China's Best Selling Cars Of 2010

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
china s best selling cars of 2010

All Chinese drive bicycles, make that cheap QQs. No, all Chinese drive big Buicks, I mean, all Chinese are chauffeured around in A6s and Mercedes S-Class.

All wrong. So, what do Chinese really drive?

Global Times compiled a list of China’s Top Ten passenger cars, based on official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) data. Global Times made a little mess out of the data (sometimes, they miss a digit – it’s a huge country, and the numbers can be confounding.) Where they did, the numbers have been corrected. China’s Top Ten represent 2.14 million units, out of a total of more than 18 million. Which just goes to show how fractionalized that market is.

No.1 BYD F3

China’s bestselling car is the Toyota Corolla the BYD F3. (pictured above.) The car from the supposedly electrified company is powered by a 4 cylinder, 1.5 L, Mitsubishi Orion engine. Can be had anywhere between $7,821 and $ 12,200. Some 263,900 units were sold in 2010.

No.2 Volkswagen Lavida

The Volkswagen Lavida was developed by Shanghai Volkswagen from parts provided by the Volkswagen PQ34 (think Golf Mk4) kit. It is available in China only. Power is delivered by a 1.6L or 2.0L VW engine. Priced between $18,117 and $21,137 some 251,600 units of the model were sold in 2010.

No.3 Hyundai Elantra Yue Dong

The Beijing Hyundai joint venture redesigned an Elantra HD and called it “Hyundai Elantra Yue Dong” for the Chinese market. It can be had with 1.6- Gamma and 2.0-L Beta II gasoline inline-four engines, and a 1.6-L turbo diesel inline-four. With price tags between $16,247 and $18,088, some 233,300 units were sold.

No.4 Volkswagen Jetta

The car that won’t say die, China’s equivalent of the VW Bug. If they ever kill it, they will have to roll a boulder on its grave to keep it from relaunching itself. Still based on the venerable Golf Mk2 platform. The FAW-VW Jetta is powered by a 1.6 L engine, and costs between $11,440 and $14,912. VW sold 224,500 units of the model.

No. 5 Buick Excelle

Built on an Opel Astra, the Buick Excelle is a product of Shanghai GM. Three engines are available: 1.6L, 1.8L, and 1.6L turbo. Priced between $15,976 and 17,940, some 222,500 units changed hands in 2010.

No. 6 Volkswagen Santana

The car that started China’s mass motorization, still going strong since 1985. Scheduled to bite the dust in 2012, but with these numbers, who knows. The car made by Shanghai-VW is powered by a 2.0 liter engine. It sets you back between $11,592 and $12,045. Shanghai-VW sold 210,100 units of the model.

No.7 FAW Xiali

Based on the facelifted Xiali A series, which is based on the Daihatsu Charade Mark 2, the Xiali (Chinese for “Charade”) is produced at the FAW subsidiary Tianjin FAW Xiali Automobile. It would cost you between $6,626-7,532. In 2010, a total of 198,700 units were sold.

No. 8 Chevrolet Cruze

Co-engineered by Daewoo and Opel, the car is made by Shanghai GM. Available with a 1.6L and 1.8 L engine, the model sold 187,800 units in 2010.

No. 9 Cowin

The Cowin is a 5-door, 1.5 L petrol engine liftback produced by Chery. Its ancestors go way back. The Cowin is a restyled Chery A11, which used the tooling of the first SEAT Toledo, which in turn was based on the Golf Mk2. 173,500 Cowins were sold last year.

No. 10 Volkswagen Bora

Produced by the FAW-VW joint venture, the car is based on the Golf/Jetta Mk4. (FAW also sells the Mk5 as Sagitar.) Priced between $16,280 and $22,321 the Bora sold 172,500 times in China in 2010.

So there you have it. In case you miss the Japanese: The Nikkei [sub] also complains that “Japanese cars failed to crack the top 10 in a ranking of China’s top-selling passenger cars last year, beaten out by U.S. and European subcompacts.” It’s not that Chinese don’t like Japanese cars, they represent a market share of 22.7 percent. It’s just that the Honda Accord and the Toyota Corolla and Camry slipped from the Top Ten. Guess the Nikkei didn’t want to accept the Xiali as Japanese …

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3 of 25 comments
  • DearS DearS on Jan 18, 2011

    Seen a bunch of those Chinese Corollas in the Caribbean as Taxis. Corolla is by far the most popular car in the Dominican, as well as some other coutries, but that is because they are reliable as hell. I took mine up the hills with Cayennes, Land Cruisers and Patrols. If the Chinese version is reliable they could have a winner abroad.

    • Canuck129 Canuck129 on Jan 18, 2011

      What you see above isn't a Chinese Corolla. It is a Chinese company copying the Corolla. You didn't see that in the Dominican, you saw the real one.

  • Stingray Stingray on Jan 18, 2011

    Bertel, the Excelle is based on the Daewoo/Chevrolet Nubira/Lacetti/Optra, and also sold as Suzuki Forenza, Holden Viva and who knows what else. I have yet to see an Astra with independent rear strut suspension, which the Korean thing has. The ones I've seen have a twist beam axle like most European cars.

  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.