The VW Santana was the best-selling vehicle in China up until 1999.
BSCB has now been updated with complete brands and models rankings from 1991 to 2006. That’s 16 new articles! The data includes Passenger Cars, Commercial Vehicles and even imports. Absolutely all vehicles sold in China over the period are accounted for in these reports, exclusive to us. You won’t find this data anywhere else!
Over the course of these 15 years, the Chinese market has experienced exceptional growth, that no other market had managed before (and probably none will after). It has gone from 362,941 units to 6,765,512, sporting double-digit year-on-year gains for a majority of these years. Notably +40.7% in 2002, +37.4% in 2003 and +26.1% in 2006. The million annual unit bar was passed in 1993, 2 million in 2001, 3 and 4 million in 2003 alone, 5 million in 2005 and 6 million in 2006. Albeit this is still way below the 25 million+ sales the Chinese market currently achieves.
Volkswagen has remained the most popular carmaker in the country for the entire period, which makes BYD’s accession to the pole position in 2023 all the more impressive. Notice the arrival of Geely in 2000, Chery, Great Wall and BYD in 2001.
Model-wise, from 1991 to 1999 the VW Santana was the best-selling vehicle in the country, then minivans took the relay: the Changan Star from 2000 to 2005 and the Wuling Van in 2006. Looking at the Passenger Car ranking, the VW Jetta topples the Santana in 2001, keeps the lead until 2004 and takes it back in 2006. The FAW Tianjin Xiali is the best-seller in 2005 thanks to a facelift that year. The Buick Excelle and Hyundai Elantra also make themselves noticed.
The direct links to these new and updated posts are below, Full 1980-2022 Historical Data is here.