China December 2016: Focus on the All-new models

Soueast DX3 China December 2016. Picture courtesy mmia.comSoueast DX3

* See the December 2016 Top 75 China-made brands and Top 422 models here *

As is the tradition each month, BSCB puts a laser focus on the new China-made nameplates that make their appearance in market so you are on the bleeding edge of knowledge as far as the largest car market in the world is concerned. New car sales in China ended 2016 on a high note with December up to a record 2.6 million units. The December class of all-new nameplates is in line with this stunning figure: no less than 13 all-new nameplates point their bonnet in the sales charts, a new record.

1. Soueast DX3 (#100 with 8.535 sales)

The DX3 is Soueast’s second SUV after the DX7, it was launched at the Chengdu Auto Show last November and was also designed jointly with Pininfarina. At 4.35m long, it is powered by a choice of two Mitsubishi-sourced engines: a 120hp 1.5 and a 150hp 1.5T. Priced between 72.900 and 99.900 yuan (US$10.600-14.500), the DX3 enters the most crowded segment in China: small Chinese SUVs. It will compete with the likes of the JAC Refine S3, Changan CS35, Brilliance V3, BAIC Senova X35, Geely Vision SUV, Emgrand GS and Haval H2s among a plethora of others. The DX7, launched in August 2015, peaked at 9.531 sales last October so in this context the first month of the DX3, instantly making it the brand’s best-seller, is simply stunning. Regular stints at or above 10.000 units would delight Soueast.

Bar for success: 10.000 monthly sales

BAIC EC-Series China December 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cn

2. BAIC EC-Series (#174 with 4.128 sales)

Beijing Auto unveiled the EC180 at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November and although it is only due to go on sale in China on January 18, it already appears in the December charts with a sturdy 4.128 sales – probably to allow BAIC to meet its electric car sales quota for 2016. A small 3.67m-long hatch disguised as a crossover with black arches and bi-colour paint on some variants, the EC180 is powered by a 41hp electric motor with a 180km range (giving the car its name). Some nice touches include blue lines around the headlights but the interior is disappointing. The EC180 is manufactured by BAIC BJEV, a subsidiary of BAIC that it owns at 60%, the other 40% including LeEco, self-proclaimed competitor to Tesla. The EC180 joins an already extensive electric lineup by BAIC including the EV200, EX200 and EU260, and its December figure seems a tad inflated. A long-term career at this level would be very satisfying for BAIC indeed.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

Bisu M3 China December 2016

3. Bisu M3 (#211 with 2.597 sales)

This month we welcome a new brand in the Chinese sales charts: Bisu Auto, its full name being Chonqing Bisu Automotive Corporation. Part of the Beijing Auto (BAIC) empire, this new brand has close links with Beiqi-Yinxiang which sells the Huansu brand. In fact, the Bisu M3 is only a disguised Huansu H3 targetting younger buyers after a cheap, spacious MPVs where the Huansu brand is for all ages. A large 4.76m seven-seater, the Bisu M3 is priced between 61.900 and 83.900 yuan (US$9.000-12.200), a premium over the Huansu H3 (55.800-62.800) and its first month is honest, above 2.500 sales. It will need to reach double that to truly establish itself in the hyper-competitive (and shrinking) MPV market.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

Venucia T90 China December 2016

4.  Venucia T90 (#217 with 2.481 sales)

If you thought Venucia, a low-cost brand fruit of the Dongfeng-Nissan joint-venture, was destined to recycle unloved Nissan mechanics and designs to slowly disappear into oblivion, think again. At the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2015, the brand unveiled the Vow concept, which I thought was a little far-flung. Not so. Only one year later at the Beijing Auto Show 2016, the Venucia T90 was born. A very impressive coupe SUV that only has an equivalent in the now-defunct Honda Crosstour, the T90 stands at 4.79 long and 1.59 high, with a ground clearance of 194mm. It is based on the current generation Nissan Murano (2015) and priced from 109.800 to 154.800 yuan (US$15.900-22.400).

The T90 interior is almost as impressive as its exterior design with a 12.3 inch touch screen larger than anything in the Nissan lineup, let alone other Venucia offerings. However the T90’s weakness is its engine: an antediluvian Nissan 144hp 2.0l 4-cyl petrol mated to a 6-speed manual or a ‘Xtronic’ CVT, only able to get you from 0 to 100km/h in 12.4 seconds. Yet the Chinese consumer may never push it that hard and most probably won’t leave the bitumen roads of the city it was bought in. In this context, Local outlet AutoHome.com.cn doesn’t hesitate to pit the T90 against such blockbusters as the Geely Boyue, Roewe RX5 and Nissan Qashqai, all able to sell over 20.000 monthly units. The other SUV in the Venucia lineup, the T70, isn’t affected in the least by the arrival of the larger T90 as it broke its month volume record just this month at 9.764. Let’s not put that much pressure on the T90 just yet, and we may well be happily surprised.

Bar for success: 8.000 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengshen AX5 China December 2016. Picture courtesy autoifeng.com

5. Dongfeng Fengshen AX5 (#232 with 2.246 sales)

Slotting in-between the AX3 and AX7, the Dongfeng Fengshen AX5 enters the most competitive and crowded segment in the entire Chinese market: compact SUVs. Priced between 89.700 and 128.700 yuan and at 4.50m long, it will rival the likes of the Haval H6 and GAC Trumpchi GS4, an arduous task to say the least. The AX5 is powered by a new 1.4 turbo engine delivering 140hp mated to a 6-speed DCT or a 6-speed manual. Its interior is a little morose with a small 8 inch touch screen giving permanent 4G internet connection. The AX7 has a personal best of 9.531 sales (last October) while the AX5 peaked at 4.177 (last September), but the AX5 fits the current size and price trends better, so it could reach higher ground. Plus Dongfeng’s most recent SUV launches have been runaway hits (the Fengguang 580 and Fengxing SX6)…

Bar for success: 8.500 monthly sales

Volvo S90 China December 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com

6. Volvo S90L (#294 with 968 sales)

The Chinese version of the Volvo S90 has been named S90L because it is a long-wheelbase iteration of the S90 that launched earlier this year in Europe and North America. It has been extended by 12cm to allow more space to the rear passengers. The S90L is priced between 399.800 and 579.800 yuan (US$58.000-84.100) but an ultra-luxurious 3-seat variant, the S90L Excellence is scheduled for 2017: it has no front passenger seat to allow full space for the rear passenger, this type of cars being traditionally driven by a valet in China, with the owner sitting in the back.

