Friday, November 29, 2019

Global Top 20 October 2019

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VW e-Golf: October's unlikely hero

Models: China drags PEV market down

The plugin market crisis has deepened, with the registrations this time dropping 28% YoY in October, to some 150.000 units, with the subsidy-related sales drop in China dragging the market down. 

In fact, if we remove China from the equation, plugins actually grew 3% YoY last month, with the most interesting fact being that the market was not pulled up by BEVs (-6% YoY), but by PHEVs (+18%), that in October had their first positive month this year, and the +18% YoY represented the highest growth rate for the technology since August 2018.

As a result of these drops, the PEV share in October was just 1,9% last month, dropping the 2019 PEV share to 2,2%, maybe the next two months will help the plugin market to recover and reach the 2,4% of June?

The climber of the month was the VW e-Golf, jumping 2 spots, to #15, with the veteran German hatchback beating its own record, with 3.817 units, an amazing feat in a model with a 5 year career, especially considering all the doom and gloom around it.

With a number of Chinese models having seen its sales dry up, one would think there would be more position changes, but only the e-Golf managed to climb positions, nevertheless, there are some interesting races to watch throughout the ranking:

- The #5 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (-13% YoY) has the #6 Baojun E-Series and the #7 BMW 530e/Le twins less than 1.000 units behind, so the Japanese SUV will need to step up its game, if it wants to keep its position;

- Both the BYD Tang PHEV and Chery eQ are tied in #11, with the #13 Toyota Prius PHEV only 48 units behind;

- The #15 VW e-Golf recovered 1.888 units from the #14 Tesla Model X, being now only 1.158 units behind. The Tesla SUV will need to keep a close eye on the VW model;

- Finally, the #20 Tesla Model S will have to defend its position in the ranking from the #21 Chevrolet Bolt, that is less than 1.000 units behind. With the Tesla flagship scoring its lowest score since January 2014 (1.277 units), the Model S will need to step up its game, not only because of the Chevy Bolt, but also because the rising star GAC Aion S (18.128 units) is looking to get a Top 20 soon.

Manufacturers: Volvo and GAC shine

This month the crisis in the Chinese OEMs has gotten worse, with several brands (BYD, Geely, Chery, etc) dropping to levels of 18 months ago, but the registration drops have spreaded beyond China, starting by Tesla, that saw its deliveries drop 26% YoY.

Interestingly, of the three Tesla models, the only that has managed to grow was the Model X ugly duckling (+7% YoY), something that could be a telling tale for the Cybertruck, where after the initial shock, the design becomes more digestible, with sales growing over time.

Nissan also had a horrible month, registering just 5.225 units, its worst performance in 21 months...With no models to be launched in the short term, the Japanese carmaker needs to make some aggressive discounts/pricing, like Volkswagen is doing with the e-Golf, if it wants to be back in black. 

But not all is bad, with the new 330e and the new X5 PHEV helping the 530e/Le and i3 best sellers, the German maker saw its sales grow 6% last month, allowing it to be the runner-up in October, so BMW still has a shot at repeating the last year 4th spot.

But the real stars in October were Volvo, that registered its second record performance in a row, with 4.678 units, that jumped two positions, to #16, and it now has the #15 Great Wall in sight, should the Swedish carmaker continue to step up the pace, it should climb another position in November.

Even in China there are bright spots, with the #19 GAC profiting from the hot Aion S to beat its sales record, now set at 4,616 units. Expect it to surpass Changan and JAC soon, and it might even have a shot at bothering the #15 Great Wall, in December. 

Another Chinese brand with ambitions for this year is the #21 Dongfeng, that shortened the distance to the #20 Chevrolet in 471 units, with both brands now separated by just 790 units, the last place in the ranking is still pretty much open for discussion, just like the 7th spot of Geely, that will have a hard time to defend it from Volkswagen and Hyundai, and with the German carmaker expecting to have a strong end of the year, even the #6 Nissan will have to watch its back, if it wants to be safe from surprises.  

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Europe October 2019

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Porsche Cayenne Turbo SE Hybrid: One of the reasons for the recent Cayenne resurgence

PHEVs pull up Europe’s plugin market

The European passenger plug-in market registered some 48,000 registrations in October (+46%), and this time it were the plugin hybrids (+75% YoY) to pull the PEV market, while BEVs remained in cruise speed (+26%), leading to an even (51% BEVs / 49% PHEVs vs 65% / 35% YTD) breakdown between both technologies, in October.

With the two EV best sellers (Model 3 and Zoe) expected to have strong results in the two remaining months of the year, the 49% share of PHEVs should remain as the peak point for the hybrid technology in the near future, especially considering the first months of 2020 should witness a strong growth from pure electric models.

With plugin hybrids picking up speed, they compensated a lower BEV share in October, just 2%, with an extra 2% share, so adding PHEVs to the tally, the share climbed to 4%, pulling the 2019 PEV share to a record 3.2% (2.0% for BEVs alone), above the 2.5% result of 2018.

The big news in October do not show up on the monthly Top 5, but immediately below it, with three PHEVs shining, in #6 (BMW 330e – 2,399 units), #7 (Mercedes E300e/de – 2,193) and #8 (Porsche Cayenne PHEV – 1,914), with all three making record performances. Peak demand, or are these models becoming a force to be reckoned with? Mmmm....

Interestingly, among last month Top 5 Best Sellers, the only performance deserving a mention is coming from the VW e-Golf, that registered 2,908 units, a new year best for the veteran model, proving that if the price is right, success is possible, even for outdated models (wink, wink, Nissan...)

Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:

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#1 Renault Zoe– The 3,440 deliveries of October allowed it to become last month Best Seller, despite falling deliveries (-15%), due to the current skin change, where some countries (France – 1,939 units) already have volume deliveries of the “new” Zoe, while others (Germany – 452) are still waiting. In the middle of these changes, a mention to Switzerland and Spain, both receiving 152 units each of the electric Renault model.

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#2 Nissan Leaf – With the 62 kWh version being delivered in volume, the Japanese model hit 3,028 units last month, marking the return of the Leaf to the runner-up spot, and…That’s it for good news. Because despite the larger battery version help, registrations were down 37% YoY... Auch. Will the Nissan BEV be able to leave this downward spiral? I have some doubts, because unless Nissan cuts prices significantly, the Leaf is starting to look irrelevant and outdated, especially next to a certain VW ID.3 …But back at October performances, the Japanese main markets were the UK (700 units), Norway (518), France (363) and the Netherlands (286).

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#3 Volkswagen e-Golf– The evergreen German model hit 2,908 units last month, growing 18% YoY, and hitting a new Year Best result, an amazing performance for a model that was supposed to be in sunset-mode…Only, it seems VW is going all in into plugins, discounting and actively promoting its electric model, even if it isn’t the best EV on the market. Add the name Golf, and this is proving to be enough to generate demand, even with newer and more competitive models on the market. Maybe other OEMs could do the same?...(Yes, Nissan, it’s you). But back at October performances, the Volkswagen EV main markets were three, with Norway (740), Germany (723) and the UK (700), gobbling most of the deliveries. Funny enough, the EV-year-end-rush Netherlands only got 187 units. It seems only Tesla read the Dutch EV fiscal change briefing...

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#4 BMW i3– The German hatchback was up 17% in October, to 2,679 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 (and possibly making it a future classic), following the EV bubble growth. Looking at individual countries, Germany (861 units), continues to be its larger market, with the following being the UK (400), Norway (317), and France (246), at a sizeable distance.

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#5 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – During most of the year, the Japanese SUV looked to be the only plugin hybrid being able to run with the best of the BEVs, ironically, in a moment that PHEVs are having a resurgence, its sales were down 7% YoY, to 2,574 units, only 175 units more than the hot selling BMW 330e. With the 2019 Best Selling PHEV title in the bag, one wonders if the Mitsubishi model will be able to resist to the competition in 2020...Anyway, in October, their biggest markets were Norway (550 units), Germany (514), Sweden (351) and France (267).

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BMW 330e: How high can it go?

Looking at the 2019 ranking, if Tesla can already order the 2019 Best Seller party for the Model 3 and Renault can think about finding a place for the silver medal of the Zoe, the 3rd place could still be up for discussion, as the new #4, the Nissan Leaf, has shortened the distance to the #3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, but with 2 months to go and about 1,710 units to recover, the Japanese hatchback would need some impressive performances to do it, and with the current Nissan management, that seems hard to achieve. This is a case where the coach change left the team playing worse... (“Yeah, i liked the previous coach, the Brazilian-Lebanese-French guy was much better than the current one..” – i hear the Nissan tiffosi comment). But i digress.

Below the front runners, the #10 Volvo XC60 PHEV scored its best result since January, with 1,670 registrations, allowing it to climb two positions, while the BMW 530e was also up, to #12.

Volvo had more good news across the lineup, with the XC90 PHEV climbing to #21, while the S/V60 PHEV twins scored 1,026 units, their best score in 4 years, allowing them to reach #23, so we could see a Swedish treble in the Top 20 soon.

But others did even better, like the Daimler Group, with the Smart Fortwo EV scoring 1,681 units, its best result in 22 months, while on the Mercedes side, the E300e/de twins did a record 2,193 registrations, jumping into the Top 20 in #17, while the C300e/de twins came out of nowhere to 1,062 registrations on October, the best performance for the Mercedes midsizer since December 2016. 

Another model scoring a record performance was the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, with 1,267 units, will the Korean hatchback get enough batteries next year to continue improving its game?

Outside the Top 20, besides the aforementioned good results from several European PHEVs, October brought a second coming of the popular VW Passat GTE, that scored 1,018 units, the revised model best result since the beggining of the new WLTP rules, so expect it to lead a large squad of models willing to challenge the PHEV leadership of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

In the manufacturers ranking, Tesla (18%, down 4%) is the leader, but has lost ground, while last year winner BMW (14%) remains firm in the runner-up spot, ahead of Renault (9%), suffering from a short lineup, while Mitsubishi and Hyundai, stay outside the podium, both with 7% share.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

South Korea October 2019

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Hyundai Kona EV rules in Korea 

The South Korean market is cooling down, with the last three months witnessing YoY drops, hurting the YTD growth, now at just 10% YoY, with the PEV share dropping from the record 2.3% of July, to the current 2%.

Looking at the models ranking, the Hyundai Kona EV extended its lead over the competition, doubling the sales of the #2 Kia Niro EV.

The Chevrolet Bolt assured the 3rd spot, winning precious ground over the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the tiny Samsung Twizy, with Hyundai's hatchback profiting from the recent upgrade to surpass the Franco-Korean model.

A final mention to the Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell model, a model that is seeing its registrations jump six-fold this year, to 3.207 units, making it a success story in Korea, a unique event for a FCEV, allowing the technology to have 0,22% share of the total market, a world best for Fuel Cells.

Jan.-Oct. 2019
Hyundai Kona EV
Kia Niro EV 

Chevrolet Bolt
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Samsung Twizy EV