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China Retail July 2019: Hongqi (+85.8%), Mercedes (+22.3%), Toyota (+4.9%) impress in market logically down -20.4% post Stage 6 implementation

Hongqi Retail sales are up 85.8% in a market down -20.4%.

As expected, after an artificial 41.7% surge last month due to pulled forward registrations ahead of the Stage 6 emissions standards implementation on July 1, the Chinese Retail market (end-customer registrations) falls back to earth in August at -20.4% to 1.316.284 units, leading to a year-to-date tally up just 2.7% or 311.000 units to 11.943.611 retail sales. Keep in mind this is our second monthly update for China following Wholesales data (factory shipments) which showed a tighter -4.3% drop, logical as wholesales of Stage 6 compliant models are now gearing up. Both the Retail (-4.3%) and Wholesales (-20.4%) evolutions is entirely logical for China this month, think depleted post-WLTP European registrations in September 2019 which are the equivalent to July 2019 here.

The new A-Class helps Mercedes Retail Chinese sales up 22.3% in July.

In this challenging Retail environment, the best performers are the usual suspects. Volkswagen (-15.8%) falls heavily yet remains well above the market drop thanks to its new SUV lineup: Tayron (14.513), T-Roc (10.292), Tharu (9.041), T-Cross (3.909) and the new Teramont X (1.153) conforming strong wholesales “in the real world” with strong retail results. Among sedans the CC (+75.4%), Passat (+16.4%) and Bora (+0.5%) are also very solid.  Toyota (+4.9%) is the only Top 6 carmaker to post a year-on-year gain this month, thanks to the new Avalon (record 6.024), IZOA (5.424), C-HR (5.115), as well as the Yaris L (+43.6%), Yaris L Sedan (+31.5%) and Camry (+8.4%). Honda (-7.4%) manages to contain its loss into the double-digits thanks to the CR-V (+70.5%), Accord (+70.1%), Crider (+32.8%), Civic (+17.8%) and new Inspire (4.583) and Envix (4.035) and Nissan (-2.2%) does even better thanks to the Kicks (+68.8%), Lannia (+48.7%), Tiida (+21.9%) and Qashqai (+7.3%).

Maxus is lifted up 17.9% by the new G50.

Below Geely (-30.4%) and Buick (-24.2%) in dire straits, Mercedes (+22.3%) signs the largest gain in the Top 25 thanks to stellar performances by the GLC (+15.9%), E-Class L (+13.2%), C-Class L (+9.7%) and new A-Class (5.761). Only three additional Top 40 carmakers manage to gain volume year-on-year in July: Hongqi (+85.8%) going from strength to strength since it decided to go a little more mass market with the H5 (+85.2%), H7 (+61.5%) and new HS7 (175), Volvo (+31.8%) due to the success of the S90 (+84%), XC60 (+9.9%) and new XC40 (1.012) and Maxus (+17.9%) helped by the new G50 (1.823). Notice also Borgward (+56.4%) and Infiniti (+9.6%) further down. The naughty corner is a lot more crowded, with Peugeot (-67.2%), Citroen (-64.6%), Jeep (-59.6%), Chana (-58.9%), BYD (-58.4%), Jinbei (-54.2%), Ford (-52.5%), Baojun (-52.1%), JAC (-51.2%), BAIC (-49.3%), FAW (-40.1%), Dongfeng (-39.8%), MG (-37.9%), Wuling (-37.6%), Roewe (-36.1%), Skoda (-35.8%) and GAC (-35.4%) falling much faster than the market in the Top 50, Qoros (-90.7%), Zotye (-82.5%), Lifan (-81.7%), Haima (-78.3%), Yema (-78%), Changhe (-75.3%), Renault (-70.2%) and Leopaard (-70.1%) imploding further down.

Previous post: China Retail First Half 2019: Drive to reduce inventory triggers 4.6% uptick

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

One year ago: China Retail July 2018: Peer-to-peer lending crackdown identified as main reason behind SUV crisis

Full July 2019 Top 110 All China-made brands and Top 650 All-models below.

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