China January 2017: Audi tumbles down 35% in market down 1.1%

The Jeep Compass sees a 613% increase on its inaugural month last December to #200.

* See the Top 70 All-brands and Top 365 All-models produced locally by clicking on the title *

With a month delay we are able to cover the Chinese car market for January on BSCB. February will follow very shortly. Note only passenger cars and light commercial vehicles produced in China are accounted in this data set, no imports and no medium-heavy commercials. Light vehicle sales in China are down 1.1% year-on-year to 2.219.564 vehicles according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The China Passenger Car Association on the other hand reports a 9.8% decline to 2.12 million units. In any case, this is the first year-on-year drop in China in a year, and the direct effect of the tax hike on vehicles with 1.6L engines and below from 5% over the course of 2016 to 7.5% from January onwards. It is still a very modest decline taking into account forward sales in December to still benefit from the lower tax. Also coming into the picture is the Lunar New Year celebrated in January vs. February last year and resulting is fewer selling days. All-in-all, adjusted annually, January Chinese car sales should actually be up.

The All-new Tiguan L should boost VW sales in China this year. 

In January, the SUV segment is the only one in positive albeit at a slower rate: +9.7% year-on-year from 805.673 in January 2016 to 883.804 now. This is well below the million units hit both last November and December but the SUV market share of passenger cars continues to climb: from 35.9% a year ago to 39.8% this month. Reversely, “traditional” passenger cars are down 3% to 1.079.146 and see their market share drop from 49.6% in January 2016 to 48.6% now. MPVs seem to have hit a wall: down an abysmal 19.2% year-on-year to just 205.634 units just as the Wuling Hongguang takes 2nd spot in the models ranking just below the VW Lavida (see further down). Finally microvans continue their race to oblivion with a further 28% decline to 51.000 vehicles sold.

Something we predicted in our 2015 analysis of the Chinese market: the rise and rise of used-car sales. According to the China Automobile Dealers Association, these are predicted to surge 20% to 12.5 million units in 2017, after gaining 10% to 10.4 million in 2016, as provinces ease restrictions on sales of used vehicles from other regions. The ratio is still in favour of new car sales by a large margin though. Another interesting evolution is the 74% plunge of electric and plug-in hybrid sales to just 5.682 units as the government penalises companies that cheated to inflate their EV subsidies. In the detail, battery-electric sales are down 68% to 4.978 units and plug-in hybrids are down 90% to 704…

As this is a delayed analysis of the Chinese market we will concentrate on highlights today so the February update can come as soon as possible with more detail.

Audi sales in China skid down 35% in January.

1. Audi frankly outsold by both Mercedes and BMW

In 1995, the Volkswagen Group started producing Audi models in China through a joint-venture with FAW Group, and thus virtually created the luxury segment in China. It has led the luxury charts ever since its introduction in market – a fantastic 22 years in a row. Yet in January Audi misses out on the luxury top spot for the second month running and could be facing a very difficult year indeed. Down a devastating 35% year-on-year to 35.181 units, not only did the marque not rank #1, it was also frankly outsold by both Mercedes-Benz up 39% to 58.799 and BMW up 18% to 51.345. Meanwhile Cadillac is up 116% to 18.011 and Volvo up 16% to 8.362. According to Automotive News China, Audi’s paltry performance is the result of two main events. First: in 2016 the brand dumped excessive vehicle inventories on its dealerships, and most of them lost money. Second: Audi signed a tentative agreement with SAIC in November to establish a second dealership network. Audi dealers – who operate under the original FAW joint-venture, have been aggressively fighting these two events, and the situation is now at a standstill, with dealers demanding 28 billion yuan (US$4 billion) to cover losses that they blame on the company adding too many distributors, and Audi refusing to shelve its plans of a second joint-venture and distribution network. At the start of the year, Audi dealers threatened to stop ordering cars and it turns out a significant part of them were not bluffing, hence the gigantic drop we are witnessing.

Renault is the most popular newcomer among local producers.

