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Strategy: How can Chinese brands unlock their home market? (Part 3)

May 30th, 2014 1 comment

Great Wall Wingle. Picture courtesy of 360che.comGreat Wall Wingle

This is Part 3 of my special Strategy series about Chinese manufacturers at home. You can check out Part 1 (introduction and Medium & Heavy Trucks) herePart 2 (Small, Medium & Large Buses and Light Trucks) here and Part 4 (Commercial Vehicles summary and MPVs) here. We are exploring the Chinese market segment by segment and studying how local brands fare in each segment, going from big to small. Today we go through 1 tonne Pick-ups, Mini Trucks and Minivans.

PICK UPS

One tonne pickups are actually part of the Light Truck segment we covered earlier totalling roughly 350,000 annual units, however I wanted to dedicate some more time on this segment because it was one of the biggest surprises of my recent trip to China. Worldwide, this sector is dominated by the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, Mazda BT-50 and other VW Amarok, most of which are manufactured in Thailand. Up until now I had no access to sales data for pickups in China and I had only visited Beijing and Shanghai where civilian pickups are not even allowed in downtown areas! So this was an entire swath of the market totally unknown to me.

ZX Auto Grand TigerZX Auto Grand Tiger

I ended up spotting thousands of pickups, as I describe in my article The pick-ups of Kashgar, South-Western China, and the big learning is: Chinese car buyers are actually not interested in foreign pick-ups. At all. In the week I spent in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, the only ones I spotted were the locally-produced Nissan D22, the Isuzu TF and the Ford F150 Raptor (what is Ford waiting for to officially import these into China?). Not a single Toyota Hilux, although I saw a lot of Hilux lookalikes! Official sales data for 2012 (and it shouldn’t have changed much in 2013) indicate the Great Wall Wingle is the best-selling pickup in China with 113,305 sales and a gargantuan 31.5% market share. Interestingly, 56% of Wingle sold in China in 2012 were diesel and 20% only were 4WD.

JMC BaodianJMC Baodian

Contrary to my observations in Xinjiang Uyghur where the ZX Auto Grand Tiger could be threatening the Wingle for the pickup crown, nationally the JMC Baodian is #2 with 61,899 units and an outstanding 17.4% share, a fair way above the Grand Tiger at 37,837 and the Dongfeng Rich at 37,059. What does this all mean? Well in a region where sealed roads are often a distant memory, Chinese pickups are absolutely up for the task, to such an extent that vehicles hugely successful elsewhere don’t even register here. It’s not a surprise that the Great Wall Wingle has already made some inroads in export markets, notably in Australia.

Chana PickupChana Star Pickup in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur – May 2014

MINI TRUCKS

The Mini Truck segment is a little vague as the only information I have is a list of brands, so I am assuming we are talking about the pick-up variants of the minivans we talk about later down in this article. In any case, the production figures are suspiciously low compared to the amount of ‘mini pickups’ I spotted in Xinjiang Uyghur, where they were often outselling their minivan variants. I may also have been in a region where mini pickups are especially successful. In any case, we are looking at 527,000 vehicle produced in 2013, 100% Chinese! Wuling dominates the category with 181,677 units (I estimate the Rongguang pick-up to lead the models charts), followed by Foton at 102,723, Dongfeng at 80,968 and Chana at 76,447.

Chana Taurus. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comChana Taurus

MINIVANS

Minivans are notorious for their success in China and 2013 production figures confirm it: over 1.63 million of them came out of factories last year, 99.9% of them Chinese! Only the Suzuki Landy (1,899 units) makes a frail appearance in the models ranking, dominated by the Wuling Sunshine (463,800), Rongguang (359,400) and Dongfeng Xiaokang (166,100).

Beijing Auto Weiwang 306. Picture courtesy of sxac.comBeijing Auto Weiwang 306

For the first time on BSCB I can indeed share with you detailed Minivan production data, and this is particularly interesting for the detail of Chana Minivans, all grouped into one in the traditional monthly sales rankings. We learn that the Chana Star 2 is the most popular in 2013 with 127,135 units produced, ahead of the Star (80,393), Taurus (56,706) and Star 4500 (28,186). We also learn that Beijing Auto’s new brand, Weiwang, has been very well received: the Weiwang 306 already ranks 5th in 2013 with just under 90,000 units.

