Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Global Top 20 February 2020

E-Golf vs Model 3: a Volkswagen consegue superar a Tesla? - Loocalizei

Models: Tesla Model 3 and VW e-Golf shine

After several months in the red, registrations in February finally surpassed the same month last year, growing 16%  YoY, to over 116.000 units. 

This allowed the YTD numbers to be back in black (+2%), with 268.000 deliveries, but this ray of light shouldn't last for long, because the current Coronavírus pandemic is sure to drag sales down to a hole, but for now, things aren't that bad, with the February PEV share at 1,6%, dragging the 2020 plugin share to 1,8%.

BEVs grew faster than the plugin average, allowing them to have 64% of the market (62% YTD), but this is still far from the 74% share of last year. 

With March promising to be still an ok-month in several markets, a global 2% score can still be achieved next month. 

With the Chinese EV market slowing down significantly in February, the highest standing Chinese EV is now the #14 GAC Aion S, the Tesla Model 3 secured its natural place last month, by winning a 6.000 advance over the #2 Renault Zoe, but the highlight of the month was the VW e-Golf, that jumped 4 positions to 4th, thanks to a record 4.093 units.

This kind of performances from the veteran e-Golf bode well for the upcoming VW ID.3 career, with the future VW blockbuster set to become a familiar face in the monthly podiums. Once it officially lands of course...Whenever that is...But i digress, back to last month Best Sellers.

Other models on the rise are the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, now #5 and succeeding the BMW 530e/Le in the PHEV leadership, while the Peugeot 208 EV also climbed one position, to #6.  

The Audi e-Tron continues to climb positions, it is now #8, and has its eyes set on the #7 BMW 530e/Le, just 511 units ahead, so we might see it become the Best Selling Luxury plugin next month...The German Crossover career proves that Tesla products are not unbeatable, if Legacy OEMs provide EVs that are minimally competitive, like the e-Tron, then they too can sell in large amounts, it's just a matter of having the right product and knowing how to market it.

"Build them and they will come" - as they say.

As for the remaining ranking, the Hyundai Kona EV jumped three positions to #9, while the rise and rise of the Volvo XC60 PHEV continues, now in #12, while the BMW i3 climbed to #15. 

Finally, a mention to the Kia Niro EV, that joined the table in #17, thanks to 2.208 units, its best score since last May.

Outside the Top 20, a mention for the Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins, with 1.925 registrations, while the VW e-Up! scored a record 1.542 units, so we could see them soon in the table.

Manufacturers: Tesla climbs to #1

February saw Tesla climb to the leadership, while Volkswagen continues to impress, climbing last month to #3. 

In fact, the whole Volkswagen Group is putting on a strong show, with 4 brands(!) in the Top 20, besides the #3 Volkswagen, we have Audi in #11, Porsche in #18 and in #19 we have Skoda...Allowing them to have 14% share of the market the same that the Renault-Nissan Alliance has.

And Seat still hasn't the Leon PHEV in production, or else we could even have 5 brands here...

Looking elsewhere, Nissan jumped to #6, while Volvo was up two spots, to #7, thanks to 5.994 units, its third(!) record performance in a row. And with the XC40 PHEV just starting its career, the Swedish automaker can even climb higher...

Closing the Top 10, we now have Kia, while Mitsubishi (#13) and Mercedes (#14) climbed positions, with the German maker performance being particularly important, as the Three Pointed Star production ramp up is finally picking up pace.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Europe February 2020 (Updated)

Todos os preços do novo Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe leader in hot market (for now) 

The European passenger plug-in market registered over 69,000 registrations in February (+111%), with the 2020 plugin market growing 117%, to some 144,000 units, a great performance that should help to weaken the effect of the upcoming coronavirus months, where sales will most likely fall abruptly throughout the continent.

It will be curious to know, though, when it come to plugin share, what will happen, will PEVs weather the storm by gaining significant share, and go north of 10% share? Discuss. 

In February, despite a falling (-7% YoY) overall market, PHEVs continue on fire (+153% YoY), but all-electrics (+88%) are not much behind too, with these last ones being responsible for 57% of all plugin sales last month (55% YTD), while the BEV share climbed to 3.7%, and adding PHEVs to the tally, the share climbs to 6.5%, placing the 2020 PEV share at 6.5% (3.6% for BEVs alone), well above the 3.6% result of 2019.

