2014 Guangzhou Motor Show: SUVs and MPVs
Designs of Chinese-made SUVs comparable to those of Japanese competitors
|Chinese automaker's booth||One of four entrances||Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, etc.|
|Multiple Purpose Vehicle (MPV)||Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)||Passenger car (sedan)|
The 12th Guangzhou Motor Show, one of the three largest international passenger car shows in China alongside Beijing and Shanghai, was held from November 21 to 29, 2014 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou. The show had 1,095 Chinese and foreign vehicles on display.
As China occupies such a huge land, motorization in the country had only begun and the motor show venue was crowded with eager Chinese people, young and old, men and women. Chinese automakers and non-Chinese automakers alike had their Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Multiple Purpose Vehicles (MPVs = minivans) on display. In terms of sales, Chinese people seem to be more attracted to affordable, compact SUVs.
Compared to the rather leisurely, quiet Chinese automakers' display booths, the foreign automakers' booths were constantly filled with visitors. German brands, in particular, are very popular in China. One of the Japanese booth attendants said: "Foreign cars are commonplace in urban areas where many rich people live. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are the most popular brands in this order. Volkswagen (VW) enjoys the largest market share and it is so popular in China that people do not even consider VW a foreign brand. As for Japanese brands, the Lexus comes in 5th to 6th place. Many of the taxis in China were VW but the Hyundai and Chinese brands seem to have increased."
According to the latest automobile statistics in China, the passenger car sales in the period from January to November 2014 grew 9% year-over-year (y/y) to 17.64 million units while only 4,340,000 units, including mini vehicles, were sold in Japan during the same period (based on statistics published by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Japan Automobile Dealers Association). This report mainly focuses on the SUVs and MPVs by Chinese automakers that are rarely found in motor shows elsewhere.
SUVs by major SUV manufacturer
HAVAL (Great Wall Motors)
Great Wall Motors, one of the leading native Chinese automakers today, used to be notorious for being an imitator. The company decided to turn things around and rebuild itself around the SUVs that are capturing the Chinese market rapidly. The company started a new SUV brand, HAVAL, as the main line of business. Hence, the corporate name of Great Wall Motors was not seen in the motor show venue. HAVAL is the best-selling SUV brand in China and accounts for 80% of the company's total sales as of November 2014. A Japanese designer became a design director in 2014 and is leading the SUV development at Great Wall Motors.
|HAVAL new flagship SUV H9 4×4 The prototype was unveiled at Beijing Motor Show in spring 2014. The production model, premiered in Guangzhou, is 5,090mm long, 1,926mm wide and is driven by a 214hp engine.||H7-based COUPE C 4×4 The sportier and more powerful version of the H series is 4,677mm long, 1,911mm wide and is driven by a 270hp engine.|
|Mini SUV H2 4×2 This sibling model of the H1 in Mini series is 4,335mm long, 1,814mm wide and is driven by a 150hp engine.||An 4x4 entrant in the 2015 Dakar Rally It is based on the H8, a sibling of the H9 flagship model. Length: 4,806mm, Width: 1,975mm.|
Changan Automobile: CS 35, CS 75
Changan Automobile is the third leader in locally built SUV sales in China alongside HAVAL and Chery Automobile.
|The CS35, introduced as a Compact City SUV, is Changan's popular model. The 4x2 model is 4,160mm long, 1,810mm wide and is driven by a 125hp engine.||The CS75, a competitor to the HAVAL, is the flagship model in Changan's SUV series. The 4x4 model, fully redesigned in 2014, is 4,650mm long, 1,850mm wide and is driven by a 158hp engine.|
Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia Motors: Sorrento, KX3
Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia was established in 2002 by Dongfeng Motor, Kia Motors and a Chinese investment firm. The company sells several types of SUVs including the very popular Sportage R. The company exhibited a high-end SUV model and a SUV concept designed for young people.
The company was appealing the distinctive design of the exhibited models that are as refined as the Kia models in Korea. The Sorrento is exhibited at major motor shows globally.
|The fully-redesigned Sorrento is a middle-class crossover SUV that closely follows the concept of the previous model. The Sorrento is 4,780mm long, 1,890mm wide and is driven by an engine ranging from 185hp to 270hp.||The Compact SUV concept KX3 is locally developed in China. It is designed for young people and offers high quality and value. The 4x4 car is 4,260mm long and 1,765mm wide.|
Tiggo D5 by Cherry Auto , GX7 by Geely Auto
Chery Automobile, often shortened as Chery Auto in English, is one of the Big 5 automakers in China and is an own-brand automaker.
