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China Imports March 2019: Tesla Model 3 lands at #3, sales drop slows to -2.7%

The Tesla Model 3 has landed in China.

Just as we are seeing flashes of recovery on the retail side of the Chinese market, imports drastically slow down their fall in March to just -2.7% at 94.304 units, leading to a Q1 volume down -10.4% to 252.781 -10.4%. Lexus (+13.9%) continues to go agains the grain and has now firmly taken control of the imported brands ranking in China both this month and YTD, distancing BMW (+0.5%) and Mercedes (-28.6%) the latter being in great difficulty in March. Tesla (+152.5%) shoots up 13 spots on last month to land at a best-ever 4th place due to the (late) arrival of the Model 3 in the China Imports charts as we’ll see further down. Audi (+35.2%) and Lincoln (+5.2%) also post a year-on-year gain in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Land Rover (-44.2%) and Porsche (-14.1%) skid down fast. Outside the Top 10, Mitsubishi (+113.4%), Jeep (+78.1%), Alfa Romeo (+45.4%), Mini (+27.6%) and Volvo (+26.5%) stand out.

Model-wise, Lexus once again places two nameplates in the Top 2 with the ES (+28.5%) by far the most popular imported nameplate in the country with over 7.500 sales – the 2nd largest monthly volume recorded by any imported model over the past 2.5 years – with the hybrid variant accounting for 52% of its April sales, while the RX (+49%) brilliantly holds onto the 2nd spot. Coinciding with its thunderous arrival in Europe, the Tesla Model 3 also lands in China this month, and in an equally impressive manner as it already ranks #3 import and #20 year-to-date with over 3.700 units. The Model S (+185.2%) makes it two Teslas in the March Top 4 while the NX (-20.7%) makes it three Lexuses in the Top 5. The Mercedes GLS (+128.6%) and Mini (+42.2%) score outstanding gains in the remainder of the Top 10, while the BMW X2 is up two spots on February to break into the Top 10 for the first time. Alongside the Model 3 we also welcome the Jaguar i-Pace at #157.

Previous month: China Imports February 2019: Lexus (+21.8%), Mini (+31.5%) defy market down 23.9%

One year ago: China Imports March 2018: Lexus ES reclaims control

Full March 2019 Top 45 All-brands and Top 255 All-models below.

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