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China wholesales May 2023: Market back up 27.9%, BYD Qin Plus now #1 year-to-date

The BYD Qin Plus is now the best-selling model in China over 5 months.

According to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), wholesales in China climb 27.9% year-on-year in May to 2,382,000 units. This is partly due to low year-ago volumes which were down -12.6% on the year prior. The year-to-date tally is now up 11.1% to 10,617,000. In May Passenger Vehicle wholesales are up 26.4% to 2,051,000 while Commercial Vehicles soar 38.2% to 330,000. So far this year, PVs gain 10.7% to 9,001,000 and CVs are up 13.7% to 1,616,000. New Energy Vehicle sales (BEV+PHEV) surge 60.2% in May to 717,000, accounting for 30.1% of the market, and 46.8% year-to-date to 2,940,000.

Wholesales of China-branded Passenger Vehicles in May roar up 37.6% year-on-year to 1,099,000 units or 53.6% share vs. 49.2% in May 2022 and 41.3% two years ago. Year-to-date wholesales are up 22.7% to 4,781,000 and 53.1% share vs. 47.9% a year ago. Production is up 21.1% for the month at 2,333,000 units including 2,011,000 PVs (+18.2%) and 322,000 CVs (+42.9%) and up 11.1% year-to-date at 10,687,000 including 9,063,000 PVs (+10.6%) and 1,625,000 CVs (+14.2%). 389,000 vehicles were exported out of China in May, up 58.7% on May 2022. Of which are 108,000 NEVs, up 150% on a year ago. Year-to-date, the total exports amount to 1,758,000 units, up 81.5%, including 457,000 NEVs, up 160%.

GAC Aion sales are up 140.2% year-on-year in May.

BYD (+84.1%) confirms it is the new favourite carmaker at home, snapping the brands top spot for the 4th consecutive month and extending its YTD lead to over 87,000 units. Among its most dynamic nameplates are the Dolphin (+352.3%), Qin Plus (+139%), Yuan Plus (+126.7%), Destroyer 05 (+115.9%) and recent launches the Corvette 07 over 10,000 units for the 2nd straight month, the Song Pro (13,501) and the much awaited Seagull selling 8,427 units for its first month in market. Volkswagen can’t capitalise on the market growth this month, only edging up 0.7% year-on-year. This despite robust performances by the T-Cross (+6510.5%), Tiguan (+1591.9%), Tayron (+167.9%), ID.3 (+95.6%), Lavida (+36.2%) and ID.6 X (+33.5%). Toyota (+4.1%) also underperforms at #3 with the Vios FS (+557.8%), Vios (+228.2%), Corolla Cross (+158.8%), Front Lander (+114.9%) and Corolla (+66%) faring very well.

Honda (+23.3%) and Changan (+22.6%) trail the market by a thin margin while GAC (+55.3%) is in splendid form thanks to its Aion line of EVs. Geely (+9%) and Nissan (+7.3%) are weaker just as BMW (-8.7%) and Wuling (-4.2%) regress. Strikingly the Top 17 brands are unchanged on April, with LI (+146%) the best performer above Tesla (+32.2%) and Mercedes (+25.9%). In contrast, Chery (-39.8%), Buick (-9.7%) and Haval (-6.5%) all lose ground. Below, Hyundai (+173.9%) bounces back up as do Cadillac (+130%) and COS (+68.1%). Beijing (+321%) and Volvo (+65.1%) also impress. Among EV carmakers, Denza reaches another volume record above 11,000 sales, Ora (+119.5%) and Zeekr (+100.4%) stand out whereas Neta (-15.8%), Xpeng (-25.9%) and NIO (-12.4%) struggle.

Li Auto is up 146% year-on-year.

Looking at the models ranking in isolation, the BYD Qin Plus (+139%) repeats at #1 and grabs the year-to-date crown in the process. The Nissan Sylphy (+7.2%) is back up two spots on last month to the #2 position it held over the Full Year 2022, with the Tesla Model Y (+55%) also up two to #3. The BYD Dolphin (+352.3%) is down two ranks to #4 while the Yuan Plus (+126.7%) makes it three BYDs in the Top 5. Meanwhile the VW Lavida (+36.2%) outruns the market but is stuck at #6, a ranking it also hold year-to-date. The GAC Aion S (+140.2%) is back up four spots to #7, distancing the BYD Song Plus (-31%), Changan CS75 Plus (+57.4%) and VW Sagitar (+15.3%). The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (-40.2%) continues to freefall at #11 and now ranks #8 year-to-date vs. #3 over the Full Year 2022. The Wuling Bingo is the best-selling recent launch but drops five ranks to #24, ahead of the BYD Song Pro (#28), LI L7 (#48) and Denza D9 (#49).

Previous month: China wholesales April 2023: BYD monopolises podium, market up 82.7% on Covid-impacted year-ago volumes

One year ago: China wholesales May 2022: Market decline thaws to -12.6%, BYD (+152.1%) superstar again

Full May 2023 Top 92 All brands and Top 506 All models below.

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