Property of Geely since 2010, Volvo manufactures the S90L in Daqing and will later export this China-made sedan to Europe and North America. The S90L competes with the traditional leaders in the segments: the Audi A6L, BMW 5Li and Mercedes E-Class L, as well as a new entrant, the Jaguar XFL. Predicting its sales career is a little tricky as this is clearly the most luxurious and expensive offer by Volvo in China so far. The XC60 SUV peaked at 4.154 sales this month, while the S60L has a personal best of 3.190 deliveries in November. Before them, the S80L only managed four-digit sales figures three times, peaking at 1.291 sales in December 2011. Matching the S60L best should be a stretch target, but the S90 could go higher an may hit 5.000 sales on a freak month.

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly sales

JMEV E200 China December 2016

JMEV E100 China December 2016

7. JMC (JMEV) E200 (#295 with 951 sales)

8. Kandi K10 (#318 with 703 sales)

9. JMC (JMEV) E100 (#320 with 676 sales)

December is traditionally the month when Chinese manufacturers rush various electric models to market in order to meet sales target for this segment and qualify for government subsidies. This year is no exception, with a total of five electric or eco-friendly entrants, including these three. The Kandi K10 adds to an expanding lineup by the Geely-owned brand, along with the existing K11, K12 and K17. As for the two JMC nameplates, these are an odder appearance. Seemingly in market for at least a year, they only appear now to get inserted in the annual rankings, and their sales figure for December could actually reflect the whole of 2016 instead of just one month.  Priced from 179.800 to 182.800 yuan (US$26.100-26.600), the E200 is the most popular of the three and appears to be a clone of the previous generation Changan Benben.

JAC Refine A60 China December 2016

10. JAC Refine A60 (#351 with 376 sales)

Originally unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2014, the JAC Refine A60 finally landed in market after almost three years of unveiling, launching, tweaking and facelifting. This time the attraction is the new Lexus-inspired grille. JAC made a big deal of this final – promised – version at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November and displayed no less than 8 examples, the only nameplate on show in its stand. To be fair, it is the brand’s new flagship at 5.01m long and priced between 139.500 and 179.500 yuan (US$20.200-26.000), so JAC should be proud about it. It’s a tricky segment for Chinese carmakers though, with only the Geely GC9 having really succeeded so far (personal best at 6.001 sales in January 2016). Other competitors for the A60 include the Dongfeng Aeolus A9 (peak at 505 sales), GAC Trumpchi GA8 (509 sales) and Zotye Z700 (1.983). In this context, reaching a four-digit monthly sales figure would already be a relief for JAC.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

Bisu T3 China December 2016

11. Bisu T3 (#361 with 320 sales)

The T3 small SUV is the second model by new manufacturer Bisu, also launching the M3 MPV this month (see above). The creation of the T3 is shrouded in controversy: even though it is based on the platform of the Huansu S2 and S3, engineers employed at Changan – also based in Chongqing – moved to Bisu with the design blueprints of the Changan CS55, of which the Bisu T3 is a thinly veiled copy. To add insult to injury, the Bisu T3 has managed to beat the Changan CS55 to market… At 4.35m long and powered by a turbocharged 1.3L engine with 132hp, the T3 adds to a seemingly never-ending list of compact Chinese SUVs and given the market hasn’t quenched its thirst for this type of vehicle yet, it is a good idea indeed. The T3 is reasonably priced at 74.900-86.900 yuan (US$10.900-12.600), its design is cool enough for the youth in the booming countryside and both its mechanics and interior are modern. Bisu has all the cards for a solid success with the T3, and will launch a larger T5 before the end of the year.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

Jeep Compass China December 2016

12. Jeep Compass (#368 with 300 sales)

Even before launching at home in the U.S.A, the new generation Jeep Compass has started production in Brazil (see November 2016 Brazilian sales article here) and now in China where it officially launched on December 28. It is manufactured by Guangzhou-Fiat and is the third China-made Jeep to hit Chinese shores in just above one year after the Cherokee and Renegade. The Compass is priced from 159.800 to 241.800 yuan (US$23.200-35.100), only slightly higher than the Renegade (134.800-202.800) and almost entirely below the Cherokee (229.800-315.800). The Compass is an extremely important nameplate for Jeep in China: the Cherokee and Renegade – although very successful – were merely tiptoeing into Chinese waters for the American legendary brand…

In the world’s thirstiest market about SUVs, the previous generation Compass held the title of best-selling import for the most part of 2015 before the manufacturer started producing locally. The Compass nameplate is therefore well-known to Chinese consumers and its local production has brought its price down significantly. True blockbuster material here, with the potential to lift Jeep to the next level in China. The Cherokee’s personal best was hit this month at 10.109 sales while the Renegade never did better than 4.050 sales on its 2nd month in market last July. A five-digit sales figure will label the Compass a success, but it should be able to hit 15.000 or even 20.000 in cruising mode.

Bar for success: 10.000 monthly sales

Horki 300E China December 2016

13. Horki 300E (#409 with 5 sales)

In the same way Toyota created the Ranz and Leahead brands to sell (dated) electric vehicles and comply with Chinese government directions – their launch in market is still to come, Dongfeng-Yueda Kia launched the Horki brand back in 2013 but is only making its appearance in the Chinese sales charts now. The 300E is a rebadged previous generation Kia Cerato (still in production in China) with an updated front but a decidedly obsolete interior. It is powered by a 108hp electric motor with a 280km range, but is only playing a figurative role in the Chinese market.

Bar for success: 500 sales

Previous month: China November 2016: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago:  China December 2015: Focus on the All-new models

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

Haval H2s China December 2016Haval sells a record 136.522 units in December. Only Volkswagen and Hyundai do better.

* See the Top 75 China-made brands and Top 422 models by clicking on the title *

If you thought all records that could possibly be broken already have in China this year, think again. Consumers take advantage of the last month of purchase tax for vehicles with small engines reduced to 5% to once again flock to dealerships en masse. The passenger car market is up 6.5% year-on-year to 2.6 million units, the largest ever monthly figure in China (and any country in the world). If sedans are down 3% year-on-year this month to 1.251.299 units and MPVs down 0.3% to 269.496, SUVs continue to be the sole responsible for the Chinese market growth in December, catapulting up 33% on December 2015 to establish a 4th all-time monthly record in as many months. After September (891.612), October (919.279) and November (1.023.633), December SUV sales lift the all-time high bar to 1.081.014 units. It is indeed only the second month in history that SUV monthly sales surpass 1 million in China.

