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China wholesales October 2023: BYD monopolises podium in strong market (+13.8%)

The BYD Seagull misses out on the pole position for just 66 sales.

According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, after a record-breaking September nicknamed the “Golden September” peak season, the Chinese wholesales market continues to impress during October, earning it the “Silver October” season moniker. Wholesales are up a further 13.8% year-on-year to 2,853,000 units, leading to a year-to-date tally up 9.1% to 23,967,000 units. This is the result of surprisingly high demand given the surrounding economic context, promotional activities by manufacturers, local government subsidies and a steady stream of new models. Passenger Vehicles gain 11.4% for the month to 2,488,000 while Commercial Vehicles are up a whopping 33.4% to 365,000, notably thanks to the revival of the logistics industry. Year-to-date, Passenger Vehicles soar 7.5% to 20,664,000 while Commercial Vehicles shoot up 19.8% to 3,303,000. Meanwhile production is up 11.2% for October to 2,891,000 and up 8% year-to-date to 24,106,000.

New Energy Vehicles (PHEVs and BEVs) continue to show explosive growth with wholesales up 33.5% on the previous year to 956,000 units, making up 33.5% of the sales for the month. 832,000 for these were sold domestically. Over the January-October period, NEV sales climb 37.8% to to 7.28 million, accounting for 30.4% overall sales. A record 488,000 new vehicles were exported from China in October, a new all-time record for any month. This is a 44.2% year-on-year rise. Among these, 124,000 are NEVs, up 12.8% on the previous year. Over the first 10 months of the year, exports amount to 3,922,000, up 59.7% from the same period a year ago. Exports of NEVs are up 99.1% to 995,000 units. That includes 920,000 BEVs (+110%) and 75,000 PHEVs (+41.7%). SAIC Motor exported 100.000 vehicles in October (+35.3%) while BYD soared 120% to 31,000. Year-to-date BYD exports are up 440% to 185,000.

Now onto the wholesales brands ranking for October. BYD (+20%) continues to beat the market to easily lead the charts for the 9th consecutive month. It even breaks its all-time volume record for the third straight month to 246,511. This month’s performance by BYD is largely driven by new models (Seagull and Song Pro), with the Yuan Plus (+49.9%) and Qin Plus (+28.1%) the only nameplates posting significant gains. Volkswagen (+2.3%) only manages to edge up with the ID.3 (+608.6%) finally delivering strong volumes, Tavendor (+283.1%), Sagitar (+56.1%), Magotan (+49.1%), Tayron (+32.9%) and ID.4 Crozz (+30.7%) all strong. Toyota (-2.9%) is in difficulty at #3 despite satisfying returns from the Front Lander (+112.2%), its twin the Corolla Cross (+73.6%), the Crown Kluger (+59.1%), Highlander (+21.6%) and Wildlander (+19.8%).

Honda rallies back 23.9% to hold onto the 4th spot with Geely (+11.6%) and Changan (-7.9%) also repeating on their September ranking. Wuling (-2.8%) and Nissan (-13.4%) both struggle below just as BMW (+12.6%) wins the German premium battle ahead of Audi (+19.7%) and Mercedes (-17.6%). Chery (+27.8%) scores the largest gain in the Top 10 at #10, its first Top 10 finish since July 2022. A plethora of carmakers break their all-time volume records further down. Li Auto (+302.1%) is at an all-time high for the 7th month in a row, bringing it up from 25,681 last April to 40,423 this month, its first time above the 40,000 mark. It’s interesting to compare Li’s performance vs. Tesla (28,2626). It’s the second time in the past four months that Li is above Tesla. Leapmotor (+159.1%) also reaches its highest ever volume, as do Deepal (+135.7%), AITO (+16.3%) and Zeekr (+29.2%) among manufacturers selling more than 10,000 units this month.

Looking at the models ranking in isolation, for the first time BYD monopolises the podium with the Qin Plus ending the month just 66 sales above the new Seagull, which has beaten its volume record each month since its launch last May. The Qin Plus is now #1 year-to-date. The Song Plus (-38%), #1 over the Full Year 2022 is down to #3 for the month. The best of the rest is the Nissan Sylphy (-20.4%) also in freefall while the VW Lavida (-3.3%) rounds out the Top 5. The BYD Yuan Plus (+49.9%), Aion Y (+115.1%), Tesla Model Y (+83.1% – and down to #2 year-to-date) and VW Sagitar (+56.1%) all beat the market in the remainder of the Top 10. Here too there’s a raft of models reaching all-time high volumes: the Wuling Bingo up to a record 12th place, the Toyota Front Lander, Changan Lumin, Li Auto L7, L8 and L9, Geely Panda Mini, AITO M7 and VW ID.3 to name just the strong sellers.

Previous month: China wholesales September 2023: Record market, BYD at all-time high again, places 3 models in Top 4

One year ago: China wholesales October 2022: BYD topples VW, places 4 models in Top 8, market growth slows to +6.9%

Full October 2023 Top 90 All brands and Top 523 All models below.

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