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China retail May 2021: Changan, Wuling, Haval impress in market up 4.3%

The Ford Ecuador makes its first appearance in the Chinese retail charts…

Note: January, February, March and April data is also included in the tables below.

After covering China wholesales for May, the retail update is back. BSCB is the only non-Chinese medium to cover both wholesales (ex-factory shipments) and retail sales (end-customer sales) for China so you can get the most complete picture of the largest new vehicle 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. The selection of vehicles included in this update which extends to some LCVs such as microvans is up 4.3% year-on-year in May to 1.623.555 units and up 42.3% year-to-date to 8.392.325.

In the retail brands ranking, Volkswagen (-5.1%) goes against the positive trend with a small drop. Outstanding performances by the Tacqua (+86.2%), Santana (+24.3%), Polo (+14.9%) and Magotan (+9.2%) cannot compensate for freefalls elsewhere, notably in the SUV aisle with the Tiguan (-3.8%), Tharu (-13.4%), T-Cross (-13.8%), Teramont (-23.3%), T-Roc (-24.5%), Teramont X (-37.7%) and Tayron (-42%) all down, as well as the Golf (-43.6%) and CC (-28.6%). Volkswagen under-performing is a mid-term trend we have also observed in the wholesales charts, and could be a natural readjustment linked with the maturation of the Chinese market. As more and more choice is offered, it becomes more difficult to achieve the bigger market shares Volkswagen used to enjoy. A Jetta cannibalisation isn’t likely as the low-cost brand is already plateauing after an outstanding start.

…as does the WEY Mocha

In 2nd place, Toyota (-5.7%) is also down, with the Wildlander (+19.8%), IZOA (+16.5%), RAV4 (+4.3%), Levin (+2.8%) and C-HR (+2.2%) in positive but the Yaris L Sedan (-65.6%), Vios FS (-30.2%), Vios (-23.5%), Corolla (-12.7%) and Highlander (-7.2%) in difficulty. Honda (+0.6%) is the first carmaker in positive – just, benefitting from strong scores by the UR-V (+305.8%), Elysion (+34.8%), Inspire (+28%), Breeze (+26.5%), Vezel (+29.9%), XR-V (+18%) and Avancier (+3.1%). Nissan (-17.5%) endures the steepest fall in the Top 14, handicapped by the freefall of its two best-sellers the Sylphy (-20.7%) and X-Trail (-11.8%). In contrast Changan (+38.7%) shoots up thanks to the new Benben E-Star (6.060 and UNI-K (3.645), the UNI-T (+713.8%), Eado (+29.2%), CS55 Plus (+25.3%) and CS75 Plus (+19.7%). Below Geely (-10.2%) and Buick (+12.6%) evolving in opposite directions, Wuling (+60%) enjoys the smashing success of the new Hongguang MINI EV (28.203) and to a lesser extent of the new Victory (5.813) whereas all other nameplates are in negative.

The Hongguang MINI EV helps Wuling up 60% year-on-year in May.

BMW (+11.7%) and Audi (+2.6%) round out the Top 10 above Haval (+16.8%) in great shape thanks to the H6 (+36%) and new Big Dog (8.350). Mercedes (-5.9%) is the only premium German carmaker to return a negative score for the month. Large year-on-year gains are very frequent further down the charts: in the remainder of the Top 20, Tesla (+90.4%), BYD (+53.5%), GAC (+40.5%), Chery (+33.8%) and Dongfeng (+19.2%) make themselves noticed. Further down, COS (+135.2%), Hongqi (+38%) and Lynk & Co (+23.3%) also shine while beyond the Top 30 great gainers include Xpeng (+661.9%), Lincoln (+158.7%), LI (+149.2%), Ora (+77%), NIO (+75.2%), Jetour (+23.4%) and Beijing (+20.8%). TANK (#36) is by far the most successful recent brand launch (<12 months) as the WEY Tank 300 became the TANK 300 with the birth of a new Great Wall brand last April. R (#63), Arcfox (#80) and Enovate (#81) follow.

Xpeng is up 661.9% thanks to the P7 sedan.

Over in the retail models ranking, the podium is entirely composed of sedans with the Nissan Sylphy (-20.7%), VW Lavida (+0.2%) and Toyota Corolla (-12.7%) all posting pushy results. The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV lurks in 4th place above the Haval H6 (+36%) – lifted by its new generation – and four sedans: the VW Bora (-0.1%), Buick Excelle Yinlang (+21.5%), VW Sagitar (-7.5%) and Toyota Levin (+2.8%). The Honda CR-V (+1.2%) closes out the Top 10. The Honda Breeze (+26.5%), BMW 3 Series L (+26.4%), VW Santana (+24.3%) and BMW 5 Series L (+20.9%) make waves below. The Hongguang MINI EV is by far the most successful recent launch in China at #4, it distances the Tesla Model Y (#30), COS X5 (#48), Geely Xingrui (#53), Haval Big Dog (#55), BYD Han (#61) and TANK 300 (#74). Some new launches that have not yet appeared in the wholesales charts can be seen here, such as the Ford Ecuador (#286) and WEY Mocha (#406). Additional variants, such as the BYD Qin PLUS (#118) and Neta U Pro (#291) also make their appearance.

Previous post: China retail Full Year 2020: Changan, Toyota headline market down -8.5%

One year ago: China retail May 2020: Changan, Toyota lift market to first gain in a year (+1.9%)

Full January, February, March, April and May 2021 Top 125 All-brands and Top 750 All-models below.

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