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China LCV April 2015: Wuling Hongguang V takes control

May 19th, 2015 No comments

Wuling Hongguang V China April 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sohu.comThe Wuling Hongguang V is the best-selling LCV in China this month.

* See the Top 10 best-selling LCV by clicking on the title *

A change in classification has LMC Automotive publish 346.867 LCV sales in China in April and a total of 1.313.161 for the first 4 months of 2015. Regardless, this segment is not going well with many small businesses, self-employed tradesmen and rural taxi companies choosing to ditch their flimsy microvans and upgrade to MPVs such as the Wuling Hongguang, Baojun 730 or Beijing Auto Weiwang M20. As a consequence Wuling, über-dominant in the Chinese microvan segment, has had to scramble to get new models ready and adapt to the fast-evolving market. Two main things to remember.

1. Wuling Hongguang V launch

At the start of 2015 Wuling launched the Hongguang V (pictured above) as an alternative to a trade up to the MPV segment. The Hongguang is priced slightly higher than the Rongguang and a notch above the Sunshine but still below the Hongguang MPV as the table below indicates. Before you ask, yes these prices are real and ridiculously low. Now you understand why no foreign manufacturer has ventured into this segment so far, it’s near impossible to compete with these prices. Wuling’s strategy with the Hongguang V worked. After breaking the 30.000 sales barrier last month and ranking #2 LCV, in April the Hongguang V is the best-selling Light Commercial Vehicle in the country and most importantly now leads all Wuling models on sale in China bar the Hongguang itself. A string of Wuling dealerships on the way to the Harbin airport confirmed the manufacturer is aggressively pushing the Hongguang V to entice the commercial buyers that can’t afford a Hongguang into replacing their ageing microvan with it instead.

Model April sales Price range (yuan) Price range (US$)
Wuling Journey 4,011 66.000 – 77.000 10.600 – 12.400
Wuling Hongguang 53,086 44.800 – 69.800 7.200 – 11.250
Wuling Hongguang V 25,506 42.800 – 51.800 6.900 – 8.300
Wuling Rongguang 17,475 41.800 – 46.800 6.700 – 7.500
Wuling Sunshine 21,005 29.800 – 46.000 4.800 – 7.400

And for those of you that got confused by the avalanche of Wuling models I have prepared the below picture to summarise it all. You’re welcome.

Wuling lineup China April 2015From left to right and top to bottom: Wuling Hongguang, Rongguang, Sunshine and Journey.

Wuling Rongguang Pickup Mohe 2Wuling Mini Truck (Rongguang Pickup) in Mohe, Heilongjiang province.

2. Wuling Rongguang Pickup transfer

The second significant event occurring within the Chinese LCV market in 2015 is the partial transfer of sales from the Sunshine (-29% in April) and Rongguang (-50%) towards the Rongguang Pick-up, called Wuling Mini Truck. With deliveries gaining a splendid 17% year-on-year this month to 17,772 units, it outsells its microvan namesake (17.475). The tremendous and recent success of the Rongguang Pick-up is something I had noticed in Western China last year and again in the North-Eastern town of Mohe this year, where it is among the best-sellers in both locations. The Rongguang Pick-up features 4 doors with the added functionality of a loading tray. What’s not to love indeed?

Previous post: China April 2015: Focus on the all-new models

Previous April post: China April 2015: Growth cool down and SUV surge accentuate

Previous month: China LCV March 2015: Wuling Hongguang V cracks 30.000 sales

Full April 2015 Top 10 best-selling LCV below.

Read more…

Categories: China

China April 2015: Focus on the all-new models

May 17th, 2015 No comments

Geely GC9 China April 2015. Picture courtesy auto.ifeng.comGeely GC9

As is the tradition on BSCB, after exploring the April Chinese ranking, we then go into the detail of the all-new models landing into the largest new vehicle market in the world. As always this only concerns the models that have kick-started local production as imports data is still very patchy for China. After welcoming 6 new entrants in March, once again we have 6 new nameplates in the charts in April, a handful of them we just discovered at Auto Shanghai 2015. And once again the listing of new entrants in the market illustrates the longer term trends currently at play in China: local manufacturers back to their former dynamism and of course… the SUV craze. 5 out of the 6 new April entrants are manufactured by Chinese carmakers, and 3 out of 6 are SUVs. I give you the list of new entrants for now, complete analysis will follow shortly.

Geely GC9 China April 2015Geely GC9

1. Geely GC9 (#226 with 1.033 sales)

Geely is finally showing us the benefits of having purchased Swedish car manufacturer Volvo a few years back with this GC9 designed by Volvo’s head of design, and it shows. The GC9 is Geely’s new flagship, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2015 and an extremely impressive quality leap forward for the Chinese brand. Astounding interior coupled with stylish exterior including a very unique grille make the GC9 a serious contender for the title of best Chinese car ever produced so far. At 4.96m long and powered by a choice of 1.8L turbo diesel, 2.4L or 3.5L petrol engines mated with a 6AT gearbox, the GC9 is on sale at the ridiculously low starting price of 119.800 yuan (US$19.300).

The range extends to a 3.5L “Flagship” tim priced at a still dirt cheap 229.800 yuan (US$37.100). We have found the new Hyundai and its name is Geely. Given this is completely unchartered territory for the brand, a sales prediction is proving rather difficult. The Volvo S60L on which the GC9 is loosely based points at a shy #175 so far in 2015, not much further up the ladder than the GC9’s very first month. Larger Chinese sedans have traditionally struggled, so much so that Brilliance all but stopped producing any for example, focusing instead on smaller sedans and SUVs. So in absolute terms, a Top 100 ranking would validate Geely in its upmarket pretentious.

Bar for success: #120 or 5.000 monthly sales

Haima M6 China April 2015Haima M6

2. Haima M6 (#238 with 905 units)

The Haima M6 wasn’t unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2015 but… 2013! Fast-foward two long years and it finally lands in the Chinese sales charts, albeit for now at a very discreet #238 for its first month in market. Powered by a 1.5L turbo petrol engine mated with a 6 speed-manual or CVT, the Haima M6 is priced from 76.800 to 102.800 yuan (US$ 12.400-16.600), slotting it in one of the most hotly contested segments in China. Weirdly, the M6 doesn’t really distinguish itself from the M5 aka All-new Family, the brand’s best-seller until last year when it ranked at #104. It is almost exactly the same size at 4.70m vs. 4.69 for the M5 and is priced almost identically with the M5 ranging from 76.800 to 98.800 yuan. Needless to say the M6 is going to struggle making its mark both within Haima’s range and on the market overall.

