January 2014 reported a slower growth in Chinese car market also related with Chinese New Year holiday. However market hit new all-time monthly record volume. The leader, Volkswagen, starts to really dominate the market, posting none models in the top 20 with sales near 300k.
Accordingly with data released by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, January light passengers market in China was at 2.160.000 units, up 6.0% from last year. It was the all-time highest sales month in China and the worldwide record of light passenger's sold in a single country in a month, doing better of the record posted just one month before. Moreover, this was also the 11th year-on-year increase in a row and the 9th double digit increase out of last 10 months.
The relatively slow growth was also due to the week-long Chinese New Year holiday, or Spring Festival, starting at the end of January that resulted in fewer working days compared with 2013 as most dealers close during the holiday, which fell in February last year.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said passenger vehicle sales rose 7 percent from a year earlier while commercial vehicle sales, which make up around 15 percent of the entire auto market, were virtually flat. "Companies typically don't invest much on commercial vehicles at the start of a year, and that was much more evident in January this year due to the timing of the Spring Festival," said Wan Dong, analyst at Capital Securities.
CAAM last month said the auto market would likely grow 8-10 percent in 2014, echoing views from industry experts and analysts that 2014 would be another strong year for China's auto market.
In 2008 Geely launched a multi brand strategy in China, with three different nameplates distributed, while for overseas operations they used only Geely brand, creating misleading and confusion. Now, it was announced that Geely will take its Emgrand, Englon and Gleagle brands back into the Geely brand name with future cars.
Over the past five years Geely's sub brands have developed at an uneven rate with brands arguably competing against each other, the Emgrand range has seen great success whilst the Gleagle range has attempted to keep up and the Englon range lacking woefully behind.
It is not quite clear what Geely plans to do with remaining brands, it could be that the Hangzhou based company simply absorbs the brands into its Geely nameplate and then makes each former brand a nameplate, such as Emgrand for sedans and Gleagle for SUV's/MPV's. Geely's termination of its multi brand strategy comes after regional rival aborted its own three brand system early last year in favor of returning the Chery brand back to its former glory.
Looking at last month top brands performance:
Volkswagen posted a new volume record, with a sensational sales volume at 294.235 the highest ever. To give a comparison, VW sold last month in China the volume annually achieved worldwide by the 45th brand. This impressive volume created a gap over competitors that would be full-filled in years. Market share jumped at the best ever of 13.6%, up 4.5 points from December. Best-selling model was Lavida, 2th and best car behind Wuling Hongguang LCV model, with over 61k sales. Behind, Santana, Jetta, Passat and Sagitar occupied position between 7th and 10th, while Polo boomed in 14th from 71st, Tiguan was 17th with Magotan and Bora in 19th and 20th place. So nine Volkswagen models in Top 20 car sold in China!
Wuling, kept the momentum selling 142.420 vehicles with share at 6.6%, up 0.7 points from the previous month. Hongguang was the best-selling model in the market while Sunshine was 5th and Xingwang 16th.
Hyundai achieved its new volume record advancing in third place selling 115.198, second time ever above 100k, with a share of 5.3%, up 0.7 points from the previous month. Best-selling model was the Elantra in 4th, while Verna was 13th and ix35 ranked 32nd.
Buick boomed sales and was above 100k for the first time in this country, ranking in 4th, up 8 spots, with 100.127 sales and 4.6% of share, up 1.9 points from December. Best-selling model was the Excelle in third place with 61k and 2.8% of share, while no others models were in top 40.
Ford following the outstanding 2013 performance, when Ford was voted as Brand of the Year, in January it was 5th, up 4 spots, starting the year with a record volume of 94.446 sales and a record share of 4.4%, up 1.0 points from the previous month. Top model was Focus in 6th place with 36k while Kuga was 40th with 12k sales.
Dongfeng advanced in 6th with 87.499 sales and 4.1% of share, up 0.3 points from December. Best-selling model was the Future in 27th, up 41 places.
Toyota slipped in 7th with 86.975 sales and 4.0% of share, down 0.6 from December. The best-selling model was Corolla dropped in 31th while Camry was 36th.
ChangAn was 8th with 72.346 sales and 3.3% of share, down 0.7 points from December. Best-selling model was the Mini Bus in 23rd followed by Honor in 26th.
In the table below, the Top 30 light passenger vehicles brands:
In the table below, the Top 40 light passenger's vehicles ranked by last month position: