The Chinese market in 2017: 3% increase to 28.879 million vehicles, SUVs exceed 10 million vehicles
Geely and GAC increase vehicle sales, NEV sales grow by nearly 1.5 times to 777,000 vehicles
New vehicle sales for the full year 2017 in the Chinese market saw a year-over-year (y/y) increase of 3.0% to a record high of 28.879 million vehicles (based on vehicles shipped from plants as well as exported vehicles). However, new vehicle sales did not reach the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) sales forecast of 29.4 million vehicles as predicted at the beginning of the year. Passenger vehicles only saw minor growth, with a y/y increase of 1.4% to 24.718 million vehicles due to the effects of an increase in taxes on compact vehicles implemented on January 1st, 2017.
On the other hand, commercial vehicles experienced y/y growth of 13.9% to 4.161 million vehicles. This increase can be attributed to compact diesel vehicles meeting the China 5 emission standards from January 2018, as well as a rush of demand created by the full-scale prohibition of overloaded vehicles starting in July 2018.
By group, the top five OEMs (SAIC, Dongfeng, FAW, Changan, and BAIC) sold roughly 19.772 million vehicles, accounting for approximately 70% of the market. Major growth was also seen for the GAC Group (sixth place), whose joint venture and own brands are both seeing healthy performance, as well as the Geely Group (seventh place), whose various models are all performing well.
By vehicle type, SUV models, which continue to maintain their popularity in China, saw a y/y increase of 13.3% to 10.253 million vehicles, with roughly 60% of vehicles sold from Chinese brands. Sedans and hatchbacks, however, experienced a y/y decrease of 2.5% to 11.848 million vehicles, further narrowing the gap in vehicle sales with SUV models.
Chinese OEMs accounted for 10.722 million vehicles in the passenger vehicle market. As for foreign OEMs, Japanese automakers saw y/y growth of 13.3% to 4.484 million vehicles, while Korean automakers saw a y/y decrease throughout 2017 by 36.1% to 1.145 million vehicles due to political reasons at the start of the year, and the effect from this lasted into the second half of 2017.
Exports in 2017 saw a y/y increase of 25.8% to 891,000 vehicles thanks to effects from the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) policy, putting a stop to the decline in automobile exports. From January to November 2017, exports also saw y/y growth of 19.0% to 1.14 million vehicles.
New energy vehicle (NEV) sales continue to grow, with 777,000 vehicles being sold in 2017, roughly 1.5 times the number of vehicles sold in 2016. Based on this figure, 468,000 EV and 111,000 PHV passenger vehicles were sold. When looking at vehicle sales by OEM, BYD maintained its top position, while BJEV, in second place, has continued to increase its vehicle sales.
The first half of 2017 in the Chinese market: 13.35 million vehicles sold, growth rate falls (Sept.2017)
China sales forecast and automaker's plans: Tax reduction to continue until end of 2017 (Mar.2017)