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China imports August 2018: Lexus snaps lead in market up 12%

The Lexus NX is the best-selling import in China in August.

* See the Top 50 All imported brands and Top 215 models by clicking on the title *

All-brands and All-models January 2017-August 2018 monthly data available, contact us here.

Complete Chinese imports data is now available for August, BSCB being the first media outside of China to report on these figures monthly. The new tariff situation for new car imports in China is now two-fold: 40% on U.S. imports and  15% on all other imports (instead of 25% up until June 30). However once again there is no negative effect (yet) of the U.S. import tariff hike with total August volumes up 12% year-on-year to 109.496. The year-to-date tally is now up 5% to 740.730. Surprise atop the imported brands ranking: Lexus surges 61% to almost 18.600 units, roughly 4.000 above #2 Mercedes (+1%) while last month’s leader, BMW (-6%), is down two ranks to #3 and 14.100. Toyota (+28%) is back above Porsche (+29%) with Audi (+48%) and Lincoln (+30%) also frankly beating the market in the Top 10 and Mazda (+37700%), Mitsubishi (+217%), Volvo (+43%), Renault (+38%) and Ford (+32%) doing so further down.

The imported models ranking reflects Lexus’s domination this month: the Lexus NX (+155%) shoots up to pole position for the first time in at least 20 months, followed by the RX (+55%) at #2. As a result, the NX steps up to #3 year-to-date, overtaking the Mercedes CLA (+64%) and the RX is up to #5, now above the Mercedes GLE. The BMW X5 (-9%) posts a decline this month at #3 but remains in the YTD lead with 35.800 sales ahead of the Lexus ES (-28%) back up 16 spots on July to #6 in August but in difficulty again. The Lexus IS (+668%), Audi Q7 (+90%), Porsche Cayenne (+48%) and Toyota Land Cruiser (+44%) also stand out in the Top 10 with the Toyota Alphard (+717%), Lincoln Continental (+211%) and Volvo XC90 (+109%) making waves further down. The BMW 6 Series GT (#38) tops all recent launches ahead of the Mercedes AMG GLC (#74) and Mazda CX-3 (#77).

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China imports July 2018: BMW leads, Volvo, Land Rover and Porsche up

Volvo Chinese imports are up 62% in July thanks to the XC90 (+148%).

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Complete Chinese imports data is now available for July, BSCB being the first media outside of China to report on these figures monthly. The new tariff situation for new car imports in China is the following: 15% on all imports (instead of 25% up until June 30) except imports coming from the U.S. which are now taxed at 40% as retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. However what we are looking at here are retail sales which remain globally unaffected by the tariff changes in either direction, as dealership would mostly be clearing out existing stock: imports are actually up 5% year-on-year in July to 95.120, matching the year-to-date 4% uptick to 631.234. The next few months may give us a better indication of the impact of these new tariffs on car imports into China.

First surprise in the imported brands ranking: BMW (+12%) takes the lead above Mercedes (-6%) for the first time this year – the last time BMW was the most popular import was in December 2017. Year-to-date, Mercedes (+11%) however remains a comfortable 18.440 units above BMW (-6%). Lexus (+12%) continues to gallop ahead in third place with a YTD uplift at an even more impressive +18%. Excellent month for Porsche (+19%) up four spots on June to #4, distancing Toyota (-9%) while Land Rover soars 30% year-on-year but is knocked down one rank on last month to #6. Volvo (+62%), Lincoln (+20%) and Audi (+15%) also make themselves noticed in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Volkswagen sinks 18%, the largest decline in the Top 15. Further down, let’s single out Mazda (up 360-fold thanks to the new CX-3 and MX-5), Mitsubishi (+117%), Chrysler (+49%), Rolls-Royce (+48%) and Tesla (+41%).

Model-wise, the BMW X5 surges 27% to become the best-selling import for the third time this year after January and February, and takes advantage of a particularly weak month by the traditional leader the Lexus ES (-73%) to also snap the YTD lead with over 31.700 sales (+18%) vs. 30.900 (+0.01%) for the ES. The Lexus NX (+119%) and RX (+50%) complete the podium with spectacular gains, with the NX earning a 4th spot YTD, overtaking the Mercedes GLE (-31%). The Mercedes CLA (+75%) is knocked down one spot on June to #4 despite a hefty uptick and remains at #3 YTD. The Porsche Cayenne (+41%) and BMW 7 Series (+25%) also shine in the Top 10, while below the Toyota Alphard (+330%), Volvo XC90 (+148%), Land Rover Discovery (+113%), Lincoln Continental (+106%) and Porsche Panamera (+69%) are among the most dynamic. The BMW 6 Series GT (#40) leads all recent launches above the Mercedes AMG GLC (#63), Mazda CX-3 (#80) and Audi S4 (#87) new for the month.

