The Lexus ES is the most popular imported model in China in 2018.
For the past year, BSCB has been able to offer you complete monthly China imports updates, this is exclusive to us as no media outside of China is reporting on these figures, and BSCB being the only one to do so. After years of immobility, Chinese imports tariffs made worldwide automotive headlines in 2018: they were lowered from 25% to 15% on July 1, however as retaliation for Trump’s own import tariffs on Chinese products including cars, the tariff for U.S. new car imports was raised to 40% on July 7. Despite these drastic changes, the imports market remains relatively stable this year with overall sales up 3.2% to 1.150.370 units. Mercedes (+4.9%) overtakes BMW (-5.6%) to snap the imported brands pole position, which Lexus (+26.3%) brilliantly posts the largest gain in the Top 20 but has to settle for third place like last year despite topping the monthly charts from August to November without interruption. Audi (+20.7%), Porsche (+14.7%) and Lincoln (+10.5%) post splendid results in the remainder of the Top 10 but Volkswagen (-20%) and Mini (-13.3%) not so much. Further down, Mazda (+858.2%) thanks to the launch of the CX-3, Ram (+305.6%), Lotus (+203.4%), Mitsubishi (+96.9%), Alfa Romeo (+52.4%), Aston Martin (+48.9%), Rolls Royce (+39.4%), Bentley (+36.5%), Nissan (+20.2%) and Volvo (+13.9%) are among the biggest gainers.
Model-wise, the Lexus ES (+1.4%) holds onto the pole position above the BMW X5 (+5.6%) at #2 like in 2017, while the Lexus NX (+61.5%) soars up 7 spots to brilliantly climb onto the annual podium above the Mercedes CLA (+29.5%) up 4 to #8 and the Lexus RX (+14.2%) up 2 to #5. The Porsche Cayenne (+12.7%) is up 2 to #7, the Toyota Land Cruiser (+35%) up 6 to #8 and the BMW 7 Series (+5%) breaks into the Top 10 at #10. Other great performers near the top of the ranking include the Porsche Panamera (+124.6%), Audi A5 (+83.8%), Toyota Alphard (+78.9%), Volvo XC90 (+52.4%), Mercedes GLC Coupe (+38.1%), Nissan Patrol (+28.8%), Mercedes S-Class (+24.6%) and Audi Q7 (+16.8%). Also notable are the Tesla Model X (+15.3%) up to #36 whereas the Model S (-11.5%) is down to #64. The BMW X2 (#90) is the best-selling 2018 launch, breaking into the Top 20 in December, ahead of the Audi S4 (#111), Mercedes SLC (#156) and Volvo XC40 (#158).
Full Year 2018 Top 52 All-brands and Top 320 All-models vs. Full Year 2017 figures below.