Thursday, May 28, 2020

Global Top 20 April 2020

VW electrifies lineup with e-Golf launch -

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.


  1. Hooray ! Tesla sold 1 million + units. At the end of 2020-03, their sales stood at 990.000, with this 14.000+ sales, it hits the target.

    Tesla Model Y joining the Top-20 will be great. Even if May is missed, it will happen in June.
    If Model 3 sold 11.761 and Model X sold 999 with overall Tesla sales of 14.793, then Model S & Y sold 2.033 units. Most likely Model Y sold more than 1.000 units. In a non-quarter ending month, Tesla selling nearly 2.800 units more than #2 is fantastic. What a commanding market share lead Model 3 (15%) has over #2 Zoe (4%).

    30% drop compared to the overall 45% drop is still better job by PEVs. May should be a better month.

  2. Tesla Model S cumulative sales stands above 296.000 units, with the $5.000 price cut in USA and similar cut in China, its sales should easily hit 300.000 mark by June. Price cuts for Model 3/S/X should give a big push for Tesla.

    Nissan Leaf cumulative sales stands at around 476.000 and whether it will hit 500.000 mark by this year end is doubtful. Model 3 price of $38.000 (with cut of $2.000) makes it better option than Leaf +. Nissan may also reveal the electric vehicle strategy soon. If they dont cut the price of Leaf, then the model is in trouble.

    PEVs are cruising in 2020 despite big subsidy cuts in China, phaseout for Tesla/GM in USA and the pandemic.
    In April there was another subsidy cut in China with only the vehicles below $42.000 being eligible for subsidy.
    Imagine how it will be in Q3 when the market is back in stable mode.

    1. I don't expect a ~5% price cut to give that much of a push.

      The Leaf+ was never a good option compared to Model 3, if you look just at specs and list price... But with full FIT credit, the Leaf+ is actually quite a bit cheaper in the US. The $2,000 price reduction doesn't change that all that much...

    2. AnonymousMay 29, 2020

      Nissan is closing their only factory in EU in Barcelona. The only European factory which remains is in Sunderland, UK, but still out of EU after Brexit. I think their overall sales in EU will be severely hit.

    3. European Leaf production was always in the UK...

      Whether this will be much of a problem going forward depends on what kind of trade deal the UK manages to get with the EU.

  3. Worldwide cumulative sales of private PEVs exceed 8 million mark. Nice.
    If Tesla sold 1 million, then they command 1/8 or 12,5 % market share.
    What a great company. All are waiting for the battery day. Bravo Tesla.

    Laggard Toyota could move only 893 units of Prius PHEV. To make matters worse, they call it Prime in USA and PHEV in rest of world. What is the logic behind. Just to keep the sales low. Hope someone in that company reads these stats to see how BEVs take 15 in Top-20, 8 in Top-10, and 4 in Top-4.

    Another laggard GM is still dillydallying with just 1 model: Bolt having killed the wonderful Volt.

  4. AnonymousMay 29, 2020

    Pontes, do you know the meaning of the acronym VAG?
    Correct, you don't.
    In the last century, by the middle 60's, the Volkswagenwerk AG seized the opportunity to acquire the majority of the Auto Union GmbH assets from Daimler-Benz AG. Before the end of that decade, this was further enhanced with the integration of NSU Motorenwerke AG, thus leading to the creation of the new company Audi NSU Motorenwerke AG. Although owning it, there wasn't fully consolidation and merger of operations, thus as an example, the existence of individual entities namely in the areas of distribution, retail and service, like the Audi+Porsche organization in the US. By the late 70's, with high proeminence during the 80's and well until the decision to create separate channels for retail and service by the middle 90's, the retail and service for all vehicles from Volkswagen and Audi were to be so under the V.A.G network, were the acronym V.A.G stands for Volkswagen-Audi Gemein.
    Internaly, this acronym was mainly used together with the word 'Service', so much so that, it is easily seen on period tool apparatus and literature used by the repair and maintenance network.
    Outside, the aftermarket industry started to wrongly use this acronym when referring to parts, items and related sujects regarding Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, ascribing the meaning of; Volkswagen and Audi Group, which in fact never existed, and at a time were there was still NSU vehicles being made and sold and further still when the Volkswagen group started to acquiring, first SEAT and later Skoda, Bentley...

    1. Thanks for explanation of V.A.G. Gemein in german means common, is that correct or is it group. I though VAG is short form for Volkswagen AG.

    2. Isn't the acronym VAG meaning Volkswagen AG? As in Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft? Or Volkswagen "share company", in English?

      Meine Deutsch ist nicht gut, aber ich glaube AG bedeutet "Aktiengesellschaft". Ich bin falsch?

