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China November 2018 Retail sales: decline spirals to dizzying -23.2%, Toyota and Honda resist

The Changan CS85 has landed in the Chinese retail charts.

Our coverage of China wholesales for November 2018 – in other words factory shipments – showed the deepening of a crisis that started over summer with a 13.9% year-on-year drop, the largest since January 2012. At BSCB we strive to offer you an evermore exhaustive coverage of the largest car market in the world and are now exclusively studying monthly Retail sales – dealership sales to end-customers. This gives a “reality check” to wholesales and act as a predictor to the next few months of factory shipments as with poor retail sales trigger poor wholesales the following month as dealer reduce their orders to allow existing stock to clear. And the bad news keep accumulating for the Chinese market with November retail sales for our selection of 655 models freefalling 23.2% year-on-year to just 1.859.222 vs. 2.421.613 a year ago in November 2017. With December traditionally featuring among the largest months of the year in China, expect a very steep percentage and volume drop in December wholesales. Note the models included in our retail updates are China-made (imports being explored in a separate update) and cover a slightly larger section of the Chinese market vs. wholesales as microvans and some pickups are added.

Logically, Volkswagen (-21%) roughly follows the market once again, with the gearing up of the T-Roc (8.164), Tharu (3.131) and Tayron (3.061), all posting volume records, failing to balance the freefalling of the majority of its lineup: Lamando (-47%), Sagitar (-38%), Bora (-32%), Tiguan (-31%), Polo (-30%), Teramont (-28%), Golf (-27%), Santana (-22%), Lavida (-17%) and Magotan (-17%). The Passat (-9%) and Jetta (-7%) resist better. Strikingly, in #2 and #3 are the only gains in the Top 12. Honda (+2%) is surfing on the success of the new gen Crider (+42%) and Accord (+38%) as well as the Fit (+37%), Civic (+27%) and XR-V (+21%). Once again, Toyota (+19%) spectacularly posts the only double-digit gain in the Top 12. While the IZOA (4.595) breaks another volume record but the C-HR (3.152) doesn’t, the Camry (+596%), RAV4 (+18%), Highlander (+10%), Levin (+10%) and Corolla (+7%) all advance.

The Skoda Kodiaq GT, a coupe variant of the Kodiaq, has landed in China.

Below Nissan (-8%) at #4, the remainder of the Top 10 all endure double-digit losses. If Hyundai (-19%), Haval (-21%) and Buick (-22%) roughly march the market decline, Baojun (-50%), Wuling (-29%) and Geely (-26%) fall markedly faster. Only 3 additional Top 25 carmakers register a year-on-year gain: BMW (+22%), BYD (+21%) and Mercedes (+7%). Further down, Lynk & Co (+2317%) celebrates one year in market by gaining 7 spots on October to rank #31, back above archenemy WEY (-45%) for the third time in the past 4 years, Traum (+85700%) also celebrates one year in market, with great performers also including Hongqi (+613%), Link Tour (+246%), Yudo (+194%), Horki (+85%), Iveco (+55%), Qoros (+29%), Infiniti (+22%), Brilliance (+13%) and MG (+13%).

Expectedly, the Chinese November brands charts are littered with annihilated carmakers. In Chinese ranks, the worst hit include Kandi (-98%), Zhi Dou (-97%), Hawtai (-94%), Bisu (-81%), Borgward (-69%), Soueast (-67%), Cowin (-61%), Zotye (-61%), Haima (-58%), Karry (-57%), Lifan (-55%), FAW (-54%), JAC (-53%), BAIC (-49%), Chana (-47%), WEY (-45%), Changan (-43%), Hanteng (-42%), Yema (-42%), Beijing (-41%), and Leopaard (-41%). Among foreigners, imploding brands include Luxgen (-73%), Ford (-68%), Peugeot (-63%), Suzuki (-62%), Renault (-59%), Land Rover (-54%), Citroen (-51%), Mazda (-46%), Jeep (-35%), Skoda (-31%), Chevrolet (-30%) and Mitsubishi (-29%).

Over in the models ranking, the VW Lavida (-17%) remains on top, but only less than 1.000 units above the Nissan Sylphy (+4%) while the Toyota Corolla (+7%) signs the largest – and last – gain in the Top 10. The VW Jetta (-7%) and Buick Excelle Yinlang (-12%) ensure the Top 5 is 100% composed of sedans for the month. The Wuling Hongguang (-35%) ranks 6th while the Haval H6 (-41%) remains the best-selling SUV in the country, distancing the VW Tiguan (-31%). Great performers near the top also include the BYD Tang (+416%), Hyundai ix35 (+331%), Kia Sportage (+178%), Hyundai Celesta (+131%), Haval M6 (+41%), Mercedes E-Class L (+32%), BMW 5 Series L (+31%), Audi A6L (+23%) and Audi A4L (+20%). Volume record-breakers include the Hyundai La Festa (6.653), BMW X3 (5.931), Audi Q5L (5.788), Jetour X70 (5.469), Kia Pegas (5.404), Haval F5 (3.851) and WEY VV6 (3.606). Logically, almost all new launches have already appeared in our wholesales ranking as dealerships have taken them in from factories. Only the Changan CS35 Plus (362), Neta N01 (166), Changan CS85 (95) and Skoda Kodiaq GT (19) are making their first appearance here in the retail charts. The other, already known November retail launches are the Geely Binyue (5.543), Honda Inspire (968), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (451), Soueast A5 Yiwu (213), Venucia T60 (179), Acura RDX (131) and Bestune T77 (117).

Previous month: China October 2018 retail sales: Toyota, BMW, BYD survive 14% decline

Full November 2018 Top 100 All-brands and Top 655 All-models below.

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