Geely Boyue China December 2016. Picture courtesy bitauto.comGeely more than doubles its sales year-on-year at +101% to a record 109.328.

In the brands ranking – with all figures in this article excluding imports and LCVs – Volkswagen doubles the market growth at +13% followed by Hyundai up 14%. The performer of the month is without a doubt Chinese SUV specialist Haval, up a gigantic 73% to a record 136.522 deliveries, shooting up to third best-selling brand overall in China. This month, Haval outsells household names such as Honda (133.225), Buick (123.278), Nissan (109.982), Ford (99.788) and Toyota (92.019), and sells almost three times as many SUVs than its followers in the segment: Changan (52.099) and Honda (50.623). The Haval H6 lodges a third straight monthly record: after 56.666 sales in October, 70.292 in November, no less than 80.485 H6 found a new home in December, up 89% year-on-year. Haval even has the two best-selling SUVs in the country this month with the H2 up 76% to 35.284, boosted by the arrival of the H2s. Finally the H7 continues to gear up with a new record at 10.852 sales.

Baojun 560 730 China December 2016Baojun sells over 100.000 monthly units for the very first time in December.

Geely is the other stunning performer in December with once again sales doubling year-on-year at +101% to 109.328, a new record for the brand which has now posted six-digit sales figures for the second consecutive month – and ever. The Emgrand EC7 remains the brand’s best-seller at 28.539 units (+21%) but the Boyue SUV is catching up fast, crossing a new milestone at 20.377 sales. The Emgrand GS (10.222) and GL (10.103) also break their monthly record while the Vision (12.028) and Vision SUV (10.526) maintain themselves at very robust levels. Baojun is the third Chinese brand above 100.000 sales in December, and it passes its signpost for the first time in its history thanks to all-time high performances by the 730 MPV (50.128) and 310 hatch (17.896).

Mercedes E Class L China December 2016Mercedes is the #1 luxury brand in China for the first time this month, outselling Audi. 

Further down, notice Changan (+43%), Dongfeng (+12%), Chery (+25%), Peugeot (+12%), GAC Trumpchi (+30%) and Roewe (+189%) resuscitated by the RX5 SUV breaking its monthly record again to 24.778 and 7th best-selling SUV. Historical event in the luxury brands ranking: for the first time in the history of automobile in China, Mercedes takes the lead thanks to a 14% lift to 34.582 sales, dethroning Audi down 42% to 27.063 while BMW lurks in third place at 26.427 (+9%). Mercedes is taking advantage of exceptional performances by the new E-Class (+72%) and GLC (+92%). Among smaller brands, Lifan up 108% thanks to the Myway at a record 10.138, Cadillac up 168% thanks to the CT6 and XT5, Jeep up 144% with the Cherokee and Renegade now joined by the Compass, JMC up 380% and Changhe up 99% are among the biggest gainers. We also welcome two new brands: Bisu and Horki. More detail in our “Focus on all-new models” December update coming shortly.

Bisu logoWe welcome the new brand Bisu this month in China. 

In the models ranking, other notable record-breakers this month include the Chery Arrizo 5 (21.148) now comfortably installed in 2nd place in the Chinese passenger car ranking below the Geely Emgrand EC7, the Hyundai New Verna (19.080), BYD Song (18.178), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (17.078), BAIC Senova X35 (16.348), Peugeot 408 (14.855), Chevrolet Cavalier (14.834), Ford Edge (13.837), Chery Tiggo 7 (11.039), Citroen C3-XR (10.239), Jeep Cherokee (10.109), JMC Yusheng (9.623), SWM X7 (7.168), BAW BJ20 (6.637) and Hanteng X7 (6.031).

GAC Trumpchi GS8 China December 2016Launched in November, the GAC Trumpchi GS8 has already surpassed its BSCB bar for success. 

Among nameplates launched last month, three comfortably cross the 5.000 monthly sales milestone: the Karry K60 is first to the finish line in December with 6.829 sales, up 160% on its inaugural month, but it is followed closely by the Zotye SR9 up 105% to 6.747. The most impressive performance however is tdelivered by the GAC Trumpchi GS8 up 160% to 6.501 sales and mimicking the success of its little brother the GS4, a lot more affordable. Priced between 163.800 and 259.800 yuan (US$23.500 – 37.300), the GS8 has already smashed the bar for success we established at 6.000 sales. The Renault Koleos is up 9% to remain above the Kadjar but the VW C-Trek surprisingly dives 51% to just 2.772 sales. This month’s all-new nameplates will be covered in a separate post shortly.

Previous month: China November 2016: One million SUVs lift market up 17%

One year ago: China December 2015: Tax cut lifts market up 17% to all-time record

Full December 2016 Top 75 China-made brands and Top 422 models below.

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China LCV November 2016: Discover the Top 45 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Sichuan Mini Truck China November 2016. Picture couertesy 360che.comSichuan Mini Truck sales are up 365% in November.

* See the Top 45 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars we can share with you today November data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China. Note no van or light truck data is available this month. Minivans continue their freefall at -50% to 31.070 sales and -44% to 419.377 year-to-date, mini trucks are also down at -6% to 40.954 but remain in positive YTD at +9.5% to 460.359 and pickups keep recovering at +14% to 31.500 and +11% to 308.496 so far this year. The Wuling Mini Truck less the way despite sales down 7%, ahead of the Wuling Sunshine (-45%) and Rongguang (-39%) while the Great Wall Wingle 5 is down 2% but ranks 4th. Notice the Dongfeng K-Series Mini Truck up 55%, the JMC Yuhu up 330% and the Sichuan Modern Mini Truck up 365%.

Previous month: China LCV October 2016: Discover the Top 60 models (BSCB Exclusive)

One year ago: China LCV November 2015: Wuling Mini Truck edges closer to annual win

Full November 2016 Top 45 models ranking below.

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China November 2016: Focus on the All-new models

vw-c-trek-china-november-2016VW C-Trek 

* See the Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models by clicking here *

After nine all-new locally produced nameplates entered the Chinese market both in September and October, the November class is a little more limited with five new entrants, including four SUVs.

