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Tesla Model 3 isn't China's top selling EV -- it's a GM vehicle

The tiny Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV outsold Tesla's electric sedan and costs a fraction of the price.

Wuling Hong Guang
Cheap, basic and zero-emissions.

Move over, Tesla, here comes the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV. According to a Tuesday report from Reuters, this boxy little electric car became China's best selling EV in August just a month after it launched. The Hong Guang's impressive first month sales figures unseated the Tesla Model 3 as the country's best selling electric car.

Wuling, a General Motors brand sold only in China, sold 15,000 Hong Guang Mini EVs in August after announcing the car this past July. Reuters, citing Chinese industry data, said Tesla only sold 11,800 Model 3 sedans during the same period. Part of the Hong Guang Mini EV's success is likely due to its price; Chinese buyers can purchase the boxy EV for just $4,200 at current exchange rates. For comparison, the Model 3 starts at $42,691 locally.

Wuling confirmed the recent sales data with Roadshow.

To be fair, the specs hardly make both cars direct rivals. When the Hong Guang debuted, Wuling said the EV goes about 105 miles on a single charge and it makes just 17 horsepower and 63 pound-feet of torque. Really, that's all. And just to key you into how small the Hong Guang really is, it measures 117 inches long. Taking a tape measure to a Mini Cooper reveals a 151 inch length. So, yes, this is a very basic and small electric car for China.

But, clearly, it has an audience in the unique autos market that exists in China. In the past, GM said it plans to focus on more luxury EVs for the Cadillac brand locally while other EV efforts focus on incredibly affordable models. The Hong Guang Mini EV is proof GM probably has a good strategy on its hands.

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