More and more Chinese brands are entering the Australian market, and fortunately they’ve picked up their game since the days of asbestos recalls.
However, while Chinese vehicle quality has improved, there’s still a gulf between the best and worst automakers there.
The Chinese Automobile Quality Network has published its 2022 Brand Quality Ranking of domestic automakers, as well as a separate ranking for electric vehicle brands.
The study collects data from the first official monitoring platform for automobile quality complaints in China, and is sponsored by the State Administration for Market Regulation.
The State Administration says it received 35,896 reports of automotive defects in 2022, and is focusing on improving the supervision of recalls in 2023.
A total of 204 recalls were issued, involving 4.48 million vehicles – decreases of 12.4 per cent and 48.6 per cent, respectively.
Engine assembly issues accounted for 30.7 per cent of the defect reports in 2022, followed by electrical equipment (23.3 per cent), body issues (18.1 per cent) and drivetrains (12.5 per cent).
New energy vehicles, a catch-all term covering plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, accounted for 4300 of these defect reports, with 41.9 per cent of these defect reports reflecting problems with batteries, electric motors and control systems.
The study was good news for Volvo and bad news for Tesla.
Dongfeng Honda topped the chart with a score of 131 points. The Chinese Automobile Quality Network says the lower the number, the better.
It was followed by Volkswagen’s Jetta brand, GAC Mitsubishi and Volvo in a three-way tie, with a score of 144. Volvo exports a range of vehicles to Australia from China, including the XC40.
Coming in dead last was SAIC Skoda, with a score of 232. The Czech brand’s Chinese joint venture doesn’t export vehicles to Australia, however.
The average score was 178, and some key brands fell below this.
Rankings for Chinese brands that sell vehicles here are as follows:
- Maxus (LDV): 12th place, 162
- GWM Tank: 15th place, 168
- Chery: 23rd place, 184
- MG: 24th place, 185
While it has yet to arrive here, Chery’s more premium Exeed and Jetour brands fell further behind the company’s namesake brand at 32nd place and 39th place with scores of 204 and 231, respectively.
Electric vehicle brands
Of the 26 electric vehicle brands on the chart, only three export vehicles to Australia.
BYD ranked the highest and came in third overall, with a score of 127.
GWM’s Ora brand was well back at 14th place with a score of 169.
Tesla fell below the average in this study, coming in 19th with a score of 227.