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China retail October 2023: BYD Seagull #1, Li Auto and Xpeng break records

The BYD Seagull is the best-selling vehicle in China in October.

With a bit of delay, we are able to share with you retail sales data for China over October. The selection of vehicles included in this update total 1,858,018 sales, up a fantastic 15.6% year-on-year. The year-to-date total now adds up to 16,479,520 units, up 4.3% over the same period a year ago. BSCB is the only non-Chinese medium to cover both wholesales (ex-factory shipments) and retail sales data for China so you can get the most complete picture of the largest new car market in the world. Retail sales tend to give a more authentic view of the market as they roughly correspond to registrations by end-customers. This way, they are more difficult to boost with exports, as is sometimes the case for wholesales. Note imports, pickups and medium to heavy commercials are not included in this dataset, but it sometimes includes a more detailed split by model variant.

BYD (+41.3%) continues to gallop ahead with over 226,000 sales. The Song Pro (+128%), Yuan Plus (+58.2%), Qin Plus (+38%), Qin (+29.9%) and Dolphin (+18.9%) help as do newcomers such as the Seagull, Yuan Pro and Corvette 07. The Tang (-17.4%), Han (-17.9%) and Seal (-56.9%) are all in trouble. Volkswagen (+3.1%) is very soft again despite strong performances by the ID.3 (+601.3%), Talagon (+86.3%), Magotan (+44%), Sagitar (+40.3%), ID.4 Crozz (+33.8%), Tiguan (+24.7%), Tayron (+23.9%) and CC (+17.8%). Toyota (-2.2%) actually drops year-on-year, models in positive include the Front Lander (+117.2%), Corolla Cross (+86.1%), Highlander (+28.8%), Wildlander (+20.7%), Crown Kluger (+17.7%) and RAV4 (+12.1%). Volkswagen and Toyota’s evolution conform the trend of Chinese car buyers stepping away from legacy foreign carmakers.

Honda (+16.6%) roughly matches the market at #4, followed by Geely (+56.1%) just under 100,000 units, scoring its largest monthly volume of the year. Changan (+3.6%) and Wuling (-1.1%) disappoint, as does Nissan (-13.7%) at #9. Audi (+22.4%) shines but BMW (+10.6%) is under the market growth rate. Below, Chery (+23.2%) advances to #11 while Li Auto (+296.3%) breaks its monthly volume record for the 7th time in a row (!) and passes the 40,000 monthly sales milestone for the first time. It also climbs to a new ranking record of #14. Given all its lineup looks the same, it’s an incredible achievement for the brand. Xpeng (+272.1%) also breaks its monthly volume record at 17,603 vs. a previous best of 16,357 hit in December 2021. Aion (+131.4%), Shenlan/Deepal (+130.8%), Jetour (+116.6%), Leapmotor (+87.3%) and Tesla (+69.2%) also impress below.

Over in the models ranking, we have a new #1: launched last April, the BYD Seagull takes the reins for the first time thanks to almost 35,000 sales. It now ranks #19 year-to-date. Like last month, there are four BYD models in the Top 5, with the Qin Plus (+38%) at #2, the Song Plus (-6.4%) at #4 and the Yuan Plus (+58.2%) at #5. The Nissan Sylphy (-8.1%) is the exception at #3, up four spots on September. The VW Lavida (-1%) rallies back up 6 ranks on last month to #6, distancing the BYD Dolphin (+18.9%) up one spot to #7. Leader last month, the Tesla Model Y (+81.5%) is down to #8 but still manages a fantastic year-on-year lift. At #10, it’s a first Top 10 finish for the Wuling Bingo launched last February. 

Previous month: China retail September 2023: Four BYD models in Top 5, Li Auto breaks record again

One year ago: China retail October 2022: First market fall since May (-1.9%), BYD, Audi shine

Full October 2023 Top 115 All brands and Top 675 All models below.

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