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

JMC Qi Ling China October 2015An air of VW Amarok: the JMC Qi Lin, up 53% in October.

* See the Top 65 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

For the second time ever on BSCB and as part of a new partnership with local Consulting firm Cedars, we can share with you a lot more detail on the light commercial vehicle market in China with complete minivan, pickup and mini truck data by model available. Overall according to LMC Automotive light commercials add up to 275.774 units in October and 2.988.258 year-to-date. Looking at the detail by segment, it’s bad news all round: minivans continue to sink into oblivion at -35% and 50.474 sales (-39% year-to-date), pickups are down 15% to 25.789 units and down 18% so far in 2015 whereas the only island of LCV growth, mini trucks (the Chinese label for micro pickups) also surrender this month: down 9% to 37.254 deliveries, leading to a minuscule 0.09% gain year-to-date at 359.709 registrations.

Jiangxi Isuzu Ruimai China October 2015The Jiangxi Isuzu Ruimai makes its first appearance in the Chinese sales charts.

The Wuling Mini Truck wins for the fourth time in a row despite sales down a worrying 25%, distancing the Foton Light Truck (-9%) and the best performer of the month, the Lifan Light Truck jumping 5 spots on September to third place overall at 13.619 sales. Relics of a time long gone, the Wuling Sunshine (+3%) and Chana Star (+4%) hold their own albeit on a small October 2014 base.

Wuling Rongguang S China 2014The S variant isn’t helping: the Wuling Rongguang (-63%) sinks below 10.000 monthly units.

The most striking evolution in the ranking this month is delivered by the Wuling Rongguang: down an abysmal 63% to fall below 10.000 monthly units for the first time since BSCB started following Chinese LCV sales five years ago… The Hongguang V, much more recent, isn’t setting the sales charts on fire anymore either: after a peak of 30.003 units in March, it is down to 7.489 and #12 this month.

Sichuan Mini Truck China October 2015. Picture couertesy 360che.comUp 3-fold year-on-year but still rare on Chinese roads: the Sichuan Mini Truck.

Some rare nameplates do manage to go against the depressing grain this month: among them, the Chana Mini Truck is up 34% to #10, the Dongfeng K-Series Mini Truck is up 3% at #16, the FAW Xenia up 92% to #21, FAW Jilin Mini Truck up 66% to #23, FQT Motor M70 up 72% to #26, the JMC Yuhu is up a whopping 180% to #31, the JAC Pickup leaps 48% to #37, the JMC Qi Ling is up 53% to #39 and the Sichuan South Chun Mini Truck is up 3-fold on a year ago (+209%) to #44. Finally, we welcome the Jiangxi Isuzu Ruimai – the local version of the Isuzu D-Max – in the charts at #42 with 499 units sold in October alone.

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Previous LCV post: China LCV September 2015: Now with complete minivan, pickup and mini truck data (BSCB exclusive)

One year ago: China LCV October 2014: Wuling Light Truck teases Rongguang

Full October 2015 Top 65 models Ranking Table below.

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China October 2015: Focus on the All-new models

Nissan Lannia China October 2015. Picture courtesy cnwnews.comNissan Lannia. Picture cnwnews.com

As is the tradition on BSCB tradition, after exploring October data in detail, we now go through the all-new locally produced models that enter the sales charts this month and study their sales perspectives. This section is reserved to models that have kick-started local production, import launches will be covered within the import data monthly updates. After welcoming 4 new nameplates in July6 in August and 5 in September, four newcomers make their first appearance in the Chinese charts this month. For once, we have two sedans in the lot, accompanied with one SUV and one MPV, with 3 out of 4 launches selling over 2.300 units in October.

Nissan Lannia interior China October 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.comNissan Lannia interior. Picture chinaautoweb.com

1. Nissan Lannia (#145 with 3.756 sales)

This is a very important nameplate for Nissan and the first one it has totally dedicated to China. As I detailed in my highlights report of this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, the Lannia is a Chinese mid-size sedan designed by and for Chinese youth. Its Chinese name is “Lan Niao”, which translates to “bluebird”, although there is no connection with the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy. The core target for the Lannia is consumers born in the 80s and 90s that want edgy design and a car that distances them from what their parents are buying. Sounds familiar? That’s because Chinese car buyers are fast catching up with Western ones in terms of purchase triggers.

Nissan Lannia China October 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.comHas Nissan gone too far with the Lannia’s convoluted design?

The Lannia is produced exclusively in China by the Dongfeng-Nissan joint-venture and is priced from 105.900 to 145.900 yuan (US$ 16.600 – 22.900) and one 1.6L engine available for now, mated with either a manual or automatic gearbox. Interestingly, this means it is actually playing in the same sandpit as the more conservative Nissan Sylphy (99.800-169.800) but will act as the ‘trendier’ option. Lannia total length is 4.68m vs. 4.66m for the Sylphy. The Lannia will compete with such blockbusters as the Hyundai Elantra Langdong (105.800-149.800 yuan), Honda Crider (114.800-149.800 yuan), Kia K3 (102.800-149.800) and VW Bora (107.800-148.300). However given it is Nissan’s second offering in this segment it is unreasonable to expect similar sales figures.

