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China wholesales Full Year 2022: BYD challenges Volkswagen, places Song Plus at #1 in market up 2.1%

The BYD Song Plus is the best-selling vehicle in China in 2022 (wholesales).

Discover over 40 years of Chinese Historical Data here.

2,556,000 new vehicles found their way to dealerships in December in China (wholesales), a -8.4% year-on-year drop as widespread Covid-19 infections disrupt business. This is split between 2,265,000 passenger cars (-6.7%) and 291,000 commercial vehicles (-20.2%). For the Full Year, the wholesales market edges up 2.1% to 26,864,000 units including 23,563,000 passenger cars (+9.5%) and 3,300,000 commercial vehicles (-31.2%). Production is up 3.4% to 27,021,000 units. The best news come from the New Energy segment (NEV) with sales up a whopping 93.4% year-on-year to 6,887,000 units or 25.6% share vs. 13.5% a year ago. BEVs are up 81.6% to 5,365,000 units and PHEV up 150% to 1,518,000.

Exports have been breaking volume records most months in 2022, with 324,000 units in December (+45.4%) and a cumulative result of 3,111,000 units for the Full Year, up 54.4% on 2021. 679,000 of this total are NEVs. The other significant trend at play in China is the move from foreign to indigenous carmakers. In 2022, Chinese passenger carmakers see their sales jump 22.8% year-on-year to 11,766,000 units, holding 49.9% of the domestic market vs. 44.5% a year ago.

The Nissan Sylphy ranks #2…

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+5.8%) keeps the lead with just under 2,300,000 units, staying above Toyota (+10.8%). But the story of the year is the spectacular ascension of BYD (+145.8%) from #10 in 2021 to #3 this year. BYD broke its all time monthly volume record no less than 9 times in 2022: in March and from May to December without interruption. At the same time last year BYD’s monthly record was 97,990 units, it is now 217,676. BYD even toppled historic leader Volkswagen in October and November.

… and the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV #3.

Honda (-8.8%) is in difficulty and drops one spot to #4 ahead of Changan (+8.5%) up one to #5. The next four carmakers drop by double-digits: Geely (-17%), Nissan (-17.3%), Wuling (-11.1%) and Buick (-20%). Chery (-0.4%) overtakes Haval (-31.4%) and BMW (-1.3%) to return inside the Top 10 at #10. Great performers below are Geometry (+285.2%), Leap Motor (+147.6%), Neta (+115.4%), TANK (+75%), LI (+47.2%), NIO (+34%) and Xpeng (+23.2%). AITO ends its first full year of sales at #44 while Zeekr is at #45.

Model-wise, the BYD Song Plus (+128.7%) surges ahead to a last minute win with almost 460,000 wholesales, putting an end to two years of domination by the Nissan Sylphy (-10.7%). The Song Plus ranked as low as #18 in 2021 so it’s a fulgurant climb up the charts. Below the Sylphy, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (+4%) also drops one spot on 2021 to #3 as does the VW Lavida (-8.1%) to #4. The Tesla Model Y (+57.6%) is up 14 ranks to #5 and the BYD Qin Plus (+81.6%) up 21 to #6. BYD also places the Han (+132.5%) at #7, up 50 spots on 2021… The Toyota Camry (+20.4%), Corolla (-19.1%) and Haval H6 (-32.5%) round out the Top 10. 

Previous year: China wholesales 2021: Nissan Sylphy resists Wuling Hongguang MINI EV assault in market up 3.8%

Two years ago: China wholesales 2020: SUVs outsell cars for the first time, Nissan Sylphy snaps first win, market down just -1.9%

Full Year 2022 Top 107 all brands and Top XXX all models vs. Full Year 2021 figures below.

Full December 2022 Top 97 all brands and Top 507 all models below.

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