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China March 2018 Retail sales: Toyota Corolla surprise leader

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling vehicle in China in March in our new Retail reports.

* See the Top 95 All China-made brands and Top 580 models by clicking on the title *

April 2017 – January 2018 monthly All-models data also available, Contact us here

This is a new, exclusive, update on BSCB, and for the second time we can share with you complete retail sales figures for China. These paint a very different picture than the wholesales data we have been publishing and will continue doing so. Volkswagen remains by far the most popular marque in the country, but only one other carmaker posts a six-digit sales figure in March: Toyota, up from #6 in February. Geely is down one spot to round up the podium ahead of Honda and Nissan.

Very first appearance of the Nio ES8 in the Chinese sales charts.

Helped by the addition of microvans in the Retail ranking, Wuling climbs up to #6 overall, distancing Buick (-3), Baojun (-5), Hyundai (+1) and Audi (+7). Changan, Dongfeng and Haval are grouped just outside the Top 10, all within 338 sales. Among recent brand launches, WEY is down 4 spots on last month to #37 while Lynk & Co is up 7 ranks to #43, Yudo up 12 to #70 and Traum up 4 to #73. Below Sinogold (#80), Xpeng (#81) and Arcfox (#82), Nio makes its very first appearance in any Chinese ranking with two ES8 crossovers finding a new home this month.

The Wuling Hongguang ranks #2 overall even when stripped out of its S3 crossover sales.

Over in the models ranking, the separation of some variants and the closer-to-market retail figures make for a completely different ranking. Whereas it has never topped the wholesales charts, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling retail model in China in March with over 35.500 units (up from #8 in February), including 8.293 hybrid variants, making it the best-selling New Energy vehicle in China this month. Stripped of its S3 crossover variant (itself down 21 spots on last month to #42), the Wuling Hongguang however manages a 34.800-strong result in 2nd place overall, with over 100.000 sales in Q1 (#2 also). The VW Lavida (ex-Gran Lavida and Lavida Cross) rounds up the podium both in March and YTD, ahead of the Nissan Sylphy (+2).

The Baojun 510 has topped the Retail SUV charts for 7 of the past 8 months.

As it is the case in the wholesale rankings, the Baojun 510 is the best-selling SUV in the country, ranking 5th overall but #1 YTD thanks to 104.330 units sold so far this year. Contrary to the wholesale situation however, the 510 has topped the SUV ladder for 7 of the past 8 months starting last August, as the Haval H6 is here stripped of its H6 Coupe variant. In fact, for the first time since we have access to retail data (April 2017) the H6 falls to under 20.000 monthly units to #10 and #3 SUV below the VW Tiguan. Volkswagen indeed manages to place an astounding 7 nameplates inside the March Top 13: the Lavida (#3), Santana (#6), Jetta (#7), Tiguan (#8), Sagitar (#9), Bora (#12) and Magotan (#13).

Over 4.000 Jinbei X30 found a new home in China in March.

This retail ranking also includes some microvans such as the Wuling Hongguang V shooting up 38 spots on February to #15, the Wuling Sunshine up 51 to #44 and the Wuling Rongguang up 84 to #89. Among other nameplates that don’t show up in the wholesales data, the Baojun 310W station wagon is down 24 spots on February to #48, the Haval H6 Coupe is down 23 to #88, the JAC iEV6e is up 148 to #114, outselling the BAIC EC-Series (#127), the Jinbei X30 is up 105 to #124, the Dongfeng Fengxing Jingye X5 down 64 to #131, JMC Teshun up 125 to #133, JAC Refine M3 up 47 to #143, Chevrolet Malibu XL up 22 to #155 and Haval H2s down 46 to #163.

The Changhe Q7 makes its first appearance in any Chinese ranking.

Among recent launches, the Baojun 530 confirm its wholesale surge with 9.420 retail sales, up 131 spots on February to crack the Top 50 at #50. Most March wholesale launches however don’t appear yet in the retail rankings – somewhat logically – such as the Haval H4, Roewe Ei5 and DS 7. The Zotye T500 ranks at #329 and the Yudo π3 at #453. Reversely we have three new models appearing for the first time in the Retail charts this month: the Skoda Karoq already features in the wholesales data and lands here at #292, but the next two are exclusive to Retail for now: the Changhe Q7, launched at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November, ranks at #447 with 84 sales and the Nio ES8 electric crossover points its sculpted bonnet at #557 with two units.

Previous month: China February 2018: Discover exclusive Retail Sales figures

Full March 2018 Top 95 All China-made brands and Top 580 models below.

(more…)

China Imports March 2018: Lexus ES reclaims control

The Lexus ES is the best-selling import in China both in March and YTD.

* See the Top 50 All imported brands and Top 234 models by clicking on the title *

All-brands and All-models 2017 monthly data available, contact us here for more details.

China imports data is a new monthly update on BSCB. Note no media outside of China is reporting on these figures, BSCB being the first to do so. China President Xi Jinping announced this week that the 25% tax slapped in imported cars will be reduced – rumours are of a new rate as low as 5%, which will undoubtedly spur a volume increase, but this should be levelled somehow with the end of the joint-venture rule to allow local production, set to disappear for all vehicles by 2022. For now, import sales in China are up 4.7% year-on-year in March to 96.905 units, leading to a Q1 tally up 12.3% to 281.982. Mercedes brilliantly remains atop the brands imports ranking with deliveries up 17% to just under 17.500, cementing its YTD leadership (it ranked #2 in 2017). The best performer near the top of the charts is without a doubt Lexus shooting up 30% to over 14.000 registrations, by far the best-selling pure importer in China, selling almost 3 times the next best thing, Porsche (5.123). Leader in 2017, BMW drops a worrying 16% year-on-year to #3 this month but remains at #2 YTD (-3%) above Lexus (+28%). Toyota and Land Rover round up the Top 5, both gaining 21% on March 2017.

