Thursday, May 23, 2019

China April 2019

VW Passat and Geely Emgrand shine in a cooling month 

Resultado de imagem para VW Passat PHEV China
Chinese VW Passat GTE PHEV
After a first quarter with surging sales, April saw the Chinese plugin market cool down a little, to some 100,000 registrations, up only 34% YoY, but because the mainstream market is still in the red, the April PEV share reached an amazing 6.2%, pulling the PEV market share to 5.4%, frankly above the 2018 result (4.2%).

At this pace, this market could reach some 7% share by the end of this year, and cross the 10% share in 2020. And that’s when things start to get interesting…

With Chinese brands still tiptoeing on EV exports, with only some token units being sent to Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America, the domestic market is more than enough to absorb the current Chinese production, while (some) foreign OEMs are starting to profit from the introduction of their existing/dedicated PEVs in China, but despite this investment, foreign brands total share is still stuck at 8% of the market.

Of this (small) cake, 3% belong to Volkswagen, 2% to Tesla, while the remaining manufacturers share the rest. 

In April, the headlining news were the Geely Emgrand EV reaching #2, with a record 5,225 units, while the BYD Yuan returned to the highest place in the podium, with 6,428 deliveries.

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

Resultado de imagem para byd yuan ev 500
#1 – BYD Yuan EV: The company Baby Crossovercontinues on the road for success, and with a new 58 kWh version now being delivered, the small Crossover continues to be delivered at a fast pace, with 6,428 units being delivered in April. With a thousands-long waiting list, demand is no problem, depending more on BYD’s ability/willingness to make them in large volumes (The Tang is more profitable…), than anything else. With unrivalled specs (58 kWh battery, 410 kms/255 mi NEDC range, 163 hp motor), and price (25,000 USD), this is shaping up to be this year strongest candidate for the Best Seller title.

#2 – Geely Emgrand EV: The bread and butterelectric sedan had its best month ever in April, with 5,225 units, a good sign for all the new models coming from the ambitious Geely Group stable, like the recently landed Geometry A sedan. The best-selling Chinese brand (and Volvo owner) is milking this model strongpoints, like its quality and technology, to compensate a middle-of-the-road design and price (CNY 218,300 / $31,834)

 Resultado de imagem para baic eu-series
#3 – BAIC EU-Series:After the record 12,983 units of March, allowing it to be that month Best Seller, BAIC’s electric sedan had the expected drop, with 4,738units being delivered last month, which was still enough to beat its BYD e5 nemesis. The revised design and improved specs (215 hp, 416 kms / 260 mi NEDC, US $32,500) allows it to remain a popular choice, so the sedan seems to be Beijing Auto’s main bet for 2019.

 BYD e5
#4 – BYD e5: BYD’s utilitarian electric sedan, a favorite among taxi-drivers, registered 4,602 units in April, resulting in another consistent result for the oak treeof the BYD lineup, that thanks to competitive specs (61 kWh, 405 kms / 253 mi range NEDC, 218 hp), considering the price (CNY 220,650 / USD 34,600). With a new, attractive design (finally!), the nameplate is continuing its brilliant work as the piano-carrierof an All-Stars-rich BYD lineup. 
 Resultado de imagem para 2019 Chery eQ
#5 – Chery eQ: One of the pioneering EV brands, Chery had won China’s Best Selling EV title three times in a row (2011, ’12, ’13), and the automaker regained relevance with the small eQ EV, having registered 4,129 units last month, a new year best, allowing it to collect another Top 5 position. A vehicle marketed to city dwellers, for USD 24,000 before incentives, you get a funky city EV, with the 22.3kWh battery providing just enough range (200 kms / 125 miles NEDC), to cover the needs of the urban jungle (And the subsidies requirements).

Resultado de imagem para xpeng g3
Xpeng G3: The next startup EV to reach the Top 20?

2019 ranking

The market is dynamic as ever, with plenty of changes and record results, the most important position change was the BYD e5 switching places with its Tang PHEV sibling, with the sedan now in the 3rdspot, making it a 100% BEV podium.

Both the #6 Chery eQ and the #7 Roewe Ei5 EV (4,003 deliveries, best result in 10 months), climbed one position in the ranking, due to a slow selling month of the Baojun E100, while the JAC iEV E-Series was up one spot, to #10, thanks to a year best 3,002 deliveries.

But the climber of the month was the VW Passat GTE, that jumped 6 positions, to #11, thanks to a record 3,767 units.

The other foreigner in the ranking, the Tesla Model 3, was also up, to #15, and should climb a few positions more in the coming months, maybe up until #12. It seems the race for best selling foreigner nameplate will be interesting to follow…

The Nio ES8 is back at the Top 20, in #19, keeping the best-selling full-size nameplate lead, although the Chinese SUV could have some competition soon, as the BMW 530Le scored 2,615 deliveries last month, being already #23, only 316 units behind the Nio. Interestingly, we have 2 models coming from Chinese startups in the last places of the ranking, and with XPeng accelerating the output of its G3 EV (2,200 units last month), we could have 3 Chinese startup models in the ranking soon.

Another entry in the ranking is the Roewe Ei6 PHEV, with the SAIC model returning here, at #16, thanks to 2,819 units, a new year best.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (23%, down 1%) is leading, thanks to the success of the Yuan and e5, while below it, SAIC (9%, up 1%) is ahead on the 2ndspot race, closely followed of BAIC (8%), and Geely (7%, up 1%). 

1BYD Yuan EV6428308748
2BAIC EU-Series4738240817
3BYD e54602191295
4BYD Tang PHEV3833187205
5Geely Emgrand EV5225159024
6Chery eQ4129134994
7SAIC Roewe Ei5 EV4003125903
8SAIC Baojun E1001488117723
9Great Wall Ora R1 EV3505109933
10JAC iEV E-Series300296153
11VW Passat GTE376788462
12JMC E20051077942
13BYD Qin PHEV116476842
14Great Wall Ora iQ5 EV110976172
15Tesla Model 3 e)300067382
16SAIC Roewe Ei6 PHEV281964092
17Changan Eado EV64760542
18Geely Emgrand GSE EV17755372
19Nio ES8150853211
20Weltmeister EX5 EV137753031


  1. So, it seems Model 3 didn't take China by storm. The numbers imply around 30000 cars will be sold in 2019. Where will the annual GF3 capacity for 250000 cars be sold?

    1. AnonymousMay 23, 2019

      GF3 will have a total capacity production of 500.000 cars/year and the cars produced there will be only the less expensive versions of 3 and Y. Maybe they'll be even more basic than the SR/SR+ we know in other parts of the world. Anyways they'll be cheaper than those produced in Fremont, thanks to lower manufacturing costs, lower battery prices if they find a local supplier and no trade war related tariffs. This year, except perhaps the last months, only the LR will be sold in China. 2020 is the year to look for high numbers there.

    2. 1 - Tesla is only selling the three more expensive long range variants in China right now. GF3 will be building the cheaper base variant, which should have higher demand than the more expensive versions.
      2 - Tesla focuses on maximizing quarterly numbers. This means pulling out all the stops at the end of each quarter, thus maximizing sales in months like March, to the detriment of start of the quarter numbers, such as in April. They've said they're going to stop doing that since it doesn't make sense long-term (it means employees are overburdened during some months and/or underutilized in others.) We'll see when that actually happens.
      3 - Telsa sends batches of 3K cars at a time to China. For all we know a boat was a day late, resulting in only 3K cars instead of 6K cars being delivered for the month.

    3. We can't really extrapolate full year numbers from this. On one hand, these are still only Q1 shipments; and AFAIK no SR+ yet. On the other hand, one might argue that it's inflated because of pent-up demand...

      Either way, the locally made Model 3 will be *way* more competitive, since it will avoid transportation costs and tariffs, on top of Chinese production presumably being quite a bit cheaper. Also keep in mind that knowing the locally made one will be much cheaper, a lot of potential buyers are probably holding back their orders...

      And let's not forget that subsidies for Chinese EVs will drop by about two thirds in late June. Since Tesla (and other foreign makes) never had access to these subsidies in the first place, the phase-out will remove another significant competitive barrier...

    4. Goran,

      Is the 30K just for the Model 3 or all Tesla models? I will be surprised if more than 20K Teslas are sold in China in 2019. 15K model 3, 5K Model S/X. It really doesn't matter what the projected output of Tesla's china factory. I do not think it will make any meaningful number of cars before it is taken over by the Chinese government.

    5. Matt, i have noticed that you only talk about Tesla here, and always with a negative tone. Any reason for that?

  2. You report 5300 sales in March for Model 3, 3000 sales in April and a total of 6738 YTD. Somewhere is a mistake.

    1. Whenever models have a "e)" in front of it, it means it is an estimate.

      Currently Model 3 numbers from China arrive with a significant delay (1 month extra), that is why the Model 3 YTD data is subjected to changes from month to month.

  3. AnonymousMay 23, 2019

    This blogpost drop crude oil prices :)

  4. Any news about BYD e1?
    Thanks for the good work.

    1. sold a bit over 1000 units in April.

  5. I don't remember: is this the first time the monthly top 5 is comprised only of BEVs?...

    Also interesting that three of the top five models are sedans. Aren't these supposed to be a dying breed?... ;-)

    BTW, props on the new table format :-)

    1. Interestingly, sedans are having something of a renaissance in China, so there might be future for them after all...

    2. Not a renaissance. If you compare worldwide sales of BMW series 3 vs X3, Mercedes C class vs GLC and Audi A4 vs Q5, sedans are always selling more than SUVs. SUVs are growing in popularity all these years, but still not to >50% market share.

  6. The Model 3 number seems too perfect; it seems like an optimistic guess, when the information is implying it could have been far lower.

    Not an EV-basher, just more of a BYD fan here.

