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China imports September 2022: Lexus ES (+56.1%), Mercedes S-Class (+42.4%) surge ahead in market down -12.3%

The Mercedes S-Class is the 4th best-selling import in China in September.

Sales of new imported cars in China drop another -12.3% year-on-year in September to just 67,840 units even though September 2021 was already down -20.5% on the year prior. We are following a long term trend in which imports are reducing partly because some models are now manufactured locally, like the BMW X5 and Tesla Model 3 whereas exports are lifting to record levels (300,000 units in August). The year-to-date imports tally is now down a drastic -21.4% or 157,000 units to 578,938.

The Top 7 brands are unchanged on August. Pure importer Lexus (+6.5%) reclaims the top spot it holds year-to-date (it ranked #2 in September 2021) with over 15,700 sales. In contrast Mercedes is down -8.5% yet maintaining its loss below the market rate. It is not the case for BMW (-33.4%), Porsche (-14.3%) and Audi (-44.1%). Strikingly, the rest of the Top 10 is entirely in positive, with Volkswagen (+51.8%) faring best above Mini (+19.4%), Toyota (+15.5%), Volvo (+4.2%) and Land Rover (+4%). Below, Genesis (+583.3%), Ferrari (+202.4%), Hyundai (+63.2%) and Bentley (+11.3%) stand out.

Model-wise, the podium remains the same as last month and YTD. The Lexus ES (+56.1%) surges ahead and sells 2.5 times the amount of the #2, the Lexus RX (-5.5%). The Mercedes GLE (-26%) is in difficulty in third place while the Mercedes S-Class (+42.4%) overtakes the Porsche Cayenne (-15.5%) for #4. The Porsche Macan (-29.4%) struggles at #6 while all remaining Top 10 models are in positive. The Mini (+29.1%) is the most dynamic ahead of the Mercedes GLS (+10.6%), BMW 2 Series (+10%) and Volvo XC90 (+8.3%). Below, the BMW 4 Series (+135.6%), Porsche Panamera (+44.8%) and Toyota Alphard (+24.2%) make themselves noticed.

Previous month: China imports August 2022: Porsche (+42.7%), Jeep (+51.1%) shine in market down -6%

One year ago: China imports September 2021: Mercedes overtakes Lexus, sales off -20.5%

Full September 2022 Top 35 all brands and Top 150 all models below.

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