Tesla is up 13-fold to become China’s 10th best-selling imported marque in March.

If Audi beats the market at +14%, Lincoln (-5%) and Volkswagen (-24%) are in difficulty but Tesla posts the most spectacular gain in the Top 20, up 13-fold on its March 2017 score to land at #10 imported brand vs. #20 over the FY2017 thanks to extremely dynamic sales of the Model X up 1202% to #11 and the Model S up 1125% to #21. Just outside the Top 10, Mini (-17%) and Subaru (-23%) disappoint while further down, Mazda (+7325%) thanks to the newly imported CX-3, Aston Martin (+194%), Ssangyong (+83%), Buick (+65%), Ferrari (+50%), Bentley (+34%), Nissan (+34%), Mitsubishi (+32%) and Infiniti (+17%). Among newcomers (in market for <12 months), Alfa Romeo leads the pack at #22 with the Giulia and Stelvio while Ram ranks 33rd.

The CLA is Mercedes’ best-selling import in China in March.

Over in the models ranking, after being outsold by the BMW X5 for two consecutive months, the Lexus ES reclaims control in a majestic way: up 17% to just under 6.000 units, also earning the #1 YTD spot with sales up 21%. The BMW X5 is knocked down to #2 for the month and YTD, while the Mercedes CLA soars 42% to land on the third step of the podium. Stunningly, the NX (+41%) and RX (+3%) make it three Lexus in the Top 5 in March. The Mercedes S-Class (+75%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+54%) and Range Rover (+23%) also shine in the Top 10. Further down, notice the Mercedes B Class (+78%) and Nissan Patrol (+41%) while among recent launches (<12 months) the Range Rover Velar (#41) remains king above the Porsche 718 (#49), BMW 6 Series GT (#79) and Mazda CX-3 (#81).

Previous month: China February 2018: Exclusive imports data now available

Previous year: China Full Year 2017: Exclusive imports data by model and brand

Full March 2018 Top 50 All imported brands and Top 234 models ranking below.

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China March 2018: Focus on the All-new models

Zotye T500

As per the BSCB tradition, after covering March sales in detail, we can now focus on the all-new locally produced launches so you can stay up-to-date on the fastest-evolving automobile market in the world. Note that with the arrival of bi-monthly updates for China on BSCB (wholesales and retail), you may have already picked up some of these new entrants in last month’s retail update, our “Focus on the All-new models” will remain based on our wholesales updates until further noticed. After just one new entrant in February – the Baojun 530 already above 12.000 sales this month – the class of March 2017 counts 5 newcomers, 4 SUVs and one station wagon, and two of them are New Energy vehicles. You can stay up-to-the-minute on the fast-expanding list of all active Chinese brands by consulting our Exclusive Guide to all 146 Chinese Brands, updated live.

1. Zotye T500 (#133 – 4.947 sales)

Unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show back in April 2017 but launched only recently, the T500 pleasantly surprises as one (the only?) Zotye that is not copied on any German (read Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche) model. It logically slots in between the smaller T300 and larger T600 in the “standard” Zotye line-up. Priced from 69.800 to 123.800 yuan (US$ 11.100-19.700), it is powered by a choice of 116 hp 1.6 or 156hp 1.5 turbo engine and features a very attractively designed dashboard (see below). However, the T500 adds to the already crowded army of very similarly sized and priced Zotye already in market, such as the Damai X5 (69.900-111.900 yuan), SR7 (66.800-101.800) and the brand’s very first offer in the segment, the T600 (79.800-142.800 yuan).

Zotye T500 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

Add to these two additional nameplates sold under different brands but remaining “Zotye-at-heart”: the Hanteng X5 (59.800-106.800 yuan) and Traum S70 (81.900-115.900 yuan). Local outlet Autohome.com.cn pits the T500 against such blockbusters as the Haval H6 (103.000-146.800 yuan), Changan CS55 (83.900-132.900 yuan) and Baojun 530 (75.800-115.800 yuan). Zotye has got us used to having its best-selling SUVs cross the monthly 10.000 unit-mark, such as the T300 (personal best of 12.093 in December 2017), T600 (15.547 in November 2015), T700 (14.411 in December 2017) or Damai X5 (12.266 in December 2015). Given its price, the T500 should also achieve this milestone to be deemed a success.

Bar for success: 10.000 monthly units

Haval H4 (red label)Haval H4 (blue label)

2. Haval H4 (#255 – 1.429 sales)

Haval being the #1 SUV brand in China, every new nameplate launch by the Great Wall-owned brand is an event. Unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2017, the H4 unfortunately looks like many of the brand’s or WEY’s recent launches, and is instantly available in red or blue label versions that only differ with their front and back body design. The H4’s interior is of great quality as we have come to expect from the brand, but a little schizophrenic, hesitating between the straight lines of its strangely floating touch screen and the more rounded aspects of the rest of its cockpit.

Haval H4 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The H4 is powered by a choice of two engines: a new 139hp 1.3 turbo and a 170hp 1.5 turbo, both mated to a seven-speed DCT. It is priced between 106.000 and 116.000 yuan (US$16.900-18.500) and slots in-between the H2s (84.000-103.000 yuan) and the new H6 (118.800-132.800 yuan), two Haval nameplates from which it only differs very slightly. Both Haval’s previous two launches have crossed the 10.000 unit-mark once since their launch: the H7 appeared in April 2016 and hit 10.852 in December 2016 while the M6 landed in August 2017 and reached 10.059 deliveries in November of the same year. We should expect the same from the H4, which autohome.com.cn pits against the H6, H6 Coupe, Geely Boyue (98.800-159.800 yuan) and Changan CS55 (83.900-132.900 yuan).