What can the M6 aim for? Unless we witness a complete sales replacement of the M5 (still a possible option) in which case a monthly Top 100 ranking is viable, my prediction is this outdated design isn’t going to make much waves. If we look up within Haima’s range, the flagship M8 only sold 50 units in April whereas if we look down the M3 ranked #118 in FY2014 but is down 42% year-on-year in April to #186. So far this year, the Haima S5 SUV is the brand’s best-seller at home, selling 4.014 units in April (#124) ranking just outside the Top 100 after 4 months. Haima should aggressively focus on launching a string affordable SUVs rather than pointlessly duplicating its sedan range.

Bar for success: #150 or 2.500 monthly sales

82. Leopaard CS10Leopaard CS10

3. Leopaard CS10 (#270 with 453 deliveries)

Leopaard was one of my biggest surprises at Auto Shanghai 2015, going from grossly made-up Mitsubishi Pajeros a year ago in Beijing to the very professional, fun and confident unveiling of the CS10 SUV at the Show. Confirming it is now a force to reckon with, Leopaard lands the CS10 inside the Chinese sales charts the same month it unveiled it – contrast this with the Haima M6 being two years late above… At a low #270 for now, the CS10 should climb further up shortly. But just how much further? At 4.66m long this is a compact SUV powered by a Mitsubishi 2.0L turbo engine competitively priced from 96.800 to 125.800 yuan (US$ 15.600-20.300).

Leopaard CS10 China April 2015Leopaard CS10 (back)

When climbing inside in Shanghai I had nothing bad to say about its interior quality, the dashboard is stylish and complete and the exterior design is among the best for a Chinese SUV, especially the back looking rather aggressive. What will limit CS10 sales is the small dealership network of the Leopaard brand. To benchmark its sales performance we have to look at other nameplates from Chengfeng (the overarching brand sitting on top of Leopaard). The Kingbox DUV ended 2014 at #194 but ranks #253 so far this year, the original Leopaard (a facelifted Mitsubishi Pajero) sold just 110 units in 2015 and both the CS6 and CS7 have quietly stepped out of the ranking altogether. Not a great pedigree, which means the CS10 almost instantly became Changfeng’s best-seller at home. This is a giant step forward for the GAC-owned brand, so it should aim equally high. A Top 150 ranking in the coming months will be dynamic start, while cracking the Top 100 will put Leopaard on the map.

Bar for success: #150 or 3.000 monthly sales

Mercedes GLA China April 2015. Picture courtesy wolfexp.netMercedes GLA SUV

4. Mercedes GLA (#278 with 365 sales)

Among the Top 3 Germans, Mercedes is the fastest-growing luxury brand in China, quickly bridging the gap it had let expand over the past decade on Audi and BMW. A capital piece to this sales race puzzle is the GLA SUV which kick started local production in Beijing on April 8, exactly two years after enjoying its world premiere at Auto Shanghai 2013. The GLA hits right into a very soft spot in the Chinese market: compact SUVs are currently being snapped up like cheap dumplings and East Coast consumers are craving the status that comes with owning a European car, let alone a Mercedes. The GLA ticks absolutely all boxes in the current Chinese environment, and its sales should take off to levels unheard of before for a Mercedes SUV, despite its steep 220k-450k yuan price range (US$ 35.500-72.500).

Up until now, the only locally-produced SUV in the Mercedes range was the GLK, oblivious to the GLA launch and up a fantastic 51% year-on-year in April to #91 and 5.513 sales while ranking just inside the Top 100 so far in this year at #95 and 22.000 deliveries. The two most relevant benchmarks to the GLA are its direct competitors the Audi Q3 – #98 with 21.642 sales – and BMW X1 – #137 at 13.542 units. Even though Audi sells more Q5 (35.675) than Q3 and BMW doesn’t produce either the X3 or the X5 locally so these are poor sellers, it is fair to assume the GLA will be more successful than the GLK in China, the same way it outsells it in Europe, one reason being the A-Class on which it’s based isn’t produced locally and therefore ends up being more expensive. The choice for cashed-up city youth then becomes very easy to make.

Bar for success: #100 or 6.000 monthly sales

Haval H8 China April 2015. Picture courtesy zhuayoukong.comHaval H8

5. Haval H8 (#287 with 252 units)

Originally launched in November 2013 but cancelled in January 2014 when bashed by the local automotive press for gross shortcomings, Great Wall’s SUV brand Haval has swallowed its pride, went back to the drawing board, made the required improvements and relaunched the H8 this month. This delayed launch may have hurt the model’s sales potential – some local media say it actually shows maturity and a willingness to take responsibility – but if in 2013 the H8 was a critical addition and the flagship to the Haval range, in the space of 18 months a lot has changed for Haval, enjoying absolutely euphoric sales gains, correlated to a lineup widening at lightning speed.

Relieving some of the pressure on the success of this model, the H8 does not top Haval’s range anymore, this honour now goes to the H9 launched last November, priced at 229.800-272.800 yuan ($37.200-44.100) vs. the H8 at 201.800-256.800 yuan (US$ 32.500-41.400). This isn’t cheap by Chinese standards but still a bargain compared to the Mercedes GLA for example (above). Havel now sells the H1 (#74 in April), H2 (#22), H5 (#159), H6 (#2 overall), H8 and H9 (#230) and has just unveiled both the H6 Coupe and H7 at Auto Shanghai 2015. Sales-wise, the H8 should find a spot above both the ageing H5 and the flagship H9 to claim success.

Bar for success: #110 or 4.500 monthly sales

Huasong 7 China April 2015. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cnHuasong 7

6. Huasong 7 (#334 with 60 deliveries)

As detailed in my review of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at Auto Shanghai 2015, Huasong is a new brand launched by Brilliance, offering upmarket MPVs based on Jinbei technology. A quick flick through Chinese media makes it pretty clear that Brilliance is aiming for the Buick GL8 with this first nameplate, the Huasong 7. At 5.00m long, the 7 is priced between 237.700 and 287.700 yuan (US$ 38.300-46.400), a steep ask for a Chinese nameplate and for an interior that isn’t actually that impressive. Second handicap: the Huasong 7 is sandwiched price-wise between the – outdated but still somewhat prestigious previous generation – Buick GL8 Classic (209.000-248.000) and the current GL8 (299.900-399.900). Brilliance is taking a risk with the Huasong 7, but its attractive exterior design may help. One one hand, the targeted GL8 is flying high at #69 overall in April and #79 in 2015 (26.700 sales), on the other hand the cheaper Jinbei Granse on which the Huasong 7 is based didn’t cracked the Top 200 in 2014 (#205) nor has it so far in 2015 (#226 with 4.316 units).

