After detailing April 2022 Chinese wholesales, we can now share with you all-new locally produced models for the month. This way you can stay up-to-the-minute on the latest developments in the largest and most dynamic market in the world. It’s not exactly a good month to launch new models in China as the market is down -47.6% year-on-year and many factories have closed down due to covid lockdowns. Therefore this month we only have 3 new models. To thoroughly understand the dynamics at play in China, make sure you consult our Exclusive Guide to all 190 active Chinese Brands.
1. Wuling Jiachen (1,777 sales)
Whereas the MPV market is struggling (-20.8% year-to-date), Wuling launches yet another one in the segment: the 7-seat Jiachen. After the Victory, the Jiachen is the second Wuling model destined to an international career, and therefore has the right to a silver logo instead of a red one. It also features a modern split grille with V-shaped motifs and a slick interior for its price: from 69,800 to 105,800 yuan (9,850-14,900€ or US$10,500-15,900). It is in fact a pretty expensive price range for a Wuling vehicle, slotting below the Victory (85,800-134,800 yuan). The starting price is that of the Baojun 730.
Two versions are available: a 1.5L engine delivering 99 hp and a 1.5 turbocharged engine delivering 147 hp and mated with a CVT gearbox. In terms of sales predictions, the Victory delivered its best result in the first few months of its career with a record of 10,117 units in January 2021 but has been languishing between 1,000 and 3,500 monthly wholesales for the past 6 months. We’d want much more to call the Jiachen a success while we wait for its international career (which by the way hasn’t happened yet for the Victory).
Bar for success: 7,000 monthly sales
2. TANK 500 (1,009 sales)
Originally a model under Great Wall Motors’ Wey brand, the Tank 300 got its own standalone brand thanks to a very enthusiastic response from the public. Therefore one year ago GWM launched TANK (in capital letters) with the 300 and has big plans for the brand: after this new 500, a 400, 700 and 800 are scheduled to launch over the next year or so. The DNA of the TANK brand is aggressively-designed 4×4 capable vehicles, and this 500 answers the brief. It comes in 5- or 7-seat configuration and comes in at 5,070 mm (199.6 inches) long, 1,934 mm (76.1 inches) wide and 1,905 mm (75 inches) high, with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm (112.2 inches).
This means the TANK 500 is larger than the Toyota Prado and also the Land Cruiser 300 which has an identical wheelbase. These two models are no longer sold in China but they will be the 500’s competitors were it to launch overseas. The 500 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine with a 48V mild hybrid system. It produces 349 hp and is mated with a 9-speed automatic gearbox. The TANK 500 is not cheap: it is priced from 335,000 to 395,000 yuan (47,200-55,700€ or US$50,400-59,400) and slots well above the 300 (195,800-308,000 yuan) as well as the similarly-sized Haval H9 (214,800-279,800 yuan). In terms of sales prospects, the TANK 300 has been a runaway success, peaking at 11,958 wholesales in December 2021. Given its price, we’ll logically expect much less from the 500 to be a success.
Bar for success: 4,000 monthly sales
3. Honda e:NS1 (73 sales)
This vehicle is a battery electric version of the-generation HR-V. It was revealed in October 2021 and is manufactured by Dongfeng Honda. A GAC Honda model will also be commercialised under the e:NP1 name. Both vehicles are based on the e:N Architecture F platform for smaller, front-wheel-drive BEVs. That’s a lot of different HR-V on the Chinese market, alongside the Vezel, XR-V, and the BEVs Everus VE-1 and Ciimo X-NV and M-NV… The e:NS1 will have to work hard to secure itself a spot in the sun. It is priced from 175,000 to 218,000 yuan (24,700-30,700€ or US$26,300-32,800). We don’t anticipate strong sales for the e:NS1.
Bar for success: 2,000 monthly sales