Top 15 Best Chinese Car Brands

While many countries like America, Japan, and Korea were already developing advanced car models, China was still out of touch with this industry. Yet now, the world’s largest automotive industry belongs to this country. But let’s get to know a bit of how it came to this.

 

Before 1903, there were no cars in China. The first car brought to the country was from the American brand Osbourne. A rich man from Shanghai owned it. Then in 1928, general warlord Zhang Xueliang hired an American technician to help manufacture cars.

 

This attempt was successful, and he launched 10 cars in a year. And after 1990, China’s automotive industry kept on rushing higher. By 2011, the country was already making more than 44% of automobiles in local firms.

 

Some of the top-selling Chinese car brands are Geely, Changan, Great Wall, FAW, Lifan, Chery, etc. The country has been manufacturing more cars than many other top car manufacturing countries combined in recent years.

 

Best Chinese Car Brands

There should be a reason why China has the largest automotive industry, right? Even if many of us know very little of the brands, most of them are astonishingly beautiful, versatile, and range from low to high price.

 

I have listed 15 such Chinese car brands for today’s article. So let’s get to know about them.

 

  1. Geely

Chinese Car Brands

Founder: Li Shufu

Founded In: 1986

Website: www.geely.com

 

The Mandarin translation for Geely is lucky. Maybe that’s why this is one of the best Chinese car brands and the top automobile manufacturing company in the country.

 

Li Shufu founded the company in 1986 to manufacture scooters and refrigerators. Then in the mid-90s, the company began manufacturing motorcycles. And by the end of that decade, Geely was already making cars.

 

But they began with producing a small van and got the state’s approval three years later. Now, this Chinese care brand aims to make user-friendly cars innovatively.

 

And in recent years, Geely has become the largest car manufacturing brand in China. In 2010, the brand purchased the Swedish brand Volvo from Ford. Currently, the brand is worth 136 billion yuan.

 

  1. Chery

Chery-Car-logo | Chinese Car Brands

 

Founder: Government of China

Founded In: 1997

Website: www.chery.cn

 

The Government of China founded this brand in 1997. But it manufactured its first car in 1999. The company named the car Fengyun.

 

Chinese car brands are not widely recognized like American, Japanese, or Italian brands. But Chery is a well-known brand in many countries of the world.

 

It is known for making both passenger and commercial vehicles. However, instead of Chery, their commercial vehicles are sold under another brand named Kerry. Though Chery is recognized globally for exporting excellent cars, the brand’s license was restricted from exporting due to insufficient production until 2001.

 

Yet, this brand surprised everyone by becoming the largest automobile exporter from China for nine years. It has also been the largest passenger car exporter for eight years. Chery now aims to increase their car production to 500,000 units per year.

 

  1. Changan

Changan-Car-logo | Chinese Car Brands

Founder: Private Engineering Corporation

Founded In: 1862

Website: www.changan.com.cn

 

The Chang’an Automobile (Group) Co., Ltd. or Changan Automobile is one of the oldest brands that entered the automobile industry and gained success. It was a military supply factory for many years.

 

But the company started to manufacture cars in 1959. This is the famous brand that produced China’s very first mini-vehicle. Generally, Changan is a state-owned brand, but China Weaponry Equipment is its parent company.

 

The word Changan means lasting safety, which is precisely what the brand aims to provide. It has an automotive research and development system to ensure safety by testing and verifying the vehicles.

 

Just like America’s Big Three car brands, Changan belongs to the Big Four of China. Last year, the number of this brand’s users exceeded 19 million.

 

  1. FAW

Founder: Government of China

Founded In: 1953

Website: www.faw.com

 

The FAW Group Corporation began manufacturing automobiles in 1953. The Government of China founded the company, and it specializes in different types of vehicles and their parts.

 

The company launched its first car in 1958. It was China’s first domestically manufactured car. In 1956, the brand was later established under China’s Central Committee’s guidance and the Soviet Union’s assistance.

