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China retail April 2023: Volkswagen back above BYD, market up 59.5% on low year-ago volumes

Volkswagen sales are up 75.5% year-on-year in April.

We can share with you today All brands and All models retail sales data for China. BSCB is the only non-Chinese medium to cover both wholesales (ex-factory shipments) and retail sales data for China so you can get the most complete picture of the largest new car market in the world. Retail sales tend to give a more authentic picture of the market as they roughly correspond to registrations by end-customers and are more difficult to artificially boost with exports which can sometimes be the case for wholesales data. Sales for the selection of vehicles included in this report are up 59.5% to 1,541,256 on year-ago volumes battered by covid lockdowns (-38.5% on the year prior). The year-to-date tally is now down just -1.9% to 5,599,309 units.

After two consecutive months of BYD domination, Volkswagen (+75.5%) reclaims the top spot in the brands ranking, albeit by just 2,160 units. BYD however remains the YTD leader with a 8,200-sales advantage. Volkswagen is helped by catchup performances from the Phideon (+673%), Tacqua (+300.5%), Talagon (+224.7%), Polo (+193%), T-Cross (+187.5%), ID.3 (+144.3%), Tayron (+139.8%), CC (+95.9%), Magotan (+90.9%), Tiguan (+90.2%), Passat (+86.8%) Tharu (+86.2%) and Lavida (+75.6%). Although down to #2, BYD (+92.5%) has more momentum than VW this month and almost doubles its sales year-on-year. The Qin (+290.5%), Destroyer 05 (+189.1%), Dolphin (+159.2%), Yuan Plus (+151.8%), Song Pro (+126.3%), Tang (+117.9%), Han (+109.7%) and Qin Plus (+106.3%) all post sensational year-on-year upticks. The awaited Seagull makes a discreet entrance in the charts this month with its first 2 units sold. Expect it to soar up the charts in the coming months.

BYD registrations almost double year-on-year.

Toyota (+41.7%) and Honda (+4.2%) trail the market while Changan (+90.9%) is in outstanding shape but remains in 5th place. GAC (+123.8%) and Geely (+78%) shoot up just below, with Wuling (+12.1%) shy and BMW (+75.9%) and Mercedes (+47.8%) rounding out the Top 10. Just outside, Audi (+105.9%) fares best among German premium brands. Tesla (+2249.5%) cancels its backloaded quarters and performs well even this month at #14. NEV specialist Li Auto (+523.9%) smashes its volume record: from 21.394 in December 2022 to 26,242 this month. This thanks to the thunderous arrival of the L7 with over 10,000 units for the month. Cadillac (+122.6%), Chevrolet (+98.4%), Hongqi (+92.5%) and Hyundai (+87.2%) also shine further down. Among EV brands, Neta is up 7.3%, Denza up 22353.5%, Leapmotor down 0.6%, Zeekr up 268.1%, Ora up 79.9%, NIO up 32%, Xpeng down -23%, Geometry up 67.1%, AITO up 49.5% and Hycan up 217.1%.

Looking at the models ranking in isolation, the BYD Qin Plus (+106.3%) takes the lead for the first time, toppling the Tesla Model Y (+2286.4%) down to #2. The VW Lavida (+75.6%) is up two spots on March to #3 ahead of the Nissan Sylphy (+39.1%) up four to #4. The Lavida is also above the Sylphy in the YTD order which wasn’t the case over the Full Year 2022. At #5, the BYD Dolphin (+159.2%) scores a second Top 5 finish after last October, it distances two BYD: the Song Plus (+14.2%) and Yuan Plus (+151.8%). That makes it four BYDs in the Top 7. The Honda Accord (+73.8%) is very strong again at #8 as is the VW Sagitar (+68%) at #9. The Toyota Camry (+20.2%) rounds out the Top 10. The Wuling Bingo (#18) is up 115 ranks on last month to become the best-selling recent launch above the LI L7 (#40), Denza D9 (#45) and Geely Boyue L (#49).

Previous month: China retail March 2023: BYD (+70.9%) widens gap with VW (+11.7%), market up 9.7%

One year ago: China retail April 2022: Toyota teases VW for #1, BYD (+156.9%) stuns again, market down -38.5%

Full April 2023 Top 118 All brands and Top 672 All models below.

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