    3. Maarten VinkhuyzenMay 31, 2020

      Nowadays VAG is the listed company and Volkswagen Group is the organization that makes and sell autos.
      These two are nearly identical.
      VWAG is the combination of VW Group and VAG.
      As long as we understand when we are talking about the group and when about the brand, I don't think it is important what designation we use.

      It is nice to read the history of the acronym VAG.
      As with many acronyms, it often can point to multiple expressions.

  5. AnonymousMay 30, 2020

    Why is your Kona EV only 12208?

    The Hyundai sales data show 12535 export + 2134 SK = 14669

    1. In China the Kona is called "Encino" and i haven't counted it. Will change next month.

  6. Great news. Toyota RAV-4 plugin is priced at $39,200 (incl dest charge) - $7,500 (fed rebate) = $31,700 and its range is 42 miles / 67 km and gas mileage is 40 MPG / 16 km/l. Toyota sees the threat posed by Tesla Model Y to its best selling Lexus RX 450h hybrid and tries to lure shoppers with this good pricing.

    RAV-4 hybrid costs $29,220 (incl dest charge). RAV-4 plugin costs just $2,480 more and certainly we can recover that cost with the 40 mile / 67 km electric range.

    Ford Escape plugin is priced at $34,235 (incl dest charge) - $6,800 (fed rebate) = $27,435 and it has 30 mile / 48 km electric range and this is another promising vehicle which is actually cheaper than its hybrid cousin.

    So this year, 3 PEVs (Model Y, RAV-4 plugin & Escape plugin) goes on sale in USA and all 3 are very important mass selling vehicles priced very well. Lets hope that 2020 will also be a good year for PEVs.

    On June 25, Ford is going to reveal their redesigned 2021 F-Series trucks. Everyone are hoping for a hybrid/plugin/electric versions.

    1. I highly doubt any PHEV will be even remotely as relevant as the Model Y. (Or any other EV announced thus far really...)

    2. As for the F-150, a hybrid has been confirmed a long time ago; and a BEV has also been confirmed for a while now (for late 2021). I don't remember them confirming a PHEV -- though third-party modifications have been available through partners for years...

    3. the Rav4 PHEV and Kuga/Escape PHEV promise to be success stories. Looking forward to them!

    4. @antrik

      For a person with daily 40 mile commute, driving 40 miles * 250 work days / year amounts to 10,000 miles / year on battery power.
      Assume the person drives at least 20 miles during weekend and thats 20 * 50 weekends = 1,000 miles. So 11,000 miles is coming on battery power alone without burning a drop of gasoline/petrol. Thats great compared to the RAV-4 gasser.

      Certainly Model Y is the greatest since it can take the driver for even 80 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles / day on battery alone besides the long range trips.
      So a person who drives extensively can drive 20,000 - 25,000 miles (30,000 - 40,000 km approx) / year in Model Y without a drop of gas.

    5. The issue with PHEVs is that even when they have enough range in theory to do the daily commute in pure EV mode, in almost all existing PHEVs the EV part of the power train is simply too weak to make it a first-class driving experience... So either they don't come with a true pure EV mode at all (rather turning on the combustion engine in certain situations unconditionally); or even if they do, drivers are dis-incentivised from using it...

      Having said that, I'm not saying PHEVs are useless: for people not willing to take the plunge yet and go for a pure EV, PHEVs are obviously still better than fossil-only cars. However, specifically regarding my above remark about relevance, PHEVs simply do not have the magic appeal that could make any PHEV model sell even remotely in the same ballpark as the Model Y...

  7. AnonymousMay 31, 2020

    Do these figures include US sales?

    1. Of course: they would be very incomplete without the large US market...

      Though the US numbers are obviously only estimates, since there are no official bodies reporting sales for most of US; and many car makers don't report monthly numbers themselves...

  8. Anyone have total U.S. EV sales for Q1. Please let me know. Thanks very much

  9. Anyone have Q1 EV sales for U.S. ?

  10. Does anyone have U.S. EV sales data for Q1 ?

  11. For those fools in USA who claim that electric vehicles are coal-powered, here is the answer from the latest electricity stats from USA.

    March-2020: Share of different sources
    Coal: 16.5%
    Natgas: 40.4%
    Wind/bio: 11.7%
    Solar: 2.1
    Hydro: 7.3
    Nuclear: 20.9%

    All the above are for utility scale. In addition, there is also individual home/office owned solar which is another 1.1%

    1. What's more, due to better efficiency, even "coal-powered" EVs tend to have lower carbon footprint -- plus they keep pollution out of city centres; and total pollution is probably also lower, thanks to more effective filters on stationary power plants.

  12. I tried to calculate the exact price of Nissan Leaf in USA based on the price of Rogue Sport / Qashqai.
    The dimension of the 2 vehicles are very close.
    Leaf: 176" x 71" x 61" / 4481 mm x 1790 mm x 1540 mm
    Qashqai: 173" x 72" x 63" / 4394 mm x 1806 mm x 1590 mm
    Leaf is longer, but Qashqai is taller and overall Qashqai has more volume.

