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China imports October 2018: Lexus ES back in charge in market up 4.9%

The Lexus ES is back to #1 import in China both in October and YTD.

All-brands and All-models January 2017-October 2018 monthly data available, contact us here.

Complete Chinese imports data is now available for October, BSCB being the only media outside of China to report on these figures monthly. Since July 1 we have a pretty unbalanced situation regarding new cars imports into China: non-U.S. imports benefit from a reduced tariff at 15% (vs. 25%) but U.S. imports are penalised with an increased 40% tariff. Many carmakers have reorganised their sourcing as a result, trying as much as possible to avoid the U.S. For some unable to do so, like Lincoln for example, this has triggered the fast-tracking of long-term plans to establish production within China. October imports perk up 4.9% to 92.132 units, leading to a year-to-date result up 3.8% to 934.475.

Lexus (+40%) brilliantly tops the imported brands ranking for the third consecutive month thanks to a market-defying surge pushing it just 1.800 YTD units off BMW (-3%) stuck at #2 in October above Mercedes (+2%). The podium order is reversed in the 2018 charts with Mercedes (+6%) distancing BMW (-7%) and Lexus (+27%) for now. Porsche (+16%) holds its ground in 4th place above Toyota (-5%), with Audi (+27%) and Lincoln (+8%) also outpacing the market in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Land Rover (-13%) struggles. Further down, Volvo (+39%) is lifted by excellent scores by the XC90 and V90 as well as the arrival of the XC40 on Chinese shores, Jeep (+80%) surfs on strong Wrangler and Grand Cherokee sales with Mazda (+36300%), McLaren (+400%), Acura (+191%), Ferrari (+105%) and Mitsubishi (+102%) also in great shape but Telsa (-79%) feeling the brunt of higher taxes.

The Volvo XC40 has landed in China.

Model-wise, the new generation helps the Lexus ES (+25%) resume its domination both this month and year-to-date where it overtakes the BMW X5 (-2%) just as the Lexus NX (+103%) drops two spots on September to #3 but posts another outstanding result. Strikingly, the next seven nameplates all post double-digit year-on-year gains, led by the Mercedes CLA (+61%), GLE (+45%), Porsche Cayenne (+38%), BMW 7 Series (+28%), Lexus RX (+28%), Nissan Patrol (+24%) and Toyota Land Cruiser (+12%). Notice also the Porsche 718 (+302%), BMW 5 Series (+217%), Mitsubishi Pajero (+102%), Toyota Alphard (+95%), Porsche Panamera (+80%), Audi A5 (+67%) and Lincoln Continental (+62%) all lodging spectacular gains. The BMW 6 Series GT (#46) tops recent launches above the Mazda CX-3 (#68) and Audi S4 (#92).

Previous month: China imports September 2018: Lexus repeats at #1, market down 7%

Previous year: China Full Year 2017: Exclusive imports data by model and brand

Full October 2018 Top 50 All-brands and Top 230 models below.

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