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China new models July 2023: Baojun Cloud and Hyundai Mufasa land

Baojun Cloud

It is now time to study 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 a more moderate 4 new models hitting the road, 3 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. Hyundai Mufasa: 2,199 sales

The Hyundai Mufasa is a compact crossover SUV unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show last April. It is produced by the Beijing Hyundai joint venture, is 4.475m long and dedicated to China for now. It replaces the Chinese Hyundai ix35. It is front engine and front wheel drive and powered by a 160 hp 2.0 petrol engine. No hybrid or EV model is scheduled at this time. Sharply priced between 121,800 and 167,800 yuan (15,500-21,300€ or US$16,700-23,000), it logically sits in the realm of the Hyundai ix35 (129,800-155,800 yuan) and will compete with the likes of the Toyota Corolla Cross (129,800-184,800 yuan). For comparison the Hyundai Tucson is priced 161,800 to 225,800 yuan. Hyundai has been on a freefall recently in China, but is back up 14.6% over the first 7 months of 2023, despite a -32.7% drop in July. The ix35 peaked at 18,230 units in December 2018, that is more than all Hyundai models in July 2023, so we can’t expect the same level of success for the Mufasa.

Bar for success: 4,000 monthly units.

2. Hongqi HS3: 679 sales

The Hongqi HS3, not to be confused with the 2018 E-HS3 EV, is Hongqi’s entry level crossover, presented at the Shanghai Auto Show last April. It is petrol-powered only, by a 168 hp 1.5 turbocharged engine with front wheel drive and 7-speed DMT gearbox or 252 hp 2.0 mild hybrid turbocharged with either front or all wheel drive and 8 AT gearbox. The dashboard features two large LCV screens, a 12.3″ instrument panel and 12.6″ central infotainment display. With the HS3, Hongqi is going somewhat down market and targeting a younger pool of people that usual. The company claims they are aiming at Generation Z (born in late 90s or early 21st century). Priced from 145,800 to 195,800 yuan (18,500-24,800€ or US$20,000-26,900), it competes with such models as the Geely Boyue L (137,200-185,200 yuan) and VW Tharu (158,600-216,600 yuan). Hongqi has been on a roll for a couple of years now, often breaking its monthly volume record, so we are pretty enthusiastic for the HS3’s performance.

Bar for success: 5,000 monthly sales

3. Dongfeng Forthing Leiting: 358 sales

Dongfeng has been relatively shy of late with new models, so to end this trend here comes the Forthing Leiting. It is an electric compact SUV with boomerang-shaped headlights reminiscent of the latest Kia Sportage. To demonstrate the heat resistance of the battery resistance in a high-temperature environment, Dongfeng made the Leiting drive through a 200-meter-long “fire road” for 140 seconds at an average speed of 4km/h, and the temperature of the vehicle chassis contact panel was as high as 900°C (see picture above). The results showed that the vehicle did not experience thermal runaway, the vehicle was in good condition, and the driving function was normal. Note the national standard stipulates that the battery pack must be directly burned for 70 seconds, so Dongfeng did twice that length.

The car’s length is 4.60 m and its wheelbase is 2.715 m. The interior is pretty tame with one digital tile including both the instrument panel and the infotainment controls, each of them 10.25″. The infotainment is delivered by the Tencent HMI 2.0 system which offers voice interaction and vehicle remote control. Notably, the electric motor is provided by BYD with two batteries available: a 57.8 kWh lithium iron phosphate with 430 km range and an 85.9 kWh ternary lithium battery pack with 630 km range. The Leiting is priced from 129,900 to 229,900 yuan (16,500-29,200€ or US$17,800-31,500) and will play in the same sandpit as the GAC Aion Y (119.800-202,600 yuan), BYD Yuan Plus (139,800-167,800 yuan), BYD Song Plus (154,800-219,900 yuan) and Leapmotor C11 (149,800-239,800 yuan). It is a very crowded segment and the Leiting will have to work hard to find its place in the sun.

Bar for success: 3,500 monthly units.

4. Baojun Cloud: 145 sales

Probably the most anticipated vehicle of the month, the Baojun Cloud will try to reverse the fortunes of the manufacturer. Once one of the most successful brands in China and pushing its 560, 510 and 730 to record launch volumes, Baojun sales have completely imploded in the past few years. The carmaker’s sales are down a vertiginous -86.8% over the fist 7 months of 2023 to just 11,605 units after reaching almost one million annual units in 2017 alone. This coincides with its willingness to go up market back in 2018-2019, a move that Chinese consumers have disapproved of en masse and that has returned Wuling as the star brand of the SAIC-GM Wuling joint venture. The Cloud is an electric hatchback that has all the ingredients for success but will be impaired by the brand’s current poor health.

The Cloud is 4,295 m long with a 2,7 m wheelbase, it is powered by a single 134 hp electric motor and comes with a choice of two lithium iron phosphate battery packs at 37.9 kWh for a 360 km range and 50.6 kWh for a 460 km range. Charging from 30 to 80% takes 30 minutes. The Cloud sports the hidden door handles that are becoming mandatory on Chinese vehicles of all standing. It also has a 2 square meters sunroof. The Cloud will feature an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) safety package from drone maker DJI, which already supplies other Baojun models. The Cloud is priced from 95,800 to 123,800 yuan (12,200-15,700€ or US$13,100-17,000) and will compete with the likes of the BYD Dolphin (116,800-136,800 yuan) and JAC Yiwei 3 (89,900-127,900 yuan). As mentioned above, prospects are limited for the Cloud given the rut the Baojun brand currently finds itself in.

Bar for success: 3,000 monthly sales

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hello
    Bizarre, le Lotus Eletre, fabriqué en Chine et commercialisé depuis le printemps ne figure pas dans les chiffres d’immatriculation
    Geely ou Lotus ne les communiquent pas ?

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