Geely Automobile, often shortened as Geely Auto in English, is a leading manufacturer that belongs to the Zheijiang Geely Group Holding Co., Ltd. The company manufactures a wide variety from the London taxicab-like vehicles to limousines. Geely Auto became more famous after the parent company acquired Volvo Car Corporation.
|Nine years after the debut of the first-generation compact SUV Tiggo powered by Mitsubishi Motors engine, the upgraded middle-class Tiggo D5 SUV (front-wheel drive: FWD) was exhibited. It is 4,506mm long, 1,841mm wide and is driven by a 139hp engine.||The Geely GX7 inherits chassis stiffness, stability, comfort and vehicle safety technologies from its Volvo siblings. The FWD model is 4,541mm long, 1,833mm wide and is driven by a 160hp engine.|
Dongfeng Fengshen AX7
Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle Company, is operating under the Dongfeng Motor Corporation that is one of the three biggest state-owned automotive groups in China. Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle Company manufactures and sells sedans and SUVs that carry own Chinese brands (some sedans are based on the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy).
The company's lineup consists of four sedan-based vehicles and a compact entry-class SUV. A higher-end SUV was much hoped for at the Beijing Motor Show. In response to the growing expectation, a middle-class high-end SUV debuted officially at the Guangzhou Motor Show. At the same time, the company announced the commencement of its commercial production.
|The much-awaited AX7, an all-new SUV carrying the Dongfeng Fengshen brand. Based on Nissan's Qashqai and competes with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The AX7 is 4,690mm long and 1,850mm wide. Available in 4x2 and 4x4 layouts and are powered by engines ranging from 147hp to 171hp. It uses powertrain of the Citroen C5.|
GAC Group: Trumpchi GS 5
Guangzhou Automobile Group Company (GAC) is an automobile industry group that was established in 2000. It has joint ventures established with several Japanese automakers. GAC is engaged in the production and development of motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, buses, auto parts and related technologies. It is the fourth largest automaker in China after FAW, Dongfeng Motor and SAIC. GAC's passenger cars, SUVs and MPVs were exhibited at GAC's spacious booth as well as GAC Toyota Motor and Guangqi Honda Automobiles' booths.
|GAC Trumpchi GS5 The first-generation own-brand compact SUV launched in 2010 was based on the concept vehicle that was unveiled in 2009 built on the platform of the Alfa Romeo 166. According to a booth attendant, the GS5 is a best-selling model that competes with the Toyota RAV4. The front and certain other designs of the GS5 on display had been partially facelifted. The FWD SUV is 4,732mm long, 1,854mm wide and is driven by a 145hp engine.|
SUVs by FAW
First Automobile Works (FAW) is the first state-owned automobile company in China. Fifty-eight years have passed since FAW's first Jiefang commercial truck rolled off the assembly line in 1956 in its homeland of Changchun. Today, FAW manufactures a broad range of vehicles from the heavy-duty truck Jiefang J6 to the Hongqi luxury passenger vehicles for government and party officials, not to mention many other vehicles that are co-produced with foreign automakers.
|Photo: Midget models of legendary vehicles are often exhibited at motor shows in China. Unlike the Beijing Motor Show that takes place in the capital city, the motor show venue in Guangzhou is rather small. Even the area for displaying the Hongqi was limited to leave larger space for SUVs and the more affordable passenger cars. The best-selling SUV by FAW is the Besturn X80. The all-new sibling models are introduced below.|
FAW Junpai D60
|The all-new SUV developed by Tianjin FAW was announced in autumn 2014. It was one of the main attractions in the FAW's booth at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show. The City Compact SUV is characterized by design, performances, safety, quality and comfort targeting the young in urban areas. The FWD FAW Junpai D60 is 4,170mm long, 1,765mm wide and is driven by a 140hp engine supplied by Toyota.|
HAWTAI Motors: Shengdafei / A25 (Santa Fe)
Hawtai Motors is a relatively new automaker that was established in 2000. Initially it produced Hyundai-brand models but is now producing vehicles under its own brand. It was once reported that Hawtai Motors was considering license grants by Saab and Spyker Cars N.V. (the Dutch company went bankrupt in December 2014). All attempts failed and the company started to absorb technologies from foreign automakers. Today, Hawtai Motors is producing Hyundai-based SUVs and passenger vehicles.
