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


  • avatar
    Patrickj

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

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      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
      Tosh

      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
    Robert.Walter

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

  • avatar
    Shipwright

    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
    tekdemon

    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)


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