China November 2016: One million SUVs lift market up 17%

chery-tiggo7-china-november-2016One million SUVs found a buyer in China in November, including over 10.000 Chery Tiggo 7.

* See the Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models by clicking on the title *

Chinese buyers continue to rush into car dealership to take advantage of the last months of purchase tax for vehicles with small engines at 5%. New light vehicle wholesales for November are up 17% year-on-year to 2.59 million units,  according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, with retail sales surging an even more impressive 20% to 2.42 million vehicles according to the China Passenger Car Association. Year-to-date, Chinese sales are up 15% to 21.68 million which means a 26th consecutive annual car sales record with a month to spare. It is reported that the Chinese government will raise the purchase tax on small cars from the 5% in place since October 2015 back up to 7.5%. That’s a more favourable situation than before the pre-tax cut rate of 10%, and should help a smooth landing for overall car sales in China in 2017. In November no less than 89 nameplates sell more than 10.000 units, to be compared with just 35 in the U.S – and the latter includes Light Commercial Vehicles which isn’t the case for China.

roewe-rx5-china-november-2016The RX5 lifts Roewe sales up 169% this month.

The Chinese market growth is solely due to the everlasting dynamism of the SUV segment this month. For the first time in Chinese history, more than one million SUV are sold in a single month, up 27% on November 2015 to 1.023.633 units. In contrast, sedans are down 0.1% to 1.293.646 and MPVs are down 19% to 227.010 sales. Year-to-date, SUV sales are up a flamboyant 38% to 7.991.987, sedans are up 3.3% to 10.894.172 and MPVs up 11% to 2.124.544. For the second year in a row, the SUV tsunami hitting the Chinese market is mainly benefiting Chinese carmakers. In October, 1.058.000 Chinese passenger cars were sold in China, up 30% year-on-year and accounting for a 45.1% market share. But Chinese SUVs were up 60% to 557.000 to reach 62.2% share, up 6.6 percentage points on October 2015. Year-to-date, Chinese passenger car brands are up 20% to 8.13 million units for a 42.6% share (+1.7) but sedans are down 6% to 1.815.000 for a 18.9% share (-1.9) while SUVs are up 57% to 3.930.000 for a 57% share, up 4.2 percentage points on the same period in 2015. Chinese MPV sales are up 25% to 1.78 million for a 89.7% market share (+1.7).

geely-boyue-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-goshijia-comAnother record month for the Geely Boyue (18.531 sales). 

The Volkswagen Group reclaims the top spot off General Motors among manufacturers present in China with sales up 13.6% year-on-year to 373.800 vs. 371.740 for GM (+7%). Nissan Motor Co. is up 11% to 135.800, Ford Motor Co. is up 17% to 124.113 whereas the battle for Asian supremacy in the annual ranking is getting heated: Nissan Motor is up 9.3% to 1.19 million units, Honda is up 28% to 1.11 million, just this month overtaking Toyota up 10% to 1.10 million. Meanwhile the luxury race is getting tighter again with Audi still in the lead at +6.6% to 52.776 sales but BMW catching up at +21% to 49.400 and Mercedes up 17% to 42.310. Note all figures above are reported by manufacturers and include imports, therefore differ with the sales tables displayed within this article.

Haval H6 Coupe China November 2016The Haval H6 is the best-selling nameplate in China this month with over 70.000 sales.

Great Wall Motor and Geely are once again the most impressive local actors in the Chinese market. Thanks to Haval sales up a gigantic 67% to 117.161, Great Wall jumps 43% to 129.087 units and will hit its objective of selling over 1 million units in 2016, with its tally adding up to 923.923 vehicles (+22%) after 11 months. The Haval H6 becomes the best-selling nameplate in the whole of China for the 2nd time ever after last April, posting an incredible record 70.292 sales for the month, up 74% year-on-year and 24% on its previous personal best at 56.666 established… last month. The H2 breaks into the Top 20 for the first time thanks to the launch of its blue label variant with deliveries up 44% to a record 26.039, the H7 posts its very first five-digit sales result at 10.105, slowly but surely lifting the brand up in price, the H9 is up 9%, the H5 up 5% but the H1 drops 12% and the H8 is down 34%.

geely-emgrand-gl-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-qctsw-comThe Geely Emgrand GL breaks the 10.000 monthly unit-barrier for the first time. 

Geely for its part simply doubles its sales year-on-year (+99%) to break the 100.000 monthly retail sales milestone for the first time in its history at 102.422. Wholesales hit the same milestone, up 82% to 102.515. The Emgrand EC7 remains the best-selling Chinese sedan, up 29% with the help of the electric variant, the Boyue SUV breaks a new record at 18.531, as do the Vision SUV at 10.942, the Emgrand GS at 10.078 and the Emgrand GL at 10.010 for its first five-digit sales month. Note Geely ranked #1 in our list of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at this year’s Beijing Auto Show while Haval was #1 in our most impressive ranking both in Beijing 2014 and Shanghai 2015. We at BSCB seem to be good at picking out the future winners of the Chinese market…

dongfeng-fengguang-580-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-auto-sina-com-cnThe Dongfeng Fengguang 580 pushes past the 15.000 sales mark in November. 

