China's passenger vehicle market saw insurance registrations slip last week, with a mixed performance from major new energy vehicle (NEV) makers.
Insurance registrations for all passenger cars in China were 308,700 units in the week of March 6 to March 12, down 10.6 percent from the previous week and down 8.86 percent from the same period last month, according to figures from automotive industry consultancy ThinkerCar.
Insurance registrations for NEVs were 107,800 last week, down 7.29 percent from the previous week and up 8.67 percent from the same period last month.
Insurance registrations for conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles were 211,000 last week, down 12.28 percent from the previous week and down 16.12 percent from the same period last month.
BYD's pure electric models saw 19,874 insurance registrations last week, down 6.0 percent from the previous week, and plug-in hybrids saw 17,267, down 2.9 percent from the previous week.
Insurance registrations for Tesla vehicles in China were 17,032 last week, up 28.4 percent from 13,266 the previous week.
Model Y insurance registrations were 11,336 last week, up 11.67 percent from the previous week. A total of 5,696 Model 3 vehicles were registered last week, up 83.21 percent from the previous week.
NIO was 2,170 units last week, down 35.1 percent from 3,345 units the previous week.
NIO ET5 had 1,407 insurance registrations last week, ES6 had 237, EC6 had 189, ES7 had 152, ET7 had 119 and ES8 had 66.
Li Auto was 4,243 units last week, up 31.7 percent from 3,222 units the week before.
The Li L9 had 1,562 insurance registrations last week and the Li L8 had 1,615. The figure for the Li L7, which just started deliveries this week, was 813 units, and the discontinued Li ONE was 253 units.
XPeng was 1,635 units last week, up from 1,421 units the week before.
BYD's premium brand Denza vehicles saw 1,853 insurance registrations last week, up from 1,808 the week before.
Zeekr was 1,043 units last week, down from 1,814 units the week before.
BMW's NEVs registered 1,486 insurance units in China last week, down from 1,663 units the week before.
The past week has seen a rare price war in China's auto industry involving not only NEV makers, but traditional internal combustion engine automakers as well.
Rumors surfaced last week that BMW dealers were offering a massive subsidy for the all-electric BMW i3 in China, and that consumers who pay full price for the car can even get the model for RMB 120,000 to 180,000, less than half the retail price.
BMW insiders denied this, but sources at BMW dealers said they are indeed offering discounts, and that these measures were only introduced this month, local media Cailian reported last week.
For the BMW i3 eDrive35 L, which currently has a guide price of RMB 353,900, the price after discounts is RMB 248,000, the report said, citing BMW dealership sources.
Consumers will also receive an additional RMB 6,000 subsidy if they trade in their vehicles, the source said.
The increasing number of car companies joining the price war has led to increased consumer wait-and-see sentiment to avoid seeing price reductions shortly after purchasing a car.
Li Auto has introduced a consumer purchase price protection benefit that covers all of the company's currently available models -- Li L7, Li L8, Li L9.
For consumers who purchase these models, if the prices drops within 90 days of their order, then Li Auto will refund the difference.
The policy, which is available to consumers when they purchase the Li L7, Li L8, and Li L9, is primarily intended to make clear to them that Li Auto will not drop the prices, local media outlet The Paper said earlier today, citing salespeople from the company.
Weekly NEV insurance registrations in China in 2023