Croatia Full Year 2017: Skoda Octavia #1 for 3rd time, market up 15.1%

The Skoda Octavia is the best-selling vehicle in Croatia for the first time since 2014.

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 15 years worth of Croatia Historical Data here

The Croatian new car market posts a fourth consecutive year of gains in 2017 at +15.1% to 50.769 registrations, however still very far off the record 88,265 units registered in 2008. Volkswagen remains by far the most popular carmaker in the country despite trailing the market at +10% to 14% share. Skoda on the other hand soars 32% and two spots on 2016 to 2nd place and 9.3% share, dislodging Opel (+13%) and Renault (+24%) while Ford (+27%), Suzuki (+32%) and Hyundai (+13%) camp on their position. Dacia (+15%) overtakes Peugeot (-1%) for 8th place overall with Toyota (+6%) remaining at #10. Below, Fiat (+58%), Jaguar (+76%) and, bizarrely, Lancia (+396%) are among the most dynamic in 2017.

Over in the models ranking, the Skoda Octavia races up 44% and two spots to snap the Croatian pole position for the third time ever after 2011 and 2014, ending two consecutive years of VW Golf reign, the latter down 1% and three ranks to #4 this year. The Renault Clio (+32%) remains in second place, while the Ford Focus (+48%) steps up two spots to #3. The Opel Astra (+11%) is down one rank to #5, the Suzuki Vitara (+9%) remains at #6, the Opel Corsa (+24%) is up two to #7 and the VW Polo (-13%) down one to #8. Exceptional performance of the Dacia Duster surging 74% and 9 spots to #9 for the last year of the outgoing generation, while below the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (+208%), VW Tiguan (+115%), Hyundai i20 (+86%) and VW Up (+45%) make themselves noticed.

Previous month: Croatia November 2017: Focus and Kuga push Ford up to 17.6% share

Previous year: Croatia Full Year 2016: VW Golf leads, Ford Focus and Suzuki Vitara up

Two years ago: Croatia Full Year 2015: VW Golf reclaims #1 spot, Renault Clio up 81%

Full Year 2017 Top 35 All-brands and Top 20 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 25 All-brands and Top 20 models below.

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Singapore Full Year 2017: Toyota reclaims #1 spot, Mazda3 shines

Mazda sales are up 20% in Singapore in 2017. The 3 outsells the Corolla. 

* See the Top 60 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Consult 12 years worth of Singapore Historical Data here

Lower prices for Certificates of Entitlement (COE) (the permit to drive your car in the country) continue to fuel growth for the Singaporean new car market: after a 99% surge in 2015, and a 52% gain in 2016, sales are up another 5% in 2017 to 91.922 units. Toyota (incl. Lexus) reclaims the brands top spot off Honda despite trailing the market at +4% to 20.8% share whereas Honda plunges 17% to 17.4% vs. 22.1% in 2016. Mazda (+20%) remains in third place, followed by Mercedes (+24%) and BMW (+22%) both overtaking Nissan (-25%). Kia soars 63% and five spots to #7, Hyundai is up 35% to #9, Seat is up 1321%, BYD up 800%, Perodua up 594%, Jeep up 467%, Opel up 299%, Aston Martin up 107%, Renault up 66%, Land Rover up 36% and Bentley and Rolls Royce both up 32%. French electric carmaker Bluecar lands at #27. Model-wise, the Honda Vezel should remain the overall best-seller thanks to strong grey market sales, while halfway through the year the Mazda3 had overtaken the Toyota Corolla to #1 model through the authorised sales channels (3.091 sales vs. 2.422).

Previous month: Singapore November 2017: Mercedes and BMW shine in market up 2.5%

Previous year: Singapore Full Year 2016: Vezel parallel imports push Honda to #1

Two years ago: Singapore Full Year 2015: Lower COE has market double year-on-year

Full Year 2017 Top 60 All-brands vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 40 All-brands ranking below.

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Pakistan Full Year 2017: Toyota Corolla #1, Honda up 49% in record market

The Toyota Corolla has been #1 in Pakistan for nine consecutive years.

* See Top 5 Pakistan-made brands and Top 15 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 23 years worth of Pakistan Historical Data here

Only sales data for locally-made vehicles is published by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association, however this is still a pretty accurate representation of the most popular new cars in the country as imports remain limited due to very high duties. Sales of cars made in Pakistan are up a splendid 18.4% year-on-year in 2017 to a record 239.725 units, eclipsing the previous high of 224.237 established in 2015. It is the third consecutive time (and ever) that the Pakistani market is above 200.000 annual units. The Pakistan-made brand panorama goes from 5 brands in 2016 to just 3 this year, with Sigma (Land Rover) and Hyundai disappearing from the charts. Suzuki remains firmly on top, evolving like the market at +18% to 53.7% share, whereas Toyota loses almost five percentage points of market share (from 30.6% to 25.7%) due to deliveries down 1% year-on-year. The winner of the year is Honda, up a stunning 49% to 19.7% of the market vs. 15.7% a year ago.

The Honda BR-V kick started production in Pakistan in 2017. 

Model-wise, the Toyota Corolla celebrates nine consecutive year atop the Pakistani charts but drops 6% to see its share tumble down from 27.4% to 21.8%. The Suzuki Mehran remains in 2nd place with sales up 18% to 17.9% while the Suzuki Wagon R storms into the podium with a 87% gain, up 5 spots on 2016 to #3. The Honda Civic is propelled up 73% by the new generation to #4, with the Suzuki Bolan and Ravi both stable vs. 2016 resulting is vastly inferior market shares at 8.4% and 8.3% respectively. Thanks to the new model, the Suzuki Cultus is up 27% but down one spot to #7 while the Toyota Fortuner is up 5-fold on its 2016 score but down one spot to #12. Finally, a rare event in Pakistan: a new nameplate kick-started production in 2017: the Honda BR-V, ending the year above 7.000 units and peaking at 1.248 sales in November.

Previous month: Pakistan November 2017: Honda up 44% in market up 18.1%

Previous year: Pakistan Full Year 2016: Toyota Corolla tops market down 10%

Two years ago: Pakistan Full Year 2015: Toyota Corolla resists Suzuki Bolan/Ravi assault

Full Year and December 2017 Top 5 Pakistan-made brands and Top 15 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Chile Full Year 2017: Hyundai, Mitsubishi L200 top market up 18.1%

The Mitsubishi L200 is the best-selling vehicle in Chile in 2017. Picture honestjohn.co.uk

* See the Top 60 All-brands and Top 40 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 15 years worth of Chile Historical Data here

The Chilean new car market shoots up 18.1% year-on-year in 2017 to 360.900 registrations, the best year for this market since 2013 (378.240) and the best year-on-year improvement since 2011 (+21.4%). The brands podium remains unchanged on 2016 with Hyundai in the lead (+6%) followed by Chevrolet (+12%) and Kia (+4%) although all three lose market share vs. last year. Nissan (+23%) overtakes Suzuki (+13%) with Toyota (+26%), Peugeot (+15%), Ford (+17%), Mazda (+21%) and Mitsubishi (+18%) staying put in the remainder of the Top 10. Just outside, Volkswagen (+60%), Renault (+35%) and Citroen (+26%) shine while among smaller brands Skoda (+25%), BMW (+32%), Maserati (+264%), DS (+370%) and Proton (+467%) make themselves noticed.