 

The early passenger cars this brand made were based on the designs of Chrysler and General Motors. Shortly after 1990, FAW had a joint venture with Volkswagen and became the second largest car manufacturing company in China and one of the Big Fours.

 

  1. SAIC Motor

SAIC-Motor-Car-Logo

Founder: Assets Supervision and Administration Commission

Founded In: 1955

Website: www.saicmotor.com

 

SIAC is another state-owned car manufacturing company in China, founded in 1955. This brand is also a part of the Big Four of China.

 

This Chinese car company works on making fuel-efficient and luxurious cars. Being one of the largest Chinese car brands, it gained joint ventures with Volkswagen, Volvo, and General Motors.

 

In 2011, SIAC manufactured 3.9 million cars, becoming China’s largest car producer that year. Other than SIAC, this brand also sells cars under a few other brands’ names, such as Yuejin, Maxus, Roewe, etc.

 

  1. Dongfeng

Dongfeng-Car-logo | Chinese Car Brands

 

Founder: The Government of China

Founded In: 1969

Website: www.dfmc.com.cn

 

Is there anything this brand does not make? Dongfeng is a reputed brand in China that makes passenger cars, buses, commercial vehicles, etc.

 

It is one of the giant brands of China, and now it cooperates with international automotive brands. This brand also has partnerships with six international brands. And its facilities are in various parts of China, such as Xiangyang, Wuhan, Shiyan, etc.

 

Much like some other powerful Chinese car brands, this one was also founded by the Government of China in 1969. The company manufactured commercial vehicles at the beginning but had started making passenger cars since 1978. Now, this giant brand has several joint ventures and even made it to the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest production line.

 

  1. Hongqi

Chinese Car Brands

Founder: FAW

Founded In: 1958

Website: www.faw-hongqi.com.cn

 

In Chinese, the word hongqi means red flag. Well, that explains the beautiful red logo of this brand.

 

Generally, Hongqi is a subdivision of China’s other famous car brand, FAW. It was founded in 1958 with the purpose of making cars only for high-ranked government officers or the elites. But that ceased to exist in 1981.

 

The company was revived again during the mid-90s. This time foreign brands began producing and selling their cars under the Hongqi brand.

 

Now, it manufactures both expensive and affordable models and is among the well-known car brands in China. In 2014, Hongqi sold around 1000 units of its H7 model to the People’s Liberation Army.

 

  1. BYD Auto

 

BYD-Car-logo

Founder: Wang Chuanfu

Founded In: 2003

Website: www.byd.com

 

Even though the BYD auto began its journey in 2003, it was originally founded by Wang Chuanfu in 1995. The company made rechargeable batteries, and it was pretty much competition against the Japanese market.

 

In 2003, the brand joined the automotive industry. BYD manufactures passenger cars, buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles from then on. Nevertheless, the company is still active in making batteries.

 

In 2008, the brand began selling its first plugged-in hybrid vehicle. Now, this Chinese car brand manufactures electric buses and luxury vehicles.

 

  1. Great Wall

Great-Wall-Car-logo

Founder: Wei Jianjun

Founded In: 1984

Website: www.gwm.com.cn

 

We all know and never fail to get mesmerized by the Great Wall of China. Maybe the founder of Great Wall Motors had a similar vision when naming the brand. Wei Jianjun founded this vehicle manufacturing company in 1984 and named it after this Wonder of the World.

 

The logo represents the gatekeeper of the Great Wall of China who sends smoke signals or stores weapons. Thus, the logo means power and reliability. Another way to interpret this logo is the growth of the company, just like the never-ending walls.

 

The company began manufacturing cars to meet the logistic firms’ growing demands. And now, it is the largest SUVs and pickup truck manufacturer in China.

