Monday, September 30, 2019

Global Top 20 August 2019

Resultado de imagem para Hyundai Kona EV

Models: Baojun E-Series and Hyundai Kona EV climb in depressed market

For the first time since the beggining of the Third Age of the Electric Vehicle, registrations were down (-9% YoY) in August, to some 158.000 units, mostly due to the subsidy-related steep drop (-12%!) in China, and because the current plugin market dances to the tune of China...Stuff like this happens.

But while BEVs are hanging on (+8% YoY), the PHEV crisis worsens every passing month (-39% YoY, worst drop ever!), which means that BEVs are growing their share to unheard levels in a long time (76% in August).

As a result of these convoluted times, the PEV share reached 2% last month, keeping the 2019 PEV share at 2,3%, slightly lower than the record 2,4% it had in June. 

In the context of this receiding market, few models have reasons to celebrate, but there are a few glimpses of light, the leader Tesla Model 3 had its best off-peak month ever, with 21.336 deliveries, so we can expect/hope for a record-breaking month in September from the Tesla star player.

But the star of the month was the SAIC Baojun E-Series, shooting 8 spots, to #6, thanks to a record 8,698 units allowing it to win last month Silver Medal. Expect the tiny two seater to continue climbing positions, maybe reaching #4 by year end.

Another model on the rise is the Hyundai Kona EV, now up to #9, one hopes the Korean maker finds more batteries for its compact crossover, so that we can see it climbing more steps.

Outside the Top 20, the Tesla Model S (2.095 units last month, best off-peak performance this year) is just 725 units behind the #20 Changan Eado EV, so we should see the Tesla flagship return to the Top 20 next month.

Manufacturers: Tesla and the Chinese

August saw the leader Tesla reach its best off-peak month this year, so we could witness another all-time record for the Californian brand, while below it, BYD, BAIC and SAIC all scored five-digit performances, despite the doom and gloom in its domestic market, which means that it is the smaller brands that are suffering the most. 

Is there a process of natural selection going on?

Still, there was another Chinese OEM shining, with GAC joining the Top 20, in #20, thanks to 3.821 units, most of them coming from the hot GAC Aion S sedan. 

We have to go down to #11 to see the first relevant position change, with Toyota climbing 4 spots, now that the Chinese operations are in full swing and the Prius PHEV seems to be in recovery mode.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Europe August 2019

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Tesla Model 3 shines in off-season month

The European passenger plug-in market registered some 35,000 registrations in August (+15%), with BEVs continuing to grow at a fast pace (69%), while PHEVs are still suffering from the WLTP blues (-29% YoY), failing to post one single growth month since last September, when the new WLTP emission rules started.

This meant that all-electricswere responsible for 67% of all plugin sales last month (66% YTD), with the BEV share grew to 2.2%, while adding PHEVs to the tally, the share climbs to 3.3%, pulling the 2019 PEV share to 3.0% (2.0% for BEVs alone), above the 2.5% result of 2018.

The (not so) big news in August was that the Tesla Model 3 pulled of its best off-peak performance yet (5,286 deliveries), allowing it to win the August Best Seller title, and equaling the Renault Zoe in the number of wins this year (4).

With both models winning all the trophies in 2019, we could say that the Tesla Model 3 and the Renault Zoe are the two major players in Europe, with the first dominating the more expensive end of the market, while the latter takes care of sweeping the lower end of it.

With the Model 3 finally delivering the SR+ versions and the Zoe expected to double the output with the upcoming restyling, do not expect the current status quo to change much soon, as we need to wait until the VW ID.3 starts to deliver in large volumes, to see these two being challenged.

Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:

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#1 Tesla Model 3– The poster child for electro mobility had its best off-peak month so far, with 5,286 deliveries, mostly thanks to the UK, that had its first volume month, with over 2,000 deliveries, and with the sports sedan still benefitting from backlog-customers in important markets getting their much awaited SR+ units, expect another (record?) peak in September. By the look of it, we should only know the organic demandof the Model 3 in Europe on Q4 2019, if not already in 2020. But back at August, looking at individual markets, besides the aforementioned UK peak, the midsize model was mainly delivered in the Netherlands (1,180 units!), and Norway (649).

Resultado de imagem para white Renault Zoe.
#2 Renault Zoe– The 2,925 deliveriesof August allowed it to continue growing (+30%), regarding last year, an amazing feat for a model that is supposed to be in sunset-mode, waiting for the much improved “new” Zoe. As for individual market performances, the French hatchback continues as popular as ever in its domestic market (979 units), and in Germany (777 units), with Norway (235), among others, helping along to the Renault nameplate success.

