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Japan March 2018: Mitsubishi (+21.7%), Lexus (+38.1%) defy market down 3.5%

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross breaks into its home Top 30 for its first full month of sales.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Top 20 foreigners *

The Japanese new car market disappoints once again with a 6th consecutive year-on-year decline at -3.5% to 667.275 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally down 2.3% to 1.540.691 units. Brand leader Toyota is hit a lot harder at -9.9% to 27% share, with the Top 8 best-sellers unchanged on February and the YTD order. Mitsubishi once again is the best performer with a 21.7% surge and Daihatsu (+4%), Mazda (+2.2%) and Honda (+1.1%) are also in positive but Subaru (-9.2%), Nissan (-6.6%) and Suzuki (-1%) all decline. Further down, Lexus (+38.1%) posts the largest gain in the Top 20, with McLaren (+136.4%), Alpina (+78.9%), Alfa Romeo (+69.7%), Lotus (+68.4%), Land Rover (+58.8%), Chevrolet (+58.1%), Cadillac (+44.3%), Citroen (+21.8%), Peugeot (+14.9%) and Porsche (+10.8%) also showing great form.

The Nissan Note is the best-selling regular car in Japan for the third month running.

In the regular cars ranking, the Nissan Note manages a third consecutive month in pole position despite a steep 21% year-on-year, making it 8 monthly wins for this generation Note, starting in November 2016. The Toyota Prius freefalls 30% but remains in 2nd place while the Nissan Serena (+3%) overtakes the Toyota Aqua (+17%) to climb onto the third step of the podium. The Honda Fit (+8%) rounds up the Top 5, followed by the Toyota Voxy (+15%) while the remainder of the Top 10 all post double-digit declines, the hardest hit being the Toyota C-HR (-35%). Further down, the Honda StepWGN (+49%), Toyota Alphard (+46%), Land Cruiser (+104%), Camry (+1020%), Nissan Leaf (+91%), Daihatsu Thor (+76%) and Lexus NX300H (+126%) post the largest gains in the Top 50. Launched last month, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross shoots up to #27 for its 1st full month of sales, becoming the #1 recent launch (<12 months) above the Mazda CX-8 (#29), Suzuki Xbee (#31), Honda Civic (#41) and Lexus LS500H (#50).

The Daihatsu Mira is up 44% year-on-year in March, the largest gain among the Top 10 kei cars.

Over in the kei cars ranking, the Honda N-BOX remains the dominant force in the segment and the overall market as a 3% year-on-year gain propels it to 26.851 units and the best-selling vehicle in the country. The Suzuki Spacia (+24%) and Daihatsu Move (+16%) both overtake the Nissan Dayz (-14%) to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively for the month, while the Daihatsu Tanto (-18%) closes out the Top 5 but posts the steepest decline in the Top 10. Below the Suzuki Wagon R up 3%, the Daihatsu Mira on the other hand signs the largest year-on-year improvement among the ten best-selling kei cars in March at +44%. Further down, notice the Honda N-ONE (+205%), Daihatsu Atrai Wagon (+137%), Mazda Flair Wagon (+64%), Subaru Pleo (+53%) and Toyota Pixis (+28%) all significantly higher than a year ago.

The Audi Q2 makes its first appearance among the Top 20 foreigners in Japan.

As is the tradition every quarter we have access to foreign models ranking in Japan, and over the First Quarter of 2018, and it’s a mini-event on top: for only the second time in the past eight quarters, the VW Golf (+2%) takes the lead, knocking the Mini (+2%) to 2nd place. The Mercedes C-Class, E-Class and BMW 3 Series round out the Top 5, replicating the Q4 2017 and FY2017 orders. The Volvo V40 shoots back up 6 spots on Q4 2017 to #6 ahead of the BMW X1 and VW Polo. The Mercedes GLC (+29%), A Class (+18%) and BMW 5 Series (+12%) all post very solid gains. We have two new arrivals in the Foreign Top 20: the Audi Q2 leaps directly to #16 while the VW Tiguan is propelled by its new generation to #18.

Previous month: Japan February 2018: Nissan Note repeats, Lexus and Mitsubishi soar

One year ago: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

Full March 2018 Top 55 All-brands, Top 50 regular cars, Top 33 kei cars and Q1 Top 20 foreigners below.

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Colombia March 2018: Renault topples Chevrolet for #1 brand

Renault is the #1 brand in Colombia in March and the Sandero returns to #1 model YTD.