1. VW C-Trek (#142 – 5.602 sales)

The C-Trek is the crossover-looking wagon version of the VW Bora, but its sales are counted separately (contrary to the Cross Lavida) as its nameplate does not include the Bora name. It is powered by the same engines as the Bora: a 100hp 1.6 and a 131hp 1.4 turbo, and priced between 107.800 and 153.800 yuan (US$ 15.500-22.100). This is a very unique segment in China with not many actors, but trust Volkswagen to transform the C-Trek into a hit.

Bar for success: 10.000 sales

zotye-sr9-china-november-2016-pictuer-cheshi-com

2. Zotye SR9 (#188 – 3.286 sales)

The car pictured above isn’t a Porsche Macan. I swear. It’s the new Zotye SR9. The manufacturer is developing a nasty reputation for (successful) copycat after the T600 (VW Touareg), Damai X5 (VW Tiguan) and SR7 (Audi Q3). The next one, the Damai X7, is a clone of the VW Cross Coupe GTE Concept: Zotye isn’t even waiting for already-launched models to copy them now. If the Macan starts at 558.000 yuan (US$80.200), the SR9 is priced between 109.800 and 162.800 yuan ($15.800-23.400), meaning you can buy five SR9 for the price of one Macan… It is powered by a 190ho 2.0 turbo engine like the Landwind X7, a clone of the Range Rover Evoque. Porsche announced plans to sue Zotye, but like Jaguar Land Rover and Landwind, this has little chance to getting anywhere. China is really still the wild wild west when it comes to copyrights. The truth is, like for each copycat Zotye has launched, the SR9 is likely to be a strong commercial success, and its initial month already goes this way.

Bar for success: 7.000 sales

renault-koleos-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-liufen-cc

3. Renault Koleos (#204 – 2.878 sales)

After the Kadjar in March, the Koleos is Renault’s second ever nameplate to be produced in China, by the Dongfeng-Renault joint venture. It is based on the Nissan X-Trail platform with whom it shares the wheelbase, engines and gearbox. To establish the nameplate in the crowed Chinese SUV market, Renault has amped up the sophistication in the cockpit compared to X-Trail, all this for the same price: from 179.800 to 269.800 yuan (US$25.800-38.800) for the Kadjar vs. 181.800-267.800 ($26.100-38.500) for the X-Trail. Although the X-Trail is an absolute blockbuster in China with a personal best of 20.504 sales and three times above 20.000, Renault is still a newcomer in this market and must aim lower to start with. The Kadjar’s highest month so far is 4.006 sales in October, but the Koleos benefits from a relative amount of nameplate recognition as this is the second generation on sale in China – the first was imported. Given it is a much larger and improved car sold for less, 7.500 monthly units would really establish the brand.

Bar for success: 7.500 sales

karry-k60-china-november-2016

4. Karry K60 (#211 – 2.624 sales)

The Karry K60 is a rebadge of the Cowin V3 launched last July. Its SUV-MPV allure is right on target for current Chinese countryside customers and it should help further the brand’s sales along with the successful K50. Chery is now on a roll with three separate brands (Chery, Karry and Cowin) after years of stagnation. Available in five, six and seven-seat configurations, the K60 is priced from 59.000 to 79.000 yuan (US$8.500-11.400) and should aim at a 7.500 monthly sales average in the long term, with a potential peak around 10.000 like the K50.

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

gac-trumpchi-gs8-china-november-2016-picture-2-courtesy-ifeng-com

5. GAC Trumpchi GS8 (#215 – 2.505 sales)

The GAC Trumpchi GS8 was unveiled at this year’s Beijing Auto Show and is the new flagship of the brand. It shares its platform with the GA8 sedan and the upcoming GM8 MPV. It is priced between 163.800 and 259.800 yuan (US$23.500 – 37.300) and is certainly the most American-looking Chinese SUV ever made. There’s a reason for that: GAC has made no secret that it wants to start selling in the U.S by 2020.

gac-trumpchi-gs8-interior-china-november-2016GAC Trumpchi GS8 interior

For now, the Trumpchi GS8 enters the Chinese SUV market from the top and will give Haval a run for its money. If marketed smartly, the GS8 could benefit from the incredible success of the GS4, currently ranking #7 overall (all segments included) and regularly selling upwards of 30.000 monthly units. Such high scores are impossible for an expensive Chinese SUV like the GS8, but the GS8 will certainly push the boundaries within which pricey Chinese SUVs previously evolved within. Haval has not been able to make a success out of the H8 nor the H9, but the GS8’s initial score is already higher than every single month of sales of the two Haval, bar two. Promising.

Bar for success: 6.000 sales

The last new entrant in China in November is the Kandi K12 (#313 – 644 sales) but irregular appearances of Geely’s electric brand inside the sales charts make it impossible to forecast their future.

China November 2016: One million SUVs lift market up 17%

chery-tiggo7-china-november-2016One million SUVs found a buyer in China in November, including over 10.000 Chery Tiggo 7.

* See the Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models by clicking on the title *

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.

roewe-rx5-china-november-2016The 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).

geely-boyue-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-goshijia-comAnother record month for the Geely Boyue (18.531 sales). 

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.

Haval H6 Coupe China November 2016The Haval H6 is the best-selling nameplate in China this month with over 70.000 sales.

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-emgrand-gl-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-qctsw-comThe Geely Emgrand GL breaks the 10.000 monthly unit-barrier for the first time. 

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…

dongfeng-fengguang-580-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-sina-com-cnThe Dongfeng Fengguang 580 pushes past the 15.000 sales mark in November. 

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.

haval-h7-china-november-2016First five-digit sales month for the Haval H7…

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).

changan-cs15-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-qq-com…and for the Changan CS15 as well.

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%

One year ago: China November 2015: Pollution and tax cuts push market up 24%

Full November 2016 Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models below.

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China LCV October 2016: Discover the Top 60 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Huanghai N2 China October 2016. Picture courtesy pcauto.com.cnHuanghai N2-Series sales are up 49% year-on-year in October. 

