Friday, February 22, 2019

China January 2019

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Yuan EV reaches 10,000 units in BYD fest

Traditionally, January, along with February, are the two slowest months in the Chinese plugin market, but tradition is not what it used to be, and with disruption hitting the Chinese automotive market (the mainstream market was down 18% last month), PEV sales were up an amazing 175%(!) YoY, to some 96,000 units, pulling the PEV market share to 4.8%, already above the 2018 result (4.2%), and all of the sudden, my previous forecast for the final 2019 share (8%) seems conservative. Will we see it go North of 10% by the end of December?

With all this continued growth, we should see sales double this year, surpassing the 2 million mark, making some 60% of all global PEV sales in 2019.

This ranking still has some numbers missing, namely imports, but considering we have already over 90% of this month sales tracked, and the exciting results that have been made, we decided to publish right now what we have and update the final numbers later.

With symbolic export numbers, the domestic market is more than enough to absorb the current Chinese production, and most foreign OEMs only now are starting to tackle the current seismic changes, dragged into electrification by the new PEV quotas, resulting in the foreign brands total share still being stuck at 5% (imports are still missing, so this number should grow a little, to some 8%).

Of this (small) cake, 2% belong to Volkswagen, by far the Best-Selling foreign brand, with the remaining manufacturers sharing the remaining 3% (Tesla should have some 2%, once the final numbers are in).

In January, the headlining news were the BYD Dynamic Duo (Yuan and Tang) continued Rise and Rise, with the first surpassing for the first time the 10,000 units in one month.

Here’s January Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:

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#1 – BYD Yuan EV: We all knew that BYD’s new Baby Crossover was destined for success, and with yet another record of 10,093 deliveries in January, the first time a BYD hits five digits in one month, the brand Star Player is living up to expectations, eating everybody’s lunch, on the way. With a 40,000-long waiting list, demand is no problem, depending more on BYD’s ability/willingness to make them in large volumes (The Tang is more profitable…), than anything else. With unrivalled specs (42 kWh battery, 305 kms/190 mi NEDC range, 174 hp motor), and price (25,000 USD), success is guaranteed, but for some reason BYD still thinks it’s not good enough, so they are going to upgrade the battery to some 58kWh this year…If they have a long waiting list now, imagine then!

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#2 – SAIC Baojun E100: Shanghai Auto and General Motors had high hopes for their tiny two-seater, and despite an irregular career, the tiny two-seater is finally making an impact on the Chinese plug-in market, having registered a record 8,312 units last month. With an updated range in 2018 (250 kms NEDC), thanks to a new 24 kWh battery, its price (CNY 93,900 / USD 14,700) before subsidies, is quite alluring, especially considering its modern design and features. Maybe GM should consider exporting it? I mean, it’s not like they have a strong EV lineup…

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#3 – BYD Tang PHEV: After 9 months on the market, the second-generation Tang continues to expand sales, registering a record 6,908 registrations. Sales should continue strong for BYD’s successful flagship, and new record sales could still be achieved in the future, although the upcoming (and much anticipated) Tang BEV could steal sales from it. As for the current Tang PHEV specs, BYD’s Midsize SUV saw the battery grow to 24 kWh, originating an increased 100 kms range / 62 mi NEDC (around 70 kms / 44 mi real world), while on the power department, things have stayed the same, but with 500 hp and 0-100 kms/h in less than 5 secs, one can’t really say it was underpowered.... All for CNY 279,800 / $40,816.

BYD e5 

#4 – BYD e5: BYD’s bread and butter electric sedan, a favorite among taxi-drivers, registered 3,968 units in January, and yet, this performance was overshadowed by their team stars Tang and Yuan. This Andre Iguodala (Who?) of the BYD lineup, has great specs (61 kWh, 405 kms / 253 mi range NEDC, 218 hp), considering the price (CNY 220,650 / USD 34,600). With a new, attractive design (finally!), the nameplate is set to continue its brilliant work as the lesser known team member of an All-Stars-rich Shenzhen Warriors Team...


#5 – BAIC EU-Series: After the record 12,561 units of December, allowing it to be that month Best Seller, BAIC’s electric sedan returned to more normal performances, with 3,895 units being delivered last month, narrowly losing out to its BYD e5 nemesis. The revised design and improved specs (215 hp, 416 kms / 260 mi NEDC, $32,500) allows it to remain a popular choice and resist the BYD Blitzkrieg (the EC-Series can’t say the same…), so it seems the sedan is going to be Beijing Auto’s main bet for 2019.

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2019 ranking

In such an amazing month, there were plenty of models shining, besides the aforementioned records mentioned in the Top 5 Sellers, there were fresh faces scoring record results, like the #9 Geely Emgrand GSE EV compact SUV registering a record 2,808 units, the singular #14 Great Wall Ora iQ5 EV crossover scoring 2,036 units, a new personal best for the Great Wall nameplate, and finally the #18 Lifan 820 EV midsize sedan delivering a record 1,682 units.

