top sales in the first quarter of 2022 in China

The enthusiasm for electric cars in China is undeniable. In a market that grew by almost 7% in the quarter, its sales volume more than doubled.

Just over 1.1 million cars with plugs were sold. This represents 21.3% of total sales, a record. with plug as the volume also includes plug-in hybrids. But these models already represent only 5% of the volume. With the arrival of new models, range extender technology represents just under 4% of the NEV market (new energy vehicle). More than 90% are therefore battery electric (BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle).

Remember that forecasts show an electricity market of more than 5 million throughout the year in China. The first quarter is on this trajectory, as these 1.1 million do not take into account utilities or imports.

Especially since this result was achieved with a month of March marked by lockdowns in big cities like Shanghai or Shenzhen. With a strong impact on consumption, but also on production: Tesla, Wuling, Volkswagen, SAIC in Shanghai, BYD in Shenzhen…

Electric car sales in China in the first quarter of 2022

Less than 20% for foreign manufacturers

In this volume, Chinese manufacturers are in a dominant position. 80% of electric cars sold carry a local brand logo. That leaves only a small portion of sales to foreign manufacturers.

BYD, which has now switched entirely to hybrid or plug-in electric models, is number one in the electric market with more than one in four sales. It is in line with its ambition to cross the million mark this year and will have more than doubled its sales in 2 years. In the entire market, BYD is now the fifth and especially the second Chinese brand behind Changan but ahead of Geely.

Tesla is in second place. The American brand places its Model Y at the top of SUV sales, all categories combined (electric or not, etc.), in March and in the quarter. A success, as it surpasses the classic representatives of the segment such as the Haval H6, but also by far the models of high-end German brands. So it sells for 3 times more than a GLC… and 70 times more than the EQC! Tesla also exported 73,874 cars in the quarter, including just 60 in March. China currently accounts for nearly a quarter of Tesla’s revenue.

Wuling with his unique Hongguang Mini EV reaches the third step of the podium ahead of Chery and Aion (GAC group). Volkswagen continues to make progress with its ID sales, but it is still a long way from peaking.

Xpeng continues to benefit from the good results of its P7 sedan to remain the number one Chinese startup, ahead of Leading Ideal and Neta. Nio is only the 4th start-up and the 12th brand in the ranking.

We observe that the main Chinese groups have largely caught up with start-ups, sometimes with dedicated brands like Aion or Ora, but not always because Changan or Cher are well represented. However, three big groups are far behind: Geely, FAW and Dongfeng. The latter is present in the ranking, especially with the EX1 city car. But reported volumes also include exports, so volumes of electric vehicles sold in Europe under the Dacia Spring name…

BMW, Mercedes or Audi are only figurative and their volumes are mostly made up of plug-in hybrid models. The EQC, eTron or iX3 have clearly not found their audience in China.

TOP 20 by brands
Volume Q1 2022 Market share
(NEV market)
BYD 284,669 25.11%
You are here 108,300 9.55%
Wuling (SAIC-GM) 106,721 9.41%
cherry 49,978 4.41%
Aion (GAC) 44,874 3.96%
Volkswagen 36,427 3.21%
Xpeng 34,561 3.05%
Ora (Great Wall) 33,754 2.98%
Ideal Leader 31,716 2.80%
Changan 30,519 2.69%
Grand daugther 30 152 2.66%
nio 25,768 2.27%
Roewe (SAIC) 23,901 2.11%
jump engine 21,579 1.90%
Dongfeng 18,989 1.67%
Geometry (Gly) 18,126 1.60%
Toyota 17,327 1.53%
Sehol (JAC) 13,130 1.16%
BMW 11,629 1.03%
MG (SAIC) 10,547 0.93%

The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV still on top

With more than 100,000 units sold in the quarter, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV remains the best-selling electric car in China. It represents almost one in 10 sales. It is the best-selling car in March and only second in the quarter, behind the Nissan Sylphy.

There is a nice group photo of BYD with 5 models in the Top 10, including the good debut of the city car Dolphin.

The Leading Ideal One remains the best-selling model from a Chinese start-up, ahead of the Xpeng P7 and Neta V.

In addition to Tesla, the first non-Chinese car is the Toyota C-HR with 13,868 units.

As for Volkswagen’s ambitions, the ID.4 duo (Crozz and X) represents 14,729 sales. The ID.6 is at 6,448. ID.3, which is in a sluggish segment, settles for 4,434 units in the quarter.

Consolation for Geely, the success of Zeekr 001 yielded more than 8,000 copies in the 1st quarter.

TOP 50 by models Volume Q1 2022 Market share
(NEV market)
Wuling Hongguang Mini EV (BEV) 106,721 9.41%
Tesla Model Y (BEV) 74,681 6.59%
BYD Qin Plus (BEV) 70,985 6.26%
BYD Music (BEV) 70 207 6.19%
BYD Han (BEV+PHEV) 34,430 3.04%
Tesla Model 3 (BEV) 33,619 2.97%
Leading the Ideal One (REEV) 31,716 2.80%
BYD dolphin (BEV) 29,668 2.62%
BYD Tang (BEV+PHEV) 29 111 2.57%
Chery QQ Ice Cream (BEV) 28 113 2.48%
Changan Benben (BEV) 26,174 2.31%
Chery eQ1 little ant (BEV) 21,387 1.89%
Ora Good Cat (BEV) 19,460 1.72%
Xpeng P7 (BEV) 19,427 1.71%
Dongfeng EX1 (BEV) 18,989 1.67%
Aion Y (BEV) 18,900 1.67%
Granddaughter V (BEV) 18,677 1.65%
Aion S (BEV) 17,227 1.52%
BYD Yuan Plus (BEV) 16,542 1.46%
BYD Yuan (BEV) 13,888 1.22%
Toyota C-HR (BEV) 13,868 1.22%
Jump T03 (BEV) 13,767 1.21%
Nio ES6 (BEV) 13,620 1.20%
Ora Black Cat (BEV) 12,651 1.12%
Sehol E10X (BEV) 12,012 1.06%
Granddaughter U (BEV) 11,475 1.01%
Xpeng P5 (BEV) 10,486 0.92%
Roewe Clever (BEV) 10 100 0.89%
Aeolus E70 (BEV) 10,039 0.89%
Lingbao Box (BEV) 9,216 0.81%
Roewe Ei5 (BEV) 8,602 0.76%
Zeekr 001 (BEV) 8,241 0.73%
Geometry A (BEV) 8,227 0.73%
Nissan Syphy (BEV) 7,997 0.71%
Aion V (BEV) 7,949 0.70%
Geely Emgrand (BEV) 7,905 0.70%
Jump C11 (BEV) 7,791 0.69%
VW ID.4 Cross (BEV) 7,757 0.68%
Nio EC6 (BEV) 7,644 0.67%
Baojun Kiwi EV (BEV) 7,298 0.64%
Buick Velote 6 (BEV) 7,062 0.62%
VW ID.4 X (BEV) 6,972 0.61%
BYD e2 (BEV) 6,951 0.61%
Mercedes E-Class (PHEV) 6,256 0.55%
BJEV UE (BEV) 6,111 0.54%
Forthing Joyear S50 (BEV) 6,072 0.54%
BMW 5 Series (PHEV) 5,943 0.52%
Venucia D60 (BEV) 5,795 0.51%
BMW iX3 (BEV) 5,684 0.50%

Always room for electric sedans

In the first quarter of the year, SUVs accounted for more than half of sales in the Chinese market. A record level. In the specific segment of the electric car, the sedan still has some space, as it still represents 57.5% of the volume. The SUV is only 41.95%, despite a wider offering. The minivan is limited to a minimum of just 0.5%.

Q1 2022 electric car sales in China - by body

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