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China wholesales August 2021: Wuling Hongguang MINI EV scores first win, market off -17.8%

The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV is the best-selling vehicle in China in August.

According to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Chinese wholesales endure a 4th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in August, accelerating their fall to -17.8% at 1.799.000 units. This includes 1.552.000 Passenger Vehicles (-11.7%) and 247.000 Commercial Vehicles (-42.8%), the latter suffering from a high year-ago comparison base. Note August 2021 volumes are also down -8.2% on August 2019. Year-to-date, the market is now up 13.7% to 16.556.000 units (and up 1.3% on 2019) including 13.112.000 Passenger Vehicles (+16%) and 3.444.000 Commercial Vehicles (+5.5%). In the PV detail, Cars are off -10.1% to 742.000, SUVs down -14.4% to 684.000, MPVs down -12.6% to 87.000 and Minibuses up 13.3% to 40.000. Year-to-date, Cars are up 15.6% to 6.096.000, SUVs up 16.9% to 6.140.000, MPVs up 13.6% to 623.000 and Minibuses up 11.9% to 252.000.

Following a mid-term trend, domestic Passenger Vehicle brands continue to gain significant market share year-on-year thanks to sales up 6.8% to 704.000, holding a 45.3% share in August vs. 37.5% a year ago. Local brands hold 42.8% of the PV market year-to-date, up from 36.3% over the same period in 2020. Sales of New Energy vehicles cross the 300.000-unit milestone for the first time in Chinese history, up a whopping 181.9% to 321.000 units and up 194% year-to-date to 1.799.000. In the Passenger Vehicle aisle, this includes 251.000 BEVs (+198.2%) and 56.000 PHEVs (+171.7%) while 14.000 CV BEVs found a buyer this month (+59.9%). Year-to-date, PV BEVs are up 227.9% to 1.400.000, PV PHEVs up 142% to 304.000 and CV BEVs up 60.3% to 95.000.

After two months of historical domination by Toyota, the brands ranking returns to some normalcy in August, with Volkswagen (-27.3%) still down drastically but easily back to the top spot. Strong scores by the Lamando (+37.3%), Tiguan L (+30.3%), CC (+29.8%), Passat (+28.1%) and the new ID.4 CROZZ (record 2.993) can’t compensate for the freefalling of the Golf (-74.6%), Sagitar (-74.1%), T-Roc (-62.5%), Magotan (-56.9%), Tayron (-49.9%), Santana (-46.7%), T-Cross (-41.2%), Bora (-40.1%) and Polo (-37.2%). Toyota (-24.6%) is painfully back to earth, with the RAV4 (+76.3%), Vios FS (+23.5%), Avalon (+22%), Highlander (+2.5%) and new Allion (2.509) outbalanced by searing falls by the C-HR (-91.9%), Yaris L Sedan (-67.4%), Levin (-62.6%), Corolla (-51.5%) and Camry (-30.3%). Honda (-42.3%) implodes due to Avancier (-99.1%), Crider (-98.9%), CR-V (-72.4%), Civic (-68.2%), UR-V (-67.4%), Breeze (-60.8%) and Inspire (-58.5%) and despite a strong Fit (+240.8%).

Nissan (-20.7%) also falls faster than the market but remains at a strong 4th place vs. #6 so far this year. Geely (-16.1%) is once again the best-selling domestic brand and manages to edge past the market fall rate. The best performers in the Top 10 are below: Wuling soars 80.3% year-on-year to almost 74.000 sales thanks to a stellar performance by the Hongguang MINI EV (+174.6%) and the new Victory (6.685), while BYD does even better at +90.5% to just under 68.000 units, surfing on the success of the new Qin PLUS (record 20.676), Song (+755.9%), Yuan (+371.1%), Han (+125.9%) and Tang (+89.8%). Changan (-9.7%) and BMW (-11.3%) limit their fall in the remainder of the Top 10. Below, Chery (+1.4%) edges up, Tesla (+274.8%) soars to a record 44.264 units but it would appear wholesales figures include exports, with Ora (+153.7%), MG (+69.3%), COS (+63.5%), Ford (+26.3%), Dongfeng (+10%), Jetta (+9.1%) and Jetour (+6%) all busing the negative trend.

Among EV startups, LI (+248%) lodges a third consecutive volume record at 9.433, Neta (+448.8%) signs a 6th straight record at 6.613, Pocco is up to a record 4.622, Leap Motor (+383.6%) clocks in a third record in a row at 4.488, with Letin (+1152.7%) at 4.372 and Weltmeister (+111.3%) at 4.346 also positing all-time highs. Although not breaking records this month, Xpeng (+175.4%) and NIO (+48.3%) score fantastic gains nonetheless. Also of note: French carmakers have now bottomed out, with Peugeot up 45.7% to a still very modest 2.980 sales and Citroen up 208.2% to 2.848. This month we welcome three new brands in the wholesales charts: Skyworth (#74), Dayun (#75) and Voyah (#76).

Over in the models ranking, we have a new leader this month: the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (+174.6%) continues on its stellar career and celebrates one year in market by snapping its very first pole position with a record volume. It climbs two spots in the year-to-date order to #2 with a quarter of a million sales so far in 2020 and 370.117 since launch. The Nissan Sylphy (-27.1%) is toppled to #2 ahead of the VW Lavida (-13.9%) at #3, a ranking it now also holds year-to-date, passing the Haval H6 and Toyota Corolla. The Tesla Model 3 (+129.2%) is up to #4 with a record 27.066 units including exports, distancing the Buick Excelle Yinlang (-14.8%) and Wuling Hongguang (-16.1%). The BYD Qin PLUS (#7) is now the best-selling recent launch ahead of the Tesla Model Y (#12 with a record 17.198), COS X5 (#32) and Geely Xingyue L (#39 with a record 10.036). Other record breakers include the LI One (9.433), Roewe Clever (8.913), Xpeng P7 (6.165), Neta V (4.611), WEY Mocha (4.506), Letin Mango (4.372) and GAC Aion Y (4.124).

Previous month: China wholesales July 2021: Toyota repeats at #1 above VW, sales off -11.9%

One year ago: China wholesales August 2021: Hongqi, Wuling, Lynk & Co, Changan headline sustained market resurgence (+11.6%)

Full August 2021 Top 103 All-brands and Top 450 All-models below.

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