Saturday, March 30, 2019

Global Top 20 - February 2019

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Models: Tesla Model 3 back at #1 in slowing market

After an amazing January, registrations slowed down significantly, growing just 31%  YoY in February, to over 110.000 units. 

It is important to signal that last month, registrations were above 100.000 units, and because the first two months of the year are historically the two slowest selling of each year, if both stayed above the 100k mark, it will mean that from now on, we will see always six-figure performances. And to think the first time that the global market surpassed the 100k in one month was little more than two years ago (December 2016)... 

BEVs grew faster than the plugin average, at 55% YoY, allowing them to no have 70% of the market (71% YTD), while the Global PEV share slowed down from last month result of 1.9%, to only 1.4%, with the 2019 result now at 1.7%. 

With March promising to be a record-breaking month in several markets, it looks like a global 2%-plus score can be achieved next month.

With the Chinese EV market slowing down significantly in February (holiday season, over there), the assault made in January was reversed last month, not only the Tesla Model 3 recovered its natural place (leadership), dropping the BYD Yuan EV to 2nd Place, but most Chinese models lost positions, with only three  of them improving positions (BYD Tang PHEV climbed one position to #4, Chery eQ was up two spots to #8, while the Geely Emgrand EV jumped to #9).

With this downfall in Chinese EVs, Legacy OEM plugins had the opportunity to recover positions, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV leading the charge, in #6, while its Automotive Group team mate Renault Zoe was up two spots, to #7, while its arch-rival BMW i3 also rised, to #12.  

The Hyundai Kona continues to climb the ranking, now at #14, and should rise even further as the year develops.

As for the remaining ranking, it is rather surprising to see the VW e-Golf showing up in #16, and it will be interesting to see how long does it stay in the Top 20, especially once the upcoming ID hatchback becomes closer to reality. 

Finally, a mention to two re-entries, after a horrible January, the Tesla Model X returned to the company of the Best Sellers, while the BMW 530e also joined the Top 20, managing this year to outsell the Tesla Model S and thus become the temporary Best Selling full size car on the PEV ranking.

Tesla's flagship is really needing a refresh...And above all, a price-competitive version!

Manufacturers: Tesla climbs to #2

February saw Tesla climb to Second Place, but the leader BYD is still too far off (or is it?) for the Californian company to race it for the leadership in March, so we should see an entertaining Q2 '19 race between these two. 

In the race for the 3rd spot, SAIC is ahead of the competition, but lost some edge over the competition, with Nissan, BMW and Geely cutting (a tad) the distance to the Shanghai maker, and with all three having aces up their sleeves for the coming months, we should see an interesting race for Bronze.

Looking elsewhere, three manufacturers took this month to jump positions, with both Mitsubishi and Volvo joining the Top 10, while Kia was up six positions, to #13, profiting from the popularity of the Niro EV.

BAIC continues tumbling down, now dropping to #11, with rumours saying that they are experiencing problems at their plants, thus preventing them to fulfill orders.

At the bottom of the ranking, we see two old faces rejoining the Top 20, with Toyota jumping to #19 (the Chinese Corolla PHEV is already doing wonders…), while Chevrolet is now #20, although the question is...For how long?

Friday, March 29, 2019

Europe February 2019

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Tesla Model 3 #1 in February

The European passenger plug-in market registered almost 33,000 registrations in February, growing 36% regarding the same period last year, a good performance considering the stagnating mainstream market (-1% YoY), but the changes run deeper than that, because we are witnessing the fall from grace of PHEVs, which have been experiencing consecutive losses since the new WLTP-rules enforcement (last month they were down 3% YoY), while on the other hand, BEVs have been flourishing, in February all-electrics jumped 75% YoY, to over 21,000 deliveries, having been responsible for 65% of all plugin sales last month, with the EV share growing slightly month-on-month, to 1.8%, adding PHEVs to the tally, the share jumps to 2.8%, already above the 2.5% result of 2018.

