China September 2016: Focus on the All-new models

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

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

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

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

1. Chevrolet Cavalier (#73 – 9.741 sales)

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

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

Bar for success: 17.500 sales

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

2. SWM X7 (#124 – 6.000 sales)

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

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

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

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

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

3. Baojun 310 (#132 – 5.310 sales)

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

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

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

Bar for success: 8.000 sales

chery-tiggo-7-china-september-2016

4. Chery Tiggo7 (#136 – 5.223 sales)

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

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

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

Bar for success: 17.500 sales

geely-emgrand-gl-china-september-2016

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

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

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

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

Bar for success: 10.000 sales

jac-iev-china-september-2016JAC iEV5

6. JAC iEV (#226 – 1.665 sales)

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

Bar for success: 2.000 sales

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

7. Mitsubishi Outlander (#230 – 1.479 sales)

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

Bar for success: 4.500 sales

jaguar-xfl-china-september-2016

8. Jaguar XFL (#240 – 1.272 sales)

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

Bar for success: 4.000 sales

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

9. Citroen C6 (#305 – 544 sales)

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

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

Bar for success: 4.000 sales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full September 2016 Top 57 All-models ranking below.

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China September 2016: Market up 29% anticipating expiring incentives

haval-h6-coupe-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cnFirst month above 50.000 units for the Haval H6. 

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

After gaining 26% in both July and August, the Chinese new light vehicle market gets another stunning boost in September at +29% to 2.27 million units just as buyers rush to dealership to benefit from the 50% tax cut to 5% on small engine-vehicles, an incentive that is set to expire at the end of the year. This score is very close to the highest monthly volume ever recorded in China (2.44 million in December 2015). Year-to-date, sales in China are up 15% to 16.75 million units. After over a year of sales boosted by the tax cut, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers anticipates a significant slow down in 2017 if the tax cut ends as planned. It is therefore lobbying the Chinese government to extend the tax cut, but the government hasn’t responded yet. It is in fact in its best interest to keep uncertainty going as the effect on sales this year has been spectacular.

baojun-730-china-september-2016-picture-courtesy-58che-comThe Baojun 730 is back up 88% year-on-year in September to #4 overall. 

The SUV segment is once again the engine of growth in China with a whopping 52% year-on-year gain in September to 879.000 units, but MPVs – up 37% to 221.500 – and sedans – up 17% to 1.12 million – also show very healthy figures. Only microvans (-33% to 48.600) have gone out of fashion. The Volkswagen Group outsells General Motors this month as the largest carmaker in China with sales up 20% year-on-year to 382.300, adding up to 2.85 million year-to-date (+11%). Its namesake brand remains the most popular in the country by far, replicating the market’s growth at +29% to 280.708 units, 2.4 times higher than any other brand. Over the first 9 months of the year, Volkswagen is up 11% to 2.16 million, Audi up 6% to 440.200, Skoda up 17% to 234.500 and Porsche up 11% to 49.200.

gac-trumpchi-gs4-china-september-2016The GAC Trumpchi GS4 breaks its monthly volume record at 34.202…

General Motors on the other hand is up 16% this month to 343.773, boosted by Buick up 13% to 110.395, Wuling up 6% to 108.225 including LCVs, Baojun up 46% to 70.081 and Cadillac up 63% to 12.539 including imports. CAAM data indicates Chevrolet is down 10% to 51.078 but the manufacturer reports sales up 3% to 51.932. In any case the arrival of the Cavalier – with almost 10.000 sales this month – will give the struggling brand a welcome boost in the coming months and will be covered shortly in our special “All-new models” article. Year-to-date, GM sales are up 9% to a record-high 2.72 million units. In the China-made brands ranking, below Volkswagen Honda snaps the 2nd spot thanks to sales up 31%, distancing Changan (+73%), Buick (+13%), Hyundai (+16%), Nissan (+34%), Ford (+49%) and Toyota (+6%).

hyundai-tucson-china-september-2016…as does the Hyundai Tucson at 20.175… 

Among Chinese manufacturers, both Haval (87.627) and Geely (76.796) surge 68% year-on-year in September to complete the podium below Changan. Below, Beijing Auto (+52%), Dongfeng (+70%), Chery (+51%), GAC Trumpchi (+69%), Zotye (+108%), Roewe (+204%), Soueast (+625%), Leopaard (+58%) and Changhe (+141%) all spectacularly outpace their home market. Newcomers Cowin (#43), Brilliance-Shineray SWM (#44) and Borgward (#48) all fit within the Top 50 brands. In the luxury race (figures include imports), Audi continues to see its once unsurmountable advantage over its two German rivals shrink. Its sales are up a meagre 2.6% in September to 54.499 vs. 49.204 for BMW and 46.443 for Mercedes-Benz, both up 20%. Year-to-date, Audi is up 6.2% to 440.233, followed by Mercedes at 344.791 (+30%) and BMW at 330.000 (+10%).

roewe-rx7-china-september-2016 …the Roewe RX5 at 13.751…

In the models ranking, the Wuling Hongguang (+4%) manages to hold the pole position for the 5th time this year and remains in the year-to-date lead despite deliveries down 1% on the same period in 2015. The Haval H6 (+74%) is aggressively catching up though, posting its first-ever month above 50.000 monthly units at 53.268. The VW Lavida (+18%) rounds up the podium and crosses the 400.000 sales mark year-to-date (+22%), above the Baojun 730 enjoying a definite revival at +88% in 4th place. The VW Jetta (+86%), GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+81% to a record 34.202), VW Sagitar (+41%), Ford Escort (+60%), Hyundai Elantra Langdong (+43%) and Buick Envision (+80%) also frankly outpace the market inside the Top 15.

dongfeng-fengguang-580-china-september-2016…and the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 at 13.022. 

A seemingly endless list of nameplates break their monthly volume record this month – a large majority being SUVs. Among them, the Haval H2 (20.242), Hyundai Tucson (20.175), Buick Verano (17.992), Nissan Qashqai (15.412), Mazda3 Axela (14.910), Chery Arrizo 5 (14.770), Geely Boyue (14.053), Roewe RX5 (13.751), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (13.022), BAIC Senova X35 (10.189), Geely Vision SUV (10.056), Jeep Cherokee (9.500), Geely Emgrand GS (8.524), Lifan Myway (6.237), Cadillac XT5 (5.234), Haval H7 (5.192) and Borgward BX7 (5.133). Finally, we welcome no less than 9 all-new nameplates in this month’s charts, including the Chevrolet Cavalier, Baojun 310, Chery Tiggo 7 and Citroen C6. These will be covered in detail in a separate update as per the BSCB tradition.

Previous month: China August 2016: Second consecutive month up 26% – SUVs up 44%

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

Full September 2016 Top 70 China-made brands and Top 400 China-made models below.

