The Toyota RAV4 breaks a six year-old monthly volume record in July.
After surging +14.5% in May, and +11.6% in June, Chinese wholesales accelerate their post-Covid rebound in July at a superb +16.4% year-on-year to 2.112.000 units according to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). As it was already the case in June, this is a new July wholesales record in China, eclipsing the previous high of 1.971.000 from July 2017. It is also a and a 4th straight month in positive, following 21 consecutive months of decline dating back to July 2018. Wholesales are ex-factory deliveries to dealerships (not end-customer registrations) and as carmakers attempt to catch up on production lost earlier in the year, most factories have cancelled summer holidays and July production soars an even more impressive 21.9% to 2.201.000 units, here too a new July record. The year-to-date wholesales tally now stands at 12.314.000 units, down -11.8% on the same period in 2019. The Chinese market’s continued and outstanding good health means we are upgrading our 2020 China Forecast from 23.9 million (-7.2%) last month to 24.47 million (-5%).
First five-digit monthly volume for the UNI-T, helping Changan up 75.3%.
In July, Passenger Vehicles leap 8.5% to 1.665.000 units but the market is once again pulled vigorously up by euphoric Commercial Vehicles wholesales up 59.4% to 447.000 units after rising 63.1% in June, 48% in May and 31.6% in April. This CV dynamism is triggered by government stimulus towards new infrastructure building, as illustrated by a 71.1% surge in truck sales to 415.000 units offsetting a -15.1% plunge in bus wholesales to 32.000 units. In the Passenger Cars segment detail, cars gain 4.6% to 773.000 units, a smidge above SUVs up 14% to 772.000 while MPVs edge down -0.7% to 85.000 and minibuses are up 8.5% to 35.000. Year-to-date, Passenger Vehicles are off -18.4% to 9.533.000 including 4.449.000 SUVs (-11%), 4.445.000 cars (-22.1%), 449.000 MPVs (-40.6%) and 190.000 minibuses (-15.8%). Commercial Vehicles in contrast soar 14.3% to a record 2.832.000 units including 2.615.000 trucks (+17.4%) and 217.000 buses (-13%).
Wuling wholesales surge 81.8% year-on-year in July.
Apart from the spectacular overall year-on-year growth in July, the other big news is New Energy Vehicles (NEV) wholesales ending 12 consecutive months of year-on-year decline at +19.3% to 98.000 units including 89.000 Passenger Vehicles (+28.7%) and 9.000 Commercial Vehicles (-30.1%). Among PVs, there were 70.000 BEVs (+38.1%), 19.000 PHEVs (+3.2%) and 407 FCEVs (-63.2%). However because of a dreadful First Half 2020, year-to-date NEV wholesales remain firmly in negative at -32.8% to 486.000 units including 436.000 Passenger Vehicles (-33.4%) and 50.000 Commercial Vehicles, almost all BEV. BEV Passenger Vehicles are down -35.2% to 332.000 and PHEVs off -26.8% to 105.000.
The Tayron (-21.8%) hampers Volkswagen wholesales in July (-6.1%).
In the brands ranking, market leader Volkswagen (-6.1%) is still unable to catch up with the positive market and is the only Top 10 carmaker in negative this month, enduring a 6th year-on-year decline this year after edging up a very shy 0.4% in June. Some models are very dynamic – mostly SUVs, such as the Teramont (+52.1%), Tiguan (+47.5%), Tharu (+34.4%), CC (+26.1%), Golf (+23%) and Lamando (+17.8%), but they fail to compensate for ghastly falls by the T-Cross (-62.4%), Phideon (-53.4%), Santana (-39.2%), Polo (-29.5%), Tayron (-21.8%), Magotan (-19.3%), T-Roc (-18.2%) and Bora (-17.8%). It’s a completely different picture for #2 Toyota (+29.3%) lodging a 4th consecutive double-digit gain and its biggest year-on-year improvement since December 2018. At 151.952, its July 2020 wholesales volume is also its 2nd largest in history, below only the 158.069 of January 2019. Toyota is helped by a rejuvenated lineup with the RAV4 (+99.7%) breaking a six year-old nameplate’s volume record at 19.181 (previous best 18.592 in November 2013), its twin the Wildlander also at its highest ever (10.201) while the Avalon (+98.1%), Vios FS (+47%), Yaris L (+46.9%), IZOA (+36.7%), Corolla (+23.6%) and Highlander (+11.8%) also score euphoric results.
Hongqi secures an incredible 14th all-time volume record in the past 17 months, mainly thanks to the HS5.
