China Full Year 2015: Exclusive imported models ranking now available

BMW X5 China 2015The BMW X5 is the best-selling imported vehicle in China in 2015, displacing the Toyota Prado.

* See the Top 310 All-imported models Ranking Table by clicking on the title *

This is it. If a couple of days ago we reported on the U.S. last frontier, Alaska, Chinese imports are the automotive sales last frontier, a very secretive part of the worldwide market representing over one million annual units. Now BSCB has reached this frontier for you as we managed to obtain rare monthly import figures. Chinese customs and importers associations only started releasing complete import figures in June 2015 for 180 models, expanding it to all imports from July. No media outside of China has ever reported on these complete figures, and BSCB is the first to do so, in line with our pledge to improve coverage of the Chinese market. You can also see model rankings by province here. The annual imports data is an estimate based on June-December official sales and seasonally adjusted sales for the first 5 months of the year. From now on BSCB will report on Chinese imports monthly, with a 1.5 month delay necessary to allow accounting from customs data. January 2016 data will therefore be available around mid-April.

Audi Q7 China 2015. Picture courtesy Q7 – 14 of the 30 best-selling imports in China are luxury SUVs.

An estimated 1.007.088 imports found a buyer in China in 2015, including 247.338 during Q4 and 83.173 in December alone. The first striking observation when looking at the best-selling imports in China in 2015 is the implacable domination of SUVs: no less than 17 of the 20 best-sellers belong to this segment with the Lexus ES, Mercedes S-Class and Mini 3 Door the only non-SUVs in the Top 20… The top of the imports ranking is very volatile with a handful of nameplates claiming the year-to-date pole position all through the year. The Toyota Prado, also assembled locally, started the yea with a bang at over 10.000 sales during the first two months, but ends the year at #2. Leader throughout most of 2015, the Jeep Compass loses its title as its sales crumbled down in the wake of the local production kick-start of the Jeep Cherokee which immediately and logically became the brand’s best-seller in China. The Compass ranked at a low #23 in December and ends 2015 in third place.

Lexus ES China 2015. Picture courtesy mydrivers.comThe Lexus ES was the #1 import over the fourth quarter of 2015. 

It’s a luxury SUV, the BMW X5, that holds the title of best-selling imported vehicle in China in 2015 with an estimated 39.309 units sold across the country. The BMW X3 follows closely in 5th place while the Mercedes M-Class, Porsche Macan, Lexus NX and Porsche Cayenne also break into the Top 10, making it six luxury SUV among China’s ten favourite imports… Note the Lexus NX was released in December 2015 and became an instant blockbuster for the Japanese marque at #8 overall and #3 in Q4. Further down, the Cadillac SRX, Range Rover Sport, Audi Q7 and VW Touareg bring the luxury SUV tally to 11 inside the Top 20. The best-selling imported passenger car, the Lexus ES, is 4th with 33.164 sales but has geared up towards the end of the year: it ranked #1 both over the 4th Quarter and in December and could pretend to the overall title in 2016.

Lincoln MKC China 2015The Lincoln MKC is among China’s top 50 imports. 

The Renault Koleos is the brand’s best-seller in China at #18 overall, and it will be interesting to follow the Koleos’s sales curve as the locally-produced Kadjar kick start sales in the country and the smaller Captur, unveiled in July, continues to climb up the ladder (it was #53 in December). Recently-launched Lincoln places the MKC at #45 with 7.724 sales, the Ford Mustang hits a beautiful 56th spot with 5.622 sales and the Tesla Model S is at #72 with 3.557 units. A few nameplates launched in 2015 but their number is nowhere near the slew of locally-produced models hitting Chinese dealerships each month. The Land Rover Discovery Sport is by far the most popular at #35 with over 10.000 units sold this year, but let’s also single out the Jaguar at #133, the Mercedes GLE at #134 (#75 in December), the Kia Carnival at #159 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe at #165.

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Full Year 2015 Top 310 All-imported models Ranking Table below.

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China Full Year 2015: Discover the Top 137 brands (BSCB Exclusive)

Foton Auman China 2015. Picture courtesy eotruck.comFoton sold almost half a million trucks in China in 2015.

* See the Top 137 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Imports, medium and heavy commercial vehicles (Bus, Heavy Trucks, Semi Trailers) have now been added to form the very first All-brands Ranking for China ever published online. This data is exclusive to BSCB, you won’t find it anywhere else. The sales data is detailed by China-Made (Passenger Cars (PC), Commercial Vehicles (CV) and Imports. Given official imports data for December isn’t available yet, when not communicated by manufacturers it has been calculated based on year-to-date figures. This table finally shows the gigantic size of the Chinese vehicle market with a total of 137 brands listed, more than in any other country in the world. Among them, 84 brands or 61% of the total are Chinese, some of them so obscure chances are you have never heard of them before. The Top 3 overall brands are Volkswagen (2.76m), Wuling (1.54m) and ChangAn (1.29m) and there are nine millionaire brands in 2015 in China.

Best-selling Commercial Vehicle Brands in China FY2015:

Pos Brand CV
1 Wuling 858,197
2 Foton 483,337
3 DongFeng 465,263
4 Chana (ChangAn) 365,768
5 Jinbei 313,615
6 JMC 249,253
7 JAC 231,751
8 FAW 227,607
9 Lifan 202,977
10 CNHTC 158,174

While Passenger Cars and LCV data was studied in the FY2015 reports, Medium and Heavy Commercials and Imports are very rare to come across and this is a great opportunity to study them in full detail.  Chinese manufacturers have an quasi monopoly over the Commercial Vehicle market (only Iveco and Ford sell in significant numbers), and as a result there are 10 of them in the overall Top 20 brands. Below Wuling still at stratospheric heights thanks to its micro vans and pickups, Foton sells almost half-a-million trucks vs. just 6.374 passenger cars, shooting into the overall Top 20 brands as a result. Dongfeng follows close behind with 465.000 units or 46% of its total sales, and Jinbei sells ten times as many minibuses as it does passenger cars (314.000 vs. 32.000).

Shaanxi Racing Truck. Picture courtesy 360che.comShaanxi Trucks are very successful in the Chinese Racing Truck Championship.

Hubei Tri-Ling China 2015

Other notable best-selling truck brands include FAW at 227.600 units, China National Heavy Truck Corp. (aka CNHTC) with 158.000 sales, Shaanxi (pictured above) with 85.000 deliveries, Qingling at 82.000, Yutong Bus at 67.000, Shandong KAMA at 58.500 and Dayun at 39.800. Dozens of smaller brands can also be found in sales charts, such as Hualing (CAMC), Hubei Tri-Ring, SAIC-Iveco’s truck brand Hongyan, Beiben, Ankai, Lushan, Sunwin Bus, Hengtong, Guizhou Space Yuantong, Linghe and Hunan Zhinglian Zhongke…

Lexus NX China 2015. Picture courtesy is the most popular all-importer in China in 2015…

Over in the imports aisle, a specific update by model will be published once data is available. For now let’s point out that BMW (147.000), Toyota (109.000) and Mercedes (107.000) are the only brands whose imports into China reach six-digit sales figures. Now that Jeep has started manufacturing the Cherokee locally (8.000 sales in two months), Lexus is the most popular “pure” importer in the country with an estimated 85.500 sales, stable on 2014. Don’t expect Toyota to change their mind and start assembling Lexus cars locally any time soon though. Land Rover drops 26% to 80.000 sales but does not communicate how many Evoque are manufactured locally. The next all-importers are Porsche at 58.009 (+24%), Subaru at 47.041 (-14%), Mini at an estimated 30.000 sales and Renault at 20.700.

Porsche Macan China 2015. Picture courtesy…followed by Porsche.

Previous FY15 post: China Full Year 2015: Market up 4.7% to 24.61 million despite sluggish summer

Full Year 2015 Top 137 All-brands Ranking Table below.

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China September 2015: First ever All light vehicle market data available

Wuling Hongguang S1 China September 2015. Picture courtesy is the 2nd best-selling brand in China. Picture

* See the Top 96 All-brands and Top 669 All-models Tables by clicking on the title *

Now that we have processed imported vehicle data for China, we are able to share with you for the very first time all-market data including Passenger Cars, LCVs and imports. You will not find this data anywhere else online. Brand-wise, the addition of LCV figures boost a handful of Chinese manufacturers up the ranking, while import data – less than 100.000 monthly units in a market totalling 1.75 million – slightly uplifts luxury carmakers. If Volkswagen sees its monthly score only marginally improved by the addition of 5.128 imports to 223.000, Wuling jumps to 2nd place overall thanks to 60.231 LCVs lifting its total to 115.950. Thanks to almost 30.000 Chana minivans and trucks added, ChangAn is up to #4 overall with 97.374 units, stopping just short off Buick (97.710).

Chana Taurus. Picture courtesy of Taurus. LCV sales boost Changan up to #4 overall. Picture

These two Chinese carmakers both outpace such foreign behemoths as Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, Ford and Chevrolet, all the latter brands fining their way inside the Chinese Top 10. Further down, the two largest importers in China – BMW and Mercedes – crack the overall Top 20 thanks to their foreign-made sales, while Lexus (#40) and Jeep (#42) make their first appearance in a Chinese brand ranking solely on the basis of imported sales. Porsche (#47), Land Rover (#48), Subaru (#56) and Mini (#59) are in the same situation, given Jaguar-Land Rover does not communicate sales of the locally-made Evoque.

Jeep Compass China September 2015Jeep Compass. The best-selling 100% imported vehicle ranks #152 overall. 

