SUVs Boom In China

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
suvs boom in china

Worried about SUVs becoming an endangered species? Don’t dare to drive your Expedition or Escalade out of fear of being stigmatized by the neighbors? Come to China! China’s auto boom is overshadowed by a much bigger boom: The explosion of the SUV market.

In the first four months of the year, Chinese new car sales grew 60.51 percent. That’s nothing compared to SUV sales. Their growth in the first four months escalated 118 percent, nearly double the rate of the general market, reports Gasgoo, based on data released by China’s National Passenger Vehicle Market Information Joint Committee (NPVC). Sadly, American brands profit very little from the boom of the behemoths. The spoils go to Chinese, Japanese, German, and South Korean producers.

The tempo of the SUV sales is increasing. In April alone, Chinese SUV sales jumped 113 percent to 105,585 units. Here are April’s big boy big sellers in China:

Great Wall Hover (13,000)

Honda CR-V (12,000)

Toyota RAV4 (8,059)

Zotye (7,513)

Toyota Highlander(6,524)

Hyundai ix35 (4,399)

Volkswagen Tiguan (3,500)

Audi Q5 (2,176)

As you can see, the big movers are the compact models. But nobody will bat an eye at a full size SUV, or leave a note under the wiper at the Wal-Mart parking lot. Yes, they have Wal-Marts. They are considered upscale, no social stigma either.

Join the conversation
6 of 9 comments
  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on May 20, 2010

    In Brazil the SUV boom is not really booming, but only do to price. The likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Santa Fe, Mitsu TR4 or Honda CR-V are all within reach (if they financially strap themselves) of higher middle class people and are the stuff of their automobile dreams. And buy them they do. The ladies can't get enough of them. Even Ford's Fiesta based Ecosport, designed to look like an SUV or jeep, does nicely (and it's not cheap, yours for USD 30,500). And I guess the dream car of people down here is no longer a BMW3, but rather BMW X3, or better yet an X5. Nothing better than those cars to look down your nose at the "common" people in their scrappy Fiat and VW sub-compacts.

  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on May 20, 2010

    What kind of gas prices do they have over there? Big urban/rural differentials?

  • George B George B on May 20, 2010

    Bertel, what is the selling point for SUVs and CUVs in China? Greater height to see over heavy traffic? Greater interior space than cars? More ground clearance for bad roads? In the US height to see over cars appears to be the feature that makes SUVs and CUVs a mass market sales success as compared to lower height station wagons.

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on May 20, 2010

    Bertel, I'm diappointed you didn't use a naughty pic of the Hover when one is so readily available. Mildly NSFW. That done with, I don't know where they're selling them or the Highlanders, as Shanghai is definitely heavy on the CRVs and RAV4s. George B, They don't need selling points. "I got the cash, and that's what I want" is how they sell. Much like the US, they frequently have one person in them, usually a woman, and never go off pavement. See over heavy traffic? Most Chinese drive like they're wearing horse blinders.