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China imports April 2020: Lexus and ES reach new heights in market down just -3.3%

The Lexus UX is the most popular recent import launch in China.

Sales of imported new cars into China are also frankly on the mend at -3.3% year-on-year in April to 92.669 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down -27.4% to 253.980. Strikingly, the Top 5 most popular imported brands are all up year-on-year, and even more strikingly 4 of them in the double-digits: leader Lexus (+21.4%) up to over 22.600 sales which is its highest volume since we started tracking monthly Chinese imports in January 2017, but also Toyota (+26.4%), Mercedes (+24.4%) and Porsche (+23.9%). And rather oddly, no other Top 20 brand manages a double-digit gain, with 11 of them off in the double-digit and only one up: Land Rover (+7.6%). Tesla (-77.2%) now that the Model 3 is produced locally, Ford (-72.2%), Infiniti (-60.6%), Lincoln (-52.2%) which has also started local production, Jeep (-49.4%) and Nissan (-46.5%) are hit particularly hard. Further down, Bentley (+205.9%), Dodge (+132.4%) and McLaren (+100%) stand out.

In the imported models ranking, the Lexus ES (+27.1%) is untouchable with just under 11.400 sales, a new import monthly volume record and the third time it crosses the 10.000 mark after June 2019 (10.163) and December 2019 (10.340). Lexus also places the RX (+5%) at #2 and the NX (+34.4%) at #5, while the BMW X5 (+84%) and Mercedes GLE (+623.3%) complete the Top 5. The Porsche Cayenne (+112.9%) remains 6th like in March, YTD and FY2019. The Toyota Alphard (+177.76%), BMW 7 Series (+28.8%) and Toyota Land Cruiser (+22.4%) also shine in the remainder of the Top 10. The Lexus UX (#28) is the most popular recent launch (<12 months) ahead of the BMW X7 (#36), Lincoln Nautilus (#39) and Audi Q8 (#50).

Previous month: China imports March 2020: Porsche (+50.8%) defies market down -35.3%

One year ago: China imports April 2019: Lexus (+42.1%) sails off in first market lift this year (+8.8%)

Full April 2020 Top 45 All-brands and Top 203 All-models below.

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