In 2015, one million luxury passenger vehicles and 75,000 ultra-luxury passenger vehicles were purchased in China. The overall sales volumes within those two segments increased by 35 and 67 percent year-on-year, respectively. The leading luxury brand was Audi with 727,000 units sold, followed by BMW and Mercedes-Benz with 629,000 and 429,000 units. Within the ultra-luxury vehicle segment, Jaguar Land Rover was the highest selling car brand at about 138,500 units, followed by Porsche with about 63,280 units.
Despite the high number of passenger cars in use, the vehicle penetration rate in China is still low compared to more mature markets. As of 2015, there were 280 million drivers and 141 million privately owned vehicles in China. Not only does China have the world’s biggest new car market, it also has a growing used car market with the sales revenue of used cars exceeding 553.5 billion yuan as of 2015, an increase by more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. A breakdown of used car sales by age reveals that the majority of sold cars were between three and ten years old. As of March 2017, almost 76 percent of used cars sold were between three to ten years old, while 18 percent were newer cars less than three years old. Only six percent were ten years or older.
In terms of international car trade, the growth rate of car imports to China had reached its peak in 2010 with 93 percent after the global financial crisis of the previous year. Figures showed a continuous slowdown until reaching a negative growth of 3.4 percent as of 2016, indicating a growing domestic car manufacturing market in China.
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