2. Global carmakers suffer, selected Chinese manufacturers post healthy gains

Audi stirs the entire Volkswagen Group down 14% this month to 344.000 sales with Skoda down 4.3% to 30.000 and Volkswagen official retail data n/a. Yet General Motors fares worse at -24% to 321.264 units, Ford is down 32% to 88.432 and both Toyota and Nissan also plunge. Hyundai is the exception: up 6.4% to 80.017 deliveries. Among the numerous Chinese carmakers selling at home, a few post spectacular results in an adverse environment: Geely and SAIC and both up 71%. GAC is up 29%, Changan up 7.7% and Great Wall Motors up 0.7%. Looking into the detail of wholesales figures (data table below the jump), Volkswagen (+7%) distances Changan (+7%), Buick (-5%), Geely (+70%) and Honda (+18%). Ford (-28%) and Dongfeng (-16%) struggle but in this ranking Audi (-8%) is still ahead of Mercedes (+44%) and BMW (+14%). The most popular new brand – launched in the past 12 months – among local producers is Renault (#39) ahead of SWM (#45), Cowin (#47), Hanteng (#49), Borgward (#53), Land Rover (#55), Bisu (#59) and Jaguar (#63)

Geely sales are up 71% year-on-year in January. 

4. Best-selling models

In January the VW Lavida edges past the Wuling Hongguang to claim the title of best-selling vehicle in China with 60.233 sales (+8%) vs. 60.132 (-14%) for China’s favourite MPV. The Haval H6 is knocked down one spot to #3 but still gains 9% year-on-year to 45.993 units. The VW Jetta is back up 38 spots on December to #4, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 is up 21 to a record 5th place (also hit last July), the Buick Excelle GT is down 1% but up 4 spots on last month to #6 and the Nissan Sylphy is up 99% on a particularly weak January 2016 score to #7.

Thanks to the arrival off the new generation and a 7-seat variant dubbed Tiguan L, the VW Tiguan cracks the Chinese Top 10 for the first time since September 2015 and hits its highest monthly volume since January 2015 at 31.092 units. In the SUV charts, the Tiguan ranks 3rd below the Haval H6 and GAC Trumpchi GS4 but distances the Buick Envision (+18%), Baojun 560 (-32%), Haval H2 (+44%), Geely Boyue and Roewe RX5, all aforementioned nameplates selling upwards of 20.000 units this month.

GAC Trumpchi GS8 sales hit a record 9.418 units in January.

Further down the ranking, a handful of high profile nameplates manage to break their volume record despite a slower market compared to December. Among them, notice the Baojun 310 at 18.006 (#27), the Geely Emgrand GS at 10.333 (#68), Geely Emgrand GL at 10.208 (#70), GAC Trumpchi GS8 at 9.418 (#78) and the Renault Koleos at 4.814 (#135). Finally, let’s note that there are 12 Chinese nameplates among the 15 most popular new comers (<12 months). Led by the Geely Boyue (#20), Roewe RX5 (#21), Baojun 310 (#27), Dongfeng Fengguang 580 (#30), Chery Arrizo 5 (#35) and Changan CX70 (#38). The Chevrolet Cavalier (#43), Hyundai New Verna (#58) and Mazda CX-4 (#98) are the only new foreigners to crack the January Top 100.

Bisu T3 China December 2016Bisu T3 sales are up 349% on last month to #215 

5. Results of December launches

Among the 13 locally-produced new nameplates that hit the Chinese market in December, the Jeep Compass fares the best with a 613% increase on a modest 300 sales for its inaugural month up to #200 with 2.138 sales. Also displaying explosive growth is the Bisu T3 up 349% on its December score to #215 and 1.436 deliveries. The Venucia T90 follows with a very impressive 71% gain to 4.252 sales at #147 and the Dongfeng Fengshen AX5 edges up 7% to #188. Leader of all newcomers last month, the Soueast DX3 seems to have already eaten up its potential with deliveries down 26% to a still very respectable #114.

Venucia T90 sales are up 71% on December. 

6. All-new launches for January will be covered in a separate post as always

Note: Main article brands data is retail sales unless indicated otherwise, data tables below are wholesales. Overall market = Light vehicles + Commercial trucks and buses. Light vehicles = passenger cars + microvans. Passenger cars = sedans+SUV+MPV.

Previous post: China Full Year 2016: Tax cut boosts market up 14% to 28 million sales

Previous post (LCV): China LCV Full Year 2016: Wuling Mini Truck leads, pickups up 11%

Previous month: China December 2016: Haval up 73%, Geely up 101% in final tax rush

One year ago: China January 2016: Baojun 560 threatens Haval H6 for SUV title

Full January 2017 Top 365 All-models produced locally below.


Puerto Rico (USA) January 2017: Toyota Tacoma #2 as SUVs surge

The Toyota Tacoma ranks #2 in Puerto Rico this month.

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

Today we can share with you monthly data for Puerto Rico, another market dominated by Japanese manufacturer Toyota, which holds the first four spots in January as it did over the Full Year 2016 with the Yaris, Tacoma, Corolla and RAV4 in the lead. The main trends to note this month in Puerto Rico are the particular strength of the SUV and pick-up segments. This month in Puerto Rico there are five SUVs in the Top 10: below the RAV4 at #4 (-1 spot on FY16) we find the Hyundai Tucson at #5, the Nissan Rogue at #6 (+6), Kia Soul at #7 (+4) and Toyota Highlander at #10 (+6%). But the most notable move is the Toyota Tacoma gaining two spots on its FY16 ranking to an overall 2nd place. A Tacoma win by the end of the year would make Puerto Rico the second U.S. state/territory to crown this nameplate alongside Hawaii.

Previous post: Puerto Rico (USA) Full Year 2016: Toyota Yaris outpaces Corolla to #1

Full January 2017 Top 50 models ranking below.


Philippines January 2017: Toyota Fortuner takes control in record market

The Toyota Fortuner is the best-selling vehicle in the Philippines this month.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands, Top 5 PC brands & Top 10 models by clicking on the title *

According to data published by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), the Filipino market is up by a gargantuan 28% year-on-year in January to an all-time record 30.425 registrations. This figure is in fact higher as the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid) did not release figures – and this impacts marques like Hyundai. The fantastic year-on-year gain is partly due to an upcoming excise tax hike rushing customers to forward their purchase.

The heavily discounted Mitsubishi Adventure is the best-selling non-Toyota in January.

Toyota manages to double the market’s growth at +56% to 14.542 sales, now holding a mammoth 47.8% share vs. 39.2% a year ago. The Japanese manufacturer sells almost 3 times the amount of any other carmaker in the country, starting with Mitsubishi (+2%) ahead of Ford (+2%), Honda (+24%) and Nissan also outpacing the market at +55%. Suzuki gains 42% to #6 but Isuzu (-33%) and Kia (-19%) struggle. There is now one Chinese manufacturer in the Filipino Top 10 charts: Foton at #9 with 336 units sold for a 1.1% market share. Toyota also dominates the Passenger Cars charts with 45.7% share above Mitsubishi (13.7%), Honda (11.1%), Ford (9.1%) and Suzuki (6.5%).

Mitsubishi Mirage G4 

Model-wise, the Toyota Fortuner takes control of the ranking, outpacing the traditional leader, the Toyota Vios, by a large margin: 3.563 vs. 2.954 sales. Toyota is estimated to monopolise the Top 5 with the Vios, Innova, Hiace and Wigo in tow. The heavily discounted Mitsubishi Adventure is the best-selling non-Toyota nameplate,  eagerly awaiting its replacement due this year. Current discounts amount to a staggering 70% of the base price. The Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Ford Ecosport and Everest follow.

Previous post: Philippines Full Year 2016: Toyota Vios leads, Fortuner shines in 7th consecutive record year

One year ago: Philippines Jan-Apr 2016: Ford Everest climbs to #3, record market

Full January 2017 Top 10 brands, Top 5 PC brands & Top 10 models below.


Israel February 2017: Hyundai and Kia on top, Suzuki up 89%

The facelifted and rebaptised Crossover helps push Israeli Suzuki sales up 89% in February. 

* See the Top 45 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with, we can share with you today February data for Israel. After an all-time high score in January (45.210), the Israeli market falls flat in February at -1% to 25.290 units. Models data is now only available quarterly so we will focus on the brands for now. Market leader Hyundai frankly beats the market with a 25% surge to 4.620 sales and 18.3%, followed by its sister brands Kia at +3% and 14.9% share. Toyota is in trouble ay -19% but remains on the podium at #3. Below, notice Suzuki up 89% to #5, Renault up 84% to #7 and Chevrolet up 96% to #9. Further down, Cadillac gains 43%, Mini is up 61%, Jaguar up 180%, Maserati up 467% and MG up 722%. At the other end of the scale, brands struggling in Israel this month include Volkswagen (-30%), Subaru (-40%), Opel (-46%), Lexus (-48%), Ssangyong (-50%) and Isuzu (-82%)

Previous month: Israel January 2017: Hyundai tops all-time record market

One year ago: Israel February 2016: Hyundai leads again but Kia catches up

Full February 2017 Top 45 All-brands below.


Slovakia January 2017: Skoda Superb and VW Polo outstanding

The Skoda Superb is up to 6th place in Slovakia 

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

The Slovak new car market is down a tiny 0.1% year-on-year in January, but with more woking days than in January 2016 this actually translates into quite a significant decline. The Skoda Octavia reclaims the Top spot off its little sister the Skoda Fabia for the month at 414 units vs 356, with the Rapid rounding up a podium 100% Skoda. The Opel Astra is the best-selling non-Skoda in January at #4 ahead of the Kia Cee’d. Excellent performance of the Skoda Superb up 46% to #6, but none better than the VW Polo up 115% to #8. Already out of fashion (?), the Suzuki Vitara (-33%) and Hyundai Tucson (-25%) round up a Top 10 composed at 60% of Volkswagen Group nameplates.

Previous post: Slovakia Full Year 2016: Skoda Fabia leads, Suzuki Vitara and Hyundai Tucson shine

Two years ago: Slovakia Full Year 2015: Skoda Fabia reclaims title off Octavia

Full January 2017 Top 10 best-selling models below.


Luxembourg January 2017: Clio in the lead, Mercedes GLC up to #6

The Mercedes GLC jumps to 6th overall in Luxembourg in January. Coupé variant pictured.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

The Luxembourg new car market is up a solid 18% year-on-year in January to 4.108 units. The models podium is reshuffled this month: #2 over the Full Year 2016, the Renault Clio takes the lead this month thanks to sales up a mammoth 168% to 166 and 4% share. The Clio knocked the 2016 #1, the VW Golf, down to #2 with “just” 36% more than January 2016. The Audi A3 (+47%) rounds up the podium like it did last year. As it is the case in almost all of Europe, the new generation pushes the VW Tiguan to unseen territories: up 280% year-on0year in Luxembourg to rank #4. With the VW Polo ranking at #7, we have no less than four Volkswagen Group models inside the Top 5. We have a few surprises further down the ranking: the Mercedes GLC pops up at a brilliant 6th p;lace, the BMW 4 Series is #8 and the Volvo V40 #9.

Previous post: Luxembourg Full Year 2016: VW Golf leads, BMW X1 up to 4th place

Two years ago: Luxembourg Full Year 2015: BMW 4 Series up to world-best 5th place

Full January 2017 Top 10 models ranking table below.


Lithuania January 2017: Fiat 500 leads, RAV4 and Tiguan follow

The new model boosts the VW Tiguan’s Lithuanian sales up 220%. Picture 

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Lithuania are up by a very robust 19% year-on-year in January to 1.829 units. Best-seller here for the past five consecutive years, the Fiat 500 has the guts to even outpace the market this month with a 46% year-on-year improvement leading to a 10.2% market share. That’s still leaps and bounds above the competition, with its direct follower being the Toyota RAV4 surging up 356% on January 2015 to 4.5% share, just above the VW Tiguan at 4.4% (+220%), the Skoda Octavia at 4.3% (+70%), VW Passat at 4% (+135%) and Toyota Auris at 3.2% (+176%). Inside the Top 10, the Skoda Superb (+129%) and Kia Sportage (+117%) also more than double their sales year-on-year.

Previous post: Lithuania Full Year 2016: Fiat 500 ultra-dominant, Fiat 500X in Top 5

Two years ago: Lithuania Full Year 2015: Fiat 500 improves further to 12.7% share

Full January 2017 Top 10 best-selling models below.


Latvia January 2017: Octavia leads, Kia Cee’d & Peugeot 2008 shine

The Peugeot 2008 breaks into the Latvian Top 10 in January. 

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

The Latvian new car market is up 14.5% year-on-year in January to 1.445 registrations. The Skoda Octavia is the best-seller for the month thanks to sales up 133% to 93 and 6.4% vs. 3.2% over the Full Year 2016. In fact, the Top 10 is alive with staggering year-on-year improvements: the VW Passat up 106% to #2, the Kia Cee’d up 253% to #3, VW Tiguan up 293% to #5, Kia Sportage up 200% to #7, Toyota RAV4 up 127% to #8, and the Ford Fiesta up 1267% to #9. In terms of improvements vs. Full Year 2016 ranking though, the Kia Cee’d (+18 to #3) and Peugeot 2008 (+26 to #10) are the best performers.

Previous post: Latvia Full Year 2016: Qashqai and Octavia top market up 15%

Two years ago: Latvia Full Year 2015: Nissan Qashqai and VW Passat outpace Skoda Yeti

Full January 2017 Top 10 models below.


Malaysia January 2017: Honda BR-V lifts market into positive (+0.1%)

The BR-V helps boost Malaysian Honda sales up 50% in January.

* See the Top 45 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Stable market in Malaysia in January up just 0.1% to 44.667 registrations. Perodua remains the clear leader in the brands ranking but drops 9% to 31.8% share vs. 35.7% over the Full Year 2016. Honda on the other hand boasts a 50% improvement to 8.594 sales and 19.2% share vs. 15.8% in 2016, most likely due to the arrival in dealerships of the BR-V crossover. In contrast, Proton continues to struggle at -7% above Toyota up 95%. These four aforementioned manufacturers hold an astounding 80.2% of the Malaysian car market this month, with the remaining 41 sharing just 20% of the market – in other words bread crumbs. Let’s go one step further: if we remove Honda from the market data, Malaysian sales overall are actually down 7% at 36.073 vs. 38.848! Nissan (-57%), Mazda (-41%), Hino (-33%), Mitsubishi (-26%), Ford (-26%), Kia (-19%), Volkswagen (-19%) and Peugeot (-15%)  all struggle, but Lexus (+10%), Subaru (+13%), Porsche (+68%) and Chery (+260%) shine.

Previous post: Malaysia Full Year 2016: Perodua hits record share in market down 13%

One year ago: Malaysia January 2016: Discover the Top 80 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Full January 2017 Top 45 All-brands ranking table below.


Iran January 2017: Saipa Pride leads, Chery Tiggo 3x already in market

Iranian advertisement for the MVM X22 (aka Chery Tiggo 3x).

* See the Top 20 brands, Top 35 passenger cars and Top 10 pickups by clicking on the title *

Note all figures in this article are local production, not sales, and imports aren’t included. In January 2017 – roughly equivalent to the 10th month of the Persian year 1395 – 127.663 passenger cars and 6.041 pick-up trucks churned out of Iranian factories. The fight for the title of biggest local brand is getting more intense: Peugeot still holds the reins of the Iranian market with a mammoth 31.5% market share, all this despite no Peugeot 301 local production on the horizon still. Saipa now stands only 101 units below (!) at 41.983 vs. 42.084 for the French manufacturer, due to the continued success of the Pride – in fact a 1986 Kia Pride – which founds another 27.043 buyers this month in spite of its advanced 31 years of age. Iran Khodro rounds up the brands podium above Renault, Chery (renamed MVM here after a first launch in the 90s was aborted), JAC, Zamyad, Brilliance, Dongfeng and Kia. With Changan at #11, Lifan at #13, FAW at #15, Haima at #16 and Zotye at #17, we now have no less than 9 Chinese carmakers in the Iranian Top 20 this month…

Zamyad Z24 vs. Hummer H2 

The Pride is followed in January by the Peugeot 206, Peugeot 405 and Saipa Tiba up two spots on its FY2016 ranking to #4. The Peugeot Pars on the other hand is down three to #5. Launched last year, the Renault Sandero – baptised Saipa B90 here – continues its progression at #8 vs. #29 in 2016. It’s further down the ranking that we can spot some interesting finds. The Chery Fulwin 2 cracks the Top 10 thanks to a very robust 2.803 units poduyced this month, ahead of the JAC S5 (2,776) and Brilliance H330 (2.262). Chery also places the Tiggo 5 at #16, the Tiggo 3 at #17, the Arrizo 5 at #20 and, the novelty of the month, the Tiggo 3x (baptised MVM X22 here ) at #28 with 226 units produced, only months after its launch in China.

2017 Peugeot 301

Finally onto the elephant in the room: with Peugeot’s best-sellers in Iran being the 206 launched in 1998 and the 406 launched in 1987, it goes without saying that Iranian consumers have been screaming for the new Peugeot 301 – launched in 2012 and now facelifted (see above) to replace the obsolete 405. Not before 2018 or 2019 according to Peugeot though. Talk about hundreds of thousands of missed sales.

Previous post: Iran Full Year 2016: Saipa Pride and Peugeot 405 lead, Brilliance H330 in Top 10

Full January 2017 Top 20 brands, Top 35 passenger cars and Top 10 pickups below.

This content is for 1 Year members only.
Log In Register