Another interesting feature in the big reshuffle of the January ranking, is that in the middle of the large number of new faces on the Top 20, we have a couple of export-minded models that are finally surfacing in the Top 20, like the full-size SUV Nio ES8, in #16, with 1,803 deliveries, being January’s Best Selling Luxury model, while the #17 GAC Trumpchi GE3 compact crossover registered 1,683 units.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (22%) is a comfortable leader, thanks to the success of the Yuan and Tang (and the #4 e5, and the #7 Qin, and the #15 Song…it’s a true BYD fest), while below it, there are significant shifts, with SAIC (14%) in the 2nd Spot, ahead of Geely (7%), while BAIC (5%) had a terrible entry in 2019, dropping to 4th, tied with Chery.

A special word for BYD’s never ending expansion plans, besides the current lineup, that can already be considered quite complete, with a subcompact crossover, compact sedans and SUVs, and a flagship midsize SUV, not forgetting the complete range of commercial vehicles, the brand will join new segments this year, with the e1 trying to get a piece of the large City EV market, while the Song MAX, both in PHEV and BEV formats, will join the 7-seater MPV/Minivan category, with even more models coming in 2020, including a mysterious Han sports car, said to have Tesla-like acceleration specs and over 700 kms range…

One wonders where they will get enough batteries for all that, but then again, they are their own supplier, so just like Tesla, BYD is not dependent from third party supply issues and contracts, which really separates both EV makers from the rest of the competition into a league of their own, allowing them also to upgrade their batteries more frequently, thus winning a critical advantage over their competitors.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Austria January 2019

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BMW i3 #1 in January

Austrian plug-in sales started the year growing a moderate 12%, to 741 units, but because the mainstream market is sliding like it was on a ski slope (-12% YoY), the PEV share jumped to a record 2.9% in January, opening bright perspectives for this year

Looking at the models ranking, the BMW i3 jumped to the leadership, with the German hatchback profiting from the larger battery appeal to overcome everyone else.

The hot Hyundai Kona EV started the year in Second Place, with 84 deliveries, and promises to be a strong candidate for the 2019 title, unlike the 2018 winner, the VW e-Golf, that registered 71 units (down 38% YoY), earning the 3rd spot.

Underlining the good moment of Korean brands, both Kia nameplates scored record results last month, with the Niro EV delivering 36 units, while its PHEV sibling registered 12 units.

In the PHEV side, there were a number of great results, starting by the record 29 deliveries of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, making it the category Best Seller, while both Land Rovers with names as long as their size also made personal bests, with the LR RR Sport delivering 28 units, while its LR RR posher sibling registered 12 units.

But there also good results on the German carmakers too, the BMW 225xe AT registered 17 units, its best result in 17 months, while the new Mercedes C300e/de twins had 16 sales, the plugin C-Class best result in 15 months.

Finally, the BMW i8 Sports Car delivered 11 units, its best result since January '15(!), allowing not only a Top 20 spot, but more significantly, the #2 position in the Sports Car category, only behind the Ford Mustang (13 units), tying with its more normal BMW relative, the BMW 8-Series. 

In the manufacturers ranking, BMW is back in the lead, with 20% share, followed by Hyundai (16%), while last year winner Volkswagen (11%) is a distant Third, having to keep an eye on Renault and Nissan, both with 9% share.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Denmark January 2019

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Korean turf

Sales continue to grow fast in Denmark, with 424 units registered last month, placing the 2019 PEV share at 2% in the first month of the year, in line with last year result, while at the same time, BEVs have recovered significant ground (53% share, +21% regarding 2018), considering that PHEVs frankly outsold pure electrics (68% vs 32%) last year.

The Hyundai Kona EV started the year jumping to the leadership, with 129 deliveries, followed by last year winner Kia Niro PHEV (97 registrations), while the Nissan Leaf is Third, with 40 units.

Just outside the Podium, we have another Korean model, the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, while the #6 Jaguar i-Pace had its best month in this market, with 20 units. 

Proof of the popularity that the Korean makers are experiencing in this market, is the fact that the #8 Kia Optima PHEV (12 units) is the fourth Korean model in the Top 10...

A sign of the changing times, while last year Volkswagen had their two PHEVs in the Top 10, this time the Best Selling VW is the all-electric e-Golf, with 11 deliveries.
 In the Manufacturers ranking, we are witnessing a Korean fest, with Hyundai being the Best Seller (40% share), and Kia in Second Place (26%), while the best non-Korean brand is Nissan (10%) in a distant Third Spot.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Japan January 2019

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Nissan is eating Toyota's lunch

Some 4.700 units were registered last month in the Japanese PEV market, down 26% YoY, mostly due to the effect that the Nissan Leaf 62 kWh version is doing to the Toyota Prius PHEV, that with only 435 units, was down a staggering 68%(!) YoY, the Second Generation Prius worst result ever. Do i hear alarm sounds at Toyota HQ?

Another proof of the Prius PHEV fall into the abyss, is the fact that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV managed to outsell it last month, despite seeing its sales also drop (-23% YoY).