Bar for success: #80 or 7.000 monthly sales

Beijing Auto Huansu H3 China October 2015. Picture courtesy auto.qq.com

2. Beijing Auto Huansu H3 (#147 with 3.607 units)

Despite the segment losing some of its steam lately, clones of the tremendously successful Wuling Hongguang keep popping in. The latest is the Beijing Auto Huansu H3, and credit to the state-owned manufacturer for making its design look a little more modern than the rest of the Hongguang clones. The H3 slots in above the H2 launched last year with a 4.66m length vs. 4.52 for the H2 that enables it to fit 7 or 8 passengers. As is the case for the majority of Chinese MPV in the market, its price is impossible to beat: ranging from just 55.800 yuan (US$ 8.750) to 62.800 yuan (US$ 9.850) for different trims of the 1.5L manual variant.

As it was also the case for the Jinbei 750 launched last month, the Huansu H3 undercuts both segment leaders in price: the Wuling Hongguang S 1.5L (65.800-69.800 yuan) and the Baojun 730 1.5L (69.400-80.800 yuan), but it also fights against the top-end variants of another Beijing Auto low-cost MPV: the Weiwang M20 (46.800-63.800 yuan). Its launch month already sees the Huansu H3 outsell its smaller colleague the H2 by 2-to-1 and rank #12 among all MPVs in China. A good sign is it hasn’t affected sales of the Weiwang M20, reaching a record 16.248 units this month. The H3 could be an all-out winner for Beijing Auto, enabling the manufacturer to extend its footprint in the low-cost MPV segment currently suffocated by SAIC-GM-Wuling.

Bar for success: #50 or 10.000 monthly sales

Citroen C4 China October 2015. Picture courtesy xinhuanet.com

3. Citroen C4 (#178 with 2.369 deliveries)

Launched in France in 2004, the C4 nameplate had never been used in China until now, Dongfeng-PSA preferring to use C-Quatre – the French spelling of the number four – in order to avoid the unlucky associations the number 4 often has in Chinese. The C-Quatre, launched in 2008 here and peaking at #22 and 13.618 sales in November 2013, is replaced by the C4, a different model altogether than the C4 available in Europe. But Dongfeng-PSA wouldn’t make the transition that simple: the C4 is still very confusingly called C4 C-Quatre in Chinese (C4 世嘉).

The C4 slots above the C-Elysée and below the C4L. Prices for the new C4 aren’t available yet but as a benchmark the C-Quatre ranged between 107.800 and 129.800 yuan (US$ 16.900-20.400), which may increase slightly for the C4, available with either a 1.6L or a new 3-cylinder 1.2L turbo engine. This is a very crowded segment in China and Dongfeng-PSA now has three offers sitting very closely to each other, but it should expect at least the same sales level as the C-Quatre.

Bar for success: #50 or 10.000 monthly sales

Beijing Auto Senova X25 China October 2015. Picture courtesy qlogo.cn

4. Beijing Auto Senova X25 (#364 with 4 sales)

The last new entrant in the Chinese sales charts this month makes a very discreet appearance all the way down the bottom of the ranking with just four sales, however be assured it won’t stay there for very long. A rare fact, this is the only all-new SUV to enter the Chinese ranking this month, but the second Beijing Auto nameplate. Surfing on the incredible tsunami of SUV success this year (+61% in October alone), this is one of four Senova SUVs expected to launch in the space of 18 months after the X65 (February 2015) and before the X55 (later in 2015) and X45 (2016). Unveiled at the Chengdu Auto Show in September, the Senova X25 is based on the Senova D20 hatchback and comes right on time to quench the Chinese youth’s insatiable thirst for small, trendy crossovers.

Beijing Auto Senova X25 China October 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.comBeijing Auto Senova X25. Picture chinaautoweb.com

The X25 is just 4.11m long, powered by a choice of 1.3L or 1.5L engines and priced between 55.000 and 75.000 yuan, an incredibly low US$ 8.600-11.800. It competes at the low-end of the fast-expanding Chinese SUV offering, along the likes of the JAC Refine S2 launched last month and ranking at #87 in October, the FAW Junpai D60 (#183), Lifan X50 (#190), Weichai Enranger G3 (#232), Beijing Auto Huansu S2 (#233) and Zotye T200 (#307). Apart from the JAC Refine S2 delivering a promising first couple of months, this price range of crossovers has not been met with tremendous success yet, with similarly sized but dearer nameplates being favoured by (mostly female) Chinese city buyers so far. Cue the ChangAn CS35 (#36), Brilliance V3 (#78) and Haval H1 (#97). The other Beijing Auto Senova SUV in market, the X65, is still ramping up, hitting a best ranking of #136 last month and highest volume so far of 3.971 this month. In this context, BAIC should keep its hopes relatively constrained for the X25.