* See the Top 30 best-selling brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Colombian new car market drops a steep 7% year-on-year in March to 19.572 registrations, pulling the Q1 volume down 3.3% to 54.369 units. Renault (-6%) overtakes traditional leader Chevrolet (-21%) to snap the brands pole position for the third time in the past 10 months after last July and December. Nissan (+7%) passes Kia (-5%) to #3 but it’s once again Toyota (+49%) that posts the most impressive year-on-year gain in the Top 10, with Mazda (+4%) also in positive but Hyundai (-32%), Ford (-29%), Volkswagen (-12%) and Suzuki (-9%) all crashing faster than the market. Among smaller brands, Citroen (+222%), Peugeot (+141%), Jeep (+88%), Mini (+36%), Audi (+34%), BMW (+22%) and Foton (+22%) are among the most dynamic in the Top 30.

The Chevrolet Beat is up to #6 this month in Colombia.

Model-wise, thanks to a very strong March result at 1.741 sales and 8.9% share, the Renault Sandero reclaims the YTD pole position off the Chevrolet Spark (1.022 and 5.2% in March). The Kia Picanto cements its third place above the Renault Logan and Chevrolet Sail while the newly launched Chevrolet Beat leaps up 18 spots on February to a best-ever 6th pace, now ranking at #19 so far in 2018. The Mazda2 replaces the CX-5 in the Top 10, the Nissan Versa is up 9 spots on last month to #19, the Fiat Uno is up 10 to #30 while the Toyota Corolla (#34), Nissan Sentra (#42) and Mercedes C Class ( #45) make rare appearances inside the Colombian Top 50.

Previous month: Colombia February 2018: Toyota up 49%, Kia Picanto up to #3

Previous year: Colombia Full Year 2017: Renault Sandero repeats win, market down 6.1%

Full March 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Hungary March 2018: Suzuki Vitara up 90% in market up 30.9%

The Suzuki Vitara continues to dominate the Hungarian sales charts.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 30 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Hungary are up a stunning 30.9% year-on-year in March to 12.748 units, lifting the Q1 volume up 29.8% to 31.609. Brand leader and local producer Suzuki frankly outpaces the market once again with a fantastic 54% uplift in March resulting in a 72% uplift in Q1. Ford (+27%) is back above Skoda (+35%) this month and YTD above Opel (+32%) while Toyota (+27%) overtakes Volkswagen (+18%) to land in 5th place YTD. Renault (+82%) posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 while Hyundai makes a rare appearance in the Hungarian Top 10 brands. Model-wise, the Suzuki Vitara advances three times faster than the market at +90% to 11.5% share, cementing its YTD leadership at +68% and 9.5%. The Skoda Octavia (+51%), Ford Focus (+183%), Opel Astra (+123%) and Suzuki S-Cross (+61%) follow and all beat the market. Notice also the Hyundai i30 at #10.

For the first time Datahouse and local media outlet autonavigator.hu published details of sales by channel for the Top 10 best-selling models in the country as well as re-export rates. Widespread in Eastern European markets such as Bulgaria and Estonia where car prices are lower than in other parts of the European Union, re-exporting is the practice of purchasing a car as new in a low-price country then immediately export it to other markets in the EU where it is sold at a profit as a 0km used car. Re-exports affect 13% of all new cars sold in Hungary, with the biggest culprits being Jeep (60% re-export), Nissan (43%), Fiat (36%), Ford (28%) and Renault (25%). Therefore the Ford Kuga (#6), Nissan Qashqai (#7), VW Jetta (#9) and Renault Clio (#10) disappear from the Q1 2018 Top 10 when re-exports are deducted, instead the Toyota Auris (#7), C-HR (#8), Opel Corsa (#9) and Skoda Fabia (#10) make their appearance. By channel data also shows the Vitara remains tops with private buyers above the Suzuki S-Cross and Toyota Yaris while the Skoda Octavia is king of fleet (87% of its total sales).

Previous month: Hungary February 2018: Suzuki Vitara and S-Cross beat market up 24.5%

One year ago: Hungary March 2017: Suzuki Vitara, Ford Kuga up in SUV month

Full March 2018 Top 10 brands and models and Q1 2018 Top 30 models below.

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London (UK) Q1 2018: Ford Fiesta #1, Mercedes A-Class up to #5

Just as the new generation was unveiled, the Mercedes A-Class gains 20% in London.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

The most recent market addition on BSCB gets a Q1 2018 update thanks to our partnership with SMMT. We labelled it London for easy reading, but the area covered is actually Greater London. New car sales in the area drop 10.7% year-on-year over Q1 to 25.559 units, that’s a slightly better hold than the -12.4% recorded nationally over the period. Even though it lost the annual pole position to the VW Golf in 2017, the Ford Fiesta is back in charge over the first three months of 2018 in spite of sales down 9% year-on-year. The VW Golf (+5%) and Nissan Qashqai (+3%) follow, replicating the national podium. The Toyota Yaris is up 3% and four spots year-on-year to a stunning 4th place but it’s the Mercedes A-Class, up 20% and five ranks to #5, that posts the best improvement in the Top 10. The Audi A3 (+2%) also gains ground, up 3 spots to #6, but the remainder of the Top 10 all fall heavily: the Mini (-29%), Mercedes C-Class (-42%), Ford Focus (-45%) and VW Polo (-46%) are in great difficulty.