The Chevrolet Sail remains the most popular passenger car in the country. 

But the heroes of the year are Chinese manufacturers, surging 51% on 2016 to hit 10.3% market share vs. just 8% a year ago. They are led by Chery (+94%), JAC (+49%), Great Wall Group (+46%) and Changan (+38%), all frankly outpacing the market to land inside the Top 25, followed by Dongfeng (+12%), MG (+64%), BAIC (+122%), Foton (+94%), Maxus (+474%), FAW (+63%), Brilliance (-4%) and Lifan (+58%).

Hyundai is the best-selling brand for the second year running.

Model-wise, the Mitsubishi L200 pickup reclaims the overall lead (no data available in 2016) with 2.7% of the market, distancing the Chevrolet Sail (2.7% also), Hyundai Accent (2.6%), Toyota Hilux (2.5%) and Kia Morning (2.2%). The Nissan NP300 (2.2%) makes it three pickups in the Top 6, while the Toyota RAV4 (#9) remains the most popular SUV in Chile above the Nissan Qashqai (#13, Ford Ecosport (#16) and Chevrolet D-Max (#19). Notice also the Ssangyong Actyon Sports at #13, the Nissan Kicks above 3.000 sales and best-selling all-new launch for 2017, the Hyundai Creta just under 2.900 units, the Chevrolet N300 Max (aka Wuling Rongguang) at 1.750 sales and the Foton Midi at 1.400.

Previous month: Chile November 2017: Suzuki on top, Chinese up 55%, market up 19.9%

Previous year: Chile Full Year 2016: Chevrolet Sail resumes domination, Hyundai #1 brand

Two years ago: Chile Full Year 2015: Hyundai Accent edges past Mitsubishi L200

Full Year 2017 Top 60 All-brands and Jan-Nov Top 40 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

Full December 2017 Top 50 brands ranking below.

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Media post: Car-Friendliest Cities in the United States and Around the World

Living in a city can be exciting and stressing at the same time; and drivers are probably the ones that are most aware of the good and bad things that come with urban life. You are close to everything, it’s hard to get bored and you have the chance to meet new people around the corner almost every day.

Whether you own a car or rent one to move around, not all cities are equally car-friendly. In some of them, filling up the tank at the pump can cost quite a fortune while in others insurance costs are much more affordable. A good or poor urban planning as well as the presence or lack of civil education and rudeness can also affect how comfortable and confident drivers feel.

Maybe it’s time for change of scenery… or maybe it’s time to realize that where you live driving is not as bad as it seems. Go on reading to discover the car-friendliest cities in the United States and in the world!

With A Global Perspective

When thinking globally, Germany and Switzerland can feel really proud: 3 and 2 of their cities have made it to the top 10 considering the congestion level and the average speed from the airport to downtown. According to a study by kfzteile24, these are the friendliest urban developments for cars and drivers:

  1. Dusseldorf, Germany: With only 20% congestion and 21.20mph average speed, it is the car-friendliest city in the world!
  2. Dubai, UAE: 26% congestion, 31.70 mph average speed
  3. Zurich, Switzerland: 26% congestion, 30.50 mph average speed
  4. Tokyo, Japan: 31% congestion, 25.50 mph average speed
  5. Basel, Switzerland: 27% congestion, 17.50 mph average speed
  6. Singapore, Singapore: 38% congestion, 32.40 mph average speed
  7. Dortmund, Germany: 23% congestion, 19.90 mph average speed
  8. Vienna, Austria: 31% congestion, 28 mph average speed
  9. Munich, Germany: 30% congestion, 27.40 mph average speed
  10.  Calgary, Canada: 20% congestion, 26.80 mph average speed

And What About Driving In The US?

Not all US drivers are equally happy with their driving conditions. Traffic delays, the cost of gas and insurance and the likelihood of having an accident all sum up to the rank of the American car-friendliest cities. Is your city on the list? Or isn’t even mentioned? Do you find the cities in the ranking surprising? According to data available from late 2016, these are the US cities where driving is far from being a nightmare!

1- Raleigh, NC: Gas prices are around 7% lower than the national average and insurance rates are 35% below average. Besides, Raleigh’s relatively low population density makes for shorter commute times and more available street parking spots.

2- Charlotte, NC: Gas prices and insurance premiums are just as low as they are in Raleigh. However, drivers have a slightly longer commute. Worried about finding parking spaces? Its population density is even lower than in Raleigh so parking your car is really not a problem at all.

3- Cincinnati, OH: Annual car insurance expenses are higher than in Raleigh and Charlotte but they are still lower than the national average. To compensate, repair and maintenance costs are amongst the cheapest in the States. In addition, commute time is only 24.3 minutes on average.

4- Cleveland, OH: With maintenance and repair costs amongst the lowest nationally and affordable insurance costs on average and a quick commute time, Cleveland is one of the car-friendliest cities in the United States.

5- Kansas City, MO: Those living in K.C. are privileged with a shorter commute time (22.8 minutes) than residents of other important metropolitan areas. In addition, gas prices are around 7% under national average. Despite annual insurance premiums being higher than other cities in this list ($1200), they are still below national average. There’s plenty of open space as well and a very low population density, which also contribute to the car-friendliness of the city.

6- St Louis, MO: With maintenance and gas prices 7% below national average just as in Kansas City, St Louis has a much higher population density, what takes the commute time to 25 minutes on average.

7- Denver, CO: Insurance premiums and gas prices are below the US norm and the average commute time is under 27 minutes. Maintenance costs are similar to the two cities mentioned before… good reasons to own a car in Colorado’s capital city.

8- Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee is a great US city where to own a car. FYI, it has one of the shortest average commute times amongst the major cities (only 23 minutes!) and maintenance and repair costs are also under the national average. Worried about insurance? It’s 11% below norm!

9- Birmingham, AL: Gas prices in Alabama are considered the lowest nationally. Parking is not a nightmare as the low population density is matched with plenty of free space available. Commute time is 26 minutes, which is quite quick for a big city!

10- Richmond, Virginia: Owning a car in Richmond is quite affordable: gas prices and annual insurance premiums are still below national average and commute time is only over 24.5 minutes.

China December 2017: Focus on the All-new models

The Lynk & Co brand has now launched in China.

As is the tradition on BSCB, after covering December sales in detail, we now focus on the all-new locally produced launches so you can stay up-to-date on the fastest-evolving automobile market in the world. The December 2017 class has a clear air of Guangzhou Auto Show with almost all newcomers having made their debut there in mid-November. Make sure you check out our Guangzhou Auto Show coverage for more details on this month’s new launches. Six of December’s seven new entrants are Chinese with the only odd one out being the Jaguar XEL. We have two SUVs, two electric cars, two sedans and one MPV and, undoubtedly a first, no less than three new brands make their debut this month in China – adding to the total count of 136 Chinese Brands covered in our Exclusive Guide.

