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China new models June 2023: Smart #3 and Buick Electra E4 launch

Smart #3

After going through June 2023 Chinese wholesales, we now focus the new locally produced models hitting the Chinese market this 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 no less than 10 new models appearing in the charts, 7 of them Chinese. To fully understand the scope of the Chinese market, make sure you consult our Exclusive Guide to all 191 active Chinese Brands.

1. Geely Galaxy L7 (9,673 sales)

Galaxy is a new sub-brand by Geely which will be dedicated to premium long-range hybrid and pure electric vehicles. The series was unveiled last February. There will be two model lines: L for PHEVs and E for EVs. The L7 SUV is the first model of the series, an L6 sedan will launch in Q3 and the first model of the E series, the E8, will appear in Q4. Geely has a total of 7 Galaxy models scheduled to be delivered between now and 2025. The L7 is a mid-size PHEV SUV, it is 4.70m long and was originally designed as a sportier version of the Boyue L. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip and Geely’s Galaxy N-OS operation system, reportedly improving speed and voice command.

There are three large digital screens on the dashboard: a 10.25″ instrument panel, a 13.2″ central control screen and a 16.2″ passenger screen, plus a 25.6″ head up display screen. The L7 is powered by a 1.5L turbo petrol engine mated to a 3-speed hybrid transmission with the option of one or two electric motors. The front-wheel-drive version is powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor and offers 390 hp while the four-wheel-drive option uses two electric motors and produces 660 hp. Top speed is 200 km/h, and the a 0–100 km/h is dispatched in 6.9 sec. The L7 is priced from 138,700 to 173,700 yuan (17,400-21,750€ or US$19,300-24,200) and will compete with the likes of the BYD Song Plus (154,800-219,900 yuan), Shenlan S7 (149,900-202,900 yuan), BYD Song Pro (135,800-165,800 yuan) and Haval Dragon Max (159,800-179,800 yuan). In terms of bar for success, the L7 has already reached a very impressive level for its first month in market and would be deemed a success if it can maintain this level in the long term.

Bar for success: 10,000 monthly sales

2. Chery Tiggo 9 (3,003 sales)

The Chery Tiggo 9 is the brand’s new flagship SUV, it is 4.82m long and available as a five-seater or a three-row seven-seater. The production version of the Tiggo 9 was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show last April. It is propelled by a Kunpeng Power 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine for 361 hp mated with a 7-speed DCT for the two-wheel drive model and an 8-speed automatic transmission for the 4WD. There is also a 2.0L turbo PHEV hybrid variant achieving the 0-100 km/h in just 4.5 sec and with a CLTC range of 1,300 km. Recharging the Tiggo 9’s battery from 30% to 80% takes 18 minutes.

The Tiggo 9’s dashboard features a dual-curved screen including a 12.3″ instrument panel and a 12.3″ infotainment screen curved towards the driver. The dimension of the screens are on the lower side compared to most current launches. Digital functionalities and infotainment system are powered by a  Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip. The Tiggo 9 is priced from 152,900 to 209,900 yuan (19,100-26,300€ or US$21,300-29,250) compared to 133,900 to 174,900 for the Tiggo 8 Pro. It will compete with the likes of the Geely Xingyue L (137,200-185,200 yuan) and Exeed Yaoguang (152,800-202,800 yuan). In June, the Tiggo 9 was seen in Luxembourg, France, Italy and Switzerland, possibly hinting at a future European career. We’d want it to surpass 5,000 monthly sales to call it a success.

Bar for success: 5,000 monthly sales

3. Nio ET5T (1,339 sales)

The Nio ET5T is the station wagon version of the ET5 sedan (T is for Touring), the first such format for the brand. All technical characteristics are identical to the ET5. It comes with three battery options: 75 kWh for a 550 km NEDC range, 100 kWh for a 700 km range and 150 kWh for 1,000 km range. Batteries are of course compatible with Nio’s power swap stations in China and Norway, and the ET5T is scheduled to launch in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. It has been designed with Europe in mind as the continent is a lot more receptive to station wagons, especially in Germany. Like the ET5, the ET5T has two electric motors: 1 201 hp induction motor in the front, and a 282 hp permanent magnet motor in the rear, for 480 hp combined. The 0 to 100 km/h is eclipsed in 4.0 sec.

The ET5T has the now mandatory pop out door handles, and its interior is minimalistic like a Tesla. It features a digital 10.2″ instrument panel and 12.8″ portrait central screen. Let’s not forget NOMI, the voice assistant which equips all Nio models. The ET5T is priced from 298,000 to 356,000 yuan (37,300-44,600€ or US$41,500-49,600), exactly the same tariffs as the ET5 sedan. It doesn’t have any direct competitors, but competes in price with the Zeekr 001 (300,000-403,000 yuan) and Tesla Model Y (263,900-363,900 yuan). Station wagons are rare in China and typically struggle to attract significant volumes, so we’ll have reserved hopes for the ET5T.