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

jmc-yuhu-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-ifeng-comJMC Yuhu sales are up 168% year-on-year in August. 

* See the Top 55 All-models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to a partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars we can now share with you August sales data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China with complete Minivan, Pickup and Mini Truck model figures as well as selected Light Truck data provided by LMC Automotive. Chinese LCVs as a while show another monthly decline at 239.202 units this month (-7%) yet one that is smaller than year-to-date at 2.151.377 (-12%). Micro/minivans sink even faster this month at a dismal -57% to just 24.964 units, mini trucks are up 10% to 43.238 but the hero segment of the month is once again pickups up 33% to 27.359, outselling minivans for the first time in history.

The Wuling Mini Truck is the best-selling LCV in China for the 2nd month running thanks to deliveries up 9% to 25.003. Once again it sells almost double the combined figure for the Wuling Sunshine and Rongguang minivans (12.710), once dominating the Chinese LCV market head and shoulders. The Foton and JAC Light Trucks round up the podium while in the pickup aisle the 10 best-sellers all gain ground, led by the Great Wall Wingle 5 (+15%), JMC Baodian (+29%), Dongfeng Rich (+15%), ZX Auto Grand Tiger (+21%) and JMC Yuhu (+168%).

Previous month: China LCV July 2016: Pickups up 26%, Mini Trucks up 12% in market down 11%

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

Full August 2016 Top 55 All-models below.

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China August 2016: Focus on the All-new models

changhe-q35-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-tom-comChanghe Q35

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 397 models by clicking here *

August showed an extremely dynamic 26% year-on-year gain in China for the second consecutive month. As is the tradition each month, BSCB puts a laser focus on the new China-made nameplates that make their appearance in market to you are on the bleeding edge of knowledge as far as the largest car market in the world is concerned. The August 2016 class is slightly disappointing given the strength of the market with only six new entrants and none above 3.000 sales. For once the sedan/SUV ratio is balance at 3 vs. 3.

1. Changhe Q35 (#174 – 2.556 sales)

After the Q25 last March, BAIC continues the revival of the Changhe brand with this Q35 unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April and none other than a rebadged BAIC Senova X35, itself launched last May with a personal best of 8.005 sales (July) at end August. At 4.29m and powered by the same 1.5L petrol engine, the Q35 is almost identically priced to its twin the Senova X35 at 65.900-86.900 yuan (US$ 9.700-12.800) vs. 65.800-88.800 which is both strange and dangerous, as the Changhe brand certainly do not have the access-premium credentials the Senova sub-brand has. Moreover, the Q35 enters a fiercely fought segment that already includes such blockbusters as the Changan CS35, Haval H2, JAC Refine S3 and Brilliance V3. The Changhe Q25, after hitting a splendid 5.259 sales for its third month in market last May, has fallen back below 1.000 monthly units for the past two months, so Changhe must be reasonable when predicting long-term sales for the Q35. Keeping the score hit during this first month in the long-term would be an achievement in itself.

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly sales

kandi-gleagle-k17-china-august-2016Kandi Gleagle K17

2. Kandi Gleagle K17 (#243 – 1.002 sales)

Looks familiar? That’s because the Kandi K17 is in fact an electric version of the now-defunct Shanghai Englon SC5… Confusingly, Geely has decided to transform its electric brand Kandi into Gleagle, a brand it killed a couple of years ago. So this vehicle is actually called Gleagle K17A in China… It comes along the existing K10, K11 and K12 which do not appear in China’s sales charts and competes with the likes of the Zotye Z100 EV. Priced at 164.800 yuan (US$24.300), it will be reserved to taxi companies and green car fanatics in the big cities. The K17 launched a few months ago already which makes it difficult to figure out whether this month’s figure is an aggregate of more than one month or the accurate August data. Keeping at this level in the long-term would likely make parent company Geely happy.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

baw-bj20-china-august-2016

3. BAW BJ20 (#264 – 807 sales)

Is the BJ20 the best-looking BAW SUV so far? It has a definite air of American Jeep with its six headlights and although convoluted, it marks a clear improvement on the brand’s previous offerings, the BJ40 and BJ80. Powered by a Mitsubishi 1.5T engine with only 147hp and at 4.45m long, the BJ20 is yet another BAIC vehicle based on the Senova X65.

baw-bj20-interiorBAW BJ20 interior 

Priced between 96.800 and 139.800 yuan, it slides in above the Huansu S6 (79.800-116.800), level with the Weiwang S50 (95.000-110.000) and below the Senova X65 (106.800-156.800) and Borgward BX7 (169.800-242.800). BAW vehicles have historically struggled to hit four-digit sales figures with the BJ40 peaking at 1.628 units in June 2014 and only crossing the 1.000 monthly unit-milestone twice since including this month. A long-term stint above that mark is a good target for the BJ20.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

faw-junpai-a70

4. FAW Junpai A70 (#295 – 479 sales)

Unveiled last April at the Beijing Auto Show, the A70 is the second Junpai-branded offering and the first sedan after the D60 small crossover. Produced by the Tianjin branch of FAW (First Auto Works), it is based on the FAW Besturn B30 launched in November 2015 and features a snout inspired from the VW Scirocco. At 4.61m long and powered by an FAW-made 1.6L engine, the A70 is sharply priced from 64.800 to 87.800 yuan (US$ 9.600-13.000), logically slightly below the more up-marlet B30 (69.800-92.800). It’s a very crowded and relatively stagnant segment in China though: after hitting a personal best of 6.219 sales last January, the B30 has since fallen back below 2.000 units (1.593 in August). The Junpai D60 for its part hit a record 4.154 sales in January 2015 but has not seen a 4-digit sales month since last April, seemingly indicating the Junpai sub-brand hasn’t yet struck a chord with Chinese customers. In this context the A70 may struggle to impose itself.

Bar for success: 2.000 monthly sales

hawtai-e80-china-august-2016

5. Hawtai Lusheng E80 (#372 – 30 sales)

Under the new name Lusheng E80 actually hides a E70 with a minor facelift. It doesn’t appear in many Chinese websites and its price in unknown, hopefully more will be known about this vehicle soon. Note the E70 hit a personal best of 2.776 sales in December 2014 and is down 79% this month to just 373 units, but it’s unclear whether it will be fully replaced by the E80.

Bar for success: 1.000 monthly sales

yema-e70-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-wechatstyle-com

6. Yema E70 (#381 – 17 sales)

The Yema E70 is in fact an electric variant of the T70, itself a clone of the VW Touareg. Unveiled almost a year ago at the Chengdu Auto Show in November 2015, the E70 is a rare electric entry in the SUV segment. Anticipated to be priced at roughly 260.000 yuan (US$38.400) after eco car subsidies have been subtracted, its claimed range is 250km. The E70 was supposed to be launched in January 2016 but comes in market with over half-a-year delay. Discreet sales at best are to be expected.