Shengdafei (A25 or Santa Fe), a Compact City SUV based on Hyundai's Santa Fe
|A FWD SUV powered by a 150hp engine. The previous model had a style resemblance of the Porsches Cayenne. Production of the new model featuring more modern design began in September 2014. The sports version in the right-side photo features an impressive front with a large grille.|
Beijing Automotive Group: Senova X65
The state-owned group (BAIC) was established in 1953 to produce the Jeep and other off-road vehicles. The company then started to absorb foreign technologies and is now producing passenger vehicles and SUVs. BAIC learned and mastered technical systems from the Swedish automaker, Saab, which is reflected in the middle-class SUV. (BAIC chairman："Never hasten for success. Heat thoroughly and do not remove the lid too often.")
|Senova (Saab) D20 is a compact sedan-turned mini SUV. The front grille presents a wing-like impression.||The all-new Senova X65 is BAIC's first middle-class SUV. The 4x4 car is 4,654mm long, 1,816mm wide and is driven by engines ranging from 130 to 175hp.|
S350 by Jiangling Motors Corporation known for joint ventures with Japan's Isuzu
The 4x4 middle-class SUV is 4,775mm long, 1,895mm wide, driven mainly by a diesel engine, and designed in Italy.
Instrument panels on SUVs in China (high-end models)
All SUVs have instrument panels with similar functions as and designed after Japanese and/or North American SUVs: (1) Switches are zoned by function and high-end models have monitors. (2) The center console is decorated with metal edging to present powerful and solid impressions to the SUV. (3) All interior parts are protected by covering material.
Chery Automobile: Cowin i-CX
The masterpiece of Chery Auto's Cowin series won a prize at the 2014 Chengdu Motor Show for the attractive out-of-a-sketchbook styling. The i-CX is a compact SUV measuring 4,577mm long and 1,946mm wide.
GAC: Witstar concept
An intelligent electronically-controlled electric vehicle in search of new trends through technical innovation.
MPVs by Chinese automaker
Multiple Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) are popular in China and their sales are increasing sharply. According to the latest automobile statistics in China, the MPV sales in the period from January to November 2014 grew 48.7% y/y to 1.7 million units. Some new models were introduced at the show.
Brilliance Auto: Huasong 7
Brilliance Auto: Jinbei Granse
|The all-new 7-seater (good quality) introduced at the show is 5,005mm long, 1,909mm wide and is driven by engines ranging from 184 to 218p.||The all-new 9-seater also introduced at the show is 5,350mm long, 1,800mm wide and is driven by a 140hp engine.|
Dongfeng Fengxing: CM7
Toyota: Alphard (left-hand drive)
|Available in three variants (flagship, official use, commercial use) with close resemblance to Toyota Alphard (photo to the right). The 7-seater is 5,150mm long, 1,920mm wide and is driven by a 165hp engine.||The Alphard is often observed in Guangzhou. The Welcab model (for a wheelchair user) was also displayed. The 7-seater model is 4,925mm long, 1,840mm wide and is drven by a 170hp engine.|
Dongfeng Fengxing: M3
Lingzhi M5 (facelifted)
|Lower grade than the CM7, the M3 was the mainstream MPV until the CM7 was introduced. The 7-seater M3 is 4,645mm long, 1,695mm wide and is driven by a 113hp engine||The basic body is shared with the M3 but is a little larger. The 7-seater is 5,115mm long, 1,720mm wide and is driven by a 121hp engine.|
JAC: Refine M6
The 7-seater model that was introduced at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show is a high-end luxury MPV for government and corporate users and wealthy people. The MPV is 5,100mm long, 1,840mm wide and is driven by a 180hp engine.