Bar for success: #200 or 2.000 monthly sales

Previous post: China April 2015: Growth cool down and SUV surge accentuate

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One year ago: China April 2014: Focus on the all-new models

Categories: China

China April 2015: Growth cool down and SUV surge accentuate

May 15th, 2015 4 comments

ChangAn CS75 China April 2015 v2. Picture courtesy icarweekly.comThe ChangAn CS75 is the third best-selling SUV in China in April.

* See the Top 358 All-local models by clicking on the title *

Long-term trends we have been witnessing for the past 12 months accentuate in April in China. The overall light vehicle market gains just 3.7% year-on-year this month to 1.7 million registrations, a further cooling down of growth compared to the 1st Quarter of 2015 when sales gained 9% on the same period a year ago. One reason advanced for the particularly shy growth is foreign manufacturers reducing the inventories of vehicles built locally: they stood at 45 days in March vs. 50 in February (April data yet to be released) after a revolt by Chinese dealers last year prompted foreign carmakers to stop pressuring them to oder more vehicles in order to meet aggressive sales targets. Over the first 5 months of 2015 the Chinese light vehicle market is up 7.7% on 2014 to 6.97 million deliveries. The contrast between sedan sales, now down a very harsh 10% to 932.000 units in April, and microvans (-17% to 108.200) compared to SUV sales (up 49% to 461.600) and MPV (up 22% to 167.000) has never been as glaring, with Chinese manufacturers benefitting from the tremendous market shift at play.

VW Jetta China April 2015. Picture courtesy of biauto.comVW Jetta. Volkswagen sales are down a shocking 7.5% in April in China.

Brand-wise, evolutions are in line with the past couple of months, with an accentuation of trends as well. The most interesting behaviour is that of Volkswagen down a shocking 7.5% year-on-year in April to 221.000 sales. The Santana (+5%) and Tiguan (+1%) save face but most other Volkswagen nameplates crumble down in April, led by the Magotan (-58%), Lavida (-36%), Passat (-31%), Golf (-29%), Sagitar (-17%) and Bora (-15%). Along with General Motors, Volkswagen recently launched a price war to try and prop up its sales in its largest market in the world. The luxury segment is also cooling down its growth: BMW is up just 0.6% year-on-year in April to 37,976 sales while Audi is up 0.2% to 45.296 units vs. +5.2% so far in 2015.

Haval H2 China April 2015Haval H2. Great Wall sales are up 45% year-on-year this month.

Reversely, Great Wall and Geely are leaping forward faster than ever. Boosted by surging SUV sales, Great Wall is up 45% on a year ago to 80.419 deliveries including 63.921 SUVs (+71%). The Haval H6 breaks its ranking record at #2 overall thanks to sales up 17% to 30.767 and below just the Wuling Hongguang (53.086). The Haval H2 also ranks at a best-ever #22 with 14.331 sales and has now sold over 10.000 monthly units without interruption since October whereas it only launched in July. The Haval H1 stands at #74 (7.401 units), the H5 at #159 (-57%), the H9 at #230 and the H8 makes its first appearance. Geely is also up 45% in April to 38.648 sales, with the Emgrand EC7 up 22% to #18 and #1 Chinese sedan, the Vision up 4-fold to 10.112 sales thanks to a much improved model and the flagship GC9 landing this month.

Peugeot 308S China April 2015. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnPeugeot 308S

The Wuling Hongguang and Haval H6 make it two Chinese nameplates on top of the monthly passenger cars ranking, something we haven’t seen this decade. That’s how momentous the current market shifts are. Below, the Ford Focus jumps back onto the podium despite sales down 18% to 28.003 after being outsold in March by the Escort, down to a still very satisfying #19 and 14.833 units this month. The Baojun 730 is cruising along at #7 and 26.003 sales, the Toyota Corolla more than doubles its sales year-on-year thanks to the new generation at #12 and 20.181 deliveries, the Toyota Levin posts its best month so far at 12.670 sales (#32) and with the arrival of the 308S hatchback variant (3.810 units in April), the Peugeot 308 nameplate is up 38% to #43 with 10.448 deliveries.

Nissan X-Trail China April 2015. Picture courtesy auto.qq.comThe Nissan X-Trail hits a best-ever #23 ranking in April.

The Chinese SUV assault recedes slightly in April, with foreign models bridging some of the gap with local nameplates they have let widen over the past 6 months. On one hand the ChangAn CS75 celebrates one year in market by leaping to its best-ever ranking at #21 and 14.382 sales followed closely by the Haval H2 also at an all-time high #22 while the MG GS is unlocked and up 375% on March to #119 and 4.119 sales. But on the other hand the JAC Refine S3 is down 9 spots to #33, the ChangAn CS35 down 4 to #34 and the Venucia T70 down 13 to #99 while the Beijing Auto Huansu S3 (#56), Zotye T600 (#57) and Chery Tiggo 3 (#66) step outside the Top 50. Reversely in the foreign SUV aisle, the Nissan X-Trail is up 54% to hit a record 23rd spot and its 2nd best-ever volume at 14.097 sales (best-ever is 14.121 reached last November) and the Ford Kuga is up 19% to a record 13.262 deliveries.

Hyundai ix25 China April 2015. Picture courtesy bitauto.com.cnFor the first time, the ix25 is Hyundai’s best-selling SUV in China.

Recent foreign SUV launches are also gaining momentum: the Buick Envision is up to an all-time high #35 and 12.075 sales, the Honda Vezel (#62) and XR-V (#63) add up to a combined 17.727 sales which would earn the twins a 16th position if they were one nameplate, the Citroen C3-XR is up a further 8 spots to #82 (6.211 sales) vs. #97 and 5.269 for the Peugeot 2008, the Kia KX3 is up 10 ranks to #92 and 5.437 sales for its 2nd month in market and the Hyundai ix25 outsells its big brother the ix35 for the very first time at a very strong 8.489 sales (#65) but seems to have cannibalised sales as the ix35 is down 34% to 7.814 (#69).

Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 China April 2015. Picture courtesy bitauto.comDongfeng Fengdu MX6

Looking into last month’s launches, below the Kia KX3 ultra-dominant at #92, the Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 is up 50 spots and 77% to #153 and 2.897 sales, the Chery Arrizo M7 is up 58 ranks and 136% to 1.434 units and the Lifan 820 is up from 26 demo sales last month to 701 deliveries at #251 in April but the Dongfeng Fengshan L60 is down 8% to #218 and the Dongfeng Fengxing Jingye S50 surprisingly cuts its March sales in half to 1.057 at #223. This month’s all-new nameplates will be detailed in a dedicated article as is the tradition on BSCB, so stay tuned!

Previous post: China 1st Quarter 2015: Baojun 730 and Ford Escort superstars

Previous month: China March 2015: Ford Escort in Top 10, outsells Focus

One year ago: China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records in market up 13%

Full April 2015 Top 358 All-local models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: China

China 1st Quarter 2015: Baojun 730 and Ford Escort superstars

April 29th, 2015 No comments

Baojun 730 China Q1 2014. Picture courtesy of chexun.net200.000 Baojun 730 have found a buyer in less than 9 months.