Back in third place after peaking at #2 last month, Honda (+25.7%) also manages a stunning gain thanks to the Avancier (+881.4%), Vezel (+179.1%), Elysion (+134.2%), UR-V (+83.2%), XR-V (+56.8%), Crider (+13%), Inspire (+12%) and Accord (+9.2%). Nissan (+17.4%) also outpaces the market, helped by the Sylphy (+80.1%) in outstanding shape thanks to a new generation. Geely (+8.7%) also advances thanks to record volumes by the Haoyue (3.027) and Icon (3.749) but underperforms somewhat with a single-digit uptick. Buick (+36.6%) roars towards a 4th straight gain after 23 months of decline, propelled up by the Velite 6 (+792.4%), Regal (+223.2%), LaCrosse (+190.7%), GL8 (+39.8%), Envision (+30.2%) and Excelle Yinlang (+15.5%), but it’s Changan (+75.3%) that sports the largest gain among the Top 10 brands thanks to a record-breaking UNI-T (10.081), the Yuexiang (+165.7%), Eado (+109.4%) and CS75 (+95%). BMW (+42.4%), Audi (+20.8%) and Mercedes (+20.1%) round out the Top 10 in very solid fashion.
The new 05 coupe SUV enables Lynk & Co to break its volume record in July.
Further down, Wuling (+81.8%) is showing unusual strength, Hongqi secures an incredible 14th monthly volume record in the past 17 months at 16.614 units, and more surprisingly Lynk & Co (+77.9%) also breaks its all-time high mark at 15.331, but this time it’s a two-year old record that is eclipsed (15.207 in October 2018) thanks to a very successful launch for the 05 which is already the brand’s best-selling SUV. A local producer since this year, Lincoln also hits a new high at 5.025 wholesales. Among EV startups, NIO (+135.2%), Weltmeister (+86.3%) and Xpeng (+50.2%) impress, the latter hitting its 2nd highest ever monthly figure at 2.276 (record 2.704 in May 2019) thanks to the addition of the P7 sedan. COS (+256.9%), Yema (+49.1%), Jaguar (+48.8%), Ora (+47.9%), Cowin (+46.8%), Land Rover (+43.2%) and Cadillac (+36%) also impress. Jetta (11.111) remains the most popular recent brand launch (<12 months) but is frankly and worryingly losing steam: -28% on June, -34% on May and -23% on April. Tesla (11.014) lurks just below and now adds up to almost 55.000 China-made Model 3 sold in just six months.
Leopaard wholesales crash -98.7% year-on-year in July. Is it game over?
The fact the Chinese wholesales market is surging at the moment doesn’t mean all carmakers are in the same positive boat, on the contrary a whole lot of them have missed the recovery bus and could be headed towards discontinuation. It seems already done for Brilliance (-100%), Landwind (-100%), Luxgen (-100%), Renault (-100%) and Zotye (-100%), almost done for Leopaard (-98.7%), Lifan (-95.1%), Bisu (-91.8%), Borgward (-88.8%), Dorcen (-82.1%), Qoros (-79.6%), Citroen (-75.3%), Haima (-74.2%), Peugeot (-70.6%) and Hanteng (-64.5%). Near-term prospects remain challenging for Chevrolet (-61%), Beijing (-57.6%), Soueast (-50.2%), Mitsubishi (-45.4%), Skoda (-41.5%), Jeep (-40.8%), Venucia (-38.6%), Baojun (-30%), Bestune (-27.1%) and Dongfeng (-15.9%). Even though at least a dozen carmakers haven’t survived the Covid-19 crisis, 172 Chinese Brands remain as you can verify in our Exclusive Guide.
The Nissan Sylphy is #1 in China for the 9th time in the past 12 months.
Over in the models ranking, as mentioned above the Nissan Sylphy (+80.1%) is bolstered by a new generation and has now accumulated a seemingly unsurmountable advantage over its archenemy the VW Lavida (-2.5%) in difficulty, with the Sylphy adding up to almost 255.000 units YTD vs. just 208.000 for the Lavida. The Toyota Corolla (+23.6%) its solid in third place while the Wuling Hongguang (+81.8%) uncharacteristically rallies back up 8 spots on June and 9 on its YTD ranking to #4. Given Hongguang wholesales are not split between segments, this surge could be due to the production start of the new Hongguang MINI EV, but as retail sales of this vehicle remain at zero for July we’ll have to wait until August retail results to confirm this. The Honda Civic (+5%) rounds out the Top 5 like in June above the Haval H6 (+2.8%), VW Bora (-17.8%) and Sagitar (-3.8%). On top of the ones mentioned earlier, all-time volume record-breakers in July also include the BMW X3 (13.536), Audi Q2L (5.569), Lynk & Co 05 (4.148), Lincoln Corsair (3.906), Beijing X7 (3.103 and already the brand’s best-seller), JAC Jiayue X4 (2.809) and Xpeng P7 (1.725). You’ll notice almost all of them are SUVs.
Full July 2020 Top 99 All-brands and Top 440 All-models below.