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Nothing can stop a galloping Chinese car market boosted by the impending end of a 50% tax cut of small engine vehicles (1.6L or less). Sales gain over 20% for the fourth consecutive month to hit 2.34 million passenger cars in October according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sedans are up 10% to 1.17 million units, SUVs surge 43% to 896.000 and MPVs are up 20% to 231.800. Only microvans, soon to be a thing of the past, plunge 32% to 45.800 units. This continuing dynamism leads to a year-to-date tally soaring 15% year-on-year after 10 months to 19.09 million passenger cars. The government still hasn’t confirmed whether the tax cut would expire at the end of the year as planned, and rumours are now abounding that the cut will in fact get extended.
The Volkswagen Group remains the most popular in China despite sales gaining slightly less ground than the market at +16.6% year-on-year to 363.900, lifting its year-to-date cume up 11.3% to 3.217.800. In October, the Volkswagen brand surges 26% to 292.654 units and Skoda is up 36% to 34.009 but Audi is up just 0.7% to 47.032 (including imports), now feeling the heat of Mercedes up 26% to 42.224. VW’s archenemy in China, General Motors, is up just 5.7% to 345.733 units, with Buick up 12% to 114.125, Baojun up 60% to 86.507, Chevrolet up 3% to 56.289 but Wuling down 7% to 108.760 including LCVs. Year-to-date, GM is up 8.6% to over 3 million units. A fair distance below, Honda Motor surges 40% to 107.618, Ford Motor is up 14% to 107.618 while Toyota Motor is down 4% to 99.200.
Changan leads Chinese brands with sales up 48% to 118.200, but Geely is by far the most impressive at +79% to 96.306 in 6th place overall above Hyundai, Ford and Toyota (brand ranking excluding imports). Five of the six best-selling Geely nameplates beat their monthly volumes in October: the Boyue (16.779), Vision (15.721), Vision SUV (10.867), Emgrand GS (10.028) and Emgrand GL (7.050). An outstanding performance, in line with Geely’s #1 ranking in our list of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at this year’s Beijing Auto Show.
The other Chinese superstar, Haval, #1 in our most impressive ranking both in Beijing 2014 and Shanghai 2015, is up 47% to 94.005 with Great Wall Motor jumping 31% to 104.844 overall, lifting the Group’s year-to-date tally ip 19% to 794.836. Great Wall has vowed to try and hit one million sales in a single year and will require another two months of explosive gains to reach this ambitious target. This month, the Haval H6 (56.667), H2 (21.079) and H7 (6.134) all beat their all-time monthly record. Dongfeng, #2 most impressive at Beijing 2016, also impresses (+49%), partly thanks to a splendid performance by the Fengguang 580 (personal best 14.382 sales) but also the launch of the Fengxing SX6 (8.157) which we will cover in a separate update.
Among other Chinese manufacturers, Chery (+39%), Soueast (+43%), Leopaard (+49%), GAC Trumpchi (+52%), Changhe (+55%) and Roewe (+238%) thanks to a first month above 20.000 units by the RX5 all post spectacular gains, while newcomers Cowin (7.o32), SWM (6.175) and Borgward (5.188) confirm they are here to stay just as another all-new Chinese brand makes its first appearance in the ranking: Hanteng (5.006), which will be covered shortly in our special New launches update. In the models ranking, as is the case every month in China there are plenty of other records to celebrate, even on top of the aforementioned ones. The Nissan Sylphy posts its 2nd ever month above 40.000 sales, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+63%), Buick Envision (+87%) and Ford Escort (+51%) all beat their monthly volume record as do the Chery Arrizo 5 and BYD Song both above 15.000 units.
Last but not least, two September launches become instant blockbusters: the Chevrolet Cavalier soars to 13.837 deliveries – already outselling the Cruze (11.191) – but the most surprising result comes from the Baojun 310 in a category that the Chinese market as a whole and the Baojun brand in particular had not paid much attention to before: it leaps up to 11.809 sales for its 2nd month in market, already Baojun’s biggest ever monthly score for a passenger car (the 630 hit an all-time high of 10.220). Also launched last month, the Chery Tiggo 7 (7.138) and SWM X7 (6.175) improve further while the first Renault to be produced in China, the Kadjar hits the 4.000 sales mark for the first time for its 8th month in market.
One year ago: China October 2015: Market up 13% thanks to tax cut
Full October 2016 Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 models below.