Dongfeng Xiaokang V27Dongfeng Xiaokang V27

Notice also the Lifan Foison at #8, the Beijing Auto Weiwang 205 at #10, Haima Fushida 2 at #14, GAC Gonow Xingwang at #16, Zotye Z10 at #17 and BAW Minivan at #20. So this is another segment that Chinese manufacturers have completely locked down, and are very unlikely to let anyone near: given how cheap all these Minivans are, there is actually no competition for them worldwide.

Haima Fushida 2. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comHaima Fushida 2

One issue: the Minivan segment seems to have plateaued somehow over the past 12 months, with the Wuling Sunshine down a harsh 36% year-on-year in April for example. Travelling through China I think I has managed to garner a few explanations to this Minivan pause, which I will detail in the next part of this series, so stay tuned!

Full Year 2012 Top 6 Pick-ups, Full Year 2013 Top 10 Mini Truck brands and Top 20 Minivan rankings below.

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Categories: China, STRATEGY

Strategy: How can Chinese brands unlock their home market? (Part 2)

May 28th, 2014 No comments

Yutong School BusYutong School Buses

This is part 2 of my special Strategy series about how Chinese carmakers can achieve a better market share in their home market. You can check out Part 1 (introduction and Medium & Heavy Trucks) herePart 3 (Pick-ups, Mini Trucks and Minivans) here and Part 4 (Commercial Vehicles summary and MPVs) here. We are exploring the Chinese market segment by segment and studying how local brands fare in each segment, going from big to small. Today we go through Medium & Large Buses, Small Buses and Light Trucks.

MEDIUM & LARGE BUSES

175,266 Medium and Large Buses came out of Chinese production lines in 2013, keeping in mind an estimated 10% of these get exported. If Chinese brands held a whopping 97% of the Medium and Heavy Truck market, their domination in this sector is similar, holding 96.7% of last year’s production with Toyota (3.2%) and Hino (0.1%) the only foreign manufacturers in the ranking. Note this doesn’t mean these two are the only foreign buses to be sold in China but imports in this sector are anecdotal.

Sunlong logoSunlong logo: pretty cool

With a total of 175,000 Medium and Large Buses produced in China in 2013, only 3 manufacturers stood above 10,000 units. Yutong, which claims to be the #1 bus manufacturer in the world, aptly takes the lead with 29.4% share, followed by King Long at 19.8% and Dongfeng at 7.5%. Lots and lots of obscure brands in the ranking: have you ever heard of Ankai, Zhongtong, Yaxing, Sunwin, Lushan, Hengtong, Guilin, Nanjun, Sunlong or Zhongke? Didn’t think so.

Jinbei Haise Beijing October 2013Jinbei Haise in Beijing – Jinbei dominates the Small Bus segment in China.

SMALL BUSES

I have separated this category for the Medium & Large Buses because they involve significantly different brands. Almost 400,000 small buses came out of Chinese factories in 2013 (389,963 to be precise) and if the Chinese brand ratio was 97% among Medium & Heavy Trucks and 96.7% among Medium & Large Buses, here we are simply looking at… 100% Chinese. Easy. Even though a lot of Small Buses are in actual fact derived from various generations of Toyota Hiace, there is no such thing as a foreign small bus produced in China, and imports are scarce.

Jinbei leads the ranking in this category with 104,265 units produced, and it makes sense given the extremely high number of Haise I saw in Beijing and Chongqing. Less so as you get in the countryside though. JMC follows with 68,062 units while Yuejin rounds up the podium at 42,977 units. Notice also Dongfeng at #4, Foton at #5, JAC at #6, ChangAn at #12, Beijing Automobile Works at #15 and Chery at #20.

Foton Forland Light Truck China 2013Foton Forland Light Truck

LIGHT TRUCKS

Last category for today is the Light Truck segment, one of the most popular in the country with just under 1.9 million units produced locally in 2013. Once again an astounding 99.2% of these are Chinese, and with imports limited in this category, foreign carmakers are left with bread crumbs. Keep in mind we are also looking at a few hundred thousand exports within this figure as well, as Light Trucks are potentially with Medium & Heavy Trucks the segment where Chinese carmakers have been the most successful to-date overseas.