The big news in February continues to be the strong start of the Renault Zoe, that scored 6,439 registrations, more than doubling last year result in the same month, while the veteran VW e-Golf scored a record performance (3,770 units) for the second month in a row(!), securing the runner-up spot, while the Tesla Model 3, after a weak January, returned to its usual self, reaching the 3rd spot last month, with 3,589 units, as it prepares to go after the Second spot in March.

Interestingly, this month we have a 100% BEV Top 5, which i believe will start to be a common feature, throughout the year...

Looking at the February Top 5 Models:

#1 Renault Zoe – The 6,439 deliveries of February not only allowed it to beat the competition by a sizeable margin, but also to double registrations, regarding last year, possibly providing the French hatchback enough distance to sustain the expected Model 3 surge in March, and continue leading the European ranking during the Corona months. As for individual market performances, the French hatchback continues as popular as ever in its domestic market (3,076 units), and in Germany (1,352 units), with Italy (385) and Spain (317) helping along to the Renault nameplate success.

#2 VW e-Golf – The evergreen German model hit a record 3,770 units last month, its second in a row(!), an amazing result for a model that was supposed to be in sunset-mode, and has its sucessor ramping up production in the Zwickau factory. It seems VW is going all in into plugins (well, with the CO2 rules now in place, it has to), milking everything it can from its current best selling electric model. Regarding February performances, the Volkswagen EV main markets were Germany (1,475), Netherlands (485), Norway (755) and the UK (250).

#3 Tesla Model 3 – Preparing the March deliveries peak, the posterchild for electromobility had its expected mid-quarter ramp up month, with 3,589 deliveries, with the sports sedan getting ready to go after the leadership in the coming months. Back at February, looking at individual markets, the midsize model was mainly delivered in France (1,025 units), Germany (610), and the UK (450).  

#4 Peugeot 208 EV – The French hatchback hit 3,478 units last month, down some 400 units regarding January, which was probably artificially inflated by the new CO2 rules. Considering that its career is barely starting, it is early to know the actual demand limits of the Peugeot EV, and with the upcoming months also watching a Coronavirus-related sales drought, we won't know it anywhere soon. Last month, its home market (2,495 units) pulled out the heavy lifting, but it wasn’t just France doing all the hard work, as Italy (287) and Spain (227) also helped the Peugeot EV to reach the runner up spot.

#5 Nissan Leaf – The Japanese model hit 2,570 units last month, down just 5%. It seems the recent discounts are indeed helping to move metal, with the Nissan EV profiting from the current lack of strong competition in the compact class, at least until a certain VW ID.3 lands…But back at February performances, the Japanese EV main markets were Norway (484 deliveries), France (283), Germany (283), and the UK (400).

Editor Note: Dear readers, at the time of publishing, i had forgotten to update the country performances of each of the Top 5 Best Sellers, i am sorry for the mistake and for any inconvenience that may have caused.  

Resultado de imagem para jaguar i-pace vs audi e-tron

Looking at the 2020 ranking, if the podium positions remained stable (for now), the main news was the Tesla Model 3 jumping 8 spots, to 6th, but it wasn't the only pure EV rising, as the Audi e-Tron was up to #7, confirming its Best Selling Luxury PEV status, while the Hyundai Kona EV and BMW i3 also had reasons to smile, with Korean crossover climbing to #8 and the German hatchback, to #12 (which is still well below the 5th spot of 2019). 

On the second half of the table, there were plenty of changes, the most relevant being the three new faces, with the Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins jumping to #15, thanks to 1,885 units, the nameplate's best score since 2015, while the Kia Niro PHEV returned to the ranking, in #18, thanks to 1,238 units, a new record for the PHEV crossover. In fact, Kia had a great month, with the Niro EV scoring 1,552 units, its best result in a year, and the Soul EV registering 930 units, its best result since 2018.

Finally, we salute the small VW e-Up! in the Top 20, that thanks to 1,542 units (a new record), it jumped to #17, if we add its Czech Citigo EV (841 units) and Spanish e-Mii (436) twins, the triplets would have 2,819 units, which would place it in #5 on last month ranking. Who said City EVs weren't a thing?...

Outside the Top 20, we should notice the good performances of the new Mercedes C300e/de twins, with 1,048 registrations last month, the Opel Ampera-e (Euro-spec Chevrolet Bolt) ending its career on high note, by scoring a record result, with 999 registrations, and finally, the French DS 7 Crossback PHEV scored a record 1,084 units, with the PSA SUV looking to reach the Top 20 soon.

