Friday, August 16, 2019

China July 2019

Resultado de imagem para gac aion s
GAC Aion S: the new cool kid in China

After the (subsidy) storm  

After an end-of-incentives derived surge in June, July saw the expected hangover, with the Chinese plugin market dropping 7% YoY, and the 70,000 units of last month representing less than half of the deliveries of the previous month, with PHEVs sinking 22% YoY in July, their worst drop in over two years, while amazingly, BEVs still managed to grow, if only by 1%, despite the gloom around it (the overall market also dropped 4%).

In the midst of this adverse environment, July’s PEV share reached 4.6%, dropping the 2019 PEV market share by 0.2% share, to 6.1%, which is still well above the 2018 result (4.2%), and depending on how fast the market recovers, it could still be on target to reach my forecast of 8% for 2019.

The reason for this drop lies on the subsidy changes that happened on June, 26, when NEV subsidies were cut off completely for vehicles with less than 250 kms electric range, while those with higher range saw their subsidies halved, which made some models to peak in June.

From now on, we should see a less subsidy dependent market, with several models unable to compensate the subsidy loss, while others will continue thriving, as we are starting to this month.

This is just another factor adding up to the reasons on why China is without doubt the most fascinating and fast evolving plugin market on Earth, with several changes happening at the same time, be it foreign OEMs trying to get a piece of the NEV cake / avoid fines imposed the new quota system, local makers scaling up production with a never ending slew of ever more competitive models, or the run for survival of the several startups on the market.

As expected, this month was filled with surprises, with several models drying up their output, while others continued their career as nothing had happened.

In July, the most important surprise in the models ranking came in #3, with the SAIC-GM offspring Baojun E-Series scoring an amazing 6,328 units, while the #4 GAC Aion S and #5 BMW 530Le also shined.

Here’s last month Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:

Resultado de imagem para baic eu-series
#1 – BAIC EU-Series: The electric sedan scored 8,937 units last month, with deliveries dropping by half regarding June, but the good thing is that orders kept coming in, and things should only improve from now on, this confirming to be the brand’s right bet for 2019. The design and specs (215 hp, 416 kms / 260 mi NEDC, US $32,500) allows it to remain a popular choice, but with the competition tightening every passing month, BAIC will have a tough job ahead of it, if it wants to keep leading the pack.

Resultado de imagem para byd yuan ev 500
#2 – BYD Yuan / S2 EV: To counterbalance the subsidy cut, BYD launched a basic version of the Yuan EV, called the S2, with a less powerful electric motor (only 70 kW / 93 hp) and a smaller battery (41 kWh), allowing it to keep the 6,000-something monthly results. With the brand prioritizing BEVs, battery demand is increasing faster than before, so higher priced models (Tang, Song, Qin, etc) have the priority over the Yuan, making it hard for the crossover to surpass the regular 6,400 units of July. The Yuan EV has unrivalled specs (58 kWh battery, 410 kms/255 mi NEDC range, 163 hp motor), given its price (25,000 USD), while the S2 version, some 2,000 USD cheaper, will appeal to the more cash-strapped customers.

Resultado de imagem para Baojun E200
#3 – Baojun E-Series: Shanghai Auto and General Motors had high hopes for their tiny two-seater, and despite an irregular career, the last evolution of the tiny two-seater, the E200, which has been recently updated with a 250 kms NEDC range version, reached the podium for the first time since January, having registered 6,328 units last month. The updated range, thanks to a new 24 kWh battery, is a crucial tool to reach the subsidy minimum range requirement, which added to its competitive price (CNY 93,900 / USD 14,700) before subsidies, makes it an appealing model, especially considering its modern design and features, and the fact that most of its competitors lost the access to subsidies. Maybe GM could consider exporting it?

Resultado de imagem para gac aion s
#4 – GAC Aion S: Just a couple of months ago I was mentioning the big potential of this recently landed model, saying it could reach a 10,000 units/month pace this year. And it sure looks like it will, because in only its third month in the market, the sleek sedan is already at 3,406 units, reaching the 4th place in July. Another sedan inspired by the Tesla Model 3 formula, GAC has high hopes for its new dedicated EV lineup, the Aion. Right now we have the sedan Aion S, but a midsize SUV, the LX, will soon follow. But back at the Aion S, beyond the stylish (and aerodynamic - 0.245cd) looks, this new model bears some impressive specs: a 59 kWh CATL NCM 811 battery, 510 km / 318 mi NEDC range and Level 2 driving aids, but the real killer is the price: Around 180,000 CNY / $26,000. Before subsidies. Like Kanye West would say: “Now, I ain’t sayin’ it’s a Tesla-killer / But the Aion is messin’ with the Best Sellers…”

