Chinese are going to take over European Car of the Year 2024

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The candidates for the Car of the Year in Europe 2024 have been revealed with seven made-in-China models. There are 28 candidates in the list. And 25% of them can be labeled as “Chinese cars”. The Magnificent Seven comprises BYD Atto 3 (Yuan Plus), BYD Han, BYD Dolphin, BYD Seal, Nio ET7, Smart #1, and Volvo EX30. 

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Why are Smart #1 and Volvo EX30 Chinese cars?

We foresee a discussion over the Smart #1 and Volvo EX30. We will explain it in detail to those who disagree with our statement about these vehicles’ origin.

In 2020, Geely took 50% of Smart shares from Mercedes-Benz. The two companies aimed to develop a new generation of all-electric Smart models. In 2021, Geely and Mercedes-Benz established the Smart Automobile JV with a headquarters in Ningbo, Hangzhou province. In this JV, Mercedes is responsible for styling new Smart EVs, while Geely focuses on engineering.

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The first electric vehicle from the Smart Automobile JV is the Smart #1. It stands on the SEA platform developed by Geely. Viridi E-mobility Technology (Geely’s subsidiary) manufactures electric motors of the Smart #1. CALB supplies the 66-kWh ternary (NMC) battery of the Smart #1, and Rept Battero produces the 49-kWh LFP pack. The mass production of the Smart #1 takes place at Geely’s Zhejiang Haoqing plant. As for the Mercedes-Benz team, they worked on the exterior and interior look of the Smart #1. This is why it has a “styled by Mercedes” badge on the B-pillar.

The Volvo EX30 also stands on the SEA platform designed by Geely. Shandong Geely Sunwoda Power Battery, the joint venture between Geely and Sunwoda, manufactures its ternary (NMC) battery pack. Viridi E-Mobility Technology supplies electric motors of the EX30. The manufacturing process of this model takes place at the Zhejiang Haoqing plant, according to the MIIT announcement. It is the same factory that manufactures Smart #1. Volvo (owned by Geely) plans to produce the EX30 at the Ghet plant in Belgium in 2025. But at the very moment, this electric SUV’s birthplace is China.

Smart #1 and Volvo EX30 both have European heritage. But they are, in fact, Chinese cars. 

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Seven Chinese cars at the EU Car of the Year 2024

So, there are seven Chinese candidates for the Car of the Year in Europe 2024. It is 25% of total number of competitors. For clarity, Japanese cars account 21.4% (6); German: 17.8% (5); North American: 10.7% (3); South Korea: 10.7% (3); France: 10.7% (3); Italy: 3.7% (1). So, China has the biggest share at the CotY. Here is a full list of contenders:

  • BMW 5-Series
  • BMW XM
  • BYD Atto 3
  • BYD Dolphin
  • BYD Han
  • BYD Seal
  • Fiat 600e
  • Ford Bronco
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda e:NY1
  • Honda ZR-V
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6
  • Hyundai Kona
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kia EV9
  • Lexus RZ
  • Lucid Air
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Mercedes-EQ EQE SUV
  • Nio ET7
  • Peugeot E-3008/3008
  • Renault Espace
  • Renault Scenic
  • Smart #1
  • Toyota C-HR
  • Toyota Prius 
  • Volkswagen ID.7
  • Volvo EX30

Every candidate is a new car that is on sale now or will be on sale in five or more European markets. There will be two stages of voting. After Stage 1, the pool will be whittled down to seven nominees. This list will be announced on November 27. Stage 2’s voting will find the EU Car of the Year 2024 winner. The winner will be revealed on February 26 at Geneva Motorshow. The Jury consists of 59 members from 22 countries. Two Russian members are still suspended. 

Let’s cross our fingers and wait for November 27. There is a chance that one of the China-made vehicles can make it to the second stage. Moreover, there is the slightest chance that all seven Chinese candidates will form Stage 2. 

Source: Car of the Year, Smart, MIIT, Sohu

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    • Hi, Dick vd Vaart
      Thank you for your comment. I didn’t include the Honda e:NY1 in the list of “Chinese cars” since it doesn’t stand on the Chinese platform and still has reasonable amount of Japanese tech on board. But we can say that it is a semi-Chinese car 😀

  1. Your headline says “EU Car of the Year” – this award has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EU AT ALL, it is simply based on a collaboration of auto journalists throughout Europe – Including, for example, Norway, Turkey and Russia, none of which are part of the EU.
    Please don’t confuse Europe the geographic area, with “The EU” which is a political project.

  2. Congratulations to China on reaching European car of the year 2024, It’s well deserved as the calibre & quality of their BEV’s are superb. Legacy auto must be quaking in their boots over how the Chinese automakers have conquered Europe with their electric car offerings.
    As of now they’re the only affordable EV’s for the masses to transition over to electric compared to the expensive offerings of the western carmakers.

  3. I feel that Chinese patriotism is more an more valued higher on this site than the journalistic, neutral point of view. I find this problematic and a bit sad because I really like the site.
    Concerning this article: This list is simply a list of the cars that have been or will be newly launched in Europe. So to keep it simple: You dont need to even launch a car in Europe to make this list. Lots of them actually havent been launched in Europe.

    • Hi Felix. The list is made by European Car of the Year.

      Also sorry to hear you think that. We value being unbiased and neutral the most. Actually, we had different problem as we got for example banned for a short time in Shenzen in early 2010s as we made fun of BYD copycat cars a lot. Still, thanks for your opinion and whenever you feel we have “favorite child”, contact me at jiri at carnewschina dot com.


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