* See the Top 377 All-local models ranking by clicking on the title *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after going through detailed Chinese sales figures for March we explore the First Quarter volumes in order to extract longer-term trends. The Chinese passenger car market is still up by a robust 9% to 5.31 million units over the period but just 4% to 6.15 million deliveries including commercial vehicles. Some would say it’s the beginning of the end, I say it’s a very normal cooling off of market growth, not of the market as a whole. These quarterly detailed updates will turn out to be critical this year as the Chinese market is evolving so fast that if you miss a couple of months, you end up missing a significant part of the puzzle that this market is.

Haval H6 CoupeThe All-new Coupe variant will push Haval H6 sales further up this year.

The SUV segment is currently going through a euphoric time in China. Sales are up 40% year-on-year, and in what may be the most interesting reversal of fortunes in the past few years in this marker, domestic manufacturers are reaping most of the benefits of this new trend: sales of Chinese-branded SUVs have more than doubled compared to the same period last year, bringing their market share in the segment to a splendid 56%. The Haval H6 of course is leading the charge, stepping onto the national podium for the first time at #3 with sales up 29% to 87,749 vs. #11 a year ago.

Honda XR-V China December 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comUnlike Toyota, Honda is banking on the SUV craze with the XR-V/Vezel twins.

This SUV craze has had a tremendous impact on the entire Chinese market and is starting to trigger a power shift between domestic manufacturers and foreign ones. As a foreign manufacturer present in China, if you don’t have at least one affordable SUV in your lineup, chances are you underperformed so far in 2015. Hyundai (ix25), Kia (KX3), Honda (XR-V/Vezel), PSA (2008, C3-XR) and GM (Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax) are safe, but the best example of a company struggling because of the absence of any small SUV in its range is Volkswagen, still #1 brand in China but in difficulty with sales down 0.1%.

VW Golf China March 2015. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comAmong VW models, only the Golf frankly outperforms the market so far in 2015.

All mass market Volkswagens bar the Jetta (+10%) and Golf (+22%) underperform the market over the period: the Lavida is down 5% at #2, the Santana is slightly under the market (+8% at #4), the Sagitar is down 2% (#8), the Passat down 10% (#10), Tiguan up 1% (#11), the Bora down 7% (#21), the Polo down 1% (#24) and the Magotan down 14% (#28).

JAC Refine S3 China 2014. Picture courtesy autov.com.cnThe JAC Refine S3 symbolises the Chinese SUV revival in 2014-2015.

In fact, 7 of the 10 best-selling SUVs in China over Q1 2015 are Chinese, that’s an all-time record for any quarter in the history of automobile in this country. Below the H6, the VW Tiguan is the only foreigner in the Top 8 SUVs at #11 overall, and is followed by the JAC Refine S3 (#22), ChangAn CS35 (#27). Haval H2 (new), ChangAn CS75 (new), Beijing Auto Huansu S3 (new) and Zotye T600 (+371%).

Top 10 best-selling SUVs in China – 1st Quarter 2015:

Pos Model Q1 2015 /14 Q1 2014
1 Haval H6 87,749 29% 67,890
2 VW Tiguan 67,228 1% 66,326
3 JAC Refine S3 53,712 new 0
4 ChangAn CS35 49,704 84% 27,053
5 Haval H2 41,743 new 0
6 ChangAn CS75 41,734 new 31
7 Beijing Auto Huansu S3 40,173 new 0
8 Zotye T600 29,759 371% 6,313
9 Ford Kuga 29,331 -11% 32,829
10 Hyundai ix35 28,944 -22% 37,192

Venucia T70 China February 2015. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cnThe Venucia T70 could become one of China’s Top 10 best-selling SUVs later this year.

The Chinese stranglehold on the SUV market is about to get even tighter as the rhythm of new launches has all but slowed down: the Venucia T70 could come flirting with the Top 10 SUVs in the next quarter or two, the JAC Refine S2 will build on the astonishing success of its big brother and the Baojun 560 is the biggest wild card the segment has seen so far, judging by the tremendous success of its MPV counterpart the Baojun 730. And that’s only 3 out of at least a dozen new affordable Chinese SUVs about to be launched in the coming few months…

Beijing Auto Weiwang M20. Picture courtesy of chooseauto.com.cnThe Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 is hoovering sales off the Wuling Hongguang.

Which brings us to the other segment on fire in 2015: MPVs. Led once again by the Wuling Hongguang despite sales having peaked out (-10% to a still gargantuan 189,432 units in just 3 months), this segment has grown by roughly 30% so far this year, with the addition of numerous affordable Chinese options: the Baojun 730 is the most successful passenger car launch ever in China, clocking up an unbelievable 183,600 deliveries since its launch last August, including 84,526 this quarter (#5 overall). The Chana Honor (#16), Dongfeng Fengguang 330/360 (#26) Dongfeng Joyear MPV (#41) and Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 (#44) also see their sales surge year-on-year. This is it: the majority of Chinee small business owners have now upsized to MPV and ditched microvans, down an abysmal 30% so far in 2015.

Top 10 best-selling MPVs in China – 1st Quarter 2015:

Pos Model Q1 2015 /14 Q1 2014 Pos
1 Wuling Hongguang 189,432 -10% 210,109 1
2 Baojun 730 84,526 new 0
3 Chana Honor 61,884 31% 47,396 20
4 Dongfeng Fengguang 330/360 50,089 142% 20,701 68
5 Dongfeng Joyear MPV 31,699 28% 24,717 54
6 Beijing Weiwang M20 30,286 87% 16,165 89
7 Dongfeng Future 28,979 -23% 37,479 28
8 Buick GL8 18,997 -21% 24,094 58
9 ChangAn Ouliwei 18,933 19% 15,856 93
10 JAC Refine 13,386 -16% 16,005 90

Geely Vision China 2015. Picture courtesy 91aiche.comThanks to a completely new model, Geely Vision sales are up 6-fold on last year.

But the SUV and MPV segments are not the only ones where Chinese manufacturers are turning the tables around. 4 of the 5 sedans that registered the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 100 are Chinese: the Geely Vision is up 485% to #43, the BYD F3 up 247% to #30, the Geely EC7 up 87% to #17 and the ChangAn Eado up 57% #19. Only the Toyota Corolla, thanks to the addition of a new generation places in the Top 5 at +72% to #31. Other foreign gainers include the Skoda Octavia (+55% to #38) and the Peugeot 308 (+51% to #45) here too thanks to new generations.

Ford Escort China December 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.163.comThe Escort is exactly what Ford needed to turn up the heat in China.