    Price of Qashqai starts at $23,240 in USA. Average battery price of $156 / KWh based on last year end bloomberg calc.

    Leaf with 40 KWh battery
    Qashqai price: $23,240
    Battery price: 40 * $156 = $6,240
    Less: -$2,000 (since BEV's motor is much smaller, has 1 speed transmission, no grill, radiator, gas tank, exhaust pipe, catalytic converter ...)
    Net price: $27,480

    Leaf + with 62 KWh battery
    Qashqai price: $23,240
    Battery price: 62 * $156 = $9,672
    Less: -$2,000 (since BEV's motor is much smaller, has 1 speed transmission, no grill, radiator, gas tank, exhaust pipe, catalytic converter ...)
    Net price: $30,912

    And how much is Nissan charging in USA.
    $31,600 for 40 KWh version which is $4,120 more

    $38,200 for 62 KWh version which is $7,288 more.
    Basically Nissan is pocketing whatever rebate government gives.

    Meanwhile Tesla is reducing the price of their vehicles to pass the benefits to customers.

    1. I once made some extrapolations based on numbers from a pretty solid-looking study I found, and concluded that, once economies of scale take full effect, the production cost of an entry-ish level EV sans the battery should be about $3,500 below a comparable combustion car...

      But that's the thing: it only works when volume reaches similar levels as combustion cars, to achieve the same economies of scale. Tesla is almost getting there; and VW might be getting close as well, once MEB is in full swing -- but Nissan and others are still far away from that...

  13. Today, Tesla's market cap hit $166 billion which is double that of GM + Ford + Chrysler combined.
    Successfully launch of manned space mission by NASA & SpaceX rocketed the share price to nearly $900.

  14. Bom dia,
    I just wonder how is the EV development in the US? If I see it correctly, the last monthly numbers are from September '19.
    Are recent stats available?

    1. Well...Estimates. Most OEMs stopped reporting in the US, that is the main reason why i stopped reporting the USA.

      But from what i know, the numbers aren't brilliant, the PEV share at around 2%.

      Basically, it's Tesla doing the bulk of the pulling, with the Detroit 3 basically missing in action (Maybe the upcoming Ford Kuga/Escape PHEV could change things), while foreign OEMs prefer to invest in Europe, where demand (and profits) is higher, with the added bonus of being a more open market.

    2. With weak fuel economy standards (further weakened by Trump), and a regional ZEV mandate that appears to have become increasingly toothless over time, there is really little motivation for car makers to sell EVs in the US, unless they can do so above cost even absent mandates -- and the number of OEMs other than Tesla that is able do do so right now, is likely very close to zero...

      (I guess Porsche might perhaps be one, with their very expensive niche product. Not sure about Nissan: but even if the Leaf is profitable, it's only because it's no longer really competitive on price -- so they are barely selling any, even when they want to...)

    3. yes, that sounds all quite logic. Following some American youtube channels about Tesla resp. electr. mobility, I can only see them talking about either Tesla or some unicorns like Rivian, Lucid, Faraday etc. Just fancy upper price range concept cars

    4. I guess what will crack the US market wide open are electric pick-up trucks, whoever gets there first wins the prize.

      Frankly, i'm not the best judge for evaluating pick-up trucks, especially the XXL US-made, but from my point of view, i like the style of the Cybertruck, although i don't know if it's too adventurous for US tastes.

      What i would like to see is the Cybertruck style applied to the remaining Tesla models, so far, Tesla styling, while modern and beautiful, it is very mainstream, especially when applied to millions of units, it could end up risking being the "Toyota Camry/VW Golf" cars of 2025, meaning: Generic Meh! styling.

    5. Brawny electric pick-ups will certainly have an important psychological impact on the US market... (Though I doubt the first one will have a major advantage, considering that all relevant players are now targeting next year.)

      In terms of actual unit sales, we need to keep in mind though that pick-up trucks aren't quite as dominant as many comments would make you believe. Of course it's true that the traditional American car makers get most, if not all, of their profits from this segment (thanks to the "chicken tax", i.e. good old protectionism); and it's also true that the top-selling vehicle models are all in the pick-up category -- but only because there are so few choices. In terms of total sales, the segment was still below 20% of the US market last year IIRC. (Which of course is *way* too much by any sane standard... But that's a different point.)

      The biggest sellers in terms of units are larger crossovers and SUVs -- a segment that also has had extremely few entrants until now, and no affordable ones at all. The Model Y (especially once the Standard Range one begins deliveries), along with a few other entrants supposedly coming soon in the same space, are finally changing this somewhat -- which should make for a very significant jump in US EV share...

      (Though we should also keep in mind that even sedans aren't quite as dead as most commenters would have you believe...)