We’ve written in the past about the best Asian car brands but with the recent influx of new Chinese cars into the UK market and those expected to follow shortly we wanted to highlight five of the top brands that we think are going to be very popular with drivers over the next few years. These brands are either in the UK already or have plans to be in the next couple of years.
There’s been an influx of Chinese car companies into mainland Europe and they have slowly made their way over the North Sea into the UK. The UK is one of a small number of countries that have right-hand drive which can make bringing a car here a little more complex, but there are plenty of manufacturers willing to make those changes.
The Best Chinese Cars in the UK
1. GWM Ora
Image Sourced: https://gwmora.co.uk/
Great Wall Motors, GWM for short is a successful Chinese car manufacturer, and whilst it might not be a well-known brand in the UK they’re a big player in the automotive industry as one of the top five largest car manufacturers in the world. Ora is a sub-brand of the GWM company along with Haval and WEY. Ora launched in 2018 with the aim of being an electric brand and bringing GWM into the European markets.
You might have seen the first of their models, the Funky Cat, on the roads already as it arrived earlier this year. Aimed to be a rival of Mini’s electric hatchback the Funky Cat is a compact electric vehicle (EV) that’s ideal for families. With unique styling it’s definitely a car that stands out from the crowd.
Other models are set to follow in the cat’s footsteps (or should we say paw prints) with the next model due early next year. We expect to see more information about the electric saloon in the next couple of months and GMW Ora have indicated it will be a rival to the likes of the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and the Hyundai Ioniq 6. They’ve Said that it will have a range over 300 miles and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive.
Image Sourced: https://www.byd.com/uk/car/atto3
Build Your Dreams, or BYD as they’re more commonly known is another Chinese brand that recently arrived in the UK. The company began as a battery manufacturer in the 1990s and then expanded to designing and building the cars those batteries were going into, to become one of Chinese largest manufacturer, selling close to two million cars last year alone. They manufacturer all of their parts in house, so unlike other car companies aren’t reliant on third parties for any parts or materials making a smoother operational process.
BYD have expanded into Europe over the past few years with fully-electric and hybrid models and the first BYD to go on sale for UK drivers was the Atto 3. It’s another fully electric model, with a range up to 261 miles and plenty of high-tech features as standard including automatic emergency braking, rotating touchscreen centre console and guitar shaped speakers. It’s a family-sized SUV which is lined up to rival the likes of the VW ID.3 and Kia Niro EV.
Since then, BYD has expanded their UK range to include the Seal and Dolphin models. The Dolphin is a sizable hatchback that’s perfect for those who want an EV with style. And the Seal is a sleek looking electric saloon. Alongside the models BYD is also establishing a network of stores across the UK, with the aim of having 27 franchised dealerships by the end of 2023, and 100 of them by the end of 2024. These stores will help raise awareness of the brand and offer increased consumer confidence as drivers will be able to visit a store to look at the cars before purchasing, and if they have any issues.
Image Sourced: https://www.ai-ways.eu/en/u5/
Aiways is another fully electric brand. Founded in 2017 it rapidly grew in the Chinese market before expanding out to the rest of Asia and now Europe.
There are currently two models available in the UK for drivers to choose from. The first is the U5 crossover SUV a spacious and technologically advanced car that offers drivers an alternative to the likes of the VW ID.4. The second is the U6 which is a sleeker coupe styled SUV, with a sharper front end and sloping rear designed to give it an aerodynamic edge it’s a stylish and powerful EV.
Image Sourced: https://levc.com/tx-taxi/overview/
The fourth company to make it onto the list is London EV Company Limited, or LEVC as it’s more commonly known. Whilst it has London in the name and is largely based in the UK, the company is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese manufacturer Geely.
Geely first became interested in taxis for the Chinese and international market in 2006 and they partnered with MBH (LEVC’s original name) to bring this idea to life. They went onto quick success with the TX4 in 2007, which had a more efficient engine than previous models, and was compliant with Euro 4 restrictions, and continued to be upgraded to remain compliant with Euro 5 and 6 as they were introduced. It wasn’t until 2013 that Geely took full ownership of the company, and 2017 when the LECV was rebranded into the company we see today.
As the name suggests the business is primarily focused on London drivers, and nearly half of London’s black cabs are now LEVC cars. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in London to get a LECV taxi though as they are available for drivers around the UK.
5. MG Motors
MG Motors was first established in the 1920s as a British brand but unfortunately in 2005 the business collapsed and the MG brand went out of production. It was dormant for several years before SAIC Motor acquired it and
it was Chinese company SAIC Motors who revived the brand in 2007, and the first brand-new MG in over 15 years the MG6 was launched in 2011. The car was the first step of MG’s revival and since then we’ve seen several models on UK shores, including the popular fully electric MG4.
We think MG is a brand to watch with their family friendly electric cars that are suitable for all budgets.
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