Haval Cool Dog
After detailing July 2022 Chinese wholesales, it is now time to review the new locally produced models for the month. This way you can stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the largest and most dynamic market in the world. This month we have nine new models hitting Chinese roads, seven of them Chinese, plus the Volvo C40 that we know, now also produced locally. To thoroughly understand the dynamics at play in China, make sure you consult our Exclusive Guide to all 190 active Chinese Brands.
1. Chery Omoda 5 (3,710 sales)
Unveiled during the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2021, the Omoda 5 inaugurates a new sub-brand after Arrizo and Tiggo. It is aimed at the international market with imminent launches in Russia and Kazakhstan where it will be sold as a separate Omoda brand, and Australia and New Zealand where it will be just called Chery Omoda. The “O” stands for brand new and “Moda” for fashion trend. The Omoda 5 is a compact crossover, the first in the Chery 4.0 vehicles that inaugurates the “Art in Motion” design language. The first version is a 197 hp 1.6T model mated with a 7-speed DCT, it will be followed by a 1.5 and a mild hybrid 1.5T.
The interior of the Omoda 5 features two 10.25 inch digital screens forming one tile, one for the driver’s instruments and one for infotainment. The gear shift is modern and the whole ensemble gives off a sophisticated feel. At home, the Omoda 5 is priced from 92,900 to 126,900 yuan (13,500-18,400€, same in US$) which will see it compete internally with the Chery Tiggo 7 Plus (86,900-124,900 yuan) as well as the likes of the Geely Biyue (75,900-119,800 yuan), Changan UNI-T (115,900-149,900 yuan) and COS Z6 (99,900-129,900 yuan). Chery has been on a roll lately with both the Tiggo 8 and 7 inside the July Top 20, so expectations for the Omoda 5 are high.
Bar for success: 8,000 monthly sales
2. Haval Cool Dog (3,297 sales)
Launched as the X-Dog concept car at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021, the Cool Dog is the second Haval model to use the “Dog” appellation after the Big Dog / Dargo. It is a compact SUV. The front design is similar to the Big Dog with square front lights while the general shape of the car is similarly boxy giving it a hardcore 4WD look. It is available in front- and four-wheel drive versions. The Cool Dog is equipped with a 1.5T engine delivering either 150 or 184 hp and is mated with a 7-speed DCT gearbox. The interior features two 12.3 inch digital screens for the instrument cluster and the infotainment. The X-Dog concept had a bizarre digital screen on the steering wheel but it has disappeared in the final model.
The Cool Dog boast a 18-speaker JVC sound system, the first time JVC equips a Chinese vehicle. Although smaller at 4.52m long vs. 4.62m, the Cool Dog starts at a higher price than the Big Dog at 123,800 yuan (17,950€, same in US$) vs. 119,900. Its most premium version is priced at 149,800 yuan (21,700€, same in US$) vs 167,900 for the Big Dog. Price-wise, it also competes internally with the H6 (98,900-157,000 yuan) and the Beast (130,000-167,000 yuan). The Cool Dog is hoping to build on the popularity of the Big Dob which peaked at 13,028 wholesales in December 2021 and Haval needs all the hep it can get with sales down -23.8% over the first seven months of the year.
Bar for success: 7,000 monthly sales
3. AITO M7 (1,100 sales)
AITO (in Mandarin Aotu 傲图), translated as “Adding Intelligence to Auto”, is a high-end EV brand launched in 2021 by Huawei and Seres (Sokon). The brand’s first model, the M5, reached 6,000 pre-orders in five days last December. Its second model, this M7, has done even better with 20,000 units pre-sold in just four hours… Like the M5, the M7 is a range extender (EREV) meaning the car is a PHEV where the petrol engine’s only function is to charge the battery. The exterior design is somewhat old-fashioned in the current environment, while the interior features the customary giant digital screen as a dashboard and a digital instrument cluster. At 5.02-m long, the M7 still manages to hold six seats in all its variants. The M7’s most expensive version has 449 hp and reaches 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Priced from 319,800 to 379,800 yuan (46,400-55,100€, same in US$), the M7’s closest competitor is the LI One (349,800 yuan).
Bar for success: 6,000 monthly sales
4. Sehol Aipao (1,014 sales)
Originally called SOL and a joint-venture between JAC and Volkswagen, Volkswagen bought a majority stake in the joint-venture and called it Volkswagen Anhui. JAC then reclaimed SOL as its own new Passenger Vehicle brand and renamed it Sehol. It then started to transfer all its JAC-branded SUVs and Sedans into the Sehol brand, leaving only its Refine lineup branded JAC. The Aipo is the 9th model under the Sehol brand. It is a small EV sedan based on the A5 ICE and E50A EV. In Mandarin, Tipo means “Like to Run”. The Sehol Aipao is based on both the petrol-powered Yao and the electric E50A.
The Aipao is offered with a 193 hp electric motor, it is 4.77 m long. The exterior design is similar to a lot of Chinese sedans launched recently, which will make it harder to stand out. The fastback silhouette however is an added plus, making the car look somewhat sporty. The Aipao is priced from 139,900 to 199,900 yuan (20,300-29,000€, same in US$) and will compete internally with the E50A on which it is based (145,900-189,800 yuan) and with the likes of the BYD Qin Plus (111,800-175,800 yuan), the Geometry A (126,800-207,800 yuan) and GAC Aion S (139,800-179,800 yuan). The transfer of all JAC models into the Sehol brand has not been met with tremendous success and the Yao has peaked at 3,208 sales for its launch month. We are not expecting strong sales for the Aipao.