1. Chery Tiggo 5x (#79 – 10.693 sales)

Originally slated to replace the ageing Chery Tiggo 5, the 5x finally takes its place alongside it, but is priced more aggressively at 79.900-110.900 yuan (US$ 12.500-17.300) vs. 88.800-123.800 for the Tiggo 5. The 5x is also shorter at 4.34m vs. 4.51m for the Tiggo 5. In Guangzhou, the Tiggo 5x impressed me with with its interior quality but most strikingly with the design flair displayed in the cockpit, something Chery had not got us used to. The Tiggo 5x is the first car on Chery’s new T1X platform which will next be used for a seven-seat variant of the same crossover. The Tiggo 5x is priced very competitively and it will need it as it enters one of the most contested segments in the whole of the Chinese market: Chinese-branded compact crossovers. No less than 20+ other contenders are already playing in the same sandpit.

Chery Tiggo 5x interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

Among them the Changan CS55 (83.900-132.900 yuan), the 2nd best-selling 2017 launch in China, the Soueast DX3 (67.900-105.900) posting a 100.000+ sales result for its first full year in market, the MG ZS (73.800-115.800) enabling the brand to double its sales year-on-year, the Zotye T300 (56.800-93.800) already above 10.000 monthly units a few months after launch and the GAC Trumpchi GS3 (73.800-116.800). Sales-wise, the Tiggo 5x lands with a bang: directly above 10.000 units which places it by far atop the Tiggo lineup this month (the Tiggo 7 is at 6.021, the Tiggo 3/3x at 7.400 and the Tiggo 5 is obliterated at -92% to just 265 sales). In terms of all-time highs, the Tiggo 7 peaked at 11.039 units in December 2016, the Tiggo 3 at 17.081 in December 2015 and the Tiggo 5 at 12.469 in December 2014, so in a sense the Tiggo 5x has already accomplished its mission but let’s give it a stretch goal at 15.000.

Bar for success: 15.000 monthly units

2. Lynk & Co 01 (#138 – 6.012 sales)

Unveiled a year ago in October 2016, Lynk & Co is a semi-premium marque owned by Geely and positioned in-between Geely and Volvo, also a Geely property. Its models are using the same platform that underpins the new Volvo XC40. In Guangzhou, the Lynk & Co stand was the hippest around with a pleasing sense of confidence peppered with some irreverent streaks. The manufacturer put the first batch of 6.000 pre-sales cars for sale online in November 2017, and they sold out in 2 minutes and 17 seconds, making the 01 the fastest-selling car in the world. These are translated into the car and brand’s first ever month of official sales in China.

Lynk & Co 01 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

It’s a solid start for the brand, which will have to confirm with growing figures over the coming months and a short-term target of 10.000 monthly units, a milestone both WEY models launched this year already reached. Yes, Great Wall Motors semi-premium SUV brand WEY is the natural local competitor for Lynk & Co but the latter also has its sights firmly set on foreign manufacturers. The 01 is priced from 158.800-220.800 yuan (20.300-28.300 € or US$24.400-33.950), to be compared with 150.000-163.000 for the WEY VV5 and 167.800-188.000 for the WEY VV7. But foreign blockbuster SUV pricing shows where Lynk & Co’s true competition is: the Honda CR-V (169.800-259.800), Toyota RAV4 (179.800-269.800), Nissan X-Trail (179.800-268.800) and VW Tiguan (199.800-237.800) are all in the 01’s line of fire.

Bar for success: 12.500 monthly units

3. Changan Raeton CC (#152 – 5.440 sales)

Another Guangzhou unveiling, the Changan Raeton CC confuses us with its naming as it has nothing to do with a Coupe version of the much larger Raeton, rather it is the successor to the best-selling Eado sedan. It stands on a new Changan-developed platform, the P3, which will also underpin an upcoming crossover. It features the new signature grille of the brand which is far from being unattractive. Power comes from a new 155 hp 1.5T engine mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Changan has meticulously updated every inch of the old car that was the Eado to release this very accomplished sedan that had the international press buzzing with flashes and video cameras at the Guangzhou Auto Show. It is deserved, as the car offers all the sophistication you would expect from a model one or two segments above and is priced at a cut-throat 89.900-138.900 yuan (US$ 14.000-21.700),

Changan Raeton CC interior. Picture autohome.com.cn 

This throws the Raeton CC in the same bath as the recently overhauled MG6 (96.800-132.800), Roewe i6 (89.800-143.800) and Geely Emgrand GL (78.800-115.800) as far as locals are concerned. But Changan will also eye the foreign competition and aim at reclaiming buyers that had fallen for western charms. For this, it undercuts such blockbusters as the Toyota Corolla (107.800-175.800), VW Lavida (109.900-159.900), Buick Excelle (109.900-150.900) and Honda Civic (115.900-169.900). The Eado was one of the very rare Chinese sedans to cross the 20.000 monthly units milestone (22.964 in January 2015), including the XT hatchback which is now a separate model, so Changan will be tabling on high volumes for the Raeton CC.

Bar for success: 14.000 monthly units

4. Jaguar XEL (#302 – 1.328 sales)

The XEL is a long-wheelbase version of the Jaguar XE extended by 10cm to make more legroom for the back seats, as is the custom in China. It is manufactured by the Chery-JLR joint-venture and is the second China-made Jaguar after the XFL launched in September 2016. It offers a choice between two 2.0T engine with either 200 or 250hp. Power comes from two 2.0 turbocharged engines; one with 200 and one with 250 horses. Producing the XE locally enables a drastic price drop: the imported variant, still on sale alongside the XEL, starts at 417.500 yuan (US$ 65.200) whereas the XEL is priced from 288.800 to 428.800 yuan (US$ 44.950-66.900).

Jaguar XEL interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The Jaguar XEL will be competing against the leaders of its segment, all featuring long wheelbases: the Audi A4L (292.800-409.800 yuan), BMW 3 Series L (288.000-486.900) and Mercedes C-Class L (312.800-489.000) as well as the Volvo S60L (266.900-390.900). Priced at 388.000-688.000 yuan, the larger Jaguar XFL just reached its all-time high monthly volume this month at 2.559 units. Jaguar will want to easily top this for the US$15.000-cheaper XEL.

Bar for success: 3.000 monthly units

5. GAC Trumpchi GM8 (#365 – 550 sales)

Logically unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November, the GM8 is the largest vehicle ever produced by GAC at 5.07m long. The company just announced at the Detroit Auto Show that it would enter the U.S. market in 2019. This is GAC’s first foray into the MPV segment and the carmaker’s intention is to reproduce the astonishing success it has enjoyed with the GS4 and GS8 in the SUV segment. If all other Chinese carmakers have entered the MPV segment from the low-cost door with tremendous success (Wuling Hongguang, Baojun 730, Chana offers), no one has managed to be successful yet at the more premium end.