JAC Light Trucks. Picture courtesy of enbac.comJAC Light Trucks

If we look at the production ranking by brand, Foton dominates with 379,335 units ahead of JAC at 220,068 and Jinbei at 180,840. Dongfeng, JMC, Great Wall, Yuejin, FAW, Qingling and ZX Auto round up the Top 10 which is roughly consistent with my observations on the ground earlier this month. Sales-wise, we know that the Foton Forland sub-brand accounts for a large part of Foton’s overall score in this segment with 346,391 units sold at home last year. It is followed by the JAC Light Truck at 221,116 sales, the Jinbei Light Truck at 178,252 and the Dongfeng Light Truck at 165,779 – all consistent with their production figures.

Yuejin Light Truck. Picture courtesy of 360che.comYuejin Light Truck

A sub-segment of Light Trucks is Pick-up Trucks and I will cover this sector in a separate update as for once I can share with you exclusive sales figures by model (albeit 2012 ones). The Pick-up segment was one of my biggest surprises during the visit I made to Chinese countryside earlier this month so it deserves its own write-up. Stay tuned for Pick-ups, Mini Trucks and Minivans next…

Full Year 2013 Top 20 Medium/Large, Small Buses and Light Truck brands rankings below.

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Categories: China, STRATEGY

Strategy: How can Chinese brands unlock their home market? (Part 1)

May 28th, 2014 1 comment

Shanghai Englon SC7 Photo2Shanghai Englon SC7 in Ürürmqi, Xinjiang Uyghur – April 2014

This is Part 1 of my special Strategy series on Chinese manufacturers at home. You can also check out Part 2 (Medium & Large Buses, Small Buses and Light Trucks)Part 3 (Pick-ups, Mini Trucks and Minivans) and Part 4 (Commercial Vehicles summary and MPVs).

It’s not a secret that Chinese carmakers have a relatively weak market share in their home market, sliding downwards for the 8th consecutive month to 37.1% in April, compared to 39.6% one year earlier. My recent trip to China, visiting Beijing, Chongqing, Ürümqi and a large part of the rural Xinjiang Uyghur province in the West of the country, has clarified a lot of elements participating into this trend, but also unveiled a list of keys that Chinese brands could utilise to unlock their home market. So I will start with 3 observations:

1. It’s not that bad

Let’s not forget we are talking about 37% of the world’s biggest car market by far, forecast to hit 30 million annual units by 2020, so even if the local brands’ share stays around 35 to 40% by then, that’s still 10 to 12 million annual units, way more than the 7 million units American brands sold in the US in 2013 for example.

Wuling HongguangThe Wuling Hongguang justified its #1 spot nationally by a very strong presence in the countryside (here in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur).

2. Geographical imbalance and potential

Travelling across cities at various levels of development during my trip, it became clear that the more remote the town, the more Chinese the car landscape became. From 10 to 15% in Beijing, to 33% in Chongqing, 40% in Ürümqi and reaching levels up to 90 to 100% Chinese penetration in some parts of the Karakoram Highway in the extreme South West of the country. My observations concerned a limited area of the country and can in no way be generalised to the whole of China.

However, if we take this step and assume this is the way the market is segmented, then the question becomes: will car buyers in the developing regions of China choose local brands when they purchase their first car or will they behave like their East Coast counterparts and fall for the charms of German, French, American, Japanese or Korean cars. The widespread assumption in the industry is that they will be more enclined to choose Chinese brands. I am not convinced and to me the jury is still out on this. I will conduct more in depth research over the coming months to try and answer this capital question.

Dongfeng Fengguang China April 2014. Picture courtesy of qc.comThe Dongfeng Fengguang, particularly popular in Kuqa, is helping building the Chinese MPV segment.

3. Segment disparities

A meticulous study of the Chinese market segment by segment shows huge disparities, with some segments actually under near monopoly from Chinese carmakers, potentially making it simpler to concentrate on the ones where local brands are under-performing. One of my most interesting observations in China was witnessing the creation from almost the ground up of new segments by Chinese carmakers themselves, unlocking huge potential for the future. So this series will focus on the study of the Chinese car market by segment, exploring each segment’s evolution and potential for Chinese brands. In short: how can Chinese carmakers unlock their home market, segment by segment?

