According to Researcher and Research LLC, China’s electric vehicle (EV) market reached 295,502 units in February 2022, with an annual growth rate of 182.8%. Its share of the global EV market grew to 54.3% from 36.8% in the same period last year. Except for maintaining its position as the world’s largest EV sales market, China also had the highest year on year (YoY) growth rate among the global top 10 EV countries.
The sales proportions of battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) were 76.5% and 23.5%, respectively, and compared with 85.2% and 14.8% in the same period of 2021, PHEV showed significant growth. EV and BEV penetration rates reached 21.9% and 16.7%, respectively, over doubling from 8.9% and 7.6% in the same period last year.
In terms of best-selling models, the top 20 sold a total of 166,457 units, with a market share of 56.3%, a slight increase from 54.5% a year ago. Regarding the market share of each model, Wuling HongGuang Mini and Tesla Model 3 both experienced significant declines compared with the same period last year, dropping from 19.3% and 13.1% to 7.5% and 1.6%, respectively.
It can be seen that in addition to the sales performance of Wuling HongGuang Mini was not as good as before, even considering Tesla’s strategic sales plan, the combined market share (7.9%) of Model Y and Model 3 had declined significantly compared with 17.5% in the same period last year.
In contrast, BYD’s good sales performance, including the hot sales of Song Pro DM/DM-i, Qin Plus DM-i, Tang DM-i, Qin Plus, and Song Plus, was the main reason for the increase in the share of the top 20 compared with the same period last year, as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1 Sales of the top 20 best-selling models in China in February 2022
Among the top 20 models, the mini car segment declined significantly, from 21.4% in the same period last year to 12.1%, a decrease of 9.3%; in contrast, the mid SUV segment grew the most, up 9.4% to 14.0% from 4.6% a year ago, with PHEV leading the growth in this segment.
With regards to the sales performance of the top 15 EV OEMs, the growth rate and share of each EV OEM in February this year, as shown in figure 2, can be divided into five groups:
First of all, BYD, which had the best performance among the top 15 EV OEMs, not only led other automakers with a market share of 29.6% but also had an annual growth rate of 896.7%, which can be said to dominate the Chinese market.
Secondly, the common feature of GM (including Wuling HongGuang Mini sales) and Tesla (its sales plans significantly impact its EV sales in certain months), which ranked second and third place, respectively, was that they led other automakers with higher market shares (9.4% and 7.9%, respectively), but their growth rates were relatively low (31.8% and 26.7%, respectively).
Third, Dongfeng, which had the highest growth rate this month, saw a strong sales increase YoY, with a market share of 3.4%.
Fourth, Geely, VW Group, and Chery had widened the gap with other automakers in both market share and growth rate.
Fifth, SAIC, GAC, Li Auto, Hozon, Great Wall, XPeng, Nio, and Changan had similar market shares, ranging from 1.9% to 3.4%. Li Auto and Hozon had the highest growth rates in this group, followed by GAC and XPeng, and then Changan and SAIC, while Great Wall was the only EV OEM in the top 15 with negative growth.
Figure 2 Annual growth rate and market share of the top 15 EV OEMs in China in February 2022
Like January, February is traditionally one of the slowest months for the Chinese EV market due to the Lunar New Year holiday, but sales were much better than expected this year. However, more and more EV automakers in China have increased the prices of their models or added options for consumers to pay extra (i.e., hidden price increase) in response to changes in China’s subsidy policies and rising raw material costs. In addition to EV price hikes, a more uncertain economic situation has made the Chinese EV market in the second quarter even more uncertain.
Researcher and Research here defines EV as battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), with passenger car as the primary purpose.