Bar for success: 2,000 monthly units
5. IM L7 (816 sales)
IM stands for Intelligence in Motion. It is a premium EV brand by Zhiji Auto, a joint venture between SAIC, Alibaba and the Pudong New Area in Shanghai. The brand was launched in December 2020 and focuses on AI and in-depth intelligence for automobiles. IM’s first model is a sedan called L7 was unveiled as a prototype at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021 and is now on sale with a rather strong initial 816 wholesales. The most spectacular feature of the L7 is its 39 inch (99 cm) triple screen dash, the first of its kind to be fitted to a vehicle and running its own intelligent OS. There is also a 12.8 inch screen in the centre console.
The L7 has 12 cameras, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic radars, a lidar all for autonomous driving and a 22-speaker sound system with a total output of 1120 watts. Its 578 hp electric motor enables the car to reach 100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Another first for the L7 is an 11 KW wireless charging system. It is 5.10 m long. Priced from 368,800 to 408,800 yuan (53,500-59,300€, same in US$), the L7 undercuts the same sized NIO ET7 (458,000-536,000 yuan). But its main purpose is to compete with the smaller (4.98m) Tesla Model S (889,990-1,059,990 yuan). With a strong start already, we’d want the L7 to average 2,500 monthly sales to call it a success.
Bar for success: 2,500 monthly sales
6. Lingbox Uni (754 sales)
Lingbox is a brand of small electric vehicles owned by the Jiangsu Jinpeng Group which also manufactures electric tricycles and LSEV (low speed EVs). Like many recent launches, the Uni is targeting the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, hoping to grab a share of its outstanding success. It is sold in pastel colours with the dashboard and seats matching the exterior colours. The exterior design is very similar to the Hongguang Mini EV, but the interior stays out. It is supposedly aimed at a female audience. Priced from 38,800 to 47,800 yuan (5,600-6,900€, same in US$), the Uni starts higher than the Hongguang Mini EV (32,800-72,800 yuan) and matches the Chery QQ Ice Cream (39,900-57,500 yuan).
7. Maxus G90 (255 sales)
Maxus is a brand by SAIC focused on SUVs, MPVs and LCVs. The G90 is the combustion engine version of the MIFA 9 MPV launched late last year and mustering 188 sales in July, yet the front is slightly different. Its exterior design is rather striking with an enormous front grille and distinctively shaped headlights. The rear lights follow an equally different style, running all the way below the window and down the sides of the vehicle. As for most large MPVs, a driver will operate the vehicle with its owners in the back seats. Accordingly, the two to four rear seats all stand alone with small table boards, leg rests, and armrest screens (adjustable seats, sunroofs, lights, and other functions), as well as screens behind the front seats.
The G90 comes with 234 hp 2.0T engine mated with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The dahsboard design is also striking with three separate screens combined into a single panel as well as a 10 inch heads-up display. Note a facial recognition camera identifies the driver and automatically adjusts the car to their settings, notably the seat position. At 5.3m long, the G90 is the flagship ICE model of the Maxus brand the most expensive, priced from 219,900 to 329,900 yuan (31,900-47,850€, same in US$). It will compete with the likes of the Roewe iMAX 8 (188,800-253,800 yuan), GAC Trumpchi M8 (179,800-369,800 yuan) and Buick GL8 (232,900-533,900 yuan).
Bar for success: 3,500 sales
8. Cadillac Lyriq (44 sales)
The crossover Lyriq is a large SUV at 5.03m long. It is Cadillac’s first full-electric vehicle and its Chinese version is built in a new EV-only plant in Yantai. The name Lyriq follows a nomenclature used for previous concept cars such as the Evoq, Provoq and Celestiq. It inaugurates a new exterior design style for the brand and was launched in China ahead of its U.S. debut. Its interior features a 32 inch screen featuring the instruments cluster and the infotainment. The Lyriq comes in two electric engines: one with 347 hp and 608 km range and one with 510 hp with 653 km range. Priced from 439,700 to 479,700 yuan (63,800-69,600€, same in US$), it will compete with the NIO ES7 (468,000-548,000 yuan) as well as the Audi e-Tron (546,000-648,800 yuan) and the Tesla Model X (940,000-1,000,000 yuan) both a lot more expensive.
Bar for success: 2,000 monthly sales
9. Chevrolet Seeker (7 sales)
The Chevrolet Seeker is a compact SUV, for now reserved for the Chinese market. However some prototypes have been seen testing in the U.S. so a launch there could also be in the cards. At 4.54m long, it is 13cm longer than the Trailblazer, 11cm shorter than the Equinox and 34cm shorter than the Blazer. The Seeker is powered by a 177hp 1.5l engine mated with a DCT gearbox. The dashboard features two 10.25 inch linked screens for the instruments panel and infotainment. The price hasn’t been specified yet but given its size the Seeker should be competing with the likes of the Honda ZR-V aka Vezel (159,900-195,900 yuan) and Toyota Corolla Cross (129,800-169,800 yuan). Chevrolet has started to bounce back up in 2022 with sales up 13.9% over the first seven months of the year. The Seeker could well be the model that was missing to boost up sales even further but very low scores from the Blazer and Trailblazer don’t bode well yet the Equinox peaked at 7,986 units.
Bar for success: 3,500 monthly sales