Other notable improvements by Chinese manufacturers include Baojun up 56% thanks to stable and strong sales of the 560 SUV (31.248), sales up 77% for the 730 MPV (44.365) and an exceptional 15.006 units by the mini hatch 310 in a segment-defying performance. Indeed small hatches have traditionally been shunned by Chinese carbuyers but Baojun is proving this wrong with the 310. Chery soars 40% thanks to the Arrizo 5 posting another record at 16.973 units and the Tiggo 7 breaking the 10.000 monthly sales barrier as early as for its third month in market. GAC Trumpchi is up 37% with the GS4 posting another stunning month at 32.088 sales in 7th place overall and the GS8 landing in the sales charts (covered separately in out All-new models focus). Roewe catapults up 169% solely thanks to the blockbuster RX5 SUV breaking a new record at 21.455 sales.

haval-h7-china-november-2016First five-digit sales month for the Haval H7…

Below the Haval H6, the Wuling Hongguang convinces another 68.025 buyers to lift its year-to-date tally to 567.475, down 2% on the same period in 2015. The Nissan Sylphy (+21%) is the best-selling sedan in the country this month, outpacing the VW Lavida (-15%) which owes its third position year-to-date to its Gran Lavida hatch variant accounting for 61.183 of the 502.331 sales it has accumulated in 2016 so far. The Haval H6 lurks just behind at 500.188 and should pass the Lavida next month to rank #2 overall over the Full Year 2016. Among sedans, the Buick Excelle GT, Toyota Corolla, VW Sagitar, Ford Escort and VW Jetta all sell over 30.000 units each. Other record breakers this month include the BYD Song (16.191), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (15.575), BAIC Senova X35 (11.547), Changan CS15 (10.430), Jeep Cherokee (10.000), Lifan Myway (9.108) and Leopaard CS10 (8.839).

changan-cs15-china-november-2016-picture-courtesy-qq-com…and for the Changan CS15 as well.

Among nameplates that launched last month, the Hyundai New Verna is the most successful, improving 162% and 83 spots to break into the Top 50 at #47 with 15.422 sales. Logically, the previous generation Verna freefalls 70% year-on-year to #133 and 5.966. The Dongfeng Fengxing SX6 confirms it is an instant blockbuster by improving 4% on an already impressive initial score to 8.455 sales. The Hanteng X7 does the same at 5.080 sales vs. 5.006 in October, the Foton Gratour is up 7.5%, the BAIC Weiwang M50 and Honda Gienia are both up 3-fold, the Peugeot 3008 is up 10-fold and the Honda Avancier up 5-fold. Great follow-ups all around for the class of October 2016, but the Hanteng X7 is the only one reaching its bar for success so far.

Previous month: China October 2016: Geely and Haval impress in market up 20%

One year ago: China November 2015: Pollution and tax cuts push market up 24%

Full November 2016 Top 72 China-made brands and Top 415 models below.

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China October 2016: Geely and Haval impress in market up 20%

geely-emgrand-glGeely sales are up 96% with 5 of its 6 best-sellers breaking an all-time volume record. 

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Nothing can stop a galloping Chinese car market boosted by the impending end of a 50% tax cut of small engine vehicles (1.6L or less). Sales gain over 20% for the fourth consecutive month to hit 2.34 million passenger cars in October according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sedans are up 10% to 1.17 million units, SUVs surge 43% to 896.000 and MPVs are up 20% to 231.800. Only microvans, soon to be a thing of the past, plunge 32% to 45.800 units. This continuing dynamism leads to a year-to-date tally soaring 15% year-on-year after 10 months to 19.09 million passenger cars. The government still hasn’t confirmed whether the tax cut would expire at the end of the year as planned, and rumours are now abounding that the cut will in fact get extended.

roewe-rx5-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-huanqiu-comFirst month above 20.000 monthly units for the Roewe RX5. 

The Volkswagen Group remains the most popular in China despite sales gaining slightly less ground than the market at +16.6% year-on-year to 363.900, lifting its year-to-date cume up 11.3% to 3.217.800. In October, the Volkswagen brand surges 26% to 292.654 units and Skoda is up 36% to 34.009 but Audi is up just 0.7% to 47.032 (including imports), now feeling the heat of Mercedes up 26% to 42.224. VW’s archenemy in China, General Motors, is up just 5.7% to 345.733 units, with Buick up 12% to 114.125, Baojun up 60% to 86.507, Chevrolet up 3% to 56.289 but Wuling down 7% to 108.760 including LCVs. Year-to-date, GM is up 8.6% to over 3 million units. A fair distance below, Honda Motor surges 40% to 107.618, Ford Motor is up 14% to 107.618 while Toyota Motor is down 4% to 99.200.

Ford Escort China October 2016. Picture courtesy of auto.163.comThe Ford Escort sells a record 31.260 units in China this month.

Changan leads Chinese brands with sales up 48% to 118.200, but Geely is by far the most impressive at +79% to 96.306 in 6th place overall above Hyundai, Ford and Toyota (brand ranking excluding imports). Five of the six best-selling Geely nameplates beat their monthly volumes in October: the Boyue (16.779), Vision (15.721), Vision SUV (10.867), Emgrand GS (10.028) and Emgrand GL (7.050). An outstanding performance, in line with Geely’s #1 ranking in our list of the most impressive Chinese carmakers at this year’s Beijing Auto Show.

Haval H6 Coupe China October 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnAnother record for the Haval H6 (56.666 sales).

