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China retail October 2022: First market fall since May (-1.9%), BYD (+84.5%), Audi (+42.3%) shine

The BYD Seal breaks its volume record in October.

Retail sales in China cool off in October, registering their first year-on-year drop since last May at -1.9% to 1,606,727 units. For its part the year-to-date volume remains in negative at -3.5% to 15,804,515 sales. BSCB is the only non-Chinese medium to cover both wholesales (ex-factory shipments) and retail sales data for China so you can get the most complete picture of the largest new car market in the world. Retail sales tend to give a more precise view of the market as they roughly correspond to registrations by end-customers. This way, they are more difficult to boost with exports, as is often the case for wholesales. Note imports, pickups and medium to heavy commercials are not included in this dataset, but it includes a more detailed split by model variant.

The Top 3 carmakers are getting closer with each other this month as they are separated by 32,000 sales vs. 50,000 last month. They all swim upstream with year-on-year gains. Volkswagen (+7.8%) leads the charge again but is the shyest of the lot. It is boosted by surges from the ID.3 (+252.1%) – albeit still at very disappointing volumes, the Golf (+196.3%), Lamando (+177.9%), CC (+102.1%) and Magotan (+79.4%). For once BYD (+84.5%) isn’t breaking its volume record this month, taking a bit of a breather in its breathtaking ascension in the rankings. It is still scoring its 2nd best ever monthly result and almost doubles its year-ago volume, ranking #2 overall for the month. The Yuan Plus (18.274), Tang (13,559) Seal (7,783) and Destroyer 05 (6,392) are all at all-time highs while the Dolphin (+491.1%), Han (+128%) and Song Plus (+94.2%) surge ahead.

Toyota (+18.5%) remains in third place and is helped by solid performances by the Levin GT (+206.7%), Levin (+127.5%), Yaris L (+65%) and Wildlander (+39.8%) but is mainly emboldened by a string of successful launches including the Front Lander (9,913), Corolla Cross (7,909), Sienna (6,396) and to a lesser extent the Harrier (3,222) and Venza (2,416). Honda (-24.6%) stays at #4 but is in great difficulty despite a solid launch by the Integra (6,231). Some of its best-sellers are in freefall, such as the XR-V (-78.2%), Vezel (-63%), Fit (-62%), Breeze (-33.9%) and Crider (-18.3%). Changan (+28.9%) and BMW (+10.8%) are the only gainers in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Geely (-32.1%), Nissan (-20.8%) and Wuling (-18.9%) struggle. Below, Volvo (+47.7%), Audi (+42.3%), Tesla (+32.1%) and Mercedes (+28%) shine while among smaller brands NIO (+150.2%), Geometry (+139.2%), Leap Motor (+99.7%), LI (+31.4%), Neta (+31.4%) stand out. Zeekr (9,566) and AITO (8,997) continue to defy gravity with new volume records.

New brand Zeekr is at an all-time high, getting closer to the 10,000 sales barrier.

Looking at the models ranking, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (-15.5%) returns to the pole position it holds year-to-date in spite of a hefty year-on-year drop. The Nissan Sylphy (-15.5%) evolves exactly the same to stay in 2nd place. At #3, the BYD Song Plus (+94.2%) is on the podium for the 2nd time ever after last April (#2). Once the uncontested leader, the VW Lavida (-10.3%) has to settle for 4th place the month while the BYD Dolphin (+491.1%) is up three spots on September to break into the Top 5 for the first time at #5. The Qin Plus (+17.1%) and Han (+128%) make it a sensational four BYD models in the October Top 9… On top of this, the BYD Yuan Plus (#12) is the best-selling recent launch, followed by the Changan UNI-V (#29), Changan Lumin (#33) hitting a new record at 11,480 sales, the Toyota Front Lander (#44) and LI L9 (#50).

Previous month: China retail September 2022: Market up 10.8%, BYD lodges 4th straight volume record, Tesla Model Y #1

One year ago: China retail October 2021: Wuling (+45.2%), BYD (+120.5%) defy market down -12.3%

Full October 2022 Top 115 all brands and Top 658 all models below.

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