 

  1. BAIC Motors

Chinese Car Brands

 

Founder: Government of China

Founded In: 1958

Website: www.baicgroup.com.cn

 

The Chinese car brands that the Government of China has founded over the years and decades seem never-ending. Here is another state-owned Chinese automotive brand you should know about.

 

This vehicle brand does not just make passenger cars. You will also find BAIC commercial cars, SUVs, military vehicles, trucks, and buses.

 

The brand is also known for making machines and vehicle parts. BAIC makes cars for other famous brands like Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai for local markets. It is one of the top five automobile makers in China.

 

  1. Lifan

Lifan-Car-logo | Chinese Car Brands

Founder: Yin Mingshan

Founded In: 1992

Website: www.lifanmotos.net

 

Lifan started as a motorbike repairing company, which it still does. China’s former politician Yin Mingshan founded the company in 1992 and called it the Chongqing Hongda Auto Fittings Research Center. It was a team of nine staff at the time.

 

But in 1997, the company was named the Lifan Industry Group and began manufacturing its own motorbikes. The company continued expanding and, eventually, became the largest motorbike producing company in China.

 

Just a decade after the brand began its new journey, it already had around 10 plants in China. Unfortunately, Lifan went bankrupt in 2020, only 23 after its most significant step.

 

  1. GAC

GAC-Group-Car-logo

Founder: Government of China

Founded In: 1997

Website: www.gagc.com.cn

 

Though GAC or Guangzhou Automobile Group was founded in 1997, it became the Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group’s holding in 2005. And in 2009, this brand has already got the name for becoming the 6th largest automaker in China.

 

Even though you will get these cars under the GAC logo, you will also find passenger and commercial vehicles under Trumpchi and Gonow brand names.

 

The brand became well-known around China for manufacturing fuel-efficient vehicles. It also makes cars for international brands to meet local market demands.

 

  1. Foton

Brilliance-Car-logo

Founder: BAIC Group

Founded In: 1996

Website: www.foton-global.com

 

When Foton was founded in 1996, it was a small concern. But in 1997, it became a separate subdivision. And now it is reputed for manufacturing small to large trucks and agricultural machines.

 

In 2010, the brand established its headquarter in Moscow, Russia. Then it began expanding itself in other international markets.

 

The brand now operates under BAIC automobile company. By 2010 the brand had sold approximately 640,000 vehicles in China.

 

  1. Brilliance Auto

Brilliance-Car-logo

 

Founder: Yang Rong / Government of China

Founded In: 1992

Website: www.brilliance-auto.com

 

Here we go again! The renowned Brilliance Auto is another state-owned automobile company in China. Yang Rong founded the company in 1992, and it has been operating for 30 years now.

 

Originally, the brand manufactured and sold buses but then moved to sedans, minivans, and various other models. Brilliance sells its commercial vehicles under Jinbei and Granse brand names. And I should mention that 70% of production is economical sedans.

 

Its successful operations made it one of China’s top ten largest car brands. Now, the brand also operates with the famous German brand BMW.

 

  1. JAC Motors

JAC-Motors-Car-Logo

 

Founder: Dennis Bedford

Founded In: 1964

Website: www.jac.com.cn

 

When the company was established in 1964, it was named the Hefei Jianghuai Automobile Factory. But in 1997, the company’s name changed to Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd., and it remains the company’s official name till today.

 

JAC Motors has always been famous for making excellent-quality trucks and SUVs. But the company expanded its production to off-road and dump trucks.

 

The company produces around 500,000 engines and 700,000 vehicles annually. And other than China, the brand operates in Africa, Asia, South America, etc.

 

Conclusion

Unless you are a car nerd, it can be a little challenging to name a few Chinese car brands. Yet, Chinese cars claim a large part of the automotive market in the domestic and international markets.

 

The brands I have mentioned are some of the top-selling and popular ones in China. Many of them are now also famous internationally.

 

Since many Chinese cars come at an affordable price, they have become an excellent option for many users. So, are you planning to get yourself a vehicle from any of these brands?