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|
|7||Chevy Sail, 3-box||Shanghai-GM||16,629|
|8||FAW Xiali series||FAW||16,566|
|11||Great Wall Voleex C30||Great Wall Motor||15,097|
|19||Chery QQ||Chery Auto||11,234|
|China Top 10 SUVs, February 2012|
|2||Haval H series||Great Wall Motor||14,417|
|10||Chery Tiggo||Chery Auto||5,984|