We’ll start big, and finish small.

Donfeng-truckDongfeng holds 23% of the Medium & Heavy Truck market in China

MEDIUM & HEAVY TRUCKS

This is a segment we rarely mention on BSCB for lack of available sales figures, however today I am in a position to share with you Production figures for Medium & Heavy Trucks in China in 2013. You basically need to consider China as a giant construction site, with roads and buildings constantly being built and upgraded. Just when I was there, the Karakoram Highway was in the process of having its width tripled and construction workers were hard at work for hundreds of kilometres along the way. During my entire time in the country I did not see one single foreign medium or heavy truck, an observation that was already true in Mongolia last year.

Production figures confirm this, with only the SAIC-Iveco joint venture (2.6% share) and Hino (0.4%) not Chinese. The rest of the medium/heavy trucks production in China in 2013, a whopping 97% of the market, is Chinese. Dongfeng logically dominates the segment with over 240,000 units produced last year or a 23% market share, ahead of FAW (17.3% share), China National Heavy Duty Truck (13.6%), Beiqi Foton (12.3%) and Shaanxi (9.7%), the only other manufacturers above 100,000 units. The total medium/heavy truck production in China in 2013 was just over 1 million – 1,044,619 units to be precise, keeping in mind some of it gets exported. Needless to say imports are minimal here so there we have it: a near-monopoly for Chinese carmakers in the first segment we observe.

Full Year 2013 Top 20 China Heavy & Medium Truck brands below.

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China April 2014: Now updated with Top 10 LCVs!

May 27th, 2014 1 comment

2. Chana MinivanChana (Star) Minibus in Chongqing, China – April 2014

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to LMC Automotive I can now share with you more detail about the Chinese car market, including the Top 10 best-selling Light Commercial Vehicles which is a new monthly update on BSCB. Lucky you! Note LMC still considers the Wuling Hongguang as a LCV so we are actually dealing with the Top 9 best-sellers here. Interestingly, among the LCVs for which I have April 2013 data to compare with (the Top 5), only two gain ground year-on-year: the Hongguang (+92%) and the Chana Minibus (+13%) which includes the Star and Taurustar I spotted many, many times in my visit to China last month.

Great Wall Wingle 2013. Picture courtesy of autohome.com.cnThe Great Wall Pick-up is among the 50 most popular vehicles in China this month.

All others lose ground and for the Sunshine it’s a dramatic -36% to 6th overall with 29,575 sales. Further down, notice the JAC Light Truck at #15 with 23,240 sales, the Wuling Mini Truck at #27, Jinbei Mini Truck at #36, Dongfeng Minibus at #39 and the Great Wall Pick-up making its appearance at #41 and #10 LCV with 11,493 units, a large part of which should be the Great Wall Wingle.

Previous post: China 4 months 2014: VW Santana and Golf biggest gainers in Top 20

Previous April post: China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records in market up 13%

Previous month: China March 2014: Now updated with LCV data!

One year ago: China LCV April 2013: Wuling Sunshine reclaims throne

Full April 2014 Top 50 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: China

China 4 months 2014: VW Santana & Golf biggest gainers in Top20

May 20th, 2014 2 comments

VW Santana taxiVW Santana in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur – May 2014

* See the Top 339 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after exploring detailed sales for April and focusing on the all-new models for the month, we now go into the year-to-date charts to try and extract longer-term trends. New locally-produced passenger car sales in China are up 12% so far in 2014 to just under 7 million units. The top of the sales charts is stabilising, with the podium unchanged on the same time last year. In pole position, the Wuling Hongguang is up a very healthy 40% on last year to 270,118 sales, a new record after only 4 months. The VW Lavida for its part is up 24% thanks to the arrival of the ‘Gran Lavida’ hatchback variant to 193,165 units and the Ford Focus is up ‘only’ 6% to 134,509 sales.

VW Golf China April 2014. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comCan the VW Golf ever sell more in China than in Europe? Talk about a milestone…

In 4th place the VW Santana is the biggest gainer in the Top 20 thanks to the new model at +125% and 106,494 units. In fact the rest of the Top 7 is 100% Volkswagen, with the German carmaker amazingly placing 5 models inside the 2014 Top 7 so far: the Sagitar is up 14% to 102,010 sales at #5 (helped by a record month in April), the Jetta is up 25% to #6 and the Passat up 13% to #7. The Nissan Sylphy is up a very impressive 31% but remains 9th, while the Haval H6 is up 10 spots and 60% to a splendid 10th place with 94,262 units.

Nissan Teana China April 2014. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comNissan Teana sales are up 78% so far in 2014.

Further down, the VW Golf is the 2nd biggest gainer in the Top 20 thanks to the 7th generation now widely spread, up 67% to #20 and 61,447 sales vs. #48 over the Full Year 2013. The Chana Honor is up a gargantuan 127% to #21, the Dongfeng Future up 23% to #29, ChangAn Eado up 72% to #31, Ford Kuga up 117% to #35, Citroen C-Elysée up 79% to #40, Nissan Teana up 78% to #47 and the ChangAn CS35 up 73% to #48.

Honda CRider China April 2014. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comHonda created a new segment with the CRider

No less than 49 all-new models have popped up in the Chinese sales charts over the past 12 months, or 50 depending on which way you look at it… In any case the Honda CRider leads the way among all-new entrants at #28 with 50,224 sales. The Toyota Vios new generation is up… 20578% to #33 and 44,664 units so we may as well consider it as all-new. We then have the Hyundai Mistra at #36, the Ford Mondeo at #51, Chery E3 at #61, Toyota Yaris L at #70, Chery Tiggo 5 at #78, Peugeot 301 at #79, Dongfeng Fengguang at #87, Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 at #90 and Mazda CX-5 at #101.

A more in-depth analysis of the Chinese car market and the relative weakness of local brands based on my recent trip in the country will be published shortly.

Previous post: China April 2014: Focus on the all-new models

Previous April post: China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records in market up 13%

Previous month: China Q1 2014: VW Santana, Haval H6 & Chana Honor biggest gainers

One year ago: China 4 months 2013: Great Wall Haval H6 now best-selling local

Full January-April 2014 Top 339 All-models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: China

China April 2014: Focus on the all-new models

May 18th, 2014 13 comments

Haima S5 China April 2014Haima S5

Today we resume a BSCB tradition: after going through detailed sales for April, I spend a bit more time acknowledging the all-new entrants in the models ranking. 4 new models make their very first appearance this month, led by the Haima S5 landing directly in 139th position with 2,986 sales. The S5 was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show less than a month ago with a live performance from local popstar Wu Mochou, and is the second SUV for the Haima brand after the larger S7 which it already outsells (#153). It gives the carmaker an entry in the compact SUV segment, currently booming in China. The S5 price range is 89.800 to 107.800 yuan or US$14.400-17.300, and as such it should aim at the #44 ChangAn CS35 (smaller), #60 Great Wall M4 (smaller) and #66 Geely GX7 (bigger), keeping in mind Haima’s current best-seller in the country is the M3 at #77 so far in 2014.

Chevrolet Trax China April 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comChevrolet Trax

30 spots below at #169 with 1,846 sales we find the Chevrolet Trax, launched almost 2 years ago overseas but arriving fashionably late in China. This is basically a rebadged Buick Encore, but the Chevrolet is aimed at young buyers whereas Buick is more targeted at middle-aged consumers. According to Carnewschina, price for the Chevrolet Trax starts at 119.900 yuan and ends at 159.900 (US$19.200-25.600). The inevitable benchmark for the Trax is of course the performance of the Buick Encore, ranking #78 in April and #72 so far in 2014.

Peugeot 2008 China April 2014. Picture courtesy of cheshi.comPeugeot 2008

The third new entrant in China in April is yet another compact SUV: building on its incredible success in Europe, the Peugeot 2008 lands at #174 with 1,664 units sold. The 2008 is the second SUV to be manufactured by Peugeot in China after the 3008, but the French have bigger plans with the 4008 and the China-only 6008 waiting in line to conquer the Chinese market. You can never have too many SUVs if you want to succeed here! The 2008 is priced between 99.700 and 136.700 yuan (US$16.000-21.900) and competes with the Ford Kuga (#35 year-to-date) and Nissan Qashqai (#43). With the 3008 currently at #87 and the 308 being Peugeot’s best-seller at #66, a spot inside the Top 100 would be a good start for the 2008, breaking into the Top 50 would be ground-breaking and go a long way into helping Peugeot reach the next level here.