If you still needed to get convinced that the Chinese car market is more dynamic than ever, one figure should suffice: there are 19 all-new models ranking inside the Q1 2015 Top 100. Below the Baojun 730 at #4, the other superstar is the Ford Escort, extremely impressive at #18 and 59,083 sales, even cracking the overall Top 10 in March to become the American manufacturer’s best-seller almost single-handedly lifting Ford up to #5 brand in the country. This is a game changer for Ford.

Out of the 19 new entrants, 9 are Chinese SUVs, 5 foreign sedans, 4 foreign SUVs, one Chinese sedan (the Beijing Auto Senova D50) and one Chinese MPV. In short, a perfect snapshot of the trends at play in the market this year. The Buick Envision (#56), Hyundai ix25 (#61), Honda Vezel (#63) and XR-V (#68) lead the foreign SUV charge with 3 entrants in the B segment, while the Toyota Levin (#64), VW Lamando (#69), Mazda3 Axela (#71) and to a lesser extend the Kia K4 (#79) have made their mark already.

Full Q1 2015 Top 377 All-local models vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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China LCV March 2015: Wuling Hongguang V cracks 30,000 sales

April 23rd, 2015 No comments

Wuling Hongguang V China March 2015. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cn

* See the Top 10 best-selling LCVs by clicking on the title *

213,053 new Light Commercial Vehicles found a buyer in March in China, adding up to 514,922 over the 1st quarter of 2015. This segment is in freefall since small businesses have started to trade up to MPVs such as the Wuling Hongguang or Baojun 730. However Wuling is fighting the downwards trend by launching the Hongguang V, still a tradeup from the once best-selling Sunshine (-38% in March) and Rongguang (-47%) but more affordable than the Hongguang. It’s a full house for now: the Hongguang V crosses the 30,000 monthly sales milestone for its third month in market at 30,003, following the same sales progression as the Baojun 730 MPV a few months back. A very promising start indeed. Note the Foton Light Truck taking the lead of the LCV ranking this month above all Wulings.

Previous post: China LCVs January 2015: Wuling Hongguang V appears

One year ago: China March 2014: Now updated with LCV data!

Full March 2015 Top 10 LCVs Ranking Table below.

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China March 2015: Focus on the all-new models

April 16th, 2015 No comments

Kia KX3 China March 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cn

* Many thanks to carnewschina.com for helping compile this report *

As per the BSCB tradition, after first exploring the monthly Chinese ranking, we then go into the detail of the all-new models making their first appearance in the biggest car market in the world, keep in mind this is only models that have kick-started local production as imports data is still a very well-kept secret in China. After welcoming 4 new entrants in January and 6 in February, we have 6 new nameplates in the charts in March. As it has been the case each and every month this year, the list of new entrants perfectly illustrate the current trends at play in China: a regain of form of Chinese manufacturers – 5 of the 6 new entrants including 3 from Dongfeng – and the strength of the SUV (2 newbies) and MPV (1) segments.

1. Kia KX3 (#102 with 5,596 sales)

After the Hyundai ix25 launched last year, sister company Kia unveiled its equivalent aimed at a younger, hipper audience: the KX3, also exclusive to China. Priced from 112.800 to 186.800 yuan ($18.018 – 29.830), the KX3 plays right into the compact SUV sales explosion we have witnessed over the past couple of years and lands directly just outside the Top 100 with a very vigorous 5,596 units sold for its first month in market.  By comparison, the Hyundai ix25 started at #129 and 3,972 sales last September, rapidly rising to a (temporary?) peak of 9,173 deliveries at #60 last January, a ranking it also holds in March. Direct competitors the Ford Ecosport (#46, 8.100 sales), Peugeot 2008 (#71, 8.010 units) and Chevrolet Trax (#78, 6.080 deliveries) have reached similar heights in the past few months so hopes are high for this KX3, manufactured by the Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia joint venture.

Bar for success: #50 or 10,000 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengxing Jingye S50 China March 2015

2. Dongfeng Fengxing Jingyi S50 (#180 with 2,127 units)

Launched back in September 2014 but somehow only appearing in the sales charts this month, the Fengxing Jingyi S50 is positioned right in the middle of the most competitive and saturated segment in the Chinese market: affordable compact sedans. Priced between 69.900 and 102.900 yuan (US$11.300-16.600) and with a design reminiscent of the Hyundai Verna, the oddly named S50 (Fengxing is the brand name, Jingyi S50 is the car’s name) does not have much to differentiate itself and its interior is reported to be of mediocre quality. Dongfeng may have a hard time squeezing significant sales figures from this nameplate, manufactured by Dongfeng Liuzhou, a subsidiary of Dongfeng Motor and based on the Dongfeng Fengshen A60 sedan, which again is based on the old Nissan Sylphy that was made in China by the Dongfeng-Nissan joint venture.

Bar for success: #100 or 5,000 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 China March 2016

3. Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 (#203 with 1,640 deliveries)

Now that the platform of the previous generation Nissan X-Trail is available for Dongfeng to use, the Chinese manufacturer is launching a rebadge variant of it named the Fengdu MX6, priced between 122.800 and at 169.800 yuan (US$19.800-27.400), a full US$15.000 below the old X-Trail’s prices, which was very successful during its entire career here. The MX6 is manufactured by Zhengzhou-Nissan, specialised in small commercial vehicles, pickup trucks and SUVs, and is a good entry-level option for newcomers into the SUV segment – Dongfeng is eyeing young families outside the big cities here.

Bar for success: #75 or 7,000 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengshan L60 China March 2015

4. Dongfeng Fengshan L60 (#224 with 1,190 sales)

Last Dongfeng to land in the Chinese sales charts this month, the Fengshan L60 marks a new step in the collaboration between Chinese Dongfeng Motor and French PSA/Peugeot-Citroen now that the Chinese manufacturer holds 15% of the French carmaker. It has been jointly developed by the Dongfeng-PSA joint venture and Dongfeng Motor, the same sort of construction that is used for developing cars for sub-brands. Fengshen however is 100% owned by Dongfeng Motor, and not by the joint venture. The Fengshen L60 is based on the extended variant of the PSA PF2 platform, that also underpinned the previous generation Peugeot 408 sedan, which was made in China by Dongfeng-PSA. Priced very competitively between 89.700 and 129.700 yuan (US$14.400-20.900) and featuring a particularly sleek design, the L60 has a good chance to succeed.

