Monday, January 29, 2018

2017 Global Sales by OEM

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The Global December sales post is coming soon, but taking on a reader suggestion, i've decided to post this Top 10 ranking by Automotive Group, the 2017 edition was truly exciting to see unfold, with several OEMs separated by what can only be described as split hairs, which bodes well for the dynamics of the market, with no one truly owning the market. And that's how i like it: "Diversity breeds Competition, Competition breeds Improvement".

Here are the 10 Best Selling OEMs of 2017:

1. Renault-Nissan Alliance (119.195 units)

The addition of Mitsubishi to the lineup masked a soft selling year, mostly due to the sunset-mode of the Nissan Leaf, but with its new version arriving soon, expect The Alliance to continue prospering throughout 2018. reaching between 200k to 250k units in 2018.

2. BYD Group (113.949)

Despite a struggling start, BYD got their act together and even managed to surpass their chronic production constraints, growing 14% regarding 2016. Growth is expected to continue in 2018, but with (even) more aggressive OEMs coming right behind it, it could have its podium place in danger this year...

3. BAIC Group (104.536)

The surprise of the year. Thanks to the EC-Series, the 2017 Best Selling EV, Beijing Auto, which includes Changhe Auto, became the Third largest OEM in the plug-in world, and if we limit just to BEVs, it is the Biggest, overcoming Tesla and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. How high can it go this year? Even it the 2017 growth rate (+126%) is not possible to repeat, i guess 170k units will be a reasonable target for BAIC to beat.

4. Geely Group (103.194)

The Chinese juggernaut, known to have almost as many brands as the Volkswagen Group, profited from the general growth of their plug-in offer (Zhidou, Geely, Volvo, etc...) to post a surprising result of over 103.000 units. With yet another brand addition to the lineup in 2018, with the recent, and irreverent, Lynk & Co starting to make their own PEVs, Geely is set to continue on the growth path throughout 2018.

5. Tesla (103.122)

Despite what some fanboys dream, the American brand is not (yet, at least) taking over the EV world, in fact in 2017 its growth rate (36%) was below what the global PEV market (+58%) had, so in fact, Tesla lost share last year...Expect things to change radically in 2018, with the Model 3 ramp up, with the brand deliveries expected to reach some 250k units by year end, which, it should be said, is no garantee to earn its first Best Selling Maker award, as other OEMs (Read: Chinese ones) are also stepping up dramatically. 

6. BMW Group (103.080)

In a very German way, the Luxury maker said previously it was going to reach 100.000 in 2017, and so it did, making it the Best performing legacy OEM by far. Sure, most are short-range PHEVs, but neverthless, they count here and they helped to Place BMW as the last of the "Big 6" plug-in makers of 2017. With a target of 150.000 PEVs set for 2018, count them in to reach such number, with some units to spare.

7. Volkswagen Group (70.314)

The Volkswagen Group was the Best Seller of the laggards Group B, with 70.000 units, currently struggling with shortage supply of batteries for some models (VW e-Golf, Porsche Panamera PHEV...), and not enough love regarding some other models (VW e-Up!), apart from the e-Golf (30 k in 2018?), do not expect significant growth coming from here, as their eyes are all set in 2019.

8. SAIC Group (56.149)

The smallest of the Chinese "Big 4", it has nevertheless great prostpects for 2018, not only because of the potential of the Wuling E100 (This model alone can reach some 60k in 2018), but Roewe will continue to grow, and with the addition of MG to the plug-in lineup, sales can only go up, maybe even surpassing the 150k of BMW...

9. General Motors (55.188)

It might come as shock to many of the readers, maybe in the same degree as seeing Tesla only in Fifth, but the #9 spot of General Motors is simply explained: Bad management. By concentrating their efforts in North America, they are letting go of the two largest engines of growth, the first is by far China, where they have two models (Buick Velite/Volt & Cadillac CT6 PHEV) with the wrong kind of technology (China is BEV-friendly), both selling poorly, while they have a possible winner (Bolt) still slowly ramping up production in their US factory after more than a year on the market. Which leads us to to the Second Engine of growth (Europe), where GM was greedy while negotiating  the Opel sell to PSA, effectively ending the Ampera-e (Bolt) career in Europe. Actually, the current GM management is akin to the current USA goverment: "America First". The problem for them, is that the America global relevance is getting smaller and smaller every passing day and the world will go on, regardless of what happens there. (And why did i remembered the UK's Brexit?) 