The other Chinese superstar, Haval, #1 in our most impressive ranking both in Beijing 2014 and Shanghai 2015,  is up 47% to 94.005 with Great Wall Motor jumping 31% to 104.844 overall, lifting the Group’s year-to-date tally ip 19% to 794.836. Great Wall has vowed to try and hit one million sales in a single year and will require another two months of explosive gains to reach this ambitious target. This month, the Haval H6 (56.667), H2 (21.079) and H7 (6.134) all beat their all-time monthly record. Dongfeng, #2 most impressive at Beijing 2016, also impresses (+49%), partly thanks to a splendid performance by the Fengguang 580 (personal best 14.382 sales) but also the launch of the Fengxing SX6 (8.157) which we will cover in a separate update.

baojun-310-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-weibo-comThe Baojun 310 is a – surprise – instant blockbuster in China with 11.809 October sales.

Among other Chinese manufacturers, Chery (+39%), Soueast (+43%), Leopaard (+49%), GAC Trumpchi (+52%), Changhe (+55%) and Roewe (+238%) thanks to a first month above 20.000 units by the RX5 all post spectacular gains, while newcomers Cowin (7.o32), SWM (6.175) and Borgward (5.188) confirm they are here to stay just as another all-new Chinese brand makes its first appearance in the ranking: Hanteng (5.006), which will be covered  shortly in our special New launches update. In the models ranking, as is the case every month in China there are plenty of other records to celebrate, even on top of the aforementioned ones. The Nissan Sylphy posts its 2nd ever month above 40.000 sales, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+63%), Buick Envision (+87%) and Ford Escort (+51%) all beat their monthly volume record as do the Chery Arrizo 5 and BYD Song both above 15.000 units.

chevrolet-cavalier-china-october-2016-picture-courtesy-xcar-com-cnThe Chevrolet Cavalier outsells the Cruze, the same way the Ford Escort now outsells the Focus.

Last but not least, two September launches become instant blockbusters: the Chevrolet Cavalier soars to 13.837 deliveries – already outselling the Cruze (11.191) – but the most surprising result comes from the Baojun 310 in a category that the Chinese market as a whole and the Baojun brand in particular had not paid much attention to before: it leaps up to 11.809 sales for its 2nd month in market, already Baojun’s biggest ever monthly score for a passenger car (the 630 hit an all-time high of 10.220). Also launched last month, the Chery Tiggo 7 (7.138) and SWM X7 (6.175) improve further while the first Renault to be produced in China, the Kadjar hits the 4.000 sales mark for the first time for its 8th month in market.

Previous month: China September 2016: Market up 29% anticipating expiring incentives

One year ago: China October 2015: Market up 13% thanks to tax cut

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

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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

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

Changan CX70 China June 2016Launched in April, the Changan CX70 sells 10.058 units in June. 

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

A year ago, the Chinese light vehicle market was going through its first monthly year-on-year decline in over 6 years. June 2016 data is a lot more reassuring with deliveries up a whopping 18% year-on-year to 1.784.100 units. Crossovers and SUvs once again are the engine of growth in China at +41% to 632.300 units, with MPVs up 35% to 170.400 and sedans up 9% to 925.100, whereas microvans continue to sink into oblivion at -38% to 56.300 sales according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. These strong results are showing that the tax cut on cars with engines of or lower than 1.6L implemented last October has been effective in rebooting market growth.

Geely Boyue China June 2016. Picture courtesy autov.com.cnA March launch, the Geely Boyue found 8.142 new homes in June.

The Volkswagen brand manages to outpace the overall Chinese market with sales up a stunning 20% to 219.431. It is followed by Buick up 14% to 97.266, Hyundai up a whopping 62% to 97.208, Honda up 14% to 95.788 and Nissan up 20% to 88.580 whereas Toyota pays the absence of small crossover in its lineup with a 8% drop to 88.432. Rare brands in decline also included Citroen (-4%), Chevrolet (-16%), Peugeot (-19%) and Ford (-20%). Note the above figures do not include imports. Changan (+22%), Beijing Auto (+127%) and Haval (+39%) are the only Chinese brands inside the overall Top 10, followed by Geely at #11 (+37%), Dongfeng at #13 (+53%) and Wuling at #15 (+17%). Notice Baojun up 44%, GAC Trumpchi up 121%, Haima up 67% and Roewe up 89%. In the luxury race, Audi is up 7% to remain the favourite at 51.008 sales, BMW Group (including Mini) is up 13% to 45.300 and Mercedes shoots up 21% to 39.462 sales. Group-wise, General Motors is up 11% to 273.563 sales but far below the Volkswagen Group.

BYD Yuan China June 2016Launched in March, the Yuan is BYD’s 2nd most popular vehicle in China this month. 

Thanks to sales up a stunning 62% year-on-year to 43.585, the VW Lavida reclaims the top spot in the models ranking for the third time in the past 5 months, knocking the Wuling Hongguang down to #2 and 41.956 units (+16%). The Haval H6 soars 60% to 37.547 deliveries and stays put in third place ahead of the Nissan Sylphy (+33%), VW Jetta (+72%) and Buick Excelle GT (+59%). The VW Sagitar (+70%) and Santana (+39%) are the other two Volkswagen sedans posting exuberant gains in the Top 10, just as the Tiguan drops 28% awaiting the new generation.

