Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Markets Roundup September 2015

Dieselgate: Early signs on VAG Plug-in models sales

Although still early to see definitive trends, for that we will need to wait for October and November numbers, i tried to spot in the September sales some early signs of any disruption pattern in Volkswagen Group's most significant EV's, namely the e-Golf and e-Up! pure electrics and the Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-Tron plug-in hybrids.

The scandal can work in two ways for these cars, either consumers opt out in any model from VAG, hurting their sales, or buyers switch from a regular VW diesel model to their Plug-in version, as can be the case in the Audi A3 or VW Golf. 

So, let's have a look at last month performance, model by model:

Volkswagen Golf GTE

- Sales drop in Netherlands, with 335 units, worst result in six months and dropping to Third in September, after four consecutive months as Best Seller;

- Worst sales month ever in Belgium, with eight units;

- Personal best in Portugal, with eight units.

Volkswagen e-Golf

- No sales last month in Spain, the first time it has happened since it landed there.

Audi A3 e-Tron

- 76 units were sold in France, its worst result in six months and the first time since February it dropped from the 100 units/month;

- Significant drop in the Netherlands and Norway, worst result since January in both countries;

- Personal best in Spain, with 21 units.

Volkwagen e-Up!

- Worst performance of the year in Norway;

- Only two units in Austria, the lowest sales level in six months;

As it is possible to see, the worst performers in September were the Audi A3 e-Tron and VW Golf GTE, with significant drops in high volume markets, like Netherlands or Norway, wih only two bright spots in secondary, low volume markets.

The pure electric models e-Golf and e-Up! seem to have coped better with the rough times, but truth be told, their general numbers aren't as high as their plug-hybrid relatives, and in the case of the little e-Up! sales have been dropping also for quite a long time.


Trends in the G8 

Renault rules in France, BYD does it also in China, while in Japan, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finally has a real shot at beating the Nissan Leaf for the Best Seller Title, something it has consistently been doing in the UK for the last year.

Tesla manages to keep to itself the leadership in the US, while Volkswagen had significant drops in Norway and Netherlands (See above), and finally in Germany, Volkswagen leads in the manufacturers ranking, but in the models chart, the First Place is very much open to debate, with five(!) models with realistic aspirations to be the Best Seller, with only three months to go!

Looking at Market Share, the only two dark spots are the US (0,6% now vs 0,7% last year), continuing to wait for better days (*cough* Chevrolet Volt II *cough*), and Japan, on a sales dive with no end in sight, but looking at the rest of the pack, things vary between the moderatly optimistic, like France (1,28% vs 0,91%) or Germany (0,63% vs 0,44%) and China's exponential growth (0,71% vs 0,25%), with Norway (22% vs 14%) and Netherlands (6% vs 4%) also growing at a fast pace.

Trends in other Markets 

Looking at other markets, we should mention the extraordinary result of the Outlander PHEV in Spain and Portugal, taking the lead there, as well as the extraordinary results of Tesla in Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Hong Kong, not only leading the EV ranking in those countries, but also making an impact in its size class, sometimes putting to shame the usual leaders from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Belgium buyers continue their love affair with the Porsche Cayenne Plug-in, like Sweden does with the Outlander PHEV and Ireland with the Nissan Leaf, while the Renault Fluence ZE is having a rebirth in South Korea, in the shape of the Samsung SM3 ZE, which is now the leader of the EV market in this high potential market.

Looking at Market Share, if the EV markets in Estonia and Latvia have just imploded, others are the other way around, with Hong Kong rising exponentially to 3% share, up from 0,46% last year, Switzerland is also up significantly to 1,95%, up from 0,75%, while in the Ukraine plug-ins are now at 1% share, up from virtually...Zero last year.

1 comment:

  1. 'sales' numbers for The Netherlands are actually registrations, and that counts for most countries I guess. Given the time between the sale and the delivery of the vehicle. it is impossible to see any market reaction in September.

    And remember that the sales numbers for PHEV's will be distorted due to the weakening of incentives for PHEV's by year-end in The Netherlands. I assume this will affect the whole of Europe as all available production for these last months will go to NL.