Previous post: London (UK) Full Year 2017: VW Golf dethrones Ford Fiesta

Full Q1 2018 Top 10 models ranking below.

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Cyprus March 2018: Kia Rio and Mini Countryman on top

The Mini Countryman ranks at a surprise #2 spot in Cyprus in March. 

* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with SEMO Cyprus and INNOSOFT, we can share with you today March sales data for Cyprus, a market up a splendid 35.2% year-on-year to 1.906 registrations, lifting the year-to-date volume up 15% to 4.188 units. After being dominated by the Kia Stonic last month, the Cypriot models ranking, heavily impacted by rental sales in the lead up to the Summer season, goes through another significant facelift in March, this time crowing the Kia Rio (up 8-fold on March 2017) and the Mini Countryman coming out of the February YTD Top 30 directly into 2nd place for the month at 5th position YTD. The Picanto (+115%) makes it two Kias on the podium and now ranks #1 YTD. It is followed this month by the Nissan Qashqai (+44%) and the Skoda Fabia up 13-fold YTD and up to 5th in March for its first appearance in the ranking in the five years we have followed Cyprus. The Nissan Micra (#7), Fiat Tipo (#11), Ford Kuga (#12) and Citroen C3 (#13) also impress while the February leader, the Kia Stonic, is down 20 spots to #21 but still manages a world-best 7th place YTD.

Previous month: Cyprus February 2018: Kia places Stonic and Picanto on top

One year ago: Cyprus March 2017: VW Golf #1, Hyundai Tucson takes YTD lead

Full March 2018 Top 30 models ranking below.

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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. 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.

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Austria March 2018: VW T-Roc at world-best #6 for third time in a row

Austria remains the only country in the world where the VW T-Roc is in the Top 10. Picture thecarguys.ro

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 310 All-models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Austria are down 3.9% year-on-year in March to 35.407 units, but the Q1 volume remains in positive at  90.474 registrations, up 2.2% on the same period in 2017. Volkswagen goes agains the grain with a 7% year-on-year gain to 17.5% share, 2.5 times the level of the #2 Skoda up 6% to 6.9%. Seat surges 22% to step up one spot on February to #3, wth Ford and Opel in tow, both down 6%. The rest of the Top 10 is in decline, with Mercedes (-24%), Audi (-22%) and BMW (-16%) hit the hardest. Further down, Ssangyong (+100%), Suzuki (+28%), Honda (+23%), Dacia (+21%), Jaguar (+20%), Peugeot (+17%) DS (+11%) and Porsche (+11%) all impress with double-digit gains.

Model-wise, the VW Golf remains in the lead despite a 10% year-on-year drop, followed this month like YTD by the VW Polo (+26%) with the VW Tiguan (-8%) making the podium 100% Volkswagen. The Skoda Octavia (+32%) and Fabia (-9%) follow while the VW T-Roc remains at a world-best 6th place for the third consecutive month, making the Top Six 100% VW Group. The Seat Ateca is up 19% to #11, the Seat Arona up one spot on February to #13 and the Fiat 500 up 24% to #15.

Previous month: Austria February 2018: VW T-Roc repeats at world-best 6th place

Previous year: Austria Full Year 2017: VW Golf unbeatable, Toyota up 43%

Full March 2018 Top 50 All-brands and Top 310 All-models below.

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Uruguay March 2018: Renault (+74%) repeats in market down 14.1%

Renault is the most popular carmaker in Uruguay for the 2nd straight month.

* See the Top 37 All-brands by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Uruguay continue to skid down at -14.1% in March to 4.126 registrations, pulling the year-to-date tally down 7.5% to 11.652 units. Renault ignores the surrounding gloom with deliveries shooting up 74% to 14,7% share, cementing its newfound YTD leadership at 16.3% (+95%). Chevrolet (-1%) climbs back up one spot to #2 whereas Fiat freefalls 39% to #3. Citroen (+19%), Nissan (+54%) and most strikingly Kia (+219%) also defy the odds in the Top 10. Further down, JAC (+127%), Changhe (+50%), Subaru (+42%), Great Wall (+41%) and BYD (+13%) impress but Chinese carmakers are down 37% overall to 7.3% share in March and down 24% to 8.7% year-to-date.

Previous month: Uruguay February 2018: Renault snaps lead in market down 12%

One year ago: Uruguay March-April 2017: Fiat leads market up 16%

Full March 2018 Top 37 All-brands ranking below.

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