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China retail February 2020: Toyota (-68.6%), Mercedes (-65.6%) hold somewhat in market down -79.2%

Mercedes places 3 nameplates in the February Top 9, including the GLC.

Retail sales of our selection of vehicles in China in February post a very similar evolution compared with wholesales figures: -79.2% to 204.089 units which brings the year-to-date volume down -46.2% to 1.909.262. For the past two years, BSCB has been the only global outlet to analyse complete retail sales data – or registrations – for China, as an additional monthly update to our years-long coverage of wholesales data / factory shipments. The latter can be inflated by manufacturers, especially at launch, and sometimes includes exports – and because it gives off a more “generous” picture of the market, it remains the government’s official indicator. In contrast, retail sales data is the true barometer of the market and gives a better idea of the reality on the ground: what cars are actually purchased by Chinese customers.

The retail brands ranking is logically less influenced by factory activity and therefore sees Geely (-76.6%) held back in third place whereas it topped the February wholesales charts. Volkswagen (-82.4%) and Toyota (-69.5%) dominate, while Mercedes (-65.6%) shoots up 5 spots on January to a record 4th place overall, sporting the best hold in the Top 25. In fact, only 6 additional brands in the entire market (100 manufacturers reported) manage to lose less that 70% year-on-year this month, with Toyota and Mercedes being the only ones in the Top 20. These are, in ranking order: Lynk & Co (-60.5%), Hongqi (-15.1%), Qoros (-25.4%), NIO (+4.5%), Xpeng (+487.1%) and Cowin (-69.2%).

NIO (+4.5%) is with Xpeng (+487.1%) the only brand in positive this month.

Wuling (-80.5%) climbs back up 8 spots on January to #7, but unlike in the wholesales data, Chery (-76.5%) and Jetour (-77.4%) haven’t (yet?) benefited from their antibacterial air filter advertising. Quite strikingly no marque loses more than 90% in the Top 40, but Zotye (-98.3%), Leopaard (-98.3%), Traum (-96.5%), Hanteng (-96.8%), Soueast (-95.9%), Citroen (-95.4%), Peugeot (-93.9%), Jinbei (-92.2%), Bestune (-91.7%), Renault (-91.7%) and Jeep (-90.5%) do so further down. Jetta tops recent brand launches at #26 like last month ahead of COS (#29), Exeed (#63), Lincoln (#66), SOL (#75) and Everus (#76).

Model-wise, the top of the ranking remains relatively stable despite the market upheaval, with the Nissan Sylphy (-75.8%) scoring a 5th consecutive monthly win ahead of the Toyota Corolla (-68.6%), VW Lavida (-81.4%) and Haval H6 (-77.3%). The Wuling Hongguang (-84.3%) lifts 6 spots to #5, the Toyota Levin (-50.3%) is up 8 to #6 and the Mercedes C-Class L (-68.7%) is up 12 to #7. In fact Mercedes places 3 nameplates in the Top 9, more than any other manufacturer, with the GLC (-60.9%) at #8 and the E-Class L (-67.6%) at #9. Other great leaps include the Wuling Hongguang V (-78.1%) up 71 tanks on January to #15, the Toyota RAV4 (-76.1%) up 15 to #19 and the Qoros 5 SUV (-20.8%) up 325 to #27. The Changan CS75 Plus (#12) tops recent launches above the Chevrolet Monza (#32), COS X7 (#34), BYD Song Pro (#38) and Honda Breeze (#58).

Previous month: China retail January 2020: Mercedes (+9.2%) only Top 20 brands in positive in market down -34.2%

One year ago: China retail February 2019: BMW (+24.2%) only Top 25 brand in positive in market back down -34.4%

Full February 2020 Top 100 All China-made brands, Top 525 All models and Top 105 New Energy models below.

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