|The MG3. Interesting to look at and quite a good car.|
Chinese vehicles are slowly making inroads into New Zealand. They haven't come with the speed I expected for reasons such as quality and passenger safety concerns. Despite that, they seem to be here to stay and as they get better, so will sales.
NZ vehicle sales are about 94,600 so far so 1,700 sales is a small slice. The figures below are for full years except 2014, which is for nine months. To look at the brands (you can click on the brand name to see the NZ website):
Great Wall: Mainly sell pick-up trucks, but SUVs do well too. The ratio is about 4:1. They seem to have reached a peak at about the 1,000 sales mark for now. A lower price point is the attraction.
Foton: A recent brand to arrive. They do just a pick-up, in two body configurations and value for money is again the attraction.
LDV: When LDV vans went broke in the UK, the operation was bought and shipped to China. They are now arriving here and have done really well in a short time. Lower prices and European heritage are the selling features.
Chery: They sell a car and small SUV, both selling evenly. The low prices are very good, but most Kiwis are cautious about committing to them just yet.
SAIC MG: The 3 and 6 models are now sold here, at good prices. Their UK origins and R&D imput plus familiarity of name should mean the cars will be accepted more readily than other Chinese makes. As the range and options improve, they should kick on. The lack of automatics has kept sales low, as NZers buy few manual shift cars.
So sales are modest, but improving. It will take time to establish confidence in buyers but one assumes quality will improve and if the price is right, then sales will follow in much greater numbers.
Picture source: Stuff Motoring (which has a road test on the car by clicking on the name Stuff Motoring).