* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 5 models by clicking on the title! *
Thanks to LMC Auto we have more detailed data for China, now including the all-important Light Commercial Vehicle sales. 555,111 LCVs found a new home in March in China, down 3% year-on-year and bringing the year-to-date total to 1,407,421 units, up a shy 1% on 2013. Adding Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (139,331 up 5%) and Passenger Cars (1,583,045 up 12%) we come to 2,277,487 overall sales in China in March, up 8% on March 2013 and adding up to 6,222,570 units year-to-date, up 9% on 2013.
Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang reigns supreme at 63,827 sales (+28%) ahead of the VW Lavida at 43,386 units (+13%) while the Wuling Sunshine is back in the Top 5 at #3 in spite of sales down 19% to 37,820. The Wuling Rongguang is down ‘just’ 2% to 37,032 units but remains well above the Sunshine year-to-date at 107,647 sales (+6%) vs. 93,690 (-25%). Once overall leader by far, the Sunshine seems to have been the victim of countryside Chinese buyers upgrading into the MPV category with the Hongguang or Chana Honor or/and the larger Rongguang minivan. These trends are consistent with what I observed in rural Xinjiang over the past 10 days with new-looking Hongguang and Rongguang much more frequent than new Sunshines.
Brand-wise, the addition of LCV redistributes the cards and we now have 4 Chinese carmakers inside the Top 10 vs. 3 last month. Volkswagen is still the most popular by far but slows down its growth to 17% and 11.8% share this month vs. 24% and 13.3% share year-to-date. Wuling comes 2nd at 7.5% of the market (+8%) followed by ChangAn (+10%). Below Hyundai, Toyota and Dongfeng pass Buick to rank 5th and 6th respectively while Foton is up 3 spots to land at #10 in spite of sales down 9% year-on-year.
The biggest gainers in the Top 25 this month are Beijing Auto up 58%, BMW up 34%, Haval up 33%, Nissan up 32%, Ford up 30%, Audi up 26%, Citroen up 25% and Peugeot up 24%. Year-to-date, this list becomes Beijing Auto up 53%, Ford up 52%, Haval up 36%, Jinbei up 35%, Audi up 25% and Nissan up 23%.
Previous March post: China March 2014: VW Jetta and ChangAn Honor hit records, Fiat sparks
Previous year-to-date post: China Q1 2014: VW Santana, Haval H6 & Chana Honor biggest gainers
Previous LCV post: China Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 10 best-selling LCVs!
One year ago (LCV): China LCV April 2013: Wuling Sunshine reclaims throne