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China wholesales September 2021: Market down -19.6%, NIO and Xpeng cross 10.000 monthly units milestone

The NIO EC6 breaks its volume record in China in September.

According to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), wholesales of China-made new vehicles drop -19.6% year-on-year to 2.067.000 units, marking a 5th straight month of decline and accelerating the negative trend compared to -17.8% in August. The CAAM said the microchip shortage eased during the month but  the supply was still hampered for now, so October figures could be a little brighter. Note September 2021 is down -9.1% on pre-pandemic September 2019. The monthly tally includes 1.751.000 passenger vehicles (-16.5%) and 317.000 commercial vehicles (-33.6%). Year-to-date, the market is now up 8.7% to 18.623.000 sales vs. +13.7% at the end of last month, that includes 14.862.000 passenger vehicles (+11%) and 3.761.000 commercial vehicles (+0.5%). In the passenger vehicle detail for the month, SUVs post the best hold at -13.5% to 850.000, cars are down -18.9% to 780.000, MPVs off -13.8% to 96.000 and minibuses down -37.7% to 24.000. Year-to-date, SUVs are up 12.1% to 6.991.000, cars up 10.3% to 6.876.000, MPVs up 8.9% to 720.000 and minibuses up just 4.7% to 276.000. In the commercial aisle, notice pickup sales up 17.7% year-to-date to 402.000, vastly outpacing the rest of the commercial vehicle segment.

Quite notably, Chinese brands of passenger cars continue to gain volume and market share in September, thanks to sales up 3.7% to 821.000 or 46.9% share vs. just 37.8% a year ago. Year-to-date, Chinese brands add up to 6.433.000 units, up 31.4% year-on-year and holding 43.3% share vs. 36.6% over the first 9 months of 2020. New Energy vehicles gain 148.4% year-on-year in September to 357.000 units and 185.3% year-to-date to 2.157.000 units, including 341.000 and 2.045.000 passenger vehicles, up 159.9% and 199% respectively. Among passenger vehicles, BEV sales are up 165.1% to 281.000 for the month and up 215.4% to 1.680.000 year-to-date while PHEV sales are up 138.5% to 61.000 in September and up 141.4% to 365.000 year-to-date. The share of New Energy passenger cars in September is up to 19.5%. Lastly exports are up a whopping 74% year-on-year to 173.000 units and 120% year-to-date to 1.362.000 units. In September, New Energy vehicles account for 21.4% of Chinese exports.

The continued success of the P7 lifts Xpeng above the 10.000 monthly unit mark.

Brand leader Volkswagen (-39.3%) hit the brakes once again this month but manages to hold onto the top spot with over 177.000 sales. The gearing up of the ID.4 Crozz (record 3.858), ID.4 X (record 3.189) as well as the ID.6 Crozz and ID.6 X and solid performances by the Phideon (+23.1%), Tiguan L (+21.1%) and Tharu (+8.7%) aren’t enough to compensate for dismal showings by the likes of the Tayron (-84.2%), Tacqua (-83.3%), Golf (-78.6%), T-Cross (-75.8%), Magotan (-75.2%), Tayron X (-74.7%), Polo (-74.5%), Lamando (-72.8%) and Viloran (-66.1%). In fact the Top 4 brands all fall faster than the market, with Honda (-24.9%) slipping into 2nd place thanks to solid holds by the UR-V (+17.6%), Elysion (+12.3%) and Odyssey (+12%). Toyota (-43.3%) freefalls to third position with the Highlander (+10.4%), Vios FS (+31.3%) and new Crown Kluger (record 5.271) its only nameplates in positive as the IZOA (-74%), Corolla (-72.1%), Wildlander (-60%), Yaris L Sedan (-59.4%), Levin (-56.1%) and C-HR (-54%) all take harsh hits. Geely (-20.3%) roughly matches the market with the Binyue (+16.1%) and new Xingrui (10.173) and flagship Xingyue L (record 10.168) preventing it from falling faster.

Buick (-14.7%) posts the best hold in the Top 5 and advances four spots on August to #5, placing the Excelle Yinlang (+18.5%) at the top of the models charts for the first time, and enjoying good performances by the Enclave (+60.2%) and Verano (+101.8%). The best ranked year-on-year gainer this month is BYD (+93.2%) at #6 overall, and it’s a spectacular uptick at that, almost doubling its volume year-on-year. This is thanks to stellar showings by the Qin PLUS (record 23.560), Yuan (+403.9%), F3 (+215.4%), e3 (+124.8%), e2 (+95.4%), Han (+82.6%), Song (+50.3%) and Tang (+23%). BYD hits its highest ranking in China in almost a decade. Below Nissan (-36.6%) and Changan (-17.5%), Wuling signs another splendid lift at +53%, as the Hongguang MINI EV (+74.6%), new Xingchen (9.498 for its first month), Victory (5.811) and Journey (record 5.574) more than balance off a paltry result by the Hongguang (-34.9%). Tesla (+394.4%) breaks into the Top 10 brands for the first time and hits a new record volume for the 2nd straight month at 56.006 as the Model Y (33.544) becomes the best-selling SUV in the country and the Model 3 is up 98.3%. Note Tesla wholesales figures include exports. Other gainers just outside the Top 10 include Chery (+24.7%), MG (+68.7%) and Dongfeng (+66.1%) while Ford (+7.5%) also notably edges up further down. Jetta (+19%), COS (+32.9%) and Ora (+92.9%) also impress whereas Audi (-60.2%) and Mercedes (-50.2%) both freefall.

The Buick Excelle Yinlang is the best-selling vehicle in China this month.

As for the battle of new EV startups, we have two big milestones this month. NIO (+125.7%) crosses the 10.000 monthly unit mark for the first time as the ES6 (5.260) and EC6 (3.390) both break their value records and the ES8 is up 33.5%. NIO has sold over 66.000 units since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile Xpeng achieves the same milestone – 10.000 monthly sales – also for the first time in September as the P7 sedan (+192%) continues to break volume records at 7.512, the G3 SUV soars 211.4% and the P5 sedan launches at 244 units. Another candidate to the 10.000 monthly sales club (it hit a record 9.433 in August), LI (+102.5%) drops to just over 7.000 wholesales this month. More brands break their volume record in September, including TANK (8.021), Neta (7.699), Pocco (6.959), Letin (6.056), Weltmeister (5.005) and Lingbao (2.978). Pocco, Letin and Lingbao have capitalised on the success of the Hongguang MINI EV by offering similar models to Chinese consumers.

Looking at the models ranking, the Buick Excelle Yinlang (+18.5%) snaps its first pole position but doesn’t quite break its volume record, it distances last month’s best-sellers the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (+74.6%) and Nissan Sylphy (-42.1%). The Tesla Model Y advances 8 spots to #4 ahead of the VW Lavida (-17.8%), Haval H6 (-37.2%) and the new BYD Qin PLUS. The Tesla Model 3 (+98.3%), VW Tiguan L (+21.1%) and BYD Song (+50.3%) round out the Top 10. Additional nameplates breaking their volume record this month include the TANK 300 (8.021), GAC Trumpchi Empow (6.153), Letin Mango (6.056), Dongfeng Aeolus EX1 (5.353), Ora Good Cat (5.085), GAC Aion Y (5.003), WEY Mocha (4.662), Pocco Duo Duo (4.207), BYD Dolphin (3.000), Neta U (2.690) and Weltmeister E.5 (2.370).

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

One year ago: China wholesales September 2020: 5th straight double-digit market gain (+12.8%)

Full September 2021 Top 103 All-brands and Top 460 All-models below.

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