Bar for success: #120 or 4.500 monthly sales

Previous post: China October 2015: Market up 13% thanks to tax cut

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

China October 2015: Market back up 13% thanks to tax cut

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China October 2015. Picture courtesy rednet.cnThe GS4 accounts for 86% of all GAC Trumpchi brand sales. Picture rednet.cn

* See the Top 375 All-local models and Top 70 brands by clicking on the title *

After three consecutive months of decline – the firsts in six years – and a timid 3% gain in September, the Chinese government finally decided on October 1 to take measures to spruce up the new light vehicle market again, halving the purchase tax to 5% for vehicles with engine displacement lower than 1.6 litres. The effect is immediate: October light vehicle sales shoot up 13.3% to 1.94 million units, 69% of which qualified for the tax cut according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Logically, sales of compact vehicles are up 17% to 1.34 million. The overall market including trucks and buses is up 11.8% to 2.221.600 units for the month.

Baojun 560 China October 2015. Picture courtesy shuansong.meThe Baojun 560 crosses the 30.000 monthly unit-milestone in October. Picture shuangsong.me

As if their growth wasn’t spectacular enough all through the year, SUV sales are up another 61% to 622,000 units, a new SUV monthly volume record for China, beating the previous high of 579.979 established just last month. MPVs are up 5% to 192.800 units, sedans are back into positive at +0.2% and 1.05 million but microvans continue to freefall at -20% and 67.600 sales. Year-to-date, the Chinese new light vehicle market is now up 3.9% to 16.5 million units. Just as most automotive analysts covered the supposed slowdown of the Chinese market with ‘doomsday’-themed articles, I will just stress that this year-to-date figure is still an all-time record for China, and any market for that matter. Meanwhile U.S. new car sales, also on track for an annual record in 2015, trail at 14.5 million units, up by a marginally better 5.8%.

Top 10 best-selling SUVs in China – October 2015 and year-to-date:

Haval H6 China October 2015

Pos Model Oct-15 /14 2015 /14 Pos
1 Haval H6 37,541 24% 290,365 15% 1
2 Baojun 560 30,226 new 80,740 new 20
3 GAC Trumpchi GS4 21,052 new 83,581 new 19
4 VW Tiguan 20,289 1% 214,591 3% 2
5 ChangAn CS75 17,948 73% 145,511 297% 4
6 Buick Envision 17,295 501% 118,297 4008% 10
7 JAC Refine S3 17,220 74% 150,422 736% 3
8 Honda CR-V 16,790 19% 119,950 -12% 9
9 Haval H2 16,785 44% 130,418 420% 6
10 Beijing Auto Huansu S3 16,136 73% 125,563 468% 8

Chinese manufacturers are the real winners in the market this year, thanks to a flood of new and affordable SUVs that have taken the market by storm: an astounding seven out of the Top 10 best-selling SUVs in China in October are Chinese, and 17 of the 50 most popular light vehicles in the country this month are Chinese. The SUV ranking is led as usual by the Haval H6 hitting a record 37.541 sales, now followed by the Baojun 560 crossing the 30,000 monthly unit-milestone for he first time (30.226) and the GAC Trumpchi GS4 posting its debut run above the 20.000 monthly sales mark (21.052). Below the VW Tiguan (#4), the ChangAn CS75 is up 73% year-on-year to an all-time high 17.948 units, the JAC Refine S3 up 74% to 17.220, the Haval H2 up 44% to a record 16.785 and the Beijing Auto Huansu S3 up 74% to 16.136.

Zotye T600 Ürümqi April 2014The Zotye T600 posts an all-time volume record this month in China…

The SUV segment quasi-monopolises the list of largest year-on-year gains in October: the Buick Envision is up 6-fold on October 2014 for its first anniversary in market, the ChangAn CS35 is up 42% to #12 SUV, the Zotye T600 is up 64% to a record 13.430 sales, the twins Honda XR-V and Vezel continue to shine, the Hyundai Tucson is up 5-fold thanks to the new generation, and the Brilliance V3 breaks a new record at 8.400 sales. Among recent introductions, the JAC Refine S2 improves further on a smashing start in September to 7.161 units, the Zotye X5 takes off 3-fold on last month to 5.033 units at #116 and the BYD Song doubles its sales to 2.301.

Geely Vision China October 2015. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cn…as does the Geely Vision.

In other Chinese carmaker news, the Wuling Hongguang delivers its strongest volume and first year-on-year gains since March at 67.002 units (+11%), its clone the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 breaks its monthly volume record at 16.248 (+112%), as does the Geely Vision at 14.032 (+319%). In the foreign manufacturer aisle, the Nissan Sylphy (34.456) and Buick Excelle GT (30.609) once again post stratospheric sales levels and follow the VW Lavida (40.298) as the best-selling sedans in the country. As far as recent launches are concerned, let’s point out the Buick Verano up 139% on September to a brilliant 9.298 sales at #66 and the Roewe 360 up 67% to 5.634 and #107. We welcome four new locally produced nameplates including – rare feat – two sedans, but this will be the object of a separate update as is the tradition on BSCB.

Buick Verano China October 2015. Picture courtesy xinhuanet.comThe All-new Verano helps Buick sales shoot up 37% in October to #2 brand in China.

