A slew of Chinese brands suddenly came out recently and introduced their respective vehicles in the country.
Among them were Chengu Dayun, Geely, Greatwall, Foton, Changan, Chery, Jetour, and very recently FAW Hongqi, the apparent “Rolls Royce of China.”
Various cars and commercial vehicles were introduced, some of them were either made of internal combustion engine (ICE), hybrid (using gas and electric battery), and fully electric vehicle (EVs).
The sudden influx of Chinese-brand vehicles to the country is not unusual since one of the major international motor shows being held in the country – the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) –is happening next month.
Each of these Chinese brands is expected to make their presence felt here as early as now in order to make headway in terms of marketing when the MIAS start.
MIAS, as we all know, is the major place where many Chinese brands promote their products in order to be seen by the car-crazy local consumers. By now, those participating brands have already haggled for the prized location at the World Trade Center where they can showcase their products.
Yes, this has been the case in many major motor shows around the world since getting the centerpiece space in any venue would certainly command big attention from the visitors. Here in the country, MIAS and the other one – the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) – are really very popular not only for local consumers and car-lovers but also for simple men on the street. Paying P100 in the past is not a problem even to an ordinary guy since they can see lots of stunning new cars and also a bevy of beautiful models in every participating booth.
There is one intriguing question that many have quietly asked with this recent entry of Chinese-brand vehicles: Why introduce ICEs, hybrids, and EVs when the focus of the Chinese vehicle manufacturers in China is to go full electric?
There is no question on the capability of the Chinese manufacturers in churning out quality electric vehicles these days. On a regular basis, various Chinese manufacturers are coming out with successful news in finding new technologies to lengthen the mileage of their electric batteries one after the other.
There is no doubt that the Hongqi E-HS9, for example, will not only be a head-turner when it hits the local roads but will also be considered by the consumers of electric cars in the near future because of its better mileage per full charging.
But why did Hongqi choose to bring in the H5, which we think is really a good rival to those major Japanese sedans in the market today when it hit the local road soon? The H5 is not an electric car but uses an internal combustion engine or gasoline-powered.
These Chinese brands might also be thinking that the local Philippine market is still too young for the electric vehicle and that the gas-or diesel-powered cars and vehicles are still the main focus of the local consumers.
There would not be any question on the quantity of the cars those Chinese brands can bring into the country. The question is on how those EVs would fare in the long run when the consumers of ICEs are still prevailing in the local market.