Similar to most trends in China, the Chinese car manufacturing industry is growing. This growth is due in part to their own domestic market being the largest in the world, but surprisingly China’s car exports are projected to be more than 1 million cars in 2012. So why aren't we in the West familiar with any Chinese car brands? There are plenty of cars built in China that are running on American roads but Chinese car brands are still relatively unknown in the US. Probably countries with the largest amounts of Chinese exports like Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Russia and Chile are more knowledgeable about these six Chinese car brands. Learn more about the six car brands you’ve never heard of by reading below.

Brand name: Chery (奇瑞汽车 pinyin: qíruì qìchē)
Founding date: 1997
Manufacturing location: Anhui, Liaoning, Jiangsu provinces
Car types produced: Commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and mini-vans
Exports Destinations: Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Iran, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Macedonia, Turkey, and Italy, etc.
Most popular model: Chery QQ3 city car (30,900 RMB+)

Chery QQ3 (source:

Chery QQ3 (source:

Brand name: FAW (First Automobile Works) (第一汽车 pinyin: dìyī qìchē)
Founding date: 1953
Manufacturing location: Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Hainan, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and Tianjin municipality.
Car types produced: Full range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and auto parts
Export Destinations: Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, and Uruguay
Most popular model: Besturn B50 (92,800 RMB+)


FAW Besturn B50 (source:

Brand name: BYD (Build Your Dreams) (比亚迪汽车 pinyin: biyàdì qìchē)
Founding date: 2003
Manufacturing location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, Xi’an and Shanghai
Car Types produced: Commercial and passenger vehicles
Export Destinations: Bahrain, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, and Moldova, and electric cars in USA
Most popular model: F0 (40,900 RMB+)

F0 (source:

Brand name: Great Wall Motors (长城汽车 pinyin: chángchéng qìchē)
Founding date: 1976
Manufacturing location: Baodin, Hebei Province
Car types produced: Passenger vehicles
Export Destinations: Africa, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Russia, South America, South Asia and the South Pacific
Most popular model: Haval H3 (89,800 RMB+)

Haval H3 (source:

Haval H3 (source:

Brand name: JAC Motors (安徽江准汽车 pinyin: ānhuījiāngzhun qìchē)
Founding date: 1964
Manufacturing location: Hefei, Anhui Province
Car types produced: Commercial and passenger vehicles
Export Destinations: USA, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Most popular model: JAC Jojoy (52,800 RMB+)


JAC Jojoy (source:

Brand name: Lifan Group (力帆实业 pinyin: lìfānshíyè)
Founding date: 1992
Manufacturing location: Chongqing
Car types produced: Passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, and motorcycles
Export Destinations: Ethiopia, Japan, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, and countries in South America
Most popular model: Lifan 620 (80,000 RMB+)

Lifan 620 (source: )

Lifan 620 (source:

These car companies are making quite a splash on the international scene, but out of the sight of most American consumers. As more Chinese companies such as Geely buy large well-known brands like Volvo, these Chinese car brand names will become better and possibly American household names. I hope this information about these car brands can be useful to you and gives you a solid introduction to the basics about Chinese car manufacturers.

Author: Kate Austermiller & Laetitia Tay