A new year is always a nice opportunity to reflect on the past year and in our case, that means looking at which cars have sold surprisingly well in 2015 and which do we expect to surprise in 2016. We’ll also look at which cars or brands have disappointed from a sales volume point of view in a separate article. We’ve already covered the surprises and disappointments in Europe, now let’s take a look at the Chinese car market
Which cars sold surprisingly well in 2015:
Which cars may sell surprisingly well in 2016:
EVs and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles
Sales of electric cars surged 290% last year to over 170.000 units through October and are expected to surpass 200.000 sales in 2015, making China the largest EV market in the world, ahead of the US. Mind you, these figures include trucks and buses. Sales of electric passenger cars in China totaled 113.810 through August, which is a fivefold increase on the same period in 2014.
Of course, the air pollution and subsequent haze that covers cities like Shanghai and Beijing has woken up some officials and EVs and PHEVs are so far relieved from measures taken by city councils to discourage the use of gasoline powered cars in the cities and a cap in the issuing of license plates for non-electrified vehicles.
So far, mostly local brands have entered the EV and PHEV market, but the foreign brands are stepping up their efforts now as well. BYD has been a front-runner in electrification, having launched two new plug-in hybrid SUVs last year, the Tang and Song which sold over 8.100 units combined in November.
The Beijing government has set a target of 5 million EVs on the roads in China by 2020, and they’re only at 400.000 now. In November, they disclosed a plan to build 12.000 charging stations and 4,8 million charging poles nationwide over the next five years. During that same period, Beijing wants automakers to sell at least 4,57 million EVs in China. In order to reach that target, they’re expected to spend 100 billion yuan (US$ 15,5 billion) in subsidies for electric vehicles and the central government has established sales targets for each of China’s 27 provinces and four municipalities to make sure they reach that figure. And knowing their job is on the line, you can trust those officials to do everything in their power to reach their targets, which means sales of EVs and PHEVs are set to boom in China.