By on March 10, 2012

Western media widely reported (and still reports) that the Chinese government will only allow Chinese cars to be bought by its functionaries.

Not so. The rule exists in draft form only,and has been published to elicit public feedback.However, in a disturbing development, China Daily reports that “nearly 90 percent of respondents in a survey are in favor of China’s domestic independent-brand automobiles for governmental use.” It’s not that 90 percent said so. It’s the ominous fact that it is being published in a government-owned paper.

If the survey is correct, then Chinese citizens want to look down on the car choices of their rulers. The Chinese themselves are widely in favor of foreign cars. 70 percent of all cars bought in China are foreign branded. The appetite for foreign branded cars remains high,as the following tables show.

Here are tables of China’s best selling cars and SUVs as of February 2012, courtesy of the China Assosciation of Automobile Manufaturers CAAM.

As you can see, the top selling car list is populated nearly exclusively by joint venture cars. The only exception: The BYD F3. That is a blatant copy of the Corolla.

On the SUV list, the Haval is said to be inspired by the Toyota 4Runner and the Isuzu Axiom. Tde BYD S6 on the list can be converted into a Lexus RX 350 with a few pieces of chromed plastic.

China Top 20 Passenger Cars, February 2012
Rank Models Makers Deliveries
1 Buick Excelle Shanghai-GM 23,564
2 VW Lavida Shanghai-VW 21,996
3 Chevy Cruze Shanghai-GM 20,662
4 VW Bora FAW-VW 18,377
5 VW Jetta FAW-VW 18,365
6 VW Passat Shanghai-VW 17,906
7 Chevy Sail, 3-box Shanghai-GM 16,629
8 FAW Xiali series FAW 16,566
9 Elantra-Yuedong Beijing-Hyundai 15,315
10 Nissan Tiida Dongfeng-Nissan 15,311
11 Great Wall Voleex C30 Great Wall Motor 15,097
12 Toyota Corolla FAW-Toyota 14,777
13 Hyundai Verna Beijing-Hyundai 14,298
14 BYD F3 BYD 13,492
15 Nissan Sunny Dongfeng-Nissan 13,170
16 Toyota Camry GAC-Toyota 13,072
17 Skoda Octavia Shanghai-VW 13,052
18 Toyota Corolla-Huaguan FAW-Toyota 12,375
19 Chery QQ Chery Auto 11,234
20 Nissan Sylphy Dongfeng-Nissan 10,406
China Top 10 SUVs, February 2012
Rank Models Makers Deliveries
1 VW Tiguan Shanghai-VW 15,487
2 Haval H series Great Wall Motor 14,417
3 Toyota RAV4 FAW-Toyota 10,264
4 BYD S6 BYD 9,834
5 Nissan Qashqai Dongfeng-Nissan 9,399
6 Honda CR-V Dongfeng-Honda 9,056
7 Toyota Highlander GAC-Toyota 7,576
8 Hyundai ix35 Beijing-Hyundai 7,024
9 Audi Q5 FAW-VW 6,716
10 Chery Tiggo Chery Auto 5,984
Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

6 Comments on “Chinese Love Foreign Cars, Want Their Government To Drive Domestic...”

  • avatar

    …and how does this differ from the U.S. and its Government?

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly, the Chinese are buying the joint venture cars, because they are the best currently available, but want to use government procurement to prop up the domestic industry. And yes, the Chinese do not want government employees’ cars to be as nice, or nicer, than theirs. Almost so obvious as to not be headline worthy.

      When private Chinese citizens finally get their way, and the party members have to drive domestic, that will be headline worthy.

    • 0 avatar

      or any other country that also makes cars? (Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, etc….) In most countries it’s just good politics (keeping yourself popular with the unwashed masses) to be seen in a domestic car (if you are accountable to domestic voters — which the Chinese pols are not….!?)

  • avatar

    Bertel, do these lists represent All deliveries, or only those to non-governmental entities?

  • avatar

    Maybe the Chinese public want (by forcing their political leaders to drive/ride in domestic vehicles)to force improvements in the quality of the homegrown makes. Being forced to use low quality vehicles may give those in power the impetus to expedite much needed amalgamation and improved safety standards.

  • avatar

    I don’t think this is much different than us expecting the President to ride in a Caddy or Lincoln only, or our fleets of police cars being ford/chevy even though nobody actually buys crown vics for personal use (and nobody buys impalas unless they’re getting them insanely cheap)

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    escapenguin - I’ll truly miss the color you brought. It always kept me coming back. I lost interest in Jalopnik after Murilee left, and I see the same happening here...
  • Re: Classic Review: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT V6

    ry6puwh7vybo8ghot8nowo9ly4ne4deth5ca7ghe6bo7he7gyc - I bought a new 1989 Shelby Daytona. Loaded. MSRP $18,xxx. Loved it. Always wanted a Fiero V6. They had a Pace...
  • Re: Jaguar Reveals Face Of 2016 XE-S Ahead Of September Official Unveiling

    jamesbrownontheroad - Emily Sandé may need an introduction for some of our American cousins. She was the only female vocalist to...
  • Re: Marchionne: Alfa Romeo Still Not For Sale

    Eyeflyistheeye - I think that phrase may have been one of my Wikipedia contributions under numerous different names since I did work a bit on the Arna article....
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    Mr Nosy - Jack, am I the only who can see the poorly hidden clue in that top photo? I suppose if you made it obvious like “I buried Paul”,or “My Sweet...
  • Re: What’s Next At TTAC

    DeadWeight - And lest there be any doubt that Jack is not only an excellent writer about & purveyor of all things automotive, but maybe even an irreplaceable one, I give the...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    Mr Nosy - chez April- You may want to check out =QWKHx1ExoQY It’s an excerpt from Mark Maron’s WTF featuring RuPaul. You also...
  • Re: Classic Review: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT V6

    NoGoYo - Common misconception, but the Chevy II 4 cylinder has NOTHING to do with the Iron Duke. The 153 is based off the 230 inline six and ceased production in...
  • Re: Classic Review: 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT V6

    MRF 95 T-Bird - “The powerful V6 was replaced with GM’s 2.5 liter “Iron Duke” four-cylinder, the slow-revving long-stroke iron block engine that had...
  • Re: Capsule Review: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

    tuffjuff - If douchebags who buy these just to go to the grocery store and never do actual work aren’t deserving of the small dick jokes, what else...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India