The precautions you should take when buying a car from a Chinese brand, according to the OCU

Chinese car brands are acquiring a growing role in the automotive world.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
18 September 2023 Monday 11:27
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The precautions you should take when buying a car from a Chinese brand, according to the OCU

Chinese car brands are acquiring a growing role in the automotive world. The largest country in Asia has taken the lead over Japan and South Korea, which were pioneers in conquering new markets, to the point that Elon Musk himself, the owner of Tesla, warns that Chinese manufacturers are the biggest threat. so that the American brand can maintain its status as a sales leader in electric cars in the coming years.

According to Musk, the Chinese “work harder and smarter” than other manufacturers. If we add to this that they offer very competitive prices, the fears of the electric car magnate should not surprise us. In Spain, models from the different Chinese brands that are sold in our country are already beginning to be seen, especially with regard to electric and plug-in hybrids, where they already account for 11% of sales.

It is in this category of electrified engines where brands such as BYD, Lynk

The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) certifies that the Chinese car models that it has tested to make its opinion known have obtained satisfactory results. “They are not at the top of the car ranking, but they hold their own well within the average quality of their category.”

However, it points out that it does not have the results of its surveys about the reliability of the brand and that it does not have data on after-sales service "or quality and price of repairs." “They are cars that are too new to have reliable data,” says the OCU, although on the positive side it highlights that all brands offer more years of warranty than what is required by law.

The lack of tradition of Chinese brands in the Spanish market contrasts with the long history that other manufacturers do have in our country. It must be taken into account that manufacturers such as Renault, Peugeot or Mercedes-Benz built their first cars in the 19th century and that most brands can boast of having a long history behind them.

For this reason, the Organization of Consumers and Users advises that before purchasing a car from a brand that is too new, a series of considerations should be taken into account so as not to encounter unpleasant surprises later. The warning is especially aimed at potential buyers of Chinese cars, since, "today, not much is known about the reliability of their brands or the quality of after-sales service." According to the organization, this is what you should do if you are considering buying a Chinese car:

In the Spanish market, Chinese car brands represent only 3% of total sales but, on the other hand, they represent 11% in the section of electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Most of these manufacturers are still unknown to the general public, so, together with the OCU, we are going to review the top-selling Chinese brands.

The ranking is headed by MG, a brand of British origin that in 2007 was purchased by the Chinese group SAIC Motor, which so far in 2023 is ranked 17th in sales in Spain, surpassing Nissan, Mazda or Volvo.

In the ranking of electric cars, the MG4 occupies third position in sales, behind Tesla Model Y and Model 3. Currently, MG offers a 7-year or 150,000 km commercial warranty on its new vehicles.

The brand is owned by the Chinese consortium Geely, which also owns Volvo, Polestar and Lotus. In Spain it only sells one model, the Lynk SUV

This brand was from an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, but was acquired by a Chinese group a few years ago. It sells its only gasoline SUV, the G01. It offers a 5-year or 100,000 km warranty.

It is a Chinese company founded in 2003. Until a few months ago its models were sold in Spain as DSFK. Currently, it sells its three SUVs of different sizes with gasoline engines. It offers up to 8 years or 150,000 km warranty on some of its models.

It is the world's second largest manufacturer of electric cars, only behind Tesla. In Spain it has four electric models of different sizes and bodies for sale. Its commercial warranty covers 6 years or 150,000 km.

In Spain it sells the Omoda 5, a compact gasoline SUV. Its warranty is 5 years or 150,000 km.

It sells a small utility vehicle, the D25. Its warranty is 5 years or 100,000 km.

It has two models for sale in Spain: the U5 (a large SUV) and the U6 (a sedan). Its warranty is 5 years or 150,000 km.

It is a brand owned by the SAIC group, also owner of MG, and in Spain it sells the Enuiq 5 electric minivan. Its warranty is 5 years or 100,000 km.