Friday, December 21, 2018

China November 2018

Resultado de imagem para byd tang and yuan
BYD Tang: Getting easier on the eye every passing day…

6,3% PEV Share!

After two record-breaking months (September with 105k and October, 120k), plugins in November just kept on pushing forward, by registering over 140,000 units, up 59% YoY, with the previous record being beaten by a significant margin (18%).

If we extrapolate December, sales could peak at some 155,000 units, with the 2018 sales surpassing the 1 million units mark. In one year. And to think that 2017 was the first year that plugins reached 1 million sales, GLOBALLY. Woah.

With all this continued growth, and the recent decline of the mainstream market (-14% in November), the PEV share hit another all-time best, ending the month with 6.3%, while the 2018 share rose to 3.8% share, a new record and well above the 2.1% of 2017, with sales expected to continue growing until December, the 2018 PEV share could end North of 4%, with the December possibly reaching surpassing 7%.

If this growth rate continues throughout 2019, in a year from now we should be talking about shares above 10%, and that’s when things start to get interesting…

With symbolic export numbers, the domestic market is more than enough to absorb the current Chinese production, and most foreign OEMs only now are starting to tackle the current seismic changes, dragged into electrification by the upcoming PEV quotas, resulting in the foreign brands total share still being stuck at 6%.

Of this (small) cake, 2% belong to BMW, the Best-Selling foreign brand, and 2% to Tesla, with the remaining manufacturers sharing the final 2%.

In November, the headlining news were the BYD Dynamic Duo (Tang and Yuan) continued Rise and Rise, with the first nameplate joining the Top 10.

Here’s November Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:

 Resultado de imagem para baic ec3

#1 – BAIC EC-Series: After the record 20,648 units of October, BAIC’s small EV returned to more normal performances, with 14,205 units being delivered last month. With almost twice as much registrations as the #2 BYD Qin in 2018, the EC-Series continues to disrupt the Chinese market, replicating what the Tesla Model 3 is doing in the USA. The revised design and improved specs (new 30 kWh battery) allowed the EC-Series to remain a popular choice in the Chinese Mega-Cities, also helped by a competitive price ($25,000, before subsidies).

 Resultado de imagem para 2018 BYD Tang PHEV white

#2 – BYD Tang PHEV: After seven months on the market, the second-generation Tang continues to expand sales, registering a record 6,405 registrations. Sales should continue strong for BYD’s successful flagship, and new record sales could still be achieved in the future, although the upcoming BEV Tang could steal sales from it. As for the current Tang PHEV specs, BYD’s Sports SUV saw the battery grow to 24 kWh, originating an increased 100 kms range / 62 mi NEDC (around 70 kms / 44 mi real world), while on the power department, things stayed the same, with some 500 hp and 0-100 kms/h in less than 5 secs. All for CNY 279,800 / $40,816.

 Resultado de imagem para white 2018 BYD Yuan EV

#3 – BYD Yuan EV: We all knew that BYD’s new Baby Crossover was destined for success, and with a record 6,188 deliveries in November, BYD’s new baby is living up to expectations. Will the Yuan be the fiercest competitor in 2019 to the all-conquering BAIC EC-Series? With a 40,000 waiting list, demand is no problem, I guess it will depend more on BYD’s ability/willingness to make them in large volumes (The Tang is more profitable…), than actual demand, sitting on a sparsely populated part of the market (small BEV crossovers), and with unrivalled specs (42 kWh battery, 305 kms/190 mi NEDC range, 174 hp motor), and price (25,000 USD), BYD might have found in this new model its star player, crowning what it is already a strong lineup.

 Resultado de imagem para 2018 BYD e5

#4 – BYD e5: BYD’s bread and butter electric sedan, a favorite among taxi-drivers, registered a record 5,573 units in November, and yet, this performance was overshadowed by the stars Tang and Yuan. This Andre Iguodala (Who?) of the BYD lineup, has some strong specs (61 kWh, 405 kms range NEDC, 218 hp), for a competitive price (CNY 220,650 / USD 34,600). Unfortunately, the basic design makes it a bit of an unsung hero in the BYD stable, next to the Tangs, Qins, Songs and Yuans...

