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China Full Year 2018 Retail: Toyota stands out, VW Lavida, Nissan Sylphy and Toyota Corolla best-sellers

Toyota is up 17.7% and the Corolla up to #3 in the Chinese retail ranking.

Following our Full Year 2018 wholesales data update for China, it’s now time for us to explore Chinese retail sales, a new monthly update on BSCB since February 2018 taking the marketing edge off the wholesales figures that represent factory shipments and include some exports. Retail sales are sales to end-customers (=registrations) and give a more accurate picture of the market on the ground. The Full Year 2018 retail figure of the selection of models covered here is 21.665.656 units, including passenger cars and some light commercial vehicles. Keep in mind this update covers China-made vehicles only, with imports treated in separate updates. Within this total, 16.520.201 retail sales occurred over the April-December 2018 period, a steep -12.4% drop over the same period in 2017 (18.857.867). Given we are only able to go back to April 2017 in historical figures, the percentage evolutions featured in this article are April-December 2018 vs. April-December 2017, not the Full Years.

VW Phideon

Volkswagen remains far above all other brands in the retail order also with just under 2.96 million units over FY2018 but is down 11.3% over the last 9 months. The all-new T-Roc, Tharu and Tayron SUVs have already found close to 60.000 homes and help compensate for the falls of the C-Trek (-37.4%), CC (-34.7%), Polo (-24.8%), Lamando (-23.3%), Tiguan (-21%), Santana (-18.5%), Sagitar (-15.5%), Golf (-12.8%), Bora (-9.1%), Lavida (-7.9%), Jetta (-7.5%) and Teramont (-1.8%), while the Phideon (+37.7%), Touran (+20.2%) and Magotan (+1.5%) advance. Honda (-2.9%) resists better in 2nd place thanks to new generations for the Civic (+30.7%), Accord (+19.4%) and Crider (+7.8%) as well as strong performances by the Odyssey (+19.8%), Elysion (+15.8%) and Fit (+13.5%) helping mitigate falls by the City (-35.8%), CR-V (-26%), Avancier (-21.1%), Vezel (-9.5%) and UR-V (-9.4%).

Nissan is one of only two Top 10 manufacturers in positive, partly thanks to the Qashqai.

But Toyota (+17.7%) is, similarly to the wholesales situation, the best performer in the Top 13 with a stunning double-digit gain over the last 9 months of the year, helped by the Camry (+142.6%), RAV4 (+27.2%), Crown (+15.4%), Levin (+14.1%), Corolla (+13.3%), Highlander (+11.6%) and C-HR/IZOA tandem (almost 36.000 retail sales). Geely (-4.2%) manages to stay in 4th place with 1.24 million retail sales thanks to the successful launches of the Binrui sedan and Binyue SUV convincing almost 40.000 buyers in just a couple of months, with the Vision S1 (+236.7%), Vision X3 (+148.7%) and Emgrand GL (+12.2%) continuing to soar but the Vision (-25.4%), Vision SUV (-21.8%), Boyue (-20.6%), Emgrand GS (-18.9%) and Emgrand (-14.5%) in difficulty. Nissan (+1.8%) is with Toyota the only Top 10 manufacturer in progress over the last 9 months of the year, thanks to excellent scores by its 3 best-sellers the X-Trail (+12.6%), Qashqai (+9.9%) and Sylphy (+9.1%). Just below, Hyundai (-11.3%), Wuling (-20.6%), Buick (-21%), Haval (-23.2%), Changan (-27.5%) and Baojun (-31.5%) all freefall.

Jaguar gains 29.6% over the last 9 months of 2018…

Outside the Top 10, it’s foreign premium brands that fare the best with Jaguar (+29.6%), BMW (+25.6%), Mercedes (+14.6%), Cadillac (+11.1%), Volvo (+10.2%), Audi (+4%) and Infiniti (+1.9%) all completely ignoring the surrounding gloom to post stellar upticks, as well as some domestic brands particularly active in the New Energy segment such as MG (+26.3%), BYD (+23.2%), JMC (+22.6%) and Roewe (+5.8%) or recently arrived such as Traum (#70), Xpeng (#95), Sinogold (+11230%), Lynk & Co (+4150.8%), Yudo (+131.2%), and WEY (+19.8%). Hongqi (+598.1%), Qoros (+200.5%), Foton (+69.7%), Maxus (+69.7%), Jinbei (+25.7%) and Brilliance (+15.5%) also impress, but Bisu (-59.5%), Soueast (-57.3%), Haima (-55.9%), Lifan (-50.2%), Ford (-50%), Suzuki (-50%), Peugeot (-48.6%), Borgward (-42.4%), Zotye (-42.1%), FAW (-39.3%), Chana (-38.9%), Leopaard (-36.2%), BAIC (-32.2%), JAC (-32.1%), Renault (-31.9%), Land Rover (-29.7%) and Dongfeng (-29.4%) all fall painfully flat.

…but Bisu drops 59.5%.

Quite reassuringly, the retail models ranking remains very similar to the wholesales one. The VW Lavida (-7.9%), Nissan Sylphy (+9.1%) and Toyota Corolla (+13.3%) make the podium 100% sedan while the Haval H6 (-28.2%), here separate from the H6 Coupe, is also the best-selling SUV ahead of the Baojun 510 (-36.9%) and VW Tiguan (-21%). The Wuling Hongguang (-37.8%), here counted separately from the Hongguang S3 SUV, ranks 6th while the VW Sagitar (-15.5%) and Santana (-18.5%) ensure this year’s retail Top 10 is composed of exactly the same nameplates as the wholesales Top 10. The Baojun 530 (#66), Baojun 360 (#79), GAC Trumpchi GA4 (#133), Roewe i5 (#149) and VW T-Roc (#176) are the most popular 2018 launches in the Chinese retail market.

Previous post: China December 2018 Retail: Honda (+21%), Toyota (+27%) impress in market down 24.8% or 830.000 units year-on-year

Full Year 2018 Top 106 All China-made brands and Top 810 All-models vs. April-December 2017 figures below.

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