Friday, October 2, 2020

Milestone of the Month: 100k models

There are several, of course, but i have decided to mention only the BEVs, which cuts the number to roughly half, here are the 13 "Centennial BEVs":

BAIC EC-Series - 203k (The small EV was all the rage in China a couple of years ago, but with BAIC changing its focus to the larger EU-Series, sales have plummeted, now being delivered in the low hundreds per month);

BAIC EU-Series - 196k (Beijing Auto biggest bet on EVs was much rewarded last year, with 111k registrations in that year, a first for a model not wearing a "T" in the hood. But this year, the fierce competition is hurting its performances, as the sedan is only #10 in China)

Baojun E-Series - 118k (The tiny EVs have discreetly become a success story for SAIC, soon to be joined by that Atom Ant super-hero, the Wuling Mini EV);

BMW i3 - 191k (Despite all criticism from many conservative minds, the i3 managed to carve itself a cult following, allowing it to become a success story for BMW);

BYD e5 - 105k (Another victim of the fast pace in the Chinese market, the utilitarian sedan was discarded by BYD, replaced by the cheaper, but less dull, e2 and e3 models);

Chery eQ - 139k (The nameplate has been long enough on the market to be considered like a canary on the coal mine, when it comes to small EVs in China. After years of success, the subsidy change last year basically terminated its career for a while, but this year it is back on track, now at #9 in its home market);

Geely Emgrand EV - 107k (The sixth Chinese model out of these 13 selected ones, Geely's sedan is also a victim of the fast evolving pace of the market in China, while it was an interesting model a couple of years ago, now it doesn't hold a candle next to the current best sellers, and even within the Geely stable, looking a 20 year model next to the sexy Geely Xing Rui);

Nissan Leaf - 490k (Disclosure: Yes, Nissan did announced a few days ago that they had passed 500.000 deliveries of the Leaf, so i should point out that this number regards deliveries up to August, and that there might be missing a few couple of thousand units from this tally. Moving on, the first EV banner of the modern age wasn't perfect, but it did put a lot of people driving EVs, back when driving one could have been seen as an excentricity, and with deep discounts towards the end of its first phase, success continued to knock on the door. And then, in 2018, Carlos Ghosn, the godfather of this model, was moved from the CEO position in Nissan, and things started to go downhill, the much expected refresh in late 2017 wasn't as deep as expected, prices weren't competitive enough and...slowly but surely, sales started regressing. Sure, this model still sells in large amounts, but over time its best seller status will be challenged by other, newer and more competitive models);

Renault Zoe - 231k (The French EV career is the opposite of the Leaf, despite a shaky start, it has been steadily improving its qualities and 8 years since it started, it is on top of its form, selling like never before and becoming one of the few models to provide consistent five-digit scores on a monthly basis); 

Tesla Model 3 - 645k (The current Best Selling EV is living up to all the hype that surrounded its reveal, opening doors in several market to the EV Revolution and if it wasn't the first EV to reach the 100k mark, it will surely be the first to reach the 1 million score);

Tesla Model S - 305k (After the controversial Leaf, this was the model that made Legacy makers to watch and take note of what was going to happen a few years later, here was an EV that was fast, sexy, had surprising range and didn't had any major issue...Being light years ahead of the competition, the Model S became a trend setter and a future classic, which makes it all more sad that Tesla hasn't decided to refresh what is effectively a 8 year design...-And with these last lines, i promise not to talk about this topic anymore);

Tesla Model X - 177k (Something of an Ugly Duckling in the Tesla lineup, the truth is that the big SUV/Minivan/sports car crossover thingy keeps all the Tesla qualities intact and managed to sell in large quantities, even if they might not have been as high as Tesla hoped for);

VW e-Golf - 136k (With a rather discrete start, the electric VW Golf had an upswing career, with its last year being the most successful yet, thanks to the increasing will/necessity from Volkswagen to deliver EVs to the market, in order to comply with the CO2 rules. Having said that, the e-Golf will go down in History as the ID.3's - VW 1500) 


  1. Jose,

    Ghosn was removed in late November 2018.