 Resultado de imagem para 2018 Baojun E100

#5 – Baojun E100: Shanghai Auto and General Motors had high hopes for their tiny two-seater, and despite an irregular career, it is finally starting to make an impact on the Chinese plug-in market, having registered 5,155 units last month, a year best. With an updated range in 2018 (250 kms NEDC), thanks to a new 24 kWh battery, its price (CNY 93,900 / USD 14,700) before subsidies, is quite alluring, especially considering its modern design and features.

Resultado de imagem para Dongfeng Junfeng Skio
Junfeng Skio: Dongfeng's "EC-Series"

2018 ranking

In a record month, there were plenty of models shining, besides the aforementioned records mentioned in the Top 5 Sellers, the #19 Hawtai xEV compact SUV registered a record 3,257 units, while the #20 Dongfeng Junfeng Skio, a new face in this Top 20, scored 4,142 units, not only a new record for Dongfeng’s subcompact car, but also for any of the maker EV nameplates.

There were also some significant changes in the ranking, the Chery eQ climbed to #5, while BYD’s star models, the Tang and Yuan, continue their never ending rise, with the midsize SUV jumping three positions, to #8, signaling the Tang return to the Top 10, while the subcompact electric crossover Yuan did even better, shooting up four spots, to #11, while it prepares itself to join the Top 10 in December, making 5(!) BYD’s in the Top 10...

That’s what’s impressive about BYD, unlike others, that are dependent from their star player performance (see LeBron James at the Cavs), BYD has a constellation in its lineup, replicating the success formula of the Golden State Warriors in the EV universe. And with looong waiting lists, the Yuan alone has 40,000 reservations, the 400,000 units target that the company has for 2019 seems quite feasible.   

Outside the Top 20, there’s much to talk about, the BMW 530e continues to amaze, having scored yet another record performance, with 2,649 units, with the German sedan being not only the bestselling plugin of its category, but also the best performing foreign model, in #22.

But in November the BMW model had a tough race for the Best-Selling Foreign Model title, as the Nissan Sylphy EV started to fire on all cylinders charge up at full speed, with 2,400 units being registered, so December should be an entertaining race between both models, unless…

Unless the recently arrived Volkswagens steal the show.

The midsize VW Passat PHEV sedan landed with a bang, scoring 1,513 units in its debut month, the best arrival for a foreign nameplate ever, while the compact SUV Tiguan PHEV also scored a not negligible 618 units, so November signaled Volkswagen’s real arrival to this market, and considering the German brand is the most popular maker in the country, expect it to be a major player soon.

Elsewhere, the Nio ES8 continues with its gradual ramp up (3,089 registrations last month), being once again the Best-Selling Luxury SUV last month, allowing the new startup SUV to remove the Tesla Model X from the yearly category leadership.

With the new ES6 midsize SUV said to start deliveries by mid-2019, the Chinese startup is making the best use of the short time it has to grow and win scale, before the Big Boys land with their dedicated BEVs.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (20%) is a comfortable leader, thanks to the new Tang and Yuan, while the runner-up BAIC (15%), is finally profiting from the EC-Series sales infusion to retain share, and in Third Place, the Shanghai-based Roewe (7%) had a horrible month, with only 6,700 deliveries, its worst result since February, allowing Chery (6% share) to come closer, now with hopes to reach the podium, which would be the first time that Chery would win a medal since 2014.


  1. Jose,

    The majority of PHEV sales in China in 2018 are concentrated with just brands: BYD and SAIC Roewe. At least for the part of PHEV sales in China that we see in the top 20 list.

    BYD: more than 107,000
    SAIC Roewe: more than 54,000

    Can you tell us what the total number of PHEV sales in China is (in the first 11 months of 2018)?

