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Beijing Auto Show 2024 Highlights Part 2: the Chinese brands

Hyper SSR

It’s now time to go through the noticeable Chinese brands at home, the Beijing Auto Show. These are classified in alphabetical order, so no particular preferences here. The 3 most impressive Chinese brands at the show will be revealed in a separate article.

The main takeaway is that there were no small brands present anymore. Every carmaker that was here spent the big bucks to appear and every one is to be taken seriously. There were some surprises as to how the brands were displayed within each group as you’ll see below.

Aion Y Plus

Some what we could call secondary brands are no more and sometimes have outgrown the original. Case in point is Aion, taking most of its parent company GAC’s stand.

Arcfox αS5 Beijing SUV BJ40

Similarly the BAIC stand featured Arcfox prominently, and the SUV branch was the only other member of the BAIC family, with no Beijing car in sight.

BYD Qin L details BYD Seagull

BYD, the new market leader in China, presented three new models: the Qin L, Seal 06 and Sea Lion 07, as well as the Ocean-M concept. We expected the new Shark pickup to be showcased but it wasn’t there. The main attraction for me was the presence of the Seagull, the brand’s cheapest electric offering at 69,800-85,800 yuan (9,000-11,100€ or US$9,600-11,800). This is also in my opinion one of BYD’s cars with the biggest potential in export markets. Well I am happy to report that the Seagull’s interior punches way above its weight. There are two reasonably sized digital screens,two wireless phone charging pads, the driver’s seat is electric and the gearbox is a rotary shift below the main touch screen. Materials are the weakness overall but still a very impressive showing.

CATL had a stand of its own at the Beijing Auto Show, to present its new Shenxing Plus battery. This is a remarkable step forward for the manufacturer as the lithium iron phosphate battery achieves 4C charging and can add 600 km in just 10 minutes, for a total range of 1000 km.

Qiyuan E07

The Changan stand was dominated by its Qiyuan brand, with the spectacular E07 displayed. One of only a few Changan models was the new generation Hunter pickup.

An unexpected appearance by the pickup brand Dadao.

Building on the success of its D9 MPV, Denza presented the Z9 GT sport sedan.

M-Hero 917 eπ 008

The Dongfeng stand only featured a couple of actual Dongfeng models including a quirky 4WD concept pictured above. The rest of the showroom surprisingly and prominently featured the off-road brand M-Hero with quite a few “917” vehicles. Voyah occupied the remainder of the stand and announced ambitious plans to expand internationally. The new eπ 008 was also presented.

Fang Cheng Bao Bao 8Fang Cheng Bao Bao 5Fang Cheng Bao Super 9

Lots of buzz in the Fang Cheng Bao stand. This is a BYD brand but it got its own standalone showroom as did Denza (above) and Yangwang as we’ll see further down. The brand showed two concept cars: the Super 9 roadster and the Super 3 SUV, as well as the existing Bao 5 with a spectacular central control command (pictured above) and the new Bao 8. The existence of the Super 9 seems to indicate that Feng Cheng Bao will not be an SUV-only brand.

Haval H9Poer Pickup

GWM had all its brands grouped under the same roof, which didn’t give them much room to breathe. Interestingly, they were given each roughly the same number of cars in the showroom. Poer and Tank had 4, while Haval, WEY and Ora each had three. In the case of Haval, we are now far way from the gigantic stands the brand used to secure on its own in the past. The long-awaited new generation H9 was present.

GAC Aion’s Hyper brand made its independent debut at the Show, even though it retained the same logo as Aion. Confusing. The carmaker showed the SSR, HT and GT.

iCar V23iCar X25

It’s a surprisingly large stand for the new brand iCar by Chery, launched a year ago. iCar introduced a sporty version of its unique model the 03, called the 03T. There was also two impressive concepts: the V23 and X25.

Last time we attended a Chinese Auto Show, Jetour, another brand by Chery, was just one year old and displayed promising results. Five years later the carmaker is now well established in the market and navigates around the 20th place in the overall brands charts in China. None of the original models (X70, X90, X95…) are displayed here, leaving room for the new Shanhai NEV series such as the T1 (pictured) and T5. The manufacturer also presented the new Shanhai L7 SUV.

Li L6 Li Mega

Sales blockbuster Li Auto introduced the new L6, its smallest SUV so far and destined to be another flamboyant success for the brand. The main attraction on the Li stand however was the new Mega MPV, and it’s cockpit didn’t disappoint, with a Hand Gesture Controlled rooftop screen for the back passengers (see last picture).

Great large showroom for Geely’s Lynk & Co brand, mimicking European streets. The 08 EM-P was introduced.

NIO battery swap demonstration

The NIO stand was interestingly more focused on sedans and displaying the new uber-luxurious ET7 Executive Edition. There was also a battery swap demonstration.

I was surprised to see a full-blown stand for Polestones, previously known as Rox. The brand’s unique model, the 01, was shown and its interior is on par with the Chinese standards with notably a giant central touch screen.

Xpeng X9 interior

Xpeng showed the most outlandish concept of all at the Show, as well as the recently launched X9 MPV complete with back passenger rooftop screen. The company also announced a new AI-centric sub-brand called MONA (for “Made Of New AI”) with affordable prices around 100,000 to 150,000 yuan. MONA will be officially launched in June.

Yangwang U8Yangwang U7

Yangwang was one of the main attractions of the Show, pulling a lot of interest for its flagship U8 SUV. The dashboard surprisingly retains a lot of physical buttons while the touch screen is large but not enormous. Some interesting technological restraint here. After the U9 supercar, the brand also introduced its third model, the U7 flagship sedan, boasting 1,300hp and capable of reaching 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds.

Yuanhang Y7Yuanhang range

We end this review on Yuanhang, a little known carmaker that found itself with a full blown stand at the Show. Yet to appear in our sales reports, Yuanhang was present with no less than four cars: the Y6 and Y7 sedans and the H8 and H9 SUVs.

That’s is it for now, next we reveal the three most impressive carmakers at the Beijing Auto Show!

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