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#3 BMW i3– The German hatchback was up 58% in August, to 2,666 units, with the BMW pocket rocket benefitting from its unique formula (it is the only Premium City EV in town) to continue expanding its sales, following the EV bubble growth. But, looking at individual countries, we start to see that the Bimmeris starting to rely too much on its domestic market, Germany (999 unit, new record), with the following markets, Norway (394) and the Netherlands (247), at a sizeable distance. A warning sign?

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#4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV– The stainless steelJapanese SUV seems unfazed by the passing of time and the arrival of new models, being the only PHEV able to follow the pace of the Best Selling BEVs, with the Mitsubishi model scoring 2,500 registrationsin August (up 137%!), with its primary markets in August being France (635 units) and Germany (560). The success of this PHEV in the current BEV-friendly environment is remarkable, but in the long run, one wonders how long the Outlander PHEV will resist to the BEV wave (possible answer: until 2021, when the Tesla Model Y and VW ID Crozz finally land). With no direct BEV competitor in the (relatively) affordable-family-friendly-workhorselanding soon, the Mitsubishi model should still pick up a lot of sales this year without major worries.

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#5 Volkswagen e-Golf– The evergreen German model model hit 2,160units last month, allowing it to grow 33%, an impressive result for a model that was supposed to be in sunset-mode…I guess the name Golf, and what it implies, is enough for many to choose over newer and more competitive models. But back at August performances, the Volkswagen EV main markets were Norway (1,083 deliveries, its best result in 2 years), Germany (380), and the Netherlands (161).

 Resultado de imagem para audi e-tron germany 

Looking at the 2019 ranking, if the podium positions remain stable, below it, the BMW i3 recovered the 4th spot, surpassing a Nissan Leaf that doesn’t seem to get its mojo back, no matter how hard they try, last month the Japanese hatchback was down 30%, making it its 6thconsecutive sales drop. The alarms should be sounding loud at the Nissan Europe HQ… 

But it wasn’t the only BMW on the rise, as the 530e was up one position, to #10, while the 225xe Active Tourer also climbed one spot, to #12. Not bad for an MPV…

The Audi e-Tron was up another position, to #8, thanks to 1,292 units, making it 7 BEVs in the Top 8 positions. I guess it shows what people want, right?... 

On the second half of the table, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric climbed to #16, and we have a new face in the Top 20, with the Mercedes E300e/de twins showing up in #19, signaling the return of a three-pointed-starmodel to the Top 20, after the 18thposition of the Mercedes GLC350e in 2018. 

Outside the Top 20, we should notice the Tesla Model X climbing to #21, just 336 units below the #20 Range Rover Sport PHEV, thanks to 617 deliveries. Regarding the flagship Tesla, the #18 Model S, it delivered 630 units its best off-peak month this year.
In the manufacturers ranking, Tesla (21%, up 4%) is the leader, while last year winner BMW (14%, up 1%) remains in the runner-up spot, ahead of Renault (10%), that needs more models (Twingo EV, Captur PHEV, Megane PHEV, Scenic PHEV…) in its lineup to expand sales, while Hyundai is below the podium, with 8% share.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

China August 2019 (updated)

Baojun E-Series #1 in receding market  

The end-of-incentives hangover deepened in August, with the Chinese plugin market dropping a steep 12% YoY, with PHEVs crashing 51%(!) YoY last month, while amazingly, BEVs managed managed to grow, by 4%, a small increase over the 1% growth rate of July, which means BEVs are currently the only ray of light in the Chinese market (the overall market also dropped, by 8% YoY).

In the midst of this adverse environment, July’s PEV share was just 4.1%, dropping the 2019 PEV market share to 6% (4.6% for BEVs alone), which is still well above the 2018 result (4.2%).

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.

From now on, we should see a less subsidy dependent market, with PHEVs losing relevance (they represented 17% of sales in August, versus 22% YTD), with several models unable to compensate the subsidy loss, while others will continue thriving, as we are now starting to witness.

This is just another factor adding up to the reasons on why China is without doubt the most 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.

In August, the most important surprise in the models ranking was the SAIC-GM offspring Baojun E-Series winning #1, thanks to an amazing 8,698 units record result, but BAIC couldn’t really complain, placing two of its models in the remaining places of the podium.

