China in March: Up, and Down. SUV’s big winner, MPV’s big loser

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At a press conference late yesterday the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced sales figures for March, it seems as intended: The first quarter is down a little, March is up a little. Certain segments have done exceptionally well, others seem to have withered. It does not seem like a typical Chinese March. March usually sets the pace for the rest of the year as Chinese new year and new year festivities are out of the way.

In the first quarter, total vehicle sales in China fell 3.4% from a year earlier to 4.79 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Wednesday. Sales of passenger cars fell 1.3% to 3.77 million vehicles.

First quarter sales fell by 3.4% to 4.79 million vehicles according to statistics released by CAAM, sales of passenger vehicles fell by 1.3% to 3.77 million units. In March sales rose 4.5% over 2011′s figure with 1.4 million passenger vehicles being sold and 1.84 million vehicles being sold in total.

Chinese brands took 46.1% of total vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2011, but by March 2012 this advantage had shrunk to 42.9% which is causing continued worry for Chinese manufacturers and the government. Foreign manufacturers are gaining continued traction in the Chinese market, American brands achieved 11.1% market share, Japanese 18.7%, French 2.9% and the Germans showed the biggest improvement with 16.6% market share in the first quarter.

Month to month March sales were up 15.4% whilst they gained 4.54% year on year. Sedans sold 935,500 units in March, a month on month increase of 12.96% and a year on year increase of 2.21%. MPV’s sold 45,200 units, a M/M increase of 7.59% with a Y/Y increase of 0.42%. SUV’s saw the biggest gains in March 2012 with sales reaching 176,200 units, a M/M increase of 26.79% and Y/Y increase of 32.38%.

Total growth for 2012 has been aimed at 8-10% but that number is likely to be revised once again if a half year figure is not on target.

In March the top selling cars were as follows:

  1. Buick Excelle – 24,100
  2. VW Jetta – 23,100
  3. Chevrolet Sail – 22,100
  4. VW Passat – 20,800
  5. VW Bora – 20,400
  6. VW Lavida – 20,300
  7. Chevrolet Cruze – 18,700
  8. Toyota Corolla – 18,500
  9. VW Santana – 17,400
  10. Nissan Teana – 16,7000

The above ten models accounted for 21.60% of models sold in March 2012.


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  • MannyZ
    April 12, 2012

    Thats interesting, I did not know that the Japanies are doing so well in China.

  • VW Dealer Albuquerque
    April 13, 2012

    I just like the valuable info you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again here regularly. I’m somewhat sure I’ll be told plenty of new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the following!

  • Gerald
    April 13, 2012

    Are the sales figures for the Buick Excelle being inflated by the old gen?

  • CTSH
    April 13, 2012

    Are there any sales figures for the new model Camry?

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