Bar for success: 10.000 monthly units

3. Roewe Ei5 (#312 – 714 sales)

The Roewe Ei5 is a rarity: it’s the first pure electric station wagon by a Chinese brand to be launched here. Under a stylish exterior in fact hides the platform of the Buick Excelle GX, thanks to the fact that SAIC, Roewe’s parent company, is one of the joint-venture partners of General Motors. The two models however do not compete with each other as the Excelle GX (119.900-146.900 yuan, or US$19.100-23.400) isn’t available as an electric variant while at this stage the Ei5 only exists as such, and is priced from 213.800 to 223.800 yuan (US$34.000-35.600) before government subsidies. The Ei5 follows a new naming pattern inaugurated by the i6 sedan launched a year ago in March 2017.

Roewe Ei5 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The Ei5 is powered by a 116hp electric motor, with Roewe announcing a 300 km range and 145 km/h top speed. Later in 2018, the carmaker will release petrol version of this model which will be called i5. They will be powered by the same engines as the Buick Excelle GX: a 125hp 1.0 and 163hp 1.3. Competitors for the Ei5 are spread across a large spectrum going from fellow station wagons – such as the Excelle GX itself, the VW Gran Lavida (112.900-162.900 yuan) and the C-Trek (116.900-162.900 yuan) – to similarly-sized New Energy vehicles such as the BYD Qin (185.900-260.700 yuan) and the Roewe RX5 EV (265.900-296.800 yuan).

Bar for success: (Ei5) 2.500 monthly units, (i5) 5.000 monthly units

4. DS 7 (#379 – 174 sales)

DS (pronounced déesse, French for goddess) is a French premium marque launched as a sub-brand in 2009 by PSA Peugeot-Citroen, then becoming a standalone brand in 2014. Its name is a reference to the historical Citroen DS and is an abbreviation of Different Spirit. The new DS 7, launched in late last year in Europe, has now reached Chinese shores and is the brand’s new flagship. I talked about it in my Guangzhou Auto Show 2017 highlights. Although all Peugeot and Citroen models are made in China by the Dongfeng-PSA joint-venture, DS cars are manufactured by the Changan-PSA joint-venture. DS is in dire straits in China with last year’s sales imploding 64% from 16.156 in 2016 to just 5.847 in 2016.

DS 7 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The DS 7 is thus awaited like the messiah but the task at hand is monumental: the DS brand hasn’t had a four-digit sales month since January 2017 and with just 174 sales for its very first appearance in the Chinese wholesales charts it already accounts for 56% of the brand’s volume in March… The rest of the lineup is all but dead: 72 DS 4S, 35 DS 5LS, 25 DS 6 and just 4 DS 5. Powered by a 217hp 1.6 turbo engine, the 7 is 4.57m long and based on the PSA EMP2 platform. It is priced between 213.900 and 314.900 yuan (US$ 34.000-50.100). If in Europe the DS 7 aims at the Volvo XC60 (369.900-479.900 yuan) and Audi Q5 (399.600-519.200 yuan), in China DS has priced its new flagship a lot lower. The result: the local press doesn’t really consider it premium and pits it against compatriots the Peugeot 4008 (185.700-273.700 yuan) and Renault Koleos (179.800-269.800 yuan) which actually makes more sense.

Bar for success: 3.000 monthly units

5. Yudo π3 (#398 – 70 sales)

Yudo New Energy is a new electric vehicle manufacturer partly owned by Fujian Motor and the Putian city, located in the eastern Fujian province. The brand’s first two production models, the π1 and π3 crossovers, were both unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2017, with a commercial launch for the π1 happening in July 2017. We detailed its actual appearance in the wholesales ranking last January. Now is the turn of the much more extravagantly designed π3, landing just inside the March Top 400 with a very modest 70 sales for now. The initial annual capacity of Yudo’s factory in 80.000 units, so this figure can climb up comfortably in the near future.

Yudo π3 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

Priced between 170.800 and 186.800 yuan before green cars subsidies (US$27.200-29.700) and announcing a 250 km range, the π3 competes with the likes of the Changan CS15EV (189.400-196.400 yuan) and JAC iEV7S (207.100 yuan).The success of electric vehicles remain for now heavily dependent on car-sharing schemes in China, with private ownership still nascent. Yudo’s association with a province may restrict its expansion across the nation and muzzle its sales though.

Bar for success: 2.000 monthly units

Previous month: China February 2018: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China February-March 2017: Focus on the All-new models

China March 2018: Hyundai and Chevrolet shine in market back up 4.7%

The renewed Hyundai ix35 is up 7-fold on the previous model a year ago.

* See the Top 78 China-made brands and Top 433 models (wholesales) by clicking on the title *

According to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the Chinese new vehicle market is back in positive territory after dropping 11.2% in February due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Sales are up 4.7% to 2.66 million units with light vehicles up 3.5% to 2.168.600. SUVs are once again leading the charge at +10.7% and 921.200 units, while sedans are up a strong 3.7% to 1.026.500 and commercial vehicles surge 10.5% to 491.400. In contrast, MPVs are down 11% to 176.400 and microvans down 40.3% to 44.500. Over the First Quarter, the Chinese market is up 2.8% to a new record 7.186.700 units, with light vehicle sales up 2.6% to a record 6.100.300 and commercial vehicles up 4.1% to a record 1.086.400. In the detail of light vehicles, sedans return to grace at +0.8% to 2.862.200, SUVs shoot up 11.3% to 2.655.600 but MPVs drop 13.8% to 476.410 and microvans sink 37.2% to 105.900. New energy vehicles continue to soar, with sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrids up 117.4% in March to 67.778 and up 154.3% to 142.577 over Q1. Chinese brands hold 45.2% of the overall market over Q1, a slight decrease on the same period in 2017.

