Monday, April 27, 2015

Markets Roundup March 2015

New  Global Players?

Winners and Losers -  2015 vs 2014

Last year ended with the Nissan Leaf as the only truly global player, winning the Best Seller Title in eleven markets across the World, from the USA (Largest EV market in the world) to Japan (#3), passing by Norway (#4) or South Africa.

Looking at the competition, only two models won in different latitudes:

  • The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, winning in six markets, but aside Australia and New Zealand, all the other trophies came from European countries, especially where tax incentives for companies include Plug-In Hybrids (UK and Netherlands);
  • The BMW i3 also collected a number of Best Seller titles, but aside from their domestic market, the others (Hong Kong, Portugal, Czech Republic and Poland) were "Second League" trophies.

Although in smaller numbers, other cars also won trophies, like Tesla, which won in three countries (Switzerland, Belgium and...Slovenia), but the rest were confined to domestic markets (BYD Qin, Kia Soul EV), or isolated cases (Volt in Canada, VW e-Up! in Latvia) or both (Zoe in France and Austria).

Final mention for the Renault Twizy, that in 2014 assumed the role that in the past had belonged to the Mitsubishi I-Miev, blazing through new territories and planting the electric seed in uncharted territories, like Morocco, Malta or UAE(!).

Did the status quo changed in this First Quarter of 2015? Let's find out:

  • The Nissan Leaf lost important markets (USA, Norway, Denmark), having only recovered Portugal (#1 for the first time since 2011!) and added Slovenia to the showroom, two minor trophies that prevent a larger debacle, currently the japanese car is Best Seller in eight countries, three less than last year;
  • Mitsubishi's plug-in SUV lost its crown jewel, the Netherlands, but another rising market is compensating it: The UK absorved 64% of all Outlander PHEV sold in March;
  • The BMW i3 continues in the same trend as last year, leading in Germany and in other minor markets, having lost Hong Kong and Portugal, maintained the Czech Rep. and Poland, while adding South Africa to the trophies room;
  • Important gains for the Model S, adding the USA, Canada and Denmark to the portfolio, begging the question: Can it keep them in the long term?
  • With a triumphant January in several markets, Volkswagen has been losing steam as the year progresses, but in the meantime it has two major trophies to snob the competition: Norway (e-Golf) and Netherlands (Golf GTE).    


EV Share Trends in the G8 

There are different trends in the eight largest EV Markets:

1 - Plug-In sales in Japan are regressing to 2011/2 levels, with the current EV Share at half (0,49% vs 0,98%) of what it was last year. Putting this in context, the Japanese plug-in market last month was only fifth in volume, behind China, USA, UK and Norway, far from the days when Japan leaded sales;

2 - The US EV sales are plateuing in volume in a still expanding general auto market, making the EV Share to shrink (0,58% vs 0,65% a year ago) slightly;

3 - Now the good news: France is already above the same month last year and, most importantly, the whole of 2014 (0,93% vs 0,70% a year ago vs 0,91%), considering that new incentives are coming (And an improved Zoe too), it looks that the 1% barrier will be broken soon;

4 - China and Germany are continuing the solid growth trend started last year, with the first now at 0,42% Share (0,25% last year) and the second at 0,59% (0,44%). Considering the high volumes of each general auto market, i wouldn't be surprised of China became the largest global market this year, and ditto in Europe for Germany;

5 - Picking up on the latter theme, if China apparently has its life easy (See 2) in its way to become the largest market in the world, in Europe, Germany (4.5k sales) has to race against three markets on fire: The UK EV sales (7.7k) are going through the roof, with the EV Share doubling last year result (1,05% vs 0,56%), all while the Netherlands (5,26%) and especially Norway (23%!) continue in a league of their own, if the first is relatively easy to reach (5.8k units this year) volume wise, the second (8.1k) is currently the volume leader in Europe and only the UK is close to get near it.

BYD Tang: The Next Big Thing in China?

EV Share Trends in other Markets 

As for the rest of the markets, there is something for everyone:

- The naysayers will rejoice with the sales slump in Latvia (Only three sales this year against 177 in '14) and Estonia (0,69% now vs 1,57% last year), just like the slight slip in Canada (0,22% vs 0,27% last year);

- For stabler trend-lovers, the iberian countries are there to satify them, with Spain in the low (0,) twenties and Portugal in the high (0,) twenties;

- Solid growths for Italy (0,20% in '15 vs 0,12% in '14), Sweden (1,73% vs 1,66%), Ireland (0,46% vs 0,27%) and New Zealand (0,29% vs 0,20%);

- Slovenia is on to its Year One of the Electric Car, with the EV Share jumping to 0,19%, up from 0,05% last year; 

- Finally, the Spectacular Growth Awards go to Hong Kong (0,46% last year vs 1,26% now) and especially Iceland, with their EV Share up to 4,7%(!), whith all that hydrothermal energy available in the vulcanic island, this is turning rapidly into a Second Norway, with an amazing growth, that could catapult them into the runner-up position by the end of the year. 

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