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Five Chinese car brands coming for the UK market

You might not be able to name any Chinese car brands at the moment, but you should get used to seeing them on UK roads because they're here to stay.

Years of development and massive economies of scale mean Chinese cars are often far more affordable than models from the rest of the world. Look at the amazing value for money MG cars offer, for example.

After explosive growth in their home market, Chinese car companies are now expanding to the rest of the world. Here are five Chinese car brands you can expect to see on UK roads in the next few years.


BMW Atto 3 in blue

BYD is an enormous carmaker and battery manufacturer that's already started to open dealerships in the UK. The acronym, somewhat awkwardly, stands for 'Build Your Dreams', although the company has confirmed it'll take off its slogan on the bootlid to better match European tastes.

In China, BYD makes a wide range of cars, buses and trucks but, in the UK, its product range is a little more limited for now. First up is the Atto 3 small electric SUV – noteworthy for its unique 'guitar string' door pockets and funky rotating centre screen. The BYD Seal saloon will challenge the Tesla Model 3, while the BYD Dolphin supermini is likely to become one of the most affordable EVs you can buy.


A pair of GWM Ora Funky Cat cars

Another Chinese brand that's already begun selling models in the UK is GWM – standing for Great Wall Motor. The company initially began selling the Great Wall Steed pickup truck over here, undercutting traditional pickup makers, but failed to make much of an impact.

That's set to change, however, with the addition of the GWM Ora Funky Cat to its UK lineup. This quirky electric hatchback immediately stuns with an interior packed with '50s styling details including neat chrome trim and plush leather upholstery. It's an eye-catcher on the outside, too, with refreshingly cute styling that seems to borrow from the likes of the Mini Hatchback and the Porsche 911.


Nio ET5 in yellow

Where BYD and GWM have decades of manufacturing experience, Nio is an electric-vehicle startup following a similar path to Tesla. The first car to arrive in the UK will be the Model-3-rivalling ET5 saloon as well as the ET5 Touring estate. These could be followed by the ES8 large SUV, the luxurious ET7 saloon and the EL7 SUV.

Nio's unique selling point is its battery-swapping technology. This lets owners drive their Nio into a small garage, where an automated machine detaches the old battery pack from under the car and replaces it with a refreshed one. This completely eliminates recharging and makes tackling long drives as easy as a fuel-powered car. Nio is aiming to launch in the UK once it builds out its battery-swapping infrastructure – it's already selling cars in some other European countries.


XPeng G6 in orange

XPeng is another Chinese EV startup, hoping to shake up a market dominated by established brands. It already sells cars in Europe and is planning to launch in the UK at some point in 2024. Its most recent models, built on its SEPA 2.0 platform, use an 800V electrical architecture like some recent Hyundai EVs to achieve rapid recharging.

The XPeng G6 SUV is expected to be the first model launched on our shores. This swoopy electric SUV looks like the offspring of a Porsche and a Mazda, and promises a competitive price point and range performance. XPeng could follow this up with several different models including the G3 small SUV, the P5 mid-size saloon and the G9 large SUV.


Chery Omoda 5 in grey

Chery is another huge Chinese carmaker with decades of manufacturing experience. You probably won't see Chery-branded cars sold directly in the UK, at least at first, because the company is expected to kick things off with its Omoda sub-brand, aping the look and feel of a modern clean-sheet auto startup.

The first model on sale should be the Chery Omoda 5 which, at 4.4 metres long, will be roughly the same size as a Nissan Qasqhai. Like so many of the Chinese cars headed this way, the Omoda 5 will primarily be battery powered. However, unlike some rivals, the model is also expected to offer a petrol-powered alternative, making it a better choice for higher-mileage drivers and those without easy access to EV charging.

Get a great deal on a fantastic used car

These Chinese cars are expected to have a big impact when they launch in the UK, with temptingly low prices putting a lot of pressure on traditional competitors. You can still save thousands off the list price however, by choosing a great value nearly new or used car from Motorpoint.