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Sales of imported cars hit a 10-year low, with Porsche falling the most

2024-07-16 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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China's imported car market is undergoing drastic changes.

Data show that China's imported car sales continued to decline after reaching 1.24 million in 2017 and fell to 880000 in 2022, down 5 per cent from a year earlier. The decline in imported car sales continued in 2023, still down from the low of the past decade, with 800000 imported vehicles for the whole year, down 10 per cent from a year earlier.

By country, Germany, Japan and the US, as a pillar of imported car sales, declined across the board, with German imported cars down 11 per cent year-on-year to 231000, Japanese imported cars down 14 per cent to 224000, and US imported cars down 8 per cent. By contrast, Korean imported cars performed better, up 360% from the same period last year.

This downward trend is no accident. With the promotion of electric transformation, the demand for fuel vehicles is changing. Compared with ordinary fuel cars, the demand for luxury imported cars is better, but the demand for imported fuel vehicles has dropped significantly, especially for German and Japanese imported cars.

In terms of brands, the top three brands in 2023 were BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, of which BMW ranked first with 187000 vehicles, an increase of 23% over the same period last year, Lexus ranked second with 181000 vehicles, down 2% from the same period last year. Mercedes-Benz ranked third with 174000 vehicles, up 11% from the same period last year. In other words, Lexus is the only one in the top three to show a decline, with both BMW and Mercedes-Benz rising by more than double digits. In addition, including Land Rover, Toyota, Volvo and other imported brands have also achieved substantial growth, Porsche fell 15%, is the largest decline in the list of imported brands.

In terms of sales in 2023, only BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz reached more than 100000 vehicles, of which the only brand that fell was still Lexus, down 2 per cent from a year earlier. According to the comprehensive data, the relatively strong performance of imported brands in recent years is Lexus, which leads brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz with sales of 183900 vehicles in 2022, but it is the first decline in sales since Lexus entered China in 2022, after 15 years of year-on-year growth of the brand.

The same is true of Porsche, which entered the Chinese market in 2001 and became the largest single market in the world since 2015. for 20 consecutive years, Porsche has achieved a new sales performance in the Chinese market. Porsche set an all-time high in the Chinese market in 2022, importing 95000 new cars in the whole year. In 2023, Porsche imported 81000 new cars to China, down 15% from the same period last year, the first decline since Porsche entered the Chinese market.

By contrast, ultra-luxury brands performed poorly, with sales of Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Aston Martin falling by more than double digits in the Chinese market, with Aston Martin plummeting 31%.

The market believes that the slow progress of electrified transformation, the lack of intelligence of models, and the decline in performance-to-price ratio are the main factors that affect consumers' purchase of Lexus models, and in addition to traditional luxury brands, Ulay, ideals and other new power brands began to seize the luxury brand market, the first to bear the brunt is the second-tier luxury brands.

In the face of market changes, all parties respond differently. For example, brands such as Lexus are more likely to accelerate their electrification transformation and launch more high-quality products to occupy the market.

On the other hand, after the termination of the joint venture with GAC in China, Stellantis chose to continue to import a number of brands, including Jeep, for domestic sales. GM China plans to introduce more imported models and will establish sales channels separate from its joint venture SAIC GM in China. It is understood that GM will start selling GMC Yukon Yukon full-size SUV in China this year, and the GMC will be expanded to Australia and New Zealand in 2025. Earlier, General Motors high-end imported car platform Dolange revealed that the Chevrolet Tahoe Taihao series and GMC YUKON Yukon will be introduced to the domestic market by import in 2024.

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