DS 5LS China April 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comDS 5LS

Finally the last newcomer in the sales charts this month is another Frenchie: the DS 5LS sedan arrives at #188 with 1,436 sales. This is great news for Citroen’s new premium brand, as the China-only DS 5LS immediately takes the advantage over the DS 5 hatchback (#220) which is the way it should be given Chinese buyers’ love for sedans. Price starts at 146.900 yuan and ends at 246.900 (US$23.600-39.600), however as Carnewschina pointed out, the cheaper models come without anything resembling a proper screen on the dashboard whereas these days a US$9.000 Chinese sedan comes standard with a 7 inch touch screen Must. Try. Harder.

Previous post: China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records in market up 13%

Previous new car post: China January 2014: Focus on the all-new models

One year ago: China April 2013: Honda CR-V up to #4, Nissan Teana takes off

Categories: China

China April 2014: Haval H6 breaks records again in market up 13%

May 17th, 2014 15 comments

Haval H6 Sport China April 2014Haval H6 Sport

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 65 brands & Top 312 models! Click on title to see *

Passenger vehicle sales in China are up 13% year-on-year in April to 1.5 million as consumers brought forward purchases in anticipation more cities will implement ownership restrictions to fight pollution and congestion. 6 Chinese cities, the latest being Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province, have imposed quotas on new license plates to control the growth in vehicle population as worsening smog led Premier Li Keqiang to declare “war” on pollution. Consumers in Nanjing rushed to buy cars at an auto show on May 1 on concerns that the city will introduce purchase limits. About one car was sold every three minutes during the exhibition and sales surged by as much as 40% in April at some dealerships.

VW Sagitar China April 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.sohu.comThe VW Sagitar breaks its all-time monthly volume record in China this month.

Brand-wise, Mercedes is up 38%, Ford up 29%, Volkswagen up 28%, Audi up 17%, Chevrolet up 6% (the slowest pace in 14 months), Toyota up 12% and Nissan up 15% while Honda is down 4%. The brands ranking displayed below has slightly different figures, simply because the official data that gets published by the CAAM excludes imports which still account for a large part of Mercedes sales for example. Industrywide deliveries in China are forecast to increase as much as 10% in 2014 vs. 14% on 2013 as anti-pollution and austerity campaigns spread. As an aside, the collective market share for Chinese brands slumped for an 8th straight month in April, down 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier to 37.1%.

BYD F3 China April 2014. Picture courtesy of pcauto.com.cnThanks to its facelift, the BYD F3 is back inside the Top 40.

In the models ranking, the podium is unchanged on March and year-to-date with the Wuling Hongguang up a gigantic 92% year-on-year to just above 60,000 sales, ahead of the VW Lavida (+42%) and Ford Focus (+11%). The Nissan Sylphy brilliantly takes the 4th spot thanks to sales up 47% on April 2013, while the VW Sagitar lodges its best-ever monthly volume at 27,847 units in 5th place. The Haval H6 delivers the unbelievable feat of breaking its monthly volume record for the 9th time in the last 10 months at 26,372 sales and hits a record #7 spot, also reached last July.

Nissan X-Trail China April 2014. Picture courtesy of Autohome.com.cnThe new model pushes the Nissan X-Trail up 1000% year-on-year!

Beyond the Top 10, the VW Tiguan is up a massive 61% on April 2013 to #13 with 21,206 sales, the VW Golf smashes its monthly result at 19,116 units, up 112% year-on-year, the Kia K3 takes off 13 spots on March to #22 with a record 15,119 sales, the Toyota Vios is up two ranks to #24, the ChangAn Eado is up 70% year-on-year to become the #3 best-selling Chinese model at #27, the new generation Citroen C-Elysée exactly doubles the nameplate’s sales vs. April 2013 and the Hyundai Mistra is back up 8 spots on last month to a best-ever #36, a ranking it also reached last January.

Zotye T600 Ürümqi April 2014The Zotye T600 explores new heights each month in China. In April: #123.