GAC Trumpchi GM8 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

Jinbei did attempt this feat with the Huasong brand but has bitterly failed so far. Luxury MPVs are used by hotel companies to transport VIP guests and luxury interiors are the norm. Buick has dominated the segment with the GL8 and a new generation launched this year has propelled the nameplate to never-seen before volumes (14.332 in November 2017). This is where the GM8 comes, priced from 176.800-259.800 yuan (US$ 27.600-40.600) which, although high for a Chinese nameplate, greatly undercuts both the Buick GL8 (229.900-449.900 yuan) and Honda Odyssey (228.800-354.800) while offering similar levels of sophistication.

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly units

6. Arcfox Lite (#375 – 472 sales)

The Arcfox Lite is perhaps the coolest EV launched by a Chinese company so far. Arcfox is a brand by Beijing Auto BJEV and it had dozens of them inundating the Guangzhou Auto stand in both bright and pastel colours. There are two main attractions in the Lite: first, the interior which is one of the most exciting ever launched for a Chinese brand, featuring not one but three 8 inch screens forming a full digital bar. Second, it has LED displays at the front and rear of the car where both the driver and passenger can ‘advertise’ their own messages, in Chinese or Western alphabets, and even emoticons. So you get to be able to write anything you want, including insults. Now that’s cool.

Arcfox Lite interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The Lite is under 3m long and is powered by a 49hp electric motor mated with a 16.4 KWh battery located below the floor. Range is just 170km which keeps the Lite firmly put in the city. Top speed is 110 km/h and fast charging takes half an hour to 80% battery and the manufacturer is using advanced materials to keep the car light to fit its name at 895 kg. Price before subsidies is 152.800-162.800 yuan (US$ 23.850-25.400) down to 93.800-106.800 (US$ 14.600-16.700). The Lite will compete with the Zotye E200 (181.800-185.800 before subsidies), Zhi Dou D2 (151.800-188.800) and Chery eQ1 (155.900-205.900).

Bar for success: 3.000 monthly units

7. Dearcc EV10 (#419 – 109 sales)

The last launch of the month is the third brand to make its very first appearance in the Chinese sales charts: Dearcc, an EV brand by Soueast whose Mandarin name Dianka weirdly translates as “electric coffee“… Dearcc was created by Beijing Dearcar Auto Technology, a tech firm based in Beijing devoted to research and development of new energy vehicle/electric vehicle platforms and smart technologies. Unveiled at the 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show, the EV10 had to wait over a year to launch in market. It is rather trendy, especially when compared to the rest of the Soueast line-up, with a dual tone colour scheme.

Dearcc EV10 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

It is powered by a 57hp electric motor giving the 3.69m 5-door hatch a 150km range and 100 km/h top speed strictly limiting it to city driving. 80% battery charge is reached in 48 minutes on a fast charger. The EV10 is priced from 133.800 to 141.800 yuan before subsidies (US$ 20.900-22.100) and will compete with some of the best-selling EVs of the moment such as the BAIC EC-Series (151.800-164.800), Changan Benben EV (154.800-161.800) and the Chery eQ1 (155.900-205.900).

Bar for success: 2.000 monthly units

Previous month: China November 2017: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China December 2017: Focus on the All-new models

Australia Full Year 2017: Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger top record market

The Toyota Hilux is the #1 vehicle in Australia for the 2nd straight year. Picture caradvice.com.au

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 350 All-models – click on title *

The Australian new vehicle market marks a third consecutive all-time record year in 2017, up 0.9% on the previous record established in 2016 to lift it to 1.189.116 units. One of the most striking evolutions of the Australian market in 2017 is the fact SUVs outsold passenger cars for the very first time in history. With sales up 5.6% to 465.646, they account for 39.2% of the market this year vs. 37.4% a year ago. Reversely, passenger cars are down a steep 7.5% to 450.012 or 37.8% share vs. 41.3% in 2016. Light commercials, mainly composed of pickup trucks, are even more dynamics than SUVs with a 8.6% year-on-year gain to 236.609 and 19.9% share vs. 18.5% a year ago. Looking at sales by State, the most dynamic is Victoria (Melbourne) with deliveries up 4% to 339.343, with the next best performer being South Australia (Adelaide) at +1% to 72.426, Tasmania up 0.8% to 19.901, Northern Territory (Darwin) up 0.2% to 10.759 and Queensland (Brisbane) stable at 233.101. All other States are in negative: New South Wales (Sydney) down 0.1% to 397.273, Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) dow 1.5% to 18.540 and Western Australia (Perth) down 2.5% to 97.773.

The Ford Ranger soars 16% to a best-ever 2nd place in 2017.

Brand-wise, Toyota remains unreachable, even outpacing the market at +3.3% to 18.2% share, marking 21 years in the Australian pole position including the past 15 straight years. Toyota eclipses 200.000 annual sales for the sixth consecutive year and the 13th time in the past 14 years (record: 238,983 in 2008), keep in mind this is a milestone no other carmaker has ever managed to reach in Australia. Mazda remains in 2nd place – its highest ranking anywhere in the world – despite a 1.6% drop, while both Hyundai (-4.5%) and Holden (-4.2%) retract relatively significantly. Mitsubishi advances almost 10% to return inside the Top 5 most popular brands, knocking Ford (-3.8%) out.

Kia posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 at +28.3%.

Volkswagen (+2.5%) overtakes Nissan (-15.3%) while Kia posts by far the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 at +28.3% to hit another annual volume record (54.737) and ranking (#9). Honda (+14.6%), Subaru (+11.7%) and Isuzu Ute (+10.4%) also post double-digit gains in the Top 20 whereas Jeep (-34.5%), BMW (-15.7%) and Audi (-9.3%) are in difficulty. Further down, Great Wall (+270.6%), Haval (+148.3% for its first full year), Lotus (+100%), Chinese LDV (+68%), Maserati (+53.2%), Alfa Romeo (+48.7%), Ram (+36.3%), Aston Martin (+25.2%), McLaren (+24.7%), Rolls Royce (+21.6%), Bentley (+15.3%), Skoda (+12.4%) and Ferrari (+11.7%) post impressive gains. MG comes back to Australia as a Chinese brand and makes its first appearance in the official sales ranking at a discreet (for now?) #34 just below Haval.

The Mazda CX-5 is the best-selling SUV in Australia for the 5th consecutive year. 

In 2016, the Toyota Hilux became the first ever “ute” (local slang for pickup truck) to top the annual Australian sales charts. It repeats this feat in 2017 thanks to sales up 12% to break a new volume record for the nameplate at 47.093 and, in a first ever “ute 1-2” in history, is now followed by the Ford Ranger, up 16% to hit ranking, share and volume records. The Ford Ranger even snapped its very first monthly #1 in September., the first non-Asian nameplate to top Australian charts in over six years and only the 9th nameplate in the past 40 years to top the Australian monthly charts at least once. The Toyota Corolla (-7%), Mazda3 (-9%) and Hyundai i30 (-24%) follow but all decline, illustrating the exodus from passenger cars Australian car buyers are showing.

First ever annual Top 10 ranking for the Hyundai Tucson in Australia. 

