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China wholesales August 2019: SUVs up 1.5%, electrified vehicles down -15.8% in 14th consecutive market loss (-6.9%)

The Song Pro is up to over 12.700 wholesales for its 2nd month in market, but can’t prevent BYD falling -13.4%.

It’s a 14th consecutive market decline for Chinese wholesales in August at -6.9% year-on-year to 1.958.000 units with passenger cars down -7.7% to 1.653.000 and commercial vehicles down -2.8% to 305.000, leading to a YTD tally down -11% to 16.104.000 units including 13.322.000 passenger cars (-12.3%) and 2.782.000 commercial vehicles (-4.2%). In the passenger cars detail, for the second straight month SUVs show definite signs of recovery as the only segment in positive at +1.5% to 747.000 units and 38.2% share vs. 35% a year ago whereas sedan/hatchbacks continue to freefall at -13.9% to 777.000 and 39.7% share vs. 42.9% in August 2018 as do MPVs down -17.4% to 99.000 while minivans recede -6.4% to 30.000. Year-to-date, sedan/hatches are down -12.6% to 6.490.000 and 40.3% share vs. 41% a year ago, SUVs down -10% to 5.722.000 and 35.5% vs. 35.1% a year ago, MPVs down -22.9% to 855.000 and minivans down -15.5% to 256.000.

Perhaps the most striking evolution this month is New Energy vehicle wholesales going backwards for the 2nd month in a row but at a much more worrying -15.8% (vs. -4.7% in July) to 85.000 units including 69.000 EVs (-6%) and 16.000 PHEVs (-41.3%). Chinese brands (-8.6%) seem to be slowing down their fall and hold 37.8% of the Passenger Car market this month at 625.200 sales vs. 38.2% in August 2018 and 38.9% so far in 2019 (-19.5% to 5.182.300). The continued decline of the Chinese market has prompted the CAAM to revise its projections for the Full Year 2019 from 28 to 26.68 million or a 5% year-on-year drop, including 22.44m passenger cars (-5.4%) instead of 23.6m and 4.24m commercial vehicles (-3%) instead of 4.4m while NEV are expected to gain 19.4% to 1.5m instead of 1.6m. Even this revision seems optimistic, given it requires the market to gain 5.2% over the last 4 months of 2019, whereas we haven’t seen a positive result since June 2018.

Volkswagen (-2.7%) manages to once again contain its loss to below the market’s rate thanks to its new SUV lineup (volume records by the Tayron at 18.912, T-Roc at 11.112 and T-Cross at 6.981) but also some high performing sedans (Bora +57.5%, CC +41.5%, Santana +28.2%, Passat +16.9%, Sagitar +11.6%). Honda posts a 6th consecutive year-on-year gain but the first single-digit one in the series, thanks to fantastic scores by the Crider (+519.7%), City (+128.9%), CR-V (+65.2%), Avancier (+38.6%), Accord (+15.9%) and Civic (+7.7%). Nissan (+6.2%) lodges a 2nd straight positive month and scores its first podium finish since last December, helped by the Kicks (+166.3%), Lannia (+90.2%), Tiida (+80.1%) and Qashqai (+18.1%) breaking its all-time volume record at 19.099 and up to #3 SUV for the month. Toyota (-8.2%) endures its 2nd negative month in a row after 15 months up and distances Geely (-20.4%), Buick (-22.2%), Hyundai (-15.5%) and Audi (-7.2%). Rounding up the Top 10 are Changan (+2.1%) and Mercedes (+25.9%) posting the largest gain in the Top 25 thanks to the GLC (+25.8%), E-Class (+14.8%) and the new A-Class (5.805).

Outside the Top 10, Haval (+17%) confirms it is on the mend, Volvo (+45.9%) breaks its all-time monthly volume record at 12.449 wholesales while BMW (+9.6%), MG (+9.3%), Wuling (+7.9%), Dongfeng (+3.4%), Cadillac (+2.5%) and Kia (+2.3%) are the only additional gainers in the Top 30. Beyond, Hongqi (+203.3%) brilliantly scores its first ever 5-digit monthly wholesales volume at 10.012 and COS (+200%), Maxus (+125.7%), Land Rover (+90.4%), Infiniti (+55.8%), Borgward (+52.2%), Venucia (+30.1%) and Jinbei (+17.7%) impress. Among recent launches (<12 months), Jetour continues to stun and breaks its volume record at 13.698, that’s almost 3 times Jeep’s August volume. Bestune is up 12 spots on July to #37 thanks to the new T33, with Dorcen (#48), NIO (#51), Ora (#61), Geometry (#62) and Exeed (#64) the other new brand selling over 1.000 units this month.

Model-wise, the Nissan Sylphy (-11.8%) takes the overall lead for only the 2nd time in history after last November but remains firmly in 2nd place YTD below the VW Lavida (-21.9%) down to #2 this month. Volkswagen places 3 nameplates in the Top 4 with the Sagitar (+11.6%) and Bora (+57.5%) in tow. The Buick Excelle GT (+13.4%), Toyota Levin (+35.4%), VW Santana (+28.2%) and Honda Civic (+7.7%) make it 8 sedans in the Top 10. The VW Tayron (#13) is the best-selling new launch ahead of the Chevrolet Monza (#24), Jetour X70 (#26), the BYD Song Pro (#29) up 69% on its inaugural month to reach 12.716 sales, the Geely Binyue (#43), VW Tharu (#49) and Haval F7 (#50). Other volume record breakers this month include the Chery Tiggo 8 (10.340), Baojun E100 (8.698), MG HS (8.320), Lynk & Co 03 (5.098), Dongfeng Fengxing T5 (4.800), Hongqi H5 (4.151), GAC NE Aion S (3.815) and NIO ES6 (2.336).

Previous month: China wholesales July 2019: SUVs (+6.4%) enable slimmest market decline so far (-4.3%) despite weak New Energy segment (-4.7%)

One year ago: China wholesales August 2018: P2P lending crackdown triggers 2nd decline in a row

Full August 2019 Top 93 All China-made brands and Top 455 All models below.

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