Bar for success: #100 or 5,000 monthly sales

Chery Arrizo M7 China March 2015. Picture courtesy autochina.com.cn

5. Chery Arrizo M7 (#259 with 607 sales)

We thought Chery was out of the woods a couple of years ago when it deleted a couple of irrelevant brands (Rely among others) to focus on its namesake marque. Not so. Chery is now bent on creating even more irrelevant sub-brands. The manufacturer is trying to transform Tiggo into its SUV brand, emulating what Great Wall did very successfully with Haval. But it has also created the Arrizo sub-brand from scratch, supposedly detained to more sophisticated vehicles. After the 7 and 3 sedans, here comes the M7 MPV, which is in fact a facelifted Rely V5. No pricing information yet as the M7 is scheduled for its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show next week.

Bar for success: #100 or 5,000 monthly sales

Lifan 820 China March 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cn

6. Lifan 820 (#338 with 26 units)

Although not officially launched yet, the Lifan 820 appears in the Chinese sales charts this month with a mere 26 units, most probably demo models. This is the Lifan brand’s new flagship, which debuted on the 2014 Beijing Auto Show a year ago and was originally slotted for a Q4 2014 commercial launch. Lifan, in dire straits at home in the sedan segment, must be relatively nervous about unveiling this large sedan to the public as it has the potential to either pull the brand out of insignificant sales in that category or kill it for good. Pricing for the 820 is estimated to roam between 90.000 and 140.000 yuan.

Bar for success: #150 or 3,000 monthly sales

Categories: China

China March 2015: Ford Escort in Top 10, outsells Focus

April 15th, 2015 1 comment

Ford Escort China March 2015. Picture courtesy autov.com.cnThe Ford Escort is now among China’s Top 10 most popular nameplates.

* See the Top 356 All-local models by clicking on the title *

The Chinese new light vehicle market is up 9% year-on-year in March to 1.87 million units, once again boosted by surges in the SUV (+54%) and MPV (+23%) segments, rising to 474.100 and 199.300 units respectively, while sedan sales are down 1% to 1.07 million units and microvans are down 18% to 124.100 deliveries. 1st quarter sales are up a robust 9% to 5.31 million units. According to Automotive News China, sales of commercial vehicles (including trucks, buses and vans) remained weak plunging 19% both in March (370,200) and year-to-date (847,900). Due to this sluggish demand for commercial vehicles, the total Chinese market is up just 4% so far in 2015 at 6.15 million units.

Buick Excelle GT China March 2015. Picture courtesy ifeng.com.cnThe new model pushes the Buick Excelle GT back up to #14.

Atop the models ranking, the Wuling Hongguang MPV stays afloat at 67,350 sales (+6%) ahead of the VW Lavida at 41,732 (-4%), VW Santana at 31,686 (+30%), Haval H6 at 31,446 (+25%) and the success story of the past 12 months: the Baojun 730 at 30,008 units – already the nameplate’s 4th month above 30,000 monthly sales. But the big event in the Top 10 is the landing of the Ford Escort at #10, up 39% and 7 spots on February to #10 and 23,446 deliveries, its best monthly score so far. For the first time, the Escort now outsells the Focus (-40% to 21,748) to become Ford’s best-seller in China. Although surprising, this move is somewhat logical as the Escort was launched the replace the previous generation Focus still on sale here and accounting for up to half of all Focus sales in China. Also of note is the Buick Excelle GT back up 28 spots to #14 thanks to the new model.

BYD F3 China March 2015The BYD F3 reaches its highest monthly volume in almost 4 years.

Chinese manufacturers are back! They almost place a 4th nameplate inside the March Top 10, with the Chana Honor up 7 ranks to a best-ever #11, while the Geely Emgrand EC7 is up 66% on March 2014 to #17 and 20,621 sales and the BYD F3 more than triples its sales year-on-year to rank #18 with 20,374 deliveries, a true resurrection for this nameplate which was China’s best-seller in 2009 and 2010. In fact, this is the F3’s first time above 20,000 monthly sales in 4 years, since April 2011 (20.849)… The Changan Eado at #22 (+39%) and Dongfeng Fengguang at #23 (+239%) also shine.

Haval H2 China March 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cnThe Haval H2 is the 2nd best-selling SUV in the country in March with a record 15,975 sales.

The SUV segment however is where Chinese carmakers have truly made the most progress in the past 12 months. Proof: 8 of the 10 best-selling SUVs in China in March are Chinese. This is a tremendously different situation than even a few months ago. Below the Haval H6 we find the JAC Refine S3 (17,329), Haval H2 (record 15,975), ChangAn CS75 (record 15,884) and the first foreign SUV: the VW Tiguan (15,520). Following are the ChangAn CS35 (14,236), Beijing Auto Huansu S3 (13,876), Dongfeng Joyear SUV (12,966), Nissan X-Trail (up 195% to 12,252) and Zotye T600 (record 12,215). A staggering string of new, affordable, nice to the eye models here from the Chinese.

Venucia T70 China March 2015. Picture courtesy cheyun.comThe Venucia T70 already accounts for 75% of the brand’s sales.

But the list continues: other nameplates breaking their monthly volume record this month include the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 at #32 (14,135), BYD S7 (11,075), Buick Envision (10,495), Beijing Auto Senova D50 (10,000), Honda XR-V (8,725), Haval H1 (7,703) and Citroen C3-XR (6,360 and breaking into the Top 100 at #90). We saved the best for last: as predicted in our January review of all-new models, the sharply-priced Venucia T70 is flying up the ladder at lightning speed: up 153% and 48 ranks on February to land at #86 and 6,813 sales for its third month in market, now accounting for 75% of the Venucia brand’s sales in March.

Beijing Auto Senova X65 China March 2015. Picture courtesy cheyun.comBeijing Auto Senova X65

Among models launched last month, the Beijing Auto Senova X65 is the best performer: up 478% and 76 spots to #183 with 2,016 sales, followed by the Beijing Auto Huansu H2 up 264% and 48 ranks to #200 and 1,658 units and the MG GS up 832% and 75 spots to #213 and 1,500 deliveries. All Chinese nameplates, two SUVs and one MPV: spot on trend here. There are 6 all-new nameplates making their first appearance in the Chinese sales charts this month: 5 Chinese and 1 Korean, but this will be the subject of a dedicated article as is the tradition on BSCB, so stay tuned!

Previous post: China February 2015: Focus on the all-new models

Previous month: China February 2015: Ford Escort and VW Lamando impress

One year ago: China March 2014: VW Jetta and ChangAn Honor hit records, Fiat Ottimo sparks

Full March 2015 Top 356 All-local models below.

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China February 2015: Focus on the all-new models

March 20th, 2015 No comments

MG GS China February 2015The MG GS Rui Teng is one of the best Chinese designs so far.