In the manufacturers ranking, BMW (12%) is the new leader, surpassing Renault (11%, down 2%) thanks to a strong lineup (it has 4 models in the Top 20), while behind them, Peugeot and Volkswagen, both with 8% share, are running for the Bronze medal. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The EV Revolution and the Coronavirus pandemic

Resultado de imagem para EVs and Coronavírus

Then, the Coronavirus quickly spreaded across the World, being recognized by a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), on March, 11th.

Country after country, lockdown measures started to be enforced, with travel restrictions, school closures, among many others.

Besides the occasional panic buying (what's with the toilet paper rush?!?!), the most important changes to the daily life is that we stopped moving around, many of us started working from home, only to discover that things get done just the same, business trips were cancelled, most of them being replaced by Skype/Zoom/whatever video calls, commutes and public transportation have a third or less traffic, but on the other hand, many people are being laid off, or just simply fired, because their services are allegedly no longer needed.

The Coronavírus is a two act tragedy, on the first we have the health pandemic, but just like a tsunami follows an earthquake, the upcoming economic crisis will be the second act of this life-changing event, said to be most expressive since WW II.

So, how will the EV Revolution be affected by these dramatic events?

In stable times, changes happen progressively, while in disruptive times, like the ones we live, changes can be dramatic and unexpected.

There have been concerns that this could stall transport electrification, and while the recent record results should become the exception, what the recent China (the canary in the coal mine) results say, is that while EV sales could drop, the fall won't be as dramatic as in regular ICE units, and even within electrified vehicles, there should be differences, while HEVs and PHEVs will suffer more than BEVs, because many PHEVs are bought because of fiscal benefits, the fall won't be as sharp as with HEVs, that have their selling point (better fuel efficiency) affected by the recent drop in oil prices.

Making a purely hipothetical exercise, one can say that if ICE sales drop by 80%, HEVs will drop by 60%, PHEVs 40%, and BEVs 20%.

This change will only exacerbate the most recent trends, where the overall markets are down significantly, while plugins are up, in some cases with three-digit growth rates.

This will lead to dramatic share gains by plugins, and particularly BEVs, as we can see already in France this month, and dismal sales for OEMs that are behind the curve, when it comes to electrification.

These will have to scramble for a way out, be it a merger, a government intervention, or other source of fresh money, while the OEMs that have their EV plans more advanced, will be encouraged to cut on their ICE business, while keeping their EV segment like if their were the family jewels.

And EVs are indeed their family jewels, is previously Legacy OEMs usually sold every EV they could make, while at the same time, had to discount (in some cases, heavily discounting) their pure petrol of diesel units, now imagine in a scenario of falling demand, plugins will continue to have demand, even if they have to discount some veteran BEV models or PHEVs, but regular ICE models will be dead ducks in the showrooms.

So in a context of falling sales where would you cut costs?

And that is already visible on the EU CO2 average issue, while some OEMs are already pledging for a postponement of the fines, because they know they won't be able to:

a) Comply with the targeted averages;

b) Pay the respective fines.

Other OEM CEO’s (like the Volkswagen Group) are surely receiving by now reports with what i have said before, that is why, all of the sudden, they are not concerned with the EU CO2 averages (another reason can be that they have more things to be worried about, like not going bankrupt this year...but i digress), because their share of plugin sales in the overall sales is ballooning in March, and should continue like that in the coming months, so it won’t be much a stretch for many of them to reach the proposed targets.

So aside from some consolidation buyouts, or local government interventions, i wouldn't expect a massive delay in transport electrification.

Chinese OEMs can even profit from the current disruption, while others are shutting down their factories across the World, they are starting to re-open theirs in China, so they will have a few months of advance regarding the competition when it comes to operate in "the new normal", benefitting also by the fact that the supplier network is mostly local and not dependent from global supply chains, and the highly competitive environment that the Chinese EV market has, of which the large number of EV startups is just a sign.

So, looking purely at market forces, the EV Revolution might suffer a hiccup in the next few months, but after that, the growth will be back in a big way, with market share gains being even more impressive than volume ones.

This doesn't mean the EV Revolution is unstoppable, the dark clouds that could delay it come not from the automotive market forces, but from what this crisis can do to global politics.

Because disruption will happen in most, if not all, aspects of life, politics are also being changed forever, current governments are being tested by the Coronavírus pandemic and many will be defeated in coming elections, for poor their planning, execution, handling of the crisis, etc.

