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China wholesales August 2020: Hongqi, Wuling, Lynk & Co, Changan headline sustained market resurgence (+11.6%)

Hongqi soars 109.9% to a 15th volume record in the past 18 months.

As we announced at the start of the month, new vehicle wholesales in China continue on their unabated post-pandemic rebound with August up 11.6% to 2.186.000 units according to final data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), marking a 5th consecutive month of year-on-year gains and 4th straight double-digit uptick after 21 straight months of decline dating back to July 2018. This follows gains of +4.4% in April+14.5% in May+11.6% in June and +16.4 in July and equals the all-time August volume record set in 2017 at 2.186.000 also. YTD wholesales are now down “just” -9.7% to 14.551.000, the first time since the pandemic began that the year-on-year drop slips into the single-digits. As a result of this continued rebound we have revised our 2020 China Forecast up from 24.47 million (-5%) last month to 24.6 million (-4.5%).

The new Hongguang MINI EV, an instant blockbuster, lifts Wuling sales up 63%.

Passenger Vehicle wholesales gain 6% year-on-year to 1.755.000 units, including 821.000 cars (+5.8%), 799.000 SUVs (+6.5%), 100.000 MPVs (+1.1%) and 35.000 minivans (+17.2%). Commercial Vehicles continue to surge ahead as infrastructure projects are launched to prop the economy back up, with wholesales soaring 41.6% to 431.000 units, including 396.000 trucks (+49%) and 35.000 buses (-9.5%). Year-to-date, Passenger Vehicles are down -15.4% to 11.288.000 including 5.265.000 cars (-18.8%), 5.249.000 SUVs (-8.7%), 549.000 MPVs (-35.8%) and 225.000 minivans (-11.9%). In contrast, Commercial Vehicles are up 17.3% to 3.263.000 including 3.011.000 trucks (+20.7%) and 252.000 buses (-12.5%). EV wholesales are up for the second straight month in August at +25.8% to 109.000, including 89.000 EVs (+25.7%) and 20.300 PHEVs (+26.4%), but are still down -26.4% YTD to 596.000, including 466.000 EVs (-27.8%) and 129.000 PHEVs (-20.8%).

The new 05 helps Lynk & Co break its all-time volume record for the second month running.

Volkswagen (-2.3%) continues to trail the market, lodging the only year-on-year decline in the Top 13 (!) as solid scores by the Lavida (+36.8%), Tharu (+26.7%), Teramont (+19.4%), Magotan (+18.4%), Viloran (2.769) and Tayron X (2.376) can’t compensate freefalls by the Lamando (-37.8%), CC (-33.5%), T-Cross (-32.7%), Tiguan (-26.1%), Passat (-21.8%), Tayron (-17.9%), Santana (-16.5%) and T-Roc (-14.7%). In contrast, Honda (+25.9%) secures the largest gain in the Top 6 thanks to stellar performances by the Elysion (+249.9%), UR-V (+82.8%), CR-V (+44.1%), XR-V (+32.7%), Accord (+16.7%), Civic (+11.6%), Vezel (15.934) and Breeze (15.246). Toyota (+15.6%) also outpaces the market, helped by the Corolla (+125.4%), Avalon (+63.3%), Yaris L (+47.5%) and Wildander (8.306) and despite a surprisingly weak score by the RAV4 (-48.5%). Nissan (+0.1%) only manages to edge up at #4 and Geely (+6.9%) rounds out the Top 5 like last month.

Changan sales surge 54.9% in August thanks to the CS75 and UNI-T.

