Dealers look to potential Chinese EV success

Xpeng, Omoda and BYD are Chinese car brands most likely to succeed in UK, dealers say with 36% believing Xpeng is the new entrant most likely to make an impact.

It is followed by Omoda (34%), BYD (31%), Lynk & Co (24%) and Nio (24%), according to June’s Startline Used Car Tracker.

Other new entrants named by dealers include Jaecoo (19%), GWM ORA (17%), Zeekr (12%) and HiPhi (5%).

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “It can seem as though a new Chinese EV entrant to the UK car market is announced every week but our research shows that dealers are starting to build up a picture of which they think are the most credible.

“Xpeng is an interesting result at the top of the table. Although they have just launched in Germany, they are not expected to arrive in the UK later this year, while other brands such as BYD and GWM ORA already have cars on UK roads. However, dealers obviously see some potential there.”

He added that dealer perceptions of these manufacturers might not just be shaped by press coverage and the models they are selling but the fact that some are in the process of creating franchise dealer networks.

“All of the top three in our results are, we believe, adopting a traditional franchise model for their sales and support networks, so at least some dealers in our survey are likely to be actively talking to these manufacturers about their UK strategies.

“What will be interesting over the medium term, of course, is which of these new entrants are able to not just gain a foothold in the UK market but maintain a presence over time. The Financial Times recently forecast that out of 50 companies making electric vehicles in China, only a dozen were expected to survive until the end of the decade. It is a ferociously competitive market.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 301 consumers and 58 dealers were questioned.

About the Startline Used Car Tracker

The Startline Used Car Tracker was launched in April 2022 to produce essential attitudinal data about the used car sector over time. Each month, it asks consumers about their propensity to buy, fuel choices and the factors that will affect used car purchases, as well as questioning dealers about their feelings regarding the prospects of the market, the challenges facing them and their online offering.

The research is carried out for Startline by APD Global Research, well known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs.

About Startline Motor Finance

Founded in 2013, Startline is one of the UK’s leading motor finance companies, providing flexible solutions to around half of the top 50 franchise dealers and 70% of the top 50 independent car retailers measured by turnover, as well as accounting for more than 2% of the motor finance market by volume.

It aims to deliver market-defining levels of customer service, compliance, innovation and insight. The company is headquartered in Glasgow where it employs more than 200 people and has a comprehensive sales presence throughout the whole of the UK.

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