Bar for success: 2,000 monthly sales

4. Smart #3 (947 sales)

After the #1 last September, Smart, now an EV only joint-venture between Mercedes and Geely, already adds a second model to its expanding range: the #3. It debuted at the Shanghai Auto Show last April and will head to Europe, where the #1 has just launched, early 2024. At 4.40m long, it is the biggest Smart model ever. Mercedes designed the car and a “designed by Mercedes” sign can be seen on the B pillar. Smart took charge of the R&D and construction in a new plant in Xi’an. At it was also the case for the #1, the #3 is based on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) electric vehicle platform developed by Geely. The SEA platform is also used for the Lotus Eletre, Zeekr X, Volvo EX30, and Polestar 4.

The #3 has a 66 kWh battery by CALB and Sunwoda, and offers four trims: the Pro+ with 268 hp single motor and 555 km range, the Pulse 4AWD with 422 hp dual motors for a 520 km range, the Premium with 268 hp single motor and 580 km range and the limited edition Brabus with 422 hp dual motors and 520 km range. The Brabus accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds. Looking at the interior, the dashboard is dominated by a 12.8″ central landscape digital screen. The #3 is priced from 209,900 to 289,900 yuan (26,300-36,300€ or US$29,250-40,400) compared to 179,000 to 279,000 yuan for the #1. It will compete with the likes of the VW ID.4 (193,900-293,900 yuan), Tesla Model Y (263,900-363,900 yuan) and Zeekr X (189,800-229,800 yuan). For now the Smart #1 peaked at 5,911 wholesales last March so we’ll target 4,000 monthly sales for the #3.

Bar for success: 4,000 monthly sales

5. BAW M7 (886 sales)

Once owned by BAIC and therefore the Chinese government, BAW is now a private company and was acquired by Shandong Weiqiao Pioneering Group, a textiles and aluminium specialist, in April 2023. BAW specialises in low cost vehicles. Its latest launch is the M7 MPV, available in two lengths. The 4.88m long version can be had in 2, 5 or 7 seats while the 5.23m long vehicle is a 9-seater. There are four powertrain options: two petrol versions at 124 hp and 1.6L and 144 hp and 2.0L, BEV with 310 km range and extended range (EREV) with 600km range.

The interior features a 10.25″ dual screen including the instrument screen and infotainment screen. Faithful to the cut-throat pricing of the brand, the M7 starts at an impossibly low 59,800 yuan (7,500€ or US$8,300) and its top variant comes in at 139,800 yuan (17,500€ or US$19,500). It will compete with the likes of the Wuling Journey (69,800-90,800 yuan), Dongfeng Future (59,900-99,900 yuan) and Jinbei Haishi (60,900-85,900 yuan). The M7 will therefore face stiff competition from established actors in the segment. We’ll stay prudent on its sales forecast.

Bar for success: 2,000 monthly sales

6. Buick Electra E4 (400 sales)

Two months after the Electra E5, Buick already expands its Electra EV lineup with this E4 coupe SUV. It is 4.82m long with a 2.95m wheelbase. 2- and 4-wheel drive versions are available. The two-wheel drive variant is powered by a single 201 hp motor and includes a 65kWh battery pack for a 530 km range. The four-wheel drive variant is powered by a dual motor producing a combined 283 hp and includes a 80kWh battery pack for a 620 km range.

The interior features a huge 30″ digital tile encompassing the instrument panel and infotainment screen, called EYEMAX. It is a 6K screen with a pixel density of 200PPI. The vehicle is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip. Also part of the E4’s features is a 1.2 square meter sunroof. The E4 is priced from 189,900 to 259,900 yuan (23,800-32,500€ or US$26,500-36,200), remaining very close to the E5 pricing (208,900-278,900 yuan). It competes with such models as the Xpeng G6 (209,900-276,900 yuan) and BYD Yuan Plus (154,800-219,900 yuan). Sales-wise, the Electra E5 shot up to 3,587wholesales in June, so there is also some good potential for the E4.

Bar for success: 5,000 monthly sales

7. Xpeng G6 (244 sales)

Sales of EV start-up Xpeng are down -40.1% over the First Half 2023, so the brand needs all the new metal it can get… It comes in the form of this new coupe SUV, the G6, unveiled at the Shanghai Autoshow last April. The G6 is 4.75m long, making it a compact SUV. It is available in a choice of single or dual motor variants, with three CLTC ranges of 580, 700 and 755 km. The single-motor variant offers 292hp while the dual-motor is at 480hp. The 0-100 km/h is eclipsed in 3.9 seconds. All models have a 87.5 kWh ternary lithium battery. Thanks to the 4S charging pile and 800V 3C fast charging technology, charging from 10% to 80% takes 19 minutes and achieving 300 km of range can be done in 10 minutes.