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

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#1 – Baojun E-Series: With the end of subsidies for most of the small city EVs, unable to reach the minimum 250 kms range, the few that still have access to subventions have seen their sales rise, and none did it more spectacularly than the Baojun E-Series, Shanghai Auto and General Motors offspring. With an irregular career up to now, the last months of the tiny two-seater have been memorable, having registered a record 8,698 units in August, allowing it to be last month Best Seller in China, a first for any SAIC nameplate. 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. 

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#2 – BAIC EU-Series: The electric sedan scored 7,580 units last month, with the Beijing Auto losing to the Baojun E-Series the monthly Best Seller title, ending a three month  winning streak. 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 increasing every passing month, BAIC has a tough job ahead of it, if it wants to keep leading the pack.

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#3 – BAIC EX-Series: BAIC's current good moment, it has three models in the Top 20, is explained by having competitive models in the three largest segments (sedans, crossovers and city cars). The EX-Series is the bread and butter small crossover of Beijing Auto stable (Think Renault Captur/Kia Soul), and last month it scored 6,568 units,  a new year best. Hardly a vehicle that makes your pulse accelerate (107 hp motor, 318 kms NEDC range), for that you can check the #4 BYD Yuan, the EX-Series uses is killer price (starting at 21,000 USD) to attract buyers

Resultado de imagem para byd yuan ev 500

#4 – 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 meh result of 5,468 units of August. The Yuan EV has unrivalled specs (58 kWh battery, 410 kms/255 mi NEDC range, 163 hp motor), given its price (25,000 USD).

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#5 – GAC Aion S: A few months ago I was mentioning the big potential of this model, saying it could reach a 10,000 units/month pace this year. And things are going well for the Aion S, because on its fourth month in the market, the sleek sedan is now at 3,815 units, reaching the 5th place in August, its seond Top 5 spot in a row. 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. 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 VW e-Lavida

2019 ranking

The market is now adapting to the new reality, now that certain models last access to subsidies.

We’ll start with the most important position change, with the SAIC Baojun E-Series jumping 4 positions to the 3rd spot. This was one of the most surprising jumps, but considering that it is one of the few city EVs that still have access to subsidies, one can see where this sales surge (8,698 units, new record) comes from.

The other Top 10 position change was the Changan Eado EV reaching the #10 spot, switching places with the JAC iEV E-Series, that has seen its deliveries dry up.

But the climber of the month shows up on the second half of the table, with the BAIC EX-Series shooting 6 spots, to #14, while its small sibling, the EC-Series, hangs on in #18.

Indifferent to the subsidies cut, the BMW 530Le climbed two positions, to #12, thanks to a record 3,001 deliveries in August, making it not only the Best-Selling Luxury plugin vehicle on the market, but also the Best-Selling foreigner on the table.

With the Passat PHEV losing access to subsidies, and Volkswagen now betting on the right horses (VW e-Lavida), expect the sales of the midsize VW to dry up soon, making the Best Selling Foreign nameplate really a race between the #12 BMW 530Le and the #15 Tesla Model 3.

If the distance isn’t negligible (1,790 units) between both nameplates, September should help the Tesla midsizer to close the gap significantly, with the Q4 Shanghai production allowing the Californian to surpass the Bimmer and win the 2019 Best Selling Foreigner title in China, and maybe with a Top 10 position to boot.

Elsewhere, the Nio ES6 is expanding production, reaching 2,366 units in August, allowing Nio to recover the Best-Selling Startup title, while SAIC’s MG eZS crossover registered 1,874 units, a welcome growth to a model with high ambitions in export markets.

Talking about production ramp ups, the much hyped GAC Aion S sedan just keeps on growing, having reached 3,815 units last month. Although the GAC sedan is still 1,500 units below the Top 20, if the model continues to grow deliveries, it shouldn’t take long for it to show up in the ranking. Maybe already in September?

How high will the GAC sedan go this year? 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.

A mention also for the 1,124 units of the e-Lavida sedan, the new star of the VW stable, now playing in the crowded (and profitable) field of compact sedans.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD (23%) leads comfortably, but has lost a bit of momentum, while below it, BAIC (12%, up 2%) and SAIC (9%, up 1%) remain in the medal spots.

Outside the podium, Geely (6%) increased the distance to other, smaller players (Chery, JAC…).

Will this Natural Selection help the market become more competitive? Who knows, but for now, foreign carmakers have 12% share (of which, Tesla, BMW, and VW all have 3% each), which is still not a lot, but it is already double of what they had last year…