* UPDATED – See the Top 353 All-local models by clicking on the title *
Auto sales in China are up 10% year-on-year in January to 2 million units, boosted by SUV sales up 51% to 487.300 and MPV deliveries up 17% to 225.500 whereas sedans are down 2% to 1.2 million and microvans down 24% to 103.300. Bus sales are up 9% to 48.700 units and truck sales down 12% to 232.900, bringing the total Chinese vehicle market including buses and trucks up 7% on a year ago to 2.3 million units. This replicates the growth rate observed over the Full Year 2014 and is in line with 2015 forecasts.
According to Automotive News China, local authorities in China have stepped up restrictions to limit deliveries of new vehicles as a growing number of cities join the fight to control smog and traffic congestion. After Shenzhen’s decision to cap the number of new vehicle registrations a year, Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuhan are rumored to be thinking of similar restrictions. In actual fact, Shenzhen’s decision was said to have helped drive volumes this month, apparently pulling forward demand.
In selected brand results, both market leaders shock by announcing year-on-year drops: the Volkswagen is down 1% and sales at General Motors and its joint ventures in China are down 2% to 339,781 units, with most of its brands recording declines: Chevrolet (-2%), Buick (-10%) and Cadillac (-11%) but SAIC-GM-Wuling is up 3%. Ford is very impressive at +19% to 112,599 vehicles, Geely is now definitely on the mend (+76% to 58,884), with nearly 60% of sales generated by two models the company launched recently: the redesigned EC7 at 24,549 units and the new gen Vision breaking the nameplate’s record at 12,108 sales.
Great Wall saw its sales go up 27% to 69,626 units, propelled by SUV sales from its Haval brand surging 69% to 41,386 deliveries while its sedan sales plummeted 55% to 16,677 and pickup deliveries dropped 9% to 11,563. This is consistent with Great Wall’s strategy of refocusing on SUVs and scaling back production of sedans and pickups. The astoundingly successful H6 climbs on the overall podium for the very first time, smashing its monthly volume record for the 14th time in the past 19 months at 36,117 sales. Finally, both Audi and Mercedes-Benz are up 15% to 51,247 and 28,080 deliveries respectively. BMW is up by a lesser margin at +8% to 40,081 sales.
In the models ranking, below the Wuling Hongguang majestic at 70,580 sales, Volkswagen manages to place 6 vehicles in the Top 10 despite being down YOY: the Lavida at #2 (-9%), Jetta at #4 (+28%), the Tiguan breaking its volume record at #5 with 35,912 sales (+36%), Sagitar at #6 (+16%), Passat at #9 (+8%) and Santana at #10 (+2%). Let’s also salute the VW Golf surging to #14 with 26,078 sales, both records for the nameplate, and the VW Magotan up to #16 and a best-ever 25,2568 units. The Ford Focus is down a harsh 17% on January 2014 to #7, impacted by the rise of the Ford Escort – an instant blockbuster at no less than 18,810 units at #28 for its first full month of sales. Meanwhile the Baojun 730, the most successful new launch in Chinese history, clocks a third consecutive month above 30,000 monthly deliveries at #8.
As described above in the brands lowdown, Chinese nameplates are back in force this month, numbering 6 in the Top 20, a figure we haven’t seen in years. The Chana Honor at #18 and 23,238 units, ChangAn Eado at #19 and 22,964 deliveries and the Dongfeng Joyear at #20 and 22,640 sales all break volume records, as does the ChangAn CS35 back up to a spectacular 23rd place and 22,155 units, the JAC Refine S3 at #27 and 20,190 sales, the Dongfeng Fengguang 330/360 at #29 and 17,841 deliveries, Beijing Auto Huansu S3 at #32 and 16,414 units, ChangAn CS75 at #34 and 15,739 and the Haval H2 at #36 and 15,207. That’s a lot of records! But wait there’s more, among foreigners this time: the Hyundai Elantra Langdong at 27,850, BMW 5 Series L at 16,686, Hyundai Mistra at 14,097 and Peugeot 308 at 12,642. And that’s just for the Top 50…
Previous month: China December 2014: Chevrolet Cruze shoots up to 2nd place
Full January 2015 Top 353 All-local models below.