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China Retail November 2019: Hongqi (+330.2%), Jetour (+76.2%), Changan (+30.5%) strong, market down -5.7%

Jetour retail sales soar 76.2% year-on-year in China in November.

After studying Chinese wholesales (factory shipments to dealerships) for November, it’s time to get into retail sales (registrations to end customers), our second complete monthly coverage of the Chinese market to “keep’em honest”. Indeed wholesales can be artificially inflated by manufacturers, especially at launch, and our retail updates are here to get a better idea of the reality on the ground: what cars are actually purchased by Chinese customers. BSCB is the only non-Chinese media to report on monthly Retail Sales for this market. Retail sales of locally-produced vehicles drastically slow their fall in November at -5.7% (vs. -10.5%) in October) to 1.755.671 units according to our exclusive figures. This is pretty close to the wholesales drop for the same month (-3.6%), meaning dealerships across the country are starting to level their stock. Year-to-date retail sales of the vehicles included in our study are down -3.5% to 18.466.642 vs. -9.1% for wholesales.

The new CS75 Plus helps Changan sales up 30.5%.

Once again the best-selling brands fare better than the market this month, with 5 out of the Top 7 registering year-on-year gains. The performance of Volkswagen (+2.5%) has more to do with its sedan lineup than in the wholesales figures, with the Passat (+62.6%), Sagitar (+55.5%) and Bora (+26.1%) all strong, while its SUV lineup also shines thanks to the Tayron (+601.9%) crossing the 20.000 monthly unit-mark for the first time, the Tharu (+305%) lodging its 2nd best monthly volume at 12.682 and the T-Roc (+39.1%). Note the Jetta (-93.3%), whose production is now stopped, still finds 2.143 buyers in November, up 5% on October. That’s less than its replacement, the Jetta VA3 at 2.908 (+30%). Speaking of which, probably “suffering” from a production bottleneck as we predicted last month due to wholesales only up 12.5% in October, VW’s new low-cost brand Jetta only edges up 11% on October to 12.397, with the VS5 (+6%) reducing its share from 80% last month to 77% in November. Jetta retail sales add up to 29.744 after 3 months (vs. 39.864 wholesales), which makes its the most successful retail brand launch in Chinese history.

The facelifted Boyue helps Geely achieve the largest gain in the Top 6.

Back to the top of the brands ranking with Honda (+0.7%) the only Top 5 carmaker in decline, handicapped by the Fit (-60.8%), and Accord (-9.2%) and despite solid scores by the Inspire (+548.2%), Vezel (+32.8%), CR-V (+13.7%) and Civic (+5.6%). Toyota (+5.5%) lodges its largest retail volume since last June just under 130.000 units thanks to the C-HR (+55.6%), Yaris L (+37.6%), Levin (+16.9%), Camry (+10%) and new Avalon (record 9.007). Nissan (+3.4%) is also sturdy this month in China with the help of the Tiida (+28.2%), Qashqai (+13.2%), Sylphy (+12.3%) and Lannia (+11.8%). Geely (+6.7%) follows at #5 with its first year-on-year gain since last June – and the largest in the Top 6 – thanks to the Binyue (+69%), Boyue (+33.6%), Vision X6 (+24.6%), Vision X3 (+20.2%) and new Xingyue/Star (record 2.971).

Hongqi smashes its all-time retail volume record by 27% at 14.227.

There are four double-digit gainers in the Top 20, the most dynamic being, rather uncharacteristically, Changan at +30.5% thanks to the new CS35 Plus (10.387), CS75 Plus (13.605), CS85 Coupe (+2095.8%) and Eado (+95.6%). The other 3 are all the premium Germans: Mercedes (+27%) propped up by the GLC (+73.2%), C-Class (+22.4%) and new A-Class (5.863), Audi (+16.6%) helped by the Q2L (+250.5%) and Q5L (+146.4%) and BMW (+10.2%) thanks to the X3 (+90.3%) and 5-Series (+12.8%). Just outside the Top 10, Baojun (-3.9%) posts by far its lowest drop in H2 just as the “new Baojun” models gear up, representing 23% of the brand’s volume in November vs. 18% in October, the RS-3 going from 105 to 3.005. Further down, Hongqi (+330.3%) smashes its all-time volume record established in September at 14.227 vs. 11.234, Jetour (+76.2%) scores its 2nd highest volume at 9.634, Volvo (+34.2%) surfs on the success of the S90 (+23.9%) and new XC40 (1.697), Maxus (+21.2%) is helped by the new G50 (2.258), Mitsubishi (+14.8%) by the Eclipse Cross (+406.2%), Mazda (+12.2%) by the 6 Atenza (+30.4%) and 3 Axela (+18.8%) and Lynk & Co (+10%) by the 03 (record 5.927).

The new Roewe RX5 MAX ranks #74.

In the models ranking, the Nissan Sylphy (+12.3%) scores a second straight win and 5th in the past 12 months – and ever – thanks to a sturdy gain, taking the advantage once again over the VW Lavida (-0.7%) but the latter remains comfortably in the lead year-to-date. The Toyota Corolla (+1.2%), VW Sagitar (+55.5%) and Buick Excelle Yinlang (+3.2%) ensure the Top 5 is entirely composed of sedans like last month, with the Haval H6 (+5.9%) at #6 and the VW Tayron (+601.9%) at #10 – its first ever retail Top 10 finish – the only SUVs making their way among the Top 12. Exactly replicating the wholesales situation, Volkswagen places 6 nameplates in the retail Top 12 this month, adding the Bora (#7), Passat (#8) and Santana (#12).

The Wuling Hongguang Plus ranks #125.

The Geely Boyue (+33.6%) gets a facelift-induced boost, up 12 spots on October to #16, the Haval M6 (+78%) continues to shine and the Chevrolet Monza (#21) tops the recent launch charts above the Changan CS75 Plus (#32), BYD Song Pro (#39), Jetta VS5 (#54), Toyota Avalon (#60) and Roewe RX5 MAX (#74), a new addition to our list which is in fact the 2nd generation RX5 commercialised alongside the previous one. The Wuling Hongguang Plus, a posh new variant in the lineup, appears at #125, the JAC Jiayue A5 at #320, Cadillac CT5 at #402, the Buick Enclave at #406, the Mercedes EQC at #509 and the VW Tacqua at #549.

Previous month: China Retail October 2019: Jetta up 81% month-on-month in market down -10.5%

One year ago: China November 2018: Decline spirals to dizzying -23.2%, Toyota and Honda resist

Full November 2019 Top 110 All-brands and Top 655 All-models below.

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