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China: 1980-2018 Historical Data now available

Fiat 126P China 1980. Picture courtesy of chinacartimes.comThe Fiat 126p was the first passenger car to be imported into China in 1979.

The direct links to 25 Historical articles are below.

Chinese historical information all the way up to the start of the eighties is now available on Best Selling Cars Blog. This 39 year-period in China is definitely one of the most interesting ones in the entire history of automobile, sales in the country going from virtually nothing to 28 million today, making China the biggest new vehicle market in the world, and by far.

The VW Santana was the best-selling car in China for one decade from 1986 onwards.

In the early eighties the first passenger cars were imported into China, mainly Fiat 126p from Poland first used as taxis. 1986 marks the local production launch of the VW Santana, the very car that would set the ground work for China’s motorisation, with over 3 million units produced in 25 years. Witness the Santana pass the relay to the VW Jetta in the mid-nineties, the Jetta leading for over a decade with 2 million units produced.

The VW Jetta was #1 in China up to 2008.

Discover the intense fight between the Jetta, Buick Excelle, Hyundai Elantra and FAW Tianjin Xiali in the mid-noughties, leading to the crowning of the BYD F3 in 2009 and 2010, of the Buick Excelle in 2011, the triumph of the Ford Focus in 2012 and the Wuling Hongguang from 2013 onwards and for the following five years before the VW Lavida takes charge in 2018. From October 2010 onwards there is a monthly coverage of the Chinese new car market on BSCB.

China Historical Data:

China 1980-1985: Fiat 126p best-seller, 1 passenger car for every 6 million people

China 1986-1995: VW Santana launches Chinese motorisation

China 1996-2001: VW Jetta challenges Santana domination

China 2002: VW Jetta, Santana and Santana 3000 on podium

China 2003: VW Jetta, Santana and Passat in command

China 2004: VW Jetta and Santana on top, Hyundai Elantra arrives

China 2005: Tianjin Xiali and Hyundai Elantra take the lead

China 2006: VW Jetta reclaims first place, Buick Excelle close second

China 2007: VW Jetta, Buick Excelle and Toyota Camry on podium

China 2008: VW Jetta #1, Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla up

China 2009: BYD F3 crowned, Buick Excelle and Hyundai Elantra Yuedong follow

China 2010: BYD F3 and VW Lavida on top

China 2011: Buick Excelle best-seller after 4 years at #2

China 2012: Ford Focus triumphs

China 2013: Wuling Hongguang and VW Lavida on top

China 2014: Growth cools to 7% to record 23.5 million sales

China 2015: Market up 4.7% to record 24.61 million despite sluggish summer

China 2015: Discover the Top 137 All-brands (BSCB Exclusive)

China 2015 LCV: Sales transfer to mini pickups boosts Wuling Mini Truck to #1

China 2015 imports: Discover the first-ever models ranking (BSCB Exclusive)

China 2016: Tax cut boosts market up 14% to record 28 million sales

China 2016 LCV: Wuling Mini Truck leads, pickups up 11%

China 2017: Geely becomes #1 Chinese brand in market up 3.2%

China 2017 LCV: Wuling dominates, pickups gain 18%

China 2017 imports: Exclusive  data by model and brand

China 2018: VW Lavida snaps first ever win in first market decline in 28 years

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. I knew some Fiat 126p were shipped from Poland to China, but I never imagined it could be that many. Thanks for the excellent insight, Matt!

  2. Fiat 126 p was very popular here in Poland in eighties and nineties and I really cannot imagine how Cinese poeple could use it as a taxi. It had extremly tight interior…

  3. I had no idea that FIAT 126 was the first passenger automobile to be imported into China.

    Now we can understand the suddenly success of FIAT Vaggio in the last months.

    Very interesting. Thanks Matt.

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