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China imports June 2018: Tesla up to #7 thanks to price cut

The Tesla Model X is the 5th best-selling import in China in June.

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Complete Chinese imports data is now available for June, BSCB being the first media outside of China to report on these figures monthly. New car imports into China have been the subject of much attention lately, with the Chinese government lowering the import tariff from 25% to 15% as promised on July 1, however as retaliation for Trump’s own import tariffs on Chinese products including cars, raised the tariff for U.S. new car imports not back to 25% as we predicted last month, but up to 40% on July 7, virtually signing the death warrant of U.S. imports altogether. June figures remain unaffected by these changes (except for Tesla as we’ll see further down), but it will be fascinating to watch the evolution of the China imports sales charts as a large part of the most popular models in the country are manufactured in the U.S.

The MKC (+18%) helps Lincoln to #4 imported brand in China in June.

In June, 82.602 new imported light vehicles found a buyer in China, a 11% year-on-year drop contrasting with YTD volumes up 4% to 536.114. Mercedes (+15%) goes against the grain to remain in the brands lead ahead of archenemy BMW (-15%) evolving in the opposite direction. Keep in mind BMW was the first importer ahead of Mercedes in 2017. Lexus (-12%) follows the market to remain in third place while Lincoln (+19%) posts an interesting surge, perhaps loading up on dealer sales in anticipation for a grey U.S. tariff future. The Tesla case is even more interesting: the U.S. firm pre-empted the lowering of import tariffs in July to 15% by cutting prices on its lineup as early as June, this in order to give a boost to its Q2 result as it does at every end of period. While these manipulations didn’t prevent the company from posting another steep loss in Q2, Tesla China sales are up 53% year-on-year in June to soar to 7th place vs. #16 so far in 2018 and #20 in 2017. July sales will be a different story altogether, as its models are now taxed at 40% and the prospect of local production is still years away. Mitsubishi (+48%) and Volvo (+31%) also shine this month.

The Volvo XC90 is up 94% to #11.

The imported models ranking is very stable in June, with the Top 4 reproducing the YTD order: the Lexus ES (+6%) is the best-seller followed by the BMW X5 (+2%), Mercedes CLA (+62%) and Mercedes GLE (+11%). The Tesla Model X benefits from lower prices to soar 76% to #5 with over 2.400 sales for the month, a new record for the nameplate. Looking at this Top 5, the Lexus ES has a production base in Japan, the CLA is assembled in Hungary but the GLE, X5 and Model X are all manufactured in the U.S. (although there are two small production bases available in Thailand and Indonesia for the GLE) and are now being slapped with a deadly 40% tariff, so let’s see how they fare in July. The Lincoln MKC (+18%) brilliantly breaks into the Top 10 at #9 vs. #18 so far this year, while the Volvo XC90 (+94%) almost doubles its sales vs. June 2017 to end the month at the Top 10’s door. The Lincoln MKZ (+31%), Continental (+128%), Audi A5 (+171%) and BMW 5 Series (+646%) also impress while the Range Rover Velar (#36) remains the most popular recent launch (<12 months) ahead of the BMW 6 Series GT (#51), Mercedes AMG GLC (#61) and Mazda CX-3 (#83).

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China imports May 2018: Mercedes CLA, Lexus NX up in market down 4%

The Mercedes CLA is the #3 best-selling import in China in May.

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Complete Chinese imports data is now available for May, BSCB being the first media outside of China to report on these figures regularly. Last month the Chinese government announced it would lower the tariffs imposed on car imports by ten percentage points from 25 to 15%, applicable on July 1. However there is still great uncertainty around imports as a retaliation to Trump’s import tariffs could imply returning the rate to 25% for U.S. car imports. For now, imports are down 4% in May to a round 84.000 but remain up 7% year-to-date at 453.586.

Lexus NX sales are up 31% year-on-year in May.

The brands podium returns to its YTD order this month with Mercedes (+5%) still a notch above all manufacturers at over 14.000 units while BMW (-18%) climbs back above Lexus (+12%) for just 304 units and despite a steep decline mainly due to the transfer of the X3 into local production (see our May Focus on All-new models). Both carmakers are above 11.000 import sales for the month. A nice surprise from Porsche (-1%) stepping up one spot to #4 imported brand, taking advantage of weakening sales by Toyota  (-3%). Land Rover (+16%) is very robust in 6th place, delivering the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 thanks to the Velar. Lincoln (-0.2%) marks a pause but remains above Audi (-7%) while Volkswagen (-37%) crumbles down. Below, Mazda (up 266-fold due to the new CX-3 and MX-5), McLaren (+214%), Mitsubishi (+127%), Ferrari (+97%), Bentley (+60%), Aston Martin (+56%), Rolls-Royce (+19%) and Nissan (+19%) make themselves noticed.

The McLaren 720S has landed in China…

Over in the imported models ranking, the Lexus ES (+4%) retains the top spot just as the new generation is about to boost sales even further, with the BMW X5 (-1%) solid in 2nd place like YTD and FY2017. The Mercedes CLA soars 38% to reclaim the third spot it holds YTD off the Lexus NX (+31%) knocked down one rank to #4. The Porsche Macan (-9%) is up four spots on April to #5, with the Nissan Patrol (+24%) and Range Rover (+15%) also very robust inside the Top 10. Further down, the Mitsubishi Pajero (+128%), Lincoln Continental (+114%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+27%), Volvo XC90 (+27%), Mercedes GLC Coupe (+21%) and Mercedes S-Class (+14%) shine.

As has the Kia Stinger.

The Range Rover Velar (#31) tops all recent launches (<12 months) above the BMW 6 Series GT (#57), Ford F-150 (#67), Mercedes AMG GLC (#77) and Mazda CX-3 (#78). Finally, we welcome three new nameplates in the Chinese imports sales charts this month, a rare event in a traditionally tranquil ranking: the McLaren 720S at #152, the Lexus LC at #167 and the Kia Stinger at #207.

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China imports April 2018: Lexus up 34% to #2 below Mercedes

The Lexus NX soars 56% year-on-year to #3. Picture sina.com.cn

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It’s time for complete Chinese imports data, BSCB being the first media outside of China to report on these figures regularly. Just this week China has lowered the tariffs imposed on car imports by ten percentage points from 25 to 15%, applicable on July 1. This will undoubtedly boost imports as carmakers are able to lower their price, such as Tesla which has already applied the lower tariff to its current pricing in China. For now, April imports into China are up 4.9% to 87.604 units, leading to a YTD volume up 10.4% to 369.586.

The Land Cruiser (+66%) pushes Toyota imports up 21% this month.

Mercedes (+9%) remains the most popular import in the country, both this month and YTD but in April Lexus soars 34% to snap the 2nd spot off BMW (-9%). Lexus is the best-selling pure importer in China. So far this year, BMW still has a 4.300 unit-strong advantage over Lexus. Toyota (+21%) remains in 4th place but Porsche (+17%) overtakes Land Rover (+19%) to #5 while more symbolically, Lincoln (+7%) passes Audi (+19%) to #7, a ranking it held over the FY2017. Volkswagen (-27%) is with BMW and Subaru (-18%) the only manufacturer in negative in the Top 12. Further down, Alfa Romeo (+149%), Mitsubishi (+104%), Ssangyong (+103%), Buick (+41%), Aston Martin (+31%), Rolls-Royce (+27%), Bentley (+26%), Infiniti (+22%), Ferrari (+15%) and Nissan (+14%) shine.

The Porsche Cayenne overtakes the Macan to become the brand’s best-seller in China.

Model wise, the Lexus ES (+14%) posts a 10th win in the past 12 months, with the BMW X5 (+14%) in tow like in FY2017 and so far in 2018 but over 1.000 units below. The Lexus NX shoots up 56% to land on the podium vs. #6 YTD, dislodging the Mercedes CLA (+17%) down to #4. The Toyota Land Cruiser soars 66% year-on-year and one spot on March to #6, while the Porsche Cayenne (+20%) becomes the brand’s best-seller in China, overtaking the Macan (-16%). The Mercedes S-Class surges 53% to round up the Top 10. Below, the Porsche Panamera (+854%), Lincoln Continental (+143%) and Mercedes C-Class Estate (+125%) impress. The Range Rover Velar is the best-selling recent import launch (<12 months) at #34, ahead of the BMW 6 Series GT (#74), Ford F-150 (#77), Mercedes AMG GLC (#84) and Mazda CX-3 (#86).