The Mazda CX-5 celebrates five consecutive years as Australia’s favourite SUV thanks to deliveries up 5% to a new record, and reaching the highest year-end position of any SUV in history at #6. It is however followed closely by the Hyundai Tucson (+18%) breaking into the annual Top 10 for the fist time at #7 and also breaking volume and share records. In fact, the Top 5 best-selling SUVs all break their volume record this year in Australia and 6 of the Top 7: the Toyota RAV4 (+8%), Mitsubishi ASX (+7%), Nissan X-Trail (+0.3%) and Mitsubishi Outlander (+34%), the latter breaking into the annua Top 20 for the first time at #20. The Holden Colorado (+17%), Kia Cerato (+42%) and Isuzu D-Max (+8%) also hit all-time high volumes inside the Top 20.

The Toyota C-HR during a trop to the Australian desert we will report on shortly. 

Further down, the Honda Civic shoots up 109% to #23 thanks to the new model, the Holden Astra leaps up to #25 thanks to a new generation and even ranked to a nameplate record 2nd place overall in December likely thanks to dealer self-registrations. The Kia Sportage (+23%), Subaru Impreza (+1525), Mercedes C-Class (+22%), Subaru XV (+23%), VW Tiguan (+68%), Ford Mustang (+48%), Mazda CX-9 (+76%), Toyota Land Cruiser Pickup (+26%) and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport also make themselves noticed inside the Top 50. Even though it still lags well below its direct competitors the Mazda CX-3 ($#19) and Honda HR-V (#33), the Toyota C-HR (#55) is the most popular new launch in Australia for 2017, ahead of the Ford Escape (#64, technically launched in late 2016), Hyundai Kona (#93), and Audi Q2 (#108).

Previous post: Australia December 2017: Holden up 57.7%, Astra and Colorado break records

Previous year: Australia Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux first ever “ute” to lead annual sales and The State by State best-sellers

Two years ago: Australia Full Year 2015: Mazda first full importer to #2 in record market and The State by State best-sellers

Full Year 2017 Top 50 All-brands and Top 350 All-models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Australia December 2017: Holden up 57.7%, Astra & Colorado hit records

The Holden Astra breaks a 16 year-old ranking record this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models – see title *

The November 2017 post has also been updated with Top 50 All-brands and Top 285 All-models

New vehicle sales in Australia are up 4.1% year-on-year to 102.820 units, leading to another annual record as we will report in a separate update. Australian December data is always heavily swayed by end-of-year manipulations by some manufacturers eager to meet annual targets, such as extensive demo sales or stock sales of cars that then appear in the second hand market early in the new year. This unmistakably leads to freak events: over the past couple of years, Toyota distinguished itself by placing the Camry at a very unusual #1. This time Holden stands out just as it ended local production a few months back, with deliveries up 57.7% year-on-year to 11.8% share. This is the first time Holden holds more than 10% of the Australian market since January 2015 (10.2%) and it hits its highest share since December 2011 (12.4%). In the remainder of the brands ranking, Peugeot (+236%), LDV (+117.2%), Mitsubishi (+33.6%), Land Rover (+25.4%), Kia (+20.9%), Honda (+19.2%), Lexus (+14.6%), Isuzu Ute (+12.7%) and Volkswagen (+12.5%) also shine.

The Holden Colorado hits record ranking, volume and share this month.

The models ranking bears the marks of Holden’s artificial year-end push: below the Toyota Hilux (-3%) posting its eighth monthly win of the year, the Holden Astra shoots up 23-fold on December 2016 to an incredible – because artificial – 2nd place at 3.533 sales and 3.4% share. Last month the Astra reappeared in the Australian Top 20 for the first time in 9 years (since February 2009) and this month it simply beats the nameplate’s 16 year-old ranking record and 12 year-old monthly volume records. The Astra’s previous bests were #3 (first reached in 2001, last in February 2005) and 3.359 sales (August 2005). This is the Astra’s first Top 10 since July 2008 (#8), first Top 5 since October 2005 (#5) and best market share since October 2005 (3.9%). The Astra’s highest annual ranking in Australia so far is #4 in 2001, at a time when the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon obliterated the sales charts.

Holden has another record on its hands with the Colorado ute: up 166% year-on-year to #4 with 3.222 sales and 3.1% share, these are all new records for ranking (previous best: #8 in April 2017), volume (pb: 2.411 in June 2017) and share (pb 2.2% in April 2017). This year, the Colorado breaks its annual volume record (21.579), share record (1.8%) and equals its annual ranking record (#11, also hit in 2015). In other news, the Colorado makes it three utes (local slang for pickup trucks) in the Top 4 with the Mitsubishi Triton up 26% to #6 making it four in the Top 6. The Mitsubishi ASX is up 43% to remain at #9, the Honda Civic is up 64% to #15, Toyota Prado up 33% to #16, Mitsubishi Outlander up 32% to #17, Nissan Navara up 50% to #18 but the Hyundai i30 implodes down 48% to #19.

Previous month: Australia November 2017: All-time high November = annual record likely

Full December 2017 Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models rankings below.

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China Full Year 2017: Geely becomes #1 Chinese brand, market up 3.2%

Geely makes a splash in 2017 and overtakes Wuling and Changan to become #1 Chinese. 

* See the Top 87 All China-made brands and Top 575 models by clicking on the title *

Consult 35 years worth of Chinese Historical Data here

New vehicle sales in China put on the brakes this year: after a 14% surge in 2016, the year-on-year growth slows down to 3.2% in 2017 to an all-time record 28.878.900 registrations. This upholds China as the largest car market in the world by far: the second largest is the U.S., almost 11.5 million units below. The reason behind this slowdown is the end of a 50% purchase tax cut that applied to small engine vehicles (1.6L or less), reduced from 10% to 5% from October 1, 2015 until December 31, 2016. It was raised to 7.5% on January 1, 2017 and back to 10% on January 1, 2018, meaning prospects for growth in 2018 are limited. Even though the growth rate is markedly below that of previous years, China races to its 27th consecutive annual sales record, with the last time deliveries declined year-on-year being in 1990.

The Baojun 510 has become the most successful launch in history in China.

Light vehicle sales edge up 1.4% to 24.718.300, this time solely pulled up into positive territory by the SUV segment. Sedans and hatches are down 2.5% to 11.848.000 units, MPVs are down 17% to 2.070.700 units and microvans down 20% to 547.000 but SUVs surge up another 13.3% to a record 10.252.700 deliveries. After breaking their monthly sales record four consecutive times at the end of 2016, SUV sales did so twice in 2017: in November (1.108.182) and December (1.173.000). Commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) also confirm their return to form, posting a second consecutive year in positive at a stunning +13.9% to 4.160.600 units. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts 2018 light vehicle sales up 3% to 25.6m with SUV sales up 11% to 11.5m, sedans down 1% to 11.8m, MPVs down 11% to 1.8m and microvans down 7% to 510k. This should bring the Chinese new vehicle market just across the 30 million mark for 2018, including 4.45m commercial vehicles.

The Wuling Hongguang remains the best-selling vehicle in China but drops 18%. 