BAIC Senova X35 China June 2016. Picture courtesy bitauto.comThe BAIC Senova X35 ranks inside the overall Top 100 for its 2nd month in market. 

The GAC Trumpchi GS4 (#10) remains the #2 best-selling SUV in the country above the Buick Envision (+48%) and Baojun 560. Yet one of the main trends in the SUV segment this month is foreign entries catching up: the Nissan X-Trail ranks 6th with 15.920 sales, the Honda CR-V is up 12% at #7, the Honda Vezel and XR-V continue to sparkle, adding up to 27.461 sales (+31%) and the new model propels the Hyundai Tucson 8-fold to 13.203 sales. Meanwhile the Chinese SUVs that had gobbled up such an impressive amount of sales in the past 18 months seem to be taking a small break: along with the Baojun 560 levelling down, the Changan CS35 (-9%), JAC Refine S3 (-14%), Changan CS75 (-45%) all lose significant ground.

Dongfeng Fengguang 580 China June 2016The Dongfeng Fengguang 580 is up 97% on its starting month to #101 in June.

But the succession is ready: 11 of the 13 nameplates launched in the past 3 months that are already present in the Top 145 are Chinese SUVs – the theme of all illustrations in this article and the one thing to remember about China this month. The only two foreigners are the Hyundai Elantra Lingdong (#32) and Kia KX5 (#68). The Changan CX70, first appearing in February but truly launching in April, breaks into the Top 50 with 10.058 sales, the Geely Boyue is up to #75 with 8.142, the BYD Yuan at #95 with 6.161, BAIC Senova X35 at #100 with 5.977 (+99% on its inaugural May score), the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 at #101 with 5.952 (+97%), FAW Xenia R7 at #116 with 4.987 (+27%), Lifan Myway at #118 with 4.864 (+133%), Geely Emgrand GS at #124 with 4.600 (+64%), Changhe Q25 at #131 with 4.222 and BAIC Weiwang S50 at #132 with 4.132. Finally, the Haval H7 continues to climb up at 3.594, now the brand’s third best-seller below the H6 and H2 (10.089) but above the H1 (3.504) and H5 (1.501).

Lifan Myway China June 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.cnAn April launch, the Lifan Myway is already the brand’s best-seller in China at #118.

The Geely Emgrand EC7 (+44%) is once again the most popular Chinese sedan but the Chery Arrizo 5 continues to flex its muscles, lodging a 2nd consecutive 5-digit sales month at 10.722 and hurting the Changan Eado at #3 (-30%). A rare event, the BMW 5 Series is the #1 luxury vehicle in the country with 14.344 sales, outselling such mass market nameplates as the VW Golf (13.733) and Polo (13.126) and distancing the Mercedes C-Class L (10.417), Audi A4L (10.256), Audi Q5 (9.924) and Audi A6L (9.273). In the MPV aisle, the Dongfeng Fengguang 330/370 is up 90%, the BAIC Weiwang M30 is up 77% and the Changan Oushang posts yet another 5-digit month at 10.819 sales.

Previous month: China May 2016: Price cuts lift market up 11%, Wuling Hongguang back to #1

One year ago: China June 2015: First monthly year-on-year decline in over 6 years

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

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China May 2016: Price cuts lift market up 11%, Hongguang back to #1

Wuling Hongguang S1 China May 2016A new crossover-looking variant helps lift the Wuling Hongguang back to #1 in May.

* See the Top 70 All-China made brands and Top 396 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Chinese light vehicle market manages a double-digit year-on-year gain for the second time in three months in May, up 11% to 1.793 million units, pushing the year-to-date total up 7.8% to 9.258 million deliveries, according the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Note these figures exclude medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Once again the SUV segment is the engine of growth in China with volumes up 38% in May to 637.256 and up 45% year-to-date to 3.218 million. That’s over one million additional SUVs Chinese consumers bought this year compared to the same period last year… MPV sales are up 19% to 170.332 and up 11% year-to-date to 1.017 million. Even sedans are back in positive at +0.8% to 922.125 sales but remain down 6.5% so far this year at 4.652 million units. Microvans on the contrary continue their freefall at -37% to 64.300 units now that they are being ditched by rural buyers for MPVs and crossovers.

VW Bora China May 2016. Picture courtesy gouchezj.comThe facelifted Bora (+46%) helps Volkswagen China sales up 6% in May. 

General Motors posts a 17% increase to 295.282 sales, with Buick the most dynamic Top 10 brand at +36% but Chevrolet disappointing again at -26%. Volkswagen remains by far the most popular marque in China despite growing slower than the market at +6% to 232.400 deliveries. The majority of VW sedans display outstanding gains this month: the Lavida is up 19% in 2nd place overall, the Jetta up 31%, the Sagitar up 25%, Polo up 17% and refreshed Bora up 46%. The Tiguan (-11%) is waiting for the new generation to kick start production in China. Toyota Motor Corp. follows the overall trend with sales up 12% to 102.900, but Hyundai at 100.328 (+25%) and Honda Motor Co. at 99.456 (+24%) are gaining twice as much ground as the market and catching up fast. Honda places 3 nameplates among the Top 10 SUVs in the country this month: the XR-V (14.959), Vezel (14.398) and CR-V (14.194).