JAC: Refine M3
SAIC Commercial Vehicles: G10
|An entry model in the JAC minivan MPV series. Its prototype was unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and the production model officially debuted at the Guangzhou Motor Show. The Refine M3 is 4,650mm long, 1,740mm wide and is driven by a 143hp engine.||The SAIC minivan was introduced as an official vehicle for the 2014 APEC. Its concept model was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show and the production model first appeared at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The G10 is 5,168mm long, 1,980mm wide and is driven by engines ranging from 143 to 224hp.|
BYD: M3DM Hybrid
|BYD entered the auto business leveraging on its batteries and produces electric vehicles. BYD exhibited electric vehicles and engine-driven vehicles at the Guangzhou Motor Show.|
|The M6 (on the left) has a close resemblance to the Toyota Estima. The first-generation M6 was introduced in 2010. The facelifted M6 on display is 4,820mm long, 1,810mm wide and is driven by a 167hp engine.||The M3DM (on the right) has a close resemblance to the Nissan Vannette and debuted at the Guangzhou Motor Show. The dual-power model on display is 4,460mm long, 1,720mm wide and is driven by a 109hp engine mated with a 150hp electric motor.|
The GL8 is manufactured by Shanghai GM, a joint venture between SAIC Motor, General Motors and Liuzhou Wuling Motors, and is marketed under the Buick brand.
The Buick brand is as popular as the Mercedes-Benz brand among entrepreneurs and wealthy people in China. Large-sized foreign MPVs carrying the Buick marque are often seen among Chinese vehicles on streets in large cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Since the Pontiac Montana was first introduced in China in 1999, the Buick GL8 has received many changes but their basic structure remains unchanged for over ten years. In 2010, the sides and interior designs were modified substantially. This change proved to be successful. The GL8 is now accepted as a stylish, luxurious, highest-end MPV with robust-looking front grille and routed window line that emphasizes the vehicle's overall length. The 7-seater GL8, available in 4x2 or 4x4 configuration, is 5,213mm long, 1,847mm wide and is driven by engines ranging from 167 to 258hp engines.
Specialty cars for the wealthy class
Ford's camping cruiser (on the left) and Ford F350-based personal armored vehicle (on the right).
|Unique vehicles were exhibited to satisfy well-to-do people that want something special. Both models are of a luxurious lounge type with a large screen display.|
Sedan type passenger vehicles
Sedan type passenger vehicles were exhibited at the Guangzhou Motor Show mostly by European and American automakers. They all had a full lineup ranging from small, midsize to large models. The most popular of all were the large sedans by foreign automakers.
Mercedes-Benz: Maybach S-Class
The Maybach has made a comeback as rumored. It made a world premiere at the motor shows held about the same time in Los Angeles and in Guangzhou. Its booths were crowded with people that welcomed the comeback. The Maybach used to be a separate brand from Mercedes-Benz. At the Guangzhou Motor Show, it was treated as a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz and displayed next to the C-Class.
The Maybach's interior design focuses on the rear section. The space behind the B-pillar (center pillar) is 200mm longer compared to the S-Class long wheelbase variant.
Headlamps and other front components and interior designs are shared by the S-Class (other than the materials and decorative items in the interior trims).
The Maybach S-Class is 5,453mm long, 1,900mm wide, and is driven by a V12 S600 530hp engine (Chinese model) or V8 S500 455hp engine.
Mercedes-Benz: S-Class long wheelbase variant
Volkswagen Group (VW)
FAW-Volkswagen Automobile (FAW-VW) occupied a large space at the show. Its booth was crowded by visitors of all ages, who came to inspect VW, Audi and Skoda vehicles. Among them, VW is the best-selling brand in China and FAW-VW exhibited the VW Sagitar (Jetta) with the facelifted exterior.
|2015 Sagitar (Jetta) with the facelifted front grille, bumpers, LED lighting and rear combination lamps. The rear suspensions have been changed to multi-link suspensions. The Sagitar is driven by a 1.8-liter TSI 129hp engine.|
|VW's electric vehicle initiative is making a steady progress. The company exhibited the Golf EV that was introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and is slated for launch in Japanese market in 2015. Also exhibited in Guangzhou was the EV platform built on MQB (modular transverse matrix).|
Audi: Nanukquattro Concept
The crossover between a sports car and SUV, co-developed with Italdesign Giugiaro, a VW-affiliate, and Audi, suggests technical innovation of the future. Lightweight aluminum (which is Audi's favorite material) is used in the frame and CFRPs are used in the interior and exterior panels. However, the vehicle still has a vehicle weight of 1900kg.
The four-wheel steering 4x4 is 4,541mm long, 1,990mm wide and is driven by a rear-mounted 544hp engine.
