Global Update

15 Facts About China’s SUV Market

There are currently more than 80,000 Jeep SUVs on the road in China, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which forecasts that from 2010–2017, the number of Jeeps in China is expected to grow steeply. Among the most popular models include the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Commander and Compass. Photo courtesy of Jeep Club China.


The following are 15 facts regarding China's SUV market. You can learn more about this growing market by attending the SEMA China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) China Business Development Conference in Beijing, September 7–10, 2011.

Demand for SUVs rose 96% on-year in 2010 to 1.67 million units, according to J.D. Power and Associates. One of the driving forces is the growing number of buyers purchasing their second vehicles. Among this group, an SUV or a luxury car are popular.
J.D. Power forecasts China’s SUV market will grow by 22% in 2011.
3. SUVs were the third-largest passenger-vehicle segment in China in 2010, and accounted for 10% of the total market of 11.9 million units.
4. Chrysler is expected to resume Jeep production in China within the next few years. The Jeep Wrangler will likely be the first model produced.
There are currently more than 80,000 Jeep SUVs on the road in China and that number is still growing. J.D. Power and Associates forecasts that from 2010–2017, China will import nearly 25,000 Wranglers and more than 13,000 Grand Cherokees, as well as thousands of the Jeep Commander and Compass models.
The Honda CR-V, produced at Dongfeng Honda, was the best-selling SUV in China in 2010 with 140,000 units.
The 10 most popular SUV models in 2010 were all locally produced; six were foreign brands.
SUV imports accounted for 51.7% of all imports in 2010, says Fourin’s China Automotive Intelligence Report No. 24, December 2010.
The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was the best-selling imported SUV in 2010 with 36,891 units sold.
Around 20% of SUVs sold in China are imported. Imported SUVs' share of the market is falling as foreign brands localize production and local brands improve their quality and, thus, their competitiveness.
11. Some 20 new SUV models will be added to the market in 2011.
12. Some 47% of SUVs in China have a manual transmission; the remainder are split between automatic, continuously variable and dual clutch, according to J.D. Power.
There is no “average” SUV buyer given the wide range of prices and models. But the typical owner would be male, 30 to 40 years old, and the SUV would be his second or third car, says Yale Zhang, managing director of Automotive Foresight (Shanghai) Ltd.
14. Brand awareness is growing but customers typically still rely on off-road shops regarding customization options, according to recent conversations with a dozen Chinese-based retailers. They added that overseas, particularly U.S. brands, have a very good reputation but only about a third of buyers entering their shop request specific brands.
According to the same survey, current top SUV upgrades include suspension, wheels/tires and bull bars. A few of the installers also added lights and bodykits to the list of top modifications.


To participate in this growing market, join the SEMA delegation heading to Beijing, China, September 7–10, 2011. For more information, visit or contact Linda Spencer at