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China imports June 2020: Lexus, Mercedes only gainers in Top 22 in market down -37% on high year-ago score

Lexus sales gain 6.9% year-on-year in a market down -37%.

On face value, the -37% year-on-year collapse of imported retail sales in China at 90.180 units looks like we are back to pandemic declines, but in fact the year-ago basis was exceptionally high, with June 2019 volumes  boosted up 73.3% by pre-stage 6 emissions stock clearances to an all-time monthly volume record of 143.114. So June 2020 was always going to be significantly lower in year-on-year comparisons, but in fact the volume is in line with the previous two months with last April at 92.669 (-2.8%) and May at 89.577 (-9.9%). The year-to-date tally stands at 433.737 halfway through the year, down -26.8% over the same period in 2019.

Like last month, Lexus and Mercedes spectacularly ignore the surrounding gloom with year-on-year upticks, this time positing exactly the same growth rate at 6.9%. BMW (-27.3%) is down to #3 overall but remains #2 year-to-date. In fact, Lexus and Mercedes are not only the two best-selling imported brands in China but they also score the only year-on-year gains in the Top 22! 18 of the next 20 most popular brands drop by the double-digits, meaning all bar Bentley (-1.6%) and Mini (-9.6%). In contrast, Alfa Romeo (-95.5%), Tesla (-89.8%), Ford (-81.7%), Maserati (-79%), Nissan (-71.4%), Volkswagen (-69.5%) and Jaguar (-65.8%) are hit the hardest. Further down, Cadillac (+75%), Suzuki (+50%) and Rolls Royce (+2.2%) are also up.

Model-wise, the podium ignores the crisis and is 100% in positive, led as usual by the Lexus ES (+0.8%) scoring a second five-digit volume in the past 3 month while the Lexus RX (+45.2%) remains at #2 and now earns the same spot YTD and the Mercedes GLE (+233.4%) triples its sales year-on-year and gains one spot on May to step back to the third place of the podium. This way the June podium is identical to the H1 order. The Mercedes S-Class (+31.3%) surges 11 spots on last month to #5, with the Toyota Alphard (+392.3%) up 5-fold on June 2019 at #10. The Audi A8 (+20.4%), BMW 7 Series (+19.9%) and Lexus UX (+25.8%) also shine. The Audi Q8 (#25) tops recent launches above the Lexus LM (#52) and Audi e-Tron (#77).

Previous month: China imports May 2020: Mercedes (+20.8%), Lexus (+19.4%) defy weak market (-9.9%)

One year ago: China imports June 2019: Pre-stage 6 emissions stock clearances boost market up 73.3% to all-time record

Full June 2020 Top 45 All-brands and Top 245 All-models below.

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