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China May 2018 Retail sales: BAIC BJEV EC-Series up to #7

24.134 BAIC BJEV EC found a buyer in China in May: the electric invasion has started.

* See the Top 94 All China-made brands and Top 596 models by clicking on the title *

April 2017 – April 2018 monthly All-models data also available, Contact us here

After detailing China May Wholesales, it’s now time to go through China Retail sales, a new exclusive monthly BSCB update. Keep in mind Retail sales are dealership sales to end-customers whereas Wholesales are ex-factory sales to dealerships. These new Retail updates enable a second perspective, perhaps closer to the reality on the ground. Also, the way models are displayed is slightly different, allowing an unprecedented look at previously secretive brands such as Landwind with all models now separated, and new standalone variants such as the Wuling Hongguang S3 SUV and the Haval H6 Coupe.

The new China-exclusive Sportage helps Kia up 11% in May.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen edges up 2% to tower ahead all competition, with Toyota soaring 23% to remain at #2 ahead of Geely up another 24%. Nissan (+17%) also shines at #5, Baojun is a lot weaker than its wholesales figures, edging up just 1%. In contrast, Haval (-28%), Buick (-22%) and Honda (-15%) are in great difficulty, which augurs for difficult wholesales months ahead as dealers won’t be ordering much new metal given they’re not selling what they have in stock. Whereas its wholesales have clearly rallied back, Hyundai retail sales are still in negative at -4%. Just outside the Top 10, Audi (+5%) tops premium marques ahead of Mercedes (+16%) and BMW (+14%). BAIC (+37%), Roewe (+29%) and Chevrolet (+22%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the remainder of the Top 20.

Hongqi sales are up 9-fold on May 2017 thanks to the arrival of the H5.

Further down the ranking, the best performing foreign brands include Jaguar (+56%), Isuzu (+46%), Skoda (+35%), Mitsubishi (+30%), DS (+27%), Volvo (+24%), Cadillac (+21%) and Citroen (+18%). At the other end of the scale, Peugeot (-29%) is stuck in dismal waters at #29, as are Fiat (-91%), Acura (-37%), Suzuki (-33%), Luxgen (-23%), Jeep (-22%) and Infiniti (-19%). Among Chinese carmakers, the most impressive are Hongqi (+799%), Foton (+223%), Qoros (+217%), Maxus (+176%), JMC (+163%), Bisu (+112%), Zhi Dou (+89%), Jinbei (+62%), MG (+50%), Brilliance (+43%), Zotye (+39%), Denza (+37%), BYD (+30%), Hawtai (+28%), Landwind (+27%) and Yema (+20%).

Very first appearance of the Chery Tiggo 8 in any Chinese charts.

But there are also many that struggle, including Zinoro (-69%), FQT Motor (+46%), Weichai (-44%), Huasong (-40%), Soueast (-40%), Great Wall (-37%), Joylong (-37%), Lifan (-37%), Borgward (-35%), Foday (-34%), Chana (-30%), Karry (-30%), Cowin (-28%) and SWM (-26%). New brand arrivals remain dominated by WEY (#36) and Lynk & Co (#42), the rest including Traum (#73), Arcfox (#78), Sinogold (#84), Yudo (#85), Xpeng (#86) and Nio (#87), with Sinogold and Nio having yet to appear in the Wholesales charts.

Retail-wise, the Nissan Sylphy is the best-selling vehicle in China outright in May.

As it was the case in April and also in May Wholesales-wise, three sedans dominate the retail models ranking in China this month: the Nissan Sylphy (+24%) is the best-selling nameplate outright ahead of the Toyota Corolla (+30%) and VW Lavida (+16%). The Haval H6 (-22%) rallies back up 9 spots on April to #4 despite a harsh year-on-year drop and reclaims the title of best-selling SUV in China off the Baojun 510 for the first time since last December. Keep in mind retail figures separate H6 sales from the H6 Coupe (#93). The VW Sagitar (+8%) gains two spots on last month to #5, knocking down the Wuling Hongguang (-28%) to #6 while the Baojun posts its first ever decline at -14% to #8, confirming the softening we have witnessed in wholesales. As a result the YTD order is reshuffled, with the Lavida now in the lead above the Corolla, 510 and Hongguang.

The Zotye T800 has landed.

The main event in the models charts has an electric zing to it: with sales up a staggering 9-fold on May 2017 to over 24.000, the BAIC BJEV EC-Series shoots up to a record-breaking 7th place, scoring its second best monthly volume after the 32.781 it reached last December, but that only enabled it to rank #20 at the time. According to BSCB records, it is the first time a pure electric nameplate ever ranks inside the Chinese Retail Top 10. To gain the extend of this exploit, note the the 2nd ranked electric vehicles comes 99 ranks below at #106: the Zhi Dou D2 at 5.286 sales. More details in our dedicated New Energy update shortly.

Chana X70A

The Baojun 530 tops all recent launches at #41 with just under 11.500 sales, albeit already down 3% on April. In summary, the 530 has managed to tilt the 510 into negative but seems to have plateaued already with end-customers which will impact its wholesales in the coming months. The Geely Vision X3 (#48) follows, ahead of the BYD Song MAX (#57), Lynk & Co 01 (#63), Wuling Hongguang S3 (#65), Baojun 310W (#78), Chana Oshan X70A (#98) and WEY VV5 (#100).

JMC E400

There are no less than 12 new arrivals in the May Retail ranking. As it is the case for Wholesales, the Baojun 360 is the most popular (#101), this time with just under 5.500 units. The Haval H4 (#146), Roewe RX8 (#247), Roewe Ei5 (#263), Hyundai Encino (#333), FAW Jumpal CX65 (#446) and WEY P8 (#452) have all been already described in our “Focus on All-new models” updates that are dedicated to wholesales. Yet five new nameplates have not yet appeared in the wholesales charts and therefore make their first entrance in any Chinese ranking: the Chery Tiggo 8 (#352) – I discovered it at the Beijing Auto Show in April, Zotye T800 (#421), JMC E400 (#491) – essentially an electric Landwind X2, JAC iEVA50 (#527) and Lynk & Co 02 (#596) – check out my test drive of the 02 here.

Previous month: China April 2018 Retail sales: Three sedans on top, Baojun 510 #1 SUV

Full May 2018 Top 94 All China-made brands and Top 596 All-models below.

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