    1. It is an estimate, as the "e)" implies. Imports come with a few weeks delay, hence the estimate.

  7. Tesla (concerned) fan here.
    I estimate tesla will sell maximum 140000 in US, 60000 in Europe, 30000 in China and 10000 in the rest of the

    This brings us to a total of 240000 units in 2019, less than 5000/week, so Fremont will be underutilized (capacity: 7000/week). Underutilization means losses.
    And in 2020, GF3 is coming with additional initial capacity of 250000 cars. I smell big financial crisis for Tesla in 2020, and I would like to be wrong!

    1. FWIW, according to Tesla's own guidance, they should make close to 300,000 Model 3 in Fremont this year. The running order rate in Q2 thus far seems in line with that. Even if they have to make up for some shortfall in Q1, that just requires a slightly higer order rate in the second half of the year, which seems doable...

      The Shanghai factory is only for the Chinese market. Whether demand there will be enough to utilise capacity remains to be seen... It should be noted though that the initial goal is to achieve 3,000 per week (i.e. some 150,000 per year) at some point between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020. The previously mentioned 250,000 capacity of the initial build-out was originally planned for 2021 or so... And which point the Model Y should be in full production as well. Between the two models, I think they have a decent chance to run at full capacity.

    2. Goran,

      Tesla will be lucky to to sell 150K model 3s in 2019 globally. We only see a pickup of orders in the US because of Tesla pretty much selling the Model 3 for a loss to get people to buy it. I had Tesla selling 30K model 3s in EU for 2019. I might move it to 35K-40K for the year. We will be lucky to see 20K model 3s sold in China but even 25K is possible. The rest of the world might account for 10K or so. The model S/X might do 60K for the year and I expect in 2020 sales are nonexistent.

      PS Tesla has been in a financial crisis for years. It has never made a yearly profit and the only thing keeping it alive is ~yearly cash infusions. Tesla just raised $2.4B after fees and Musk came out talking about Tesla is losing over $200M a month so in other words at best 12 months before that money is gone but many belive Tesla would need to raise again in 4th quarter especially if Tesla is losing $700M plus a quarter

    3. Tesla is probably pretty close to the demand limit for the Model 3 in the US (pending further upgrades to the vehicle) and the federal credit shrinking sure won't help them, but they're only just getting started outside the US. The base model isn't available in most of the world, and there's tons of countries where the car just isn't available at all yet, period.

      Then in 2020, they have the Model Y coming. That'll help them prevent the underutilization of their factories you seem concerned about.

    4. >Close to demand limit

      Anyone doubting Tesla is in for a world of hurt, they're about to pull off their biggest quarter ever. Q1 was a fluke, count on it.

    5. Yay, another troll is back with silly FUD about Tesla's situation. Too bad he "forgot" to mention that Musk said (in order to stress the importance of reducing costs) that they were burning $200 million per month *in Q1* -- not that they are doing so right now... Of course we know that the huge loss in Q1 was only because of deliveries being low, due to various temporary factors. (While fixed costs remained the same.) With deliveries back to at least 90,000 in Q2, the situation will already look much better. And that guidance was restated on several occasions, including recent internal communication. That means they should get beyond 120,000 Model 3 deliveries already in the first half of the year! So much for "150,000 globally in 2019"...

      Tesla last time has been in an actual financial crisis around early 2013 or so, before Model S production ramp was sorted out. After that, they only needed to raise additional funds for further expansion (which is not a crisis) -- and have had no trouble whatsoever doing that.

  8. I forgot to ask: that $25,000 price point is not really for the 58 kWh variant of the Yuan, is it? If it was, that would be a total game changer...

    1. it is. prices are 110000-150000 yuan, depending on configuration.
      that includes some 35000 yuan of subsidies

  9. Maarten VinkhuyzenMay 26, 2019

    Do you happen to know what was wrong in Q1 with the Nissan Sylphy EV?
    April looks normal again, according to http:

    kind regards


  10. "BYD Yuan EV: With unrivalled specs (58 kWh battery, 410 kms/255 mi NEDC range, 163 hp motor)"

    Uhh, Tesla rivaled that 7 years ago..

  11. where did you source these data?

  12. Hi Jose,
    The China data I got says just over 2600 units for Tesla in April, of that M3 is just over 2200 units. Not sure if you agree with this number, which seems a bit low however understandable. Likely due to 2 factors: First is that China is now scaling back the subsidies for local EV starting June 1st, so we likely see a pull forward for and favoring local EV. Second is that more people likely waiting for the cheaper pricing from GF3.
    Which leaves your initial 70,000 April M3 estimate to be on the high side. Wondering if you still think that's in the ballpark?
    Canada probably have a higher number with their new incentive...

    1. I still haven't got the Tesla numbers from my source, however, i wouldn't be too surprised by such a low number, it seems demand for the Model 3 in China isn't as high as expected, hence the frantic work on the Chinese Gigafactory and the recent Tesla beating on the stock market.

    2. @Sanvic Are you sure about June 1st? One article I've seen talked about late June, something like 23rd or so...

    3. Meanwhile, I stumbled upon another article mentioning the date (or maybe it was the same one again?...): and it's supposed to be June 25th.