A quick overview of the brands ranking (no imports and no commercials) shows Volkswagen back in positive territory (+5%) at a time when it is bracing for substantial losses worldwide in the wake of the emission scandal, yet to be clearly resolved. Buick jumps a spectacular 37% year-on-year to retain the #2 spot with 101.599 sales above Hyundai, Toyota (both at +8%), Nissan (+13%), Honda (+22%) and Ford (+17%). Lifted by the tremendous success of its SUV lineup, ChangAn (+14%) leads local carmakers above Wuling (+13%), Haval (+40%), Beijing Auto (+73%) and Baojun (+90%). Finally, notice Kia (-1%), Chevrolet (-14%) and Chery (-1%) all losing ground on their October 2014 level.

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Previous month (1): China September 2015: Market back up, Baojun 560 outsells 730

Previous month (2): China LCV September 2015: Now with complete minivan, pickup and mini truck data (BSCB exclusive)

One year ago: China October 2014: Baojun 730 up to 6th place

Full October 2015 Top 375 All-local models and Top 70 brands below.

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China July-August 2015: Discover the Top 250 imports (BSCB exclusive)

Jeep Compass China October 2015. Picture courtesy itc.cnThe Jeep Compass is the best-selling import in China in August…

* See the Top 250 All-imported models Ranking Table by clicking on the title *

Today marks a very important milestone on BSCB: after a decade or research, finally imported sales data by models is available for China, filling up a gaping hole in the sales data coverage of the largest vehicle market in the world. This ranking will now be available every month on BSCB with 45 days delay, enabling the completion of a complete monthly All-models ranking table including locally produced passenger cars, Light Commercial Vehicles and imports. Very exciting times indeed!

Lexus NX China August 2015. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cn…followed by the Lexus NX.

With import tariffs averaging 25%, logically the best-selling imports tend to belong to the premium segment. There are eight Mercedes and eight BMWs in the Top 50 best-selling imports, as well as three Audis, three Lexus, and two Porsches in the Top 10: the Macan at #7 and the Cayenne at #9! The Jeep Compass is in the lead with 3.449 sales above the Lexus NX, the only other imported nameplate to all over 3.000 units in August. The Toyota Prado, #1 over the Full Year 2014 and in July, is knocked down to #3. The Mercedes M-Class and BMW X5 make the Top 5 100% SUV. Notice also great showings by the Cadillac SRX and Dodge JCUV (aka Journey).

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Previous China imports post: China Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 40 best-selling luxury imports

Full July and August 2015 Top 250 All-imports Ranking Table below.

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China September 2015: Focus on the All-new models

JAC Refine S2 China September 2015. Picture courtesy toutiao.comJAC Refine S2

As per the BSCB tradition, after September data we now explore in more detail the all-new locally produced models that enter the sales charts this month. For the last time we will only cater for the models that have kick-started local production, import data will come very shortly. After welcoming 5 new nameplates in Maytwo in June4 in July and 6 in August, we have another very strong month for newcomers in September with five new entries, and as opposed to August when only one sold over 500 units, this time only one sell less than 1.500 units… And this month all newcomers are Chinese, with three SUVs, two MPVs and one electric sedan. How very on-trend.

1. JAC Refine S2 (#83 with 6.930 sales)

With the Refine S2, JAC is hoping to build on the runaway success of the Refine S3 which sold over 180.000 units in just a year. Powered with a 1.5L engine, the S2 is logically positioned below the S3 and above the upcoming S1, and priced between 58.800 and 75.800 yuan (US$ 9.300-12.000). It competes full frontal with the Beijing Auto Huansu S2, the Dongfeng Fengguang 360, Weichai Enranger G3 and Haval H1. Its first monthly score has it beating all the aforementioned nameplates already, showing it can pretend to shake things up in its category. A Top 50 ranking is a good first target, flirting with the gigantic success of its big brother the Refine S3 an ambitious stretch target.

Bar for success: #50 or 12.000 monthly sales

Jinbei 750 China September 2015. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cn

2. Jinbei 750 (#107 with 4.810 units)

Just at the time when the MPV category is starting to lose steam (-5% in September whereas the market is back in positive territory), we welcome a new entrant that is showing great potential. The Jinbei 750, yet another Wuling Hongguang-inspired vehicle, land directly in 8th position in the MPV ranking – #107 overall – with 4.810 units finding a new home in September. Powered by a 1.5L engine, the 750 has a tightly controlled price range of only 53.800 to 63.800 yuan (US$ 8.500-10.100), undercutting both the Hongguang S 1.5L (65.800-69.800 yuan) and the Baojun 730 1.5L (69.400-80.800 yuan) and positioned right against the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 (46.800-63.800 yuan). The latter will sell well over 110.000 units for its first full year in market and constitutes a good stretch target for the Jinbei 750.

Bar for success: #60 or 10.000 monthly sales

Weichai Enranger China September 2015. Picture courtesy pcauto.com.cn

3. Weichai Enranger 737 (#195 with 1.658 deliveries)

Only two months after launching their very first vehicle, the Enranger G3 SUV, Weichai Auto, a new Chinese manufacturer owned by Weichai Power specialised in diesel engines, already kick starts its second offering, the Enranger 737 MPV. In July the G3 started at #202 with 1.043 units, this time the 737 does 59% better in a much less saturated segment. Powered by the same Mitsubishi 1.5L petrol engine as the G3, the 737 starts at an equally cut-throat 56.800 yuan (US$ 8.960) but climbs up to 99.800 yuan ($15.700), the reason for this being the top-spec 737s are equipped with a gigantic 16-inch touch screen inspired by the Tesla Model S – no less:

Weichai Enranger 737 China September 2015. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cn

With such a point of difference, the 737 can hope to shoulder its way towards the Top 100 best-selling nameplates in the country and start making a name for the Weichai brand – or is it Enranger?