Resultado de imagem para 2019 BMW 530Le
#5 – BMW 530Le: The rise and rise of BMW’s luxury sedan in China demonstrates two intersecting trends, first the never-ending increase in demand for environmentally-friendly vehicles in China, and second the need to fulfill the plugin quotas. Add the two together, and you have 2,752 units results, even without access to subsidies (then again, let’s face it, subsidies for cars at this price level don’t really make that much of a difference, the owners just use the money for some nicer alloys or optional creature comforts…), so the leader in the Luxury category should remain selling at some 2,500 units per month, which is well above its direct competitors, that are happy to reach 1,000 units in one month.

Resultado de imagem para 2019 BAIC EC3
Hey?!? Remember me? The EC-Series? I'm back!...

2019 ranking

The market is dynamic as ever, with plenty to talk about, this time the main reason for changes were the subsidy derived deliveries dry up of some models, some of them being completely unexpected.

We’ll start with the most important position change, with the BYD Tang PHEV displacing its sibling, the BYD e5, from the podium, with the sedan model seeing its deliveries almost disappear with the subsidy cut. This was one of the most surprising slumps, but considering the e5 sales are directed towards price-sensitive customers, like taxi fleets, one can understand it.

The question now is, what will BYD do about it? Let’s not forget, the e5 is the workhorse that supports the brand, so that the fancier Dynasty models (Tang, Song, Qin and Yuan) can shine.

On the other hand, the most surprising good result came from the Baojun E-Series, that jumped three positions, to #7, profiting from the fact that is one of the few (the only?) small two-seater city EV that fulfills the minimum range requirements (250 kms NEDC) to keep subsidies coming in.

Because there is a steady demand in big cities for this kind of vehicles, not only from private buyers, but also by car-sharing companies, expect the E-Series to continue thriving, at least until the competitors launch updated versions of their own city EVs.

In the second half of the table, BAIC is on the up, with the small EC-Series climbing one position, to #18, while the EX-Series crossover shows up for the first time this year, in #20, making it three Beijing Auto models in the Top 20, a first this year.

Indifferent to the subsidies cut, the BMW 530Le jumped to #14, and has the Tesla Model 3 just 449 units away, so the German model could still climb further in the next couple of months.

The race for the best-selling foreign nameplate seems to be warming up now, as the current leader VW Passat PHEV lost speed, and should be pressured soon by both the Tesla Model 3 and BMW 530Le, in what could be an interesting race to follow.

The Xpeng G3 EV, from the startup Xiaopeng, slowed slightly the pace, delivering 1,515 units last month, but it was still better than WM Motors (1,093 units) and Nio (1,502), although this last one saw the recent ES6 reach 1,066 units in July, so expect Nio to recover the Best Selling Startup title soon, thanks to the ES6 production ramp up.

Talking about production ramp ups, the much hyped GAC Aion S sedan is growing fast, having reached 3,406 units last month, putting to shame the archrival Geely Geometry A, that scored only 1,076 units, dropping 37% regarding the previous month. Although the GAC sedan is still 3,000 units below the Top 20, if the model continues to grow deliveries at this pace, it shouldn’t take long for it to show up in the ranking.

How high will the GAC sedan go? Top 10? It all depends on the speed of the production ramp up, but one thing is certain: The Aion S looks to be a strong contender for a Top 5 spot in 2020.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (23%, up 1%) is leading comfortably, thanks to the collective success of its lineup, while below it, BAIC (10%) and SAIC (8%) remain in the medal spots.

Outside the podium, Geely (6%) increased the distance to other, smaller players (Chery, JAC…), while it prepares to go after a medal position in the coming months. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Germany July 2019

Resultado de imagem para VW e-Golf 2019 deutschland
Hey! Remember me? I'm still here...

VW e-Golf #1 in July

The German PEV passenger car market continues on the right track in July, having registered 9,233 units, with BEVs (+136% YoY) pushing the market up, as PHEVs keep stuttering (+6% in July, returning YTD numbers out of the red), with all-electrics two thirds of plugin registrations, while the PEV Share was 2.8% in July, with BEVs alone hitting 1.8%, keeping the 2019 plugin share at 2.6% (1.7% BEV).

After winning the monthly Best Seller award for the last time in October, the veteran VW e-Golf managed to win last month trophy, and with a record performance to boot, as the 1,007 registrations were the first time the German EV scored a four digit performance.

It seems Volkswagen's current bread and butter plugin model still has some aces up its sleeve... 

