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China wholesales September 2022: Market up 25.7%, BYD (+142%) hits another record volume, Tesla Model Y #1

BYD has almost doubled its volume record in the past 6 months.

Fourth straight month of very solid year-on-year gain in September for wholesales in China: up 25.7% to 2,610,000 units according to data by the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers. It misses out on the title of highest September ever by just 4,000 sales (vs. 2,614,000 units in September 2017). The year-to-date tally is now up 4.4% to 19,470,000 units. Note production figures are even more impressive at +28.1% for the month (2,672,000) and +7.4% year-to-date (19,632,000). The monthly wholesales result includes 2,332,000 passenger cars (+32.7%) and 279,000 commercial vehicles (-12.5%). Year-to-date, passenger cars are up 14.2% to 16,986,000 units and commercial vehicles down a poor -34.2% to 2,484,000 wholesales. Government incentives, such as the halving of the purchase tax on vehicles with engines of 1.6L or less, continue to drive the market up in a spectacular way, while a particularly low year-ago volume penalised by stock shortage amplifies the market’s gain. 

There were 301,000 Chinese exports in September, a 85.6% year-on-year lift leading to a year-to-date total of 2,117,000 units, up 55.5% over the same period a year ago which was up 120% on the year prior. Domestic brands keep on gaining ground: up 42% year-on-year to 1,166,000 units and a round 50% of the passenger car market vs. 46.9% a year ago and 37.8% in 2021. Over the first 9 months of 2022, Chinese brands are up 26.6% to 8,163,000 and 48.1% share vs. 43.3% over the same period in 2021 and 36.6% in 2020. New Energy Vehicles (NEV) soar 93.9% year-on-year to 708,000, keeping in mind September 2021 was already up 148.4% on the year prior. NEVs now account for a whopping 27% of the Chinese wholesales market in September. Year-to-date, NEV wholesales surge 211.7% to 4,567,000 and 23.5% share.

Neta hits an all-time high for the 4th consecutive month.

Volkswagen (+23%) fails to match the market which is a disappointing performance given its September 2021 volume was off -39.3% on the year prior. Outstanding catchup performances by the Tacqua (+609.5%), Touran (+356.5%), Lamando (+355.2%), Magotan (+255.3%), Golf (+237.8%), CC (+175.5%), Tayron X (+155%), Viloran (+108.7%) and Tayron (+103.3%) aren’t enough to push the brand above the market growth rate. BYD (+142%) is once again the hero of the month, delivering the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 25. The EV specialist smashes its volume record for the 5th consecutive month and the 6th time in the past 7 months, lifting it from 104,500 in March to over 191,000 this month. BYD ends the month only 26,500 sales below Volkswagen and could repeatedly challenge the German brand in the coming months if its sales trajectory was to continue. 6 BYD models break their all-time high monthly volume this month: the Song Plus (+114.5%), Qin Plus (+44.1%), Han (+205.8%), Dolphin (+728.5%) and the new Destroyer 05 (9,101) and Seal (7,473). BYD’s success is all the more impressive as its lineup is relatively pricey for a market like China. Accordingly, the carmaker has recently announced skyrocketing profits (+248%).

Toyota (+66.6%) catches up on a particularly poor year-ago month, with the Corolla (+127.4%), Wildlander (+194.5%) and Levin GT (+882.7%) lifting the brand up as well as the new Corolla Cross (9,290), Front Lander (record 10,075) and Sienna (6,796). It’s a month to forget for Honda (-26.5%) in total freefall and completely missing out on the market growth. Its only models in positive are the Avancier (+234.7%), Inspire (+34.5%) and Accord (+6.3%) alongside the new Integra, Z-RV, e:NP1 and e:NS1. Honda loses the 3rd spot year-to-date to BYD as a result. Changan (+13.9%) is discretions but manages to hold onto the 5th place while Tesla (+38.6%) is up 10 spots on August to #6, a new ranking record but the brand doesn’t quite break its all-time volume record which remain the 77,938 hit last June. Note Tesla figures don’t include exports. BMW (+21.2%) is the only remaining Top 10 carmaker to sign a year-on-year uptick, albeit below the market growth, with Geely (-21.5%), Wuling (-15.8%) and Nissan (-7.3%) all losing ground.

Zeekr breaks its volume record for the third straight month.

Below, Audi (+86.9%), Mercedes (+72.3%) and GAC (+66.3%) manage stellar gains, with Hyundai (+54.8%) and Hongqi (+43%) also impressive in the remainder of the Top 20. Among EV startups, Neta (+133.9%) beats its volume record for the 4th straight month, lifting it to above 18,000 sales, Geely’s Geometry (+316.3%) hits an all-time high for the 2nd month in a row at over 15,000 units, recent launch AITO does the same at just under 10,100 wholesales and Zeekr breaks its record for the third consecutive month and 4th time in the past five months to 8,276. LI (+62.5%), Voyah (+177.4%) and Leap Motor (+169.6%) impress yet don’t deliver all-time highs. Notice also Volvo (+122.3%), Venucia (+116.9%), TANK (+54.8%), Citroen (+51.1%) and Bestune (+44.5%) all performing very solidly. Despite the market’s health, there are also some pretty heavy falls this month: Baojun is down -88.9% to #51 and seemingly headed towards discontinuation, with MG (-82.5%), Mazda (-62.9%), Skoda (-46.9%), Ora (-46.7%), Roewe (-45.7%) and Jetta (-32.9%) all imploding. 

Looking at the models ranking in isolation, the Tesla Model Y (+39.2%) scores its second monthly win after last June (exports excluded), but the BYD Song Plus (+114.5%) is only 760 units below. The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (+6.4%) stays in third place just as the Nissan Sylphy (+5.3%) drops three spots on August to #4 but remains the year-to-date best-seller with a 16,000 unit advantage over the Mini EV. The VW Lavida (+7.4%) rounds out the Top 5 in rather shy manner. BYD places four models inside the September Top 10, the Song Plus being joined by the Qin Plus (#6), Han (#7) and Dolphin (#10) managing a second ever Top 10 finish after last April. The BYD Yuan Plus (#19) is the most successful recent launch above the Changan UNI-V (#51), LI L9 (#57 and new for the month), Toyota Front Lander (#58) and Changan Lumin (#59) crossing the 10,000 monthly sales barrier for the first time. 

Previous month: China wholesales August 2022: Market up 32.1% to new August record, BYD (+149.7%) best performer again

One year ago: China wholesales September 2021: Market down -19.6%, NIO and Xpeng cross 10,000 monthly units milestone.

Full September 2022 Top 99 all brands and Top 510 all models below.

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