Hitting the Chinese market’s soft spot: the Baojun 560.
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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.
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The 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.
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.
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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.