Honda XR-V China May 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnHonda is up 24% mainly thanks to the XR-V and Vezel twins adding up to 29.357 sales.

The Nissan Group is struggling to keep pace: up just 3% to 106.100 deliveries including Infiniti and low-cost brand Venucia. Year-to-date, Nissan is up 1.3% to 500.900 sales whereas Toyota is up 20% to 495.000 and Honda up 15% to 445.800. At this rate, Toyota could overtake Nissan as the most popular Japanese carmaker in China by the end of 2016. Meanwhile Ford drops 2.5% to 88.248, handicapped by declining light commercial vehicle sales through its joint-venture with Jiangling Motors Corp. (JMC), down 4% and imports down 45% to just 1.501 units. Ford’s year-to-date volumes are up 5% to 479.542.

Chery Arrizo 5 China May 2016. Picture courtesy cheshi.comThe Chery Arrizo 5 hits five-digit sales figures for its third month in market. 

In the luxury aisle, Audi keeps its crown with deliveries up 5.5% to 50.002 units in May, adding up to 239.600 (+6%) so far this year. BMW is up 7% to 40.123 sales and up 6% over five months to 202.300 while Mercedes continues on its stellar run: up 39% in May to 38.271 units and up 36% so far in 2016 to 180.537. The Audi A6L at 11.227 units is the best-selling luxury nameplate in China in May, distancing the Audi Q5 (10.708), Audi A4L (9.774), Mercedes C-Class L (up 179% to 9.582), BMW 3 Series L (8.285) and Audi Q3 up 78% to 8.269.

Changan CX70 China May 2016. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cnInstant blockbuster status for the Changan CX70.

Among Chinese carmakers, Great Wall Motors is up 9.5% to 71.636 units including 61.793 (+20%) for its SUV brand Haval. The H6, the first SUV to ever top the overall Chinese sales charts last month, is back down to #3 overall but still up 25% year-on-year to 37.435 units and has had to see its starting price cut by 16% in one year to 88.800 yuan (US$13.500) to achieve these figures. Geely is up 18% to 46.134 units, lifted b  impressive scores by its two best-selling sedans, the Emgrand EC7 up 17% and the Vision up 24%, as well as a great start by the Boyue SUV, already inside the Top 100 thanks to 6.049 units sold in May. Wuling (+24%) gets a boost from a rejuvenated Hongguang, up 31% to reclaim the pole position it holds year-to-date thanks to the arrival of a crossover-looking S1 variant.

Geely Boyue China May 2016. Picture courtesy che.comThe Geely Boyue is already inside the Top 100. 

On the other hand, Baojun significantly slows down its growth at +14% to 34.459 units: the 560 crossover is down a further 3 spots on April to #12 vs. #4 year-to-date while the 730 MPV is down 46% year-on-year to #28 vs. #8 so far in 2016. In other model news, the Buick Excelle GT continues to post stunning scores (+59%), the GAC Trumpchi GS4 remains in the overall Top 10 and ranks #2 SUV, the Ford Escort breaks into it for the second time ever, the Buick Envision is up 40% to a best-ever #11, the Hyundai Tucson is up 25 ranks on last month to #23 and the Changan Oushang is up 9 spots to break is volume record at 12.928.

Changhe Q25 China May 2016. Picture autohome.com.cnThe Q25 single-handedly puts back the Changhe brand on the map. 

Among recent launches, the Chery Arrizo 5 is the biggest surprise of the month, gaining a further 35% on April to reach 10.986 sales for its third month in market and becoming the 2nd best-selling Chinese sedan at home below just the Geely Emgrand EC7 and above the Changan Eado. The Changan CX70 is up 127% on last month to land at #62 with 9.723 units, the Geely Boyue is up 51% to #94 and 6.049 deliveries, the BYD Yuan is up 69% to #114 and 5.248, the BAIC Weiwang S50 up 94% to #133 and the Cadillac XT5 up 53% to #165.

Haval H7 China May 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnEarly signs are good for the Haval H7. 

But the most significant new launches variations in May are posted by the Changhe Q25, literally taking off from just 829 sales in April to 5.259 in May and giving the brand a presence again in the market. Secondly, the Haval H7 is up 146% on its inaugural month to 3.175 sales. A momentous launch for the successful SUV brand, the H7 is already above the monthly bests for both the H8 (1.373) and H9 (3.066). If the H7’s upwards trend continues, it could demonstrate that Chinese buyers are now prepared to spend more on a Chinese SUV than the best-seller H6.

Previous month: China April 2016: Haval H6 first SUV to lead the overall ranking

One year ago: China May 2015: Wuling Hongguang, VW Group tumble in slow market

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China April 2016: Haval H6 first SUV to lead the overall ranking

Haval H6 Coupe China April 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnFirst ever pole position for the Haval H6 thanks to sales up 43%. H6 Coupe pictured.

