By on August 11, 2012

I know I normally don’t come around and annoy you at this time in the week but the news are too important to wait.

Last month I brought your attention to the fine performance of Great Wall in Bulgaria where the Chinese company has started production, a first for a Chinese manufacturer in Europe, and I wondered whether this would finally mark the start of the oft-predicted ‘Chinese invasion’ of the Old continent…


Looks like the invasion invited itself to the party…

…and this month it is Geely that is writing history:

For the first time ever, a Chinese model is the best-seller in any country outside China.

The Geely CK sells 723 units in Ukraine in July for a 3.3% market share, up a huge 19 spots on June, outstripping the Skoda Octavia at 2.8% and the Hyundai Accent, #1 in June, at 2.7%. The only precedent for a Chinese model overseas was the #1 spot of the Great Wall Wingle last November in New Caledonia, which is actually a French territory.

Time will tell whether this is just a one-off, or the start of a long term prominence of Geely models in Ukraine, but this is massive news! The Geely CK had been roaming around the Top 10 for a few months already but even I wouldn’t have anticipated it coming into pole position that early.

In fact, Geely is on fire this month in Ukraine with most models in sharp increase compared to June: the Geely Emgrand EC7 is up 34 spots to #15 with 319 sales and 1.5%, the Geely MK is back up to #20 with 260 units and 1.2%, the Geely MK-2 is down 11 spots to a still brilliant #36 vs. #68 year-to-date and the Geely SL is up 37 to #81 with 73 sales.

You can check out the entire Top 250 best-selling models in Ukraine in July 2012 here.

 Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.
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6 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: BREAKING NEWS A Chinese Model in Pole Position For the First Time Outside China...”

  • avatar

    Is this a pure value play? Are they that much cheaper than even a Logan?

  • avatar

    prices start at 40,000.00 CNY = 6,288.91 USD

    The Geely CK is a sedan automobile from Chinese manufacturer, Geely Automobile. Production began in May, 2005. The “CK” name stands for “Freedom Ship” or “Free Cruiser”.

    The CK holds the distinction of being the first Chinese automobile ever displayed at an American auto show, although it was only shown to the press and not the general public. Geely plans to begin selling the model in Puerto Rico in 2007on the way to beginning sales in America the next year. The CK was also shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005 along with four other Geely models.
    The CK is based on a South Korean design by Daewoo, Tower Metal, Wooshin Systems, and CES, which Geely licensed. Its 1.5 L engine is a Toyota Motor Corporation design, also licensed. It produces 94 hp (70 kW) at 6000 rpm. The automatic transmission is built in China, the first to be manufactured there.

    Geely’s Freedom Cruiser fared very badly in a recent European NCAP crash test organized by Russia automobile magazine Auto Review.

    Freedom Cruiser’s performance in the crash test was so bad that Russian media dubbed the vehicle as “a death car,” which means the drive in the car would have zero chance to survive in a similar crash.

    The organizer of this crash test bought the vehicle from a local dealer at 291,500 Rubles ($11,898) and did the test without the knowledge of its maker, China’s Geely Automobile.

    In the frontal offset crash, the first-row seating is compressed into half size, which leaves the occupants zero chance to survive. The car also got a zero-score regarding protection of thighs, legs and ankles of the dummy.

    The speed is 64.1km/h, which is stricter than 53km/hour in a standard Russian crash-test. Before Geely’s test, other Chinese automakers also fared badly in crash tests organized by Auto Review. Chery Qiyun-also known as Amulet in Russian, Brilliance BS6 earned very low ratings in previous tests.

    “We choose Geely’s Freedom Cruiser to conduct the crash test because this car is a popular model in Russian market,” the crash test’s organizer Auto Review said. “And Geely’s partner in Russia Inkom-Avto Group, Russia’s leading auto dealer, campaigned aggressively for this car in Russian market.”

    Geely started assembling cars in Russia since last year. With aggressive marketing by Inkom-Avto Group, it plans to increase its local sales to 30,000 units this year from 8000 units last year.

    horrible little penalty box

    you can imagine how awesome it is with the ancient motor and drivetrain combo

    and safe too…

  • avatar

    This thing will be in trailer parks everywhere!

  • avatar

    Hi Matt,

    in Brazil the big invasion was set to start over the lasst year. reliability-wise, JAC seems to be on par with the market (though they’ve had minor but persistentand annoying problems, specially with paint, rubber seals and locks) while all the others are considered ‘controversial’ at best with the exception of Effa, which deserves a special plaace in hell for being such a death trap.

    Dynamically though, the cars are just not as good as the local (all made by foreign companies) offerings. Suspension is too wobbly, gear shifts are imprecise, brakes are weak. In terms of finishing the plastics usually are shiny and hard, fit is finish is haphazard, sound deadning is almost non-existent after a few thousand km.

    On the plus side economy is usually good though performance is lackluster.

    In terms of sales, all Chinese put together sold less than the jussaric VW Kombi. All of them together, over the course of a year, sell roughly what a VW Gol or Fiat Uno sell a month. None is in the top 30, though maybe one or two may have slipped in the top 50.

    Alltogether they have taken about 2% of the market. Good or bad? Can’t really say. What is worrying for them is that sales have been stagnant or declining after the initial buzz. Other makers still shrug them off, but in off they confirm some worries. Though all concur that the real invasion should start in about 5years with new models better adapted to Brazilian conditions. For now, no invasion

  • avatar

    I was driving eastward towards Limon in Costa Rica and saw a pretty Geely dealer with at least 50 cars on the lot. If I wasn’t in a hurry (and not a tourist), I’d be tempted to go test drive one.

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