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China SUVs Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the SUVs market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

SUV: sport-utility vehicle, defined as vehicles built on a light truck platform with an interior similar to a large sedan. SUVs combine the comfort of a saloon car with off-road capability, functional versatility and a two-box configuration (hatchback).

Basic passenger cars (saloon cars): used for the transportation of people and luggage; the driver is usually the central focus, with an emphasis on driving and riding comfort. Saloon cars generally come in two-box configuration (hatchback) and threebox configuration (sedan).

MPV: combines the comfort of the saloon car, the space of a tourer and can be used to transport goods like a van. These vehicles usually come in a two-box configuration. MPVs are targeted mainly at household users, and the majority are manufactured based on passenger car platforms.

In terms of power source, new energy cars are cars with an unconventional power source such as electric power, or cars with more than one major power source such as an internal combustion engine and an electric engine.

Market sizing and forecasts are based on the annual sales volume of new SUVs in mainland China.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Terence Zhou, a leading analyst in the Motor sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Despite declined sales of SUVs, the ownership of SUVs surged more than ten percentage points over 2017 to 2018. Consumer interest in buying SUVs, especially mid/full-size SUVs, remains strong. Terence Zhou
Motor Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
          • Figure 1: Definition of different monthly household income groups, by city tier
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case forecast of the market volume of SUVs, China, 2013-23
            • Figure 3: SUV sales volume share, by segment, China, 2016-18
          • Companies and brands
            • Only Haval lost share among the top 10 brands
              • Figure 4: Top 10 brands in SUV sales, by sales volume, 2016-18
            • Entry price further lowered
              • Figure 5: Starting price of top 10 best-selling SUV models, 2018
            • Localising manufacture and more electric models
              • Innovation highlights: extended range electric SUVs and more pet-friendly features
                • The consumer
                  • SUV ownership increased significantly in tier one cities
                    • Figure 6: Type of cars owned in tier one cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                  • Tier two and below: compact cars still lead in ownership but SUV is catching up
                    • Figure 7: Type of cars owned, in tier two or lower cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                  • Mid/full-size SUVs most wanted in tier one cities
                    • Figure 8: Type of car planning to buy, in tier one cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                  • German brands become more popular
                    • Figure 9: Favourite SUV brand, in tier one cities*, 2019 vs 2018
                  • Japanese brands are good at converting buyers in the purchasing journey
                    • Figure 10: Brand intended to buy, by intended SUV buyers at different purchasing stages, November 2018
                  • SUVs need better fuel consumption levels
                    • Figure 11: Unsatisfied point for SUV owners, November 2018
                  • Optimal pricings for SUVs
                    • Figure 12: Optimal prices of different types of SUVs based on Price Sensitivity Analysis, November 2018
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • What’s the future for domestic brands?
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Fuel consumption challenge
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Figure 13: Comparison between hybrid versions and regular versions
                              • Make driving compact SUVs a lifestyle for females
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 14: Jeep compass commercial
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • SUV market showed resilience
                                    • SUV competition set to intensify
                                    • Market Size, Segmentation and Forecast

                                      • Annual sales set to linger around 10 million units over next five years
                                        • Figure 15: Best- and worst-case forecast of the market volume of SUVs, China, 2013-23
                                      • Trading up for mid/full-size SUVs in replacement/second car purchase
                                        • Figure 16: SUV sales volume share, by segment, China, 2016-18
                                    • Market Factors

                                      • Elimination of foreign share limit for joint ventures
                                        • Figure 17: Foreign share limit cancellation plan
                                      • Rising fuel price creates demand for new energy SUVs
                                        • Figure 18: Fuel price per litre, 2015-18
                                        • Figure 19: Volvo XC 60 Hybrid and Porsche Macan
                                      • Consumers’ spending preferences
                                        • Figure 20: Financial confidence, 2017-19
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Top ten is gaining more market share
                                        • Compete by giving consumers more choices
                                          • Innovations in the car usage experience
                                          • Market Share

