Sunday, July 27, 2014

Markets Roundup June 2014

Kandies Galore

(I've Got) Kandi 

In the middle of a bullish Chinese EV market, the name Kandi came like a hurricane, shooting for the leadership in a few months, thanks to new government policies that make regular cars life harder, electric cars are growing, but also car sharing, and that's where Kandi EV is.   

Born last year in the chinese city of Hangzhou, Kandi is part of Geely (Chinese manufacturer also owner Of Volvo) and it's a breakthrough experiment, treating cars like a commodity, available in gigantic vending machines for the general public.

It's easy how they work: Put in your card, out pops a car. While it will take time for Kandi to build the 750 such facilities it has planned for Hangzhou, the service is already up and running, and looking for other urban areas to expand.

For just $3.25 per hour, you can rent one of the Kandi cars. They have a range of 75 miles and a top speed of 50 miles per hour. While that might seem limiting, the vehicles are intended for urban use and the city speed limits max out at about 30 in Hangzhou. Besides, the Chery QQ3 EV, best selling EV in China in the past years, has more or less the same performance and range.

Unlike Zipcar in the US or Bluecar in France, that play in an unregulated market, Kandi can say it's benefiting from a perfect storm, with electric cars growing due to government incentives, and car sharing becoming increasingly attractive because of stricter laws on private cars.

Emgrand PHEV: Geely's anti-Qin?

Left, Right and Center

Speaking of Geely, with the success of the Kandi EV, the chinese carmaker as a group (Kandi + Volvo) jumps to seventh place in this year group manufacturers ranking, with 7% share, behind GM (8%) and ahead of BYD (5%), BMW and VW Group, both with 4% share. With the lower (Kandi) and upper end (Volvo) of the market covered, all Geely needs to do is to launch a Geely "Qin" and have all bases covered, left, right and center, something no one still did:

- The #1 EV Group, Renault - Nissan, is very middle-market-centric, with the exception of the Twizy, both Renault and Nissan offerings are not too far from each other price-wise. All they need is to put Infinity and Dacia in the electric bandwagon;

- Mitsubishi, Tesla, Toyota and Ford play as standalone brands, so each of them only plays on their own natural territory;

- At least on paper, GM has all bases covered, with chinese Springo in the lower end, Chevrolet in midfield and Cadillac in the higher end of the market. Only, Springo monthly sales are counted in one digit in a booming market, while Cadillac, although a bit better, is still to enter in the hundred sales per month, meaning that in reality GM is really only Chevrolet;

- The other carmaker group to get close of having all bases covered is Volkswagen, where Porsche is doing (rather well) the Top Premium side of things, Audi is months away of covering the Lower Premium layer, leaving to VW the center of the market. The cheaper end of the market is still to be covered, but it won't be long for Das Auto brand to make some kind of low-cost-chinese-focused brand to do it.

Trends in the G7 

As mentioned before, China is going from strength to strength (0,21% EV share vs 0,15% last month), with monthly sales going up for the seventh month in a row(!) and new cars showing up almost every month.

The French market is also growing, pulling itself from doom and growing for the fifth consecutive time, while the USA and Germany are also doing well, nearing their all-time highs in June.

The two EV champs, Netherlands and Norway are a bit down on EV Share (4,58 % and 14,19% respectively), but keep on being the envy of everyone else.

Forecasts in the G7

USA - 110-130.000 units/year, Leaf #1; 

Given sales are at 55.000 i think the numbersd can end up a tiny bit higher than the 130K. The Leaf is #1 with some 3.000 ahead of the #2, good work here;

Japan - 36-39.000 units/year, Outlander #1;
The second semester is usually better in the Japanese EV market, but even so, with sales around 15K, it will be hard to reach the lower limit of this forecast. And the Leaf is some 1.500 units above the Outlander, a double miss here;

France - 15-18.000 units/year, Zoe #1;
Sales are still at 6.700 units, but with the ever-increasing sales upwards trend in France, i believe that the lower end of the forecast can be achieved. Zoe is #1, of course, with almost the double of sales of its runner-up, the Kangoo ZE;

Netherlands - 15-19.000 units/year, Outlander #1;
A welcome surprise, with sales at 9.000 units in the first half of the month, i think the 20K area can be achiveved with relative ease. The Outlander PHEV unsurprisingly dominates the market, with more than 2.000 units above the #2 V60 Plug-In;

Germany - 10.000 units/year, German Car #1;

In this Year One of the German Electric Car, sales are growing at a healthy pace (6.000 units YTD) and i think they can even double last years result (6.714 units). Not only the Leader is German (BMW i3), but the rest of the podium also belongs to the Vaterland (#2 VW e-Up! and #3 Smart Fortwo ED)

China - 23.000-28.000 units/year, Qin #1.

Another Year One, but here sales are going way above expectations, the numbers are already in the 20K area, with new players coming in every month and record sales being registered every month, i wouldn't be surprised if sales reached the 50K area by the end of the year. With so many surprises in the models ranking, no one really knows who will be the Best Selling Plug-In in China.

Global EV Share leaders 

For the first time ever, there's five markets above the 1% EV share hallmark, here they are:

1. Norway - 14,49%
2. Netherlands - 4,58%
3. Iceland - 2,20%
4. Sweden - 1,52%
5. Estonia - 1,05%

Questions for July

1 - Where will be beaten the next sales records?

2 - Who will be #1 in China?

3 - Wil the Outlander PHEV repeat the #1 in Italy?

4 - Will the Qin reach the 1.500 registrations?

5 - Who will be #1 in Austria?

6 - Will the BMW i3 recover Best Selling titles?

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