* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 China-made models by clicking on the title *
After gaining 26% in both July and August, the Chinese new light vehicle market gets another stunning boost in September at +29% to 2.27 million units just as buyers rush to dealership to benefit from the 50% tax cut to 5% on small engine-vehicles, an incentive that is set to expire at the end of the year. This score is very close to the highest monthly volume ever recorded in China (2.44 million in December 2015). Year-to-date, sales in China are up 15% to 16.75 million units. After over a year of sales boosted by the tax cut, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers anticipates a significant slow down in 2017 if the tax cut ends as planned. It is therefore lobbying the Chinese government to extend the tax cut, but the government hasn’t responded yet. It is in fact in its best interest to keep uncertainty going as the effect on sales this year has been spectacular.
The SUV segment is once again the engine of growth in China with a whopping 52% year-on-year gain in September to 879.000 units, but MPVs – up 37% to 221.500 – and sedans – up 17% to 1.12 million – also show very healthy figures. Only microvans (-33% to 48.600) have gone out of fashion. The Volkswagen Group outsells General Motors this month as the largest carmaker in China with sales up 20% year-on-year to 382.300, adding up to 2.85 million year-to-date (+11%). Its namesake brand Volkswagen remains the most popular in the country by far, replicating the market’s growth at +29% to 280.708 units, 2.4 times higher than any other brand. Over the first 9 months of the year, Volkswagen is up 11% to 2.16 million, Audi up 6% to 440.200, Skoda up 17% to 234.500 and Porsche up 11% to 49.200.
General Motors on the other hand is up 16% this month to 343.773, boosted by Buick up 13% to 110.395, Wuling up 6% to 108.225 including LCVs, Baojun up 46% to 70.081 and Cadillac up 63% to 12.539 including imports. CAAM data indicates Chevrolet is down 10% to 51.078 but the manufacturer reports sales up 3% to 51.932. In any case the arrival of the Cavalier – with almost 10.000 sales this month – will give the struggling brand a welcome boost in the coming months and will be covered shortly in our special “All-new models” article. Year-to-date, GM sales are up 9% to a record-high 2.72 million units. In the China-made brands ranking, below Volkswagen Honda snaps the 2nd spit thanks to sales up 31%, distancing Changan (+73%), Buick (+13%), Hyundai (+16%), Nissan (+34%), Ford (+49%) and Toyota (+6%).
Among Chinese manufacturers, both Haval (87.627) and Geely (76.796) surge 68% year-on-year in September to complete the podium below Changan. Below, Beijing Auto (+52%), Dongfeng (+70%), Chery (+51%), GAC Trumpchi (+69%), Zotye (+108%), Roewe (+204%), Soueast (+625%), Leopaard (+58%) and Changhe (+141%) all spectacularly outpace their home market. Newcomers Cowin (#43), Brilliance-Shineray SWM (#44) and Borgward (#48) all fit within the Top 50 brands. In the luxury race (figures include imports), Audi continues to see its once unsurmountable advantage over its two German rivals shrink. Its sales are up a meagre 2.6% in September to 54.499 vs. 49.204 for BMW and 46.443 for Mercedes-Benz, both up 20%. Year-to-date, Audi is up 6.2% to 440.233, followed by Mercedes at 344.791 (+30%) and BMW at 330.000 (+10%).
Complete models analysis will follow shortly.
Previous month: China August 2016: Second consecutive month up 26% – SUVs up 44%
Full September 2016 Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 China-made models below.