Consistently loud: Foton
We ended our last overseas adventure, the Trans-Siberian Series, in Mongolia with an exploration of the best-selling cars in this cold country. I’m resuming my exploration of this part of the world, leaping South to Shanghai in China where the biennial Auto Show took place in April.
Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to investigate the plethora of Chinese carmakers at the show (over 40) and trim it down to the 10 most impressive. It’s an abashedly subjective ranking. However, know that many aspects were considered to establish it: from interior/exterior quality and design of the models revealed, the number/validity of new cars, concept cars, brochures, staff availability, savviness and friendliness, as well as whether or not they improved since last year at the Beijing Auto Show.
In brackets are the ranking I gave these manufacturers at the Beijing Auto Show in 2014.
Discover the carmakers ranked from #10 to #6 below the jump…
GM added more capacity to its Chinese Baojun brand by opening a factory in Liuzhou, southern China. Plant and brand are part of the SAIC GM Wuling joint venture, where GM holds 44 percent, SAIC 50 percent, with 6 percent held by Wuling.
Baojun started with the Baojun 630, a compact sedan based on an older Buick Excelle/Daewoo Lancetti platform, later the Le Chi was added, a rebadged Chevrolet Spark. By 2015, Baojun wants to have a total of five models, Reuters says.
Baojun is one of China’s joint venture brands, which we at TTAC like to call “fake Chinese brands.”
Bertel has been giving you regular updates on the Chinese market , so you are already all set for an in-depth exploration of which models the Chinese prefer… Not interested? Too bad… Oh wait. Actually, if you are already China-ed out, that’s fine, I’ve prepared 155 other countries for you to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is 非常好 (very good), so click away!
There is one – I repeat one! – country in the world that has a Buick as the best-seller, and it’s China!
Honda revealed prices for their „Chinese Brand“ Everus S1. As reported before, these “Chinese brands” are brands created by joint ventures, based on (usually not the latest) foreign platforms, filled with parts of foreign pedigree, and as much Chinese manufacture as possible. Supposedly, these brands are targeted at the lower income brackets. They better start saving. When the concept was launched, the target price for the cars was under $10,000, but what is going on sale is consistently over that.
When you have a larger joint venture with a Chinese automaker, at some point it will be strongly suggested to you to create a Chinese brand. At least this is how The Financial Times understands it: “Foreign carmakers wishing to build new plants or add capacity in China’s burgeoning car market are being told by the government that if they wish to expand, they must develop a low-cost local car brand.”
Early fruits of these suggestions can be seen at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Yesterday, Ed introduced us to the latest addition to GM’s brand portfolio, the BaoJun. Introduced in China, it is allegedly slotted below the Chinese Chevrolet and the Chinese Buick, and supposedly, it is targeted at “first-time buyers in the nation’s second- and third-tier markets,” or so the propaganda goes. The car is made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) joint venture. We’ve had our eyes on that brand for a while, and eyed it with interested suspicion. The suspicion seems to be warranted.