* See the Top 380 All-local models and Top 70 brands by clicking on the title *
* Now updated with the Top 70 best-selling LCVs. Source: Cedars, LMC Automotive *
It’s the gift that keeps giving: the 50% tax cut on vehicles with engine displacements of 1.6L and smaller that took effect on Oct.1. has spurred a whopping 18% year-on-year sales surge in December to 2.44 million cars – including microvans but excluding other light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles. That’s simply the biggest month in the history of automobile in China, no less. Still think China is going through a slump? Think again. If anything the last quarter of 2015 has shown that the Chinese government has the tools to revive the market back from the brink where it stood during Summer. And once again the hero of the month is the SUV segment: up a gigantic 60% year-on-year to post its 4th consecutive monthly volume record: lifting it from 503.333 (Dec 2014) to 575.769 (Sept. 2015), 627.417 (Oct 2015), 715.083 (Nov 2015) and 803.491 (Dec 2015). The two other main segments of he market also beat their all-time monthly volume records: passenger cars (sedans) are up 2% to 1.294.603 units (previous best: 1.268.305 in Dec 2014) and MPVs return to insolent growth rates at +45% to 281.134 deliveries (previous best: 230.757 in Jan 2015).
Seven of the Top 10 best-sellers break their all-time monthly volume record, a record 10 nameplates sell over 30.000 units this month (compared to 9 in the USA during the same month), a record 31 sell over 20.000 (19 in the US) and a record 81 sell over 10.000 (46 in the US). When adding LCVs this climbs to an incredible 90 – double the US figure. The total Chinese market reaches a record 24.61 million units for the year, which we will detail in a separate update. The Wuling Hongguang, helped by its facelift, delivers its 2nd best-ever monthly score and best in two years at 76.744 units – its record being 81.153 in January 2014. For the first time in at least 5 years, the two best-selling cars in China are Chinese: the Baojun 730 jumps 11 spots on last month to land at a best-ever #2 with an outstanding 47.690 sales, up 52% on its previous best of 31.472 hit exactly one year ago in December 2014. The VW Lavida rounds up the podium at 44.478 units (+58%).
The record list doesn’t stop here, and by far. The Haval H6 is up 36% to 42.553 and the Nissan Sylphy is up 27% to 41.802. For these two extremely successful nameplates, it is their first time above the 40.000 mark. Helped by the new new generation, the Hyundai Elantra Langdong (+32%) lifts to 35.654, the Baojun 560 continues its irresistible ascent to a new high of 33.039, the Hyundai Verna hits 31.469 (+44%) and the Toyota Corolla hits 30.360 (+5%).
|3||JAC Refine S3||25,837||51%||8|
|6||GAC Trumpchi GS4||22,785||new||3|
|8||Beijing Auto Huansu S3||20,868||44%||11|
Believed to be hardly possible now, Chinese manufacturers still manage to tighten even further their grip on the SUV market in December: 8 of the Top 10 best-sellers are Chinese. The Haval H6 leads above the Baojun 560 like in November, but the JAC Refine S3 and Dongfeng Fengguang outpace the Buick Envision (still breaking a record at 23.085 sales) and the GAC Trumpchi GS4 to #3 and #4.
The Brilliance V3 delivers the most impressive result of all, leaping to an incredible 21.117 sales – 76% of the brand’s total this month, the first time a Brilliance nameplate crosses the 20.000 monthly mark. The Beijing Auto Huansu S3 and Haval H2 also cross this mark for the first time in December. Staying in the SUV segment, let’s point out the Honda Vezel (18.329), Zotye T600 (15.547), Ford Edge (13.438), Hyundai Tucson (13.401), Haval H1 (11.730) and Zotye X5 (10.606) all breaking records as well.
The MPV aisle is not limited to the Wuling Hongguang anymore, with 42 nameplates now on sale in China. The Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 becomes the M30 this month and breaks a leg (and a record) at 23.344 units (+210%), the Dongfeng Fengxing S500 makes a very impressive landing at 10.858 sales for its first appearance and the Beijing Auto Huansu H3 breaks the 10.000 monthly mark as early as for its third month in market.
Lastly, sedans also have their share in this fantastic month. The Buick Verano continues its climb at 16.052 sales, the Nissan Lannia confirms it is an instant blockbuster, up a further 29% on last month to break into the overall Top 50 with 13.574 sales, the Honda Greiz progresses to 7.913 sales an knocks on the Top 100’s door for its 2nd month in market, the Roewe 360 is doing all the pulling at Roewe, up 30% on November to 7.554, the Geely GC9 continues to tank up on deliveries now at 5.504 and the Ford Taurus goes from 1.003 units during its initial November outing to 5.373 and #141 in December.
Among recent launches, let’s single out the Jeep Cherokee up 169% on its first month to 5.834 sales, the Beijing Auto Senova X25 taking off to 5.571 units vs. 178 in November, the Beijing Auto Huansu S6 up 128% to 4.088 units and the Ford Everest up 55% to 3.006 deliveries. There are no less than 9 new locally-produced nameplates entering the Chinese market this month, which will be the subject of a separate update as is the tradition on BSCB.
In the LCV ranking, thanks to sales up a whopping 60% year-on-year, the Wuling Mini Truck edges past the Foton Light Truck to end 2015 in pole position for the first time, while the Wuling Hongguang V is back up to third place with just under 20.000 deliveries, outselling both the Sunshine (-20%) and Rongguang (-11%). Excellent hold of the Lifan Light Truck at #6 and the Jinbei Mini Bus at #9.
Previous month: China November 2015: Pollution and tax cuts push market up 24%
Full December 2015 Top 380 All-local models, Top 70 PC brands and Top 67 LCV models below.