Gasgoo.com (Shanghai) - Benefiting greatly from the popularity of SUVs, own brand manufacturers have seen their sales grow rapidly in the first quarter of 2016. According to statistics compiled by Gasgoo.com (Chinese), own brand passenger automobile sales grew 17.1%, compared to a market average of 8.9% growth. A total of 2.32 million own brand passenger automobiles were sold, resulting in own brands increasing their market share to 42.5%, up 3.0 percentage points from the previous year. By comparison, sales of passenger automobiles from foreign-affiliated joint ventures only increased 3.5% year-on-year.
Own brand SUV sales grew 58.0% in the first quarter of the year, with a number of new models having been released. A total of 1.14 own brand SUVs were sold over the course of the quarter, accounting for 49.5% of all own brand automobile sales overall, up 12.8 percentage points. By comparison, own brand MPV sales only increased 13.7% to 630,991 units, with their market share expanding 0.8 percentage points to 28.0%.
Meanwhile, own brand sedan sales fell drastically over the same time period. Despite being the largest automobile segment in China, the sedan market has remained a major stumbling block for domestic own brand manufacturers, only accounting for 23.3% of their overall sales in the first quarter of the year. That figure is actually 12.0 percentage points down from the previous year. Own brand sedan sales totaled 541,369 units, down a full 22.6% year-on-year. These figures are not only indicative of the weak state of the Chinese sedan market overall, but also reflect the lack of competitiveness of own brand sedan models, as well as own brands’ increasing focus on the SUV segment.
As of the first quarter of this year, the SAIC-GM-Wuling Hongguang remains the best-selling own brand passenger automobile model in China, followed by the Great Wall Haval H6, SAIC-GM-Wuling Baojun 560, SAIC-GM-Wuling Baojun 730, GAC Trumpchi GS4, Changan CS75, JAC Refine S3, Geely Emgrand EC7, Changan Honor and Changan CS35. Sales of the aforementioned ten models totaled 867,072 units, accounting for 37.4% of all vehicles sold in the country.
First quarter sales of SAIC-GM-Wuling’s ever-popular Hongguang totaled 167,156 units. Despite that figure representing negative year-on-year growth of 11.8%, the Hongguang still commands a sizable lead over rival models. The Hongguang’s decrease in sales has been due to both the relatively weak state of the market and internal competition from a fellow Wuling own brand model, the Baojun 730.
The SAIC-GM-Wuling Baojun 730’s performance has been outstanding since its market launch, ranking fourth in the charts with total sales of 97,803 units. Another successful own brand minivan model is the Changan Honor, whose quarterly sales totaled 55,511 units, down 10.3% year-on-year.
The Great Wall Haval H6 remains the country’s best-selling own brand SUV, with its sales totaling 121,325 units this quarter, up 38.5% year-on-year. Also performing strongly was the SAIC-GM-Wuling Baojun 560, whose sales have been rapidly growing since its market launch. A total of 113,049 Baojun 560s were sold in the first quarter of the year, not far behind the Haval H6. Other strongly performing own brand SUVs include the GAC Trumpchi GS4 and BAIC Zhonghua V3.
Two other SUV models, the Changan CS75 and Changan CS35, also performed strongly this quarter. Quarterly sales were 66,073 units and 53,186 units, representing year-on-year growth of 58.3% and 7.0%, respectively. The JAC Refine S3 performed similarly, with its sales totaling 62,763 units, representing year-on-year growth of 16.9%.
The Geely Emgrand EC7 was the only sedan model to make the top ten sales charts for own brand models. A total of 56,623 EC7s were sold over the first quarter of the year, down 5.6% year-on-year.
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