As of end of 2019, only ten percent of passenger vehicles purchased were luxury vehicles in China, where the percentage has grown from around six percent from a few years ago. Mainstream ventures took over half of all passenger vehicle sales and Chinese manufacturers took over another 37.8 percent. The leading automobile manufacturer in China was SAIC Motor Corporation, with around 2.95 million units sold in 2018. Changan Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Motor Corporation came in second and third place, with about 1.5 million and 1.2 million units sold in 2018.
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 2018, number of drivers in China has reached 369 million and 206 million for privately owned vehicles. Not only does China have the world’s biggest new car market, it also has a growing used car market with the trade value of used cars exceeding 953 billion yuan as of 2019, after a huge jump of aproximately 200 billion yuan in 2017. A breakdown of used car sales by age reveals that the majority of sold cars were between three and ten years old. As of 2018, around 65 percent of used cars sold were between three to ten years old, while 24 percent were newer cars less than three years old. Only ten 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 8.8 percent as of 2018. After the domestic manufacturers, German and Japanese passenger automobiles were most popular among Chinese consumers as car brands as of end of 2019, each accounting for around one fifth of the market share.