Looking back at the Chinese car market in 2023, traditional fuel vehicles saw significant price reductions, while new energy vehicles continued to boom. The intensity of market competition can be described as the highest in history. From the final results, the cumulative sales of domestic passenger cars in 2023 were 21.703 million units, an increase of 5.6% compared to 2022, and the number of available models also reached 1457. So in such an “involution” year of 2023, who are the 11 favorite cars of Chinese consumers?
No.11 Hongguang MINIEV -237800 vehicles
In 2023, the 11th most beloved car model among Chinese people is the Hongguang MINIEV, which sold a total of 237800 units last year. However, compared to the record of 404800 vehicles in 2022, the sales of Hongguang MINIEV decreased by 70% last year. As for the reason for the decline in sales of the Hongguang MINIEV, the main reason is that there are more and more options for pure electric cars, and a more practical four door car can be purchased for just 20000 to 30000 yuan. In this case, the space and battery life shortcomings of the Hongguang MINIEV are exposed.
No.10 BYD Seagull -239200 vehicles
In 2023, the 10th most beloved car model among Chinese people is the familiar BYD Seagull. As a pure electric A0 class small car that was only launched in April 2023, Haiou achieved a sales achievement of 239200 units in just 9 months. The success of Seagull is not surprising. Firstly, in terms of model positioning, its price range of 73800 to 89800 yuan is very affordable. Although the length of the car is only 3.78 meters, it is not a problem to ride four adults. In terms of battery life, the pure electric range of 305-405km can basically meet a week’s commuting needs, and coupled with the strong influence of the BYD brand, it has almost become the first choice for many users to purchase pure electric commuting vehicles.
No.9 Changan CS75PLUS -245400 vehicles
Although the sales of new energy vehicles increased significantly last year, further eroding the market for fuel vehicles, the strong product strength of fuel vehicles has not been greatly affected. For example, the classic Chinese compact SUV model, the Changan CS75PLUS, sold a total of 245400 units last year, ranking 9th. Compared to 2022, the sales of CS75PLUS have even increased by 7% against the trend. What’s even more interesting is that CS75PLUS is still the best-selling pure fuel model among domestic brands in 2023. Its hot sales also prove that there are still a large number of users in China who need fuel powered cars that are affordable, stable in performance, and durable.
No.8 Volkswagen Sagitar -285000 vehicles
As is well known, gasoline powered cars saw a significant price reduction last year, with sedans like Volkswagen Sagitar offering discounts of over 30000 to 40000 yuan. In addition, the Sagitar itself has excellent fuel consumption, power, space, texture, and reputation, so in 2023, the Volkswagen Sagitar sold 285000 units, ranking 8th in new car sales. Compared to 2022, the sales of Sagitar have increased by 25%, and the strategy of exchanging price for quantity by joint venture brands has indeed achieved results.
No.7 BYD Dolphin -299700 vehicles
In 2023, BYD Dolphin sold 299700 new cars, a crazy increase of 46% compared to 2022, and became the 7th best-selling car in the year. Compared to the previous seagulls, although the price of the dolphin starts at 116800 yuan, its 4.1 meter size and a range of over 400km across the entire range still make it more practical than seagulls. Combined with its impressive exterior design and BYD’s brand influence, Dolphin does not have many competitors in the market.
No.6 BYD yuan PLUS -309800 vehicles
When it comes to BYD’s best-selling electric vehicle, people may think it’s the Han EV, but in reality, BYD’s best-selling electric vehicle in 2023 was the Yuan PLUS, with an annual sales volume of 309800 units, ranking 6th. Not only that, Yuan PLUS was also the best-selling electric vehicle among domestic brands last year. At present, there are not many options for pure electric SUVs in the price range of 100000 to 150000 yuan. The Yuan PLUS is not only a relatively rare and legitimate electric vehicle in this price range, but also performs well in terms of appearance, space, range, and charging. Therefore, buying a Yuan PLUS is basically an error free choice. Moreover, last year’s yuan PLUS had a discount of 10000 yuan, making the overall cost-effectiveness very high.
No.5 Volkswagen Lavida -345800 vehicles
In 2023, the former best-selling Volkswagen Lavida sold a total of 345800 new cars, ranking fifth on the list and still one of the favorite models among Chinese consumers. Compared to 2022, the sales of the Lavida have only declined by 1%. The reason for this is not only due to the good discount offered by the original Lavida model, but also closely related to SAIC Volkswagen’s launch of a new and cutting-edge Lavida model. Interestingly, compared to the Lavida, which has a pure Chinese exclusive identity, the Lavida’s new model is actually Volkswagen’s Virtus sold in Southeast Asia and Latin America, with some foreign ancestry. In terms of price, the starting price of the new Lavida is only 939900 yuan, and the entire series adopts the MQB A0 platform. The power is 1.5L naturally aspirated, paired with 5MT or 6AT, which are quite mature and reliable technologies.
Compared to the similarly low-priced Santana, the Lavida Xinrui has a more advanced MQB platform, larger size, and updated interior; In terms of price, it is much cheaper than the regular version of the Lavida starting at 120900 yuan, and with a terminal discount of about 30000 yuan, the actual landing price is only over 70000 yuan, which is still very attractive to traditional users.
No.4 Nissan Sylphy -376100 vehicles
In 2023, the most beloved joint venture sedan among Chinese consumers is still the Nissan Sylphy. Just like how the Sylphy lost its title of sales king in 2022, the annual sales of the Sylphy in 2023 were 376100 units, although it still ranked fourth, it decreased by 10% compared to 2022. Although the e-power version to some extent fills the gap in the single powertrain system of the Sylphy series, the gap in the plug-in hybrid field still makes it difficult for the Sylphy to compete with domestic plug-in hybrid sedans. Perhaps for Nissan, expanding the range extender plug-in hybrid version on the basis of the Sylphy e-power is the key to returning to its peak.
No.3 BYD Song PLUS -390200 vehicles
In 2023, BYD’s flagship SUV, the Song PLUS, achieved sales of 390200 units, ranking third for the year. Although the Song PLUS has emerged as a hypothetical rival in 2023, and products with core selling points such as the Deep Blue S7, Galaxy L7, and Haval Xiaolong MAX have emerged, BYD’s ace position has not been shaken. The Song PLUS is still the absolute king of new energy SUVs priced at 150000 yuan. However, the cost-effectiveness of the Song PLUS may not be as high in 2024. Faced with market pressure, BYD has also started to reduce prices and offer discounts. After the year, everyone can wait and see to buy it.
No.2 BYD Qin PLUS -434200 vehicles
In 2023, BYD’s flagship sedan, the Qin PLUS, ranked second among the most popular car models among Chinese consumers, with annual sales of 434200 units, a year-on-year increase of 40.8%. The hot sales of Qin PLUS are not surprising, as in February last year, BYD launched the Qin PLUS Champion Edition for 99800 yuan, marking the first shot in the price war for plug-in hybrid cars. In November of last year, the Qin PLUS Champion Edition was discounted by 10000 yuan across the entire series, so the entry-level version only costs 89800 yuan. Combining BYD’s brand appeal, Qin PLUS’s high warranty quantity, ultra-low fuel consumption, and exemption from purchase tax and other advantages, it is difficult for Qin PLUS to become popular!
No.1 Tesla Model -456300 vehicles
Finally, the most popular model among Chinese consumers in 2023 is the Tesla Model Y! Last year, this mid size pure electric SUV achieved sales of 456300 units in China, an increase of 44.7% compared to 2022, surpassing the BYD Qin PLUS to win the championship. Moreover, in terms of price, the starting price of Model Y exceeds 250000 yuan, far higher than the Qin PLUS DM-i starting at 99800 yuan, and it can still win the sales championship, which is very worth exploring. Although from today’s perspective, the intelligence, assisted driving, and charging speed of Model Y may not be at the top level, its power consumption and range will still be competitive in 2024. Moreover, Tesla’s brand is strong enough, and the popularity of charging stations is high, so sales are naturally guaranteed. However, we still do not recommend blindly purchasing the Model Y in 2024, because compared to models such as the Xiaopeng G6 and Zhiji LS6 priced at over 200000 yuan, the Model Y is still lagging behind, and there are rumors that a major facelift of the Model Y will be released this year. Friends who are not in a hurry should wait a little longer!
In 2022, the BYD Song PLUS DM-i brought down the Nissan Sylphy with its comprehensive product strength and excellent cost-effectiveness, which also led to the explosive growth of plug-in hybrid vehicles in China in 2023. In 2023, Tesla Model Y defeated BYD’s “PLUS duo” with its pure electric identity and became the best-selling model in the Chinese market, driving the birth of high cost-effective pure electric SUVs such as Xiaopeng G6 and Zhiji LS6. In 2024, the competition between plug-in hybrid, pure electric, and fuel will continue. Who will take away this year’s sales champion? We’ll see the end in a year!