The new Lavida Plus means Volkswagen could continue outpacing the Chinese market this year.

Leader Volkswagen outpaces the market with a 7% year-on-year gain – its largest since last September – to 275.349 wholesales, lifting its Q1 tally to above 800.000 units (+4%). Geely manages a 6th consecutive month in the overall 2nd place and a 7th consecutive six-digit monthly volume (10th ever) with sales surging another 32% year-on-year. In spite of deliveries down 10% year-on-year, Changan is up two spots on February to land on the podium for the first time in a full year (since the #2 it reached in March 2017), while Toyota gains three ranks to #4 despite sales down 2%, distancing Honda (-13%) and Nissan up a robust 15% to #6. Baojun continues to improve at +24% to just under 98.000 sales at #7 above Buick (-2%) but the largest gainer in the Top 10 is Hyundai, posting its first YoY gain since February 2017 at +39% and finally recovering from a nightmarish stint linked to Korea-China tensions around the North Korean situation. Haval rounds up the Top 10 but sinks 18% on March 2017.

The Malibu (+96%) helps propel Chevrolet to its largest year-on-year gain in at least 5 years.

Just outside the Top 10, Chevrolet manages a very impressive 52% year-on-year gain, the brand’s largest in at least five years. Below and among foreign carmakers, apart from Citroen (+270%) on a very low base a year ago, Luxgen (+165%) and Kia (+97%) recuperating like sister brand Hyundai, it’s premium brands that fare the best, with Cadillac (+68%), Jaguar (+54%), Volvo (+40%), Audi (+28%) and Mercedes (+16%) all posting stunning gains. As it has become the norm in the past few years, the ranks of Chinese carmakers posting spectacular year-on-year improvements are more crowded: Qoros (+413%), Zotye (+97%), MG (+89%), Brilliance (+76%), JAC (+33%), GAC Trumpchi (+28%), Venucia (+27%), Chery (+19%), Roewe (+16%) and BYD (+10%) stand out. But Jinbei (-82%), Landwind (-80%), Cowin (-77%), JMC (-65%), Great Wall (-46%), Haima (-39%), Yema (-36%) and Changhe (-35%) are in great difficulty while among foreign brands Suzuki (-61%), Borgward (-34%), DS (-31%), Acura (-25%) and Jeep (-25%) struggle.

Lynk & Co posts all-time record sales this month in China.

Among recent brand launches (<12 months), WEY rallies back up 66% on February to 14.130 units, albeit still far off the three consecutive months above 20.000 units the brand managed between last November and January. Lynk & Co on the other hand soars 112% on last month to a record 8.507 units, breaking into the Top 40 brands for the first time. The remaining newcomers are way below: Traum is down 17% to 1.295 sales, Dearcc up to a best-ever 928 units, Yudo up 72% to 346 deliveries, Arcfox up 40% to 84 and Xpeng up 233% to 30.

The S3 crossover enables the Wuling Hongguang to comfortably dominate the March models ranking.

Over in the models ranking, helped by undisclosed wholesales of its new S3 crossover variant, the Wuling Hongguang signs a comfortable victory this month, almost 10.000 units above any other nameplates, and as a result snaps the YTD lead despite sales down 3% to just under 150.000. The VW Lavida is up two spots on February but down 21% year-on-year in 2nd place, and the launch of the new generation named Lavida Plus will likely remedy this slump. In fact, VW shows its power in the sedan segment this month with 5 nameplates in the Top 8: the Sagitar (+22%), Bora (+39%), Magotan (+55%) and Santana (-5%). In third place overall, the Baojun 510 (+128%), is the #1 SUV in China for the 2nd month running, repeating its victory over the Haval H6 (-4%) that ended the latter’s 55 months of reign in February.

The new generation propels the Changan Eado up 85%.

Both the Nissan Sylphy (+8%) and Toyota Corolla (+11%) beat the market while the Baojun 310 returns to the #1 Chinese passenger car spot with deliveries surging 78% year-on-year thanks to the 310W station wagon. Outside the Top 10, the Changan Eado benefits from the new generation to gallop 85% ahead of the previous model a year ago at #16 and outsell the traditional Chinese passenger car leader, the Geely Emgrand EC7 up just 4% to #18 overall. The Hyundai Elantra Lingdong recuperates 231% at #21, the Chana CX70 is up 19% to break its monthly volume record at 18.071, with the Hyundai ix35 lifted up 604% by the new generation, Nissan X-Trail (+94%), Audi A4L (+74%), Toyota Camry (+68%), Hyundai Mistra (+59%), Buick Verano (+54%), Geely Emgrand GL (+52%) and GS (+48%) also performing extremely well within the Top 50. Further down, the Hyundai Tucson (+1328%) and the MG 6, crossing the 10.000 monthly unit-milestone for the first time, stand out.

The Baojun 530 sells over 12.000 units for its 2nd month in market.

