April 2017 – October 2018 monthly All-models China Retail data also available, Contact us
After exploring China wholesales for October 2018 meaning sales to dealerships, it is now time to study October Retail sales, meaning sales to end-customers, a new monthly update exclusive to BSCB. We indeed now have two separate monthly updates for China in our endeavour to provide you with the most exhaustive coverage of the largest car market in the world. Note this update only covers China-made light vehicles, with import retail sales covered in a separate update. Retail and Wholesales are obviously inter-connected, with poor retail sales triggering poor wholesales the following month as dealer reduce their orders to allow existing stock to clear. This way, September retail sales down an abysmal 16% logically resulted in the largest year-on-year fall this year so far for October wholesales at -11.7%. October retail sales data is therefore a taste of things to come, and the news is once again horrendous: -14% to 1.811.000 units vs. 2.104.000 in October 2017. Now that the government has made it clear it would let the market adjust naturally, we are headed towards double-digit wholesales drops for the remainder of the year.
Once again, brands leader Volkswagen (-14%) exactly follows the market, with strong holds by the Lavida (+2%) – the overall best-seller, Magotan (+1%), Jetta (-2%) and Teramont (-4%) as well as the arrival of the Tayron (965 sales) and Tharu (75) failing to compensate for the freefalling of most of the German manufacturer’s lineup: C-Trek (-38%), Lamando (-36%), Sagitar (-34%), Bora (-31%), Polo (-28%), Santana (-23%) and Tiguan (-18%). Below Honda (+0.3%) edging into positive thanks to the XR-V (+65%), Fit (+50%), Accord (+49%) and Civic (+18%), like last month, Toyota (+22%) is going well against the grain with a fantastic double-digit gain, the only manufacturer managing this feat in the Top 10. Highlights for the Japanese carmaker include the Camry (+210%), Highlander (+30%), RAV4 (+21%), Levin (+14%) and Corolla (+8%) but the IZOA (4.061, up 25% on September) and C-HR (3.163, down 14%) look like they may already be plateauing. There is only one additional brand in progress in the remainder of the Top 10 brands, Haval (+2%), returning to positive for the first time in 2018 after -25% in August and -8% in September. This means the 6 remaining brand all lose ground vs. October 2017, with Nissan (-0.2%) and Hyundai (-5%) the most contained resulting in market share gains, Geely (-14%) worryingly falling into double-digit gains after -7% last month, Buick (-15%) and Wuling (-15%) roughly matching the market but Baojun (-39%) in freefall.
It’s a great month for premium brands: BMW (+34%) leads the charge with the largest gain of any brand in the Top 35 thanks to outstanding performances by the 5 Series L (+53%) and 3 Series L (+28%) and the gearing up of the X3 (4.425). Cadillac (+15%) surfs on the success of the XTS (+53%) and CT6 (+23%) as well as the arrival of the XT4 (1.845). Audi (+12%) enjoys the benefits of very healthy A4L (+48%) and A6L (+36%), the gearing up of the Q5L (4.162) and the arrival of the Q2L (519). Finally Mercedes (+12%) is also very strong thanks to the E-Class L (+21%) and GLC (+20%). Two Chinese carmakers stand out in the Top 35: BYD (+29%) bolstered by extravagant scores by the Tang (+648%), Song MAX (+318%), Yuan (+114%) and Qin (+28%) and MG (+32%) single-handedly pulled up by the new 6 (+18924%) just as the HS (1.220) breaks into 4-digit sales for its 2nd month in market. Further down, let’s salute the one year anniversary performances of Lynk & Co (+804200%) and Yudo (+13460%) as well as sizeable upticks by Hongqi (+976%), Foton (+124%), Maxus (+78%), Qoros (+31%), Jinbei (+30%) and Brilliance (+16%) and among foreigners Jaguar (+34%) and Infiniti (+20%). We welcome Jetour (4.502) and Dorcen (158) into the Chinese charts this month.
The market direction means there are a lot more catastrophic losses than there were stunning gains. Among Chinese brands, the hardest hit include Bisu (-81%), Hawtai (-75%), Haima (-65%), Soueast (-64%), Cowin (-59%), Zotye (-56%), BAIC (-49%), Karry (-49%), Leopaard (-48%), Weichai (-47%), SWM (-46%), FAW (-45%), JAC (-43%), Chana (-39%), Lifan (-38%), Yema (-38%), Dongfeng (-36%), JMC (-33%), Landwind (-30%) and newcomer WEY (-30%). Among foreigners, Fiat (-84%), Peugeot (-58%), Ford (-55%), Luxgen (-51%), Land Rover (-50%), Suzuki (-49%), Citroen (-44%), Renault (-44%), Acura (-34%), DS (-30%) and Jeep (-28%) all pull a very long face indeed. Over in the models ladder, the VW Lavida (+2%) confirms it is this year’s unbeatable leader above the Nissan Sylphy (-2%) but the Haval H6 (+7%) is helped by a facelift back onto the podium for the first time since last February, and by the same token reclaims the #1 SUV YTD spot off the Baojun 510 (-44%). The Toyota Corolla (+8%) and VW Jetta (-2%) make sure the Top 5 is heavily tweaked towards sedans.
The exploit of the month goes to the Wuling Hongguang S3 up 27 spots on September to #6 and a record 27.048 sales making up for the ghastly -77% by the Hongguang likely awaiting the new generation in dealerships. The Hyundai ix35 (+647%), Kia Sportage (+157%) and GAC Trumpchi GS3 (+108%) also make themselves noticed, with the Baojun 360 (10.327-record) topping all recent launches above the Baojun 530 (7.877), VW T-Roc (6.905-record), Geely Binrui (6.719), Geely Vision S1 (4.624) and Jetour X70 (4.502-new for the month). The Chery Tiggo 8 (4.488) and Skoda Kamiq (3.996) also break records while the WEY VV6 (3.169), Haval F5 (2.959), Dongfeng Fengxing T5 (1.904), Hyundai La Festa (1.565), Chery Arrizo GX (1.475) and Chevrolet Orlando (1.189) are the other successful October arrivals, most having been covered in our Focus on All-new models series related to wholesales. Exceptions are the aforementioned Dongfeng Fengxing T5, BAIC Weiwang M60 and Haval F7.
Previous month: China September 2018 Retail sales: Market at standstill at -16%
Full October 2018 Top 99 All-brands and Top 636 All-models below.