Before 1949, the year the Mao communist regime came to power, China had no auto industry. The first Chinese car was a truck: the Jiefang (Liberation) from 1956. In 1958 the first passenger car of the Honqi (Red flag) brand followed. Only notables within the Communist Party got one.
Foreign car brands were not welcome
In the 1950s and 1960s, China produced less than 200,000 cars a year, mostly Russian models built under license. Factories were not demand-driven, but had to submit to the planned economy. Foreign car brands were not welcome in China until 1979.
Today, foreign brands are only allowed to sell cars in China if they enter into a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer. Volkswagen was the first foreign car manufacturer to build a factory in China. The Santana became popular as a taxi.
China is the largest car market in the world
China has been the largest car market in the world since 2009, both in terms of production and sales figures. Still, the number of cars per capita is smaller than in the US. Per 1000 inhabitants there are 133 cars (figures from 2018), in the US 766.
America has its Big Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler), but China has its Big Four: SAIC Motor, Dongfeng, FAW, and Chang’an. In 2000, China produced more than 2 million cars. There are now more than 25 million annually.
Best-selling car in 2019 was a Volkswagen
There are about 250 million cars on the road in China. The number of cars in China will increase tenfold between 2005 and 2030, according to the McKinsey consultancy. The Chinese drive on the right by the way. In Hong Kong and Macau – former British colonies – they drive on the left.
The best-selling car of 2019 was the Volkswagen Lavida, followed by (who doesn’t know them) the Haval H6 and the Wuling Hongguang. Well-known models such as the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic are also in the top 10 in China.
Half of the electric cars in China
Volkswagen is the largest foreign brand, but the most popular models (apart from the Lavida are also the Sagitar, the New Santana and the New Bora in the top 10) are unknown to us.
Almost half of all electric cars are sold in China. There are also 9 million bicycles in Beijing, according to singer Katie Melua. That’s a fact, she adds. Whose deed.
Source: Autowereld.com by www.autowereld.com.
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