The Changan CS55 remains the most popular recent launch in China at #19 overall with 20.169 sales, ahead of the BYD Song MAX at a record #32, outselling the Baojun 730 (#35) for the first time to rank #2 MPV. Launched last month, the Baojun 530 is up 6-fold on its inaugural month and 134 spots to break into the Top 50 at #48 and 12.032 sales. It is followed by the Geely Vision X3 (#62), Lynk & Co 01 (#78), Zotye T300 (#82), GAC Trumpchi GS3 (#87), Geely Vision S1 (#88), Chery Tiggo 5x (#91) and Roewe RX3 (#92). The BAIC EC-Series continues to dominate New Energy nameplates at #85 with 7.818 sales (+117%), above the JAC iEV at 5.031 (+235%), BYD Song EV at 4.696, BYD Qin at 3.971 (+106%), BYD e5 at 3.798 (+142%) and Chery eQ at 3.279 (+356%).

Previous month: China February 2018: Baojun 510 #1 SUV, ends 55 months of Haval H6 reign

One year ago: China March 2017: Baojun wins 510 bet in market up 1.7%

Full March 2018 Top 78 All China-made brands and Top 433 models below.

(more…)

China February 2018: Discover exclusive Retail Sales figures

The secret is out: official retail sales are now available for the Wuling Hongguang S3 crossover.

* See the Top 92 All China-made brands and Top 602 models by clicking on the title *

April 2017 – January 2018 monthly All-models data also available, Contact us here

This is a new, exclusive, monthly update on BSCB. Up until now the traditional monthly sales figures published on this site for China were wholesales. Although they usefully track the success of locally-produced nameplates, wholesales can be subject to abrupt changes to reflect actual demand in dealerships, one example being the “disappearance” of the Baojun 560 from the rankings for the past couple of months. We now have access to monthly retail sales data so you can track the success of all China-made nameplates “in real time.” This month is dedicated to the outlining the models list differences between Wholesales and Retail Data, we will initiate proper commentary with March 2018 data.

Haval H6 and H6 Coupe (pictured) sales are split in these Retail rankings……as are sales for the Haval H2 and H2s (pictured).

Monthly data going back to April 2017 is also available on demand. The arrival of Chinese Retail Data on BSCB is part of our continued effort to give you the most detailed coverage of the largest car market in the world, and on top of exclusive figures we also have access to sales splits that are unavailable for wholesales. As a result, no less than 602 nameplates are covered in 2018 vs. just 415 for the wholesales data and 715 over the last 9 months of 2017 vs. 595 wholesales.

The Dongfeng Fengdu MX5, Fengxing Joyear X5 and X6 are now listed.

As such, exclusive retail sales figures are now available for the Wuling Hongguang S3 crossover (#21 in February and year-to-date), the Baojun 310W (#24 and #30), Haval H6 Coupe (#65 and #94), Haval H2s (#117 and #138) and variant detail for the Dongfeng Fengxing Joyear X3, X5, X6 and XV as far as nameplates inside the Top 200 are concerned, all the while the Baojun 560 returns at #73.

Landwind model splits are now available. Pictured: Happy, X2 and X7.

Most interestingly perhaps, we can finally share with you Landwind model splits, a carmaker that until now only shared brand wholesales data, revealing the X7 as the brand’s best-seller at #248 in February ahead of the X2 (#318) and X5 (#351) while the all-new Landwind Happy ranks at #387 and the X8 at #447. The Hongqi H7 finally benefits from uninterrupted sales reporting, while the entire Chana Raesor lineup is also a retail novelty, with the S50, S50T, M70, M80 and M90 now in the ranking.

Chana Oushang X70AChana Raesor S50TJAC Refine M4Zotye T500

The JAC Refine MPV lineup is now detailed into the R3, M3, M4, M5 and M6 variants while the JAC Refine S2 mini is separate from the S2 and he Haima S5 Young separate from the S5. The Dongfgeng Fengxing S500, F600 and Fengdu MX5 are now accounted for, as the BAIC Huansu H6, Chana Oushang X70A, Changhe A6, Changan Eado DT, Dongfeng Yufeng and Yufgeng S16, Foday Landfort, Foton Gratour im6, im8 and View, Hawtai Santa Fe 7, Jinbei S35, JMC Teshun and Zotye T500.

Chana Star 9Chevrolet Malibu XLHyundai CelestaHyundai Reina

The Retail ranking also includes some microvans and mini pickups that are also covered in the China LCV updates, such as the Wuling Hongguang V, Rongguang and Sunshine, Chana Star 2, 3, 7 and 9 and the Dongfeng Xiaokang K01 and C31. Among foreign nameplates, we now have access to regular sales for the Hyundai Reina and Celesta and the Chevrolet Malibu XL split (new generation). As far as new brands are concerned, Retail data includes the Sinogold GM3 (#478) and YGM E-Series (#524). I have made a point to illustrate this article as extensively as possible so you can catch up on all nameplates that weren’t included in our wholesale updates.

Full February 2018 Retail Sales Top 92 All-brands and Top 602 All-models below.

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China February 2018: Exclusive imports data now available

The BMW X5 repeats at #1 in China’s imported models ranking in February.

* See the Top 46 All imported brands and Top 230 models by clicking on the title *

All-brands and All-models 2017 monthly data available, contact us here for more details.