Thanks to its facelift, the BYD F3 is up 44 ranks on March to #39 with 10,528 sales, the ChangAn CS35 is up 60% year-on-year to #44, the new generation Ford Mondeo breaks into the Chinese Top 50 for the first time at #45 and the new model boosts the Nissan X-Trail up a magnificent 74 spots on March and 1000% year-on-year to #46 and 9,130 units. Further down, the Chery Tiggo 5 is up 22 ranks to a best-ever #56, the Peugeot 301 is up 12 to #64, the Zotye T600 continues to climb the ladder: up another 21 spots to #123, the Skoda Rapid Spaceback is up 70 ranks to #175 for its 2nd month in market and the Qoros 3 is up 20 to a still very shy #247.

Previous post: China March 2014: Now updated with LCV data!

Previous month: China March 2014: VW Jetta and ChangAn Honor hit records, Fiat sparks

One year ago: China April 2013: Honda CR-V up to #4, Nissan Teana takes off

Full April 2014 Top 65 brands and Top 312 models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: China

China March 2014: Now updated with LCV data!

May 6th, 2014 No comments

Wuling HongguangWuling Hongguang in Ürümqi, China – April 2014

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 5 models by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to LMC Auto we have more detailed data for China, now including the all-important Light Commercial Vehicle sales. 555,111 LCVs found a new home in March in China, down 3% year-on-year and bringing the year-to-date total to 1,407,421 units, up a shy 1% on 2013. Adding Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (139,331 up 5%) and Passenger Cars (1,583,045 up 12%) we come to 2,277,487 overall sales in China in March, up 8% on March 2013 and adding up to 6,222,570 units year-to-date, up 9% on 2013.

Wuling RongguangWuling Rongguang in Beijing, China – October 2013

Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang reigns supreme at 63,827 sales (+28%) ahead of the VW Lavida at 43,386 units (+13%) while the Wuling Sunshine is back in the Top 5 at #3 in spite of sales down 19% to 37,820. The Wuling Rongguang is down ‘just’ 2% to 37,032 units but remains well above the Sunshine year-to-date at 107,647 sales (+6%) vs. 93,690 (-25%). Once overall leader by far, the Sunshine seems to have been the victim of countryside Chinese buyers upgrading into the MPV category with the Hongguang or Chana Honor or/and the larger Rongguang minivan. These trends are consistent with what I observed in rural Xinjiang over the past 10 days with new-looking Hongguang and Rongguang much more frequent than new Sunshines.

Beijing Auto E-Series China November 2013. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comBeijing Auto is the biggest gainer so far in 2014, mainly due to the success of the E-Series hatch.

Brand-wise, the addition of LCV redistributes the cards and we now have 4 Chinese carmakers inside the Top 10 vs. 3 last month. Volkswagen is still the most popular by far but slows down its growth to 17% and 11.8% share this month vs. 24% and 13.3% share year-to-date. Wuling comes 2nd at 7.5% of the market (+8%) followed by ChangAn (+10%). Below Hyundai, Toyota and Dongfeng pass Buick to rank 5th and 6th respectively while Foton is up 3 spots to land at #10 in spite of sales down 9% year-on-year.

Ford Kuga China April 2014Chinese Ford sales are up 52% so far in 2014.

The biggest gainers in the Top 25 this month are Beijing Auto up 58%, BMW up 34%, Haval up 33%, Nissan up 32%, Ford up 30%, Audi up 26%, Citroen up 25% and Peugeot up 24%. Year-to-date, this list becomes Beijing Auto up 53%, Ford up 52%, Haval up 36%, Jinbei up 35%, Audi up 25% and Nissan up 23%.

Previous March post: China March 2014: VW Jetta and ChangAn Honor hit records, Fiat sparks

Previous year-to-date post: China Q1 2014: VW Santana, Haval H6 & Chana Honor biggest gainers

Previous LCV post: China Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 10 best-selling LCVs!