* See the Top 350 All-local models by clicking on the title. Pricing info from Carnewschina *

As is the tradition on BSCB, we first explore the monthly Chinese ranking, then detail the all-new models that make their entrance in the biggest car market in the world, in other words models that have kick-started local production as imports data is still a very well-kept secret in China. If you though the Chinese market was panting in 2015, think again. In February 2014, only one new entrant (the Qoros 3) hit the sales charts, this year they are 6, also up from 4 in January. Once again the new entrant illustrate perfectly the current trends at play in the Chinese market: none is a passenger car, 4 are SUVs, 2 MPVs and 5 out of 6 are Chinese. Only disappointment: all the new nameplates hitting the sales charts in February do so with less than 1,000 sales and beyond the 200th position – for now.

Lifan Lotto China February 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sohu.com

1. Lifan Lotto (#221 with 848 sales)

There is still room in the Chinese market for Wuling Hongguang lookalikes: after Chery resuscitated the Karry brand last month for the K50, Lifan now has its own low-cost MPV: the Lotto. Price goes from 39.800 to 50.800 (US$6.400-8.200), thus clearly undercutting the Hongguang priced at 44.800-60.800 yuan ($7.200-9.700). One of the main reasons behind the tremendous success of the Wuling brand has been its cut-throat pricing, and the Lotto is rather lonely with its price positioning below ground level. Lifan goes against the overall trend upsizing from microvans (Wuling Sunshine) to low-cost MPVs (Hongguang) to more refined low-cost MPVs (Hongguang S), but this could also be a sign that the MPV growth is about to stop: there are now 38 nameplates in this segment and sales are up by ‘just’ 17% so far in 2015 vs. +47% over FY2014. Pricing the Lotto below the Hongguang may be the only way Lifan can hope to gather some momentum with this late entry into the segment. Plus Lifan has been struggling at home lately, at least up until this year with the arrival of the X50 SUV (#136), one of only 3 reps inside the February Top 200 with the X60 (#94) and 720 (#172).

Bar for success: #150 or 3,000 monthly sales

Beijing Auto Huansu H2 China February 2015

2. Beijing Auto Huansu H2 (#248 with 456 units)

Beijing Auto could learn a lesson or two from the likes of Geely, Great Wall or even Chery in terms of brand management: after launching the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 18 months ago and the rebadge Changhe Freedom M50, a third carbon copy hits the ground this month: the Beijing Auto Huansu H2. Only difference: this time the price is a notch higher at 58.800-66.800 yuan (US$9.500-10.800), to be compared with 49.800-51.900 yuan (US$ 7.900-8.300) for the Freedom M50 and 46.800-53.800 ($7.500-8.600) for the Weiwang M20. The reason: the H2 is slightly more refined, and also 12cm longer. I’m giving the H2 an equivalent bar for success as I did to the Changhe Freedom M50 last month. The fact that it is the third iteration of the same model is compensated by the Huansu sub-brand having seen a lot of showroom traffic lately with the S3 SUV peaking at 16,414 sales last month and the S2 hitting 6,220 deliveries in December.

Bar for success: #125 or 4,000 monthly sales

Beijing Auto Senova X65 China February 2015. Picture courtesy auto.ifeng.com

3. Beijing Auto Senova X65 (#259 with 349 deliveries)

The X65 is the first SUV bearing the Senova sub-brand name from Beijing Auto. Its official launch was on March 21, so these are pre-sales to dealerships. The X65’s platform is derived on that of the Saab 9-3. BAIC, the mother company of Beijing Auto, bought the rights to the platforms for the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 from General Motors in 2009. The deal included the Saab-developed 2.0 turbo and 2.3 turbo engines, and we find the 2.0L turbo in the X65, an engine it also shares with the Senova D70. Its pricing is anticipated to hover between 120.000 and 160.000 yuan (US$19.400-25.800), pretty sharp for access to Saab-derived technology. The Senova brand, since its much-publicised Nicholas Cage-sponsored launch in May 2013, has been met with various fortunes depending on the nameplates: the original D70 culminated at #151 and 3,194 sales in December 2013 but has since fallen to beyond the 300th position (#315 in February) while the D50 has managed to regularly find its way into the monthly Top 100 over the past year, peaking at #81 last August and 8,000 sales last December. Can the Chinese market absorb yet another sporty-ish SUV? I say hell yes.

Bar for success: #125 or 4,000 monthly sales

ZX Auto GX3 China February 2015

4. ZX Auto GX3 (#278 with 219 sales)

Unveiled as a concept at the Guangzhou Motor Show last November, the ZX Auto GX3 has not lost any time hitting the country’s dealerships: it already appears in the sales ranking this month. The GX3 is a more up-market version of the C3 Urban Ark with the same 1.5L petrol engine delivering 104hp, and the 2nd inroad into the SUV market from this manufacturer known for its pickups – namely the Grand Tiger. The GX3 comes with trendy headlights, a new grille, a new bumper with LED lights, classy alloys, and an improved interior, with pricing at 63.800-69.800 yuan (US$10.300-11.300), just topping the most expensive C3. Given the C3 Urban Ark peaked at #150 and 2,549 sales during its 12 month-career, it is fair to expect at least the same sales level for this SUV looking a lot more expensive than it is. Whether the C3 or the GX3 will end up being the most popular will have a critical impact on the future direction of the brand in this segment: bare bones low-cost (C3) or trendy affordable (GX3)…

Bar for success: #150 or 2,500 monthly sales

Infiniti QX50 China February 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sohu.com

5. Infinti QX50 (#281 with 196 units)

This is not a new model per se, but it is a new entrant in the Chinese ranking because its local production has just kicked off, a few months after the Q50L. The Chinese model sits on a wheelbase extended by 8 cm and is powered by a 2.5L V6 engine mated to a 7AT. It is priced between 359.800-459.800 yuan (US$58.100-74.200). February sales are just 196 units, but given the Q50L has been stuck around the 220th place since its launch last November, there are no real reasons to believe this much older model can do a lot better for now.

Bar for success: #200 or 1,800 monthly sales

MG GS China February 2015b

6. MG GS Rui Teng (#287 with 161 deliveries)

The GS Rui Teng (Chinese for “vigorous rise”) is the very first SUV to be launched under the famous MG brand, now in the hands of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). Thanks to a deal between the two companies during the time SAIC owned a controlling stake in SsangYong Motor between 2004 and 2009, the GS is based on the third generation (2010) SsangYong Korando, it is priced between 135.000 and 190.000 yuan (US$21.500-30.300) and powered by a 2.0 turbocharged petrol four with a six-speed DCT. Officially launched on March 18, these February sales are to dealerships only, and expect the GS to climb up the ladder rather quickly. In fact, given the current craze for compact SUVs and given a very interesting design for a Chinese SUV, it could very well become the brand’s best-seller by far in a matter of months, a title held in February by the GT at a very achievable #185 and 1,469 sales. The GS could also unlock a few overseas markets as it has nothing to be ashamed of design-wise next to the über-successful Korean SUVs. An exciting – yet to be defined as vigorous – rise to follow indeed…

Bar for success: #175 or 2,500 monthly sales

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China February 2015: Ford Escort and VW Lamando impress

March 20th, 2015 No comments

VW Lamando China February 2015. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cnThe VW Lamando found 10,153 buyers in China this month.