China imported data is a new monthly update on BSCB. Note no media outside of China is reporting on these figures, BSCB being the first to do so. Import sales in China are up 7.1% year-on-year in February to 64.005 units, leading to a year-to-date volume up 16.7% to 185.046 deliveries. #2 over the Full Year 2017, Mercedes however remains the best-selling imported brand in China, and by a large margin, thanks to sales up 18% to 12.114 while BMW edges up just 2% to 9.470. Lexus drops 4% in third place above Toyota (+45%) and Land Rover (+59%) both delivering stunning performances. In the remainder of the Top 10, Nissan (+148%) stands out while Audi (+21%), Lincoln (+11%) and Porsche (+11%) all beat the market but Volkswagen disappoints at -28%. Further down, Tesla (+122%), Bentley (+98%), Infiniti (+37%), Ssangyong (+35%) and Mitsubishi (+33%) post very solid scores while the newly imported CX-3 propels Mazda up 44-fold year-on-year… Newcomers Alfa Romeo (#22) and Ram (#32) remain discreet.

Imports of Toyota Land Cruiser are up 114% year-on-year in China in February. 

Model-wise, the BMW X5 repeats in first place, managing two consecutive wins for the first time in at least a year thanks to deliveries up 56% year-on-year whereas the FY2017 leader, the Lexus ES, drops 11% in 2nd place. The Mercedes GLE (+5%) climbs onto the podium ahead of the Toyota Land Cruiser more than doubling its sales year-on-year (+114%) at #4. The Porsche Macan (+12%) breaks into the Top 5, equal with the Mercedes CLA with the Mercedes S-Class (+64%) and Range Rover (+62%) also posting spectacular gains in the Top 10. Just outside, the Nissan Patrol soars 193% to #11, the BMW 7 Series is up 24% to #12, the Audi Q7 up 58% to #15 and the Porsche Panamera is up 13-fold to #16.

The Range Rover Velar is the most popular new imported launch in China.

Chinese imports remain a mostly premium affair: if we consider the Toyota Land Cruiser, Prado and Nissan Patrol as premium nameplates from mass brands, the Subaru Forester is the best-selling imported mass vehicle at a lowly #23 and the only in the Top 30 if we take the VW Touareg as premium. The Ford Explorer (#31) and Smart Fortwo (#40) follow. Mercedes places 6 nameplates in the Top 30, BMW 4, Lexus and Land Rover 3. The Range Rover Velar tops recent launches (<12 months) at #26, well ahead of the Porsche 718 at #65, BMW 6 Series GT at #83, Ford F-150 at #87, Mercedes AMG SLC at #92 and Alfa Romeo Giulia at #98.

Previous month: China January 2018: Exclusive imports models and brands data now available

Previous year: China Full Year 2017: Exclusive imports data by model and brand

Full February 2018 Top 46 All imported brands and Top 230 models ranking below.

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China February 2018: Focus on the All-new models

As per the BSCB tradition, after covering February sales in detail, we now focus on the all-new locally produced launches so you can stay up-to-date on the fastest-evolving automobile market in the world. After 7 new entrants in December and 9 in January, the February 2018 class amounts to a very lonely single new start, due to the fact that the Chinese New Year Holiday falls right in the middle of the month this year. But as far as new starts are concerned, this could be one of the most anticipated this year. You can stay up-to-the-minute on the fast expanding list of all active Chinese brands by consulting our Exclusive Guide to all 144 Chinese Brands.

1. Baojun 530 (#182 – 2.005 sales)

Just this month, the Baojun 510 has managed to dislodge the Haval H6 from the SUV throne it held for the past 55 consecutive months. Yet at the time of launch in February 2017, the 510 was an audacious design bet, parting with the conservative (but extremely successful) lines of the 730 MPV and 560 SUV. A bet it has transformed in the most spectacular way: with 416.883 sales in its first 12 months, the Baojun 510 has become the most popular new car ever introduced in the world, beating the previous record held for the past 40 years by the Ford Fairmont with 405.780 units sold in its first year of sale in the US in 1978. The 510 also became the fastest nameplate in China to 300.000 units (10 months vs. 11 for the Baojun 560) and to 400.000 units (12 months).

Baojun 530 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

The Baojun brand was founded in 2010 and is owned by the SAIC-GM Wuling joint venture. The low-cost marque builds on the extraordinarily successful 510’s sharp design with this larger 530 which has large shoes to fill to say the least. At 4.66m long, the 530 however remains a 5-seater and is priced from 75.800 to 115.800 yuan (US$11.970-18.300), to be compared with the 510 at 54.800-76.800 yuan and the 560 at 69.800-117.800 yuan, making the 530 Baojun’s new flagship. It is powered by a 150hp 1.5 turbo coupled with a six-speed manual or DCT or a 137hp 1.8 coupled with a 5-speed manual. No all-wheel-drive option is available.

The 530 enters a rapidly saturating market, competing with the likes of the Haval H6, Changan CS55 and CS75, all blockbuster sellers. Before it, the Baojun 560 managed to sell 112.000 units it its first 5 months and 319.536 it its first 12 and the 510 is the most successful car launch in history. Given how similar the 530 looks to the 510, it would be unreasonable to expect the same performance level, but Baojun should count on at least 20.000 monthly units to deem the 530 a success. The main challenge for the 530 will however be internal: minimising cannibalisation of the 510, as the latter has totally annihilated the 560.

Bar for success: 20.000 monthly units

Previous month: China January 2018: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China February-March 2018: Focus on the All-new models

China February 2018: Baojun 510 #1 SUV, ends 55 months of Haval H6 reign

One year after launch, the Baojun 510 is the #1 SUV in China for the first time.

* See the Top 75 China-made brands and Top 415 models by clicking on the title *

In 2017, the Chinese New Year holiday ran from January 27 to February 2, affecting January car sales adversely (-1.1%) while February caught up (+22%). This year the reverse has happened: January was surprisingly strong (+12%) but February is down as the New Year Holiday ran from February 15 to 21, putting a spanner in the works of local car sales. According to statistics compiled by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, light vehicle sales are down 9.6% to 1.475.500 units, with sedans down 12% to 677.000, SUVs uncharacteristically down 3.1% to 651.300, MPVs down 18% to 121.500 and microvans down 40.3% to 25.700. Commercial vehicle sales are hit the hardest at -19.2% to 241.100 units, resulting in a total new vehicle market skidding down 11.2% to 1.717.600 sales.

The S3 SUV helps the Wuling Hongguang snap the overall top spot in February.

Among passenger cars, Chinese-branded vehicles are down 11.1% in February to 692.920 or 47.4% market share, compared with 294.400 and 19.9% for German cars, 227.400 and 15.4% for Japanese, 167.750 and 11.3% for American, 57.100 and 3.9% for South Korean and 19.400 and 1.3% for French cars. Year-to-date, the Chinese new passenger car market edges up 2.1% to a record 3.931.700 sales, with sedans down 0.7% to 1.835.700, SUVs up 11.6% to 1.734.400, MPVs down 15.3% to 300.010 and microvans down 34.7% to 61.400. Commercial vehicles are down 0.7% to 595.000 units, resulting in a Chinese total new vehicle market up just 1.7% to 4.526.700 sales.

Geely continues to gallop ahead with sales up 19% in a market down 11%. 

This month we are inaugurating more detailed reporting for China, the largest new vehicle market in the world: we will shortly add a second monthly report dedicated to retail sales by brand and models, and this first update will now be entirely focused on wholesales figures. Market leader Volkswagen resists somewhat at -5% to just above 180.000 units, but Geely continues on its extremely impressive run with sales surging another 19% to 106.231 units, very aggressively cementing its #2 position in the market, leaving Honda (-1%) almost 30.000 sales behind.

Qoros sales are finally sparkling: +233% in February.

Baojun manages to leap another 10% to almost 77.000 units – for the second month in a row oddly not reporting a single 560 coming out of factories, with Changan (-27%) dropping below 70.000 deliveries but making it three Chinese brands in the Top 5. Dongfeng (-21%), Toyota (-22%) and most strikingly Haval (-37%) all fall heavily in the Top 10 while Nissan (+5%) and Buick (+0.3%) both manage a positive result. Some manufacturers do deliver spectacular gains, such as Qoros (+233%), not really used to such honours, Jaguar (+123%), Bisu (+90%), MG (+77%), Maxus (+71%), Cadillac (+49%), Roewe (+43%), Infiniti (+38%), Hanteng (+34%), Venucia (+30%), Audi (+27%) and Chevrolet (+27%).

Landwind wholesales implode 80% year-on-year in February. 

However this month brings an unusually long list of carmakers in very precarious positions. Keep in mind these are wholesales, ex-factory deliveries, which manufacturers can tune up or down drastically to adapt to retail and dealerships needs. Chinese brands are particularly affected, among them Landwind (-80%), Cowin (-78%), Hawtai (-78%), Jinbei (-77%), Foton-owned Borgward (-69%), JMC (-67%), Haima (-64%), Changhe (-60%), Zhi Dou (-58%), Great Wall (-57%), Yema (-51%) all lose more than half their sales vs. February 2017. Among foreign carmakers, Luxgen (-69%) is the worst hit, and the nightmarish 2017 year of Peugeot (-42%) and Hyundai (-41%) has now seeped through 2018. Jeep (-41%), Suzuki (-41%), DS (-40%), Ford (-30%) and Kia (-30%) are also in great difficulty.

New brand Traum goes against the grain, gaining 2.4% on January.

In the battle of the French, pure imported recently turned local producer Renault (5.800) outsells for the first time compatriot Citroen (5.332) down 15% with the all-new C5 Aircross worryingly falling below 1.000 monthly units in February. WEY remains the most poplar recent brand launch in the country at #31 but its volume dives from 20.289 in January to just 8.529 this month a steep 58% tumble. A fair way below we find Lynk & Co at #47 with 4.012 sales, down 35% on January, while Traum manages to keep sales stables on last month despite the surrounding decline, up 2.4% to 1.555. Acura is down 41% on last month to #68, Yudo is down 44% to #70, Arcfox is stable at #72, Dearcc reappears in the Chinese sales charts at #74 and Xpeng is down 77% to just 9 sales this month.

The last time the Haval H6 was not the #1 SUV in China, it was still branded Great Wall.

Over in the models ranking, the Wuling Hongguang manages to cling back onto the overall pole position for the third time in the past four months, this thanks to the S3 SUV variant oddly not counted as a separate model even though it belongs to a different segment. But the big news of the month is delivered by the Baojun 510, celebrating one year in market by overtaking the Haval H6 for the very first time – and by almost 10.000 units, becoming the best-selling SUV in China for the first time. The Haval H6 had managed to hold onto the SUV crown continuously since July 2013, that’s 55 consecutive months. The 510 even snaps the YTD pole position after two months. Like in January the podium is 100% Chinese, with the VW Lavida (-16%) and Toyota Corolla (-17%) rounding up the Top 5.

The VW Tiguan ranks 6th overall this month in China.

The VW Tiguan (+10%) shoots up 9 spots on last month to #6, followed closely by the Roewe RX5 (+77%) and Geely Boyue (+1%). At #10, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (-26%) makes it six SUVs in the February Top 10 vs. just three sedans. The Geely Emgrand EC7 leaps up to #11, its highest ranking since November 2013. The Baojun 310 is back up to #14, the Changan CS55 advances to a record #17, the Geely Vision breaks into the Top 20 for the first time at #19, with the recently relaunched Hyundai ix35 (+169%), BYD Song (+168%), Honda Accord (+117%), Audi A4L (+100%), Buick Verano (+85%), Chevrolet Sail (+61%) and VW Passat (+52%) all posting spectacular gains in the Top 50.