Bar for success: #100 or 5.000 monthly sales

Zotye X5 China September 2015. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cn

4. Zotye X5 (#200 with 1.526 sales)

The X5 is called “Dai Mai” in Chinese and was unveiled at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, confusing everyone with a different naming code whereas Zotye was very satisfyingly using T200 and T600 for its first two SUVs. The X5 is powered by a choice of two turbo 1.5L engines and is 4527mm long, once again a confusing 4mm shorter than the strong seller T600. Its pricing (73.800-108.900 yuan / $11.600-17.200) is a tad lower than the T600 at equivalent spec (79.800-115.800). Whatever game Zotye is playing with the X5 Dai Mai, it’s a dangerous one that risks cannibalising sales of the T600, for now completely unfazed at +49% and 10.415 sales in September. The next few months will give us the answer.

Bar for success: #100 or 5.000 monthly sales

BYD e5 China September 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cn

5. BYD e5 (#323 with 125 units)

The BYD e5 is a full electric sedan unveiled at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, based on the BYD Surui. It is BYD’s second full-electric sedan after the e6 which has been sold to multiple taxi companies around the world. BYD indeed pushed the taxi angle to death at the Auto Show this year. Not destined for high sales figures at home, the e5’s sole purpose is to strengthen BYD’s green car credentials. For reference, the e6 is up 96% so far in 2015 with 3.922 units sold in 9 months at #293, so the e5’s start is already a strong future in itself, although it could hit higher ground due to its more affordable price of 140.000 yuan (US$ 22.000) with incentives and subsidies applied.

 

Bar for success: #270 or 500 monthly sales

Previous month: China August 2015: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China September 2014: Focus on the All-new models

China LCV September 2015: Now with complete minivan, pickup and mini truck data (BSCB exclusive)

FQT Motor M70 China September 2015The FQT Motor M70 sells 642 units in China in September.

* See the Top 69 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

As you may be aware, BSCB is striving to offer an ever more complete coverage of the #1 vehicle market in the world, China. Today, for the very first time on the site and thanks to a new partnership with Consulting firm Cedars, we can share with you complete minivan, pickup and mini truck monthly data by model for China. This is a very important step towards a fully transparent coverage of the Chinese market monthly on the site. We have also managed to get hold on complete import data by model and this will be uploaded very shortly as well. Looking at year-on-year evolution by segment, minivans implode at -43% to just 55.319 registrations compared to 97.066 a year ago (year-to-date is down 39% to 620,778) and pickups also take a plunge at 21% to 23.987 (year-to-date is down 19% to 237.855). Reversely, following a trend we at BSCB have been describing for the past six months, mini trucks (the Chinese label for micro pickups) go against the overall LCV grain with sales down just 1.5% in September to 39.812 units and up 3% year-to-date at 322.557.

Dongfeng Rich China September 2015Dongfeng Rich

Now to the models ranking in detail, and the Wuling Mini Truck holds onto the LCV leadership for the third consecutive month thanks to sales down just 9% to 21.647, followed by the Wuling Sunshine (-19%), Foton Light Truck (-2%), Chana Star Minibus (-23%), JAC Light Truck (+35%) and Wuling Rongguang (-57%). Split sales with the Chana Star Taurus now made available mean the Chana Star year-to-date total (-37%) is slightly lower than the previous months. Having access to complete minivan, mini truck and pickup data means we now have a full vision of the Chinese LCV market that is in line with my observations on the ground in the past couple of years. We can explore the market down to the more obscure nameplates I described during my previous Chinese countryside trips.

Huanghai N2 China September 2015. Picture courtesy pcauto.com.cnHuanghai N2

A few examples: the Great Wall Wingle 5 is #11, the Dongfeng K Series Mini Truck ranks #12, the new generation Dongfeng Rich seen in Mohe ranks 16th, the FAW Jilin V52 minivan is up 147% to #18, the Great Wall Wingle 6 is #23, the FQT Motor M70 pictured atop this article is #33, the Huanghai R-Series is #32 and the Huanghai N-Series #36. The complete ranking is below the jump.

Previous month: China LCV August 2015: Third month of Wuling Mini Truck domination

One year ago: China September 2014: Baojun 730 instant sales blockbuster

Full September 2015 Top 69 models Ranking Table below.

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China September 2015: Market back up, Baojun 560 outsells 730

Baojun 560 China September 2015. Picture courtesy shwuling.comThe Baojun 560 is now the #2 SUV and the brand’s best-seller in the country.

