After detailing China wholesales for May, it is now time to explore the all-new new locally-produced launches for the month in our “New Models” series. This month there are only two newcomers in the wholesales charts vs. 6 last month. Both are SUVs and none are New Energy vehicles, the latter going against the ongoing trend of the Chinese market, but this is just one month’s worth of novelties.
1. Geely Emgrand S (#137 – 3.503 sales)
The most popular newcomer this month is the Geely Emgrand S. This is not an entirely new model as such but a facelift of the Geely Emgrand GS which has now disappeared from the wholesales charts to be replaced by the Emgrand S. The front and rear of the car are redesigned with a markedly sportier look, featuring tail lights and a floating roof in the way of the Geometry C. The Emgrand S remains a compact crossover, it is just 10 mm shorter than the GS at 4.430 mm and 13mm higher at 1.573 mm.
Geely Emgrand S interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
While the Emgrand GS was priced from 72.800 to 111.800 yuan, the Emgrand S starts higher: from 84.900 to 108.900 yuan (11.050-14.200€ or US$13.150-16.900). As such, it competes with the likes of the COS X5 (69.900-102.900 yuan), Jetta VS5 (84.800-112.800), COS X7 (77.700-129.900) and Changan CS35 Plus (69.900-109.900). The Emgrand GS hit a highest ever volume of 20.087 in January 2018 but only surpassed 15.000 units four additional times. We’d want at least 10.000 units regularly for the Emgrand S to be a worthy successor to the GS.
Bar for success: 10.000 monthly sales
2. Haval Chitu (#144 – 3.258 sales)
After the Big Dog and First Love, Haval confirms it now labels its new models with actual names with this Chitu, Mandarin for “red hare”. This is the fourth model based on Haval’s new L.E.M.O.N. platform after the third generation H6, Big Dog and First Love aka Jolion. The Chitu is a compact SUV at 4.450 mm long and 1.625 mm tall, the wheelbase is 2.700 mm. The new nomenclature makes it harder to locate the Chitu within the Haval range. In terms of size, it matches the Haval H4 and F5…
Haval Chitu interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
…but its price places it much higher in the Haval lineup, starting higher than the H6 and making it a rather expensive Haval. Indeed the Chitu is priced from 109.800 to 123.800 yuan (14.300-16.100€ or US$17.050-19.200), compared to 73.900-115.000 yuan for the H4 and 79.800-125.800 for the F5. It therefore competes with larger Chinese vehicles such as the Geely Boyue (89.800-146.800 yuan), Changan CS75 Plus (106.900-154.900) and… the Haval H6 (98.000-154.900). This size of vehicle has not truly been successful for Haval so far, with the larger H6, F7 and M6 the brand’s true blockbusters, alongside the smaller H2. The F5 peaked at 10.133 wholesales in December 2018 but fell below 5.000 monthly units from February 2019 onwards. As for the H4, its record is 6.114 in June 2018. We’d want at least 7.000 sales on a regular basis to call the Chitu a success.
Bar for success: 7.000 monthly sales
Previous month: China new models April 2021: GAC Aion Y and VW Talagon land