Launched in 2006, Roewe took its time to eventually become a mainstream brand. Now, with the addition of more SUVs and electrified models, sales are hitting new heights with home market registrations double those for MG, SAIC’s other car division.
CAAM is yet to release sales data for September by make and model. Numbers for August show Roewe passed the 300,000 mark with the RX5, an SUV accounting for close to half the brand’s volume. Had Chery (33,803, +49%) not had such a strong month, Roewe (33,414, +10%) would have moved up another place into 17th position. Year to date though, it’s well ahead of Chery, having sold 307,161 vehicles compared to 270,168. Over the first eight months, Roewe sales were strong enough to give the brand 15th place, putting it behind Mercedes and well ahead of some big names such as BMW, Dongfeng and BYD.
SAIC is keeping the flow of new models coming, as the launch this month of the Marvel X shows. There are two choices of power for this 4.7m long electric SUV. The cheaper of these comprises a two-motor set-up which also means rear-wheel drive and a claimed range of up to 500km. Roewe hasn’t stated full details of the three-motor option, only that this also means standard all-wheel drive. The vehicle will likely have several battery upgrades during what should be a seven-year life cycle, with a facelift probably in mid-2022.
A future SUV which is said to be around the same size as the Marvel X will likely be called RX7. Unlike the electric SUV, which is said to employ a new SAIC electric vehicles architecture, the RX7 should be based on the company’s existing SSA platform, and offer front- as well as all-wheel drive variants but no fully electric version. The Vision E, a concept which premiered at the Shanghai motor show in April 2017, has been spoken of as a strong sign of what the RX7 will look like. The market release is expected to take place within months.
The additional SUV will be positioned just below the RX8, a 4.9m long model which has been available in China since March. Monthly sales have averaged between 1,500 and 2,000 units. The big SUV is available with five or seven seats and uses the same body-on-frame platform as two other SAIC models, the Maxus/LDV T60 pick-up and D90 SUV. The RX8 should be facelifted in 2021 and replaced in 2025.
As mentioned above, Roewe’s real star is the RX5. This SUV has been available in China since the start of 2017. Sales have risen and risen and are now knocking on the door of 20,000 a month due to the popularity of two New Energy Vehicle derivatives. These are the eRX5, which is a plug-in hybrid, and the fully electric ERX5. All should be facelifted in 2020 and replaced towards the end of 2023.
The RX5 was the first vehicle for SAIC’s SSA architecture. The company also sells this model under the MG marque in some countries: the model name is also RX5.
The brand’s smallest SUV is the RX3. Premiering at the Chengdu motor show in August 2017, it was in dealerships three months later. This 4.4m long model is manufactured at a plant in Zhengzhou. The RX3 was the first vehicle for this factory, which has an annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles. The model is based on the C architecture, as is the MG ZS, which is around the same size. The RX3 should have a facelift in 2021 and be succeeded by a new model in 2024.
The 360 is a 4.6m long sedan which replaced the 350. It went on sale in China in August 2015, offering the choice of normally aspirated 1.5-litre and GM-sourced turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engines. The 360 shares its platform and wheelbase with GM China’s Chevrolet Cruze. A facelifted version was released in the Chinese market during September 2017. The replacement will likely use GM and SAIC’s GEM architecture. It is due to be released in the second half of 2020 although that could become 2021.
The i6, a 4,671mm long sedan, was a world premiere at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2016. It replaced the smaller 550, a sedan which had been intended to be a rival for GM China’s Chevrolet Cruze. This is Roewe’s most successful car, sales in China being in excess of 60,000 units so far this year.
Production of the i6 commenced in January 2017 and the car went on sale during the following month. The MG 6 is closely related to this sedan. There should be a facelift in 2020 with a successor scheduled for 2024.
The ei6 is to be a plug-in hybrid version of the i6 (Roewe PHEVs mostly have an e in their name while fully electric models usually have an E). The PHEV, which has been shown as a prototype, has a deeper grille than the ei6 and is powered by the combination of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and one electric motor.
As well as being an electric car, the Ei5 is unusual for being a wagon. This EV is said to share its platform with the Roewe 360 and Buick Excelle GX and it is of a similar size to those cars. The first time that the Ei5 was seen was as a prototype at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2017. Production commenced in May and monthly sales since them have averaged 4,000 cars.
The Ei5 will likely have a facelift in the final quarter of 2021 and then be replaced in 2025.
SAIC is said to have a sedan version of the Ei5 in development. The model name is rumoured to be i5. Some insiders say that the car will have combustion engines to further distinguish it from the Ei5 but it will surely offer a PHEV optionm which would mean a model name of ei5. The Chinese market release should take place in 2019.
The largest car in the Roewe line-up is the 950. Monthly sales of this sedan have dwindled into three figures and a replacement is imminent. There is also an electified e950 derivative.
The next 950 is expected to have been previewed by the Roewe Vision R, a concept which premiered at November 2015’s Guangzhou motor show. This gold-painted design study was similar in stance to the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé. The new model should be based upon the latest Buick LaCrosse and therefore use GM’s E2XX platform.
Recent reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.
Future product program intelligence
More detail on the past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.