After looking at the 2019 Chinese car market including sales by brand, let’s look at the models ranking. China is one of the world’s most diverse markets, with 95 different brands (excluding the makers of cheap Low-Speed Electric Vehicles) selling nearly 600 models in 2019, of which 100 sold fewer than 1.000 units last year, and half sold fewer than 10.000 units, while only one model managed to sell over half a million cars in 2019.
The Volkswagen Lavida (+5,8%) enjoys a second consecutive year on top of the charts, ahead of the Nissan Sylphy (-2,2%) again. Including the Gran Lavida hatchback, the Lavida has topped the 500.000 sales mark for the 4th consecutive year. The Haval H6 jumps onto the podium despite a 14,5% decline in sales, as the Wuling Hongguang is down 21,3% and into 4th place after leading the Chinese model charts until 2017. The H6 and Hongguang are also the only two domestic models in the top-10, and two out of just six in the top-25 with the Geely Boyue in 11th place (-9,1%), the Geely EC7 in 17th (-14,4%), the Changan CS75 in 19th (+37,7%) and the Roewe RX5 in 25th place (-26,1%). The H6 is also the best selling crossover in China, ahead of the Geely Boyue in 11th place, the VW Tiguan in 12th place (-24,5%), the Honda CR-V in 16th place (+48,4%) and the Nissan X-Trail in 18th place (-0,1%). Volkswagen places four models in the top-10 and six in the top-15 with the Bora in 6th place (+36,1%), the Sagitar in 7th place (-0,8%), the Santana at #9 (-7,4%), the Tiguan in 12th and the Passat at #15 (+19,6%), while no other brand has multiple nameplates in the top-10.
Notable performances are from the Volkswagen Tayron at #22, the Haval F7 at #37, the Volkswagen Tharu at #38, the Geely Binyue at #39, the Jetour X70 at #44 and the Hyundai LaFesta at #64, all in their first full year of sales. The Audi A6L (#43, -15,1%) is dethroned as China’s most popular luxury sedan by both the BMW 5-Series L (#26, +11,5%) and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L (#29, +7,9%). Hongqi, China’s domestic luxury brand under FAW, had a great year, with 3 new models and both of its existing models showing impressive improvements in sales: the H5 was up 134% to over 45.000 sales at #139, the HS5 lands at #185 with over 29.000 sales and the large H7 sedan gains 71% to over 12.600 sales at #275. At Lynk & Co, the 03 sedan has become the brand’s best selling model at #120, ahead of the 01 crossover (#122, -42,2%), while at rival Wey also the newest model is the hottest, with the VV6 up to #113 ahead of the VV5 (#218, -65,1%) and the VV7 (#228, -64%), showing how important it is to keep the model line-up fresh in China to avoid becoming snowed under by the competition, as Renault has experienced by waiting too long to bring new models to the market after its initial launch with the Kadjar (#352, -65,8%) and Koleos #318, -74,1%). The arrival of both the Captur and City KZ-E in October shows the brand may have learned from that experience.
As you’ve seen in the brands ranking, 2019 was a year to forget for Baojun, but the brand has changed its strategy to offer more upmarket models, launching the RS-5 crossover in January, the RM-5 MPV and RC-6 sedan in September and the RS-3 crossover in October. In the last four months of the year, those four models have made up over 25% of total brand sales, peaking at 29% in December. Considering how deep the rest of its line-up has fallen in 2019, I’m not yet calling this strategy a full-blown success. We’ll keep an eye on the brand in the coming months to see how it progresses.
Best selling EV in China is the BAIC EU-Series at #56 with over 110.000 sales (+195%), taking over from the BAIC EC-Series (#188, -69,8%) which was China’s best selling EV in 2018. #2 in the EV ranking is the BYD Yuan at #106 with 61.900 sales (+47,9%), followed by the Baojun E200 with over 48.200 sales (#130, new). Best selling PHEV is the BYD Tang with just over 76.700 sales (+23,6%), followed by the BMW 5-Series Le with just over 27.600 sales (+104,6%), the Volkswagen Passat GTE with just over 20.500 sales and the BYD Qin Pro PHEV with over 18.600 sales.
Among the top players, we see record sales for the Volkswagen Bora, Honda Civic (#10), Accord (#13) and CR-V (#16), Toyota Levin (#14) and Camry (#20), Nissan Qashqai (#21), BMW 5-Series L (#26), Roewe i5 (#27), Mercedes-Benz E-Class L (#29) and GLC (#34), Buick GL8 (#32) and Regal (#48), Audi Q5 (#40) and the MG ZS (#49).
Best selling newcomers in 2019 are the Chevrolet Monza at #35 and the Byd Song Pro at #72, followed by the Volkswagen T-Cross at #98 and the Toyota Avalon at #104. A little further below we find the Honda Envix at #127, the Baojun E200 at #130, Ford Territory at #131 and the Dongfeng Joyear T5 at #138. When looking at average monthly sales for newcomers (and thus adjusting for launch date), the most successful newcomers in 2019 are still the Chevrolet Monza at almost 14.180 sales per month and the BYD Song Pro at over 13.244 average monthly sales, with the Jetta VS5 far behind at 9.176 sales, the Baojun RM-5 and RS-3 at 7.640 and 6.778 respectively, with the VW T-Cross at 6.350 per month and the Toyota Avalon at 6.233 per month. The Baojun E200 is the only other newly launched model above 5.000 monthly sales at 6.035.
China models ranking 2019
Please note these figures are for locally produced models only (unless stated otherwise), they exclude imported cars, which make up only a small portion of sales in China.
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