BEIJING – Volkswagen, General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are on track to lose market share in China due to their slow transition to electrified vehicles, according to a new report by Greenpeace East Asia.

“China, the world’s largest auto market, is undergoing a seismic shift. The era of gas and diesel vehicles is coming to an end, and EV sales are surging. Toyota, Volkswagen and other automakers that have been slow to embrace electric vehicles face significant loss of market share, even under the most conservative estimates. Industry leaders like Toyota and Volkswagen must speed up their transition to new energy vehicles or risk ceding business to all-electric brands like BYD. Rapid electrification is necessary to stay relevant in China’s auto market,” said Greenpeace East Asia campaigner Bao Hang.

The study uses scenario analysis [1] and Monte Carlo simulation methods [2] to predict the market share, production capacity gap and capacity utilization rate of 11 leading passenger car manufacturers in China.

Key Findings

Foreign-invested automakers are on track to lose significant market share in China as EV sales surge. By 2030, Volkswagen is likely to lose between 3 and 7 percentage points of market share in China compared to its average for the period 2019 to 2021. Over the same period, General Motors is likely to lose between 3 and 6 percentage points of market share, Honda between 2 and 4 percentage points, Toyota between 1 and 3 percentage points, and BMW and Mercedes-Benz between 0.5 and 1.5 percentage points. [3]

– BYD is on track to experience the biggest market growth in China of all automakers studied due to the company’s early transition to new energy vehicles. By 2030, BYD is likely to increase its market share in China by between 4 and 5 percentage points. [4] Chinese automakers Changan and GAC are also likely to see market share growth by 2030. [5]

Automakers that have been slow to electrify will face high levels of unused production capacity for combustion engine vehicles. Under the most conservative estimate for new energy vehicle adoption, by 2030, combustion engine vehicles are forecast to account for 60% of all passenger vehicle sales in China. [6] Under the same scenario, by 2030, an estimated one-third of the production capacity for gas and petrol vehicles in China would sit unused. [7] General Motors would see the most stranded production capacity for combustion engine vehicles, at 1.78 million units, followed by Volkswagen at 1.42 million units.

“All automakers should commit to stop selling combustion engine vehicles worldwide by 2030.  The phase out of combustion engine vehicles is not only critical to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, but is also in line with automakers’ long-term business interests,” said Bao.

English briefing is available here. Full report is here (in Chinese).


[1] Scenario Analysis (SA) is an assessment technique that is used to identify and measure the potential occurrence of operational risk events.

[2] Monte Carlo Simulation is a mathematical technique, which is used to estimate the possible outcomes of an uncertain event.

[3] The probability that market share loss falls within the listed range is 76.6% for Volkswagen, 73.4% for General Motors, 80.2% for Honda, 89.0% for Toyota, 99.4% for BMW and 99.9% for Mercedes-Benz.

[4] Probability 90.5%. Compared with BYD’s average market share from 2019 to 2021.

[5] The probabilities of Changan and GAC’s expected market share increase are 80.8% and 99.9%, respectively.

[6] Under a baseline scenario, the new energy vehicle penetration rate is 40% and the size of the passenger vehicle market is 28 million units.

[7] Based on an analysis of the production capacity of China’s ten leading automakers that have not fully transitioned to new energy vehicles.

Media Contact

Erin Newport, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, Taipei, +886 958 026 791, [email protected]