* See the Top 60 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

October sales data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China is now available thanks to our partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars with complete Minivan, Pickup and Mini Truck model figures as well as selected Light Truck and Van data provided by LMC Automotive. Mini Trucks (+7%) and Pickups (+6%) continue to post strong results in contrast with Minivans freefalling 53% and now accounting for just 23.945 sales vs. 41.011 for Mini Trucks. This is impacting the overall LCV total down 9% to 249.776 for October and down 11% to 2.657.231 so far this year. Thanks to sales up 24% year-on-year, the Foton Light Truck snaps back the YTD pole position off the Wuling Mini Truck at 203.545 vs. 202.146 sales. It’s going to be a photo finish until the end of the year. The Wuling Hongguang V (+93%) is back on the podium, with the entire Top 7 best-selling nameplates registering year-on-year gains. As part of the pickup revival currently happening in China thanks to deregulations in four provinces, the Great Wall Wingle 6 is up 37%, the JMC Yuhu up 65%, the JAC Pickup up 82% and the Huanghai N2-Series up 49%.

Previous month: China LCV September 2016: Wuling Mini Truck now in YTD lead

One year ago: China LCV October 2015: Discover the Top 60 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Full October 2016 Top 60 models ranking below.

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China October 2016: Focus on the All-new models

dongfeng-fengxing-sx6-china-october-2016Dongfeng Fengxing SX6 

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 models by clicking here *

Like in September, the October class of all-new nameplates amount to nine, including six above 1.000 units. Once again, SUVs dominate new launches with 5 of them this month vs. 2 sedans and 2 MPVs.

1. Dongfeng Fengxing SX6 (#90 – 8.157 sales)

Dongfeng continues its onslaught of cut-throat priced quality SUVs: after the tremendously successful Fengguang 580 (14.382 units in October and the brand’s best-selling passenger car), here comes the Fengxing SX6, also unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April. Its initial selling rate, above 8.000 units, is instant proof that this is yet another blockbuster for Dongfeng. A seven-seater crossover variant of the Fengxing S500 MPV, the Fengxing SX6 is priced between 69.900 and 102.900 yuan ($10.120-14.900) which is exactly the same range as the Fengguang 580 (72.900-99.999) but Dongfeng – probably rightly – thinks there is room for both in market. The SX6 also competes with the likes of the SWM X7 (85.900-101.900 yuan), BYD S6 (79.900-123.900 yuan) and Changan CX70 (68.900-84.900). Given the success of all aforementioned nameplates, a reasonable target for the SX6 is a long-term 10.000 monthly average. It is already almost there. It is powered by a choice of two engines: a Mitsubishi-sourced 1.6 with 117hp and a Peugeot-sourced 2.0 with 138 hp. No automatic gearbox is available.

Bar for success: 10.000 sales

hyundai-verna-china-october-2016

2. Hyundai New Verna (#130 – 5.887 sales)

Teased at the Beijing Auto Show and officially unveiled last September in Chengdu, the new generation Hyundai Verna hits the Chinese market this month and is counted separately from the previous generation which stays on Hyundai’s catalogue as it has now become the norm. Available with either a 1.4 with 100hp or 1.6 with 123hp and either six-speed manual or four-speed auto, the Verna is manufactured by the Beijing-Hyundai joint-venture and sharply priced from 60.000 to 90.000 yuan (US$8.700-13.000). The previous generations Verna hit a personal best of 31.469 units in December 2015 but only crossed the 20.000 unit-mark eight other times, so a mid-20.000’s monthly sales objective seems on par.

Bar for success: 25.000 sales

hanteng-x7-china-october-2016-picture-auto-sohu-com

3. Hanteng X7 (#144 – 5.006 sales)

After SWM (Start Win More) last month, we welcome another all-new Chinese manufacturer in the local sales charts: Hanteng. The number of Chinese carmakers in activity now stands at a mind-blowing 92 – we will cover them all in an Exclusive Chinese Brands Guide coming soon. Hanteng Autos was founded in 2013 and is based in Shangrao in the Jianxi province. Like Zotye, Hanteng is owned by Tech-New Group and it shows: its first offering, the X7, is basically a rebadged Zotye T600. Hanteng has very ambitious plans: launching four additional nameplates by 2020, starting with the X5 A-SUV, already unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show last week, but also an A0-SUV called I3, an MPV called M6 and a B-SUV called X9… (see illustration below).

hanteng-plans-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-pcauto-com-cnHanteng has ambitious plans centred around SUVs and MPVs. Smart.

The X7 is a 4.67m long five-seater SUV powered by a choice of two engines: a SAIC-sourced 1.5T with 150hp and a Shenyang Aerospace Mitsubishi 2.0T with 190hp. It is priced from 79.800 to 148.800 yuan (US$11.600-21.500) and will be almost exclusively distributed outside of the big cities on the East coast, more so in second-tier cities. For comparison, the Zotye T600 is priced from 79.800 to 115.800 yuan. The Hanteng enters one of the most competitive segments in the Chinese market, but also one that is still expanding a break-neck speed. There is room for many more Chinese SUVs, and its initial score of 5.006 sales is already very impressive. Keeping it this way in the long-term would be a step in the right direction for newcomer Hanteng.

Bar for success: 5.000 sales

foton-gratour-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-gratourauto-com

4. Foton Gratour (#220 – 2.007 sales)

Foton launched the Gratour ix5 and ix7 at the Beijing Auto Show last April but had since been accounted for in the LCV sales charts. The Gratour sub-brand now changes segments and appears in the MPV ranking – one of the intricacies of a Chinese market still finding its labels… With a very sharp design for the segment, the ix5 is priced at an impossibly low 48.900-58.900 yuan (US$7.100-8.500  while the more sophisticated ix7 goes from 59.900 to 69.900 yuan ($8.700-10.100). Given its value-for-money, we’d expect at least double the current level of monthly sales to call the Gratour a success.

Bar for success: 5.000 sales

baic-weiwang-m50-china-october-2016 baic-weiwang-m50-china-october-2016

5. BAIC Weiwang M50F (#244– 1.500 sales)

Beijing Auto is on a new launch frenzy this year: after the Weiwang S50 and Changhe Q25 in March, the BAW BJ80 in April, Senova X35 in May, Borgward BX7 in July and BAW BJ20 plus Changhe Q35 in August, it’s the turn of the Weiwang M50F to make its first appearance in the Chinese sales charts ahead of its official launch in market in early November. The M50F is is a 7-seat MPV based on the Huansu H3 platform and is unabashedly aiming square and fair at the Baojun 730. Sized almost identically at 4.72/1.80/1.72 vs. 4.71/1.79/1.72 for the Baojun, the M50F undercuts its rival as far as entry prices go from 67.800 to 91.800 yuan ($9.800-13.300) vs. 69.400-81.800 for the 730. It is powered by a choice of 1.3T with six-speed manual or 1.5 with five-speed manual.

