Wednesday, April 22, 2020

China March 2020

Será que a Tesla irá importar para a Europa o Model 3 feito na ...

Tesla Model 3 shines in transition month

With the Chinese market slowly returning to normal, now that China has endured the first wave of the COVID pandemic, sales started to recover from February’s fall into the abyss, by dropping just 51%, to close to 60,000 units, a significant improvement from the 65% fall of the previous month.

It is expected that this recovery will develop in the coming months, with the second half of the year probably seeing positive months, and maybe by the end of 2020, we could see this market back in black.

As a consequence of these events, the March PEV share was 5.7% (4.8% BEV), pulling the 2020 share to 4.2% (3.3% BEV), a step below from the 5.5% of 2019, but this is still the first month of the AC (After Corona) era, so we expect this number to grow throughout the year.

One positive sign is that BEVs are resisting better, with all-electric models dropping 49% vs 58% for PHEVs, leading BEVs to have 84% of plugin sales last month, in line with the 86% of last December, and pulling its 2020 share to 79%, so the “Go BEV, or Go Home” mantra continues.

Looking at March Best Sellers, the production ramp up is visible, with the 5-digit performance of the Tesla Model 3 leading the surge, but the remaining Top 5 models have also seen Personal or Year Best performances last month.

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

#1 – Tesla Model 3

The poster child for electric mobility hit 11,280 units (including imports), winning its third monthly Best Sellers title in a row, winning its first 5-digit performance in China. While the absolute record is still far - 21,963 units - BAIC’s December record could become in danger by the sporty silhouette of the Model 3 sometime this year.

#2 – BYD Qin Pro EV

The maker’s reply to the GAC Aion S and BAIC EU-Series has repeated February’s 2nd place last month, thanks to 5,271 units, a new record for the fully electric sedan, so it seems BYD is betting in it to ramp up and stay among the Best Sellers, if production capacity is not a problem, demand might be, after all, the GAC Aion S is cheaper AND has better specs (59 kWh battery and 510 NEDC electric range for the Aion, 53kWh and 421 kms for the Qin).

#3 – BAIC EU-Series

Beijing Auto’s star sedan and last year’s Best Selling EV in China, is starting to flex its muscles, having reached 4,450 units last month, a new year best, ramping up its new R600 (60 kWh battery, 460 kms NEDC electric range) version, in order to stay relevant in the race for best-selling EV.

#4 – GAC Aion S

GAC’s sleek sedan this time was left out of the podium, having registered 2,957 units, a new year best, but that nevertheless was insufficient to win a medal, as local Big Boys (BYD and BAIC) have started to ramp up production more swiftly. One of the most competitive domestic EV’s on the market, the Aion S is sure to continue a regular in this Top 5, growing with the remaining market.


The production of the compact crossover has been ramping up, and although its career in its domestic market has been discreet so far, with the random Top 5 presence, overseas it is a whole different story, being by far the Best Selling Chinese EV in foreign markets, providing relevant volumes in a number of European markets, but also leading the EV Revolution in a number of countries, like Israel, India, Chile or Thailand. But back to China, last month it reached a Year Best 2,531 units, allowing it to achieve its first monthly Top 5 spot in 2020. While the MG model has a middle of the road specs (45 kWh battery, 262 kms / 163 mi WLTP range, 110 kW motor), it compensates with a spacious and well apointed interior. On a final note, the secret of the success of the Sino-British EV in export markets, regarding other Chinese OEM efforts, is that it benefits from a (somewhat) familiar brand (MG), that is associated to British-ness, even if in practice the Anglo-Saxon genes of the eZS are minimal, but above all, it sits in a relatively untapped end of the market (electric compact crossovers), that in the overall market is growing fast globally.   

Chinese EV maker Lixiang says it has delivered more than 4,500 ...
Li Xiang ONE

Looking at the 2020 ranking, there were some significant changes, if the Tesla Model 3 cemented its leadership, below it we have two new podium bearers, with the both the BYD Qin Pro EV and BAIC EU-Series jumping 3 positions to Second and Third place, respectively.

The local EV Startups are starting to get a hold on the market, with the Hozon Neta N01 joining the table, in #19, being the 4th startup model in this Top 20, after the #9 NIO ES6, #11 Li Xiang One and #13 Weltmeister EX5. And the XPeng G3 is not far from the Top 20 too…

Just outside the table also we have the #21 BYD Song Pro EV, that scored a record 1,003 units last month, and is now only 31 units behind its stablemate #20 BYD Tang PHEV. And the good news for the Shenzhen maker didn’t ended there, as BYD also saw its small Crossover Yuan EV climb 4 positions, to #8, thanks to 2,009 units, its best result in 7 months, while the e2 hatchback (1,215 units, year best) climbed to #15, helping the Shenzhen maker to keep its leading position on the market.