After enduring 23 consecutive months of decline up until last March, Buick (+22.6%) is now engaged in a virtuous circle of year-on-year upticks, August marking its 5th straight gain thanks to the Velite 6 (+368.6%), LaCrosse (+177.3%), Envision (+55.3%), Regal (+19.6%), GL8 (+12.4%) and Excelle Yinlang (+11.9%). Once again Changan (+54.9%) performs best in the Top 10, helped by the Raeton CC (+979.3%), the redesigned Eado (+97.5%), CS75 (+86%), CS55 (+39.9%), CS95 (+17.5%) and the new UNI-T breaking its volume record again at 10.186. At the tail end of the Top 10, BMW (+42.6%), Audi (+20.4%) and Mercedes (+14.1%) all post fantastic scores, as do Wuling (+63%), Chery (+36.1%) and Haval (+11.7%) just below and Cadillac (+37.2%) in the remainder of the Top 20. Note Baojun (-18.5%) sees its “New Baojun” lineup account for 54% of its August volume, its first time above 50% and to be compared with 37% YTD, thanks to the arrival of the RC-5.

Ora sales are up a spectacular 291.3% year-on-year in August.

Hongqi (+109.9%) continues on its incredible run, more than doubling its sales year-on-year to secure a surreal 15th all-time monthly volume record in the past 18 months at 21.020 with both the HS5 (10.721) and H5 (7.335) achieving new high marks and its new flagship, the H9 (1.318) landing into the sales charts. In August, Hongqi is also less than 260 sales off a historical Top 20 finish. After breaking a two-year-old volume record last month, Lynk & Co repeats this feat at 17.098 thanks to the instant success of its new 05 coupe SUV (record 4.520). Ora (+291.3%), COS (+160.4%), JAC (+45.4%), Volvo (+19.4%) and Ford (+12.6%) also shine in the Top 40, just as Jetta closes 12 months in market by remaining the #1 recent launch (#30) above Tesla (#32) and Lincoln (#40). NIO (3.965), LI (2.711) and Weltmeister (2.057) all break their volumes record just as Xpeng (+755.9%) scores its 2nd largest ever thanks to the arrival of the P7 sedan (record 1.996). We welcome Sokon (#83), Seres (#86) and Arcfox (#91) in the charts.

The X7 continues to propel COS wholesales up: +160.4% in August.

Over in the models ranking, the Nissan Sylphy (+65.5%) scores a 5th consecutive win and 9th pole position in the past 11 months, ending August just 305 sales off its all-time record volume set in December 2018. The VW Lavida (+36.8%) and Buick Excelle Yinlang (+11.9%) ensure the podium entirely outpaces the market, while the VW Sagitar (-3.7%) makes the Top 4 entirely composed of sedans. The Haval H6 (+9.7%) has no trouble remaining the most popular SUV in the country now that the new generation is available, the VW Bora (-5.3%), Toyota Corolla (+125.4%) and Honda Civic (+11.6%) make it 7 sedans in the Top 10 and the Wuling Hongguang (+3%) is solid again at #8. Below, the BMW 3 Series L (+216.4%), Changan CS75 (+86%), Roewe RX5 (+64.2%), Audi A6L (+49.1%) and Geely Emgrand (+33.8%) stand out.

Is this the end of the tunnel for JAC (+45.4%)?

The Honda Breeze (#29) tops recent launches just above the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (#30) which is making its very first appearance in the wholesales charts and will be studied in detail in our monthly China new model article. The Tesla Model 3 (#42), Changan UNI-T (#54), Toyota Wildlander (#61), Baojun RS-3 (#62), Jetta VS5 (#78), COS X7 (#79), Geely Haoyue (#80 and record 6.505), Baojun RC-5 (#86) and Mercedes GLB (#104) follow. Other volume record-breakers include the Beijing X7 (4.687), BYD Han (4.000), JAC Jiayue X4 (3.387), Ford Explorer (3.054), Cowin Xuanjie (2.550) and GAC Aion V (2.086).

Previous post: China wholesales August 2020: CAAM estimates 11% surge, commercials up 38%

Previous month: China wholesales July 2020: Post-Covid rebounds accelerates to +16.4%, Toyota (+29.3%) smiles, VW (-6.1%) cries

One year ago: China wholesales August 2019: SUVs up 1.5%, electrified vehicles down -15.8% in 14th consecutive market loss (-6.9%)

Full August 2020 Top 102 All China-made brands and Top 545 All-models below.

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