The VW Tayron is the third best-selling SUV in China in July.
Factory shipments to dealerships, or wholesales, continue to decline in China with July marking 13 consecutive negative months but at -4.3% to 1.808.000 units, this is the slimmest year-on-year drop since the Chinese market abruptly started to hit the brakes in July 2018. Somewhat logically, it is the segment that started it all, SUVs, that is showing the most interesting signs of recovery again this month: after edging up 0.3% in June, sales of SUVs in China are now up a much more sturdy 6.4% in July to 672.000 units or 37.2% share vs. -11.1% to 4.973.000 and 35.2% so far in 2019. Sedans and hatchbacks remain depressed at -9.5% to 738.000 and 40.8% share vs. -12.4% to 5.700.000 and 40.3% YTD but not as much as minivans, down -10.3% to 32.000 for the month and -16.5% to 226.000 YTD, or MPVs, down -19.6% to 86.000 in July and -23.5% to 756.000 YTD.
Passenger cars as a whole drop just -3.9% this month to 1.528.000 vs. a much more severe -12.8% fall over the first 7 months of 2019 to 11.654.000, and for once behave better than commercial vehicles at -6.4% to 281.000 whereas their YTD volume just edges down -4.4% to 2.477.000. The total market remains firmly in negative YTD at -11.4% to 14.132.000 wholesales. Reflecting the tightening of rules affecting their subsides and therefore with retail prices shooting up, sales of New Energy Vehicles (in essence all electrified vehicles bar non rechargeable hybrids) drop -4.7% year-on-year in July to 80.000 units including 61.000 EVs (-1.6%) and 19.000 PHEVs (-20.6%). Year-to-date, the New Energy segment still benefit from a strong momentum earlier in the year to push up 47.1% to 732.000 including 571.000 EVs (+52.8%) and 160.000 PHEVs (+29.8%).
The Honda CR-V is up 225.3 year-on-year to #2 SUV in China in July.
The brands ranking is proof the market is starting to recover, with 16 of the Top 30 brands in positive including 11 up in the double-digits. Brand leader Volkswagen (-2.5%) remains in negative but fares slightly better than the market thanks to its newly bolstered SUV lineup, three of them breaking all-time volume records this month: the Tayron (16.405) becoming the brand’s best-seller in the segment, the T-Roc (11.105) and T-Cross (5.833), with the Tharu (10.204) in great shape also. Among sedans, the Santana (+226.7%), Bora (+47.5%), CC (+46.7%) and Lavida (+2.4%) shine. Yet all these good scores fail to compensate for the Jetta (-91.6%) still potentially knocked out by the pending arrival of its twin the Jetta VS3, the Polo (-64.3%), Tiguan (-49.7%), Lamando (-47.7%), Passat (-38.1%), and Golf (-25%) all in dire straits. Honda (+15%) once again excels with a 5th consecutive double-digit gain thanks to outstanding performances by the CR-V (+225.3%) #2 SUV in the country this month, Crider (+52.4%), Accord (+38.2%), Civic (+28.7%), XR-V (+15.9%) and the new Envix (6.037) and Inspire (4.898). Toyota (-0.7%) edges down, ending a streak of 15 straight months of gains, with the C-HR (+3024.5%), IZOA (+76.6%), Levin (+30.1%), Yaris L (+26.3%), Yaris L Sedan (+22.7%) and Camry (+4.9%) performing best. Geely (-24.4%) is once again in difficulty but climbs back up to #4 ahead of Nissan (+11.3%) lifted by the Kicks (+340.4%), Lannia (+286.3%), Murano (+91.2%), X-Trail (+75.9%), Qashqai (+36.3%) and Teana (+14.7%).
The ix35 (+195.2%) helps Hyundai up 60.8%.
Below Buick (-21.1%) whose new Encore (+303.8%) isn’t yet impacting overall volumes, we have a string of 5 brands up by double-digits. The best performer is Hyundai (+60.8%) helped by the Tucson (+266.2%), ix35 (+195.2%), Mistra (+104%), Celesta (+62.3%) and new La Festa. Then we have Mercedes (+56.1%) boosted by the E-Class (+439.6%) and GLC (+26.6%), Audi (+28.9%) back to #1 premium this month and #2 YTD, Haval (+15%) and BMW (+14.5%). Further down, great performers include Maxus (+339.7%), Hongqi (+190.6%) hitting a new all-time volume record for the 5th consecutive month at 8.804, Borgward (+88.7%), Volvo (+66.5%), Traum (+58.4%), Venucia (+49.2%), Beijing Auto (+43.4%), Land Rover (+35.9%), Infiniti (+19.8%) and Mitsubishi (+13.6%). Jetour (#34) remains the most popular new brand launch above Dorcen (#44), Bestune (#49), Ora (#51), NIO (#58), Exeed (#59), Weltmeister (#66) and Geometry (#67). In the naughty corner: Hawtai (-89.2%), Qoros (-86.7%), Karry (-84.4%), Leopaard (-75.6%), Bisu (-72.7%), Haima (-70%), Lifan (-68.1%), Changhe (-64.3%), Brilliance (-64.2%), JAC (-59.1%) and Hanteng (-51%).
The new generation boosts the VW Bora up 47.5% to #2 overall.
In the models ranking, there are 8 sedans in the Top 9, meaning the resurgence of the SUV segment isn’t linked to a couple of top-sellers, which is a good sign. The VW Lavida (+2.4%) easily holds onto the #1 spot with the Bora (+47.5%) allowing VW a spectacular 1-2. The Toyota Corolla (-26.4%), VW Santana (+226.7%), Honda Civic (+28.7%) and Nissan Sylphy (-27.8%) ensure the Top 6 is entirely composed of sedans. The Haval H6 (-11.4%) and Honda CR-V (+225.3%) are the only SUVs in the Top 10. The VW Tayron (#12) is the most popular new launch above the Chevrolet Monza (#15), Geely Binyue (#38), VW Tharu (#41), Jetour X70 (#57), Haval F7 (#59), BYD Song Pro (#64) new for July as we’ll detail in our monthly Focus on the All-new models shortly, MG HS (#67), Toyota Avalon (#69), Hyundai La Festa (#73) and Honda Envix (#75).
Full July 2019 Top 93 All China-made brands and Top 465 All models below.