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29 May 2023

New Chinese cars launched in UAE: Will you buy one?

Michel Ayat, CEO of AWR Automotive, and Yang Bo, General Manager of DFM, at the launch of the vehicles in Dubai. (Supplied)

By Waheed Abbas

The UAE automobile scene is dominated by the Japanese, European, Korean or American brands. But of late, Chinese automobile manufacturers have also been driving into the UAE to increase sales in the overseas markets.

Several Chinese car brands, such as Chery, Foton, Great Wall Motors and GAC Motors, are already present in the UAE.

The latest entrant is Dongfeng Motors, ranked #142 among Fortune Global 500, #16 among China’s top 500 enterprises, and #3 among China's top 500 manufacturers.

Though the Chinese automotive firms are banking on their less expensive prices to drive sales, there remains a question-mark on the perception of their quality.

Dongfeng Motors has signed an agreement with AW Rostamani Trading for the distribution of the vehicles in the UAE, launching two models the S30 and H30 Cross in the country.

The S30 sedan and H30 Cross are available in Elegant and Nobel models, with a 4 cylinder 1.6L AT engine and a DOHC, 16V, VVT, aluminium engine respectively.

The vehicles’ four-airbag design relieves impact force more effectively, while ABS+EBD, automatic A/C and power windows accompany a go-home light function with 360 degree light. A driver computer with reverse radar information are standard features, while a power sunroof and multi-functional steering wheel with acoustic control and cruise control are available for the Nobel models.

According to chinaautoweb.com, the H30 crossover is priced between 86,800 yuan (Dh51,400) and 97,800 (Dh57,900) while the S30 Sedan is priced between 78,800 yuan (Dh40,100)  and 79,800 (Dh47,000). The prices of the vehicles, however, could vary in the UAE.

Though China’s automotive market is dominated by the foreign brand, however, the local brands are also now gaining market share.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China's domestic automakers gained market share in March by 4.3 percentage points after selling 819,200 units. Foreign brands grew more slowly than the overall market in March.

Sales of passenger vehicles in world's largest auto market rose 9.4 per cent to 1.87 million last month, from 6.4 per cent in February,

Michel Ayat, CEO of AWR Automotive, said: “We are confident that Dongfeng’s high quality standards that result in excellent products, combined with AWR’s known customer service, will ensure the success of the Dongfeng brand in the region.”