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China wholesales February 2021: Market up 364.8% on year-ago lockdown, Changan CS75 best-seller for first time

The Changan CS75 is the best-selling vehicle in China for the first time.

One year ago in February 2020 most of China was under Covid-19 lockdown with factories and dealerships closed, and the market tumbled down -79.1%. Logically this month wholesales (ex-factory deliveries) of China-made vehicles soar 364.8% year-on-year to 1.455.000 units, marking an 11th straight month of year-on-year gains. Sales are down -41.9% on January because of less selling days due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Passenger Vehicles are up 409.9% year-on-year to 1.156.000 units while Commercial Vehicles soar 246.2% to 299.000. In the Passenger Vehicle detail, SUVs are up 399.1% to 566.000 units, cars up 452.4% to 528.000, MPVs up 218.4% to 46.000 and minibuses up 386.4% to 16.000. Year-to-date, the Chinese wholesales market is now up 76.2% year-on-year to 3.958.000 units but just 2.7% on the same period in 2019 and down -12.6% on 2018, more telling comparison bases. Passenger Vehicles are up 74% to 3.201.000 while Commercial Vehicles surge 86.2% to 757.000. Within PV sales, SUVs are up 84.1% to 1.458.000, cars up 93.4% to 1.440.000, MPVs up 68.3% to 133.000 and Minibuses up 52% to 41.000.

In the brands ranking, for once Volkswagen (+579.6%) outpaces the market year-on-year but is down a ghastly -33.6% on February 2019. We have added a column to the brands ranking to include each brand’s sales evolution compared with February 2019 also. The carmaker’s SUV lineup is now back on track, with the Tayron (+2387.6%), Tiguan L (+1158.9%), Tacqua (+825.6%), T-Roc (+798.5%) and Tharu (+615.8%) all above the market growth rate as are the Golf (+1980.9%), Magotan (+1298.3%), Passat (+1200.5%), Lamando (+714.5%) and Sagitar (+577.7%). Toyota (+652%) follows and is up a splendid 36.1% on February 2019. It is helped by the IZOA (+3730.1%), Levin (+2729.2%), Avalon (+1119.1%) and Corolla (+909.7%). Hit particularly hard a year ago as one of its joint-ventures is based in Wuhan, Honda (+1123.3%) rallies back up all the more vigorously this month and is also up 17.3% on February 2019, with the Avancier (+4275.8%), Fit (+1308.9%) and Breeze (+1285.4%) soaring up and the CR-V (16.675), XR-V (9.527) and Civic (7.168) back online.

Changan (+512.8%) reclaims the Chinese carmakers top spot this month at #4 overall, also displaying a spectacular 52% surge vs. two years ago in February 2019. The Benben (+8515.8%), CS55 (+760.3%), CS75 (+745.8%) and Eado (+646.6%) lift the brand up this month. #1 brand overall above Volkswagen a year ago, Geely (+244.7%) logically shows a more muted year-on-year evolution but more significantly is down -15% on February 2019. The Binyue (+409.9%), Boyue (+393.6%), Binrui (+299.3%) and Xingrui (7.279) are the brand’s best performers. Haval (+754.3%) is up one spot on January to #6 and more tellingly up 23.8% on February 2019. The M6 (+4464.2%), F7 (+693.6%), Big Dog (6.318) and First Love (4.002) keep the brand afloat. Nissan (+271.6%) underperforms and is stable vs. February 2019 (-0.4%) while Buick (+1186.4%) is up spectacularly year-on-year but down -9.1% on two years ago. Among the premium Germans, BMW (+445.1%) and Audi (+437.8%) beat the market but Mercedes (+254.4%) isn’t that lucky. Further down, Cadillac (+7861.8%), COS (+5253.1%), Ora (+2780.5%), Volvo (+2666.4%), Wuling (+1211.9%), WEY (+1115.5%), Hongqi (+1072%) and Hyundai (+1043.9%) stand out. Tesla is up 12 spots on January to #18 as the Model Y gears up beautifully (record 4.630 wholesales).

We have a rare event in the models ranking: a new leader. The Changan CS75 (+745.8%) is up three ranks on last month to score its first ever outright win, also becoming the best-selling SUV in the country as it outsells the Haval H6 (+525.3%) for the very first time. It is also the first time a Changan tops the Chinese wholesales charts. Leader in 2020, the Nissan Sylphy (+308.7%) is relegated to third place this month but holds onto the YTD top spot. The Buick Excelle Yinlang is up 7 spots on January to #4 ahead of the Toyota Corolla (+909.7%) and VW Bora (+406.9%). The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV edges down one rank to #7 but remains above 20.000 monthly wholesales and by far the most popular recent launch, distancing the COS X5 (#24), Geely Xingrui (#46), Changan UNI-T (#52) and Haval Big Dog (#57). This month we welcome the Changan UNI-K (#139), Lincoln Nautilus (#246), VW ID.4 CROZZ (#333), DS 9 (#369), GAC Honda EA6 (#380) and Haima 6P (#432).

Previous month: China wholesales January 2021: Market up 30%, Toyota, Changan, Audi, BMW and Mercedes break volume records

One year ago: China wholesales February 2020: Focus on anti-bacterial tech helps Geely (#1 above Volkswagen), Chery, Jetour in market down -79.1%

Full February 2021 Top 94 All-brands and Top 433 All-models below.

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