The BYD Seagull climbs on the podium for only its 4th month in market.
Boosted by both national government consumption incentives and promotions by carmakers, the Chinese wholesales market manages a 8.4% year-on-year gain to 2,582,000 units according to data by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). This is a new August record eclipsing the 2,383,000 hit in August 2022. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and six other departments recently unveiled a plan aiming at a coordinated approach to ensure sustainable development of the automotive sector, so we should see some further growth in the coming months. In the detail, Passenger Vehicles are up 6.9% to 2,273,000 and Commercial Vehicles up 20% to 310,000. Production increases by 7.5% for the month to 2,575,000 including 2,275,000 Passenger Vehicles (+5.4%) and 300,000 Commercial Vehicles (+26.2%).
Year-to-date, the wholesales market is now up 8% to 18,210,000 units including 15,643,000 PV (+6.7%) and 2,568,000 CV (+16.4%). Production is up 7.4% to 18,225,000 including 15,672,000 PV (+5.9%) and 2,553,000 CV (+18%). New Energy Vehicle sales continue to display insolent health, with wholesales up by a fantastic 27% year-on-year to 846,000, securing a 32.8% share of the market for the month. Year-to-date figures show a 39.2% leap to 5,374,000 units and 29.5% share. Exports shoot up 32.1% year-on-year to 408,000 which we believe is an all-time record, that includes 90,000 NEVs (+8.1%). Interestingly NEV exports gain much less ground than their ICE counterparts. Over the first 8 months of the year, exports are up by a whopping 61.9% to 2,941,000, including 727,000 NEVs (+100%). Note China has overtaken Japan as the largest exporter in the world.
The L9 helps Li Auto to a 5th consecutive new all-time volume record
Looking at the brands ranking, BYD (+36.2%) simply breaks its all-time volume record at 230,077 sales, passing its previous best of 220,600 from last June. The brand benefits from successful launches by the Seagull (as we’ll see further down), Song Pro and Corvette 07 with the Yuan Pro (+197.2%), Seal (+137.5%), Yuan Plus (+60.4%) and Qin Plus (+18.2%) also posting strong results. The next three carmakers, all foreigners, are in decline. Volkswagen is down -6.6% and ends the month more than 35,000 sales below BYD. The German carmaker can’t emulate the market growth despite solid results by the Polo (+334%), Tayron (+280.7%), ID.3 (+196.5%), Magotan (+24.3%), Sagitar (+16.7%), Lavida (+13.8%), Talagon (+12.1%). Of note is the complete implosion of the ID.4 Crozz (-53.8%), ID.4 X (-62.2%), ID.6 Crozz (-85.6%) and ID.6 X (-72.5%).
Shenlan/Deepal is up to its highest monthly tally.
Toyota (-5.9%) is also down as is Honda (-24.5%), hit much harder. In contrast Geely (+42.2%) and GAC (+54.7%) manage splendid year-on-year growth, both overtaking Changan (-0.04%). Tesla (+87.5%) lodges the largest gain in the Top 10 and climbs back up 9 spots on July to #8. BMW (+5.5%), Mercedes (+1.3%) and Audi (+0.6%) follow, all trailing the market while Nissan (-30%), Wuling (-13.2%), Buick (-23.7%) and Chery (-16.3%) all sink. For the 5th month in a row, Li Auto (+663.8%) breaks its monthly volume record at 34,914 units, up from 21,233 as of March 2023. Shenlan/Deepal (+1576.3%) and Zeekr (+71.7%) also reach all-time highs. Other great performers include Nio (+81%), Xpeng (+42.9%), Jetour (+24.9%), Tank (+23.4%) and Lynk & Co (+23.3%).
Model-wise, the Tesla Model Y (+64.3%) reclaims the top spot both for the month and year-to-date, it is followed by last month’s leader the BYD Qin Plus (+18.2%). Once again the performance of the month is delivered by the new BYD Seagull improving 39.4% on July to almost 35,000 wholesales after just 4 months in market. The Seagull ranks #3 this month vs. #6 in July. The VW Lavida (+13.8%) stays in 4th place above the Nissan Sylphy (-24.9%) and BYD Song Plus (-22.7%) both in difficulty. The GAC Aion Y (+142.6%) smashes its monthly volume record to over 26,700 units while the Honda Civic (+55.2%), VW Sagitar (+16.7%) and BYD Yuan Plus (+60.4%) round out the Top 10. The Toyota Front Lander (+116.2%) hits a new volume high and becomes the brand’s best-seller in China for the first time. Other record breakers include the Geely Galaxy L7 and LI L9.
Full August 2023 Top 90 All brands and Top 510 All models below.