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Chinese buyers continue to rush into car dealership to take advantage of the last months of purchase tax for vehicles with small engines at 5%. New light vehicle wholesales for November are up 17% year-on-year to 2.59 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, with retail sales surging an even more impressive 20% to 2.42 million vehicles according to the China Passenger Car Association. Year-to-date, Chinese sales are up 15% to 21.68 million which means a 26th consecutive annual car sales record with a month to spare. It is reported that the Chinese government will raise the purchase tax on small cars from the 5% in place since October 2015 back up to 7.5%. That’s a more favourable situation than before the pre-tax cut rate of 10%, and should help a smooth landing for overall car sales in China in 2017. In November no less than 89 nameplates sell more than 10.000 units, to be compared with just 35 in the U.S – and the latter includes Light Commercial Vehicles which isn’t the case for China.
The RX5 lifts Roewe sales up 169% this month.
The Chinese market growth is solely due to the everlasting dynamism of the SUV segment this month. For the first time in Chinese history, more than one million SUV are sold in a single month, up 27% on November 2015 to 1.023.633 units. In contrast, sedans are down 0.1% to 1.293.646 and MPVs are down 19% to 227.010 sales. Year-to-date, SUV sales are up a flamboyant 38% to 7.991.987, sedans are up 3.3% to 10.894.172 and MPVs up 11% to 2.124.544. For the second year in a row, the SUV tsunami hitting the Chinese market is mainly benefiting Chinese carmakers. In October, 1.058.000 Chinese passenger cars were sold in China, up 30% year-on-year and accounting for a 45.1% market share. But Chinese SUVs were up 60% to 557.000 to reach 62.2% share, up 6.6 percentage points on October 2015. Year-to-date, Chinese passenger car brands are up 20% to 8.13 million units for a 42.6% share (+1.7) but sedans are down 6% to 1.815.000 for a 18.9% share (-1.9) while SUVs are up 57% to 3.930.000 for a 57% share, up 4.2 percentage points on the same period in 2015. Chinese MPV sales are up 25% to 1.78 million for a 89.7% market share (+1.7).
The Volkswagen Group reclaims the top spot off General Motors among manufacturers present in China with sales up 13.6% year-on-year to 373.800 vs. 371.740 for GM (+7%). Nissan Motor Co. is up 11% to 135.800, Ford Motor Co. is up 17% to 124.113 whereas the battle for Asian supremacy in the annual ranking is getting heated: Nissan Motor is up 9.3% to 1.19 million units, Honda is up 28% to 1.11 million, just this month overtaking Toyota up 10% to 1.10 million. Meanwhile the luxury race is getting tighter again with Audi still in the lead at +6.6% to 52.776 sales but BMW catching up at +21% to 49.400 and Mercedes up 17% to 42.310. Note all figures above are reported by manufacturers and include imports, therefore differ with the sales tables displayed within this article.
Great Wall Motor and Geely are once again the most impressive local actors in the Chinese market. Thanks to Haval sales up a gigantic 67% to 117.161, Great Wall jumps 43% to 129.087 units and will hit its objective of selling over 1 million units in 2016, with its tally adding up to 923.923 vehicles (+22%) after 11 months. The Haval H6 becomes the best-selling nameplate in the whole of China for the 2nd time ever after last April, posting an incredible record 70.292 sales for the month, up 74% year-on-year and 24% on its previous personal best at 56.666 established… last month. The H2 breaks into the Top 20 for the first time thanks to the launch of its blue label variant with deliveries up 44% to a record 26.039, the H7 posts its very first five-digit sales result at 10.105, slowly but surely lifting the brand up in price, the H9 is up 9%, the H5 up 5% but the H1 drops 12% and the H8 is down 34%.
Geely for its part simply doubles its sales year-on-year (+99%) to break the 100.000 monthly retail sales milestone for the first time in its history at 102.422. Wholesales hit the same milestone, up 82% to 102.515. The Emgrand EC7 remains the best-selling Chinese sedan, up 29% with the help of the electric variant, the Boyue SUV breaks a new record at 18.531, as do the Vision SUV at 10.942, the Emgrand GS at 10.078 and the Emgrand GL at 10.010 for its first five-digit sales month. Note Geely ranked #1 in our list of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at this year’s Beijing Auto Show while Haval was #1 in our most impressive ranking both in Beijing 2014 and Shanghai 2015. We at BSCB seem to be good at picking out the future winners of the Chinese market…
Other notable improvements by Chinese manufacturers include Baojun up 56% thanks to stable and strong sales of the 560 SUV (31.248), sales up 77% for the 730 MPV (44.365) and an exceptional 15.006 units by the mini hatch 310 in a segment-defying performance. Indeed small hatches have traditionally been shunned by Chinese carbuyers but Baojun is proving this wrong with the 310. Chery soars 40% thanks to the Arrizo 5 posting another record at 16.973 units and the Tiggo 7 breaking the 10.000 monthly sales barrier as early as for its third month in market. GAC Trumpchi is up 37% with the GS4 posting another stunning month at 32.088 sales in 7th place overall and the GS8 landing in the sales charts (covered separately in out All-new models focus). Roewe catapults up 169% solely thanks to the blockbuster RX5 SUV breaking a new record at 21.455 sales.
Below the Haval H6, the Wuling Hongguang convinces another 68.025 buyers to lift its year-to-date tally to 567.475, down 2% on the same period in 2015. The Nissan Sylphy (+21%) is the best-selling sedan in the country this month, outpacing the VW Lavida (-15%) which owes its third position year-to-date to its Gran Lavida hatch variant accounting for 61.183 of the 502.331 sales it has accumulated in 2016 so far. The Haval H6 lurks just behind at 500.188 and should pass the Lavida next month to rank #2 overall over the Full Year 2016. Among sedans, the Buick Excelle GT, Toyota Corolla, VW Sagitar, Ford Escort and VW Jetta all sell over 30.000 units each. Other record breakers this month include the BYD Song (16.191), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (15.575), BAIC Senova X35 (11.547), Changan CS15 (10.430), Jeep Cherokee (10.000), Lifan Myway (9.108) and Leopaard CS10 (8.839).
Among nameplates that launched last month, the Hyundai New Verna is the most successful, improving 162% and 83 spots to break into the Top 50 at #47 with 15.422 sales. Logically, the previous generation Verna freefalls 70% year-on-year to #133 and 5.966. The Dongfeng Fengxing SX6 confirms it is an instant blockbuster by improving 4% on an already impressive initial score to 8.455 sales. The Hanteng X7 does the same at 5.080 sales vs. 5.006 in October, the Foton Gratour is up 7.5%, the BAIC Weiwang M50 and Honda Gienia are both up 3-fold, the Peugeot 3008 is up 10-fold and the Honda Avancier up 5-fold. Great follow-ups all around for the class of October 2016, but the Hanteng X7 is the only one reaching its bar for success so far.
Previous month: China October 2016: Geely and Haval impress in market up 20%
Full November 2016 Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models below.