Models: Tesla Model Y and Wuling Mini EV shine in Record month
After a rough start of the year, first because of the Chinese EV market blues, then because of the Covid pandemic, the second half of the year has finally brought positive months, and the much anticipated (Super-)September month has arrived and brought a record month, with 345.000 units, shattering the previous record, dated from June '19, by over 50.000 units, adding a whopping 17% volume to the 294.000 units of the broken record.
With plugin registrations going up 91%, both technologies had record months, but plugin hybrids were particulary hot, jumping 120%, to 104.000 units, which is the highest PHEV growth rate since December 2015...
This record month has allowed the YTD numbers to reach a positive result of 11% YoY, on par with the 2019 growth rate, so it looks (Covid willing...) like 2020 will end up as a positive year for plugins.
With the overall automotive market losing momentum, added to a record month, the September PEV share hit a record 4.9% (3.4% BEV), pulling the 2020 plugin share to 3.4% (2.3% BEV), which is almost 1% above the 2.5% of last year.
The future will depend much on the development of the pandemic and the seriousness of the economic crisis, but whatever happens, expect plugins to weather the storm better than the overall market, increasing its PEV share on the way.
Profiting from the expected end-of-quarter high tide, the leader Tesla Model 3 reigned supreme in September, but the rising star Wuling Mini EV scored a record 14.495 units last month, with the tiny EV placing itself between two Teslas, with the Model Y repeating the monthly Bronze medal, thanks to a record 12.685 deliveries, benefiting from the current production ramp-up, and allowing Tesla's new baby to jump three spots in the Top 20, to #3, with only the Renault Zoe in the way for the Californian maker to make a 1-2 win this year.
Will the Model Y reach Silver? Depends on the production ramp up, with 22.000 units separating both nameplates and only 3 months to go, the midsizer will need to continue ramping up production throughout Q4, in order to get there. With that said, there is a Dark Horse also running for #2...
...The Wuling Mini EV was the Climber of the Month, jumping 11(!) positions, to 7th, and with a steep production ramp up, expect the Chinese EV to continue rising in the table, with October surely witnessing another climb, to 4th or 5th, and then in November/ December, it could go after the current podium medalists, the #3 Tesla Model Y and #2 Renault Zoe, so if the 2020 Best Seller title has been decided long ago, the remaining podium positions are pretty much open for discussion.
The Volkswagen ID.3 has oficially landed, and although the bang wasn't has big as expected, the German EV jumped immediately to the 5th position in September, with 8.576 deliveries, beating the Hyundai Kona EV, that lately has been in a record frenzy, delivering yet another personal best last month, with 8.014 registrations.
Regarding other position changes, the Audi e-Tron (4.795 units, new Year Best) climbed to #8, followed by GAC's Aion S, that was also up one spot, to #10, thanks to a slow month of the BMW 530e/Le twins, that dipped to #11.
Speaking of the big Bimmers, on the PHEV side, the Best Selling model in September was the VW Passat PHEV, that thanks to strong results in both China and Europe, scored a record 6.092 units, with the remaining podium positions in September being filled by two models outside this Top 20, the Mercedes A250e (4.778 units) and Volvo XC40 PHEV (4.281), with the two young (and ambitious) models frankly outpacing most of the Best Sellers in the class.
With the BMW 530e/Le losing their breath, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV showing its wrinkles and the Ford Kuga/Escape PHEV suffering from battery suply problems, it looks like the VW plugin hybrid model has the road open to win the 2020 Best Selling PHEV title.
Finally, on the second half of the table, SAIC's MG ZS EV climbed one spot, to #16, thanks to a Year Best performance of 5.317 units, while we have two models returning to the Top 20, the Tesla Model X profited from a higher than expected end-of-quarter high tide (6.586 units, its best result since December 2018!), to jump into #17, thus making 3 Tesla models in the Top 20, while Great Wall's ORA R1, now called Black Cat, returned to the best sellers, in #20, thanks to 5.141 units, the small EV best result since June 2019, now making 16 BEVs and 4 PHEVs in the Top 20, and with the #18 Ford Kugao/Esape PHEV in trouble, in October we could see just 3 plugin hybrid models here...
Manufacturers: Mercedes shines in Record month
Tesla's score (65.814 units) was its best performance ever and is in a different league, but below it, there were also plenty of record performances, 9 to be exact, with the most relevant being Volkswagen, that thanks to the ID.3 landing, jumped its deliveries to 24.035 units, but also Mercedes, that registered 17.836 units, its 3rd record score in a row(!), allowing the three-pointed star brand to jump three positions, to #6, just 73 units below the #5 Renault, that also scored a record result, but in a time that everybody is pushing their limits, it's just not good enough to beat records, one has to shatter them by a significant margin, as Volvo, Audi and Hyundai can attest, as all 3 of them broke their records, and yet, all 3 of them were surpassed by Mercedes...
Expect Mercedes to climb one position in October, to #5, and then it will be time to go after the #4 BMW arch-rival, that despite hitting a record score in September, is now being outshined by the Mercedes star appeal.
In a different scale, young little NIO, in #20, continues to grow, having reached a record 4.280 deliveries last month, as it tries to keep up with the Big Boys.
With Shanghai Auto tally now split in two, with SAIC on one side and SGMW(1) on the other, the two are now at #11 (SGMW) and #12 (SAIC), with the small EV joint-venture having just surpassed the Mothership in the table.
Outside the Top 20, a reference to Great Wall, now in #21, that registered 6.731 units, its best score since June 2019, with the maker betting on the cat pack (The Good, the White and the Black) to grow its sales and join the table soon.
(1) - SGMW: SAIC + GM + Wuling, a joint-venture between Wuling, General Motors and Shanghai Auto, with the last one owning 50,1% of the joint-venture, the American maker having a 44% share, while Wuling has 5,9% of the joint-venture.