* See the Top 380 All China-made models and Top 70 brands by clicking on the title *

The Chinese light vehicle market is up a very satisfying 6.5% year-on-year in April to 1.78 million units, lifting the year-to-date total up 6.7% to 7.45 million registrations. When including commercial vehicles, these figures climb to 2.122 million (+6.3%) for April and 8.65 million (+6.1%) year-to-date. While the China growth softening has been a headline subject in the past year, these results are to be compared with a 3% increase to 5.6 million units in the U.S., a market supposedly in record shape. It’s all a question of perspective… No surprises as to where the engine of Chinese growth lies this month: once again the SUV segment is the sole responsible for the market dynamism with sales up a staggering 32% to 616.524 units. MPV have significantly slowed their growth to just 5% at 177.238 deliveries while sedans are down 3% to 909.173 and microvans continue to freefall at -22% to 85.000 sales. A very symbolic illustration of the drastic consumer  towards SUVs is this month’s overall lead of the Haval H6 thanks to sales up a whopping 43% to 43.946. It is the first time in the history of automobile in China that an SUV is the overall best-selling vehicle in the country.

VW Lavida China April 2016. Picture courtesy cheshen.cnThe Lavida (+53%) helps the VW Group reclaim the overall lead off General Motors.

After being outsold by General Motors for the first time in a decade in 2015, the Volkswagen Group has now reclaimed the title of China’s largest manufacturer despite weaker year-on-year gains at 295.300 deliveries in April (+0.1%) vs. just 277.979 (+7.5%) for GM. In April, the Volkswagen brand is down 2% to 216.700, Audi is up 9% to 49.576 and Skoda up 4% to 23.800. Note CAAM-sourced data has VW up 10% to 227.710 units – potentially due to a different methodology (retail sales vs. wholesale). In the GM aisle, SUVs helped boost the carmaker’s sales with combined sales of crossovers and SUVs under the Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Baojun brands up 107%. Buick is up another 56% to 98.992, Baojun up 56% to 37.915, Cadillac up 13% to 7.007 but Wuling is down 14% to 98.580 and Chevrolet down 29% to 35.431. Its solid April score enables the Volkswagen Group to get past GM year-to-date with 1.25 million deliveries (+4.8%) vs. 1.24 million for the U.S. carmaker (+1.7%).

Wuling Hongguang S1 China April 2016. Picture courtsy autohome.com.cnWuling is counting on a revised Hongguang S1 to revive lagging sales. 

The resurgence of Volkswagen is built on outstanding sedan sales, going against the overall market trend: the VW Lavida is up 53% to 41.408 units, the Jetta up 16% to 29.494, the Sagitar up 26% to 29.279 and the Magotan up 53% to 12.454. Reversely at GM, the Buick Envision is on fire again (+68%) but if the Baojun 560 was teasing the Haval H6 for the SUV title last month with a record 42.077 units, in April it is down to 24.963 while the Baojun 730 MPV drops a harsh 42% year-on-year to 15.072. Meanwhile the perennial market leader, the Wuling Hongguang, is now under attack with sales down 25% to 40.002 in third place for April and down 15% to 207.158 year-to-date vs. 200.973 (+18%) for the VW Lavida. Wuling and Baojun were offering very aggressive price cuts across their entire micro and minivan lineup in April while I was in the country, and Wuling just unveiled a facelifted version of the one year-old Hongguang S1, taking design cues from the SUV segment (pictured above).

Honda XR-V China April 2016. Picture courtesy autosohu.com.cnThe Honda XR-V sells a record 16.072 units in April. 

Among other brands, Honda is by far the most impressive with sales up 23% to 96.393 (CAAM figures) leading to a 35% year-to-date increase at 326.583. Toyota is up 9% to 101.100, with its year-to-date total up 22% to 392.100, Hyundai is up 7% to 96.222 but Nissan is up just 0.7% to 96.200 (including Infiniti and Venucia), in line with a meagre 0.8% year-to-date increase at 394.800 units. Among Chinese brands, Changan is up 19% to 88.526, while Great Wall is up just 2% to 79.607 as the company is now struggling to sell anything other than the top-selling Haval H6 SUV and the H7 just hit the market (more on this shortly). Great Wall-branded cars are down 76% while Haval is up 19%. BAIC is up 53% to 50.358, riding on the success of Huansu and Senova-branded crossovers and MPV, and Geely is up 11% to 44.668 thanks to the success of its low-priced sedans and the gearing-up of the Boyue SUV.

Land Rover Discovery China April 2016The Land Rover Discovery Sport is manufactured in China. 

In the luxury aisle, below Audi up 9% to 49.576, Mercedes overtakes archenemy BMW thanks to sales up 32% to 35.625 while BMW posts an uncharacteristic 7.4% drop to 35.100 units due to the X1 generation changeover. Year-to-date, Audi is up 5.9% to 189.611, BMW up 6% to 162.221 and Mercedes up 35% to 142.266. Jaguar Land Rover is finally reporting China-made sales albeit not the model split between the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. The group’s sales are up 10% year-on-year in April to 9.135, 54% of which are produced locally vs. a 41% ratio in February. So far this year, JLR sales are up 17% to 37.099. Later this year, the very first Jaguar to be made in China, the XFL, will be launched.

GAC Trumpchi GS4 China April 2016The GAC Trumpchi GS4 has sold 230.000 units in one year. 

