China wholesales April 2023: BYD monopolises podium, market up 82.7% on Covid-impacted year-ago volumes
BYD is #1 in China for the third consecutive month.
Based on data shared by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the Chinese wholesales market is up 82.7% year-on-year to 2,159,000 units, but under this spectacular gain hides a paltry year-ago result (-47.6%) that was impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and factory closures. A more adequate comparison base is April 2021 when 2,252,000 vehicles were shipped to dealerships. That means a -4.1% year-on-year drop. So we still have a sluggish market where customers have adopted a wait-and-see attitude in the wake of price wars originally instigated by Tesla earlier this year. Passenger Vehicles are up 87.7% to 1,811,000 while Commercial Vehicles are up 60.5% to 348,000. Year-to-date, wholesales are now up 7.1% to 8,235,000 units with Passenger Vehicles up 6.8% to 6,949,000 and Commercial Vehicles up 8.8% to 1,286,000.
Meanwhile production is up 76.8% for the month to 2,133,000 and up 8.6% YTD to 8,355,000. That includes 1,778,000 PV (+78.5%) and 355,000 CV (+68.8%) in April and 7,052,000 PV (+8.6%) and 1,303,000 CV (+8.8%) year-to-date. 636,000 New Energy Vehicles (NEV) were sold in April, a 110% year-on-year surge leading to a 29.5% market share. Even more impressively, NEV sales are up 42.8% to 2,222,000 units or 27% share. Exports surge 170% year-on-year in April to 376,000 units, including roughly 100,000 NEVs, up a whopping 840% on April 2022. Year-to-date exports are up 89.2% to 1.37 million including 348,000 NEVs (+170%). Finally sales of Chinese-branded Passenger Vehicles amount to 999,000 units or 55.2% share vs. 57.1% a year ago, a rare year-on-year drop of market share.
VW rallies back up 158.9% on a devastated April 2022 score, but ranks #2.
Looking at the brands ranking, BYD (+79.5%) scores a third consecutive monthly win and widens the year-to-date gap with Volkswagen (+158.9%) to 51,482 units. Best BYD performers are the Yuan Plus (+186.4%) Destroyer 05 (+151.6%), Dolphin (+148.8% to a record 29,961 wholesales), Qin Plus (+96.9%) and Corvette 07 (record 10,042). Volkswagen gains more ground year-on-year simply because its April 2022 result was horrendous (it ranked #3 overall). Therefore we have some spectacular gains for models which halted production a year ago which is almost the entire range. Cue the Tacqua (+376100%), Talagon (+40600%), Polo (+18315.8%), CC (+18009.1%), Tiguan L (+2394.7%), Phideon (+1315.4%) and ID.3 (+1281.6%). Toyota (+49.9%) comes in third but significantly trails the market, with the RAV4 (+1402.4%), Harrier (+1259.8%), Vios FS (+369.3%), Vios (+280.4%) and Corolla Cross (+239.7%) its biggest gainers.
Honda (+135.5%) surges ahead to stay at #4 ahead of Changan (+65.8%), GAC (+237%) once again boosted by the tremendous success of its Aion EV lineup. In contrast Geely (-42.3%), BMW (+69.6%), Nissan (+38.1%) and Wuling (+47.7%) can’t catch up with the market growth. Audi (+257.4%), Tesla (+2542.6%) and LI Auto (+516.3%) impress below, with Hongqi (+268%), Hyundai (+100.1%) and Cadillac (+1617%!) also outstanding in the remainder of the Top 20. Chevrolet (+156.9%), Jetta (+249.4%), Volvo (+132.4%) shine, as does Denza reaching a record 10,368 wholesales of its D9 MPV.
The BYD Qin Plus is the best-selling vehicle in China for the first time.
Model-wise, the BYD Qin Plus (+96.9%) signs its first ever monthly win, and with a large margin at that: almost 10,000 units more than the BYD Dolphin (+148.8%), itself up three spots on March to a record 2nd place (previous best: #5) and a 2nd volume record in as many months at 29,961 units. BYD spectacularly monopolises the podium (the first time it does so) with the Yuan Plus (+186.4%) ranking third with a record 28,931 wholesales. In 4th place, the Nissan Sylphy (+5.8%) only edges up while the Tesla Model Y (+2687.5%) cancels its backloaded quarter as we have also seen in Europe to rank #5 overall. The VW Lavida (+214.3%) and Honda Accord (+250.9%) bounce back from particularly low year-ago volume just as the GAC Aion Y (+300.4%) breaks into the Top 10 for the first time at #9. Destined to be a blockbuster, the Wuling Bingo is up 114 spots on its inaugural month to over 15,000 units.
Previous month: China wholesales March 2023: BYD places four models in Top 5, market up 9.7%
One year ago: China April 2022: BYD (+129.2%) shoots up to #1 brand in market hit by COVID lockdowns (-47.6%)
Full April 2023 Top 96 All brands and Top 508 All models below.