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China Imports June 2019: Pre-Stage 6 emissions stock clearances boost market up 73.3% to all-time record

In a remake of the 2018 European Summer, Alfa Romeo sales are up 1098.1% before State 6 emissions rules are put in place.

There is now a China Imports May 2019 article – see here.

In June, we can clearly witness the clearing of unsold State 5 stocks ahead of the of the July 1 enacting of the State 6 emission standards by two thirds of the country’s provinces – a very similar pattern than the pre-WLTP one that boosted European sales during the Summer 2018. We are looking at retail sales to end-customers here, so these are impacted by discounts at the dealership, unlike wholesales of locally-made cars. The June volume is extravagant: up 73.3% to 143.114 units, that’s the largest imports volume in Chinese history, smashing the previous record of 120.990 established in January 2018. This is more than enough to tilt the YTD tally into frank positive at +10.5% to 592.560.

The Lexus ES is the first imported model to sell more than 10.000 monthly units in China.

Illustrating the pre-State 6 rush, 5 of the Top 7 best-selling brands more than double their sales vs. June 2018. Lexus (+107.5%) cements its leadership with just under 20.000 sales, with Toyota (+388.1%), Porsche (+264.4%), Audi (+212.8%) and Volkswagen (+137.4%) posting the largest gains in the Top 10. Beyond, Lamborghini (+4300%), Alfa Romeo (+1098.1%), Mitsubishi (+574.2%), Nissan (+332%), Dodge (+494.3%), Lotus (+233.3%), Maserati (+207.8%), Acura (+184.1%), McLaren (+146.2%) and Aston Martin (+109.7%) also use June to wipe their stock of non-compliant vehicles clean. It’s interesting to find some of the same brands (Alfa Romeo, Nissan…) that have abused of pre-WLTP clearance sales in Europe in 2018…

The Lincoln Nautilus has landed in China.

Over in the models ranking, the Lexus ES (+97.3%) becomes the first imported model to sell over 10.000 monthly units in China, including 36% by the hybrid variant. Its H1 tally almost reaches 44.000 units which is more than double the amount of the #2 so far in 2019, the Lexus RX. In June the Toyota Land Cruiser (+478.8%) cruises to 2nd place ahead of the BMW X4 (+7.1%) with the Tesla Model 3 up 4 spots on May to #4, breaking its monthly volume record in China at just under 4.400 units. The following 9 models all more than double their sales year-on-year in a freak month, with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (+2240.5%), Mitsubishi Pajero (+578%), Toyota Prado (+560.4%), Nissan Patrol (+350.3%) and Audi A5 (+334%) the most “dynamic”, logical given their age. Among new launches, the BMW X2 is down 10 spots on last month to #21, the Lincoln Nautilus lands at #40, the Lexus UX is down 6 ranks to #48 and the BMW X7 makes its first appearance at #95.

Previous month: China Imports May 2019: Lexus (+53.5%) and BMW (+23.7%) top market up 8.8%

One year ago: China Imports June 2018: Tesla up to #7 thanks to price cut

Full May and June 2019 Top 50 All-brands and Top 270 All-models below.

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