In other model news, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 breaks back into the Top 10 to hit an all-time best 8th place overall thanks to 25.073 sales, adding up to just under 230.000 in 12 months: an incredible success putting the GAC Trumpchi brand on the map. The Honda XR-V is up 84% to hit a record 16.072 units, becoming the single best-selling Honda nameplate in China for the first time. Adding sales of its twin Vezel (+57%) brings the April total for Honda’s small crossovers to 30.265, equivalent to an extremely impressive 4th place overall this month. The Honda CR-V (+47%) even benefits from this smashing success. Notice also the Zotye T600 is up 27% and another list of models breaking their volume record this month: the Chana Oushang (11.784), Beijing Auto Senova X25 (10.593), Jeep Cherokee (9.201), Changan CS15 (5.680), Zotye SR7 (5.068) and Chana CX70 (4.285).

Chery Arrizo 5 China April 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cnChery Arrizo 5 sales are up 49% on last month to 8.109. 

Among the numerous China-made nameplates launched last month, the Hyundai Elantra Lingdong improves 32% and 33 spots on an already stunning start to 14.665 units (#25), the Chery Arrizo 5 logically surges 49% to 8.109 (#71), the Kia KX5 is up 30% to 7.813, the Geely Boyue soars 293% to 4.002 deliveries, still a far cry from my 20.000 monthly sales bar for success for this nameplate but already the brand’s best-selling SUV. The BYD Yuan is turning out to be yet another SUV success for the brand, up 254% to 3.109, the Beijing Auto Weiwang S50 is up 996% to 2.061 units and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is up 54% to 1.709. Reversely the Renault Kadjar is down 40% to 1.641, the Qoros 5 SUV is down 4% to 1.178, the Changhe Q25 up just 5% to 829.

Previous month: China March 2016: Haval H6 and Baojun 560 beat records, market up 9%

One year ago: China April 2015: Growth cool down and SUV surge accentuate

Full April 2016 Top 380 All China-made models and Top 70 brands below.

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China March 2016: Haval H6 & Baojun 560 beat records, market up 9%

Haval H6 Coupe China March 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnA record 46.075 Haval H6 found a new home in China last month.

* See the Top 70 All China-made brands and Top 380 All-models by clicking on the title *

After a month of February weakened by the Lunar New Year celebrations, the Chinese new car market is back to double-digit year-on-year gains in March with sales up 10% to 2.06 million units according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, lifting the first quarter total up a very dynamic 7% to 5.67 million units. Once again, crossovers and SUVs are the main force driving the market with deliveries soaring 45% to 693.100 units, while MPVs surge 18% to 234.200 thanks to a series of new models hitting cruising speeds. On the other hand, sedans are down again at -3% to 1.04 million units and microvans are soon to be a thing of the past at -28% to 89.600 sales. 1.46 million cars with engines at or below 1.6L were sold in March or 71% of the passenger car total, a similar percentage of that of the previous two months, showing that the market is still boosted by the halving of the purchase tax for these vehicles by the government last October.

Baojun 560 China March 2016b. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnThe SAIC-GM joint-venture has hit the bullseye with the Baojun 560.

The overall market is up 9% to 2.44 million and up 6% so far in 2016 to 6.53 million units, on a course to hit a record 26 million sales by the end of the year. Group-wise (figures include imports and LCV and differ from the brands table below), Volkswagen Group improves by 4% to 328.000 sales in March and up 6% to 955.500 cars year-to-date, lagging behind archenemy General Motors up 0.2% to 963.652 units despite sales down 0.6% in March to 296.939. Chevrolet deliveries are down 19% to 33.320 while Buick is up 3% to 72.886 and Cadillac up 14% to 7.588. GM’s two low-cost brands in joint-venture with SAIC fare on two opposite ways of the spectrum: microvan specialist Wuling is down 11% to 138,079 units and its best-seller the Hongguang down 17% to 55.924 units, now threatened for #1 overall YTD position by the VW Lavida (167.156 vs. 159.555). Baojun on the other hand is up 110% to 72.069 sales thanks to the incredible success of its 560 SUV (see below).

Ford Mondeo China March 2016. Picture courtesy of bitauto.comFord Motor sales top Nissan, Toyota and Honda. 

Ford Motor Co is up 5% to 114.788 sales thanks to the success of its recently-expanded SUV lineup (+29% to 26.732 sales), Nissan Motor is up 0.5% to 110.200 units, Toyota Motor is up a whopping 41% to 100.500 sales and Honda Motor up 15% to 97.004. Year-to-date, Toyota is up 28% to 291.000 sales, Honda up 11% and Nissan up just 0.8% to 298.000. In the luxury aisle, Audi’s leadership is threatened: the German brand sold 139.540 units so far in 2016, or a 5% increase year-on-year. In comparison, BMW is up 11% to 127.105 and Mercedes is up 36% to 106.641 (+27% to 38.133 in March). Up one notch in prestige, Porsche sales are up 24% to 16.409 units thanks to the continued success of the Cayenne and Macan. Note Mercedes sales include Smart and BMW deliveries include Mini and Rolls-Royce.

Geely King Kong China March 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnGeely King Kong – Geely sales are up 3% in March.

Among Chinese manufacturers, both Geely and Great Wall Motors underperform vs. the market at +3% each. What’s worse is that these meagre increases were secured on the back of steep price cuts. On March 12, Great Wall cut the price of its best-selling nameplate, the Haval H6, by more than 10%: the third price cut for the model, which now starts at 88.000 yuan (US$13.600). Great Wall is pushing hard to keep the H6’s title of best-selling SUV in the country: even though it post a new monthly volume record at 46.075 units (+47%), the H6 is under threat from the Baojun 560, also lodging a new all-time high at 42.077 in March. For comparison, the Baojun 730 MPV’s highest monthly volume is 47.690, reached last December. Note Haval is only up (+15%) thanks to the H6, with the rest of its lineup in decline: most notably the H1 is down 4% and the H2 down 33%.

