Having car brands from China here in Malaysia isn’t a new thing – Chery, Changan, GWM/Haval have had multiple stabs at our local market over the past ten, 20 years. But the arrival of Geely as Proton’s partner recently has seemingly opened the floodgates to more carmakers from the Middle Kingdom.

Once wary of generic-looking cut-price knockoffs with questionable quality and reliability, Malaysians appear to have warmed up to cars of Chinese origins. Geely-based Proton SUVs are now the best-selling models in their respective segments.

In the recent weeks, we’ve seen spyshots of the GAC Trumpchi GS3 Power and Chery Tiggo 5x SUVs testing on local roads. The DFSK Glory 580 made a quiet local entry last year, while an unexpected newcomer in the form of the Seiyong S1 EV is set to arrive soon too. Meanwhile, GWM announced big plans for Thailand, and we may see the Haval H6 here too.

Now, is this onslaught of new Chinese brands a concern for the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA)? We posed that very question at today’s press conference.

“We are expecting a lot more new players from China to enter Malaysia, but whatever it is, competition is healthy. We cannot help it, because in terms of technology they are also very advanced, and they have EV vehicles too. The government will not stop them from entering our market, so we will have to accept the fact that there will be new entries in the market from China,” said MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad.

It sure looks like we’ll have interesting times ahead with plenty of new players in the fray. Where do you stand on this – would you consider vehicles from Chinese brands for your next purchase, or would you prefer to stick to more established carmakers? Also, which new Chinese brand are you most looking forward to here in Malaysia?