Meanwhile, the most dynamic platforms remain the eco-friendly ones, with electric and plug in hybrid passenger cars even accelerating their growth compared to 2016: electric vehicles are up 59% to 652.000 units divided into 468.000 passenger cars (+82% vs. +75% in 2016) and 184.000 commercial vehicles (+21%). Plug-in hybrids are up 28% to 125.000 units including 111.000 passenger cars (+41% vs. +17% in 2016) and 14.000 commercial vehicles (-26%). All-in-all, a total of 770.000 “green” cars were registered in 2017 (+53%) placing China frankly on top of the world,  with the million unit mark likely to be surpassed in 2018. Beijing Auto has taken a stance in the segment this year, with BYD taking a step backwards as we will see further down this Report. Keep in mind that in China, only domestically built all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles qualify for government subsidies, whereas conventional hybrids do not, neither do imports.

The VW Lavida is down 6% but up to 2nd place in 2017. 

For the first time on BSCB we can share with you details of the Chinese market by geographic region, according to data submitted by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. It shows that the Eastern seaboard, by far the largest region in the country in terms of sales and accounting for 35% of the total market at 10.2m units, is in steep decline at -10.2%, Southwest China is also down at -4.9% to 3.02m units and North China is down 3.5% to 4.1m. Areas showing growth are the Northeast at +3.4% to 2.54m units, Northwest at +6.9% to 1.9m and, most strikingly, Central South China up a whopping 12.9% to 7.1m. Explore 30 cities and regions all around China with our detailed Photo Reports here.

Haval H6 sales are down 13% despite the arrival of a new generation.

(The following data is retail sales data including imports as reported by manufacturers) The Volkswagen Group remains the most popular manufacturer in the country for 2017, outpacing the market with a 5.1% uplift to 4.18 million units, including 3.18 million (+5.9%) for the VW brand, 598.000 (+1.1%) for Audi, 325.000 (+2.5%) for Skoda, 71.500 (+10%) for Porsche and 265 for Lamborghini. General Motors for its part is up 4.4% to 4.040.789 units with SUV sales soaring 37%, Buick is stable at 1.18m units, Wuling tumbles down 16% to 1.14m units including microvans, Baojun is up 45% to 996.629, Chevrolet up 4.2% to 547.651 and Cadillac surges 51% to 175.489. Japanese carmakers had a fantastic year in China: Honda Motor is up 16% to 1.46m units, Toyota Motor is up 6.2% to 1.29m and Nissan Motor up 12% to 1.27m. Reversely, Ford Motor sees its sales drop 6.3% to 1.192.625.

The Buick Excelle is up 14% year-on-year but stays in 4th place. 

Audi managed to save its #1 spot in the luxury race by the skin of its teeth, handicapped for a large part of the year by a boycott from dealers who protested its plans to open a second distribution channel. The BMW Group was #1 up until end-November but Audi clawed back on top during the last days of the year with annual sales are up 1.1% to 597.866 vs. 594.388 for BMW and Mini (+15%). Daimler AG posted the biggest year-on-year gain by far at +26% to 587.868. Other notable improvements in the luxury aisle include Volvo up 26% to 114.410 sales and Lincoln up 66% to 54.124. A handful of other Japanese carmakers have also communicated retail sales: Mazda is up 8.3% to 309.407 while Mitsubishi is up 56% to 129.160, with both manufacturers’ China sales finally overtaking U.S. ones. Finally, Subaru, the only large carmaker with Lexus to not have a local production facility, is starting to seriously suffer from it at -35% to just 30.029 sales vs. 647.956 in the U.S.

The Nissan Sylphy steps up one spot on 2016 to 5th place this year. 

We are now back to wholesales data – keep in mind these exclude imports and light commercials which will both be covered in separate Reports. The 2017 brand ranking shows lots of movement at the top: below VW up 4% to 3.14m, Honda shoots up an impressive 18% to snap the #2 spot at 1.42m units but the stunner of the year is undoubtedly Geely. The private company surges 61% year-on-year and leaps from #10 brand in 2016 to #3 overall this year with 1.23m units. This makes Geely the most popular Chinese brand at home for the very first time, ending at least 8 years of domination by Wuling (1.14m), also overtaking Changan (1.06m) and Haval in one go! Geely even edges past Buick (1.22m, -1%) at the last minute to snap the third overall spot. The company is targeting 1.58 million sales in 2018 (+27%). Below Buick, Toyota (1.14m) and Nissan (1.12m) follow with 7% and 12% gains respectively, ahead of Changan (-8%).

The VW Tiguan shoots up 40% to 7th place overall thanks to the new model. 

The other winner of 2017 is Baojun, lifted to unheard-of levels thanks to the smashing success of its 510 crossover and 310 wagon. Launched in February, the Baojun 510 became the fastest nameplate in history to reach 300.000 sales: only 10 months vs. 11 for the Baojun 560 and 12 for the Baojun 730, the previous record holders. The 510 is also the fastest to 350.000 in 11 months vs. 14 for the Baojun 560. The 510 ends 2017 in 6th place overall and #2 SUV but should threaten the supremacy of the Haval H6 in 2018. For its part the 310 saw its sales take a completely new dimension with the arrival of the 310w wagon variant, hitting a record of 35.048 in December which is only a thousand units below the 36.046 reached by the BYD F3 in March 2010, still to this date the all-time record for a Chinese sedan/hatch. The 310 was China’s 4th best-selling sedan/hatch overall in December. As a result, Baojun wholesales majestically cross the million mark this year at 1.02m compared to just 761.000 in 2016, a 34% improvement.

GAC Trumpchi adds the GS8 to the smashing success of the GS4.

Haval disappoints in 9th place with deliveries down 9% to 850.000. Its parent company Great Wall Motors saw its deliveries slip 0.4% to 1.070.161 sales in 2017 despite the addition of the premium WEY brand (see further down) and strong Great Wall-branded pickup sales up 13% 119.846. There were many other double-digit gains however among Chinese carmakers further down the ranking: GAC Trumpchi doubles up on the tremendous success of the GS4 with a blockbuster GS8 and gains 37% to #17, Roewe surfs on the popularity of its RX5 crossover (#20 overall) and gains 59%, Soueast is up 50% thanks to the DX3 crossover crossing the 100.000 annual sales mark for its first full year in market, Venucia is up 25%, MG up 68%, Hawtai up 77% and Leopaard up 36%. Outside the Top 40, notice Hanteng (+285%) above 60.000 for its first full year, SWM (+150%) just under 65.000 over the same period, Denza (+117%), Zhi Dou (+109%), Foton (+73%), Maxus (+71%), Kandi (+68%), Borgward (+48%), JMC (+44%) and Karry (+25%).

WEY is by far the most successful brand launch of 2017. 

Among the new brands coming into the Chinese market in 2017, the most noteworthy is of course WEY. Launched in June, Great Wall Motors’ premium SUV marque sold a stunning 86.427 units in just seven months with both the VV5 and VV7 each posting two consecutive 10.000-sales months at the end of the year. Lynk & Co also made its appearance in December with a first month above 6.000 units, along with Arcfox and Dearcc while Bisu, launched in late 2016, closely misses the 50.000 unit-mark. Struggling Chinese carmakers include Jiangnan (-71%), Landwind (-47%), JAC (-40%), Brilliance (-38%), Haima (-38%), Qoros (-36%), Weichai (-35%), Jinbei (-31%), Beijing Auto (-20%), BYD (-18%) and Chery (-12%).

The C5 Aircross arrived too late to reverse the PSA Group’s dismal performance in 2017. 

Continuing on the bad news but in the foreign aisle, Hyundai (-30%) goes from #5 to #11, suffering from a North Korea-related political row between South Korea and China, as does sister brand Kia down 44% to #23. The PSA Group had a nightmare year: Peugeot is down 29%, Citroen down 47% and DS down an abysmal 64% as the company rebuilds its dealer network. Fiat, now discontinued, is down 82%, Luxgen down 56% and Suzuki down 24%. Reversely, Jeep soars 57% and now has a three locally-produced model lineup (Compass, Cherokee, Renegade), Renault is up 141% to over 72.000 units with just the Koleos and Kadhar, Jaguar is up 296% to 22.340 and Acura lands at 13.191 deliveries for its first annual appearance as a local producer.

The Baojun 310 became the best-selling Chinese sedan over the last two months of the year. 

Over in the models ranking, the Wuling Hongguang celebrates five consecutive years as the national best-seller (no interruption since 2013), and this despite a steep 18% drop to 532.000 units. Astonishingly, this marks the 12th consecutive year a Wuling nameplate is the all-vehicle best-seller in China (2006-2012 were dominated by Wuling microvans). The Hongguang was shortly overtaken in the YTD charts during the course of the year by the VW Lavida, down 6% but up one spot to #2 and 517.000 sales including the Gran Lavida. One of the heroes of 2016, the Haval H6 goes backwards in 2017 despite the launch of a new generation with deliveries down 13% after a 56% gain in 2016 to a still extremely impressive 506.000 units. The Haval H6 remains the best-selling SUV in China, a title it has now held continuously since 2013 but that could be in jeopardy in 2018 if the Baojun 510 (#6 this year) avoids cannibalisation by the larger 530, which is uncertain given how the 510 absolutely butchered the 560 (-53%) in 2017. The Buick Excelle (+14%) and Nissan Sylphy (+10%) follow as reliable sedan blockbusters with the Toyota Corolla (+10%) a notch below, in a category that saw the VW Sagitar (-4%), Jetta (-9%), Santana (-10%) and Ford Escort (-4%) all lose ground year-on-year. The Chevrolet Cavalier posts a very strong first full year in the Chinese market (189.000).

Below the Baojun 510, the Changan CS55 is the 2nd most popular 2017 launch…

The VW Tiguan lifts up 40% thanks to the new generation to place #7 with a record-breaking 340.000 units, #3 SUV and one of only three foreign fares in the segment’s Top 10 along with the Buick Envision at #7 and the Nissan X-Trail at #10. The GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+3%), manages to beat an already stellar 2016 score while the Geely Boyue storms into the 5th SUV spot thanks to 286.000 sales for its first full year in market. The Changan CS75 (+15%) accelerates its growth slightly while the Roewe RX5 (+160%) lands at over 230.000 units for its first full year, never-heard-before heights for the brand. The Haval H2 (+9%) stays in positive thanks to the arrival of the H2s variant, the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (+103%) becomes the brand’s best-seller while the Geely Emgrand GS (+149%) and Vision SUV (+157%) both post stunning first full years.

…followed by the VW Teramont. 

In the Chinese sedan category, the Baojun 310 outpaced the long-term best-seller the Geely Emgrand EC7 towards the end of the year but remains below annually at #21 overall vs. #16, while the Geely Vision (+5%) remains above the Chery Arrizo 5 (+6%) but the Geely Emgrand GL storms in just below with sales up 313% for the nameplate’s first full year in market. In the MPV aisle, the facelifted Baojun 730 remains a distant second below the Hongguang as its 26% sales drop pull it from #5 overall in 2016 to #15 this year, with the Buick GL8 an even more distant third but up 83% thanks to the new generation. The BYD Song MAX is an instant blockbuster and ranked third in the segment in December. The Audi A6L (+6%) retains the luxury model crown above the Mercedes C-Class L (+23%), BMW 3 Series L (+27%), Audi Q5 (-6%) and BMW 5 Series L (-16%). The Audi A4L (+19%), Mercedes E-Class L (+97%) and GLC (+28%) also cross the 100.000 annual sales mark. The green car ranking is completely reshuffled this year: the BAIC-EC-Series takes the lead with 78.000 sales ahead of the Zhi Dou D2 at 42.000, the JAC iEV at 28.000, the Chery eQ at 26.000 and the BYD Qin, #1 in 2016, at 25.000 (-21%). The BYD e5 (+50%) makes up for it at #6.

The BAIC EC-Series has become the best-selling green car in China in 2017. 

Finally, to cap our monthly “Focus on the All-new models” series and in anticipation of the December update, let’s have a look at the most popular 2017 launches. There’s no contest on top: the Baojun 510 is the most successful nameplate launch in the history of automobile in China and spat out almost 360.000 units in just 11 months. Below, far below is the Changan CS55 with just under 80.000 units, followed by the VW Teramont at 75.000 sales, the FAW Besturn X40 and MG ZS both at 70.000 deliveries, the Roewe i6 at 64.000, the Zotye T700 at 59.000, the Chevrolet Equinox and WEY VV7 both at 53.000, the Skoda Kodiaq, Nissan Kicks and Honda UR-V all around 44.000, the Chana Oushang A800 at 41.000, the Toyota Yaris L Sedan at 40.000 and the Haval M6, Leopaard CS9 and Toyota Vios FS around 35.000. In summary: 13 SUVs, one MPV and three sedans with 10 Chinese nameplates and 7 foreigners, very aptly illustrating the engines of growth and dynamism that were at play in China in 2017.

Previous post: China December 2017: Geely, Baojun and Zotye end year at record levels

Previous year: China Full Year 2016: Tax cut boosts market up 14% to record 28 million sales

Two years ago: China Full Year 2015: Market up 4.7% to record 24.61 million despite sluggish summer

Full Year 2017 Top 87 All China-made brands and Top 575 models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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China December 2017: Geely, Baojun and Zotye end year at record levels

Zotye surges 83% to a record 61.290 sales thanks to the T700 and T300. 

* See the Top 80 All China-made brands and Top 455 models by clicking on the title *

It’s another setback for passenger car sales in China, posting their fourth year-on-year decline of the year after last JanuaryApril and May at -0.7% to 2.653.300 deliveries. The comparison set is harsh as December 2016 was the largest ever month of passenger car sales in China and the world (2.67m units). Commercial vehicles are up 5.7% to 407.700 units which leads to an overall market up 0.1% to 3.060.300 sales. Sedans and hatchbacks are down 4.3% to 1.2m units, MPVs are down 16% to 208.30 and microvans down 18.7% to 51.800 with once again SUVs the sole segment in positive at +8.4% year-on-year to break its monthly record at 1.173.000 deliveries, eclipsing the 1.108.182 units of last month. China-branded passenger cars go against the grain with a 3.4% year-on-year gain to 1.293.600 sales and 48.7% share vs. 45.8% a year ago.