Model-wise, the Wuling Mini Truck is the only light commercial vehicle to manage a Top 10 overall ranking this month, showing how much weaker this segment has become over the years: the Wuling Sunshine (#20) and Rongguang (#47) used to regularly rank among the Top 3 best-selling vehicles in the country only a couple of years ago. The Foton Light Truck (#24), Chana Star (#41), JAC Light Truck (#42) and Jinbei Light Truck (#49) also manage a Top 50 outing in September. We have to go down beyond the Top 150 at #152 exactly to find the first all-imported vehicle: the Jeep Compass at #152. Note the Toyota Prado leaps to #113 thanks to 59% imports and 41% locally-made vehicles.

Previous China PC post: China November 2015: Pollution and tax cuts push market up 24%

Previous China September posts:

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

China September 2015: Focus on the All-new models

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

China September 2015: Discover imported models data (BSCB Exclusive)

Full September 2015 Top 96 All-brands and Top 669 All-models below.

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China September 2015: Discover imported models data (BSCB Exclusive)

BMW X5 China September 2015. Picture courtesy BMW X5 is the 2nd best-selling imported vehicle in China in September. Photo

* See the Top 259 All-imports Ranking Table by clicking on the title *

At BSCB we are nicely settling into a monthly and exclusive China imported models reporting, occurring roughly 70 days after the end of the month studied. This is due to the delay necessary to process Chinese customs data. A total of 92.361 imported vehicles were reported in China for September, vs. 84.039 in August and 90.771 in July. Thanks to this data we will be able to publish shortly All-models and All-brands Chinese rankings including imports and LCVs for September. The Jeep Compass remains the most popular import in the country, but this month the BMW X5 leaps up 3 spots on August to land in 2nd place overall, knocking the Toyota Prado, Lexus NX and Mercedes M-Class down. The BMW X3, up two ranks to #6, makes the Top 6 best-selling imported models in China for September 100% luxury SUV.

Porsche Cayenne Macan China September 2015Porsche places both the Macan and Cayenne inside the Top 10 imports in China…

Porsche still incredibly manages to place its two SUVs inside the Top 10: the Macan ranks 8th with 2.643 sales and the Cayenne is 10th at 2.217. Updated data places the Mini 3dr at #15, both the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Renault Koleos (awaiting the Kadjar) maintain themselves inside the Top 20 while the Range Rover is up two spots on August to #19. A few significant nameplates need to be pointed out further down: at #46 the Lincoln MKC is by far the best-seller for the brand, newly launched in China, the Ford Mustang passes the symbolic 500 monthly sales figure this month and the Tesla Model S improves its August score by 57% to 379 deliveries. Notice also the imported Audi A6 (short wheelbase) jumping to 239 sales and the Jaguar XE cracking the Top 100 for its second month in market, as well as the Mercedes GLE (#203) and Ferrari 488 (#229) making their very first appearance in Chinese sales charts.

Previous China post: China: Discover the best-selling models by province (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous month: China July-August 2015: Discover the Top 250 imports (BSCB Exclusive)

Full September 2015 Top 259 All-imports Ranking Table 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…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).

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

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 Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 40 luxury imports

Lexus ES China 2014The Lexus ES is the best-selling luxury import in China in 2014.

* See the Top 40 best-selling luxury imports by clicking on the title *

For the first time on BSCB I can share with you the most popular luxury imports in China, led by the Lexus ES and Volvo XC60. The Range Rover Evoque rounds up the podium, while BMW manages to place the X5, X3 and 7 Series all in the Top 11. Mercedes for its part has the S-Class at #6 – China being the nameplate’s #1 market in the world – the M-Class at #8 and both the R-Class and B-Class inside the Top 20. Cadillac places the SRX inside the Top 10 and Porsche the Cayenne, with the Macan creeping up at #22. Audi is more discreet – the large majority of its range is produced locally – with no model in the Top 10 luxury and the A8 and Q7 in the Top 20.

Previous China import post: China 2014-2015: Toyota Prado best-selling import

Full Year 2014 Top 40 luxury imports Ranking Table below.

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China 2014-2015: Toyota Prado best-selling import

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado China 2015. Picture courtesy cheshi.comThe Toyota Prado is the best-selling import in China in 2014 and 2015 so far.

* See the Top 10 best-selling imports in China by clicking on the title *

For the first time on BSCB, we can share with you a closely guarded secret: the best-selling imported models in China. Toyota leads with the Prado, but premium carmakers also fare very well: the Lexus ES, Range Rover Evoque (in 2014), BMW X5, Range Rover and Mercedes S-Class (in 2015) also are very strong sellers in China. Interestingly, the Jeep Compass is also ranked very high at #3 over the first 10 months of 2014 and #4 over the first two months of 2015. The Porsche Macan is in the Top 10 in both rankings, an exceptional feat for the German supercar manufacturer.

Porsche Cayenne Macan China 2014The Porsche Macan ranks #10 import in China so far in 2015. The Cayenne was #10 in 2014.

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

China H1 2015 update: China 1st Half 2015: Domestic carmakers regain ground in shy market

Full 10 months 2014 and 2 months 2015 Top 10 imports Ranking Tables below.

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