* See the Top 360 All-local models and Top 70 All-brands by clicking on the title *

This month is very significant in BSCB’s extensive coverage of the Chinese market. On top of an All-models ranking of nameplates produced locally, we now have access to an All-models ranking for LCV, and a lot more detail on imported models for the past couple of months, so stay tuned for more data! We start with passenger cars data, with September ending three months of decline at +3% to 1.75 million units. A lot of analysts described China’s summer pause as ‘the beginning of the end’, I did not and have been convinced that growth would return to the Chinese market shortly. This time has come already, and will continue as the Chinese government halved the purchase tax on vehicles 1.6L and below, effective October 1. Once again the market is single-handedly pulled up by SUVs, up a gigantic 63% year-on-year to 579.979 units – the largest ever SUV monthly volume in China, where sedans are down 10% to 959.535, MPVs down 5% to 158.678 and microvans down 31% to 71.800. Year-to-date sales are also up 3% to 14.5 million units.

Buick Excelle GT China Spetember 2015. Picture courtesy autoifeng.comThanks to a record performance by the Excelle GT (above), Buick is the #2 carmaker in China.

Brand-wise, keeping in mind these figures exclude imports for now, Volkswagen slows down its decline but is still in negative territory at -3%, Buick manages a second consecutive month in the overall 2nd place thanks to sales up 17% and Hyundai is back to #3 despite deliveries down 5%. Honda shoots up 58% to 4th place, remaining above Toyota and Nissan. ChangAn is up 21% to lead Chinese manufacturers at #7, above Wuling (-8%), Haval (+33%), Baojun (+93%), Geely (+19%) and Beijing Auto (+62%). Notice also JAC up 83%, Mercedes up 92%, GAC up 111% and MG up 118%, all these explosive gains due to strong SUV numbers. At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet is down 23%, Kia down 24%, Chery down 32%, and both Suzuki and Lifan drop 38% year-on-year.

Nissan Sylphy Yanji China September 2015The Nissan Sylphy ranks 5th overall in China this month.

The Top 5 best-selling passenger cars in China are unchanged vs. last month, yet they evolve in very different ways: both the Wuling Hongguang (-10%) and VW Lavida (-12%) are on top but lose significant ground on September 2014, the Buick Excelle GT breaks its volume record for the 2nd month in a row at 35.134 units, up 62% on the previous generation a year ago. The Haval H6 (+10%) and Nissan Sylphy (+34%) both lodge very solid performances, but the winner in the Top 10 this month is the Baojun 560, up 41% on August to a record 24.228 units at #7 overall and #2 SUV in the country. Baojun is simply and extraordinarily replicating with the 560 SUV the market-changing trick it pulled with the 730 MPV exactly a year ago. For the first time in history, there are two Baojun in China’s Top 10 best-sellers, with the 730 ranking #9 (+5%).

BYD Tang China September 2015BYD Tang

Outside the Top 10, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 continues its race to the top and breaks all the brand’s volume records at 18.900 units, up 32% on its previous best established last month. The Buick Envision also beats its volume all-high at 14.692 (#29), while the Hyundai Tucson is up 8-fold on a year ago thanks to the arrival of the new generation at #59. Among recent launches, the Soueast DX7 posts a strong 2nd month in market at #111, the Roewe 360 improves 58% on August to #139, the BYD Tang is up 113% to #154 and the BYD Song lodges a solid first full month at #225 after selling just 35 units in August. There are five newcomers in the Chinese sales charts in September, but these will be covered separately in a dedicated post as is the tradition on BSCB.

Previous month: China August 2015: Baojun 560 soars to #3 SUV in third consecutive market decline

One year ago: China September 2014: Baojun 730 instant sales blockbuster

Full September 2015 Top 369 All-local models Ranking Table below.

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China LCV August 2015: Third month of Wuling Mini Truck domination

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

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

Sales of new Light Commercial Vehicles are down a harsh 24% year-on-year in China to 256.721 units, pulling the year-to-date total down 26% or nearly 900.000 sales to 2.439.070 registrations according to LMC Automotive. The trend away from microvans and towards mini pickups gets more and more striking as 2015 clicks through: the Wuling Mini Trucks enjoys its third consecutive month as #1 LCV in China thanks to sales up 6% year-on-year to 23.021, and now ranks #3 year-to-date with 152.568 units (+12%), overtaking the Wuling Rongguang (-53%) and Hongguang V, down a worrying 38% on August and 71% on its all-time best of 30.003 sales last March.

Ford Transit China August 2015. Picture courtesy auto.sohu.comThe Ford Transit ranks 15th best-selling LCV in China and #1 foreigner.

Similarly, the Chana Mini Truck makes its very first appearance inside the LCV Top 10 this month at #10 with 7.479 sales. The only other nameplates officially gaining ground in the August Top 10 are also pickups: the Foton Light Truck is up 36% and the JAC Light Truck up 42%. Confirming the microbus is now a thing of the past in China, the Wuling Sunshine is down 18% at #2 and the Chana Minibus is down 27% to #7. For the first time on BSCB we can share with you a Top 20 LCV ranking, showing the Great Wall Pickup at #12 and the #1 foreigner the Ford Transit at #15, followed by the Isuzu N-Series at #18.

Previous month: China LCV July 2015: Wuling Mini Truck confirms leadership

One year ago: China August 2015: Discover the Top 366 All-models ranking

Full August 2015 Top 20 models Ranking Table below.

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China August 2015: Focus on the All-new models

Soueast DX7 China August 2015. Picture courtesy toutiao.comSoueast DX7

As per the BSCB tradition, after August data we now explore in more detail the all-new locally produced models that enter the sales charts this month. Keep in mind we only cater for the models that have kick-started local production as imports data is still closely guarded when it comes to China. Even though the overall light vehicle market is down for the third consecutive month in August, the rhythm of new introductions has still yet to slow down, even increasing over the past couple of months: After welcoming 6 new entrants both in March and April, 5 new nameplates in Maytwo in June and 4 in July, we are up to 6 in August, half of them logically being SUVs. Only one new entrant sells over 500 units for its first month though, so all pretty discreet appearances for now.

Soueast DX7 interior China August 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.comSoueast DX7 interior

1. Soueast DX7 (#99 with 4.409 sales)

The only “true” new start this month is this rather good-looking SUV: the Soueast DX7, the brand’s very first entry in this segment. After selling re-badged Mitsubishis, Soueast impresses with this Pininfarina design that looks better than most Mitsubishi current SUVs – an easy task, granted. The DX7 is based on the R7 concept displayed a the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and was unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show. Soueast is not wasting any time in getting this vehicle in market, and is rewarded with 4.409 sales this month – or 77% of the brand’s sales at home! The DX7 is priced between 96.900 and 139.900 yuan or US$15.200-21.900 and competes with the hugely successful ChangAn CS75. Its initial sales figure is already well beyond its target so let’s set up a stretch target for the DX7…

Bar for success: #50 or 8.000 monthly sales

Changfeng Leopaard Q6 China August 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.com

2. Changfeng Leopaard Q6 (#267 at 406 units)

The Changfeng Leopaard Q6 was launched in the Chinese market in April 2014, just after its unveiling over a year ago at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. So it’s an enigma as to why it only appears now in the sales charts.  Priced between 146.800 and 179.800 yuan (US$23.000-28.200), the Q6 is a facelifted Mitsubishi Pajero whose interior is a flashback to the basic 1980 4WDs. Changfeng traditionally supplies the Chinese army and this vehicle will have a hard time stepping out of its comfort zone commercially.

Bar for success: #200 or 1.500 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengshan E30L China August 2015. Picture courtesy xinhuanet.com

3. Dongfeng Fengshan E30L (#336 with 61 deliveries)

Originally presented as the Dongfeng EJ02 EV in 2011, the Dongfeng Fengshan E30L finally finds its way into the Chinese market, mainly as a compliance car to show everyone that Dongfeng is also working on manufacturing EVs. A hand-me-down launch instead of the traditional festivities seems to indicate the E30L may not even see Dongfeng dealerships… Even when taking into account the 90.000 yuan government subsidy for a four-seat EV, the E30L will set you back 109.800 yuan or US$17.200…

Bar for success: #250 or 500 monthly sales

91. BYD Song

4. BYD Song (#339 with 35 sales)

The latest BYD hybrid SUV was unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show (as pictured above) and is named after the Chinese dynasty “Song” in a new naming code that I believe should be applied to the entire range. The Song is the PHEV version of the upcoming S3 SUV and hits 100km/h from stop in just 4.9 seconds thanks to a petrol turbocharged 1.5l engine and two electric motors. the Song is priced between 120.000 and 160.000 yuan.

Bar for success: #150 or 2.000 monthly sales

BYD T3 China August 2015. Picture courtesy chinaautoweb.com

5. BYD T3 (#342 with 28 units)

The second BYD vehicle to hit the Chinese market this month, the T3 is a pure-electric minivan also unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show and derived from the M3 van – itself a copy of the Nissan NV200 yet to be launched in China. Specifications and pricing are yet to be released for the T3.

Bar for success: #200 or 1.000 monthly sales

Beijing Auto Senova D80 China August 2015

6. Beijing Auto Senova D80 (#352 with 10 deliveries)

In 2009, Beijing Auto (BAIC) bought the platforms and production process for the Saab 9-3 and 9-5. The first Senova (“Shenbao” in Chinese) saw the light of day in May 2013 and was renamed D70 later that year. BAIC expanded the Senova lineup in 2014 with the D50 (April), D60 (September) and D20 (November). It is now the turn of the flagship D80 to hit Chinese roads after being unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show. It is derived from the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-Class built by Beijing-Benz on the V212 platform and is priced between 204.800 and 268.800 yuan or US$32.100-42.200. The D50 is currently the best-selling Senova at a shy #161 in August followed by the D70 (#248) and D20 (#276) so the ambitions of the D80 sales-wise are limited.

Bar for success: #200 or 1.000 monthly sales

Previous post: China August 2015: Baojun 560 soars to #3 SUV in third consecutive market decline

Previous month: China July 2015: Focus on the All-new models

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

China August 2015: Baojun 560 soars to #3 SUV in 3rd consecutive market decline

Baojun 560 China August 2015Hitting the Chinese market’s soft spot: the Baojun 560.