One year ago: China April 2013: Honda CR-V up to #4, Nissan Teana takes off

One year ago (LCV): China LCV April 2013: Wuling Sunshine reclaims throne

Categories: China

China Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 30 best-selling vehicles

April 25th, 2014 3 comments

Chingqing street sceneChana Taurustar, Chana Star & Wuling Hongguang in Chongqing – April 2014

* See the Top 30 best-selling vehicles (PC and LCV) by clicking on the title! *

Now that the Top 10 most popular Light Commercial Vehicles in China are known, I can give you the Top 30 best-selling vehicles in the country, all categories included, for the Full Year 2013 in the biggest light vehicle market in the world. That’s Passenger Cars and LCVs combined. And with the addition of all the iconic local minivans, the picture doesn’t look that bad any more for Chinese carmakers at home. They go from 3 representants in the Top 30 Passenger Car ranking (Wuling Hongguang, Haval H6 and Emgrand EC7) to 11 in the All-vehicles ranking, including 5 in the Top 7…

Wuling Sunshine China 2013Most popular vehicle in China from 2005 to 2012, the Wuling Sunshine is #2 in 2013.

The Wuling Hongguang leads the way and enjoys its first ever year atop the Chinese sales charts thanks to a 68% year-on-year progression to 530,050 registrations, putting an end to 8 consecutive years of reign of the Wuling Sunshine – down to #2 at 455,718 units (-13%). At this rate, the Sunshine should fall outside the podium in 2014, as two very aggressive passenger cars are making their way up: the VW Lavida is up 76% to #3 with 433,870 sales and the Ford Focus up 36% to 403,640 units in 4th place.

VW Sagitar China 2013The VW Sagitar is among the 10 most popular vehicles in China for the 1st time in 2013.

The Foton Forland is down 2 spots to round up the Top 5, ahead of the Wuling Rongguang/Xingwang (-9%) and Chana Minibus (+8%) making it 5 Chinese in the Top 7. Further down, notice the VW Sagitar breaking into the overall Top 10 for the first time thanks to sales up 38%, the Nissan Sylphy up 94% to #12, the JAC Light Truck at #16, Haval H6 up 94% to #17, Hyundai Elantra Langdong up 156% to #18 and the VW Santana up 73% to #25.

Check out also:

China Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 10 best-selling LCVs

China Full Year 2013: Wuling Hongguang and VW Lavida on top (All Passenger cars models ranked)

China Full Year 2013: Now with Top 70 brands (All Passenger cars brands ranked)

Full Year 2013 Top 30 all vehicles Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: China

China Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 10 best-selling LCVs!

April 25th, 2014 1 comment

Chana Taurustar Chongqing April 2014Chana Taurustar in Ciqikou, Chongqing – April 2014

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

Thanks to data graciously shared by Chinese market experts LMC Automotive, we now have access for the first time on BSCB to a Top 10 Light Commercial Vehicle ranking for the Full Year 2013 in China. At 5,084,000 sales in 2013, the Chinese LCV market is almost equivalent to total sales in Japan so this is a big chunk of data unlocked for you, especially since monthly Top 5 LCV data dried up last June. A very welcome breath of fresh air indeed, coinciding with my trip to hinterland China where minivans and LCVs in general are particularly successful. Great timing!

JAC Sunray China 2013I’m going to assume JAC Light Truck sales include the Sunray…

LMC Auto kept the Wuling Hongguang in the LCV ranking even though it has been classified as an MPV by my monthly source ChooseAuto. Turns out part of Hongguang sales were still hiding in the LCV classification with a total of 530,050 over the Full Year (including 448,484 PC), up 68% on 2012 when it only ranked 4th. The Wuling Sunshine loses the title of best-selling vehicle in China with sales down 13% to a still amazing 455,718 units. The Foton Forland is stable in third place at 346,391 units while the Wuling Rongguang/Xingwang is down 9% and two spots to #4.

Jinbei Haise…and that the Jinbei Light Truck is basically the Haise.

The Chana Mini Bus, including the Taurustar pictured in this article, is only the 2nd model in the Top 5 to see its sales gain ground year-on-year at +8% to 306,834 units. Beyond the Top 5 is uncharted territory as this is the first time I have access to that level. Let’s salute the fine performances of the JAC Light Truck (aka Sunray?), Jinbei Light Truck (aka Haise?) and Wuling Mini Truck which is – if I got it right during my LCV discovery mission in Chongqing – a pick-up version of the Sunshine.

Full Year 2013 Top 10 LCV models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: China