Bar for success: 500 monthly sales

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

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

China August 2016: Second consecutive month up 26% – SUVs up 44%

Geely Vision China July 2016With the Vision SUV, Geely now has three SUVs selling 7.000+ units in August.

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 397 models by clicking on the title *

The Chinese new car market continues on its unabated growth with a second consecutive month at +26% year-on-year to almost 1.795.500 units. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, this jump is due to 1. an unusually slow month a year ago in the wake of a stock market collapse and 2. the continued effect of the tax cut on vehicles with engine sizes of 1,6L or smaller. The tax cut expires at the end of the year, so we are also witnessing a significant forward purchase movement from the Chinese population. SUVs are the engine of growth once again with a 44% year-on-year surge to 654.100 sales, but sedans are also dynamic at +20% to 916.200 units and MPV leap up 36% to 180.400. Sales of microvans continue to plunge at -37% to 44.800 as rural buyers upgrade to MPVs. So far in 2016, light vehicle sales in China are up a splendid 13% to 14.4 million deliveries.

roewe-rx5-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-sina-com-cnInstant blockbuster: the Roewe RX5 finds 8.539 new buyers in August.

Brand-wise (no imports, no commercials), Volkswagen continues to dominate the charts head and shoulders but doesn’t quite match the market at +19% to 236.489 sales. Buick on the other hand gains 30% to a splendid 103.169 units, ahead of Honda (+20%) once again outselling all other Asian carmakers: Hyundai (+17%), Toyota (+40%) and Nissan (+18%). Changan (+47%) leads the Chinese charge, followed by Haval (+35%), Geely (+64%), Beijing Auto (+59%), Dongfeng (+63%) and Wuling (+4%). Ford leaps up 36%, Kia is up 62%, Mazda up 53% and Cadillac up 127%. In the luxury race, Audi underperforms (+4%) and continues to see its advantage over Mercedes (+22%) and BMW (+17%) thin up. Fiat (-75%), DS (-35%), Peugeot (-21%), Suzuki (-17%) and Citroen (-10%) struggle.

SUV ratio among the Top 25 Chinese carmakers:

Pos Brand Aug-16 /15 SUV SUV %
TOTAL MARKET 1,795,500 26% 654,100 36%
1 ChangAn 85,838 47% 36,351 42%
2 Haval 63,983 35% 63,983 100%
3 Geely 53,698 64% 24,722 46%
4 BAIC/BAW 47,828 59% 28,124 59%
5 DongFeng 46,963 63% 23,986 51%
6 Wuling 46,667 4% 0 0%
7 Baojun 44,937 10% 15,112 34%
8 BYD 38,290 53% 18,121 47%
9 Chery 33,765 21% 13,831 41%
10 GAC 30,019 88% 26,708 89%
11 Roewe 20,812 192% 8,737 42%
12 Zotye 20,354 63% 19,454 96%
13 JAC 17,590 -27% 10,479 60%
14 FAW 14,778 27% 6,439 44%
15 Haima 12,594 -1% 8,597 68%
16 Brilliance 9,524 -11% 5,439 57%
17 Lifan 8,373 67% 6,847 82%
18 Soueast 7,788 35% 6,265 80%
19 Jinbei 7,353 718% 0 0%
20 Venucia 7,291 -21% 4,409 60%
21 Leopaard 6,475 31% 6,475 100%
22 MG 6,206 -1% 2,820 45%
23 Cowin 5,880 new 5,301 90%
24 Hawtai 5,070 1% 4,231 83%
25 Borgward 5,027 new 5,027 100%

dongfeng-fengguang-580-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cnFirst month above 10.000 sales for the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 

Chinese carmakers have been the main force behind the SUV craze. Out of the Top 25 Chinese brands in August, 22 have an SUV sales ratio superior to the national average of 36.4%. Only Baojun – just below at 34%, Jinbei and Wuling (not SUV brands) fall short, but Haval (100%), Leopaard (100%), Borgward (100%) prosper on lineups entirely composed of SUVs. Zotye (96%), GAC (89%), Hawtai (83%), Lifan (82%), Soueast (80%), Haima (68%) and Venucia (60%) owe their survival in the ultra-competitive Chinese market solely to SUVs.

borgward-bx7-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-sohu-com-cn9.106 Borgward BX7 have already found a buyer in China. 

This month, yet another wave of new Chinese SUVs is flooding the August sales charts: the Geely Boyue lodges a 2nd month above 10.000 sales, the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 posts its first 5-digit sales month at #50 and 10.086, the Roewe RX5 is the most impressive of all, up 124 spots on its inaugural July score to #66, the Geely Emgrand GS breaks another record at 7.541 sales and the Geely Vision SUV is up 297 ranks to #87 and 7.051 sales. The Haval H6 (+49%) still dominates the category above the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+84%), Buick Envision (+119%), VW Tiguan (-14%) and Hyundai Tucson (+654%) for the first time in the Top 5. The Baojun 560 (-12%) marks a pause. Still progressing are the Lifan Myway (5.043), Haval H7 (4.482) and Cadillac XT5 (3.703). The Borgward BX7 (5.027) and Cowin X3 (3.877) confirm their solid July launch scores.

chery-arrizo-5-china-august-2016-picture-courtesy-autohome-com-cnThe Chery Arrizo 5 cements its #2 Chinese sedan status. 

The Wuling Hongguang remains the best-selling nameplate in the country thanks to the help of its crossover-looked S1, with the VW Lavida (+16%) rounding up the podium. The VW Jetta (+99%) benefits fully from the small engine tax cut, as do the Toyota Corolla (+187%), Ford Escort (+120%) and VW Bora (+40%). The Baojun 730 is back up to #6 after 5 months outside the Top 10 and the Buick Verano is up 6-fold on the previous generation a year ago. But the real winner among traditional cars this month is the Chery Arrizo 5. A surprise success given the poor performances of the two previous Arrizo nameplates (3 and 7), the Arrizo 5 is up 17% on a record July score to hit 13.072 sales, #2 Chinese sedan below the Geely Emgrand EC7 (14.610) but above the Changan Eado (11.824).

Previous month: China July 2016: Tax cut triggers 26% gain, fastest pace in 3.5 years

One year ago: China August 2015: Baojun 560 soars to #3 SUV in third consecutive market decline

Full August 2016 Top 70 China-made brands and Top 397 models ranking below.

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China LCV July 2016: Pickups up 26%, Mini Trucks up 12% in market down 11%

Great Wall Wingle 6 China July 2016. Picture courtesy xgo.com.cnSales of Great Wall Wingle 6 are up 74% year-on-year in July. 