10. Toyota (50.883)

Another surprise, just one model, a plug-in hybrid no less, allows Toyota to close this Top 10, ahead of heavyweights like Hyundai-Kia (41k), or Daimler-Mercedes (37k). Caught on the Fuel Cell delusion, Toyota efectivelly lost the upper-hand it had for years with the hybrid game, and only now is trying to get in the next generation (PEV) game. But do not rule them out, with millions of happy customers running around in their hybrids, their base will be a huge plus point, once they are back in The Game. If they reached #10 with only one model, image what they can do with two or three more...


  1. I would love to see Japan's December sales...

    1. The good news: It will come.

      the bad news: It will take a few days (Early Frebruary) to be published.

  2. Thanks for the very interesting post !!

    I still hope Tesla will reach 350k or more.

    I'm hoping for a (roughly) doubling of global sales, to about 2.4m.
    Is it possible from a battery manufacturing capacity point of view?

    Considering China on one side and the Rest of the World on another, I think the doubling in China is a possibility.
    Rest of the World... I think it will depend a lot on Model 3 ramp up, and whether it will be enough to compensate for those automakers that will less than double their sales.

    Can't wait to see how 2018 will unfold...

    Thanks again, Jose !

    1. Thanks Alok, doubling PEV sales will be hard, as it will depend on a number of factors (China, Batteries shortages, Model 3 ramp up...), but not impossible.

      One thing is certain, growth will step up the pace.

    2. Very interesting post indeed, thank you. Geely did surprise me, I did not expect them to be up there.

      Daimler-Mercedes was a surprise too being that far down. They have so many plug-in models but no real top sellers to make it into volumes obviously.

    3. Battery shortages might be a bottle neck but I still believe its possible to double this years result.
      When we look at the December 2017 sales, it was at around 170k units. Extrapolated on 2018 this will make 2.0 million units. But if we assume that the monthly output will increase throughout the year (New Leaf, Model 3, Chinese manufacturers etc.) maybe it ends up reaching the 2.4 million in total

    4. Nissan said it will produce 3 times more new Leafs than over the last years. Model 3 production didn't even really start in 2017, but I expect a lot from 2018. Volkswagen will double E-golf production and Hyundai will introduce the Kona EV and double the production of the Ioniq EV. Thousands of Volvo and Crysler plug-ins sold to Waymo and Uber. And than I only have to begin with the Chinese companies, which can scale up much faster.

  3. Long range BEVs that are forcing VW Group,Daimler Benz,BMW,Toyota, and Ford to invest billions of dollars,euros,and trillions of yens in large scale BEV manufacture instead of ICEv AND inspiring a ~dozen or so serious BEV startups....

    Tesla 103k Rest of World 25k

    Only a Tesla hater refuses to see what is so obvious.

    1. I agree, kudos to Tesla for increasing the pace of the EV Revolution!

  4. Correct me if I'm wrong, because the Chinese car market is mighty confusing to an outsider. Specifically the partnerships that foreign automakers have to make with Chinese brands. But I have read articles on Green Car Reports and Reuters (and other sources) that GM and their Chinese partners produce and sell the E100.

    "GM produces vehicles in China through a joint venture with SAIC, the country’s largest automaker, as well as a three-way tie-up with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, formerly known as Wuling Motors.
    Tsien said GM is off to a good start with an electric battery car that it launched in July. The car, called the Baojun E100, is undergoing a feasibility study of a direct-sale method GM devised for it and is currently available only in the south China city of Liuzhou where GM’s three-way joint venture produces them.
    In October, GM sold a total of 1,724 E100s, with cumulative volume hitting nearly 4,000 units since July. The E100 starts at 93,900 yuan ($14,142) but sells for 35,800 yuan after government purchase subsidies." - From Reuters

    "However, Japan-owned Panasonic, like South Korea-owned battery cell makers LG and Samsung, has not been approved for the same government subsidies that China gives indigenous battery cell makers. That could mean higher costs for Tesla." - From LA Times

    The unique partnership situation and china's restrictions on foreign made battery sourcing seems to be a sticking point. If they cannot obtain the government subsidies due to the deeply rooted LG-GM partnership, launching the flagship Bolt EV there becomes difficult.

    China's refusal to LG Chem batteries for obtaining subsidies is probably why last summer GM announced they were building a battery factory in China. And in the mean time, launching a BEV with one of their Chinese partners was the best route.

  5. Good analisys, the E100 is effectively a "Two parents" car, with both SAIC and GM sharing the paternity of the car.

    But because i had to decide which would "keep it" in the tally, i believe SAIC had more input in it.

    And thanks for the Bolt vs China explanation, it makes sense. Thing is, they have to launch something competitive there if they want to stay in the race.

  6. NathanaelJune 23, 2018

    I do not see Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi sales growing that fast in 2018. They've operated at slow growth rates all along. I'll be interested to see BAIC and BYD sales growth; I think it'll be either BAIC, BYD, or Tesla in the lead position for 2018.