* See the Top 350 All-local models by clicking on the title *

New light vehicle sales in China remain robust in February despite the Lunar New Year holiday (Feb. 18-24), up 6% year-on-year to 1.4 million, once again lifted by very dynamic SUV and MPV sales. Over the first two months of 2015, the market is up 9% to 3.4 million vehicles, with SUV sales up 46% to 818,100 units and MPV deliveries up 17% to 383.500. In contrast, sedans are stable at 2 million units and microvans are down 18% to 202,200 sales. China is potentially one of the fastest-moving automotive car markets in the world, and this month is no exception, with Chinese-branded SUVs and MPVs – among others – continuing to make very significant progress. With February overall numbers traditionally much lower than January, only a handful of nameplates deliver higher volumes than last month – the majority of them being recent launches.

Ford Escort China February 2015. Picture courtesy pcauto.com.cnThe Ford Escort is up to #17 overall in February.

Unusually, 9 of the Top 15 best-sellers see their volume go down on a year ago, including the entire podium with the Wuling Hongguang (-21%), VW Lavida (-1%) and Santana (-4%) all receding. The Baojun 730 is back up 4 spots on January to reach an all-time best ranking in 4th place with 24,502 sales, while the Hyundai Elantra Langdong is up a fantastic 47% year-on-year and 6 ranks on last month to #5. Although the Haval H6 is up 11% on a year ago, it is down to #6 this month and does not break its monthly sales volume record for the first time since last August. The Ford Focus (-30%) is the hardest hit in the Top 40: this is logical as the new Ford Escort is supposed to replace the previous generation Focus still on sale in China and accounting for up to half of the nameplate’s sales in some months. The Escort continues its race to the top: up 11 spots on January to a best-ever #17 with 16,827 sales.

JAC Refine S3 China February 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sohu.comThe JAC Refine S3 hits a record #19 in China this month

One year ago in February 2014, there were only 3 Chinese models in the Top 25 and 11 in the Top 50. This month there are 8 in the Top 25 and 17 in the Top 50. Streamlined brand strategies and an extremely dynamic focus on the SUV and MPV segments are the reasons behind this turnaround. Along with the Baojun 730, one nameplate that perfectly symbolises this trend is the JAC Refine S3: celebrating 6 months since launch in February, the Refine S3 breaks its ranking record at #19 thanks to 16,193 deliveries, ranking 5th Chinese overall. The ChangAn Eado passes the Geely Emigrand EC7 for the title of best-selling Chinese passenger car this month thanks to sales up 68% to 15,051 vs. 14,789 (+76%).

Dongfeng Fengguang 360 China February 2015. Picture courtesy autofan.com.cnThe Dongfeng Fengguang is up to a best-ever #23 this month.

The Dongfeng Fengguang 330/360 is up 122% to #23 (ranking record), the ChangAn CS35 up 87% to #25, the BYD F3 up 4-fold on a year ago to #37, the Dongfeng Joyear up 44% to #46, Chery Tiggo 3 up 175% to #48 and the Geely Vision up 11-fold (!) to #50 thanks to a new generation. Recent Chinese launches are also hitting records: notably, the BYD S7 breaks the 10,000 monthly sales mark for the first time, up 84 spots on January to #30 and 10,649 deliveries, earning it a #5 SUV ranking overall and in effect killing the S6 it replaces (-85% to #178). The Haval H2 breaks its ranking record at #31 while both the ChangAn CS75 (#39) and Beijing Auto Huansu S3 (#40) flirt with 10,000 deliveries.

BYD S7 China February 2015. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cnInstant blockbuster: the BYD S7 is up to #30 and #5 SUV for its 4th month in market.

There are a handful of other very interesting developments among recent launches in China this month. Firstly the VW Lamando, in essence a CC variant of the VW Sagitar, takes off this month: up 76% on January to fly up to an astounding 10,153 dales at #35. Once again Volkswagen has hit the bullseye while attempting to create a new segment – its latest successful attempt being the Gran Lavida. Up 46 spots and 11% on last month is the Honda XR-V at #57, now outselling its twin the Honda Vezel, down 16 ranks to #74. Both models add up to 12,019 sales, more than double the next best-selling Honda model this month (the CR-V at 5,207 units). Total success for Honda’s compact SUV in China. Notice also the Citroen C3-XR up 24% and 53 spots to #103 and the Hawtai Shengdafei up 22% and 44 ranks to #129.

Venucia T70 China February 2015. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cnFor its 2nd month in market, the T70 is already Venucia’s best-seller.

Finally, 3 of the 4 new entrants from January markedly improve their score. As expected, the Venucia T70 is now the most successful among them, slicing its ranking in two and multiplying its January sales by 7.5 to 2,694 at #134. BSCB’s bar for success for the T70 (#80 or 8,000 sales) is still far off, but in an unexpected and fascinating turn of events, it looks like the T70 has cannibalised the brand’s other nameplates, already becoming Venucia’s best-seller! The R50/D50 is down 75% year-on-year to #181 and the R30 is down 45 spots on last month to #236… The Changhe Freedom M50 gains 21 spots to #158 while the Karry K50 gains 36 to #174, improving its sales by 11% to 1,611. Only the Beijing Auto Weiwang 007 is stuck at #314 with a mediocre 67 deliveries.

Previous post: China LCV January 2015: Wuling Hongguang V appears

Previous month: China January 2015: Market up 7% to 2.3 million units, Haval H6 on podium

One year ago: China February 2014: VW Santana takes off at +189%

Full February 2015 Top 350 All-local models below.

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China LCV January 2015: Wuling Hongguang V appears

March 2nd, 2015 No comments

Wuling Hongguang V China January 2015. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cnWuling Hongguang V

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This month LCV data for China comes with a bit of delay due to the Lunar New Year holidays. It shows the Wuling Sunshine reclaiming the top spot off the Wuling Rongguang in a spectacular way: 30,125 sales vs. 15,888. This could be due to the arrival of a new Wuling nameplate in the Top 10: the Hongguang V lands directly at #8 with 11,009 sales and could climb further up in the coming months. Notice the Foton Light Truck at #2, the Wuling Mini Truck at #3 and the Chana Mini Bus at #4 all outselling the Wuling Rongguang.

Previous post:  China January 2015: Market up 7% to 2.3 million units, Haval H6 on podium

Full January 2015 Top 10 LCV Ranking Table below.

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