    And which PHEV models are there outside the top 20 list (like the BMW 530e)?


    1. In total, there are some 235.000 units and the main players outside thew Top 20, besides the BMW 530e, are the BMW X1 PHEV (8k), Geely Borui GE PHEV (10k) and GAC Trumpchi GS4 EREV (9k)

  2. Great news! The oil market is waking up to the fact that this fuel will no longer run the show rather sooner than later.
    Thanks for your awesome work on keeping us informed, Jose!

  3. Jose,

    The 235,000 PHEV's out of the YTD total 920,000 means that the PHEV share in China in 2018 is 25.54%.

    The Chinese Government has made the regulations for incentives for Plug-Ins tighter than before (in favor of long range BEV's).

    That means that the share of PHEV's should decline in 2019, as the total number of Plug-In sales in China in 2019 is going to increase substantially (as a result of the 10% quota regulation in 2019).

    But still, the absolute number of total annual PHEV sales in China in 2019 will still be higher than the total annual PHEV sales number in China in 2018.

    What is your opinion about this?


    1. I think BEVs will continue to be the dominant force, but i believe a series of PHEVs coming from foreign brands is about to land next year, because of the NEV quotas, what is open to discussion is how successful they will be...

  4. With 45% of sales in the "other" category, the Chinese market is far more varied than other markets. You have the complete list on your subscription website?
    The dominance of BEV over PHEV is also noteworthy. Will changing rules for incentives make those BEV less popular?

    1. Yes, EV Volumes covers dozens of PEV markets across the world, including the 100-plus PEV models in China.

      If you are interested in knowing more, please send me an email (

  5. Maarten VinkhuyzenDecember 21, 2018

    With the experience Nissan got with the Sylphy ZE (Chinese Sentra), they should do the same with the Nissan Sentra in the USA. I think the upsides are much larger than the risk of hurting the models reputation.

    1. True. Maybe in late 2019 there will be some news on this topic...

  6. Maarten VinkhuyzenDecember 21, 2018

    Do you have any more info on JMC, the new partner of Renault? Is it an up and coming brand, or a brand that needs the support and know-how of Renault? I the 'significant' participation over 5%, or really significant like being consolidated in the Renault numbers?

    With the time these deals take in preparation, it is a nice coup for Ghosn from prison.

    1. JMC is a small brand (Currently has 3% share), specialized in small cars (E100; E160; E200), and now is venturing into (slightly) larger formats (E300; E400).

      I think it has an Ukranian arm (Bio Auto), too.

      Renault know-how would help it to distance itself from its current "also ran" status and make it a leader in the small EV category.

      Uncoincidentally, Renault is developing the Kwid EV city EV, so i guess it would make sense to have local input from JMC, someone that knows how to make successful small EVs in China.

      I wouldn't be surprised if JMC also had their own version of the Kwid EV.

    2. Ukrainian arm?) On its website Bio Auto says that it is official importer of "BIO Automotive Co."'s products

      And models are called differently -

  7. How did Tesla do in November?

    1. Miserably. As in, barely reaching three digits.

    2. How do you reconcile that with saying they got 2% of 140k? Why not give the percentage more accurately?

  8. Jose,

    The number of Plug-In models that are being sold in China is enormous.

    And the total number of annual sales of Plug-In models in China is increasing substantially every year.

    The annual total number of Plug-In sales in China in 2019 will be more than 1.5 million, and perhaps even very close to 2 million.

    That makes China very special (in absolute numbers).

    Could you therefore consider to make an exception in the case of China, and publish a longer list of the most popular Plug-In models in China? Meaning a top 40 instead of a top 20? Starting in January 2019.


    1. Sorry, i will keep it Top 20. As it is, it's already the post that takes longer to make, a Top 40 would be even more hour-consuming.

    2. Jose,

      Would you appreciate it if you would get some assistance in all the work that you have to do in order to update and publish all the posts that you make?


    3. Depends on the assistance. send me an email: