They scold, but admit: what Kolesa.ru readers think about Chinese cars
The past two weeks, inspired by the Shanghai Motor Show, which had 4 of our journalists, were marked by Chinese premieres and news. There were so many of them that some readers were perplexed, some were enraptured, and some were even outraged. But something else became interesting to us: what is the general attitude of the audience towards Chinese cars? Is there a shift, and how do the majority vote for or against?
Our curiosity is quite logical and easy to explain: in the comments, critics usually gather in detail indicating the reasons for the low popularity of Chinese cars, but the voting results, as they say, are not always so straightforward.
So – maybe the audience is set up for the wave of products from the Middle Kingdom is not as severe as it may seem?
To understand the results, let’s go in chronological order. On the eve of the Shanghai Motor Show, we run into the Haval F7 test site in China, which will soon be on the assembly line of the new plant in Tula, and received an indicative Russian price tag. And according to the results of our first short test drive, out of 2.5 thousand who voted, more than 1,600 people were not so categorical in their judgments, confirming that they do not exclude the purchase of such a car after a personal acquaintance. A little more than 400 people expressed full readiness for the purchase already now – and the remaining 500 expressed a persistent distrust of Chinese cars. That is, the categorical “no” was expressed by about 20% of the respondents, a little less agreed in absentia, and the remaining 60% postponed the final opinion to a personal test drive.
Arriving at the car dealership, we already met with the “compartment” version of the Haval F7 – F7x, which will also come to Russia, and prescribe at the factory near Tula. There are differences between cars: in addition to a smaller trunk, the F7x cross-coupe will not receive all-wheel drive, and it will also be 100-200 thousand more expensive than a regular crossover. Nevertheless, according to the survey results, a third of respondents preferred a fashionable body with a sloping rear part to a classic station wagon. However, in that survey it was not only about Haval, so we will not take it into account in the results.
The next “test” exhibit at the auto show was Exeed TXL from Chery, which marks the separation of a more “premium” subbrand from the mainstream, under which Tiggo crossovers are offered. This premiere turned out to be more controversial: a 1.6-liter turbo engine, small for a massive car, a robotic gearbox (which most likely won’t reach us) and vague prospects for having a full drive divided the voters into two equal camps: half of the 600 who responded immediately rejected the possibility of buying Exeed in the future. Another 200 people gave the crossover a chance to rehabilitate by the time it appeared in Russia (which, by the way, will not come soon – in a year and a half), and only a hundred (that is, about 15%) confidently include it in their list of potential purchases.
But with the frame SUV Haval H9, the situation is different again. Here, the two-liter engine, moreover, deforsirovanny 245 forces to us, and the drive is full with ponizhaykoy, and eight-speed automatic from ZF, and locking the rear differential from Eaton in the list of options – in general, everything that is required in Russia client group. Updating the appearance here – rather, a nice bonus, like the third row of seats.
It is not surprising that as a result of voting out of 1,900 respondents, only 200, with a small categorically denied the “Chinese” the opportunity to register in their garage. True, more than 800 people chose a provocative response to “buy only if the H9 is half the price of the Land Cruiser Prado,” but 600 more are willing to pay for it even if it turns out to be 30% cheaper than the “Japanese.” And almost 250 respondents directly state that they are ready to buy H9 without any “ifs”. In other words, 45% are quite ready for the appearance of a Chinese truck in their fleet, and another 43% are ready to consider this option in the case of an obvious dumping price — although you should not hope for it, of course. Nevertheless, the prices differ significantly: at a base price of 2.5 million, Prado in a decent configuration costs more than three, and seven-seater versions are offered for top performances for 4.4 million rubles. Against this background, prices for a “Chinese” of 2.5-2.7 million rubles are, of course, not “twice cheaper”, but certainly “by 30%”.