The FAW Junpai A50 is the January launch gaining the most ground (+134 spots).

Among recent launches (<12 months), below the Changan CS55, the BYD Song MAX (#35), Geely Vision X3 (#40), GAC Trumpchi GS3 (#65), Geely Vision S1 (#70), Dongfeng Fengxing S560 (#71), Roewe i6 (#74), Leopaard CS9 (#87), Venucia D60 (#88), Kia KX Cross (#89) and WEY VV5 (#99) all fit within the Top 100, that’s 9 Chinese nameplates and just one foreigner, and 7 SUVs vs. just 3 sedans and 1 MPV. As far as January launches are concerned, the Traum S70 remains ahead, gaining 41 spots to #241, followed by the Skoda Karoq at #211 (+130), FAW Junpai A50 at #215 (+134) and GAC Trumpchi GA4 (#235).

Previous month: China January 2018: VW, Geely, Toyota, Audi, Mercedes and BMW all break records, market showing surprising strength at +12%

One year ago: China February 2017: Market back on track at +22% to 1.9 million units

Full February 2018 Top 75 China-made brands and Top 415 models below.

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China LCV January 2018: Pickups soar 34.4%, other segments down

The Huanghai N3-Series makes its first appearance in the Chinese sales charts.

* See the Top 48 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

China LCV data is available for January 2018 thanks to our partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars. Total light commercial vehicle sales are down 6% year-on-year this month to 116.271 units but the three different segments that compose this data behave vastly differently. The star of the month once again is pickup trucks surging 34.4% on their January 2017 score to 36.224 deliveries, but mini trucks (minivan-derived pickups) are down 8% to 46.106 and minivans continue to freefall at -27.3% to 33.941 units. As it has been the case for the past three years, the Wuling Mini Truck is the overall leader, seeing sales soar 42% year-on-year in January to over 25.000, that’s 2.5 times the amount of the 2nd best-seller, the Wuling Hongguang V minivan (-12%).

The Terramont is now ZX Auto’s best-seller in China. 

The Great Wall Wingle 5 leads the pickup charge as usual with deliveries up 30%, ahead of the Wuling Sunshine (+25%) and Dongfeng K-Series Mini Truck (+10%). Very strong performances also by the Jinbei Mini Truck (+136%), JMC Yuhu (+81%) thanks to its recent facelift, the Jinbei Haise (+63%) and JAC Pickup (+42%). The Chana Mini Truck (-58%) and Wuling Rongguang (-29%) on the other hand lose significant ground. Among recent launches, the Maxus T60 celebrates 1 year in market by breaking into the Top 20 for the first time at #18, the ZX Auto Terralord overtakes the Grand Tiger to become the brand’s best-seller at home and we welcome the Huanghai N3-Series at #30 with just under 600 sales.

Previous post: China LCV Full Year 2017: Wuling dominates, pickups gain 18%

Full January 2018 Top 48 models ranking below.

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China January 2018: Exclusive imports data by model and brand

The BMW X5 is the best-selling import in China in January. 

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 250 All-models by clicking on the title *

All-brands and All-models 2017 monthly data available, contact us here for more details.

Import sales in China surge 22.4% year-on-year in January to 120.990 units. Note no media outside of China is reporting on these figures, and BSCB being the first to do so. Brand-wise, Mercedes (+18%) overtakes BMW (+5%) to takes the lead with almost 22.000 deliveries with Lexus (+53%), Toyota (+229%) and Land Rover (+43%) rounding up the Top 5 and all frankly outpacing the market. In the Top 10, only Nissan (+173%) also over-performs whereas Audi (+17%), Lincoln (+8%), Porsche (+2%) and Volkswagen (-3%) all trail the market. Below, Mazda (+17800%), Ferrari (+160%), Infiniti (+46%), Mitsubishi (+35%) and Rolls Royce (+33%) also shine.

The Toyota Land Cruiser ranks 5th in January vs. #14 over the Full Year 2017.

As it was the case a year ago in January 2017, the BMW X5 surprises and snaps the title of best-selling import in China thanks to deliveries up 38% year-on-year to 7.195. This is the highest monthly volume reached by any imported model in China in the past year, the previous high being 6.066 by the Lexus ES last November. The ES is knocked down to 2nd place in spite of gaining a vgourous 53% on its January 2017 score while the Toyota Prado (+39%) rounds up the podium like in FY17. The Mercedes GLE rallies back up to #4 after having fallen out of the December Top 10, while the Toyota Land Cruiser posts an astounding score in 5th place overall vs. #14 over FY17.

The Nissan Patrol is up 208% to #13. 

The rest of the Top 12 is a luxury affair with the Porsche Macan, BMW 7 Series, Lexus NX (+46%), Mercedes CLA and Lexus RX inside the Top 10 and the Range Rover and Mercedes S-Class just outside. The Nissan Patrol is up 3-fold to #13, the Mercedes GLC Coupe up 233% to #18 and the Porsche Panamera up 11-fold to #23. The Range Rover Velar leads recent launches (<12 months) at #34 above the Mazda CX-3 at #75, the Porsche 718 at #77, the Ford F-150 at #86, the Alfa Romeo Giulia at #88 and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio at #90.

Previous post: China Full Year 2017: Exclusive imports data by model and brand

Full January 2018 Top 45 All imported brands and Top 250 models below.

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