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China Retail May 2019: Honda (+47.4%), BMW (+30.5%), Mercedes (+14.3%) shine in market down -4.4%

The new A-Class helps Mercedes retail sales up 14.3% in China in May.

Just as wholesales continue to freefall (-16.4%), retail sales contain their decline to -4.4% in May to 1.710.251 units and -2.1% so far in 2019 to 8.420.323 (-2.1%). Keep in mind wholesales are factory shipments to dealerships and retail sales are dealership sales to end consumers, and they can be biased by heavy rebates which is currently the case as Chinese dealers are busy clearing their stock. In fact the Top 4 best-selling brand all improve their volume vs. May 2018, led by Volkswagen (+7.3%) helped by the Passat (+34.4%), Lavida (+20.2%), Sagitar (+7.2%) and Santana (+6.7%) but most of all its SUV lineup with the Tiguan (+5.6%), T-Roc (11.113), Tayron (9.009), Tharu (8.361) and T-Cross (1.970).

Honda (+47.4%) confirms it is the hero of the year so far by scoring the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 thanks to the CR-V (+1113.5%), Accord (+253.9%), Fit (+81.9%), Crider (+74.3%), Odyssey (+59.1%), Greiz (+38.7%), XR-V (+19.8%) and the new Inspire (4.405) and Envix (3.829). Mercedes (+14.3%) thanks to the new A-Class, Toyota (+4.6%), Nissan (+2.1%) and Hyundai (+1.3%) also progress in the Top 10 but Haval (-3.6%), Geely (-5.7%), Buick (-6%) and Wuling (-16.1%) hit the brakes. Further down, Borgward (+310.2%), Hongqi (+144.1%), Lynk & Co (+73.1%), Cadillac (+62.9%), Maxus (+38.4%), BMW (+30.5%), Roewe (+19.9%), BYD (+18.9%) and Volvo (+18.5%) also impress.

Model-wise, unlike last month there is now one SUV among the Top 8 (the VW Tiguan at #5) but the rest are all sedans, led by the VW Lavida (+20.2%), Nissan Sylphy (+3.2%) and Toyota Corolla (-12.7%) reproducing the YTD podium ahead of the VW Sagitar (+7.2%), Santana (+6.7%) and Bora (-10.5%). The Wuling Hongguang (-21.4%), Nissan X-Trail (+18.2%) and Chevrolet Onix (+20.9%) round up the Top 10. The VW T-Roc (#41) is the most popular new launch (<12 months) above the BMW X3 (#43), Geely Binyue (#45), Audi Q5L (#46), VW Tayron (#52) and Tharu (#58).

Previous month: China Retail April 2019: Honda (+39.7%) continues to stun, Top 8 is 100% sedans in market down -7%

One year ago: China Retail May 2018: BAIC BJEV EC-Series up to #7

Full May 2019 Top 110 All China-made brands and Top 665 All-Models below.

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