Finally, the MG eZS EV jumped to #6, becoming the highest standing SAIC, surpassing the Roewe Ei5 station wagon.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the current disruption is being felt, if BYD (17%, up 2%) is keeping the leadership, below it there are seismic changes, with Tesla (14%, up 5%) jumping to the runner up spot, while SAIC (12%, down 2%) dropped to 3rd, with GAC and BAIC outside the podium, both with 8% share.

Another sign of the current disruption is that Geely, the #4 brand in 2019 and the largest Chinese maker in the overall market, this year has dropped sharply, having just 3% share, suffering from the PHEV fall from grace (10 out of its 12 plugin models are PHEV), while its Geometry A, set to be Geely’s take on the Tesla Model 3 recipe, is languishing in anonymity, more than 600 units below the Top 20 and selling 6 times less than the GAC Aion S.  

Hell, even the startup NIO is outselling Geely plugins…


  1. A reminder that, while EV share in this market might very well continue rising through the year, that's because it's still recovering from the last subsidy step-down (and benefiting from partial reversals, like the tax break, and now the re-introduction of local subsidies...) -- but *not* because of recovery from the lockdown. On the contrary: EV sales held up better than the overall market during the lockdown, and are likely to give up some of these gains as the situation normalises.

  2. I don't think we should expect Model 3 sales to rise much higher in the near term, and break BAIC's all-time monthly record: the March numbers are already pretty close to the planned initial capacity of the Shanghai plant -- and all Model 3 sold in China will be locally made ones going forward. At the same time, with local production, deliveries presumably should be fairly steady throughout the quarter from now on -- so we shouldn't see strong temporary peaks either...

  3. BYD seems to be slowly but steadily recovering its mojo -- which is likely a sign of the market normalising... I find it somewhat surprising though that without a dedicated BEV platform, and as a consequence mediocre specs compared to an increasing number of more refined models, BYD still manages to sell this well. I wonder how long they will be able to keep this up?

  4. With vehicle volumes severely down, notwithstanding SAIC Motor keeps in the Top3 and Tesla achieves the leading position.

    From the posted data, Q12020 standings are:

    1st Tesla with 16747 vehicles
    2nd BYD Auto with 16367 vehicles
    3rd SAIC Motor with 11752 vehicles
    4th GAC Group with 7038 vehicles
    5th BAIC Motor with 7395 vehicles

  5. Hi Jose,

    2 quick corrections:
    1. As someone working on Covid-19, I'd recommend changing "passed to the other side" to "endured the first wave". Hopefully China's current outbreak prevention/suppression strategy is sustainable - but we are still very, very far from being done with this pandemic.

    2. In your #5 description, the word "discrete" is a mathematical term meaning "separate, or countable". You probably mean "discreet" :) A very common typo.

    Thank you!


    1. Thanks for the input Assaf, and stay safe!

  6. Thats a fantastic news with Captain Tesla delivering 11.280 units. Total sales of 59.637 units is also impressive.
    BEVs now hold Top-4; 9 in Top-10, 17 in Top-20.
    More chinese electric vehicles are coming month after month and we can expect the sales to go up.

    Even #11 Li Xiang One has 180 km electric range (NEDC). Under the US EPA, it will be 125 km. This is very high range for EREV.

    BTW, Daimler Benz is dropping fuel cell development. Now VW & MB are out of fuel cell game. Still BMW is sticking on along with Toyota, Hyundai, Honda.

    1. Yes, i was going to mention that on the text, but forgot, the Li Xiang and BYD Tang PHEV are plugin hybrids with usable electric range, so it's a sign that in the future, if Legacy OEMs want to extend life of PHEVs, they'd better place at least 30kWh batteries and fast charging in them.

  7. There are 25,235 charging stations with 80,233 charging outlets in USA. As more and more PEVs are sold, we can expect this to continue.
    Sadly the utilities are least interested in setting up charging stations. No wonder, the stats on PEVs in USA is not available.

  8. Its 50 years since 1st Earth Day was celebrated in 1970.
    * Solar/wind/bio has become common energy sources
    * Electric vehicles are all over
    * Veganism is becoming common food choice.
    Way to go.

    And the Earth has delivered a powerful message to people by sending the pandemic. Word After Corona is going to be much different and people may demand cleaner skies.

  9. AnonymousMay 05, 2020

    Is this retail sales or wholesales?