                                            • Market becoming more consolidated
                                              • Figure 21: Top 10 brands in SUV sales, by sales volume, 2016-18
                                            • Key players in 2018
                                              • Figure 22: Haval F5 and H6
                                              • Figure 23: Geely S1, X3 and Emgrand GS
                                              • Figure 24: T-ROC, Tayron and Tharu
                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                            • Entry price of SUVs lowering further
                                              • Figure 25: Starting price of top 10 best-selling SUV models, 2018
                                            • Domestic production of high-end models
                                              • Figure 26: Domestic produced models
                                            • Electrification
                                              • Figure 27: Pure electric models coming in 2019
                                              • Figure 28: Plug-in hybrid vehicles
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Extended range electric SUVs
                                              • Figure 29: CHJ Leading Ideal One
                                              • Figure 30: Interior design of CHJ Leading Ideal One
                                            • Noise-cancelling technology
                                              • Figure 31: Dog kennel from ford
                                            • Popscape
                                              • Figure 32: An Airstream trailer towed by a Tesla Model X
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Ownership and purchase intention remain strong
                                              • Watch out for German and Japanese brands
                                                • Fuel consumption remains the biggest frustration
                                                  • Optimal pricing suggests room for price increase
                                                  • Type of Cars Owned and Planning to Purchase

                                                    • The ownership of SUVs surged in 2019
                                                      • Figure 33: Type of cars owned in tier one cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                                                      • Figure 34: Type of cars owned, in tier two or lower cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                                                    • Future purchase intention of SUVs remains strong
                                                      • Figure 35: Type of car planning to buy, in tier one cities*, November 2018 vs December 2017
                                                    • Non-first time car buyers switching to bigger, premium cars
                                                      • Figure 36: Type of car owned and planning to buy, by non-first time car buyers, November 2018
                                                    • Potential buyers for mid/full-size SUVs
                                                      • Figure 37: Type of car planning to buy – mid/full-size SUV, by selected demographics, November 2018
                                                      • Figure 38: Type of car planning to buy – mid/full-size SUV, by city tiers, November 2018
                                                      • Figure 39: Type of car planning to buy – Select items, by type of car buyers, November 2018
                                                  • Favourite SUV Brands

                                                    • German brands become more popular
                                                      • Figure 40: Favourite SUV brand, by tier one cities, 2019 vs 2018
                                                    • Favourite brands among SUV owners and intended buyers
                                                      • Figure 41: Favourite SUV brand – word cloud, November 2018
                                                      • Figure 42: Favourite SUV brand, November 2018
                                                    • Brands that consumers intend to buy
                                                        • Figure 43: Brand that consumers intend to buy, November 2018
                                                        • Figure 44: Gap between favourite brand and brand intending to buy, November 2018
                                                      • Japanese brands are good at converting buyers in the purchasing journey
                                                        • Figure 45: Brand intended to buy, by intended SUV buyers at different purchasing stages, November 2018
                                                    • Dissatisfaction about SUVs

                                                      • Fuel consumption is still the biggest complaint
                                                        • Figure 46: Unsatisfied point for SUV owners, November 2018
                                                      • Group most sensitive to fuel consumption
                                                        • Figure 47: Unsatisfied point for SUV owners – monthly household income, November 2018
                                                    • Perceptions of SUVs

                                                      • Perceptions reveal popularity of compact SUVs as a first car
                                                        • Figure 48: Correspondence Analysis – SUV advantages, Nov 2018
                                                      • Lifestyle pursuers of compact SUVs
                                                        • Figure 49: Perceptions of compact SUVs – can reflect my lifestyle, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                    • Optimal Pricing of SUVs

                                                      • Methodology
                                                        • Ideal SUV price according to consumers
                                                          • Figure 50: Price sensitivity – compact SUVs optimal price, November 2018
                                                          • Figure 51: Price sensitivity – compact SUVs threshold prices, November 2018
                                                        • Compact SUVs over RMB200,000 still stand a chance
                                                          • Figure 52: Price points that are considered as expensive but still would consider buying, by monthly household income, November 2018
                                                        • Optimal price for mid-size SUVs
                                                          • Figure 53: Price sensitivity – mid-size SUVs optimal price, November 2018
                                                          • Figure 54: Price sensitivity – mid-size SUVs threshold prices, November 2018
                                                        • Ideal price of full-size SUVs according to consumers
                                                          • Figure 55: Price sensitivity – full-size SUVs optimal price, November 2018
                                                          • Figure 56: Price sensitivity – full-size SUVs threshold prices, November 2018
                                                        • Pricing strategies for SUVs
                                                          • Figure 57: Optimal prices for SUVs, November 2018
                                                      • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                        • MinTs are potential mid-size SUV buyers
                                                          • Figure 58: Type of car owned and planning to buy, by consumer classifications, November 2018
                                                        • More favourable towards German brands
                                                          • Figure 59: Brand that consumers intend to buy, by consumer classifications, November 2018
                                                        • MinTs are more demanding about vehicle dynamics and interior materials
                                                          • Figure 60: Unsatisfied point for SUV owners, by consumer classifications, November 2018
                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Figure 61: The market volume of SUVs, 2013-23
                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                        • Methodology
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                            • Abbreviations