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China 2016: CATEGORIES IN BRIEF | Cars

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES DRIVE SALES, DESPITE SLOWER ECONOMY 


The car category increased 38 percent in the BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016. Each of the three car brands in the ranking increased in brand value. They are BYD, Great Wall, and Changan, which appears in the BrandZ China Top 100 for the first time.

China remained number one worldwide in vehicle sales with 24.6 million vehicles sold, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Although sales slumped during most of 2015, they picked up toward the end of the year, after a government tax break encouraged purchasing. A separate government stimulus sparked sales of electric and hybrid cars.

The pace of car sales in China declined to 4.7 percent year-on-year growth, because of the economic slowdown, the stock market decline and government driving restrictions aimed at abating
air pollution. But BrandZTM research conducted late in 2015 found that consumers overwhelmingly planned to pursue big-ticket purchase plans, possibly delaying, but not postponing them.

SUVs drove China car industry growth. With a 52.4 percent increase in sales, SUVs accounted for a quarter of all cars sold, according to the CAAM.

Great Wall’s Haval H6 model has been China’s most popular SUV for almost three years, according to reports. Great Wall increased 36 percent in brand value. Changan, a State Owned Enterprise, joined the BrandZTM China Top 100 at number 99. Changan is one of the leading four Chinese car brands and maintains important joint ventures with several overseas car brands.

BYD led sales of electronic vehicles and raised its international profile with export deals, including plans to build a fleet of electric buses for London, which President Xi Jinping announced during a visit to the UK. The brand’s electric buses already operate at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. BYD brand value rose 20 percent. To accelerate acceptance of electric vehicles in China, the government plans to have in place a national charging station network in five years, funded by public-private partnerships, according to China’s National Energy Administration.

Although most cars were sold through traditional channels, online sales, insignificant in most of the world, are becoming a factor in China. During China’s Singles Day shopping event, on November 11, 2015, Alibaba’s Tmall.com sold over 6,500 cars. The purchases were an example of O2O coordination, as customers purchased cars online but picked them up at car dealer locations.