Great news! In the past 18 months, Left-Lane.com has quickly established itself as the leading source of European car sales data, sorted by brand and by model. And lately we’ve been working hard at expanding our database to the biggest car market in the world with almost 20 million annual sales: China. And today we launch the result of all that hard work, as you can use the second drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of the page to search Chinese auto sales figures of every car sold in China from 2003. That means 72 brands and more than 550 models!
As you’re used from us, you can find annual sales figures by brand and by model from 2003 until 2014 and monthly sales data from 2013 until 2015, which will be updated monthly. And similar to the European monthly brand rankings and model rankings, I also plan to give monthly brand and model rankings for China, pointing out the latest trends and new model launches in the world’s largest car market.
I do need to point out one peculiarity about these data: they consist exclusively of locally produced models. For now, I’ve been unable to find a reliable source for data on imported models, which are mostly luxury models as a result of the high import duties on new cars. For example: Renault, Jeep, Porsche, Lexus, Jaguar, Land Rover and even more expensive luxury marques are not included in my data. This doesn’t mean they don’t sell any cars in China, just that they import all of the vehicles they sell. Because of the high taxes, their sales figures will remain relatively low until they start local production, which most of them are already planning to do in the short term. Others, like Mercedes-Benz and BMW only produce their smallest vehicles locally and import the larger and more expensive models, because these have smaller volumes and buyers of these cars can afford to pay the import duties.
The locally produced models from foreign brands are all built by Joint Ventures these foreign brands have been forced to set up with local manufacturers. This is a strategy from the Chinese government to make sure local manufacturers can learn from their foreign partners and to prevent from overseas car makers to out-compete the local brands.
The ratio of sales from foreign brands vs local brands is approximately 2/3 vs 1/3, although local brands have been making inroads lately because they’ve improved the design and quality of their vehicles, and they’ve introduced more vehicles in the most booming segments: SUVs and minivans. In fact, the best selling vehicle overall (and by far) is the Wuling Hongguang, a small and cheap MPV which regularly sells more than 60.000 units a month. And Haval, the SUV brand of Great Wall, has sold almost 430.000 SUVs in China last year, up 53% on the year before. Haval is aiming to overtake Jeep and Land Rover to become the world’s largest SUV brand within a few year’s time.
As you can see, a very interesting and dynamic market indeed. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much the European data, and please let me know if you have any remarks or questions about the Chinese auto market and these sales statistics.