal drill handle, co-pilot. It also includes a 19-unit vocal design, ventilated heated massage seats, nappa leather, and HUD head-up display function. All AITO models will be sold in Huawei’s stores. The cooperation between Sokon and Huawei started when Huawei started selling the Seres SF5 in its stores, now they are coming up with a new brand, AITO. The M5 is actually based on the Seres SF5. In this Huawei-Sokon partnership, Sokon is responsible for the car life cycle: R&D, delivery and after sales. Huawei is responsible for sales and smart features, in other words the nervous system of the car. There is no website yet for the AITO brand.
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 SUVs, crossovers, a sedan and an MPV. For now, the RG is the carmaker’s halo prototype, was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2018. 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. Always’ first vehicle on sale in China is however the 5-seat SUV U5 on sale since early 2020. In September 2019, the U5 broke the world record for the longest road trip by an electric vehicle: 15.000 km from Xian in China to the Frankfurt Motor Show. In May 2020, Always announced it sold 500 units of the U5 to the licensee of Hertz in Corsica, a French island in the mediterranean, but the deal later fell through. 2020 retail sales for Aiways stand at 1.336. 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 brand by BAIC dedicated to upmarket electric vehicles. Arc stands for Arctic, symbolising “the ultimate world” and Fox symbolises “the fox’s cleverness and dexterity, representing a smart brand personality.” The brand was launched at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2016 with an impressive concept car inspired by the BMW i8, and its first production car, the Lite, was unveiled in November 2017. However in 2019 the Lite was turned into its own standalone brand and Arcfox showcased three up-market concepts at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2019: the GT Track and GT Street hypercars and the ECF SUV, the latter giving birth to the αT SUV (pictured) in August 2020. The official website is here.
The full Chinese Brands Guide is below.