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% during the quarter, their sales volume more than doubled.

A good 1.1 million cars with plugs were sold. This represents 21.3% of total sales, a record. With plug since volume also includes plug-in hybrids. But these models now represent just under 5% of the volume. With the advent of new models, the range extender technology represents just under 4% of the NEV market (New energy vehicle). More than 90% are therefore electric with battery (BEV – Battery electric vehicle).

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV - China's best-selling electric car in 2021

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

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

Sales of electric cars in China in the first quarter of 2022

Less than 20% for foreign producers

At this volume, Chinese manufacturers are in a dominant position. 80% of the electric cars sold have a local brand logo. This leaves only a small portion of sales to foreign manufacturers.

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

Tesla is a close second. The US 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 beats the classic representatives of the segment like the Haval H6, but far from also the models from the advanced German brands. It thus sells 3 times more than a GLC … and 70 times more than EQC! Tesla also exported 73,874 cars in the quarter, of which only 60 in March. China currently accounts for nearly a quarter of Tesla’s revenue.

Wuling with his only Hongguang Mini EV takes the third step on the podium ahead of Chery and Aion (the GAC group). Volkswagen continues to prosper with its ID sales, but is still very far from the tops.

Xpeng continues to take advantage of the good results from its P7 sedan to remain the first Chinese start-up ahead of Leading Ideal and Neta. Nine is only the 4th start-up and 12th brand on the rankings.

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

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

TOP 20 by brands
Volume Q1 2022 Market share
(NEV market)
place bid 284,669 25.11%
You are here 108,300 9.55%
Wuling (SAIC-GM) 106,721 9.41%
chery 49,978 4.41%
Aion (GAC) 44,874 3.96%
volkswagen 36,427 th most common 3.21%
Xpeng 34,561 3.05%
Ora (the Great Wall) 33,754 2.98%
Leading Ideal 31,716 th most common 2.80%
Changan 30,519 2.69%
Neta 30 152 2.66%
Nio 25,768 2.27%
Roewe (SAIC) 23,901 2.11%
Spring engine 21,579 1.90%
Dongfeng 18,989 th most common 1.67%
Geometry (Geely) 18.126 1.60%
Toyota 17,327 1.53%
Sehol (JAC) 13,130 1.16%
BMW 11,629 1.03%
MG (SAIC) 10,547 th most common 0.93%

The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is still at the 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 after the Nissan Sylphy.

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

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

Apart from Tesla, the first non-Chinese car is the Toyota C-HR with 13,868 units.

In terms of Volkswagen’s ambitions, the ID.4 duo (Crozz and X) represent 14,729 sales. ID.6 is at 6,448. ID.3, which is in a sluggish segment, is satisfied with 4,434 units during the quarter.

Consolation to Geely, the success of Zeekr 001 delivered to 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 th most common 6.26%
BYD song (BEV) 70 207 6.19%
BYD Han (BEV + PHEV) 34,430 3.04%
Tesla Model 3 (BEV) 33,619 th most common 2.97%
Leading Ideal One (REEV) 31,716 th most common 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 th most common 1.72%
Xpeng P7 (BEV) 19,427 th most common 1.71%
Dongfeng EX1 (BEV) 18,989 th most common 1.67%
Aion Y (BEV) 18,900 1.67%
Net V (BEV) 18,677 1.65%
Aion S (BEV) 17,227 1.52%
BYD Yuan Plus (BEV) 16,542 th most common 1.46%
BYD Yuan (BEV) 13,888 th most common 1.22%
Toyota C-HR (BEV) 13,868 1.22%
Leap 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%
Neta U (BEV) 11,475 th most common 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 Sylphy (BEV) 7,997 0.71%
Aion V (BEV) 7,949 0.70%
Geely Emgrand (BEV) 7,905 0.70%
Leap C11 (BEV) 7,791 0.69%
VW ID.4 Crozz (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 EU (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%

Still 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 particular segment of the electric car, the sedan still has some space as it still represents 57.5% of volume. The SUV is only 41.95% despite a wider range. The minivan is limited to an absolute minimum of almost 0.5%.

1st quarter 2022 China electric car sales - by body

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