* See the Top 56 All-models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to a partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars, here is July sales data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China with complete Minivan, Pickup and Mini Truck model figures as well as selected Light Truck data provided by LMC Automotive. The Chinese LCV aisle as a whole is once again in great difficulty with July sales down 11% to 216.824 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down 12% to 1.912.175 units. Yet detailed study segment by segment confirms the evolution of the past few months. Micro/minivans accelerate their demise at -49% to 27.482 units, some of this lost wind recuperated by mini trucks up 12% to 35.224, this category outselling minivans for the third month in a row – and ever. A typical illustration of this momentous shift is the Wuling Mini Truck, back to #1 this month and the mini pickup variant of the Wuling Hongguang, now selling almost double the Wuling Sunshine and Rongguang minivans combined at 20.117 sales vs. 11.758.

JAC T6 China July 2016. Picture courtesy rutamotor.comJAC Pickups – including the T6 pictured here in Chile – are up 221% in July. 

But for the third consecutive month, the LCV heroes of China are pickup trucks. Reenergised by a change in legislation allowing them in the large cities of four provinces for the first time in 12 years (click here for more detail on this), pickup sales in China are fast turning into one of the new engine of growth along with SUVs and MPVs. After returned to positive for the first time in over two years in April and posting very impressive gains in both May (+11%) and June (+36%), pickup trucks sing their third month of double-digit gains in a row in July at +23% to 26.014 units, lifting their year-to-date total up 6% to 198.426. Their distant leader, the ageing Great Wall Wingle 5, manages to outpace the segment’s explosive growth at +28% to 5.896 at #9, its best ranking since February. Surprisingly, its closest followers all lose ground: the Dongfeng Rich (-14%), JMC Baodian (-20%) and ZX Auto Grand Tiger (-3%), but the JAC Pickup (+221%), Great Wall Wingle 6 (+74%), JMC Yuhu (+87%) and Foton Tunland (+46%) make themselves noticed.

Previous post: China First Half 2016: Tax cut, SUV wave spur 8% gain to record 12.8m

Previous month: China LCV June 2016: Pickup sales surge 36%

One year ago: China LCV July 2015: Wuling Mini Truck confirms leadership

Full July 2016 Top 56 All-models ranking below.

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China July 2016: Focus on the All-new models

Borgward BX7 China July 2016Borgward BX7

* See the July 2016 Top 393 All China-made models and Top 70 brands here *

With new car sales up a whopping 26% year-on-year in July, the Chinese market welcomes a boasting 8 all-new China-made models this month – 5 of which being Chinese SUVs and thus right on-trend – compared to just two in June but 9 in May. As is the tradition each month, BSCB puts a laser focus on these new entries to keep you up-to-the-minute about the largest car market in the world. The July 2016 class of all-new nameplates is a particularly momentous one as we welcome one marque reborn from the 1960s and one new Chinese marque instantly featuring three all-new nameplates…

Borgward logo old and newOld and new Borgward logo

1. Borgward BX7 (#118 – 4.079 sales)

The most popular newcomer this month has a definite German accent to it, but the renaissance of the Borgward marque 55 years after it last made cars is anything but, rather funded and 100% owned by Foton Motor, property of the BAIC Group. As I described in our annual ranking of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at the Beijing Auto Show where Borgward placed at a stunning #3, Foton did a stellar job at reviving the once legendary marque. Its marketing efforts at the Show focused on its heritage, playing up the “Since 1919″ slogan despite the half-century production interruption and enumerating the brand’s achievements at the peak of its glory in the fifties: “A direct competitor to Mercedes”, “One of Germany’s Top 4 Carmakers” (along with Volkswagen, Opel and Mercedes), “The most complete product lineup of the time” and “Cumulative sales of 1 million units”.

Borgward BX7 China July 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cn

Last September, I cringed at how much of a faux pas it was to relaunch the brand at the Frankfurt Auto Show, especially with a misleading “accessible premium” positioning. I stand by it, it was a mistake. But if the only objective was to get press in China and make the brand look more premium here – like anything European it seems – then it may have been a good idea. The BX7 is now in market almost a year after its German unveiling, and Borgward has made sure to feature numerous test-drives in Germany (such as the one pictured above) to prolong the illusion – as not a single Borgward will be manufactured in Germany, something the brand’s website conveniently bypasses. The Chinese name for Borgward (Baowo 宝沃) is a clever mix of BMW (Baoma 宝马) and Volvo (Woer’Wo 沃尔沃)… “Any similarities with existing marques would be purely coincidental” – not.

Borgward 230Borgward 230

As we saw in Beijing, the smaller BX5 and BX6TS are already on their way and will enlarge the brand’s lineup in the coming months. For now, the BX7 is ideally sized for a Chinese car market hungrier than ever for compact Chinese SUVs, and a first appearance above 4.000 monthly sales is a very satisfying figure indeed for what is basically an unknown brand – beyond what BSCB would have originally set as a bar for success. Reported Chinese sales however tend to be wholesale deliveries to dealers, so we should wait a few months to really declare this launch successful – or not.

If BAIC’s brands are still displayed in a joyous mess at every Auto Show (Senova, Huansu, Weiwang, Changhe, Foton, Gratour…), Borgward stands apart and it can only be beneficial for its sales performance. A much needed boost, as the BX7 is basically a rebadged BAIC: it is in fact the same vehicle as the BAIC Huansu S6, Weiwang S50 and Senova X65. The price is much higher though, from 169.800 to 242.800 yuan ($25.600-36.600) compared to the S6 (79.800-116.800), S50 (95.000-110.000) and X65 (106.800-156.800). All three nameplates have found their market, so chances are the BX7 will too but it might be tougher to convince Chinese buyers to fork out that much money for a rebadged BAIC.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

Cowin C3 China July 2016Cowin C3

2. Cowin X3 (#128 – 3.744 sales)

4. Cowin V3 (#212 – 1.296 sales)

5. Cowin C3 (#215 – 1.205 sales)

This month it’s not just one but three new nameplates from Chery spinoff brand Cowin that enter the ranking. Cowin, formerly a Chery sub-brand, transitioned into full-blown marque in August 2014 and premiered at the Chengdu Auto Show in September of that year. Yet its first appearance at a major Chinese Auto Show was in Beijing last April, and a cascade of new, sharply designed and perfectly relevant nameplates meant it ranked #5 in our list of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at the Show. The Cowin brand, aimed at younger buyers living in second and third tier cities and purchasing their first vehicle, now makes its very first appearance in the Chinese sales charts.