And with the Tesla Model 3 having its first full deliveries month in March, expect to hear about a record month in a few weeks…

The big news in February top positions was of course the Tesla Model 3 landing with a bang, and jumping right up to the leadership, but unlike what has happened (and is happening) in the USA, the blackhole effect of the Tesla Model 3 is not absorbing sales from other BEVs (well, maybe the Model S is the exception), but from directly competing PHEVs and ICE models.

Proof of this is the fact that all the remaining Top 5 Best Sellers in February had 20%-plus growth rates, which is good news, as it is better to have a Tesla tide lifting all boats, than only their own…

Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:

#1 Tesla Model 3 – After years of impatient waiting, the poster-child for electromobility has finally crossed the Atlantic, and a few lucky European drivers got their hands on the coveted model. While 3,757 deliveries might sound more than a few, the fact is that this number will seem small a year from now, when tens (hundred?) of thousands were already delivered in the Old Continent. Before the announced all records-breaking month of March, where several markets will be flooded with Model 3’s, February saw the Tesla midsize sedan being delivered mainly in Germany (959 units), Norway (791), Netherlands (472) and France (401).

#2 Renault Zoe – The 3,029 deliveries in February signaled a steady growth for the French hatchback, with deliveries up 21% YoY, as we are now witnessing the real, organic, demand for the current generation, although this shouldn’t last long, as the much improved “new” Zoe (50-60 kWh battery, driving aids, lower price…), and the Peugeot 208 EV announcement, should start to dampen sales of the current generation quite soon. As for market individual performances, the Zoe continues as popular as ever in its domestic market (1,197 units), and there also were positive numbers in Germany (782 units), Norway (208), and Sweden (236).

#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – Indifferent to the current doom and gloom of plugin hybrids, and being the only PHEV able to follow the pace of the Best Selling BEVs, the Japanese SUV had 2,754 registrations in February (up 145%), with the Mitsubishi model continuing to be popular in Scandinavia (496 units in Sweden, 550 in Norway), but also in Germany (544 units, new record), the UK and France, with both registering 200-plus performances. This case study of a PHEV succeeding in a BEV-friendly environment, should have to do with its unique mix of utility, space, decent electric range (including Chademo fast-charging) and affordability. On the long run, one wonders how long the Outlander PHEV will resist to the BEV model counter strike, although, with no direct BEV competitor in the short term, the Mitsubishi model could still rack up sales this year, without major worries.


#4 Nissan Leaf – Europe’s 2018 Best Seller was 4th in February, with 2,683 units, up 67% YoY, a consistent performance, although the first signs that buyers are already waiting for the 62 kWh version should start as soon as next month, considering the new version will be available across the Continent in in the beginning of the summer. The main markets were Norway (508 deliveries), France (326), Germany (302) and The Netherlands (311).

#5 BMW i3 – The German Stormtrooper Hatchback sales were up 36% in February, to 2,204 units, with the BMW pocket rocket benefitting from the age-old formula “bigger battery = bigger sales”. Looking at individual countries, Germany (694 units) was the main market, with Norway (396), The Netherlands (180) and France (212), also helping greatly the BMW nameplate. Looking into 2019, expect deliveries to remain relatively stable in the coming months, as the Tesla Model 3 could steal some growth potential to it, but it won’t be enough to put its sales in the red.

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Looking at the 2019 ranking, the main news was the Tesla Model 3 jumping out of nowhere to 7th, as it prepares itself to jump into the leadership in March, with a five-digit performance (in 3 countries alone, Norway, Netherlands and Germany, it should get some 8,000 units in total).

But is wasn’t just the Model 3 to join the Top 20 in February, as the Jaguar i-Pace finally jumped into the Best Sellers list, in #15, making it 11 BEVs in the Top 20, being the first time since 2015 that the blue team has the majority of seats in the ranking.

Another recent model to climb positions was the Kia Niro EV, up two positions, to #13, thanks to 1,023 units, a new personal best for the Korean crossover that, given enough batteries, could climb to a Top 10 spot.

