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Sales of luxury brands maintained strong growth in 2018

From:Internet Info Agency 2019-01-29 16:04:13

According to the sales data released by CAAM, in the 2018 China auto market, a total of 28,080,600 new cars were sold, down 2.76% year-on-year; among them, the sales volume of the passenger car market was 23.709 million units, down 4.08% year-on-year. Due to policy adjustments, the decline in macroeconomic growth, and various uncertainties, the Chinese auto market experienced its first negative growth in 28 years in 2018. However, IIA has sorted out the sales data of luxury brands in China in the past year and found that compared with the “cold winter”of the entire auto market, the luxury car segment is quite prosperous. Among the 12 luxury car brands, 9 automakers have achieved sales growth, which has further expanded the market share of luxury cars.

Sales performance of luxury brands in Chinese auto market in 2018








































 Internet Info Agency

( Sales data is from official announcement.)

Taking the data published by CPCA as a reference, since 2015, the market share of luxury brands in the passenger vehicle market has been growing. In 2018, luxury brand sales accounted for 8.8% of total sales, and the cumulative sales volume reached 1,977,361 units. It increased by 12.5% year-on-year. Although this data does not include Lexus and Porsche brands, it is easyto see that the luxury car market is still growing. Let's take a total look at the market performance of luxury brands in China.

1. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi have a sales gap of less than 40,000 units in 2018.

According to the official sales data released by various auto companies, among the topluxury brands, the three German auto companies have maintained growth, and there is not much difference between salesvolume. Among them, Audi took the first spot in the luxury car market last year with 663,049 units; Mercedes-Benz ranked second with 652,996 unitss; BMW (including MINI and Rolls-Royce) sold 639,953 for the whole year and ranked third. 

Among them, Audi sold 600,700 vehicles in China in 2018, an increase of 10.2% year-on-year. The A8L and Q5L, which were launched last year, are considered to be important models. The new generation of A8L, which was launched in April 2018, sold 10,210 units a year. The Q5 and Q5L models delivered 118,965 units throughout the year, and became the brand's major modelsalong with our well-known A6L, A4L and Q3. Model.

In terms of Mercedes-Benz, the “Made in China, Only for China”model accounted for more than 70% of the total sales volume in the Chinese market. The launch of two major models, the GLC long-axis version and the A-class long-axis version, also catered to domestic consumers.  This will also drive the overall sales of Mercedes-Benz to a certain extent.

In the case of BMW, the cumulative sales of the two main models of the 3 Series and the 5 Series exceeded 150,000 units. The sales of the 1 Series sports sedan totaled nearly 50,000 units, an increase of 32.6% year-on-year. The BMW X1 has sold more than 96,000 vehicles in total throughout the year. The new generation of Chinese X3, which was launched in July last year, has also injected new vitality into BMW.

The deep brand recognition and the well-known main models are part of the reasons why BBA has always occupied the top list. In addition, German, luxury brands, and a certain degree of terminal offers are also the main factors for consumers to pay for BBA. It is believed that in 2019, the three German luxury automakers will continue to have a tough fight.

2. The second-line luxury brands are mostly strong

After the BBA, the second-line luxury brands represented by Cadillac, Lexus and Volvo grew very strongly. Cadillac surged 31.8% year-on-year, Lexus sales increased by 21% with full import strategy, and Volvo's sales increased 14.1% year-on-year. Among the best selling luxury brands, the only one with a decline in market performance is Jaguar Land Rover. 

Among the three brands with strong growth, the larger terminal discount range of Cadillac and Volvo models is also one of the main factors to promote sales growth. Some of the models have a terminal discount of 60-70,000 yuan. In terms of vehicle performance, the Chinese SUV market is also a battlefield for luxury brands. The Volvo XC90, XC60, Cadillac XT5, XT4 and other models are the products of great interest in the market.

Lexus, which sells all imported products, has the opposite terminal situation as the previous two. The terminal offers are relatively small, and some of the main models are also in short supply, such as ES, hot-selling SUV models NX, RX, etc. In addition, the annual sales of THE POWER OF H models reached 49,549 units, a year-on-year increase of 42%, which also indicates the consumer's recognition of Lexus hybrid technology.

3. Porsche "self-salvation"

Porsche sold 80,108 vehicles in China in 2018, an increase of 12% year-on-year. It is very rare for Porsche to achieve such results. In the first half of last year, Porsche sold only 33,363 vehicles in China due to various reasons such as tariff adjustment, down 7% from the same period last year. However, sales performance in the second half of the year was excellent.

Strictly speaking, Porsche, which has a higher brand positioning, cannot be compared with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. The sales volume cannot be measured by the threshold of 100,000 units. In the future, with the delivery of a new generation of Porsche 911, the new Macan S, the new Cayenne plug-in hybrid version, I believe that Porsche will also achieve better market performance.

4. Lincoln, Infiniti, small volume but still strong

In addition, Lincoln and Infiniti, two luxury brands with sales volume of small scale, also broke through in this unclear auto market. Among them, Lincoln sold 55,315 vehicles last year, up 2.0% year-on-year. Its new Navigator sales increased by 84% year-on-year, and Lincoln Continental sold more than 10,000 vehicles. Infiniti, which has two Chinese-made models, Q50L and QX50, sold 28,868 units in 2018, an increase of 3.97% year-on-year.

In the End: In the context of the decline in sales in the Chinese auto market, consumer demand for luxury cars is still very strong. The huge preferential margin offered by some luxury brand terminals has invaded the lower-level market, which is also the main reason for the sales growth. In addition, consumers who purchase luxury brand products pay more attention to the convergence of values, which is also related to the brand style and high-end concept that luxury brands convey in marketing.

CAAM predicts that the overall sales of China's auto market in 2019 will be basically the same as in 2018. Although the luxury car market as a whole is still rising, the competition in the luxury car market will be even more intense in 2019, given the economic situation in China and the overall uncertainties in the automotive market. Automakers often want to gain more shares, but the author also hopes that manufacturers will not blindly pursue sales. The interests of dealers and consumers' recognition of brand value are the long-term path for the gooddevelopment of luxury brands.

Editor:Zhang Meng