According to the Federation of passengers, retail sales in the passenger car market in August 2023 were 1.92 million, up 2.5 per cent from a year earlier and 8.6 per cent from a month earlier, while cumulative retail sales from January to August in 2023 were 13.22 million, up 2.0 per cent from a year earlier.
The Federation said that retail sales in the car market in August this year were 2% higher than the retail peak in 2017, the highest level in the same period in history, because the policy of promoting consumption in August was strong, and the promotion was still at the highest level. coupled with the recent Chengdu auto show before and after the launch of a large number of new products and low-cost new models, consumer demand has been released.
Subdivided into major national brands, self-brand retail sales in August were 1 million vehicles, up 17% from the same period last year, 6% month-on-month, and the market share rose to 52.1%. The market share of domestic car companies such as BYD, Geely, Changan, Chery and Great Wall have all increased to a certain extent. Retail sales of mainstream joint venture brands were 650000, down 16 per cent from the same period last year and up 10 per cent from the previous year, of which the retail share of German brands was 20.1 per cent, down 1 per cent from the same period last year, 16.7 per cent for Japanese brands, down 4 per cent from the same period last year, and 8.5 per cent for American brands, down 0.4 per cent from the same period last year.
According to the ranking of retail sales, the top 10 car companies in August were BYD, FAW-Volkswagen, Geely Automobile, Changan Automobile, SAIC Volkswagen, Guangzhou Automobile Toyota, SAIC General Motors, FAW Toyota, Chery Automobile and Great Wall Motor. Overall, independent brand car companies and joint venture brand car companies each account for half of the list, but the polarization is very obvious.
Among the top five auto companies, including BYD, Geely and Changan only achieved year-on-year growth, while FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC-Volkswagen are in a state of decline. Specifically, BYD led a group of independent joint venture brands with sales of 242000 vehicles and once again became the top seller of passenger cars in China, followed by FAW-Volkswagen, with retail sales of 156000 vehicles in August, down 4.6% from the same period last year.
Geely and Changan continued to lead other joint venture brands except FAW-Volkswagen in August, with sales of 128000 and 120000 respectively, up 24.2 per cent and 15.6 per cent respectively from a year earlier. In addition, Chery and Great Wall also made the top 10, but Chery fell 5.8 per cent from a year earlier, making it the only independent brand in the top 10, with Great Wall up 12.4 per cent to 70000 in August.
Looking at the joint venture brands, the mainstream joint venture brands in the August list showed a year-on-year decline. Among them, German brand FAW-Volkswagen fell 4.6 per cent to 156000 vehicles compared with the same period last year, while SAIC Volkswagen, as a "brother enterprise", fell to fifth on the list, down 6.6 per cent to 110000 vehicles. Of course, the decline in sales of German brands is only a microcosm of joint venture brands.
Japanese car companies also showed a downward trend to varying degrees. Among them, Guangzhou Auto Toyota ranked sixth, down 5.2 per cent from a year earlier to 80000 vehicles, while FAW Toyota fell 6.8 per cent to 76000 vehicles. Guangzhou Auto Honda, Dongfeng Honda and Dongfeng Nissan all fell out of the top 10. Official figures show that Dongfeng's daily production and sales in August were 62000, down 29.69% from a year earlier, while Honda no longer announced joint venture brand sales.
As for American brands, they can only rely on SAIC GM and Tesla in the Chinese market, but Tesla fell out of the top 10 in August, while SAIC GM, a joint venture brand of SAIC, also survived. August sales fell 25.1 per cent year-on-year to 79000 vehicles, the highest decline on the list. At present, SAIC GM has three major brands: Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet, whose products cover high-end, mainstream and middle-and low-end markets, but the sales volume in the market is much lower than before. It is understood that SAIC GM reached its sales peak of 1.999 million vehicles since its inception in 2017, second only to SAIC Volkswagen in the Chinese market. SAIC GM's market share has been declining since then, with sales of 1.0369 million vehicles in 2022, down 18.8 per cent from a year earlier.
Generally speaking, the manufacturers' sales performance in August is still independent brands, and the reason why independent brands can beat German-Japanese and other joint venture brands is mainly due to the rapid growth of the new energy vehicle market. According to the CAC data, retail sales of new energy vehicles in August were 716000, up 34.5% from a year earlier, 11.8% from a month earlier, and the market penetration rate was 37.3%. Among them, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles among independent brands accounted for 60.2%. The penetration rate of new energy vehicles in mainstream joint venture brands is only 5.2%.
With the reform of the car market, the market share lost by joint venture brands is gradually being absorbed by independent brands, and China's new energy market has been "pre-empted" by independent brands, which also means that German and Japanese joint venture brands are facing more and more challenges.
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