The Chinese car market reached 4.4m units in the first nine months of this year, some 45.3% ahead of the same period of last year, according to data released by JATO.

In the third quarter period, some 1,451,823 new cars were sold - 44% ahead of last year.

"China continues to demonstrate a voracious appetite for new cars," says Nasir Shah, Global Business Development Director at JATO. "Despite an increasing demand for high quality foreign imports, domestically produced products offer good value for money to the many millions of consumers who are making their first car purchase." 

Brand Performance
Volkswagen was China's top-selling car brand in the first 9 months of 2007 with a 30.0% cumulative gain. Wuling is in second position having not reported volumes in 2006, followed by Toyota (up 61.5%), Chery (up 43.1%) and Honda (up 31.7%).

"The combination of a fast-growing market, significant investment in new products, new brands and improved distribution systems, is all contributing to the significantly increased volumes over the past year," says Shah. "Many brands are up by at least 50%, whilst some have posted extraordinary growth, such as Brilliance, which is up 516%".

Top Models
Small micro van based passenger vehicles are an important segment in the Chinese car market, and the Wuling Light/Sunshine/City Breeze and the Chana Green Star fill the top two slots of the market leader board for the first nine months of 2007. The remaining cars in the 'top ten' sales chart are the Volkswagen Santana, Buick Excelle, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Camry, Chery QQ, FAW N3, Hafei Zhongyi/Minyi and the Honda Accord.

In the third quarter of the year, the market leaders were the Wuling, Jetta, Excelle, Chana, Santana, Camry, QQ, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and FAW N3.

Segment trends
The lower medium segment is the largest in the Chinese market with a 27.4% share of the market. So far this year the segment leaders are the Ford Focus, Nissan Tiida, Haima Family, Chery Cowin and Toyota Corolla.

The second largest segment in the first nine months was the upper medium segment with a 20.9% share of the market. It was led by the Volkswagen Santana, Volkswagen Jetta, Buick Excelle, Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai Elantra.

Mini Vans are the third largest segment, with a 17.9% share of the market year to date. The segment is led by the Wuling Light/Sunshine/City Breeze, Chana Green Star, Hafei Zhongyi/Minyi, Honda Odyssey and JAC Refine.

The small car segment is led by the FAW N3, followed by the Chevrolet Aveo, Volkswagen Polo, Honda Fit and the Honda City.

The Executive, Mini and SUV segments made up the majority of the rest of the market according to JATO.



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