Possibly related to the generally smaller family sizes in China, the most popular type of passenger cars in China is sedan, though closely followed by SUVs. As of February 2019, around 0.58 million units of sedans were sold in China, while only 0.53 million units of SUVs were sold in the same period. Despite the promising future brought by and recent attention given to alternative energy vehicles, gasoline cars still dominated the automobile industry in China at a significant 88.7 percent, followed by nine percent by diesel cars.
When it comes to alternative energy vehicles, unlike many other countries, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) had always been more popular than Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) in China, with an annual sales volume of 0.98 million and 0.27 million units respectively in 2018, and accordingly an annual production volume of 0.986 million and 0.28 million units. Currently BEV accounted for the vast majority of the new energy passenger vehicle sales in China at 81 percent, and such figure is expected to further increase in the next few years.
As for car manufacturers, the local manufacturers seemed to have dominated the BEV market in China. The leading BEV market player is BYD, which sold over 14,000 units in November 2018, followed closely by Baic Bjev at almost 12,000 units. BYD also had a second highest brand recognition for electric cars right after the American counterpart Tesla, both with around half of the Chinese respondents stated that they were aware of such brands. In terms of manufacturers of general passengers cars, SAIC (formerly known as Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive) had the highest volume of passenger cars sold in general, surpassing two million units in 2018, which was followed by FAW-Volkswagen with only 0.02 million units fewer.