* See the Top 360 All-local models and Top 70 All-brands by clicking on the title *
This month is very significant in BSCB’s extensive coverage of the Chinese market. On top of an All-models ranking of nameplates produced locally, we now have access to an All-models ranking for LCV, and a lot more detail on imported models for the past couple of months, so stay tuned for more data! We start with passenger cars data, with September ending three months of decline at +3% to 1.75 million units. A lot of analysts described China’s summer pause as ‘the beginning of the end’, I did not and have been convinced that growth would return to the Chinese market shortly. This time has come already, and will continue as the Chinese government halved the purchase tax on vehicles 1.6L and below, effective October 1. Once again the market is single-handedly pulled up by SUVs, up a gigantic 63% year-on-year to 579.979 units – the largest ever SUV monthly volume in China, where sedans are down 10% to 959.535, MPVs down 5% to 158.678 and microvans down 31% to 71.800. Year-to-date sales are also up 3% to 14.5 million units.
Brand-wise, keeping in mind these figures exclude imports for now, Volkswagen slows down its decline but is still in negative territory at -3%, Buick manages a second consecutive month in the overall 2nd place thanks to sales up 17% and Hyundai is back to #3 despite deliveries down 5%. Honda shoots up 58% to 4th place, remaining above Toyota and Nissan. ChangAn is up 21% to lead Chinese manufacturers at #7, above Wuling (-8%), Haval (+33%), Baojun (+93%), Geely (+19%) and Beijing Auto (+62%). Notice also JAC up 83%, Mercedes up 92%, GAC up 111% and MG up 118%, all these explosive gains due to strong SUV numbers. At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet is down 23%, Kia down 24%, Chery down 32%, and both Suzuki and Lifan drop 38% year-on-year.
The Top 5 best-selling passenger cars in China are unchanged vs. last month, yet they evolve in very different ways: both the Wuling Hongguang (-10%) and VW Lavida (-12%) are on top but lose significant ground on September 2014, the Buick Excelle GT breaks its volume record for the 2nd month in a row at 35.134 units, up 62% on the previous generation a year ago. The Haval H6 (+10%) and Nissan Sylphy (+34%) both lodge very solid performances, but the winner in the Top 10 this month is the Baojun 560, up 41% on August to a record 24.228 units at #7 overall and #2 SUV in the country. Baojun is simply and extraordinarily replicating with the 560 SUV the market-changing trick it pulled with the 730 MPV exactly a year ago. For the first time in history, there are two Baojun in China’s Top 10 best-sellers, with the 730 ranking #9 (+5%).
Outside the Top 10, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 continues its race to the top and breaks all the brand’s volume records at 18.900 units, up 32% on its previous best established last month. The Buick Envision also beats its volume all-high at 14.692 (#29), while the Hyundai Tucson is up 8-fold on a year ago thanks to the arrival of the new generation at #59. Among recent launches, the Soueast DX7 posts a strong 2nd month in market at #111, the Roewe 360 improves 58% on August to #139, the BYD Tang is up 113% to #154 and the BYD Song lodges a solid first full month at #225 after selling just 35 units in August. There are five newcomers in the Chinese sales charts in September, but these will be covered separately in a dedicated post as is the tradition on BSCB.
Full September 2015 Top 369 All-local models Ranking Table below.