The 2019 PEV share started at 1.2% share, and could increase to some 1.5-2% share this year, thanks to the 62 kWh version of the Leaf.

Another measure of how low Toyota is now, is the fact that BMW is now the #3 brand, with 10% share.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Iceland January 2019

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26% PEV Share in January, mainstream market down 48%!!!

Sales grew moderately in 2019 in January, but because the mainstream market is falling off a cliff (-48% YoY), the PEV shares is jumping through the roof, with January hitting an amazing 26% PEV share, a significant departure from the 19% of last year. 

Will the PEV share hit 35% this year?

Considering the behavior of the other advanced EV market, Norway, is similar behavior, with moderate PEV growth and a sales drop in the mainstream auto market, we are starting to see a trend, that can be replicated in other markets, as once markets hit some 10% market share, plugin sales slow down to 20-30% growth rates, while at the same time, the mainstream market starts to shrink, as regular buyers come to realize that fossil fueled vehicles are becoming dinosaurs.

Looking at this year Best Sellers, the Nissan Leaf started ahead of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, but the real surprise was the Hyundai Kona EV (I have been writing this phrase a lot, in the last few weeks...), with the Korean jumping to the 3rd spot, thanks to 19 units, its best result to date. 

Two other small, long(ish) range BEVs are also climbing, with the Renault Zoe starting the year in #7, it was #13 last year, while the BMW i3 is profiting from the larger battery to finally appear on this ranking radar, in #8. 

Also interesting are both Range Rover models showing up in the Top 20, considering this is a SUV-loving market, this could be an interesting market for the British brand.

In the brands ranking, Nissan (23%) started in the lead, while last year winner Mitsubishi (22%) is a close Second, and the 3rd placed Volvo (13%) has the #4 Hyundai at a comfortable distance.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Germany January 2019

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Audi E-Tron jumps to #4

The German PEV passenger car market was up 17% to 6,767 registrations, with a seismic change happening in the fuels mix, with BEVs jumping (+68% YoY), while PHEVs continue sinking (-26%), allowing full electrics to outsell plugin hybrids by a large margin (69% share for BEVs).

With a stagnating mainstream market (-1% YoY), the PEV Share climbed to 2.6% in
January, with BEVs alone hitting 1.8%.

Looking at January Best Sellers, you can see the good moment of all-electric models, with 8 BEVs in the Top 10, and the Renault Zoe leading the way, with 799 units, closely followed by the VW e-Golf (746) and the BMW i3 (703), with the Bimmer hot hatch scoring its best monthly result ever in its 5 year career. I guess the formula larger battery = higher sales gets proven once again...

But the (not so) surprise of the month was the Audi e-Tron, starting the year in the 4th Spot, with 407 registrations, a great result, considering official customer deliveries are only set to start in February, so expect these numbers to grow in the near future. Will we see the Audi SUV in a podium position soon?

One thing is certain, 2019 will see another close race for the leadership, with the 2018 trophy winner, the Renault Zoe, having to defend its title from the BMW i3, Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-Tron (maybe), while Volkswagen could surprise us with higher than expected deliveries of the eGolf / ID duo.   

Below the top positions, the Hyundai Kona EV continues to ramp up deliveries, having registered a record 291 units, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was by far the best selling plugin hybrid, thanks to 360 units. 

Besides the Kona, the other Korean models also had a positive month, with 6(!) models in the Top 20, while the Volvo SUVs are also on the up in 2019, with the (relatively) smaller XC60 PHEV delivering a record 126 units, and the full-blown vessel XC90 PHEV registering 84 units, its best result in 2 years.

In the brands ranking, BMW (17%) is in the leadership, while Renault and Volkswagen are racing for the runner-up place, both with 12% share, comfortably ahead of the #4 Hyundai (9%).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ireland January 2019

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Hyundai is going after Nissan's crown in red hot market

January had 1.111 PEVs registered, by far the best in Ireland, with sales up 292%(!) YoY, and the 2019 PEV share starting at a record 3.4%.

Also significant is the fact that the mainstream market was down 13% YoY, is disruption already happening in this market?

After nearly stealing the 2017 title from the seven times Best Seller Nissan Leaf, Hyundai is at it again, and this time with a new model, the Hyundai Kona EV, that outsold the Japanese hatchback in January, with a new all-time record of 311 deliveries, being the first time in 11 months that someone has beaten the Nissan EV.

The Renault Zoe is a distant Third, with 77 registrations, while the #4 Kia Niro PHEV was the Best Selling PHEV, with 71 units.

Below the top spots, a few worthy mentions, the BMW i3 scored a record 42 deliveries in January, registering in only one month what it usually does in one year...once again, the "larger battery = higher sales" formula gets proven. 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV did even better, as last month 44 sales represented not only the nameplate's best month ever, but has already beaten the best year ever for the Japanese SUV in Ireland (2015, with 40 units). Again, larger battery = higher sales... 

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, Hyundai started in the lead, with 33% share, followed by Nissan (27%), while BMW (9%) is Third, and Renault (7%) is Fourth, closelly followed by Kia (6%).