The WEY Mocha has landed in the Chinese wholesales charts.
After detailing China wholesales for June, we now explore the all-new locally-produced launches for the month in our “new models” series. In June there are six newcomers, including four EVs and four SUVs, completely in line with long-term sales trends in the Chinese market favouring these two segments. To thoroughly understand the dynamics at play in China, make sure you consult our Exclusive Guide to all 178 active Chinese Brands.
1. Pocco Meimei (3.658 sales)
Pocco, in Mandarin 朋克 (Pengke) meaning “punk”, is a manufacturer of small city EVs, a segment recently reinvigorated by Wuling. Its lineup is composed of three models: the cheekily named Meimei, Toto and Lala. The Meimei points its bonnet first. Priced from 29.800 to 46.800 yuan (3.900-6.100€ or US$4.600-7.200) the Meimei is a tiny two-door, two-seat vehicle that competes with the likes of the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (28.800-43.600 yuan), Letin Mango (29.800-54.900 yuan) and Lingbao Box (32.800-46.800 yuan).
Pocco Meimei interior
Despite its bargain basement price, the Meimei offers touches of luxury such as a wood-imitation dashboard and a rotary gearshift. The Meimei makes its first appearance in the wholesales ranking this month with an impressive volume, but it is unclear whether this figure is a catch-up amount for the past few months or a true June volume. In any case, we’d want it to stay at this level in the long term to call it a success.
Bar for success: 3.000 monthly sales
2. Sehol QX (2.997 sales)
Formerly called SOL through a joint-venture with VW, JAC has transformed the now Sehol brand into its own, sole marque of passenger cars, transferring its JAC lineup of cars and SUVs into the Sehol badge. The compact SUV QX was introduced at Auto Shanghai in April 2021 and is the first truly new model under the Sehol brand, with all pre-existing models being JAC rebadges. Priced from 101.900 to 148.900 yuan (13.300-19.500€ or US$15.700-22.950), the QX enters an incredibly crowded compact SUV segment that already features the outright SUV best-sellers.
Sehol QX interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
Indeed the Haval H6 (98.000-154.900 yuan), Changan CS75 PLUS (106.900-154.900 yuan) and Geely Boyue (89.800-146.800 yuan) as well as the Dongfeng Forthing T5 EVO (103.900-136.900 yuan) are all in the same price range. The QX is powered by a 1.5L turbo engine developing 184 hp mated with a six-speed manual gearbox or dual-clutch transmission. The QX is front-wheel drive only and will be sold as the JS6 globally. Its exterior design, reportedly the work of the JAC Design Center in Turin, is probably a little mild for the clientele and the QX will need to punch above its weight to be deemed successful and establish the Sehol brand.
Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales
3. WEY Mocha (2.006 sales)
Great Wall’s semi premium brand of SUVs, WEY, is ditching its previous nomenclature (VV5, VV6, VV7) to actual names as is also the case with Haval. At the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021, WEY presented the Mocha, Latte and Macchiato, all named after different coffees. The Mocha, not to be confused with the Opel Mokka (no naming rights infringement as long as these models don’t coexist in the same market?) is the first to hit the wholesales charts. It is powered by a 214 hp 2L engine mated with a 9-speed DCT and is available in front- or four-wheel drive. A PHEV variant is to follow shortly.
WEY Mocha interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
The Mocha is priced from 175.800 to 218.800 yuan (23.000-28.600€ or US$27.100-33.700) which pits it against the likes of the Changan UNI-K (153.900-184.900 yuan), Hongqi HS5 (183.800-249.800 yuan) but also some foreign models such as the VW Tayron (186.900-264.900 yuan) and Buick Envision (189.900-239.900 yuan). After a very encouraging start back in 2017 when the VV5 hit 10.798 wholesales and the VV7 hit 10.551 both in December of that year, the WEY brand has been struggling for the past couple of years. The recent transfer of the successful Tank 300 into its own TANK brand has made things worse, so much so that the Mocha instantly becomes WEY’s best-seller this month. We know the potential volumes are there, and the Mocha will need to aim much higher than its current level to be considered the precursor to a WEY revival.
Bar for success: 6.000 monthly sales
4. GAC Trumpchi Empow (1.182 sales)
GAC Trumpchi has been quiet lately and the brand’s first sporty sedan, the Empow, marks its first new launch in over a year while the GAC NE division has been busy with 3 launches. Previewed as a semi-concept at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2020, the Empow was officially launched in April 2021 at the Shanghai Auto Show. It is powered by a 177 hp 1.5L turbo engine mated to a 7-speed DCT. GAC claims the 0 to 100 km/h in just 7 seconds. We think the car looks very close to a Hyundai on steroids, while the dashboard’s giant digital tile mimics Mercedes.
Priced from 98.800 to 128.800 yuan (12.900-16.800€ or US$15.200-19.850), the Empow is designed as the successor to the GA4, even though the latter will remain on sale. With the Empow, GAC can aim to steal sales from the best-selling foreign sedans, such as the Nissan Sylphy (99.800-143.000 yuan), VW Lavida (99.900-161.900 yuan) and Toyota Corolla (109.800-159.800 yuan). However sedans have never been GAC Trumpchi’s forte, so expectations for the Empow have to remain sober.
Bar for success: 4.000 monthly sales
5. VW ID.6 X (1.147 sales)
Revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021, the VW ID.6 X is a three-row electric SUV manufactured by the SAIC-VW joint venture. It is built on the same MEB platform as the ID.4, Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4. This is the largest electric Volkswagen to be offered, with a choice of six or seven seats, and is exclusive to the Chinese market for now. In short it is basically a stretched out ID.4. Different versions offer power from 177 to 325 hp.
VW ID.6 X interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
Priced from 239.800 to 335.800 yuan (31.400-43.900€ or US$36.950-54.800) the ID.6 X competes with the likes of the BYD Tang (189.800-314.800 yuan), GAC Aion LX (229.600-349.600 yuan) and Ford Mustang Mach-E (265.000-379.900 yuan). In terms of target sales, this is a tricky situation as the ID model series, after a surge in Europe in late 2020, hasn’t performed as well as expected, and this is also the case in China with the ID.4 twins. We’d want at least 4.000 monthly sales to call the ID.4 X a success.
Bar for success: 4.000 monthly sales
6. VW ID.6 CROZZ (538 sales)
The VW ID.6 CROZZ is the twin of the ID.6 X, this time built by the FAW-VW joint-venture and with a slightly different front and back, replicating exactly the same situation as for the ID.4 X and CROZZ. It is priced from 239.800 to 334.800 yuan (31.400-43.800€ or US$36.950-51.600). The same competitors and bar for success apply.
Bar for success: 4.000 monthly sales
7. Bestune NAT (5 sales)
FAW’s Bestune continues to expand its lineup with its first MPV, the NAT previously known as E05. This vehicle is reserved to taxi companies. It’s an electric vehicle with a 134 hp motor and a range of 260 miles (419 km). Notice below the orange “Accept Call” button on the steering wheel. The Bestune NAT also offers video surveillance and ultraviolet purification.
Bestune NAT interior. Picture autohome.com.cn
The NAT is priced from 145.800 to 151.800 yuan (19.100-19.800€ or US$22.500-23.400), which makes it compete with the likes of the BYD D1 (151.800 yuan), Maple 80V (159.800-169.800 yuan), COS Cosmos EV (166.800 yuan) and to a lesser extent the Roewe iMAX8 (188.800-253.800 yuan). Given it will not be offered to private customers, its volume ambitions remain measured.