Changfeng Leopaard CS10 China March 2016. Picture courtesy jingyannet.comThe Leopaard CS10 is lifting the Changfeng brand up to unheard-of heights.

In the China-made brands ranking (excluding commercial vehicles), Changan manages to hold onto the 2nd spot overall with 104.913 sales (+7%), holding off – in this order – Hyundai, Toyota, Buick, Honda, Ford and Nissan, all above 85.000 units and all bar Hyundai delivering double-digit year-on-year gains. Baojun (+110%) is the #2 Chinese passenger car brand above Haval (+15%), Wuling (-18%) and Dongfeng (-0.1%). GAC Trumpchi (+179%), Brilliance (+70%), MG (+61%), Zotye (+36%), Landwind (+335%) and Changfeng (+704%) deliver spectacular gains solely thanks to their SUV lineup. Also of note is the precarious situation of Lifan, down 77% year-on-year in March and 78% year-to-date, with only the Lotto MPV (+23%) keeping its head above the water, whereas even the brand’s SUVs implode: the X60 is down 73% and the X50 down 88%. Finally, French carmaker Renault makes its very first appearance inside the China-made brands ranking – we analyse this in our All-new models focus update.

VW Lamando China March 2016. Picture courtesy xcar.com.cnThe VW Lamando hits a record 16.452 sales in March. 

Over in the models ranking, the VW Lavida manages to stay at #1 for a second consecutive month thanks to its recent refresh with sales up an impressive 36% to 56.557. A handful of other VW models also perform exceptionally well this month, confirming that the emissions scandal effect has passed in China: the Sagitar is up 46% to #6, the Tiguan and Golf are both up 19%, the Lamando is up 186% to a best-ever 16.452 units and the Magotan is up 80%. On theatre hand, the Santana is down 4% and the Bora down 16% ahead of its own refresh hitting Chinese dealerships in April. After a very shy start of 2016, the Nissan Sylphy is back up where it belongs at #5 with 33.266 sales (+30%), the Toyota Corolla is up 62% to 30.075 units and the Buick Excelle GT up 35% to 28.194 but the Ford Escort is down 3% to #13, yet still ahead of the Focus (#18).

Beijing Auto Senova X25 China March 2016. Picture courtesy aaachina.comFirst month over 10.000 sales for the BAIC Senova X25. 

The SUV category is once again dominated by Chinese fares: below the Haval H6 and Baojun 560 we find the GAC Trumpchi GS4 lodging another very impressive month (28.051) and accounting for a monopolistic 93% of the brand’s sales in China, the Changan CS75 (22.037) and JAC Refine S3 (20.097). Almost exactly at the same level, the VW Tiguan (18.405) and Buick Envision (18.399)  are the most popular foreign SUVs. Below, notice the Hyundai Tucson brilliantly breaking its personal best at 15.201 sales, the Zotye X5 now the brand’s best-seller at 11.031, the Beijing Auto Senova X25 posting its first 5-digit monthly volume at 10.126 and the Landwind lineup doing the same (10.001) thanks to the success of its Range Rover Evoque clone, the X7. Produced locally since last November, the Jeep Cherokee is getting close to hitting the same milestone with a record 9.004 sales this month. Finally, let’s single out the Changfeng Leopaard CS10 taking the brand to new heights: up to a best-ever 8.065 sales.

Dongfeng Fengshen AX3 China March 2016. Picture courtesy autohome.com.cnDongfeng Fengshen AX3 

The MPV segment (+18%) is only gaining ground because of clones of its best-seller the Wuling Hongguang hitting cruise speed. The Hongguang itself is down 17%, the Baojun 730 is down 6% and steps out of the Top 10 for the first time since last November and the Chana Honor is down 13% to #19. In contrast, the Dongfeng Fengguang 330/370 is up 9%, the Beijing Auto Weiwang M30 is up 2% to 14.355, the Changan Oushang posts its first 5-digit sales figure only four months after launch (11.164), the Karry K50 does the same at #66 (10.904) and both the Beijing Auto Huansu H3 (7.511 deliveries in its 6th month) and the Dongfeng Fengxing S500 (7.060 in its 4th month) deliver robust performances.

Changan CS15 China March 2016. Picture courtesy auto.sina.com.cnChangan CS15

Among other recent launches, the Dongfeng Fengshen AX3 is up 269% on its February score to 4.055 sales at #134, the Changan CS15 takes off at 3.339 sales (#146) after two months of double-digit pre-sales, the Zotye SR7, an almost picture perfect clone of the Audi Q3, progresses to 3.087 units from 1.536 during its initial month in market in February but the Chevrolet Lova RV is stuck outside the Top 200 with just 1.144 sales. After a respite last month due to the Lunar New Year holiday, the Chinese market has absorbed no less than 12 new China-made nameplates in March. We analyse them in detail in a separate update.

Previous month: China February 2016: VW Lavida #1 but 8 in Top 12 are Chinese

One year ago: China March 2015: Ford Escort in Top 10, outsells Focus

Full March 2016 Top 380 All China-made models below.

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