It seems like the bigger the areas I cover (March worldwide roundup anyone?) or the longer the rankings I talk about (Top 265 best-selling models in the USA over Q1 2012, Top 318 best-selling models in Europe in 2011 and Top 100 best-selling models in the World in 2011) the happier you are.
And that’s what I want.
So I have more and more data in store for you. Don’t worry, when you think I will have exhausted every possible avenue I will still have more. Because that’s what I do all day, counting cars. So you can count on me.
And to follow-up on Bertel’s appetizer earlier today I give you the Top 265 best-selling models in China in April. Just another month in Chinaworld: two new brands launched, 10 new models, and we’re only talking about the cars produced locally…
Not interested? Fine. There is more data (told you) for 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, all one by one. Click. The link. You will love it.
Back to China.
And first two clarifications: we will be talking about passenger cars here (and not commercial vehicles which are the subject of another ranking) and only cars produced locally as imports data is still a bit patchy in China.
Now that it finally managed to be the most popular passenger car in the country after 4 years finishing at #2 (See the Full Year 2011 Top 250 here), the Buick Excelle is not letting go: in April it is holding the pole position for the third time in a row and the 6th time in the last 9 months with 23,179 sales.
In 2nd place we find the VW Jetta. Bland you will say. Maybe so. But the interesting fact about the VW Jetta sold in China is that it is still based on the 1984 second generation of the model! You can recognize the original body behind many layers of make-up… In spite of approaching the ripe age of 30, it still sells 21,909 units in April…
On the third step of the Chinese podium this month we find the Ford Focus boosted by the arrival of the new generation and up a massive 14 spots compared to March with 21,793 sales.
Volkswagen is still the dominant brand in China and manages to place 3 models in the Top 5 with the Passat at #4 and the Lavida at #5 and 4 models in the Top 7 with the Bora at #7…
The other interesting development this month is the arrival of the Hyundai Verna (aka Accent) in the Top 10 at #8 thanks to a record 18,786 sales, making it two Hyundais in the Top 10 with the Elantra Yuedong at #9.
The VW Magotan hits its highest ranking ever at #11 with 16,188 units.
Yes, you got this right. There is no ‘truly’ Chinese model in the Top 10 even though all cars above are manufactured by joint-ventures with Chinese manufacturers. In fact I wrote an article about the very fact that Chinese cars don’t seem to be selling well at home…
The best-selling Chinese model at home this month is the Great Wall Haval H3/H5/H6 which is a little unfair because it is in fact 3 quite distinct models but no split sales are available. It ranks #13 overall with 15,747 sales.
The #2 Chinese is also composed of two models: it is the FAW Xiali N3/N5 at #15 overall with 15,476 units.
The Chery QQ is getting old but still selling reasonably well at #20 overall with 12,423 sales.
Notice also the excellent performance of the Audi A6 L up to #30 with 13,675 sales, double the amount it sold in Germany over the same period (and the German ones are not the eLongated version sold in China)!
Now you’ve read so far, it means you want to know about these two new brands I talked about earlier.
Getting right into it in a few, but first a bit of background.
The latest trend in the world of Chinese cars is the launch of new, allegedly low-cost brands. In April 2011, Guangzhou-Honda launched the new brand Li Nian with the S1 based on the previous generation City. It got a mild welcome with a peak at #89 last August.
Last August as well, General Motors launched its own Chinese low-cost brand, Baojun. Looking like a truly new car, the Baojun 630 received a much warmer welcome: it peaked at #31 last February, and after falling to #83 last month it is back up to #53 in April.
But wait there’s more. In April we welcome not one but two new low-cost brands in the market, with their first model appearing for the first time in the ranking… Ciimo, Dongfeng-Honda’s low-cost attempt, has launched the Ciimo Si Ming based on the previous generation Honda Civic and it sells 3,022 units for a respectable 118th position.
Dongfeng-Nissan released the Venucia D50 based on the previous generation Nissan Tiida sedan, landing at #122 with 2,845 sales. These two monthly figures are so far the strongest starts for Chinese low-cost models: the Li Nian S1 debuted at 2,084 units and the Baojun 630 at 869.
That’s it for the new brands. I still find it quite exhilarating that new brands keep popping up in this market. It must have felt like this in Europe at the start of the 20th century. Even though the majority of these brands may not survive for long there is no denying it is a fascinating time to follow car sales in China.
Especially when you realize that there are 8 other all-new models making their first appearance in the ranking in April…
We also welcome the Gleagle GX7 at #135 with 2,307 sales, the now locally produced Mercedes GLK at #169 with 1,344 units…
…the Beijing E-Series, a Mercedes B-Class clone, at #183 with 949 sales…
…the Dongfeng Fengshan A60 at #191 with 700 units…
…the Chery Cowin 5 at #194 with 589 sales…
…the Great Wall Haval M4, probably the most attractive of these newcomers, at #197 with 532 units…
…the GAC Trumpchi GS5 with a ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ from an imaginary Subaru Tribeca at #200 with 484 sales…
…and the Gonow Aoosed GX5 at #245 with 85 units. Wait. What? Seriously? Is that the name of the car? I can see the proud owner boasting about how tough its Gonow is. Sounds suspiciously like some hidden, unknown part of my body that I wouldn’t want anyone to know about. But hey, I’m sure it sounds great in Chinese!
Now don’t lie to me. You didn’t know brands like ‘Beijing’, ‘GAC’ and ‘Gonow’ even existed? Don’t panic, it also hurt my feelings to know that somewhere in the world there were cars allowed to be driven on the streets without me knowing not only the model but the brand… But that’s why I’m here! To push the boundaries of ignorance. Nothing less.
China’s best-selling and worst-selling cars, April 2012
Looks familiar? The Shanghai Englon TX4 only sold 6 units in April though…
Top 10 worst-selling cars in China – April 2012:
|9||Hyundai Elantra Yuedong||17,523||62,266||11||8|
|258||BAW (Beijing) Luba||17||166||257||237|
|259||Great Wall Coolbear||17||17||270||n/a|
|263||Tianqi Meiya SUV||9||30||269||247|
|265||Shanghai Englon TX4||6||506||238||238|
I think you have a few things to say at your next pub meal don’t you?
Until next week…
Data for this post was sourced on www.chooseauto.com.cn, many thanks to DC from www.autoweek.nl for sharing, translating and helping compile the data.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.