And what will replace them? 

Once again, in stable times, changes happen progressively, while in disruptive times, like the ones we live, changes can be dramatic and unexpected.

What were the political trends in the last years of the BC (Before Corona) era? On one hand, you had populist forces that weren't as (or at all) EV-friendly as mainstream politicians, while on the other, there were eco-movements winning popularity, particularly on the younger segment of the population (a big part of them aren't even elligible to vote), demanding for significant (and fast) changes to face the Climate Emergency, one of them being massive EV-adoption, particularly of public transportation.

These trends will be magnified by the current disruption, with mainstream politicians likely losing significant ground, and if the populist forces win, the EV Revolution will face headwinds that will likely delay for years transport electrification.

On the other hand, if the eco-movements win, the EV Revolution will happen in lightening speed, anticipating in several years the full electrification of transport, through demanding ICE bans.

Who will win with the current disruption? It is up to the people to decide, therefore it is up to us to decide who we want to represent us in the political arena and decide the pace of the EV Revolution.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Slovenia February 2020

VW e-Golf leads red hot market

The Slovenian PEV market is finally on the move, with sales tripling in 2020 (2,5% PEV share), with February representing the second record month in a row, with 171 registrations (3,1% share), helped by a regressing (-9%) overall market. 

The most impressive thing about these performances is that it's all thanks to BEVs, that now represent an amazing 96% of plugin sales...Has disruption reached Slovenia? 

Back at last month performance, looking at the best selling models, the veteran VW e-Golf is the surprise leader, with the German hatchback taking full profit from the current fire sale (as in, deep discounts), to score 86 units in one month, this model's best score in this market.

The relegated leader Renault Zoe couldn't complain much either, as it also scored a record 36 units, allowing both models to win a relevant advance over the competition.

A reference also for the 3rd placed VW e-Up, that thanks to refresh (and price cut), has jumped to the podium, making a 1-3 standing for Volkswagen.

One model that is being left behind of this sudden sales bonanza is the previous chronical Best Seller in Slovenia, with the BMW i3 showing up only in #5.

Is the German hot hatch losing charge?

BMW is also losing grip on the Manufacturers ranking, after winning the Best Seller trophy 4 years in a row, now it is only 4th, with 5% share, tied with Hyundai, while on the podium, we have Smart in 3rd, with 8% share, with Renault (21%) in the runner-up spot, while Volkswagen came out of obscurity into the leadership, with an amazing 44% share. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Austria February 2020

Resultado de imagem para Tesla Model 3 Austria

Tesla Shines in Austria

The Austrian plug-in sales are up 67% this year, to some 2.700 new plugins, placing the PEV Share in record heights (6,7%, 4,6% for BEV alone). 

Interestingly, this market is known to be a BEV-friendly market, with all-electric cars usually representing 70% of plugin sales, but this year plugin hybrids are growing faster (+192%!), although BEVs (+38% YoY) are also experiencing a solid growth rate, which is allowing plugin hybrids to increase their share in the BEV/PHEV balance (62% BEV vs 48% PHEV). 

After a weak January, the Tesla Model 3 had its best off peak month so far, with 219 deliveries, allowing it to be the February Best Seller, with the sports sedan jumping to 2nd place last month, and with an expected 400-500 units peak in March, the Californian is sure to remove the Renault Zoe from the leadership, although the French hatchback could give some fight on this year Best Seller title, with last month performance (182 units), being its best score since 2017.

The PHEV title race looks promising, with the #3 Porsche Cayenne PHEV(!) leading, with 130 units, but with the #4 BMW X5 PHEV and #6 Opel Grandland X PHEV less than 15 units behind, the Porsche will have a tough task ahead, in order to keep the category title.

Another fresh face in the table is the #10 Peugeot 3008 PHEV, confirming the popularity of the French crossover across Europe.

Outside the Top 10, a reference to last month's landing of the Opel Corsa EV, with 40 units, while the Bratislava triplets (Skoda Citigo EV - 49 units; Seat e-Mii - 15; VW e-Up! - 25) are being delivered in significant numbers, and counted together, they would total 89 units, making it the 3rd Best Selling EV in February, an impressive performance for a city EV.

In the manufacturers ranking, the race is pretty close, with Renault (13%), BMW (13%) and Tesla (12%) running for the leadership, leaving Porsche, Opel and Volkswagen, all with 6% share, far behind.