The M50F is the second MPV sold under the Weiwang brand after the M30, launched in August 2013 and with a personal best of 23.344 sales in December 2015. As for the Weiwang S50 SUV it hit a much more modest record of 4.132 in June 2016. In this context, it is reasonable for the M50F to aim at 7.500 sales with four-digit peaks most welcome.

Bar for success: 7.500 sales

honda-gienia-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-mucang-cn

6. Honda Gienia (#253– 1.197 sales)

One of the biggest foreign beneficiaries of the SUV surge in China with its twin mini crossovers XR-V and Vezel, Honda doesn’t neglect the sedan segment and launches this China-only Gienia, a sort of mini Crosstour liftback based on the Greiz platform, itself an evolution of the City. It is manufactured in China by the Dongfeng-Honda joint-venture, powered by a 1.5 with 131hp and either a five-speed manual or CVT to benefit from the government’s tax cut currently in effect for cars with engines of or smaller than 1.6L. It is priced from 89.900 to 127.900 yuan ($13.000-18.500) but should set the sales charts on fire with its sporty grille and crossoverish profile.

Bar for success: 6.000 sales

honda-avancier-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-autoifeng-com

7. Honda Avancier (#301– 629 sales)

The second Honda to land in the Chinese sales charts this month, the Avancier was teased at the Shanghai Auto Show 2015 as the Concept D then unveiled at this year’s Beijing Auto Show. It’s a sporty five-seat (only) AWD SUV made exclusively for China and based on the third generation Honda Pilot’s platform. It slots in above the CR-V in Honda’s range and is manufactured by the Guangzhou-Honda joint venture. A twin, the UR-V, coming from Honda’s other joint-venture in China with Dongfeng, will arrive in early 2017, the same way Honda markets the XR-V and Vezel. Priced from 269.800 to 328.900 yuan (US$ 39.000-47.600) which makes it a luxury SUV, the Avancier with compete with the likes of the Buick Envision, Ford Edge, Toyota Highlander and the upcoming VW Teramont. The price range is set to go down next year though with the arrival of a 1.5T priced around 220.000 yuan, to support the 2.0T currently available. Given the tremendous success of Honda’s SUV lineup in China so far, it is legitimate to expect four-digit monthly sales figures as the norm for the Avancier.

Bar for success: 12.000 sales

weichai-enranger-g5-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-cheshi-com

8. Weichai Enranger G5 (#305– 566 sales)

After launching the Enranger G3 SUV in July 2015, the 737 MPV in September 2015 and the 727 MPV in March 2016, Weichai Auto, a new Chinese manufacturer owned by Weichai Power specialised in diesel engines, now has a fourth nameplate in its lineup. The G5 SUV is in fact a crossover variant of the 737 MPV, priced between 69.800 and 93.800 yuan (US$10.100-13.600) and for this you get an incredible 16-inch touch screen! (see below)

weichai-enranger-g5-interior-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cnWeichai Enranger G5 interior

The 737 peaked at 5.139 monthly sales over a year ago but hasn’t gone above 2.000 since January this year, the G3 at 1.654 and the 727 at 774, so in this context the G5 cannot aim at very high scores, with mid-thousand a reasonable target.

Bar for success: 1.500 sales

peugeot-4008-china-october-2016

9. Peugeot 4008 (#340– 324 sales)

Behind this 4008 hides in fact the new generation Peugeot 3008 unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show this year and already on sale across Western Europe. The reason for this name change is the fact that the current 3008 will remain on sale in China. The new 4008 is manufactured by the Dongfeng-PSA joint-venture and comes with a choice of three engines: 1.2T with 136hp, 1.6T with 167hp and 1.8T with 204hp. It is priced between 185.700 and 273.700 yuan (US$ 26.900-39.600) and although in Europe it competes squarely with “twins” Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai, in China this pricing sets it against the larger Renault Koleos (179.800-269.800) with the Kadjar at a lower 163.800-219.800, and against the Nissan X-Trail (181.800-267.800) with the Qashqai at 139.800-189.800. An ambitious (pompous?) pricing policy from embattled Peugeot given the 4008 has the heavy task to turning the brand’s fortunes around in China by riding the unstoppable SUV wave. The 2008 peaked at 8.010 monthly sales and the 3008 at 7.352. The 4008 will have to do at least as well to be deemed a success.

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

Previous month: China September 2016: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China October 2015: Focus on the All-new models

China October 2016: Geely and Haval impress in market up 20%

geely-emgrand-glGeely sales are up 96% with 5 of its 6 best-sellers breaking an all-time volume record. 

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 models by clicking on the title *

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.

roewe-rx5-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-huanqiu-comFirst month above 20.000 monthly units for the Roewe RX5. 

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.

Ford Escort China October 2016. Picture courtesy of auto.163.comThe Ford Escort sells a record 31.260 units in China this month.

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.

Haval H6 Coupe China October 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnAnother record for the Haval H6 (56.666 sales).

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.

baojun-310-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-weibo-comThe Baojun 310 is a – surprise – instant blockbuster in China with 11.809 October sales.

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.

chevrolet-cavalier-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-xcar-com-cnThe Chevrolet Cavalier outsells the Cruze, the same way the Ford Escort now outsells the Focus.

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.

Previous month: China September 2016: Market up 29% anticipating expiring incentives

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.

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China September 2016: Focus on the All-new models

baojun-310-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-emao-comThe Baojun 310 is one of nine new Chinese-made nameplates to enter the Chinese market.

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 models by clicking here *

In September the Chinese market was up a whopping 29% and this dynamism is partly due to the large amount – and success – of all-new China-made nameplates making their appearance in the charts. The September 2016 class amounts to nine new entrants, only one of them below 1.000 units. The sedan/SUV ratio goes to sedans this month at 6 vs. 3.

chevrolet-cavalier-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-sohu-comChevrolet Cavalier 

1. Chevrolet Cavalier (#73 – 9.741 sales)

Chevrolet is reviving the Cavalier nameplate for China only after discontinuing the U.S. version back in 2005. By far the most successful new launch this month with almost 10.000 sales, the Chevrolet Cavalier is in fact a reskined previous generation Cruze, sold at a cut-thorat price: between 79.900 and 109.900 yuan (US$11.800-16.300). Powered by a 1.5L engine matched to a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox, the Cavalier slots in between the Sail (59.900-73.900) and Cruze (109.900-169.900) with absolutely no price overlay within the Chevrolet lineup.