* See the Top 365 All-local models and Top 65 All-local brands by clicking on the title *

The Chinese light vehicle market endures its third consecutive month of year-on-year decline in August at -3.4% to 1.44 million registrations, pulling the year-to-date total to 12.78 million units, now just up 2.6% on the same period in 2014. In a strikingly contrasting outlook, SUV sales are up 48% on August 2014 just as sedans drop 19%, MPVs are down 8% and microvans down 29%. Only a handful of foreign manufacturers manage to swim upstream: General Motors drops 5%, Ford is down 3%, Nissan down 5.5% while Honda surges 51%. In the luxury aisle, Audi is down 4% to 45.196 units, BMW down 2% to 36.300 whereas Mercedes surges 53% to 32.763 deliveries, boosted by the C-Class (+330%!), E-Class (+35%), GLA (5.900 sales) and GLK (+33%). Year-to-date, Audi is now up just 0.8% to 361,316 sales, BMW up an equally shy 0.9% to 301.520 and Mercedes shoots up 28% to 227.624. The above figures include imports.

Segment Aug-15 Aug-14 Evo
Sedan 766,511 916,644 -16%
SUV 469,062 317,254 48%
MPV 131,293 142,837 -8%
Microvan 71,000 100,000 -29%
Total SUV/MPV/Microvan 671,355 560,091 20%
Total Passenger Cars 1,437,866 1,476,735 -3%

Landwind X7 China August 2015. Picture courtesy qctt.cnThe Evoque clone X7 helps boost Landwind sales up 77% in August.

If we look at the brand detail for locally-assembled vehicles, Volkswagen slows down its fall from a dramatic -31% in July to -8% in August at 199.157 units, Buick gains two spots on last month at 14% year-on-year in 2nd place at 79.491 units above Honda up a spectacular 43% to 74.552 units, spectacularly outpacing Hyundai (-16%), Nissan (+9%), Changan (+16%) and Toyota, surprisingly weak at -20%. SUV specialist Haval continues its fantastic run with sales up 44% to 47.260 deliveries, Chevrolet falls 23% and Baojun takes off at +155% and 40.763 units thanks the instant blockbuster status of the 560 SUV as we will detail further down. Notice also Beijing Auto (+23%), JAC (+140%), GAC (+117%), MG (+126%) and Changfeng (+131%) all taking off essentially thanks to new SUV offerings.

Buick Excelle GT China August 2015. Picture courtesy autoifeng.comThe Buick Excelle GT breaks the 30.000 monthly unit-mark for the first time.

The Wuling Hongguang holds onto the models pole position despite sales down 22% to 44.269, distancing the VW Lavida down 5% to 33.180. The recently revamped Buick Excelle GT breaks the 30.000 monthly sales mark for the first time ever at 30.159 units (+77%) in third place, with the Haval H6 (+6%), Nissan Sylphy (+36%) and Baojun 730 (+91%) in tow – the latter now above 200.000 deliveries so far in 2015. After last month’s precarious -31%, Volkswagen is back to a strong showing with no less than 8 nameplates inside the August Top 16: the Lavida at #2, Tiguan at #7, Sagitar at #8, Jetta at #9, Golf at #10 – the very first time the Golf ranks inside th Chinese Top 10 – the Bora at #14, Passat at #15 and Polo at #16.

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China July 2015The GS4 accounts for 77% of GAC August sales in China.

The big news in the ranking is the 30 spot-surge of the all-new Baojun 560 SUV, following on the tracks of the 730 MPV a year ago, landing in third place in the SUV ranking below just the Haval H6 and VW Tiguan at #13 overall with 17.128 deliveries, already claiming the title of most successful launch of 2015. The GAC Trumpchi GS4 comes close at #21 and 14.317 units and is one example of a Chinese carmaker relying solely on one SUV to do volume: the GS4 represents an astounding 89% of GAC sales in August with no other model in the range selling more than 530 units. The other two striking examples are MG with the GS at 71% of the brand’s sales and just this month Soueast launched the DX7 SUV it unveiled at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, already accounting for 77% of the brand’s sales this month as we will describe in more detail in the monthly focus on all-new models coming up shortly.

Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 China August 2015. Picture courtesy of auto.sina.comThe Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 is up 82% in August vs. -22% for its inspiration, the Wuling Hongguang.

With the JAC Refine S3 at #19 (+626%), the Changan CS35 at #22 (+98%), Changan CS75 at #26 (+124%) and Haval H2 at #27 (+229%), the Geely EC7, still China’s best-selling domestic sedan, is only the #10 Chinese vehicle in August, the first nine being either SUVs or MPVs…  There are 19 additional Chinese vehicles in this month’s Top 100. Significant achievements by the Honda XR-V (#23), Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 (+82% to #35), Skoda Superb (+284% to #42), Toyota Levin (+28% to #50 and spectacularly outpacing the Corolla at #57), Hyundai Sonata (+164% to #52), Ford Edge (#68), Brilliance V3 (#78) and Changfeng Leopaard CS10 (#95) are also to be noted.

Previous post: STRATEGY: Why Volkswagen is losing foot in China?

Previous month: China July 2015: Baojun 560 lands with a splash in market down again

One year ago: China August 2014: Baojun 730 directly above 12,000 sales

Full August 2015 Top 365 All-local models and Top 65 All-local brands below.

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