There are a lot of huge car brands that are largely unknown outside of their home country, take a look at some of the biggest that you may not have heard of.
Chery is one of the largest car manufacturers in China and is government owned. In the first half of 2010 it had sold 163,500 cars, including the Tiggo and QQ3 models. It’s had a slightly dodgy past, General Motors took legal action accusing Chery of copying their design of the Chevrolet Spark. Chery cars are built all over the world, with factories in Malaysia, Istanbul, Russia and Egypt.
Maruti is easily the biggest car manufacturer in India. 45% of the cars sold there come from Maturi. Part owned by Suzuki, it produces a range of affordable vehicles, with the most popular being the Suzuki badged Alto. They sold over 210,000 of these in 2009, which is more cars than the total number of Volkswagens sold in the UK for the same year.
Lada is a Russian brand that some may have heard of, probably from an old joke such as ‘What do you call a Lada at the top of a hill?’, answer ‘A miracle’. They were sold in the UK for a while, where they had the same sort of reputation that Skoda used to have. However in Russia they are very popular, with their cars consistently being the top 4 models sold each month.
Roewe is a Chinese marque which produces cars that are based on the MG Rover technology that its parent firm, SAIC, bought. Hence the name that sounds a little like Rover and the vaguely familiar badge. No one is quite sure how exactly how many Roewes have been built, as SAIC haven’t released figures yet.
BYD are a large Chinese brand that produce China’s 4th most popular car, the very bland F3. They also sell cars to Russia and Bahrain, with further plans to expand to other countries. In 2010 the company sold 520,000 cars, which is about twice the number Ford managed to sell in the UK last year.
Holden is an Australian brand that most car enthusiasts will have heard of, but it isn’t widely known outside of its home country. The brand has a huge racing presence in the domestic touring car championships, which has helped the Holden Commodore be the top selling car in Australia for 15 consecutive years.