The 4.54m Cavalier is aggressively priced: it stands at the same price point as the 4.32m Ford Fiesta sedan (79.900-111.900) and undercuts all its direct competitors by a large margin: the Ford Escort  (96.800-119.800 yuan), VW Jetta (82.800-119.300) and Santana (84.900-123.800). The Cavalier should definitely help the brand stop its sales decline in China and could even pretend at a highesr monthly sales rate as the Cruze, the same way the Ford Escort now regularly outsells the Focus. Given the September sales figures of the Escort (28.944), Jetta (34.313) and Santana (25.680), the Cavalier can reasonably aim at a minimum 20.000 monthly sales peak and an average of 17.500 in the long run.

Bar for success: 17.500 sales

swm-x7-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cn

2. SWM X7 (#124 – 6.000 sales)

SWM Motors is a new entrant in the tentacular Chinese passenger car brand scene. Originally an Italian motorcycle brand, SWM was bought by Xinyuan Holding in 2014 and is owned by a joint-venture between Brilliance Auto and Xinyuan Holding (aka Shineray). SWM Motors is headquartered in Chongqing, where it has a production capacity of 300.000 annual vehicles (!). Its initials stand for Sironi Vergani-Vimercate Milano but Chinese management canned that to replace it with Start Win More, in the same fashion as fellow Chinese brand BYD stands for Build Your Dreams. SWM has announced no less than 10 new models in the next few years, including MPVs, SUVs and pickup trucks.

swm-x7-interior-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cnSWM X7 interior

The brand’s first launch is, very adequately, a 7-seater SUV logically baptised X7. Do an internet search on its Chinese name 华晨鑫源 斯威 X7 and you will find that Google Images assimilates it to a BMW, so striking is its resemblance with the BMW X5. The German manufacturer is Brilliance’s joint-venture partner in China. The X7 is priced at 85.900-101.900 yuan (US$ 12.700-15.100), a sharp deal for such roominess inside. It competes with the likes of the BYD S6 (79.900-123.900 yuan), Changan CX70 (68.900-84.900), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (72.900-99.999) and Dongfeng Fengxing SX6 (69.900-102.900). Three of these four nameplates have crossed the four-digit monthly sales figure threshold: the S6 (15.012), 580 (13.022) and CX70 (10.058). In this context the X7’s start is still very impressive at 6.000 units given it’s a new brand. A long-term average of 8.000 would seal the brand as a solid player in China.

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

baojun-310-back-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-emao-com

3. Baojun 310 (#132 – 5.310 sales)

The Baojun brand is one of the main success stories in the Chinese car world of the past couple of years with the tremendous success of the 730 MPV (personal best at 47.690 sales in December 2015) and 560 SUV (42.077). The brand has been more timid in the sedan category with the 630 (10.220) and Lechi (4.384). In this context, the 310 launch last April at the Beijing Auto Show seemed a little like a lost opportunity as a smaller SUV slotting below the 560 would have been by far a most obvious – and lucrative – choice. The first sales figures seem to indicate otherwise with the 310 instantly towering above 5.000 sales.

baojun-310-interior-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-emao-comLooking a lot more expensive than US$5.400: the Baojun 310 interior.

At 4.03m long and powered by a 1.5L engine paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 310 is priced at an impossibly low 36.800 to 49.800 yuan (US$ 5.400-7.400), in effect killing the antediluvian Lechi, actually priced higher at 39.800-49.800. It undercuts both the more powerful Chery Fulwin 2 (54.800-69.800) and low-cost Venucia R30 (39.900-49.900). The most impressive fact in the Baojun 310 launch is that these bleeding-throat prices do not come with sub-par quality. Both the exterior and interior designs have nothing to be ashamed of compared to cars costing two or there times the price. In the low-cost minicar the new SUV in China? The next few months will tell.

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

chery-tiggo-7-china-september-2016

4. Chery Tiggo7 (#136 – 5.223 sales)

Unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, the Tiggo7 inaugurates a new era for Chery with a new design language for the brand created by Granstudio, the design agency established by former Pininfarina design director Lowie Vermeersch. At 4.51m long, the Tiggo7 is 9cm longer than the Tiggo3, exactly the same length as the Tiggo5 but has a longer wheelbase (2.67m) and lower roof (1.67m in height). It shares its two engine options with the 5, a 2.0L and turbo 1.5L which will account for the overwhelming majority of sales. All variants are FWD.

chery-tiggo7-interior-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-emao-comChery Tiggo7 interior

Priced from 97.900 to 153.900 yuan (US$ 14.500-22.800), the Tiggo7 enters the wildly popular compact Chinese SUV segment that houses some of the best-selling SUVs in the country such as the Haval H6 Coupe (118.300-159.800),GAC Trumpchi GS4 (99.800-153.800), Roewe RX5 (97.800-177.800), Geely Boyue (98.800-157.900) and Leopaard CS10 (96.300-146.400). As such, it is likely to provide a welcome boost to Chery’s stagnating sales at home and should aim at peaking at 20.000 monthly sales at least, with a 17.500 long-term average a good compromise.

Bar for success: 17.500 sales

geely-emgrand-gl-china-september-2016

5. Geely Emgrand GL (#187 – 2.874 sales)

Geely continues its unbridled lineup renewal with this Emgrand GL, the sedan version of the recently-launched Emgrand GS, produced in Zhangjiakou in the Hebei province. Powered by 1.3T and 1.8L engines matched to 6MT or 6DCT like the Emgrand GS, the GL slots in Geely’s sedan lineup above the best-seller Emgrand EC7 and below the GC9. At 4.72m long, it is priced between 78.800 and 113.800 yuan (US$ 11.700-16.800) vs. 77.800-108.800 for the GS and 119.800-229.800 for the GC9.

geely-emgrand-gl-china-september-2016bGeely Emgrand GL

The GL is one of China’s finest looking sedans and comes into a hotly contested segment. It competes with the likes of the Changan Eado (73.900-119.900), Roewe 350 (78.700-140.700), FAW Junpai A70 (64.800-87.800) and FAW Besturn B30 (69.800-92.800). In terms of foreign entries, the GL will fight against the Buick Excelle GT (109.900-159.900), VW Jetta (82.800-119.300), Santana (84.900-123.800) and matches almost exactly the Chevrolet Cavalier – detailed above – in price (79.900-109.900). Given the success of the Emgrand EC7 (personal best at 25.841) and Vision (14.646), Geely would be in its own right to expect at least a five-digit sales figure from the GL.