Another German model hitting record results was the BMW i3, that scored 967 registrations, allowing it to reach Silver last month, ahead of its rival Renault Zoe, that moved 910 units, which is still an impressive performance for a model getting ready to receive significant changes. With the current one clocking regular 1.000/month performances, how high will the heavily revised Zoe go? 1,500? 2,000? Ladies and gents, please place your bets...

In 5th place we have the Audi e-Tron, that scored 530 units, its best result so far, surpassing its ICE sibling Q7 (319 units) and selling at the same pace as the other Audi mammoth, SUV, the Q8 (582). 

Will the Belgian-built Audi be able to reach the pace of the current sales leader, the BMW X5 (1,210 units last month)? One can only dream... 

VW e-Golf
BMW i3
Renault Zoe 
Mit. Outlander PHEV
 Audi e-Tron

If the top positions didn't had any changes, the leadership race became a little bit clearer, with the Renault Zoe winning precious ground over the Tesla Model 3, and assuming the generation change is done without major hiccups by Renault, the French hatchback is now favorite to renew the 2018 Models title, while the #3 BMW i3 still has a (remote) chance to aspire for the leadership.

Outside the podium we have the #4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with enough advantage over the ones behind it to start thinking about finding place in the trophy room for the Best Selling PHEV and SUV statues.

The #8 Audi e-Tron is just 6 units behind the #7 Smart Fortwo EV, and with the current mommentum, it wouldn't be surprising to see the German CUV reach #6 in a few months.

In the full-size category, the race is on between the #11 Mercedes E300e/de twins and the #10 BMW 530e, with the Merc reducing the Bimmer advantage to just 221 units, and this despite the BMW nameplate a new record performance (432 units), to what the rival responded with the second best result ever (464 units) for a plugin E-Class.

Interestingly, the performance from the 530e was just one in four(!) record results made by German nameplates (the others were the BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Audi e-Tron) last month. The Empire Strikes Back?

In the lower positions of the ranking, the Jaguar i-Pace (finally!) reached the Top 20, with the British Sports-CUV becoming the 13th BEV in the ranking, while the Porsche Panamera PHEV climbed one position, to #16.

Outside the ranking, we should highlight the Tesla Model X performance, that delivered 78 units last month, its best first-month-of-quarter performance in a year, allowing it to reduce the distance to the Top 20 to just 134 units, while the Mercedes EQC is still in launch mode, having registered 74 units last month.

In the brands ranking, BMW (20%, up 1%) is the leader, with Tesla (12%, down 1%) running for the 2nd spot, with the #3 Renault (11%, down 1%).

Outside the podium, we have Mitsubishi (9%) recovering ground to the medalists, while Volkswagen and Hyundai, both with 7% share, are still far away from the medal positions.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Denmark July 2019

Resultado de imagem para Tesla Model 3 denmark

Tesla Model 3 and the Koreans

After a memorable 2018, sales have become somewhat irregular this year, but with registrations up 82%, to 4,826 units so far, placing the 2019 PEV share at 3,5%, a significant jump regarding the 2018 score (2%).

This irregularity is connected to the current leader, the Tesla Model 3, that is known for its production constrained-related peaks, but despite this, the Tesla nameplate owns 26% of the market, with a sizeable lead over the #2 Kia Niro PHEV. I guess Tesla can order, with 5 months in advance, a Best Seller party here...

Below the Tesla Model 3 lead, we have three(!) Korean models, with 4 of the Top 6 models coming from the Hyundai-Kia ranks.

In the Manufacturers ranking, Tesla is the new king, with 28% share, while last year leader Kia is now in the runner-up spot, with 26%, while Hyundai, with 14%, is firm in the last place of the podium.

Tesla Model 3 & the ICE competition

2019 sales  
Mercedes C-Class
BMW 3-Series
Volvo S/V60
Tesla Model 3
Audi A4

One of the question marks around the Model 3 in Europe, regarded the impact that it was going to make on this side of the Atlantic, will it disrupt the PEV and ICE sedan market in the same way that it is doing in the US, or will it be more subdued, because it is playing away from home?

The answer is now being written, comparing the Model 3 with the competition, the Tesla is losing a bit of charge. dropping two positions, to #4.

Looking at the near future, the Tesla Model 3 should increase deliveries throughout the rest of 2019, now that the SR/SR+ versions are being delivered in large numbers, but the new PHEV version of the BMW 3-Series should prevent the German model from being surpassed by the Californian, so i guess Tesla should end the year in 3rd, ahead of the Volvo twins.