Cowin X3 China July 2016Cowin X3 interior China July 2016. Picture courtesy bitauto.comCowin X3

As we detailed in China 2016 Photo Report: The Chinese car dealerships of Xining, the Cowin C3 sedan and C3R hatchback have been on sale in China for almost a year, yet the nameplate only appears now in the ranking at #215 with 1.205 sales. Delayed reporting sometimes occurs in China when a new brand appears in market. The X3 5-seat SUV, unveiled in Beijing in April, is for its part all-new. It is based on the tried-and-tested Chery Tiggo 3 with an entirely new and very modern design. Despite being priced from 63.600 to 93.900 yuan (US$ 9.600-14.200), the X3 features a 10.1 inch touchscreen in the centre console, something that is sure to attract a younger clientele. It is logically priced at a 7.000 yuan ($1.000) premium over the ageing Tiggo 3 (56.900-86.900 yuan) and enters one of the most crowded segments in China. Available with a 1.6L petrol with 127hp mated with a five-speed manual or automatic, it will compete squarely with such blockbusters as the Baojun 560 (66.800-92.800), BAIC Senova X35 (65.200-88.200), Brilliance V3 (59.700-102.700), Changan CS35 (72.400-94.400), Dongfeng Fengguang AX7 (64.700-82.700) and Ford Ecosport (69.800-100.800).

Cowin V3 China July 2016 Cowin V3 China July 2016bCowin V3 

Unveiled like the V3 at the last Beijing Auto Show in April, the V3 has been categorised as a 7-seat SUV even though it is actually a rebaghed variant of the Karry K50 MPV. Powered by the same engine as the X3, the V3 is competitively priced between 60.800 and 77.800 yuan (US$9.200-11.700). It’s a clear premium over the Karry K50S, the SUV-esque variant of the K50 (50.800-68.800) but its SUV categorisation places the V3 as one of the cheapest 7-seaters in market, competing with the Changan CX70 (64.400-80.400) and Lifan Myway (55.700-76.800). Over in the MPV aisle, the X3 competes with the tremendously successful – but lately struggling – Baojun 730 (59.800-82.800). Chery/Cowin have played all the right cards to be successful here too with the V3. In this context, regular stints at 5.000 monthly sales would mean success for either the V3 or the X3, but these two could go much higher with their cutthroat pricing and attractive design.

Bar for success: C3: 3.000 monthly sales, X3 and V3: 5.000 monthly sales.

Roewe RX5 China July 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cn

3. Roewe RX5 (#190 – 1.620 sales)

Also unveiled at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, the RX5 is a much-anticipated and very sleek addition to the Roewe lineup, the Chinese version of the defunct Rover marque, now owned the SAIC Group. Dubbed by the brand as “the world’s first mass-produced super internet SUV”, the RX5 is the first model equipped with the Yun OS software jointly developed with Chinese tech Alibaba, the Chinese Amazon. Roewe wants to attract a younger audience with the RX5, targetting the 26-35 year-old age bracket which has traditionally been the territory of SAIC’s other main brand, MG. The RX5 is indeed based on the same platform as the MG GS but priced higher at 97.800-177.800 yuan (US$14.750-26.800) vs. 84.700-153.700 for the MG GS.

Roewe RX5 China July 2016. Picture courtesy bitauto.com

This way, the RX5 competes with the entry-premium Chinese SUVs, such as the hugely successful GAC Trumpchi GS4 (99.800-153.800), Haval H6 Coupe (118.300-159.800), Geely Boyue (98.800-157.900), Leopaard CS10 (96.300-146.400), Qoros 5 SUV (119.900-178.900) and even the Haval H7 (145.300-165.300). On the other hand, although pricey for a Chinese SUV, the 4.54m long RX5 remains a very good deal when compared to China-made foreign offerings which demand a similar price for a distinctly smaller car such as the 4.29m Honda Vezel (118.800-175.800 yuan), 4.29m Mitsubishi ASX (93.800-150.000), 4.27m Hyundai ix25 (95.800-168.000), 4.28m Buick Encore (99.700-164.900), 4.27m Kia KX3 (85.800-159.800) or 4.17m Suzuki Vitara (99.500-158.800).

Roewe RX5 interior China July 2016. Picture courtesy bitauto.comRoewe RX5 interior 

Sales-wise, the Roewe brand has recently been re-energised by the new 360 sedan that peaked at a cool 8.437 units last January, however still far from the brand’s nameplate record of 15.883 sales hit by the 350 in December 2013. But Roewe has never been able to rely on solid SUV sales, with the antique W5, a rebadged Ssangyong Kyron, never taking off since its 2011 launch. In this context, the 1.620 sales delivered by the RX5 for its inaugural month are actually a good performance already: the W5 has not signed a four-digit month since April 2014 (1.121) and only beat the RX5 July figure once: in January 2014 when 2.014 units found a new home. But the RX5 can – and should – go much higher, potentially to 5-digit monthly sales. The MG GS’s record is 6.741 back in December 2015, and a similar score hit regularly would already be a gage of success for the RX5.

Bar for success: 6.500 monthly sales

Luxgen 3 Sedan China July 2016

6. Luxgen 3 Sedan (#362 – 47 sales)

Another nameplate unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April, the Luxgen 3 Sedan has already launched in Taiwan where it is currently knocking at the Top 20’s door. Luxgen is a brand launched a few years back by the Taiwanese Yulong Group. The 3 Sedan is manufactured in China by the Dongfeng-Yulong joint-venture and is priced from 59.800 to 96.800 yuan (US$9.000-14.600), meaning it is entering arguably the most successful, crowded and competitive segment in the Chinese market. It will compete with the likes of the VW Jetta (5.08-10.04), Santana (5.19-9.88) Geely Emgrand EC7 5.70-8.73, Chagan Eado (starting at 56.900), Ford Escort (6.88-9.18) and Chery Arrizo 5 (5.59-9.49). Unfortunately, its dated Dongfeng 1.6L four-cylinder petrol 124hp engine, mated with a five-speed manual or CVT may make it a harder sell than it already is. Luxgen’s success in China has so far relied on SUVs, with the 6 SUV hitting a record 7.647 sales in January 2015. The 5 Sedan, launched in April 2015, only posted a four-digit sales month once, in May 2015 (1.956) so the 3 Sedan can only hope for a small slice of the gargantuan Chinese compact sedan cake.

Bar for success: 2.000 monthly sales

VW Phideon China July 2016. Picture courtesy 58che.com

7. VW Phideon (#373 – 28 sales)

Unveiled to the world at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show last March even though this is a China-only nameplate, the Phideon is the new flagship VW sedan as the Phaeton production ended on the same month. It is manufactured at SAIC-Volkswagen’s No.3 plant in Anting, Shanghai, on the MLB platform that has also given birth to the high-selling Audi A6L. The Phideon is 5.07m long and proposed with a choice of two engines, a 2.0TSI and a 3.0T V6, both paired to a 7DSG. The Phideon is a very interesting addition to the Volkswagen range that had lately focused its efforts on its most affordable offerings such as the Jetta, Santana and Bora in order to fend off more and more competitive Chinese carmakers.

The premium sedan segment is alive and well in China though, and definitely worth another look by Volkswagen. The BMW 5 Series is the best-seller so far in 2016 (81.799 units), followed closely by the Audi A6L (79.879). It’s therefore a smart move from Volkswagen to try and upgrade its current Passat and Magotan customers (adding up to a whopping 182.171 units in the first seven months of 2016) towards a more affordable option than the Phaeton was (528.000 to 1.200.000 yuan or US$79.600-180.900). In comparison, the Phideon is priced at 359.000-670.000 yuan (US$54.100-101.000). That’s significantly higher than the A6L (249.000-503.200) and roughly at the same level as the imported A7 (418.600-656.600), ensuring minimal A6L/Phideon cannibalisation. Faithful to its traditionally crystal-clear segmentation, Volkswagen has priced the Phideon entirely out of the Passat/Magotan range (133.800-304.600) with only the top-end imported Passat Variant (379.600 yuan) sliding in. Similarly, the VW CC (252.800-342.800) doesn’t infringe on Phideon territory.

With a very clear positioning in the market and within the Volkswagen Group’s stable, how far up can the Phideon go sales wise? This predictive exercise is actually a delicate task, because never before had the Volkswagen brand produced such an expensive nameplate in China. Its previous attempt as selling full-blown luxury has backfired, even in China, with the Phaeton only finding 1.581 customers in FY 2015 for its last full year in market. The success of the A6L can’t be held as a benchmark as it comes on the back of a couple of decades of market integration. The Mercedes S-Class, more expensive (769.800-2.450.000 yuan) sold just under 27.000 units last year and the VW CC, currently the most expensive China-made VW, should reach the same level in 2016. The novelty effect should push the Phideon slightly higher on an annual basis.

Bar for success: 3.000 monthly sales

Geely Vision China July 2016

8. Geely Vision SUV (#384 – 4 sales)

The most discreet all-new July nameplate in China is also the most intriguing. The Vision SUV, or Vision X6, is in fact a facelifted Geely GX7 with a new and very nice face to fit with Geely’s current design standards. The Vision SUV makes it three new Geely SUV in the past few months alongside the Boyue and Emgrand GS. Although very late in catching up with the SUV madness, Geely has now hit the ground running. The Vision SUV is powered by a choice of 1.8 139hp engine with 5-speed manual and 1.3T 133hp engine with CVT. The price should stay around the same area as the GX7 (55.900-119.900 or US$8.400-18.100), meaning very competitive for a 4.60m-long SUV. The GX7 peaked at 7.675 sales back in January 2015, and we expect more from the Vision SUV.

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly sales

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

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

China July 2016: Tax cut triggers 26% gain, fastest pace in 3.5 years

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China July 2016. Picture courtesy qcwp.comThe GAC Trumpchi GS4 breaks into the overall Top 5 for the first time in July. 

* See the Top 70 China-made brands and Top 393 models by clicking on the title *

The Chinese new car market manages a third consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year gains in July and its largest since January 2013 at +26% to 1.6 million passenger cars excluding commercial vehicles, partly due to a low base a year ago when the market suffered a 2nd consecutive month of decline, and partly the fruit of the halving of the purchase tax on small-engine vehicles to 5% last October. Vehicles eligible for the tax break surge 39% year-on-year this month to 1.144.000 units. Once again SUVs are the main engine of growth in China with deliveries up a whopping 46% on July 2015 to 587.532 just as MPVs are up 36% to 146.816 and sedans grow 20% to 833.440, the segment’s fastest pace in years. This very robust July result means a record 12.65 million new cars have found a buyer so far in 2016, 11% ahead of the same period a year ago. The overall market including cars, trucks and busses stands at 14.7 million units in 7 months, 9.8% above 2015.

Wuling Hongguang SI China July 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe Wuling Hongguang reclaims the Chinese top spot in July. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, “with the tax break due to expire at the end of the year, many dealers have put countdown timers on their websites or stores to encourage consumers to buy cars by the time 2016 comes to an end”. The China Automobile Dealers Association says inventories have fallen to a one-year low in July, signaling quickening demand. However economic indicators point to a further slowdown of the Chinese economy in the second half of 2016 and early 2017 car sales could suffer greatly from anticipated sales before the tax break expiration – unless the government decides to prolong the tax break.

VW Bora China July 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe Volkswagen Group outsells General Motors in China in July and year-to-date. 

Among major carmakers reporting deliveries to customers (and not dealers), the Volkswagen Group is up 16% to 285.900 sales, leading to a year-to-date total up 8% to 2.148.000. Sales of Volkswagen-branded models are up 17% to 210.500 (+8.5% to 1.601.900 in 2016), Audi is up 10% to 46.454 (+6.5% to 336.580 YTD) and Skoda is up 16% to 21.400. General Motors for its part is up 18% to 270.529 sales, riding on excellent results by Cadillac (+90% to 8.757), Buick (+30% to 89.404), Baojun up 66% to 44.320 despite the cooling off of the 730 (-21%) and the 560 (#18 vs. #7 YTD) while Wuling recovers at +6% to 97.728 and Chevrolet continues to struggle at -15% to 30.287. Year-to-date, GM deliveries are up 6.8% to 2.081.005.

Honda XR-V China July 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnHonda outsells Toyota and Nissan in China for the first time in July.

For the first time, Honda Motor outsells its two main Japanese competitors Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor thanks mainly to the tremendous success of its SUV lineup (CR-V, XR-V and Vezel) although the carmaker’s gain is widespread: one-third of its 18 models progress by more than 30% this month. All-in-all, Honda gains 39% to 102.319 sales, Toyota is up 6% to 97.700 and Nissan is up 9% to 91.700. Meanwhile Ford Motor Co. is up 15% to 88.190. In the first 7 months of 2016, Honda is up 21% to 646.054, Toyota up 14% to 689.900, Nissan up 4.5% to 701.700 and Ford up 6% to 652.836.

Haval H7 China July 2016The Haval H7 continues to climb the Chinese sales charts: up to #118 in July. 

Over in the premium aisle, Mercedes soars 26% to 37.277, gaining ground on BMW up 19% to 40.200 with Audi up 10% to 46.454 while year-to-date Mercedes is up 32% to 257.276, BMW up 8.5% to 287.753 and Audi up 6.5% to 336.580. Even more impressively, this Mercedes score is achieved in the absence of E-Class L sales, as the redesigned and locally produced model will go on sale in September. Among Chinese carmakers, Great Wall jumps 45% to 68.976, helped by price cuts on its best-seller the Haval H6 SUV, that now has a starting price of 88.800 yuan (US$13.395) down 24% from a year ago and the continuing progression of the Haval H7 leading to Haval sales are up 50% to 60.002, while Great Wall pickups are up 36% to 7.688 while Great Wall sedans are down 32% to 1.286. Year-to-date, Great Wall is up 12% to 519.228.

Jeep Renegade China July 2016Jeep sells a record 12.551 locally-produced SUVs in China in July. 

As a reminder the figures detailed above reflect sales to customers and for the most part include imports. They may therefore differ from the brands table displayed further down in this article. In the China-made brands ranking, Volkswagen (+32%) reigns supreme above 200.000 sales, followed by Honda (+46%), Buick (+42%), Toyota (-13%), Hyundai (+29%), Nissan (+23%), Ford (+29%), Changan (+28%) and Haval (+54%). Geely (+62%) steps inside the Top 10, dislodging Beijing Auto (+84%), with Dongfeng (+63%), Zotye (+116%), GAC Trumpchi (+120%) and Roewe (+133%) posting the largest year-on-year gains inside the Top 30. Thanks to the arrival of the Renegade, American carmaker Jeep signs its 2nd record month of locally-produced sales at 12.551. This month we welcome two new Chinese brands: Cowin (#38) and Borgward (#45) which we will study in a lot more detail shortly in our monthly focus on the All-new models. Finally, notice the imploding of DS (-61%), still hailed as a tremendous success back in France (?) and Fiat down 77% as its range has never been expanded beyond the original Ottimo and Viaggio.

Geely Boyue China July 2016. Picture courtesy auto.ifeng.comThe Geely Boyue signs its very first month above 10.000 units in July. 

Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang reclaims the top spot for only the 2nd time in the past 6 months thanks to sales up 33% to 42.178, the result of both price cuts and the new, larger S1 variant. The Haval H6 is up 69% to #2, knocking the VW Lavida down to #3. Below the Buick Excelle GT up a brilliant 79%, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+127%) celebrates one year in market with a very first incursion inside the overall Chinese Top 5. Inside the Top 25, the VW Jetta, Santana (both at +75%), Ford Escort (+110%), Buick Envision (+54%), Toyota Levin (+63%) and Kia K3 (+152%) post spectacular gains.

BAIC Senova X35 China July 2016. Picture courtesy auto.qq.comThe BAIC Senova X35 is up to #64 this month.

As described above, Honda justifies its historical month with splendid scores by its SUV lineup: the CR-V is up 54% to rank 3rd in the segment, the XR-V up 39% to #6 and the Vezel up 38% to #8. The Chery Arrizo 5 confirms its 2nd spot among Chinese sedans at #33 with a record 11.135 sales, only outsold by the Geely Emgrand EC7 (15.876, up 40%) but above the Changan Eado down 19% to 8.295 and the Geely Vision up 39% to 8.213.

Lifan Myway China July 2015. Picture courtesy motorfans.com.cnThe Lifan Myway is already knocking at the Top 100’s door in China. 

An army of recently-launched Chinese SUVs break records this month: the Geely Boyue SUV jumps into the Top 50 for the first time at #41 (+34 spots on June) and posts its very first 5-digit month at 10.129 sales, the BAIC Senova X35 is up 36 ranks to #64 with 8.005 sales, the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 up 33 to #68 and 7.541, the Geely Emgrand GS up 50 to #74 and 6.728, the Lifan Myway up 11 to #107 and 4.978, the Haval H7 up 26 to #118 and 4.079. Reversely, a few blockbusters get hit: the Changan CS75 is down 40%, the Brilliance V3 down 67% and the Changhe Q25 down 111 spots on June to #242. Among foreigners, notice the Jeep Renegade up 84 spots on last month to #120 and 4.050 sales and the Cadillac XT5 up 40 to #138 and 3.580.

Previous post: China First Half 2016: Tax cut, SUV wave spur 8% gain to record 12.8m

Previous month: China June 2016: Market up 18%, next wave of Chinese SUVs arrives

One year ago: China July 2015: Baojun 560 lands with a splash in market down again

Full July 2016 Top 70 China-made brands and Top 393 models below.

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China 1st Half 2016: Tax cut, SUV wave spur 8% gain to record 12.8m

Baojun 560 China September 2015. Picture courtesy shwuling.comBaojun sold 320.000 units of the 560 in the past 12 months. 

* See the Top 75 All China-made brands, Top 465 models and Top 70 LCVs by clicking on the title *

Now updated with LCV data courtesy of Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars.

Faced with a declining car market, last October Chinese government cut in half the tax on cars with small engines (1.6L or less). The Chinese market never looked back since, culminating in a 18% surge in June. Over the first half of 2016, sales of light vehicles are up 9.2% to 11.042.300 units. Total vehicle sales including trucks and buses gain 8.1% to a record-breaking 12.8 million units, according to the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). By comparison, the U.S. light vehicle market, the 2nd largest in the world, is up 1.5% to 8.644.920 deliveries.

Buick Envision China June 2016The Envision is a huge success for Buick in China. 

A very robust 2nd half could mean the government will let the tax cut expire on December 31 as planned. If that’s the case, we will witness a last-minute rush to buy small cars towards the end of the year and a disproportionately low start of 2017 – in that scenario IHS predicts Chinese growth will slow to 1.4% in 2017. For this reason, the CAAM said it is in favour of a permanent tax cit that could be viewed as a promotion of fuel-efficient cars. I am banking on the government extending the tax cut to avoid sending another wave of disruption into the market. For now, halfway through 2016 SUV sales remain the clear engine of Chinese growth with deliveries up a whopping 42% year-on-year to 3.850.000 units, while MPV get a second wind at +19% to 1.200.100 sales and sedans continue to skid at -4% to 5.565.700.

H1 2016 Ch. MS /15 H1 2015 Ch. MS /14 H1 2014 Ch. MS
Total Market 11,042,300 / 9% 10,121,300 / 5% 9,638,400 /
Ch. brands 4,735,000 42.9% 13% 4,184,600 41.3% 15% 3,651,500 37.9%
Ch. SUV 2,171,000 56.4% 53% 1,417,700 53.3% 93% 735,300 40.4%
Ch. Sedans 1,109,400 19.9% -11% 1,243,400 21.5% -11% 1,390,800 22.6%
Ch. MPV 1,087,600 90.6% 21% 895,200 88.1% 19% 750,400 85.1%

Ch. = Chinese, Ch. MS = Chinese market share

Chinese manufacturers continue to regain the terrain they had lost in the home market in the past decade thanks to extremely strong SUV sales. Over the first 6 months of 2016, they hold a 42.9% market share of Chinese light vehicle sales, compared to 41.3% a year ago and 37.9% in 2014. Chinese SUVs gain a stunning 53% to 2.171.000 units and 56.4% share vs. 53.3% in 2015 and 40.4% in 2014. Chinese MPV also have a smile on their bonnet with deliveries up 21% leading to a 90.6% share vs. 88.1% in 2015 and 85.1% in 2014. Only Chinese sedans lag behind with volumes down 11% to 19.9% share vs. 21.5% in 2015 and 22.6% in 2014.

Buick Excelle GT VW Lavida China June 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe Buick Excelle GT and VW Lavida have helped GM and VAG tremendously in China this year. 

Overtaken by General Motors over the Full Year 2015, the Volkswagen Group reclaims the lead of the Chinese sales races halfway through 2016 thanks to deliveries up 6% to 1.91 million. The Volkswagen brand is up 5% to 1.44m, Audi up 6% to 290.126, Skoda up 11% to 152.000 and Porsche up 4% to 30.440. GM for its part is up 5% to 1.81m units. Buick is up 27% to become the #2 brand in the country below VW at 569.000 sales, Baojun surges 81%, Wuling is stable but Chevrolet is down 31%. Hyundai-Kia is in difficulty at -0.6% to fall just under 810.000 sales, Nissan Motor is up 4% to 609.900, Toyota Motor up 16% to 592.100, Ford Motor up 6% to 577.100 with Lincoln sales tripling to 12.450 (more than the 11.630 it sold over the Full Year 2015) and Honda up 18% to 542.500 thanks to the roaring success of the XR-V and Vezel twin crossovers. In the luxury aisle, below Audi, Mercedes soars 33% to 220.000 units, citing up on BMW up 7% to 247.600. Note the above figures include imports – which is not the case in the sales tables below the jump.

Haval H6 Coupe China June 2016The Haval H6 remains the best-selling SUV in China – Coupe variant pictured. 

Looking at homegrown brands – figures don’t include commercial vehicles, Changan is up 8% but drops one spot to #3 at 563.900 units, Haval gains a solid 22% to break into the Top 10 at #9 and 378.700 units, Beijing Auto is up 51% to #11, Dongfeng up 15% to #12, Geely up 10% to #15 and JAC up 17% #18. Below, the brands that gain spectacular ground all do so thanks to new SUV offerings: GAC Trumpchi is up 170%, Zotye up 49%, Brilliance up 46%, Roewe up 74%, Soueast up 81%, Leopaard up 433% and Landwind up 236%.

Wuling Hongguang S1 China June 2016Still the one: the Wuling Hongguang is the #1 vehicle in China but drops 6%

Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang remains the best-selling vehicle in the country despite sales down 6% to 294.300, but is now under intense pressure from the VW Lavida, up a fantastic 23% to 287.400. The Haval H6 does even better, lifted by the success of the Coupe variant up 40% to 240.300. Just below, a string of high-performing sedans contradict the overall trend: the VW Jetta (+16%), Sagitar (+27%), Buick Excelle GT (+54%) and Toyota Corolla (+35%) all frankly outpace the market. Just over one year old, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 lands inside the Top 10 thanks to 150.800 deliveries. The Buick Envision (#14), Dongfeng Fengguang 330/370 (+30%), Honda CR-V (+38%), XR-V (+61%) and Vezel (+44%) and Toyota Levin (+32%) also shine inside the Top 50.

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China June 2016. Picture courtesy rednet.cnThe GAC Trumpchi GS4 is now among the 10 most popular vehicles in China. 

But the most impressive performance is without a doubt delivered by the Baojun 560, landing directly in 4th position overall with nearly 175.000 sales so far in 2016. Launched in July 2015, Baojun has sold an earth-shattering 320.000 copies of the 560 in just 12 months, beating the brand’s previous launch (the 730) to snap the title of most successful new nameplate launch in the history of automobile in China. The Baojun 560 is the fastest nameplate to reach its first 300.000 units: it did so in just 11 months (301.534) vs. 13 for the Baojun 730. It leads a strong contingent of 72 new China-made nameplates having made their first appearance in the Chinese charts over the past 12 months. So far in 2016, the Changan Oushang, Hyundai Elantra Lingdong, Jeep Cherokee, BAIC Huansu H3, Zotye Damai X5, BAIC Senova X25, Nissan Lannia, Soueast DX7 and Roewe 360 have been the most successful. It’s also worth mentioning the Buick Verano, new Hyundai Tucson and Brilliance V3, each just over one year old but already inside the Top 50.

Dongfeng Rich China June 2016Dongfeng Rich – Chinese pickups are back in the game. 

Stepping into the Light Commercial Vehicle market, a few momentous shifts are at play. In an overall market contracting 12% to 1.695.351 units, minivans are fast falling into oblivion at -36% to 304.019, with part of this lost volume recuperated by mini trucks (the pickup equivalent of these minivans), up 14% to 246.315. The big news however is the return to grace of pickups up 4% to 169.510 (and surging 36% in June), helped by a change in legislation allowing them in the large cities of four provinces for the first time in 12 years (click here for more detail). The Foton Light Truck is in the lead despite sales down 6% to 126.856 ahead of the Wuling Mini Truck (+6%) and Hongguang V (-17%). The Wuling Sunshine (-33%), Rongguang (-35%) and Chana Star Minibus (-40%) implode, and the Great Wall Wingle 5 leads the pickup charge above the JMC Baodian, ZX Auto Grand Tiger and Dongfeng Rich.

Used-vehicle sales don’t traditionally make it to BSCB headlines but in the case of China it is a very important element to help understand the largest market in the world. The used-car market in China is still nascent as an overwhelming majority of new car buyers purchase their very first car, and the trust required to purchase a second-hand car isn’t supported yet by a clear and official network of resellers. In this context, the used car market in China unsurprisingly grows slower than the new car market in 2016, at +4% to 4.7 million units over the first half of the year. Interestingly, microvans are the fastest-growing segment just as they disappear from the new car charts: they are up 77% to 276.909 units, while used MPVs are up 35% to 236.700, SUVs are up 31% to 298.000 and sedans up 5% to 2.871.500 according to the China Automobile Dealers Association. Used buses are down 15% to 514.500 and used trucks down 10% to 486.000. The CADA forecast a used vehicle market up 6% to 10 million units over the full year 2016.

Previous post (1): China June 2016: Market up 18%, next wave of Chinese SUVs arrives

Previous post (2): China LCV June 2016: Pickup sales surge 36%

One year ago: China 1st Half 2015: Domestic carmakers regain ground in shy market

Full H1 2016 Top 75 All China-made brands, Top 465 models and Top 70 LCVs vs. Full H1 2015 figures below.

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