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A report from Automotive World detailed the sales performance of the top 20 automotive brands in China, sourced from LMC Automotive, in the first quarter of 2015. It shows that while foreign marques still ruled the roost in the Middle Kingdom, the domestic brands are catching up dramatically, with two in the top 10.

At the top of the list sits Volkswagen, even though sales have actually gone down from last year – it sold 230,417 units in March (down 8%) and 784,352 units in the first quarter of this year (down 1%). It is also the only brand to register a market share of over 10%, at 14.7%.

The real story is Changan, which slots just under Wolfsburg in the standings – sales shot up 34% in March over the previous year to 97,752 units, while first quarter sales soared by a staggering 58% to 303,934 units. The phenomenal sales increase has made Changan the fastest growing brand in China, with a market share that has risen from 3.6% at the end of last year to 5.7%.

Changan Raeton

Elsewhere, perennial Chinese favourite Buick snags fourth place behind Hyundai with a market share of 4.3%, sales staying level in March at 103,785 units and down 4% in the first quarter at 229,015 units. In sixth place is Toyota, which is facing a difficult period – sales have slid by 11% in March this year to 78,566 cars, while first quarter sales fell by 9% to 206,188 units; as a result, market share stands at 3.9%.

Slotting behind the Japanese juggernaut is Wuling, the GM-SAIC joint-venture brand. The second of the Chinese brands in the top 10, it muscles past Chevrolet with a market share of 3.7%, with March 2015 sales increasing 11% to 70,652 units; first quarter sales, however, have dropped by 6% to 196,742 units. Honda and Kia round up the top 10 with each having a 3.2% market share, and both registering double-digit growth in March (an impressive 20% in the case of Honda).

If you thought Toyota was having a bad time, Nissan fared worse – sales fell 12% in March to 65,576 units, while first quarter sales are 13% lower this year at 165,225 units. Market share has been reduced from 4.4% to just 3.1%, pushing Nissan off its previous fifth place and sending it plunging a whole six spots, the biggest drop of all the brands here.

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Haval, meanwhile, is sure to be laughing all the way to the bank – Great Wall’s SUV brand registered a 94% increase in sales in March to 59,394 units and a 99% jump in the first quarter to 162,271 units; with a 3% market share, it sits in 12th place, five places higher than in 2014.

But by far the craziest numbers come from 17th-place BAIC (you may remember it as the Chinese brand looking to build EVs in Malaysia from July next year). How crazy? How about a 310% (!) increase in sales in March 2015 to 49,298 units, or a 199% increase in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2014, at 119,630 units? A 2.2% market share vaults it over BMW, Peugeot and Chery in the standings.

Overall, sales of passenger cars (which accounts for 82.5% of light vehicle sales) in China totalled 1,867,311 units in March, an increase of 12% over 2014, while first quarter sales went up 11% to 5,330,694 units.