* See the Top 10 best-selling LCV by clicking on the title *
A change in classification has LMC Automotive publish 346.867 LCV sales in China in April and a total of 1.313.161 for the first 4 months of 2015. Regardless, this segment is not going well with many small businesses, self-employed tradesmen and rural taxi companies choosing to ditch their flimsy microvans and upgrade to MPVs such as the Wuling Hongguang, Baojun 730 or Beijing Auto Weiwang M20. As a consequence Wuling, über-dominant in the Chinese microvan segment, has had to scramble to get new models ready and adapt to the fast-evolving market. Two main things to remember.
1. Wuling Hongguang V launch
At the start of 2015 Wuling launched the Hongguang V (pictured above) as an alternative to a trade up to the MPV segment. The Hongguang is priced slightly higher than the Rongguang and a notch above the Sunshine but still below the Hongguang MPV as the table below indicates. Before you ask, yes these prices are real and ridiculously low. Now you understand why no foreign manufacturer has ventured into this segment so far, it’s near impossible to compete with these prices. Wuling’s strategy with the Hongguang V worked. After breaking the 30.000 sales barrier last month and ranking #2 LCV, in April the Hongguang V is the best-selling Light Commercial Vehicle in the country and most importantly now leads all Wuling models on sale in China bar the Hongguang itself. A string of Wuling dealerships on the way to the Harbin airport confirmed the manufacturer is aggressively pushing the Hongguang V to entice the commercial buyers that can’t afford a Hongguang into replacing their ageing microvan with it instead.
|Model||April sales||Price range (yuan)||Price range (US$)|
|Wuling Journey||4,011||66.000 – 77.000||10.600 – 12.400|
|Wuling Hongguang||53,086||44.800 – 69.800||7.200 – 11.250|
|Wuling Hongguang V||25,506||42.800 – 51.800||6.900 – 8.300|
|Wuling Rongguang||17,475||41.800 – 46.800||6.700 – 7.500|
|Wuling Sunshine||21,005||29.800 – 46.000||4.800 – 7.400|
And for those of you that got confused by the avalanche of Wuling models I have prepared the below picture to summarise it all. You’re welcome.
2. Wuling Rongguang Pickup transfer
The second significant event occurring within the Chinese LCV market in 2015 is the partial transfer of sales from the Sunshine (-29% in April) and Rongguang (-50%) towards the Rongguang Pick-up, called Wuling Mini Truck. With deliveries gaining a splendid 17% year-on-year this month to 17,772 units, it outsells its microvan namesake (17.475). The tremendous and recent success of the Rongguang Pick-up is something I had noticed in Western China last year and again in the North-Eastern town of Mohe this year, where it is among the best-sellers in both locations. The Rongguang Pick-up features 4 doors with the added functionality of a loading tray. What’s not to love indeed?
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Full April 2015 Top 10 best-selling LCV below.