Posts from ‘China’
2016 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum (FWD)
Class: Premium Midsize Car
Miles Driven: 171
Fuel Used: 8.0 gallons
Making sense of Chinese auto sales is a fairly complex proposition. While sales of new vehicles in China far outpace those in the U.S. (24.6 million units to 17.2 million, respectively), the average transaction price in the U.S. is substantially higher ($35,000 versus $21,000). What that suggests is that selling cars in the U.S. is currently a far more profitable operation, but that the potential to build in an audience in China is undeniable. Chinese Cars.
As a professional car guy and amateur curmudgeon and skeptic, I miss the early years of the 21st century. I miss them, because those were the years that Chinese automakers were making the most noise about selling cars in the U.S.
Journalists who attended auto shows in the early 2000s where companies such as Brilliance, BYD, Geely, and Changfeng Liebao presented their wares will recall with glee spectacular U.S. sales projections and shockingly tone-deaf video presentations.
Although Volvo has used the “Cross Country” and “Inscription” monikers in the past, they’ve never been used like this.
Cross Country has long been applied to an SUV-flavored version of a Volvo station wagon, while Inscription has been used of late to denote a high-end trim level. But Volvo will now be using those established names in a somewhat different manner. New for 2016 are the S60 Cross Country, which applies the designation’s traditional formula to a raised S60 sedan, and the S60 Inscription, which “expands” the use of that name to indicate a stretched S60 sedan.
Purists often refer to the 1999-2010 Saab 9-5 as the last “real” Saab. This because the 9-5 is the last Saab to have been more-or-less fully developed by the Swedish maker’s in-house engineering team.
Despite the country’s emergence as a global economic powerhouse, China largely remains a mystery to most Americans. We know about Chinese food (well, our interpretation of Chinese food), and we know something about affordable Chinese-assembled flat-screen televisions, but not much else.
It may come as a surprise then, that we probably know more about the cars buzzing around the world’s most populous country than we thought we did. Presented here are the five best-selling Chinese-market vehicles as of October, 2013. As it turns out, these cars are all more familiar than you likely imagined.
Visit the Zap! website and poke around for a while, it’s kind of fun. What you’ll see is a dozen or so electric vehicles that fall readily into three categories: those that look like farm implements, those that look like crappy low-end Chinese cars (which they are), and those that look like seventh-grade concept-car design contest runner up drawings come to life.
There’s little that’s more American than Chevrolet. The “Bowtie” brand brought us such national stalwarts as the Camaro, Corvette, and Silverado. How surprising is it, then, that 60 percent of total Chevrolet-brand sales happen outside the United States? . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .
Note: This report covers a 2013 Volvo S60 a premium-midsize car that starts at $31,750.