The Boyue helps Geely break its all-time monthly volume record for the 4th month in a row.

In the brands ranking (wholesale figures), below Volkswagen following the market at -2% to 258.000 units, our two heroes of the year strike again. Firstly, Geely posts an astonishing fourth consecutive all-time monthly volume record: from 108.980 in September to 125.201 in October, 141.312 in November and 147.647 in December, up 36% on a December 2016 score that was a record at the time. This absolutely stunning streak obviously positions Geely as the #2 brand overall, only outsold by Volkswagen and eclipsing all other foreign carmakers. Geely has also become the uncontested #1 Chinese brand both in the passenger car segment and overall, overtaking Wuling. For perspective, its 147.647 sales score is the second largest monthly volume ever recorded by a brand other than Volkswagen in China, below the 151.587 from Honda in December 2015 and above the 146.008 from Hyundai in December 2016. No less than six Geely nameplates break their all-time monthly volume best this month: the Boyue is up 53% to 31.205 and third best-selling SUV, the Emgrand GS is up 84% to 18.850, the Vision SUV up 39% to 14.610, the Vision X3 up to 10.729, the Vision S1 up 427% on its inaugural month to 9.049 and the Vision X1 up to 3.371.

The 310 wagon boosts Baojun to a third consecutive all-time monthly record.

The other superstar of 2017, Baojun, also smashes its all-time volume record in December and for the third consecutive month thanks to deliveries up 39% to 140.268, after previous bests of 128.486 in November and 108.387 in October. This way, both Geely and Baojun are on the China brands podium for the first time in history. The Baojun 510 once again serves up a new monthly record, crossing the 50.000 unit-milestone for the first time at 54.050 (previous best 49.866 last month). Since its launch in February, the 510 as improved month-on-month during every single month of the year bar August. It is now the most successful Baojun nameplate ever as the previous monthly volume record holder for the brand was the 730 at 50.128 in December 2016. The 510 also becomes the fastest nameplate to 350.000 sales (11 months), beating the previous record held by the Baojun 560 by three months. The 310 also stuns and breaks its monthly volume record for the 5th consecutive month at 35.048 in 7th place overall and #4 sedan thanks to the new wagon variant. That’s less 1.000 units below the all-time record for a Chinese sedan held by the BYD F3 since March 2010. With the 730 at #9, Baojun places three nameplates inside the Top 10 for the 2nd month running vs. just one for VW.

The D60 posts its first five-digit sales month and lifts Venucia up 43%. 

Buick (+5%) follows in the brands ranking, posting an all-time record month just under 130.000 units, ahead of Honda (-3%), Nissan (+11%) and Hyundai back up three spots on November to #7 even though it  is down 17% year-on-year. Above Ford (-9%), Changan (+1%) is timid in 8th place with the CS55 posting a new all-time high result (17.612). The biggest loss in the Top 25 is delivered by Haval which had broken its all time record in December 2016 but plunges 35% to just under 89.000 this time, rounding up a Top 10 including four Chinese carmakers. Outstanding performance of Zotye this month, crossing a few milestones with sales up 83% year-on-year to 61.290, its first time above 50.000 monthly units, its highest ever ranking at #15 (previous best: #19) and only its second time ever inside the Top 20 brands in China. Two Zotye nameplates shoot up and break their all-time record this month: the T700 is up 37% on November to 14.411 – only posting month-on-month gains since its launch in May – and the T300 up a whopping 132% on last month to 12.093, only only on the up since its September debut.

The BYD Song MAX is the third best-selling MPV in China for its third full month in market. 

GAC Trumpchi also impresses at +37% and has the GS8 post a new monthly record at 10.498 units, Venucia is up 43% with the D60 cracking the 10.000 monthly sales milestone for its 2nd month in market while WEY lifts up to 21.349 units thanks to its two nameplates each breaking their record: the VV5 at 10.798 and the VV7 at 10.551. Hawtai is up 162% with the Shengdafei establishing a new all-time best at 14.573 sales, Maxus is up 155%, Bisu up 113%, MG up 105% just as the new generation MG6 hits dealerships, Leopaard is up 52%, Karry up 49%, FAW up 43%, Changhe up 34%, Hanteng up 33% and Brilliance up 28%. Struggling Chinese brands include Cowin (-58%), JMC (-56%), Haima (-47%), Qoros (-46%), Jinbei (-37%), Soueast (-31%), Zhi Dou (-31%), Foton (-29%), Yema (-26%), Great Wall (-24%), Dongfeng (-23%) and Wuling (-23%).

First five-digit sales month for the Karry K60. 

Wholesales results place Mercedes (41.518) well above BMW (35.549) and Audi (30.889) in the luxury race, but retail sales data including imports reported by manufactures paint a very different picture: Audi is up 34% to 69.160 ahead of BMW/Mini up 19% to 52.026 and Mercedes/Smart up 12% to 48.140, with the Mercedes GLC posting a new high at 11.640 units. As a result Audi retains the luxury crown in 2017 by the skin of its teeth as we’ll detail in our Full Year 2017 Report. Other great performers among foreign carmakers in China in December include Jaguar (+140%) as the XEL launches this month, Jeep (+45%) with the Compass at an all-time high 10.302 units, Mazda (+33%), Skoda (+25%) and Mitsubishi (+13%). At the other end of the scale the PSA Group grabs all the honours with the three worst results of the month: DS (-80%), Peugeot (-38%) and Citroen (-37%), followed by Kia (-29%) and Toyota (-20%). Finally, no less than three new brands launch in the Chinese market this month and they are all Chinese: Lynk & Co (6.000 sales), Arcfox (500) and Dearcc (100). We’ll explore these newcomers in a lot more detail shortly in our monthly Focus on the All-new models.

The Lynk & Co brand launches with the 01 crossover in China in December. 

Despite steep respective 23% and 32% year-on-year drops, the Wuling Hongguang and Haval H6 manage to remain on top of the Chinese models charts in December, while the Baojun 510 brilliantly rounds up the podium a mere 1.166 units below the H6. The VW Lavida (+9%) is knocked down one spot while the Nissan Sylphy (+1%) remains at #5, so does the Buick Excelle at #6 but with deliveries up 29% on December it hits a new all-time high for the nameplate at 40.939 units. The record-breaking Baojun 310 advances three spots to #7, ahead of the Ford Escort (+9%), Baojun 730 (-35%) and Geely Boyue. Among notable performances in December, let’s single out the BYD Song MAX up 52% on last month to a fantastic 15.606 units for its third full month in market, the Chery Tiggo 5x landing directly above the symbolic 10.000 unit-milestone at 10.693 which we will cover in our Focus on the All-new models, and the Karry K60 posting its very first five-digit sales figure at 10.070.

Previous month: China November 2017: Geely and Baojun push forward with new records

One year ago: China December 2016: Haval up 73%, Geely up 101% in final tax rush

Full December 2017 Top 80 All China-made brands and Top 455 models below.

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