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China retail January 2024: Volkswagen and Lavida start the year at #1, market up 68.1%

The VW Lavida is the best-selling vehicle in China for the first time in 3 years.

19/03 update: Now with revised figures for all brands and models.

Chinese retail sales of the selection of vehicles included in this update rally back up 68.1% year-on-year in January to 2,084,941 units. January 2023 sales, at 1,238,434, were down -43.2% on the year prior (2,180,867 in January 2022) as volumes were plagued by a Covid surge, no more tax breaks and EV incentives and fewer working days due to an earlier Lunar New Year. As a result January 2024 remains below January 2022. 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 vehicle market in the world. Retail sales tend to give a more authentic picture of the market as they roughly correspond to registrations by end-customers and are more difficult to artificially boost by manufacturers with exports which can sometimes be the case for wholesales data. Note pickups and medium to heavy commercial vehicles are not included in this dataset, but it includes a more detailed split by model variant (Jetour X70, X70 Coupe, X70 Plus, X70M and X70S for example).

Volkswagen (+95.7%) almost doubles its sales year-on-year and repeats at #1, showing it’s not yet over and out. This month it has a whopping 85,000 unit advantage over #2 BYD (+54%) which, for once, trails the market. VW’s best performers include the ID.3 (+820.8%), Tavendor (+417.5%), ID.4 Crozz (+250.6%), Viloran (+231.6%), T-Cross (+222%), Talagon (+204.1%) and CC (+201.1%). As for BYD, great performers include the e6 (+457.1%), e3 (+265.7%), Qin Plus (+227.7%), Destroyer 05 (+82.5%), and Song Pro (+66.6%). In 3rd place we have Toyota (+51.8%) also not able to catch up with the market growth despite outstanding performances by the Granvia (+220.2%), Corolla Cross (+189.1%), RAV4 (+179.1%), Front Lander (+150.6%) and Avalon (+136.9%). Geely (+88.7%) overtakes Honda (+85.5%) for the 4th spot overall, while Changan (+24.4%) leap frogs past Nissan (+63.3%) and Wuling (+38.7%). Audi (+118.6%) reaches an all-time high monthly volume record, with BMW (+40.3%) rounding out the Top 10. Chery (+138.7%), Hongqi (+103.6%) and Jetour (+187.8%) also impress while AITO (+915.8%) smashes its record monthly tally at over 33,000 units.

Over in the models ranking, the VW Lavida (+86.7%) is up seven spots on December to return to the pole position for the first time in three years (since February 2021). It is followed by the Nissan Sylphy (+54.3%) and VW Sagitar (+97.3%). The BYD Song Plus (+3.5%) falls to #4 just as the AITO M7 (+2137%) skyrockets 20 ranks on last mo t to a record 5th place, smashing its monthly volume record as it did in the wholesales charts also. Leader over the Full Year 2023 and in December, the Tesla Model Y (+117.9%) falls to #6 but still manages to outdo the market. The BYD Qin Plus (+227.7%) and VW Passat (+178.2%) do the same whereas the Haval H6 (+42.6%) is more discreet. The BYD Seagull is the most popular recent launch at #10 ahead of the Wuling Bingo (#44), Li Auto L7 (#45) and Jetour Traveler (#54).

Previous post: China retail Full Year 2023: BYD and Tesla Model Y on top

One year ago: China January 2023: Sales freefall -43.2%, BYD, Tesla islands of growth

Full January 2024 Top 115 All brands and Top 670 All models below.

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