* See the Top 370 All-local PCs and Top 55 All-local models by clicking on the title! *
As is the tradition on BSCB, after detailing September sales, we explore the year-to-date ranking in China to try and extract longer-term trends. Due to a dent in its explosive growth at just +3% in September due to LCV dropping 16%, new light vehicle sales in China are now up 7% year-on-year after 9 months to a record 14.4 million vehicles, compared to a 5.5% growth rate in the USA. Just today, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) cut its 2014 forecast to 23 million units, a 5% increase on 2013 which would be the lowest year-on-year increase since 1990! Last July, the CAAM had already lowered projected sales increase to 8%, down from the 10% percent increase it had predicted in January.
First let’s have a quick look at the culprits of this cooling off: Light Commercial Vehicles, with data courtesy of LMC Automotive. The Wuling Rongguang ranks 5th with 29,530 sales vs. #4 year-to-date, the Wuling Mini Truck is very impressive at a best-ever #11 overall thanks to 23,697 units vs. #22 so far in 2014 and #28 in 2013, the Wuling Sunshine continues its descent to hell at #14 vs. #5 year-to-date and #2 in 2013, the Chana Minibus is #18 vs. #9 YTD and the Foton Forland ranks #25 vs. #12. A major step back for Light Commercial Vehicles can indeed be clearly observed in China.
Back to the Passenger Cars ranking over the first 9 months of 2013. The Wuling Hongguang is up a mammoth 87% on 2013 to 543,811 units, already an all-time annual record for any Passenger Car sold in China. The previous best was its own 448,484 units in 2013, a record it smashed last month. Adding in the units counted as LCV before it began being officially reported as a PC, the Hongguang sold 530,050 units in 2013, just beaten this month also. Keeping in mind the end of the calendar year is always stronger in China, we are now looking at around 835,000 annual sales in 2014 for the Wuling Hongguang.
This would be well ahead of the all-categories record of 754,961 sales hit by the Wuling Sunshine in 2010… If you still need any convincing that budget MPVs are the way of the future for Chinese manufactures, you only need to look a little further down: the Chana Honor at #29 (+72%), Dongfeng Future (+17%) and Joyear (+66%) make it 4 Chinese MPVs inside the Top 50 out of 9 Chinese models overall. The Baojun 730, already #14 for its 2nd month of sales in September, will join them soon enough – for now it is #123.
Volkswagen once again shows its might in China, placing four sedans in the 2014 Top 6: the Lavida is up 13% to a record 378,643 units in 2nd place overall, the Sagitar is up 13% to #4, the Santana up an explosive 88% to #5 thanks to the new generation and the Jetta is up 20% to #6. After MPVs, SUVs are the second most dynamic segment in China and here too their best-seller is a local: the Haval H6 has posted no less than 11 monthly records over the past 15 months and earns a 7th spot year-to-date thanks to sales up 49% to 223,116 units. The VW Tiguan could well become the 2nd SUV to break into the Chinese Top 10 by the time 2014 comes to an end: it is up 25% to #11 and 188,540 units.
Other notable progressions towards the top of the ranking include the VW Golf simply doubling its sales year-on-year to climb 30 spots to #19, the Honda Crider up 180% to #26 but launched just over a year ago, the Ford Kuga up 52% and 24 ranks to #32, the Toyota Vios increasing its sales 48-fold (!) to #38 thanks to a new generation much more adapted to the Chinese market price and size-wise, the Nissan X-Trail up almost 8-fold to #49 and the BMW 3 Series L up 53% to #55.
An increasing headache for Chinese manufacturers is their decreasing market share at home, now dropping frequently below 30%. The top Chinese sellers are doing magnificently but they are too few at the top: only 9 inside the Top 50 vs. 29 inside the Top 100. Below the Hongguang and Haval H6, the ChangAn Eado cements itself as this year’s local success story: helped by unusually strong sales of its sporty XT hatchback variant in a country overwhelmingly preferring sedans, it is up a gargantuan 87% and 36 spots year-on-year to #25 and 117,285 units, dislodging the Emgrand EC7 (-25% to #34) from its sedan pedestal. Two SUVs complete the Top 50 Chinese force: the ChangAn CS35 at #48 (+44%) and the BYD S6 at #50 (+19%).
Demonstrating the extraordinary – I will go as far as saying once in a century dynamism of the Chinese new car market, we have welcomed no less than 53 all-new locally produced models in the ranking over the past 12 months. A slight worrying sign though: only 4 of them feature inside the Top 110, and only 5 Chinese in the Top 150… The Hyundai Mistra comes on top at #36 with 96.221 sales, ahead of the Chery Tiggo 5 at #63, Toyota Yaris L at #72, Peugeot 301 at #73 and Zotye T600 at #112.
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Full September 2014 Top 55 All-local models incl. LCVs and 9 months Top 370 All-local PCs below.