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China wholesales October 2019: Toyota (+11.5%), Mercedes (+49.7%), Baojun (+5.6%) shine, EVs implode (-47.3%) in 16th consecutive market slump (-4%)

Toyota Corolla China sales are up 41.2% year-on-year in October.

The Chinese wholesales market is down for the 16th consecutive month in October but, in a potential sign of improvement, its drop is the lowest since the market started skidding down in July 2018. Wholesales dip -4% year-on-year to 2.284.000 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down -9.7% to 20.652.000. Passenger cars drop -5.8% to 1.928.000 units, but SUVs manage to edge up 0.1% to 869.000 vs. 898.000 hatches/sedans (-10.1%), 130.000 MPVs (-11.4%) and 30.000 minivans (-7.6%). Year-to-date, Passenger cars are down -11% to 17.174.000 with all segments losing ground: sedan/hatches at -11.8% to 8.318.000, SUVs at -8.3% to 7.427.000, MPVs at -21% to 1.113.000 and minivans at -13.9% to 317.000. Commercial vehicles soar 7% to 357.000 units, leading to a year-to-date volume down -2.5% to 3.478.000.

EV sales freefall -47.3% but the GAC Aion S still breaks a volume record.

Electrified vehicle wholesales indicate a deepening of the crisis, with the bubble now well and truly burst: after losing -4.7% in July, -15.8% in August and -33.9% in September, October New Energy wholesales implode -45.6% to 75.000 units including 59.000 EVs (-47.3%) and 16.000 PHEVs (-38.7%). The year-to-date volume is now up just 10.5% to 947.000 and will likely tilt into negative before the end of the year, including 751.000 EVs (+15%) and 195.000 PHEVs (-4.3%). Chinese brands continue to lose share at -8.5% in October to 779.300 units for a 40.4% share of Passenger Cars vs. 41.6% in October 2018 but higher than the 38.9% they command YTD at 6.680.700 (-17.4%). German brands soar 11.2% to 479.100 and 24.9% share vs. 21% a year ago but still down -0.9% YTD to 4.138.900 and 24.1%. Japanese badges edge down -0.7% to 400.600 and 20.8% vs. 19.7% but gain 3.3% YTD to 3.709.600 and 21.6% share. US brands drop -25.5%, South Korean brands are down -18.3% and French carmakers down -36.5%.

The VW Tayron breaks into the Chinese Top 10 for the first time.

Strikingly, 8 of the Top 10 brands are up year-on-year in October. After eight consecutive months of decline, Volkswagen (+4.2%) manage a 2nd straight uptick, lifted by outstanding scores by its new SUV lineup: the Tayron (+553.5%) scores a 5th consecutive volume record at 23.990, and the Tharu (+184.9%), T-Roc (+77.3%), Teramont (+28%) and T-Cross (7.177) are all very solid but also some sedans such as the Bora (+135.8%) posting a 2nd straight volume record at 37.281, the Passat (+176%) and Sagitar (+33.8%). Honda (-6.5%) is the only Top 7 carmaker in decline despite the Crider (+33.3%), Civic (+21.8%), Elysion (+12.6%), CR-V (+10.7%) and Inspire (record 5.869), but remains comfortably in 2nd place with over 135.000 units for the month. Toyota (+11.5%) ends a streak of 3 consecutive declines by posting the largest gain in the Top 11 thanks to the new generation Corolla (+41.2%) and Levin (+18.4%) now in full gear, as well as the new Avalon (record 7.970), C-HR (+16.7%) and Camry (+13.8%) and despite a RAV4 (-70.1%) in the midst of a generation changeover.

The facelifted Boyue helps Geely back in positive for the 1st time since March.

