Posts from ‘China’

Ford is Killing the Taurus, Ford Killing Sedans

Taurus is one of the models Ford is planning to phase out.

To truly excite the passions of the American automotive media, you need news that strikes close to home. International news, no matter how significant, is generally met with indifference among many U.S. auto writers. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and the GM board of directors opt out of the European, Indian, and South African new-vehicle markets—yawn. The Chinese government mandates that 12 percent of new vehicles retailed in China (the world’s largest new-car market) must be pure electric by 2020—whatever.

2019 Lexus ES

2019 Lexus ES

2018 Beijing Auto Show

After years of catering solely to buyers in the market for cushy luxury, the Lexus ES is ready to show some teeth. The seventh-generation ES revealed at the Beijing Auto Show will be the first available in an F Sport version.

2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In

2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In in Crystal White Tricoat (a $500 option)

2015 Audi Q52017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In

Class: Premium Large Car

Miles driven: 288

Fuel used: 8.4 gallons

2016 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum

2016 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum

Consumer Guide Quick Spin2016 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum (FWD)

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles Driven: 171

Fuel Used: 8.0 gallons

2013 Buick Park Avenue, China

2013 Buick Park Avenue

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.

Foton Trucks

Chinese truck builder Foton was established in 1998 and produces primarily heavy-duty vehicles for its home market.

Foton logo 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.

2016 Volvo S60

Volvo applies its Cross Country formula to the S60 sedan for 2016 to come up with–you guessed it–the S60 Cross Country. It’s joined by a longer version of the base sedan that gives new meaning to the Inscription designation.

Scion iM

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.

2016 Volvo XC90

Volvo’s XC90 midsize SUV sees its first redesign since its 2002 introduction, an eternity in today’s market. The 2016 model comes standard with all-wheel drive, gets new features and more power, and adds a performance-oriented hybrid version. Prices start at about $50,000, with hybrids coming in at about $70,000.

Consumer GuideThe redesigned XC90 is an unusually important vehicle for Volvo. Not only is it the first all-new model to be released after the company’s 2010 purchase by Geely of China, but it sets the stage as the first of eight new or redesigned vehicles due from the Swedish manufacturer over the next four years. That’s a heavy load to carry, but the XC90 shoulders the burden well.

Nicholas Cage Chinese Commercial

We knew it as the Saab 9-5, Nicholas Cages knows it and flogs it as the Senova D.

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.

Volkswagen Jetta/Bora

The Volkswagen Jetta has been updated significantly since this 2010 model was a Chinese-market top seller. Today VW has three entries in the hot Chinese compact-sedan segment, two of which are in the top five for overall sales.

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.