Bar for success: 10.000 sales

jac-iev-china-september-2016JAC iEV5

6. JAC iEV (#226 – 1.665 sales)

While JAC has been selling iEV-named cars in its home province of Anhui since 2014, the overall sub-brand only appears this month in the Chinese ranking, and it’s unclear whether the sales figure is for the month or year-to-date. So far, the iEV5, iEV6 and iEV7 have been unveiled, and the iEV6 and iEV7 were scheduled to launch around this month, so this may have prompted JAC to release figures, just as they announced a joint-venture with Volkswagen to produce electric cars under a new brand.

Bar for success: 2.000 sales

jac-iev-interior-china-september-2016JAC iEV5 interiormitsubishi-outlander-china-september-2016

7. Mitsubishi Outlander (#230 – 1.479 sales)

Unveiled in March 2015 in New York, it took 18 months for Mitsubishi to finally kick-start local production of the facelifted Outlander, boosting its China-made SUV lineup to four nameplates along with the ASX, Pajero Sport and Pajero but the Pajero hasn’t sold a single unit since June 2015. The Outlander from two generations ago used to be assembled locally by the Beijing-Mitsubishi joint-venture, but this one is by the GAC-Mitsubishi joint-venture in at its factory in Changsha, Hunan. It is powered with either 2.0l or 2.4l petrol engines. The 2.0l model is a FWD five-seater while the 2.4l is a 4WD seven-seater. Prices range from 159.800 to 223.800 yuan (US$ 23.600-33.100). The ASX peaked at 7.900 sales in December 2015 and the Outlander should reach at least half on a regular basis to be considered a success.

Bar for success: 4.500 sales

jaguar-xfl-china-september-2016

8. Jaguar XFL (#240 – 1.272 sales)

The Jaguar XFL is a long-wheelbase version of the Jaguar XF exclusive to China. It was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April and is produced by the Chery Jaguar Land Rover joint-venture in Changshu in the Jiangsu province. The XFL’s wheelbase is 14cm longer than the XF at 3.10m, bringing the overall length of the car to 5.09m. The engine options are 2.0T 200hp, 2.0T 240hp and 3.0T V6, all mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The XFL is priced from 388.000 to 688.000 yuan (US$ 57.400-101.800) and competes with such strong sellers as the Audi A6L (383.000-742.000), BMW 5Li (428.600-797.600) and Mercedes E-Class L (443.000-779.000). Given the Chery Jaguar Land Rover is only starting to assemble cars in China, the sales figures of the aforementioned three models will remain unattainable for a while for the XFL.

Bar for success: 4.000 sales

citroen-c6-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-58che-com

9. Citroen C6 (#305 – 544 sales)

Yet another new entrant that was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show, the Citroen C6 is a China-only sedan manufactured by the Dongfeng-PSA joint-venture and the brand’s new flagship. Just as the Chinese market can’t get enough of SUVs, Citroen/DS insist on launching increasingly irrelevant hatches and sedans such as the DS 4S and this C6. No wonder the brand is down 15% so far in 2016. The C6 comes with either a 1.6T or 1.8T petrol engine, both matched with a six-speed auto, but is in fact the same car as the Dongfeng Fengshen A9 with a different dashboard, exterior design and logo.

It is priced from 189.900 to 279.900 yuan (US$ 28.100-41.400) vs. 179.700-229.700 for the A9 which is only available as a 1.8T. The Citroen C6 enters a segment already very established that includes the Ford Mondeo (179.800-265.800), VW Passat and Magotan (183.900-332.900) at the lower end, and the Ford Taurus (249.800-349.800), Buick LaCrosse (259.900-369.900) and Toyota Crown (279.800-385.800) at the higher end. The Citroen C5 never managed to reach 4.500 monthly units and although the C6 won’t be enough to turn Citroen’s fortunes around, anything under 3.500 sales will be deem a failure.

Bar for success: 4.000 sales

China September post: China September 2016: Market up 29% anticipating expiring incentives

Previous month: China August 2016: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China September 2015: Focus on the All-new models

China LCV September 2016: Wuling Mini Truck now in YTD lead

3. Wuling Rongguang Pickup MoheWuling Mini Truck in Mohe, northeastern China.

* See the Top 57 All-models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars we can now share with you September sales data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China with complete Minivan, Pickup and Mini Truck model figures as well as selected Light Truck data provided by LMC Automotive. Despite strong performances by mini trucks (aka micro pickups) and pickups – both up 12% year-on-year – the overall LCV market in China is down another 6% in September to 256.078 deliveries, bringing the year-to-date tally down 11% to 2.407.455.

Dongfeng Rich China September 2016. Picture courtest xgo.com.cnThe Dongfeng Rich is the 2nd best-selling pickup in China in September. 

The Top 4 best-selling light commercials in China in September all gain ground year-on-year, led for the third month in a row by the Wuling Mini Truck up 4% to 22.341 sales and snapping the year-to-date pole position off the Foton Light Truck, #2 this month at +24%, at 183.007 (+5%) vs. 182.874 (-2%). The JAC Light Truck (+13%) and Wuling Hongguang V (+43%) complete the Top 4 ahead of the Lifan and JMC Light Trucks, while the Wuling Sunshine (-61%) and Rongguang (-57%) continue their freefall. Leading the pickup revival is the Great Wall Wingle 5 once again at #12 overall (+5%), followed by the Dongfeng Rich (+51%), JMC Baodian (4%), ZX Auto Grand Tiger (-20%) and JMC Yuhu (+91%).

Previous month: China LCV August 2016: Pickups (+33%) outsell minivans for the first time

One year ago: China LCV September 2015: Now with complete minivan, pickup and mini truck data

Full September 2016 Top 57 All-models ranking below.

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