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China First Half 2023: BYD (+72%) now firm leader above VW (-5.1%)

The BYD Yuan Plus is sold as the Atto 3 in export markets.

According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the Chinese wholesales market is up 9.8% over H1 2023 to 13,239,000 units including 11,268,000 Passenger Vehicles (+8.8%) and 1,971,000 Commercial Vehicles (+15.8%). Production is up 9.3% to 13,248,000. New Energy Vehicle sales soar 44.1% to 3,747,000 for a 28.3% market share. Production of NEV is up 42.4% to 3,788,000. Over the first half of the year, sales of China-branded Passenger Vehicles are up 22.4% to 5,986,000 and 53.1% vs. 47.2% over H1 2022. Exports surge 75.7% to 2,140,000 units including 534,000 NEVs (+60%). Of note, SAIC Motor (483,000) is the biggest exporter over H1 followed by Chery (394,000) and Tesla (182,000). BYD is 9th with 81,000 NEVs (+1006%). 

In the brands charts, BYD (+72%) roars into first place with a 115,000-unit gap over Volkswagen, whereas it ranked #4 over H1 2022. The Dolphin (+162.6%), Yuan Plus (+157.9%), Destoyer 05 (+137%), Qin Plus (+51.3%) and the new Song Pro (82,000 sales), Corvette 07 (44,000), Seal (41,000) and Seagull (25,000) help BYD fly to new heights at home. Strikingly, the next five automakers are all in negative, underlying the strong impact BYD now has on the market. Volkswagen (-5.1%) is handicapped by the Santana (-51.1%), Golf (-45.9%), T-Roc (-40%) and Bora (-27.1%), as the ID.3 (+55.3%), Polo (+53%) and Lamando (+44.8%) fail to tilt the brand into positive. Toyota (-8.1%) falls below the 800,000 unit mark despite strong scores by the Corolla Cross (+122.5%) and its twin the Front Lander (+101.2%) and the arrival of the bZ3, bZ4X and Granvia.

GAC sales are lifted 40.9% by the Aion EV line.

Honda (-22.3%), Changan (-4%) and Geely (-4.5%) also disappoint below while GAC (+40.9%) is lifted by its Aion NEV range to #7 vs. #16 over H1 2022. BMW (+5.8%) and Mercedes (+9.2%) are rather shy but it’s enough for Mercedes to climb five spots on H1 2022 to #9. Wuling (-6%) rounds out the Top 10 in weak fashion with Nissan (-28.2%) freefalling from #7 to #11. LI Auto (+130.3%) breaks into the Top 30 and Top 20 to land at #18, by far the best performing NEV startup in China. Hyundai (+26.2%) bounces back up, Hongqi (+14.8%) continues to progress to a record #17 but Dongfeng (-56%), Chery (-40.6%) and Haval (-26.4%) are all hit full frontal. Exceptional result for Denza (+31993.7%) thanks solely to its D9 MPV and entering the Top 30 for the first time at #30. Zeekr (+124.3%) and Beijing (+98.6%) also impress below. Nio is up 7.3%, Neta down -17.4% and Xpeng off -40.1%. Shenlan (#40) is the most successful recent launch above Smart (#48), AvatR (#63) and IM (#65).

Model-wise, the ranking is completely reshuffled compared to H1 2022. #3 last year, the Tesla Model Y (+14.2%) rises to the pole position so far in 2023, around 3,500 units above the BYD Qin Plus (+51.3%) which ranked #7 over H1 2022. The BYD Song Plus (+8.6%) advances one spot to #3 and is followed by the Nissan Sylphy (-28%) which was #1 over H1 2022. The BYD Dolphin (+162.6%) goes from #48 in ’22 to #5 this year ahead of the VW Lavida (-6.4%) down one rank and the BYD Yuan Plus (+157.9%) up 49 ranks from #56 to #7. Big disappointment for one of the stars of the past few years: the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (-41.3%) goes from #2 to #8. The VW Sagitar (+16.9%) is up five spots to #9 and the Changan CS75 Plus (stable) holds onto the #10 spot. The GAC Aion S (+189.5%) is up 68 ranks to end the period just outside the Top 10 at #11. The BYD Song Pro (#24) is the best-selling recent launch above the Denza D9 (#47) and Wuling Bingo (#68).

Previous post: China June 2023: BYD posts 5th consecutive win, market up 4.8%

One year ago: China First Half 2022: Sales down -6.6%, Nissan Sylphy resists Wuling Hongguang Mini EV

Full H1 2023 Top 110 All brands and Top 565 All models vs. H1 2022 figures below.

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