Gasgoo.com (Shanghai) - Foreign branded automobiles are still continuing to hold the dominant position in the Chinese passenger automobile market. Their combined sales are around one million units every month and are continuing to grow. A total of 5.99 million foreign brand automobiles were sold over the first half of 2014. That figure represents year-on-year growth of 18 percent, which is higher than the 14.8 percent growth in the industry as a whole. Foreign brands accounted for 67.5 percent of all passenger automobiles sold in China in the first half of 2014, up 1.8 percent from the previous year.
The most successful foreign automobile brands in China still come from Germany. A total of 2.05 million German branded passenger automobiles were sold over the first half of this year, up 22.9 percent from the 1.67 million units sold last year. Among German manufacturers, Volkswagen's performance was especially noteworthy, with its new sedan redesigns, including the New Passat, Magotan, Sagitar, Lavida and Santana, receiving very favorable praise from Chinese consumers.
French brands also saw considerable growth in the first half of the year, with their total sales increasing 27.5 percent. Their market share grew .4 percent from the 3.6 percent in 2013 to four percent this year.
Japanese and US manufacturers' also reported sales growth rates slightly higher the industry average. 1.46 million Japanese branded and 1.22 million US brand passenger automobiles were sold in the first half of the year. Their respective market shares this year were 16.5 percent and 13.8 percent.
Unlike other manufacturers, Korean brands saw their combined market share fall slightly from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014. Their combined sales over the first half of this year totaled 863,700 vehicles. That figure represents sales growth of just 9.7 percent, well under the average market growth. A lack of new models as well as the recovery of Japanese brands are cited as the two major reasons behind Korean brands' subpar performance this year.
VW, which includes Audi and Skoda sales, was the most successful foreign manufacturer in China over the first half of 2014. It was followed by Hyundai Kia, General Motors, Nissan, Ford, PSA, Honda, BMW and Suzuki.
VW was able to expand its gap above Hyundai Kia and GM with total sales of 1.84 million units so far this year. That figure represents growth of 21.8 percent from the 1.51 million vehicles it sold in the first half of the previous year and exceeds the combined amount Hyundai Kia and GM have sold so far in 2014. VW currently holds a total 20.4 percent share in the Chinese passenger automobile market, up 1.2 percent from last year. By comparison, Hyundai Kia and GM's market shares are 9.7 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.
Ford and BMW have both demonstrated very respectable sales growth rates over the first half of 2014. Ford, which reported sales growth of 38.8 percent, has seen considerable success with its New Mondeo, Kuga, EcoSport and other new models. BMW has reported sales growth of 36.8 percent and has sold 139,700 vehicles so far in China this year.
PSA also reported strong Chinese sales growth of 27.5 percent. Nissan led the Japanese big three with Chinese sales growth of 18.9 percent, followed by 15.3 percent growth for Honda and 11.4 percent growth for Toyota.
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