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China June 2014: Audi breaks record in market up 11%

Audi Q3 China June 2014. Picture courtesy of auto.qq.comThe Audi Q3 is up 63% year-on-year in June in China.

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According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, light vehicle sales in China are up a sturdy 11% year-on-year both in June to 1.564 million units and year-to-date at 9.634 million units. This figure does not include commercial vehicles and imports and based on annual sales trends in previous years this means the light vehicle market will reach 20 million units in 2014, an all-time high, while the overall market should settle around 24-25 million vehicles, here again an all-time record, and by far.

Mazda6 Atenza China June 2014. Picture courtesy of the Mazda 6 Atenza (pictured) and 3 Axela improve vastly on their first month of sales in June.

The June performance is mainly due to the exceptional health of the MPV (+50%) and SUV segments (+35%) while sedan sales are up a more modest 5%. Sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, aided by government subsidies, surged 220 percent in the first 6 months of the year 20,477 units, including 11,777 EVs and 8,700 plug-in hybrids. Brand-wise, and once again this doesn’t include commercial vehicles or imports, Volkswagen leads the way with nearly 220,000 sales way above Hyundai (86,668), Nissan (79,722), Buick (71,060), Toyota (70,460) and Honda (69,023) with Nissan now #4 year-to-date above Toyota. Including imports, Audi lodges its very first month above 50,000 sales in China at a record-breaking 50,756 units.

Chery Tiggo 3 China June 2014. Picture courtesy of Chery Tiggo 3 is above 10,000 sales this month.

In the models ranking, below the Wuling Hongguang in pole position and up a splendid 76% year-on-year to 51,198 units, the Ford Focus overtakes the VW Lavida for the first time since last December at 33,614 sales (+7%) vs. 32,462 (+27%) now that the Gran Lavida is panting a little. The Lavida still has a 60,000+ sales advantage over the Focus year-to-date though. The rest of the Top 6 (all Volkswagens!) show remarkable stability: identical to both May and year-to-date with the Santana up a huge 90% to #4, the Sagitar up 9% to #5 and the Jetta up 56% to #6. The Haval H6 is back up one spot on May and up 73% on June 2013 to 7th place while the Chevrolet Cruze reappears in the Top 10 at #10.

BYD F3 China June 2014. Picture courtesy of to its facelift, the BYD F3 is back in business: #4 Chinese model this month.

Beyond the Top 10, the Hyundai Verna crosses the 20,000 monthly sales milestone for only the third time ever after January 2013 and 2014 in 11th place at 20,537 units (+32%), the VW Tiguan is up a robust 23% at #12, the VW Golf up 123% to #19, Honda Crider up 392% to #20, ChangAn Eado up 121% to #26, BYD F3 up 83% to #27 and #4 Chinese and the Nissan X-Trail is up 1140% on the previous generation to crack the Chinese Top 30 for the very first time at #30. Notice also the Venucia R/D50 up 55% to #31, the Citroen C-Elysée up 50% to #33 and Chery Tiggo (now Tiggo 3) up 25 spots on May and 71% year-on-year to #41.

Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 China June 2014. Picture courtesy of Auto Weiwang M20

Illustrating the trend towards budget MPV triggered by the country-wide success of the Wuling Hongguang and studied in detail in a previous Strategy article, the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20, launched in August 2013, breaks into the Top 50 for the first time in June at #49 thanks to sales up 32% on last month to an all-time high 8,700 units. Now that the new generation is available, the Honda Fit shoots up 99 spots on May to #56 while the Chery Tiggo 5 is up 3 to #58 and a record 7,976 sales. Note there are no all-new models popping up in the Chinese ranking this month which had never happened in the past year BSCB has focused on new launches in this market…

Luxgen 6 SUV China June 2014. Picture courtesy of chexun.comThe Luxgen 6 SUV is testing new grounds for the brand in China.

…But it’s around the #100 spot that things get a little agitated and very interesting. The Peugeot 2008 breaks into the Top 100 for its third month in market with sales up 9% to 4,937 at #98, the Mazda3 Axela does the same, up 29 ranks and 42% on last month to #100 and 4,735 units for only its 2nd appearance in the ranking, the Haima S5 is up 28 spots and 40% to #107, the Mazda6 Atenza up 54 ranks and 135% to #115, the ChangAn CS75 up 49 spots and 119% to #118, Audi A3 up 48% to #125 and the Luxgen 6 SUV up a massive 327% and 92 ranks on May to #130 and 3,208 sales, new frontiers for any Luxgen model so far.

Previous China post: Strategy: How can Chinese brands unlock their home market? (Part 5)

Previous month: China May 2014: VW Santana breaks record in market up 8%

One year ago: China June 2013: Ford Focus leads, Great Wall Haval M4 up

Full June 2014 Top 64 brands and Top 318 models Ranking Tables below.

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