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China retail June 2020: Recovery interrupted (-6.2%) by high year-ago comparison base

First appearance in the Chinese charts of the Enovate ME7.

29/07 update: Now with Top 190 All New Energy models.

It’s a predicted hiccup for the recovery of Chinese retail sales of passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs and MPVs) in June at -6.2% year-on-year to 1.65 million units according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. Even though it marks a return to negative after a full year of declines was snapped in May (+1.9%), the June 2019 comparison base was exceptionally high as deliveries were boosted by China 5 emissions standard stock clearances just as China 6 standards were put in place in some cities. In fact, June marks the 4th consecutive month-on-month gain, up 2.9% on the 1.64 million units of May. We at BSCB are the only non-Chinese media to cover both wholesales (ex-factory shipments) and retail sales data for China so you can get the most complete picture of the largest new car market in the world. Retail sales tend to give a more authentic picture of the market as they roughly correspond to registrations by end-customers and are more difficult to artificially boost by manufacturers which can sometimes be the case for wholesales data.

Looking at the retail evolution week by week in June on the graph above supplied by China Automotive Review, we have a similar picture as May with the first four weeks in negative year-on-year (-10%, -17%, -11% and -37%) albeit by a much larger margin, while Week 5 shoots up 59% to 152.553 average daily sales, by far the largest of any weeks this year so far. The set of vehicles we cover in this update extends to some LCVs such as microvans and drops a much steeper -27.6% year-on-year to 1.596.952 units.

Toyota scores the only year-on-year gain among the Top 6 brands in June.

Among the Top 6 best-selling brands in June, only one outpaces the market and the rest all disappointingly fall by double-digits. Volkswagen (-30.3%) continues to fare a lot worse than the market, enduring a 6th consecutive double-digit drop due to paltry performances by the Tiguan (-58.9%), Passat (-54.8%), Lamando (-52.4%), Polo (-47.7%), Teramont (-42.5%), Santana (-42.3%), Lavida (-33.3%), Magotan (-21.8%) and T-Roc (-20%) and despite surges by the CC (+43.9%), T-Cross (+31.9%), Tayron (+26.5%), Tharu (+23.4%) and Golf (+12.7%) and the arrival of the Tacqua (record 2.215), Teramont X (2.174), Viloran (record 1.568) and Tayron X (84). In 2nd place overall, Toyota (+9.6%) brilliantly secures the only gain in the Top 6 thanks to outstanding results by the Avalon (+270.8%), Levin (+86.4%), Yaris L (+25.1%), RAV4 (+11.4%) and the new Wildlander (6.154). Honda (-19.1%) round out the podium above Nissan (-12.1%), Geely (-29.7%) and Buick (-13.9%) all in great difficulty.

The new GLB helps Mercedes up 33.1% in June.

The three German premium marques are the only additional ones in positive in the remainder of the Top 10… and Top 25! Mercedes (+33.1%) fares best thanks to surreal scores by the GLC (+45%), Vito (+44.1%), E-Class L (+37.8%), C-Class L (+22.4%), V-Class (+19.3%), A-Class (+8.9%) and a great start by the GLB (record 5.742). BMW (+16.8%) also soars in the double-digits, helped by the 3 Series L (+94.9%), X3 (+12.1%) and new X2 (2.561). Finally Audi (+3.1%) is more shy but still up thanks to the A6L (+177.7%) and Q3 (+28.8%). Note also Changan (-5.2%) containing its loss at #9. All carmakers ranked from #11 to #25 drop by the double-digits, with Roewe (-57.6%), Skoda (-55.6%), GAC (-53.3%) and Dongfeng (-51.5%) hit hardest. Tesla breaks its volume record with 15.019 Model 3 sold, back above Jetta (11.962) as the most successful brand launch of the past 12 months. Below, Lincoln (3.275) and LI (1.932) also break their volume records. COS (+189.5%), NIO (+185.6% to a record 3.753), Hongqi (+85.9%), Denza (+66%), Volvo (+22.2%), Bestune (+13%) and Lynk & Co (+9.4%) are the only additional Top 80 brands in positive.

Record sales for the Tesla Model 3.

Model-wise, as is also the case in the wholesales charts the Nissan Sylphy (+13.9%) takes a decisive advantage over its archenemy the VW Lavida (-33.3%), a record 17.283 units below in third place. The Toyota Corolla (-0.8%) remains at #2 while the Buick Excelle Yinlang (+38.2%) is the best performer near the top, up 3 spots on May to #4. The VW Bora (-0.4%), Sagitar (-15.4%), Honda Civic (-4.4%) and Toyota Levin (+86.4%) ensure the Top 8 is entirely made of sedans The Haval H6 (-14.4%), Honda CR-V (-8.6%) and Toyota RAV4 (+11.4%) top the SUV charts just above the Mercedes GLC (+45%) and Changan CS75 Plus which is also the best-selling recent launch (<12 months) at #16.

The Tesla Model 3 (#25), Honda Breeze (#30), BYD Song Pro (#53), Hongqi HS5 (#58), Changan CS55 Plus (#69), COS X7 (#70), Changan UNI-T (#73) and Toyota Wildlander (#76). Among this month’s new entrants, the Mazda CX-30 (#228), Ford Explorer (#292), Baojun E300 (#298), Geely Haoyue (#322), Xpeng P7 (#331), Lincoln Aviator (#414), VW Tayron X (#449), Beijing X7 (#453), GAC Aion V (#472), Citroen C3L (#488) and Maxus Euniq 5 (#579) have already been “vetted” in our New models wholesales updates, but not the Min’an MX-6 (#659) despite rumours of bankruptcy for the brand and the Enovate ME1 (#685) which we cover in our Exclusive Guide to all 171 active Chinese Brands.

Previous month: China retail May 2020: Changan (+36%), Toyota (+16.2%) lift market to first gain in a year (+1.9%)

One year ago: China retail June 2019: Heavy discount ahead of Stage 6 emissions standards lift market up 41.7%

Full June 2020 Top 121 All China-made brands, Top 720 All-models and Top 190 All New Energy models below.

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