What you need to know

The new passenger car market enjoyed a long-absent double-digit growth in 2016. But it has been struggling again in 2017. Such a phenomenon is a combined result of changing government policy, shifting manufacturer strategy and evolving car purchasing journey of consumers.

Covered in this Report

The cars in this Report continue to be defined as passenger cars for private individuals.

Passenger cars are divided into basic passenger cars (saloon cars), sport utility vehicles (SUVs), multipurpose vehicles (MPVs) and cross-type passenger cars.

Basic passenger cars (saloon cars): used for the transportation of personnel 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 three-box configuration (sedan).

SUV: combines the comfort of a saloon car with off-road capability, functional versatility and a two-box configuration (hatchback).

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.

Cross-type passenger vehicles: also known as minibuses. This type of vehicle can transport either passengers or goods, and is therefore known as a cross-type, usually single-box.

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 with both an internal combustion engine and an electric engine.

Mintel divides consumers into three groups based on their monthly household income (MHI) and their residential areas.

Figure 1: Definition of different monthly household income groups, by city tier
Sample size Tier one cities Tier two and three cities
Low MHI 1,000 MHI = RMB 5,000-9,999 MHI = RMB 4,000-7,999
Middle MHI 1,000 MHI = RMB 10,000-15,999 MHI = RMB 8,000-13,999
High MHI 1,000 MHI >= RMB 16,000 MHI >= RMB 14,000

Luxury car owners: current owners of Acura/Audi/BMW/Cadillac/Infiniti/Jaguar/Land Rover/Lexus/Lincoln/Mercedes-Benz/Porsche/Tesla/Volvo.


Commercial vehicles which are primarily used for moving freight or goods;

Multiple passenger carriers which are usually designed/purpose-built for fare payers, such as taxis.

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