$4,100 “mini electric car” surpasses Tesla in sales in China
Since the opening of its “Gigafactory” in Shanghai, Tesla has been an absolute leader in electric car sales in China. But the scenario changed in January thanks to a mini car of just $4.100, the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV.
The compact is the result of a joint venture between the Chinese automaker SAIC and the American General Motors. According to data from the portal specialized in electric cars, Electrek, the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV sold more than 36,000 units, against 13,000 Model 3 and 1,600 Model Y vehicles, both from Tesla.
However, when considering the entire period since the inauguration of the Gigafactory, which took place in October 2019, Tesla still leads the Chinese EV market with ease. In 2020, Elon Musk’s automaker delivered no less than 100,000 units adding up all the models.
That number made its flagship, the Model 3, the best-selling electric in China in 2020, and surpassed all the country’s local automakers in the segment.
The technical specifications of the SAIC-GM compact are not at all impressive compared not only with the Tesla, but with most of the EVs available on the market. The small 13kWh battery, for example, has a range of only between 120 and 170 km (between 74 and 105 miles).
In addition, calling the model compact is no exaggeration, as it is only 2.9 meters long, 1.5 wide and 1.6 tall. Which helps when parking, but does not guarantee much comfort. However, the price is far below competitors, which can make up for these issues.
With this volume of sales, it is possible to project that, soon, this will become one of the most popular models in China, this success made SAIC-GM start to mobilize to expand its chain of retail stores across the country.