Geely (+0.7%) puts an end to 6 consecutive months of decline thanks to strong performances by the facelifted Boyue (+5.7%), the Vision X3 (+5.5%), Binrui sedan (+2.4%) and Emgrand GS (+0.7%) as well as the new Binyue (12.571), Star (record 3.335) and Jiaji (3.104). In 5th place, Nissan edges up 1.5% thanks to the Sylphy (+12.6%) overall best-seller in October, the Teana (+21.6%), Tiida (+11.4%), Qashqai (+5.6%), Lannia (+4.7%) and Kicks (+4.5%). Haval (+1.7%) aligns a 5th straight year-on-year gain thanks to the unwavering success of the new F7 (15.017) and the low-cost M6 (up 23.6% to record 15.211) and despite a slightly wobbly H6 (-1.2%), while Changan (+0.9%) posts a third uptick in the past 5 months, revived by the new CS75 (+68.2%), CS35 (+62.8%) and Yuexiang (+79.3%). The only premium German in the Top 10, Audi (+11.5%) manages a third double-digit gain in the past 5 months thanks to the Q5 (+59.6%), Q2L (+33%) and A4L (+16.9%).

The new RS-3 helps Baojun post its first year-on-year gain since June 2018.

Back inside the Top 10 for the first time since last February, Baojun (+5.6%) finally sees its efforts reshaping the brand into a more premium venture back in January paying off, ending a depressing streak of 14 consecutive double-digit declines. If its best-seller the 510 (-51.1%) is still in freefall, the 530 (+227.7%), E100 (+48.3%) and 730 (+47.3%) are vigorously bouncing back and, most importantly, the newly designed lineup continues to grow, with the RS-3 SUV (4.344) joining the RC-6 sedan (3.241), RM-5 MPV (7.857) and RS-5 SUV (2.057). All-in-all, the “new” Baojun represents 28% of the brand’s October wholesales, the same ratio as in September. Below, the brands in positive are a lot rarer, with Mercedes (+49.7%), MG (+19.1%), Dongfeng (+15.9%), Chery (+14.3%) and BMW (+3%) the only ones in the remainder of the Top 30 alongside Jetour (+55%) scoring a third consecutive record volume at 14.070.

Jetta is up a modest 12.9% on its inaugural month.

Last month saw the arrival of Jetta, Volkswagen’s new China-only low-cost brand, with 11.080 wholesales which is the largest first-month volume for any new brand launched in the history of automobile in China. In an indication that the brand may already be operating at full speed, October wholesales are up “only” 12.9% to 12.505 which is an excellent score nevertheless, but not outlandish. The VA3 sedan (+24.8%) advances faster than the VS5 SUV (+8.6%) but sells almost 2.5 times less, while the VS7 SUV is yet to enter the Chinese market. Jetta (#30) is by far the most popular new brand launch over the past year, distancing Bestune (#47), Weltmeister (#56), Exeed (#57), Geometry (#61), Neta (#64) and SOL (#65). Hongqi (+185%) continues to gallop ahead, snapping an incredible 6th consecutive all-time record volume at 11.766, while among smaller brands Jinbei (+208.3%), Maxus (+199.3%) and Land Rover (+116.6%) stand out.

The Nissan Sylphy is the best-selling vehicle in China in October.

In the models ranking, the Nissan Sylphy (+12.6%) is pushed by the new generation to register its 2nd monthly win in the past 3 months and third ever after last November, overtaking the VW Lavida (-12.4%) while the Haval H6 (-1.2%) leaps back up to the third spot it holds YTD. The Toyota Corolla (+41.2%) is lifted up 3 spots on September to #4 both this month and YTD by the new model, overtaking the VW Bora (+135.8%), Sagitar (+33.8%) and Wuling Hongguang (+33.8%). The Changan CS75 (+68.2%) is up 8 ranks on last month to break into the Chinese wholesales Top 10 for the very first time at #8, as does the VW Tayron (+553.5%) at #9. The BYD Song Pro (#24) is the most popular recent launch (<12 months) thanks to a new volume record at 15.892, ahead of the Haval F7 (#29), Chevrolet Monza (#35), Geely Binyue (#44) and Jetta VS5 (#61). Other record-breakers include the Chery Tiggo 8 (13.152), Lynk & Co 03 (7.028), Hongqi H5 (5.147), Beijing Zhida X3 (4.491), Hongqi HS5 (4.352) and GAC NE Aion S (4.217).

Previous month: China wholesales September 2019: New Jetta brand lands with a bang, EV bubble bursts (-33%) in 15th straight market drop (-5.2%)

One year ago: China wholesales October 2018: 4th straight drop (-11.7%) and no tax cuts – market now on track for first annual decline since 1990

Full October 2019 Top 97 All China-made brands and Top 460 All-models below.

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