Outside the Top 20, we should notice the good start of the new generation Volvo V60 PHEV, that with 486 registrations last month, it was the nameplates best score in over a year. Will we see the Swedish station wagon in the Top 20 soon?

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the race is tight, with last year winner BMW (13%, down 1%) in the lead, followed by Hyundai, Nissan and Renault, all with 10% share, while Tesla, Mitsubishi and Volvo are not far behind, all with 8%.

Next month the standings should be just a little bit different... 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Norway February 2019 (updated)

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Tesla Model 3 is the new King (Norway Edition)

Despite the PHEV slump (-28%), BEVs (+105%) pushed plugins upwards (+30%) in February, to 5.889 units, leading to large BEV (41%) and PEV (53%) shares, but the really interesting news should happen next month, with the Tesla Model 3 deliveries going through the roof in March, expect an outlandish market share in the last month of the quarter (do i hear over 80% market share?), mostly thanks to the current Tesla Tide

In this context, we should see Norway get some 70% PEV share this year, with peak months possibly reaching 90%. 

The fuels mix is showing BEVs well above everyone else (41%), while every other fuel (gasoline, diesel, PHEVs and HEVs) are suffering two-digit sales drops. So, this is what disruption looks like... looks like BEVs sucking sales from everyone else, like if it was a black hole.

Looking at last month Top Sellers, one can say that the Tesla Model 3 started its reign as King of Norway, winning its first Best Seller of the Month award, with 791 units, being followed by the #2 VW e-Golf and the #3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, that had 550 deliveries, and is currently the only plug-in hybrid selling in significant volumes. Maybe because it is one of the few PHEVs that does not have a strong direct competitor on the BEV field? 

(But beware Mitsubishi, the Tesla Model Y is coming...So hurry up with the BEV Outlander, Mitsu)

Outside the podium, there were plenty of BEV "Young Turks" shining, with the two most relevant being the Hyundai Kona EV (414 units, new personal best) and the Jaguar i-Pace (391).

Looking at the 2019 ranking, we have a new leader, with the VW e-Golf removing the Nissan Leaf from #1, although the German hatchback won't have the time to savour it for a long time, as the Tesla Model 3 tsunami will steal the Top Dog spot for the reamining of the year.

Elsewhere, a new wave of BEVs are stealing the show, besides the the soon-to-be-leader Tesla Model 3 shooting to #5, the Jaguar i-Pace jumped 6 spots to #8, while the Kia Niro EV joined the Top 20, in #15, and the Audi e-Tron did the same, in #18. 

In the midst of the BEV takeover, one of the few PHEVs to escape the doom and gloom of its category was the Volvo XC90 PHEV, that was up three positions, to #19, thanks to 108 registrations. How do people say? The exception...

Interestingly, the 3 new additions to the ranking in February (Model 3, Niro EV and e-Tron), were all long range BEVs, which says a lot on where the market is going…

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen is the new leader (16%, down 1%), now being followed by the previous leader BMW (15%, down 3%), while Tesla (12%) is rapidly getting closer to the front of the race, as is prepares to run away from anyone else next month.

I guess only Volkswagen will have a shot at displacing Tesla from the lead in the future, but only in 2020, and assuming the ID hatchback production ramp up goes smoothly.

Hard times for the competition…

Models breakdown by Fuel Source

With the PEV share at 53%, the plug-in market continues to merge with the mainstream, breaking down sales by fuel source, we have 7 BEVs in the Top 10, followed by only 1 PHEV (Mitsu Outlander PHEV, in #3), and 2 HEVs (Toyota's RAV4 and Yaris), but the telling story is that the Best Selling HEV was only #8.

Off-topic, Volkswagen, when will we see the Tiguan GTE land in European shores, and when will the T-Roc have a GTE version?

With the Best Selling HEV only #8, will we see a 100% plug-in Top 10 soon? Let's month? 

And now a warning for other brands with no short term plugin plans: The Top 7 PEV models were also each brands mainstream Best Seller in Norway, which is like saying: "Go PEV, or go home"