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New passenger car sales are up a very robust 10.5% year-on-year in China to 1.24 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. According to Bloomberg, this result was achieved on the back of larger discounts to clear inventory. An index tracking vehicle inventory levels in China fell to 53.2 in July from 56.1 a month earlier, however remaining above the 50-point mark that demarcates a “reasonable” level of stockpile. Total vehicle sales including LCV, buses and trucks gained 10% to 1.52 million in July, adding up to 12.3 million year-to-date and still on track to pass the symbolic 20 million mark at year end for the very first time.
This milestone will most likely be reached even if, as CAAM announced, 8 additional cities put in place car purchase restrictions in the same vein as the ones currently in place in Beijing and Shanghai. There are talks that Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin and Wuhan could introduce measures limiting car purchases, but no timing has been indicated yet. Such restrictions disadvantage local brands – generally cheaper – because they make car ownership more costly and undermine the appeal of cheaper models.
But enough said, now into this month’s models ranking. The Ford Focus holds the top spot for the 2nd month in a row and the 7th time in the last 12 months thanks to 32,920 sales, up a massive 77% on July 2012. However this is not enough to catch up with the VW Lavida year-to-date: now with sales of the Gran Lavida included (8,493 this month), it is just behind the Focus in July at 32,724, up a gigantic 185% year-on-year and adding up to 252,444 so far in 2013 vs. 218,617 for the Focus.
Boosted by the new generation now in full flight, the VW Jetta is up 11 spots on June to land on the podium at #3 with 25,097 sales, the nameplate’s best ranking so far this year. The VW Sagitar, Buick Excelle and VW Bora follow and don’t move vs. last month. The second hero of the month is the Great Wall Haval H6, up a fantastic 12 ranks to land at a record 7th place and 18,962 sales. This is the first time since April 2011 that a Chinese model ranks within the Chinese Top 10, and the best ranking for any local since January 2011!
The third star of the month is the Honda Crider. When it launched last month and ranked #125, I wondered how far up the model could go. Well the Crider blew all other Honda cars out of the water, becoming the brand’s best-selling passenger car straight from its 2nd month in market, up 95 ranks to #30 with 10,357 sales, below just the CR-V (#19) and well above the Accord (#49), City (#78) and Civic (#88). It will be fascinating to see where the Crider stabilises once the ‘launch honeymoon’ is over.
Other great performers in China this month include the Buick Excelle XT/GT up 8 spots to #9, Toyota Camry up 6 to #10, VW Santana up 5 ranks on June and 71% year-on-year to #13, the Emgrand EC7 up 4 and 44% to #17, Hyundai ix35 up 6 and 83% to #20 and the Great Wall Haval M4 continuing its irresistible progression and beating both ranking and volume records once again at #23 and 12,042 sales, up 164% on July 2012.
Notice also the Ford Kuga up 6 spots to #35, Lifan X60 up 37 and 125% to #47, Ford Ecosport up 14 to #59, Brilliance H230 up 28 to #65, Brilliance H330 up 31 to #66, Audi Q3 up 8 to #72 and the FAW Besturn X80 up 4 to #81. There are two all-new models in the ranking this month, but this will be covered shortly in our monthly update focusing on the newcomers in the Chinese ranking…
Previous post: China 6 months 2013: VW Lavida reigns, Nissan Sylphy up 111%
Previous all-new update: China June 2013: Focus on the all-new models
Previous month: China June 2013: Ford Focus leads, Great Wall Haval M4 up
One year ago: China July 2012: Hyundai Elantra and VW Sagitar shine
Full July 2013 Top 306 All-models Ranking Table below.