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China Retail June 2019: Heavy discounts ahead of Stage 6 emissions standards lift market up 41.7%

Roewe retail sales more than double year-on-year in June.

There is now a May 2019 Retail sales article here.

Up 41.7% year-on-year, retail sales in China this month offer us the starkest possible contrast with wholesales figures, down -9.6%. Before Stage 6 emissions standards come into place in two-thirds of China’s provinces on July, car dealerships across the nation were frantically registering Stage 5 vehicles as this would become impossible in July, either with heavily discounted prices to end-consumers or through self-registrations, a very common practice in Europe. In essence, China is living in June what Europe went through over the summer 2018 before WLTP rules applied. The difference is for China we at BSCB are able to track both wholesales (factory shipments) and retail sales. As dealerships try to clear their stock, their factory orders are kept to a minimum, evidenced by a 12th consecutive monthly decline for wholesales in June (-9.6%). But during the same month, retail sales have logically gone bezerk, up almost 42% to 2.210.393 units, tilting the H1 2019 tally into positive territory at +4.6% to 10.630.614.

In the brands ranking, it’s easier to single out under-performing brands, those who only manage single-digit year-on-year gains or – god forbid – a loss, and in the Top 50 these are Chevrolet (+6.9%), JMC/JMEV (-2.9%), Leopaard (-3.8%), Ford (-12.5%), Soueast (-15.5%), Jeep (-19.7%), Citroen (-24%), Peugeot (-27.7%) and Zotye (-44.2%). Volkswagen (+39.1%) easily wins the month ahead of Honda (+65.6%), Toyota (+26.4%), Geely (+29.3%) and Nissan (+32.9%), with Roewe (+103.8%) up 8 spots to a record #8, Borgward (+422.4%), JAC (+202.3%), Hongqi (+196.9%), Cadillac (+187%), Maxus (+104.3%), Lynk & Co (+91.3%), Chery (+89.2%), BAIC (+84.1%) and MG (+79.9%) performing best. Jetour (#37) tops all new brands above Ora (#46), Bestune (#54) and COS (#64).

Model-wise, the VW Lavida (+35.8%) and Nissan Sylphy (+24.1%) hold onto the top two spots as they do so far this year, the VW Tiguan (+118%) manages to climb onto the podium and dislodges the Toyota Corolla (+6.8%) with the Wuling Hongguang (+60.5%) rounding up the Top 5. The Roewe RX5 (+53.9%) and Geely Emgrand (+46.1%) also outpace the market in the Top 10, while further down the Roewe i5 (+2048.6%), Changan Eado (+420.4%), Cadillac XTS (+332.6%), Honda CR-V (+182.3%), VW Passat (+127.3%) and Honda Accord (+101.2%) all post spectacular gains. The Audi Q5L (#29 is the best-selling new launch (<12 months) ahead of the VW Tayron (#43), Geely Binyue (#45), VW T-Roc (#53) Tharu (#70).

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

One year ago: China Retail June 2018: SUV slump, sedan recovery confirmed

Full June 2019 Top 107 All China-made brands and Top 665 All-models below.

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