Models: -30% YoY in April, -12% YTD
It was bad, but considering the circumstances, it could have been worse.
Registrations were down 30% YoY, to some 110.000 units, while the YTD numbers are now down 12% regarding the same period last year, with 571.000 registrations.
If in isolation these numbers look didn't looked good, after all, it was the biggest fall ever, placing things into context, things weren't all that bad, because of the pandemic, the overall global market is even in worse shape than plugins, with sales down 45% in April and 29% this year, because of this, April's PEV share stood at a meritable 2,8%, pulling the 2020 plugin share to 2,7%,which is already above the 2,5% of last year.
Add this to the fact that the plugin market was already looking shaky, in the second half of 2019 it had drops in the order of 27% in October and 25% in November, due to the subsidy changes in China, and turns out that dropping just 30% in the middle of a pandemic isn't so bad, is it?
The future will depend much on the development of the pandemic, but if the worse is over (a big IF), then we should be optimistic that plugins will weather the upcoming economic crisis with greater ease than the overall market, with the plugin share growing
significantly in the remainder of the year.
BEVs dropped at the same pace as plugin hybrids (-30%), allowing the BEV/PHEV breakdown to remain stable at 67% BEV, 33% PHEV.
With the Chinese EV market recovering in April, the Climbers of the Month were Chinese, with the BYD Qin Pro EV jumping four positions to #6, thanks to 5.096 units, allowing it to be April's 2nd Best Selling plugin, only behind the galactic Tesla Model 3 (11.761 units), while the GAC Aion S shooted 5 spots, to #10, thanks to a year best performance of 3,586 units.
But there was more action on the top half of the table, with the stainless-steel VW e-Golf, climbind yet another position, to #4, thanks to a strong result in China, something that the BMW 530e/Le also benefitted, allowing it to jump to #5, with the big Bimmer surpassing both the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Audi e-Tron, thus winning the lead of the Best Selling PHEV and Best Selling Full Size Plugin categories in just one month.
Other models on the rise are the VW Passat PHEV (It includes the German-made Passat GTE and the China-made Passat PHEV), up to #11, while the Kia Niro EV joined the table, in #17, kicking out of the Top 20 the Volvo XC60 PHEV, now making 15 BEVs in the Top 20.
But things should look even better for BEVs soon, with the highly expected Tesla Model Y said to join the table soon (May?), while the #21 NIO ES6 will surely join the Top 20 next month, as it is only 187 units beind the #20 BMW 330e, and in April it scored a record 2.907 units...
In the PHEV side, the only model with hopes to join the table is the Li Xiang One (2.622 units in April, new record), some 1.100 units below the #21 Nio ES6.
Coincidentally, both models come from Chinese EV startups...Disruption, anyone?
Manufacturers: Volkswagen and BYD shine
April saw Tesla win another Best Seller title, but this time the lead wasn't as significant as in peak months, mostly merit of its competitors, with Volkswagen pulling a Year Best performance (In the middle of a pandemic?!? Yes, all thanks to the Chinese operations…) of over 11.000 units, while BYD did even better, by registering almost 12.000 units (#2 in April), its best score in 6 months...Is the Chinese maker returning to form?
One thing is certain, the Silver medal of the #2 BMW is looking pretty shaky, with Volkswagen already breating down its neck (725 units separate both makers), while BYD could also kick out BMW from the podium in a couple of months...
This would mean VW in #2 and BYD in #3 by the end of Q2, with the German maker confirming its target in VAG's Year Zero of the Plan to Rule the EV World (Become the biggest OEM outside Tesla), allowing it to concentrate in going after the Californian brand in next few years. As for BYD, with sales down 64% YoY, a lot still needs to be done to return to the growth path, but with two five-digit performances in the past two months, it seems the Chinese maker has found its way again, so a podium spot should be in the cards for them this year.
Others makers growing this year are the #6 Renault (+52% YoY), when in 2019 it ended just in #13 (well, someone has to pull the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the other two are just sliding...), the #8 Audi has seen its sales triple(!) YoY, while #9 Volvo is seeing its sales grow 34%, now standing well above the #16 of 2019. On the other hand, BAIC, Bronze medalist in 2019, now is just #17...
In other news, the Chinese SAIC was up one spot, to #5, while on the second half of the table, Mercedes production ramp up is making itself felt, with the German maker climbing to to #13, while both GAC (4.106 units, new Year Best) and Toyota (4.159, new YB) climbed one position, to #15 and #16, respectively, with the Japanese maker having much to thank to its Chinese operations for this.
Outside the Top 20, a reference to the #21 NIO, just 174 units behind the #20 Skoda, and with the Chinese startup scoring 3.155 units last month, it will be a matter of time until it features in the table.