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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

The Lexus ES is the most popular import in China for 2017. 

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Detailed 2017 imports data for China is now available on BSCB thanks to a new source in China. All-brands and All-models 2017 monthly data is available, please contact us here for more details. Chinese imports sales data is traditionally a very secretive part of the worldwide market representing over one million annual units, but we can now report on it monthly. No media outside of China is reporting on these figures, and BSCB being the first to do so, in line with our pledge to improve coverage of the Chinese market. Import sales in China tend to be stable year-on-year, not replicating the market’s growth simply because more and more manufacturers are opening factories in China and less and less remain pure importers. In 2017, 1.114.866 new cars were imported into China, that’s a slim 11% gain over the 1.007.088 of two years prior in 2015.

The BMW X5 comes in at #2 in the imported models ranking. Picture auto.ifeng.com

BMW is the best-selling importer in China for 2017, with a slim 4.000 unit-margin over #2 Mercedes, both above 170.000 units. Pure importer Lexus is above 130.000 sales in third place followed by Toyota (76.000) and Porsche (69.000). Land Rover (#6), Lincoln (#7), Audi (#9) and pure importer Mini (#10) make it 8 premium manufacturers in the Top 10. With 20% import taxes being slapped on incoming nameplates, it makes sense that premium carmakers are the most popular. Subaru is the third best-selling pure importer at #11 overall and one of only 6 above 10.000 annual sales alongside Smart (#16), Maserati (#19) and Tesla (#20). Alfa Romeo makes its landing at #23 with just under 5.000 deliveries of the Giulia and Stelvio.

The Toyota Prado rounds up the imports podium. Picture auto.ifeng.com 

Over in the models aisle, the Chinese tastes are clear: 8 luxury SUVs in the Top 10, although the overall best-seller is a sedan: the Lexus ES leaps from #4 in 2015 to pole position and earned its 2017 victory with 11 monthly wins (every month bar January) and an almost 7.000 sales gap with the #2, the BMW X5 which was leader two years ago and ranked #1 in January but #2 during every other month of 2017. #3 in 2015, the Jeep Compass has been replaced by a locally-produced model in 2017 and accordingly sees its imported ranking plunge to #139 this year, illustrating the fate of brands that become local producers. The Toyota Prado is knocked down to #3 and is one of only a handful of nameplates that sell well both their locally-produced and imported variants. The BMW X3 comes in 4th (+1 on 2015) while the Mercedes GLE rounds up the Top 5, almost exactly replacing its predecessor the M-Class (#6 in 2015).

The Porsche Macan ranks at a very impressive 6th place, one of Two Porsches in the Top 10.

Porsche maintains an impressive presence in the Top 10 with both the Macan (#6) and Cayenne (#9) up one spot on their 2015 rankings. Lexus adds the RX (#7, +32) and NX (#10, -1) to make it three nameplates inside the imported Top 10, the most of any importer. Fantastic performances of the Mercedes CLA at #8, BMW 7 Series at #11 with almost 25.000 sales, the Nissan Patrol getting a good kick at #16. Based on price and not brand, the Subaru Forester would remain the most popular “mass” nameplate and the only one in the Top 20 but drops 6 spots on 2015 to #17. Lincoln manages to place the MKC at #19, the MKX at #22 and the MKZ at #30.

The Mercedes GLS is the best-selling newcomer, ending 2017 just outside the Top 20. 

Which new launches have been the most successful among imports? By this we mean nameplates that weren’t present in the FY2015 ranking. No surprise: the most popular are luxury SUVs, led by the Mercedes GLS (#21), Jaguar F-Pace (#25), Maserati Levante (#35), Tesla Model X (#39) and Mercedes GLC Coupe (#43). The Smart Forfour (#47) and Lincoln Continental (#53) follow, while the Mercedes Maybach S-Class signs a very impressive 54th place with just under 6.500 sales over the past 12 moths, making China its #1 market in the world, and by far. Granted, China was probably the only reason why the Maybach brand was revived for this ultra-luxury sedan.