Audi booth introducing advanced lamp technologies
Audi has renovated automotive safety based on LED headlamps and functional and aesthetic lamp designs. Some of its vehicles are fitted with multi-directional LED headlamps of greater visibility and safety performances. More powerful laser lights with even higher safety performance with broader range of radiation were presented at Audi's special booth.
Skoda: Vision C Concept (5-door coupe; C stands for Coupe)
Skoda, under the VW Group, is a manufacturer of attractive production models along with SEAT.
The visitors to the Skoda booth at the Guangzhou Motor Show saw the China premiere of the next-generation sedan concept that was introduced earlier at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 2014.
|Skoda was appealing the future direction of its mainstream sedan designs. The afore-mentioned MQB modular platform is adopted to achieve weight reduction as well as structural rationalization. The thin door frame integrated with sealing rubber has evolved to a new level. The Vision C is driven by a 1.4-liter 110hp gasoline or CNG engine.|
Citroen: Devine DS Concept
Citroen exhibited the Divine DS Concept that was unveiled one and a half months earlier at the Paris Motor Show. The compact four-door concept sedan represents the spirit of innovation from the high-end DS brand. According to a booth attendant, the DS sedan is available in different interior variants other than that in the vehicle on display.
The DS sedan is 4,219mm long, 1,980mm wide and is driven by a 270hp engine.
BMW: 3 Series Li (Brilliance BMW)
|The first-generation model was introduced in 2012 as a competitor to the Audi A4 that was selling well in China. Then, a facelifted version was launched later. The wheelbase has been extended by 110mm from the 3 Series to increase the cabin utility and comfort. It was exhibited in a special booth of its own.|
American sedans popular in China
|Lincoln MKZ The MKZ is 4,931mm long, 1,864mm wide and is driven by a 2-liter inline 6-cylinder 250hp engine||Bucik LaCrosse The flagship model driven by a 3.0-liter V6 270hp engine is the top version that was announced by Shanghai GM in 2014.|
British cars adored by well-to-do Chinese citizens
ROLLS-ROYCE, a regular entrant in all motor shows
|Ghost The car is 5,399mm long, 1,946mm wide and is driven by a V12 517hp engine.||Phantom The car is 5,992mm long, 1,990mm wide and is driven by a V12 460hp engine.|
Bentley: Mulsanne Four Seasons (partially redesigned), another regular entrant in the motor show
Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors: KIA K5
The partially redesigned model was introduced as a mid-size high-end saloon.
It is 4,845mm long, 1,830mm wide and is driven by a 162hp engine. It has a good design and body quality as usual.
Changan Ford: Ford Mondeo
The mid-size high-end saloon was once fitted with a 1.5-liter in China, as in North America, for the sake of weight reduction. But the small engine fell short on power in China and the 2.0-liter 242hp engine was made available in 2013. The partially redesigned Ford Mondeo was exhibited at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
4,860mm long 1,854mm wide and is driven by a 242hp engine.
Dongfeng Peugeot: Peugeot 508
The Peugeot 508 had a major facelifting, both inside and out, since its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The all-new model was unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show by Dongfeng Peugeot. The new model with facelifted front grille, bumpers, LED lamps and panels is 4,826mm long, 1,855mm wide and is driven by a 147hp engine.
GAC Motor: GA6
GAC is the automobile division of Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group. It has developed a number of vehicles carrying its own brand and based on technical development abilities acquired through joint ventures with Japanese automakers. GAC exhibited the originally designed mid-size sedan, GA6, which is 4,850mm long, 1,830mm wide and is driven by a 177hp engine.
FAW Besturn: Besturn B70
The B70 Concept was one of the mid-size vehicles on display in the FAW booth. FAW is a manufacturer of independently developed automobiles including those of the B70 Concept class. The B70 Concept on display is an all-new FWD, automatic transmission model featuring many electronic devices (interior and exterior designs remain unchanged). The B70 is 4,800mm long, 1,820mm wide and is driven by a 186hp engine.
Other mid-size luxury sedans
FAW Hongqi H7 (on the left), Dongfeng No. 1(at the center), BAIC Senova D80 (on the right)
Toyota Camry (latest model in China by Guangzhou Toyota) (on the left), Toyota Crown (latest model by FAW Toyota) (on the right)
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