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China wholesales March 2022: Commercial Vehicles pull market down -11.7%, Toyota up 10.1%

The new Front Lander helps Toyota sales up 10.6% in China this month.

According to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), new vehicle wholesales in China plunge -11.7% year-on-year in March to 2.234 million units, leading to a stable First Quarter tally at 6.509 million (+0.2%). In fact, Passenger Vehicles only dip by -0.6% to 1.864 million in March and are up a solid 9% year-to-date to 5.545 million, a very good performance given the various lockdowns in place in the country. The culprit is Commercial Vehicles, freefalling -43.5% in March to 370,000 and -31.7% YTD to 965,000 units. Exports surge 28.8% to 170,000 units including 120,000 PV, leading to a Q1 tally of 582,000 units (+58.3%). When excluding exports, the market is down -13.9% to 2.063 units in March and down -3.3% to 5.927 million YTD.

Looking at Passenger Vehicles by segment, SUVs edge down -0.1% to 876,000 units, cars edge up 0.2% to 872,000 units, MPVs sink -23.7% to 71,000 and minibuses soar 34.1% to 45,000. Year-to-date, SUVs are up 10.4% to 2.667 million, cars are up 8.4% to 2.584 million, MPVs off -7.8% to 204,000 and minibuses are up 35% to 89,000. Chinese brands break with the market and leap up 21.5% year-on-year  to 904,000 units or 48.5% market share in March vs. 39.7% a year ago. YTD, they are up 21% to 2.457 units and 45.9% vs. 41.3% over Q1 2021. In March, New Energy vehicles soar 114.1% year-on-year to 484,000 units including 461,000 Passenger Vehicles (+117%). Among those, BEV is up 111.8% to 373,000 and PHEVs up 142.6% to 87,000. Year-to-date, New Energy Passenger vehicles are up 140.7% to 1.207 million including 960,000 BEV (+128.5%) and 247,000 PHEV (+203.1%).

The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV is back on top of the models charts.

Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen (-23.9%) takes another big hit and sees its advantage over Toyota thaw to just under 14,000 units. Great performances by the Polo (+420.6%), Passat (+110.6%), T-Cross (+56.4%), Santana (+38.6%) and Lamando (+26.2%) can’t balance out dismal results for the Tacqua (-92.2%), Magotan (-54.6%), Bora (-52.2%), T-Roc (-48.8%), Sagitar (-46.8%), Tayron (-42.9%), Lavida (-36.8%), Tiguan L (-34.2%) and CC (-32.1%). Besides, the ID electric range remains disappointing with just 8.750 wholesales across 5 models. In 2nd place we have Toyota (+10.1%) easily outpacing the market thanks to the C-HR (+214.4%), Camry (+78.9%) and a slew of successful launches including the Front Lander (7,138), Sienna (6,319), Allion (5,203), Crown Kluger (4,511), Venza (4.401), Corolla Cross (3,811) and Harrier (3,469). In third position, Honda edges up 1% and takes advantage of solid results by the Crider (+1045.8%), Odyssey (+88.9%), Civic (+44.3%), Life (+33.2%), Fit (+27.8%), Avancier (+25.7%) and Accord (+22.4%).

Changan (+22%) is up four spots on February to reclaim the #1 domestic brand position, flying past BYD (+161.4%) which continues to deliver spectacular year-on-year lifts. Geely (-5.1%) stays at #6 while Wuling (+7.2%) is up eight ranks on last month to #7. Tesla (+85.4%) also manages a hefty gain but drops one spot on February to #8. Chery (+123%) and Buick (-31.2%) close the Top 10 in very different fashion. Below, Dongfeng (+55.9%) and GAC (+48.4%) shine whereas premium behemoths Mercedes (-20.7%), BMW (-43.6%) and Audi (-52.8%) all struggle mightily as does Haval (-18.8%). Among EV startups, Xpeng is up 202.1%, Neta up 270.5% to a record 12,026 units, LI up 125.2%, Leap Motor up 251.3% to a record 10,059, NIO up 37.6% and Geometry up 451.2%.

New monthly volume record for the Xpeng P7.

Model-wise, the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV (+19.7%) is up 8 ranks on February to reclaim the top spot for the first time this year and the third time in the past 8 months – and ever. The Tesla Model Y (+292%) stays in 2nd place but keep in mind its volume includes exports. The Nissan Sylphy (-28.6%) is toppled down two spots to #3 while the Toyota Camry (+78.9%) is up 14 to #4 and the BYD Song (+142.3%) breaks its volume record at 26,729. The Tesla Model 3 (+2.7%) is the only additional gainer in the Top 10 at #7, whereas the VW Lavida (-36.8%) and Toyota Corolla (-27.3%) are the hardest hit. The BYD Qin PLUS (+814.4%) has now been in market for over a year and drops three ranks to #11. Among other nameplates breaking their all-time volume records we have the Chery QQ Ice Cream (11,687) which is also the best-selling recent launch, BYD Yuan PLUS (10,025), GAC Aion Y (9,501), Xpeng P7 (9,183), Neta V (8,122), Leap Motor C11 (4,201), Changan UNI-V (3,584) and AITO M5 (3,045).

Previous month: China wholesales February 2022: BYD (+336.2%) headlines market up 18.7% 

One year ago: China wholesales March 2021: Honda, Wuling, Tesla shine in market up 74.9%

Full March 2022 Top 100 All locally made brands and Top 460 models below.

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