The Ford F-150 is now officially imported in China alongside Ram Pickup and Toyota Tundra.

Finally it’s worth touching on the latest new trend in official imports into China. At last reacting to the love of large American pickup trucks I witnessed in every single rural city I visited in the country (2016 Photo Reports are here), U.S. carmakers are now officially importing a handful of full-size pickups into China instead of counting on private importers and the grey market. This way, the Ford F-150 makes its appearance at #126, the Ram Pickup is at #183 and the Toyota Tundra #193. However expect these rankings to improve drastically in 2018 as well as a few additions to the list from General Motors, such as the Chevrolet Silverado, Colorado (both present at the Guangzhou Auto Show) and even the GMC Sierra.

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China June 2017: Exclusive imported models data now available

Lincoln sells almost as many Continental in China as it does in the U.S. 

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Correction: Hybrid sales are now added to totals, making the Lexus ES the #1 import.

After a 1.5 year-hiatus, very rare imported models data for China is now available for the month of June 2017. BSCB is working on bringing you both Full Year 2016 and H1 2017 data in the briefest delays, so stay tuned for more info. Chinese imports sales data is a very secretive part of the worldwide market representing over one million annual units (1.007.088 over the Full Year 2015). As it was the case for the Full Year 2015 data, no media outside of China has reported on these figures yet, and BSCB is the first to do so, in line with our pledge to improve coverage of the Chinese market.

The BMW X5 is the 2nd most popular import in China. Picture auto.ifeng.com

In June, the Top 100 best-selling imported models in China total 88.830 units which would indicate a total imports around 93.000 units for the month, confirming imports in 2017 will remain well above the one million mark despite the number of mass manufacturers not producing locally reducing each year: Renault, Acura, Land Rover, Jeep and Jaguar being some of the latest ones to inaugurate local production over the past couple of years. Comparing the June 2017 data to the FY2015 is a little far-fetched but this is all the comparison set we have for now.

The Porsche Macan is the 6th best-selling import in China in June. 

The Lexus ES (#4 in 2015) becomes the most popular import in the country, bettering its U.S. sales score and edging out the BMW X5, #1 in 2015 while in third place we have the Mercedes GLE which was only launched in late 2015. The BMW X3, Lexus RX, Porsche Macan and Cayenne round up the Top 7. In fact, the 14 best-selling imported models in China in June are all from premium brands with notably the BMW 7 Series at #9, Lexus NX at #10, Range Rover Sport at #11 and Mercedes S-Class at #12. The Toyota Land Cruiser (#15) and Nissan Patrol (#16) are the first “non-premium” models although they could both be considered premium given their price. The Subaru Forester could then nab that title at #17 overall. Subaru and Lexus are the last two large manufacturers not producing locally in China.

The Tesla Model X ranks inside the 20 best-selling imports in China in June. Picture soho.com

The most successful newcomer since the last sales data we had in FY2015 is, surprisingly, the Tesla Model X landing directly at #18 (the Model S is much lower at #33). The Jaguar F-Pace is the only other new intruder close to the Top 30, ranking at #31. Lincoln is showing it is making its mark on the Chinese market: on top of the MKC at #20 (#45 in 2015), the MKX at #29 (#118 in 2015) and the MKZ at #37 (#77 in 2015), the all-new Continental lurks at an outstanding 34th place, selling almost as much as it did in the U.S. during the same month… Notice also the Alfa Romeo Giulia (#65), Kia Niro (#93) and Maserati Levante (#102) on top of a couple of Mercedes SUVs yet to be produced locally.

The Ford F-150 has officially landed in China. 

Last but not least, this June 2017 ranking is bringing to life the new trend by U.S. manufacturers to try and leverage the love of large American pickup trucks I witnessed in every single rural city in the country (See Chinese Photo Reports in the Special China tab, the 2016 Photo Reports are here). Instead of counting on private importers that priced the pickups out of most Chinese customers’ means, Ford, Ram and Toyota are now officially importing them into China. And this ranking proves it, with the F-150 landing at #73 in June, the Ram Pickup at #94 and the Toyota Tundra at #99.

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Full June 2017 Top 110 imported models Ranking Table below.

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