The most interesting characteristics of the G6 are in the safety area, with the vehicle onboarding Xpeng’s XNPG advanced driving assistance system. It features 31 sensors including 2 liars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5-millimeter wave radars and a vast array of cameras. Inside, the clean dashboard displays a 10.2″ digital instrument panel and a 14.96″ infotainment screen. Of note, the air-conditioning outputs windless cold air, reducing discomfort to passengers. The G6 is priced from 209,900 to 276,900 yuan (26,300-34,700€ or US$29,250-38,600), starting at the same level as the P7 sedan (209,900-339,900 yuan). It undercuts the Tesla Model Y (263,900-363,900 yuan) and competes with the likes of the Leap Motor C11 (149,800-239,800 yuan). The G6 generated 11,500 preorders in the first 72 hours, so the sale potential is here. The similarly sized P7 peaked at 9,183 wholesales in March 2022 so we have good hopes for the G6.

Bar for success: 4,000 monthly sales

8. Bestune T90: 195 sales

It’s a second launch in three months for Bestune: after the M9 MPV comes this T90 midsize SUV. Bestune is doing well this year with wholesales up 31.3% over the first Half of 2023 and is trying to build on this momentum with fresh launches. The T90 comes in a choice of two engines: a 169hp 1.5L turbocharged engine mated with a 7 DCT gearbox and a 252hp 2.0L turbocharged engine mated with an 8 speed auto box. All versions are front-wheel drive. The interior features a very large portrait infotainment screen as well as a smaller digital instrument panel. Prices are sharp at 100,000 to 146,999 yuan (12,500-18,400€ or US$13,900-20,500) as the T90 slots lower the the T77 (114,800-123,800 yuan). It will rub shoulders with the likes of the COS Z6 (99,900-137,900 yuan), Haval H6 (98,900-157,000 yuan) and Geely Boyue L (125,700-179,700 yuan).

Bar for success: 2,500 monthly sales

9. GAC Aion Hyper GT (108 sales)

Unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show last December, the Aion Hyper GT EV is the most aerodynamic mass-production car to-date at 0.19 cd, with the previous record being held by the Mercedes-Benz EQS at 0.20 cd. The Hyper GT is 4.89m long, it comes with scissor front doors and the now mandatory flush door handles, as well as a LiDAR sensor on the roof and two more on the front bumpers. There are two electric motors available, both mounted on the rear axle. One offers 245 hp and can be paired with a 60kWh ternary battery for 560 km of range or a 70kWh LFP battery for 600 km of range. It eclipses the 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. The other motor has 340 hp and is paired with a 80 kWh ternary battery for a 710 km range. This time the 0-100 km/h is cleared in 4.9 seconds.

Entering the cockpit, the Hyper GT offers a simplistic, clean dashboard with a 14.6″ main digital infotainment screen and a thin 8.8″ instrument panel sitting at the top. There are no buttons at all on the dash. The centre tunnel features two wireless charging pads. Behind the steering wheel is the Face ID sensor that monitors the driver for signs of fatigue. Sound is managed by Dolby Atmos with 23 speakers. The Hyper GT is priced from 219,900 to 339,900 yuan (27,500-42,600€ or US$30,600-47,400) and will compete with a slew of other EV sedans such as the Xpeng P7 (209,900-339,900 yuan), the BYD Han (189,800-331,800 yuan), BYD Seal (189,800-289,800 yuan) and Tesla Model 3 (231,900-331,900 yuan) but also the Neta S, Rising F7 and Shenlan SL03. GAC Aion is on a roll at the moment so we are optimistic with the Hyper GT’s sales potential.

Bar for success: 3,500 monthly sales

June 2023 also saw the Chinese launch of the Mercedes EQE SUV with 1553 sales.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. The Nio ET5T looks really good to me. Much better than the sedan. Probably because I‘m German 😉

    The Smart #3 looks nice, too. But it could also be a Mercedes EQA. And I don‘t know why we need an even bigger Smart.

  2. BAW M7 9 seater should ideally be called M9 since its a bigger vehicle. It has 2, 5, 7, 9 seater (2 + 2 + 2 + 3) format. Instead they could have simplified it as 3 + 3 + 3 format.

  3. More and more BEVs & PHEVs are hitting the market with their new emission in place. With 50% + of chinese brand sales being plugin, we can expect their government to start taxing the non-plugin models heavily to reduce both the oil consumption and foreign brands.

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