    This is important, b/c it was a year after Gen II rollout, and 2018 was a record year for the Leaf.

    Things were looking up towards 2019 with the expected release of the >200-mile version (2018 only had the 150-mile) - and indeed, both the Zoe and the Golf had a great year in Europe in 2019 despite having shorter range - but all evidence indicates that without Ghosn there's been little corner-office support for EVs at Nissan, and it's fallen in line with the rest of Japan's disappointing Big Three.

    Anyway, it'll be great if you correct the year in the article.


  2. @Jose Pontes: Thanks for publishing this article at the right time.
    In 2020 Q1, Model 3 overtook Leaf and must be closing in on 700K which will be a big achievement. Its the 1st PEV to cross 500K and 600K mark. With an affordable $35K price tag, many who yearned for a good BEV that can be bought easily (without dealers hiding a BEV in showrooms), had their dream come true. This model really vaulted Tesla to the level of major luxury car company.

    Leaf sales at end of 2019 was 458K while Model 3 was 448K. So Leaf was the leader of PEV world for 9 years presuming the earlier launched models like iMiev and e6 are very little. Leaf sales crossed 500K, but sadly they never want to reveal even the annual sales. Selling 300K with just a 24 KWh battery for 1st 5 years and then moving on to 30 KWh for the next 2 years is commendable. With 40 KWh battery, its sales rose sharply in 2018. Everyone expected 2019 will see bigger sales with the addition of 62 KWh, but then the major accident happened.
    They sold 1.916 units in Q3 in USA which is down 38% YoY. In 2020 they raised the price by $1,600 and the 62KWh model with 226 mile range costs $38.200, for $200 less, you can buy a Model 3 which has extra 25 mile range besides being much faster. Surely Nissan execs have kept it in dark room.

    Model S is certainly a great car that came with 3 battery options, affordable price, speed, luxury that put Tesla in world automotive map. Achieving 300K puts it on league with only 3 other models (Model 3, Leaf, Mitsu Outlander PHEV). Hoping for a refresh, but their priority may be stabilizing 4680 and probably refreshed model will carry that battery. If Porsche sells 1.858 Taycans in Q3 in USA, then Model S does need refresh.

    Model X is certainly marching towards 200K, again an exclusive club.

    BMW i3 may also hit 200K and hoping for battery refresh badly, but it has Rex version which runs on petrol also.

    Renault Zoe will stand and fight while its big brother Leaf goes down.

    Goodbye VW e-Golf.

  3. Volt/Ampera/Velite is another nice PEV that had 60 km range with Gen-1 (2011-2015) and 85 km range with Gen-2 (2016-2019), sadly GM gave the same treatment it gave to the original EV-1 and killed it ruthlessly. Had they continued to sell, it could have sold 300K+ and moving into Gen-3, it could have had 100 km+ range. They could have sold it as Volt in every market, but kept different names only to ensure that 1 common name does not become popular.

    Other news
    Volvo started production of XC40 Recharge, a BEV (400 km range) with sales starting this month itself.
    It may hit top-20 in either Sweden/Norway hopefully, if not at least top-25. Bit by bit BEVs are moving mainstream.

    Model 3 driver walks scratch free after high speed crash. Another proof of safety.

    Honda quits formula 1 racing because its dirty. Still gambling on fuel cells, good luck.

    1. Yeah, the Volt deserved better luck, or should i say, better parents :P

      Same for the Bolt, those were two great pieces of engineering that had their careers harmed by bean counters and portfolio managers.

    2. I agree about the Volt, but not about the Bolt. While it has decent specs, it's well-known that the Bolt is way too costly for what it offers, when sold at a profit -- and you can't seriously blame GM for not trying to sell more than they have to when selling at a loss...

      (And the reason for that is that it's actually lazy engineering: take a combustion car platform, modify it to fit a battery instead, fill in the blanks with a bunch of more or less off-the-shelf components...)

    3. Yes, killed by bean counters because GM's board insists that it make money. Tesla seems unconcerned about turning a profit, which hurts all the other significant EV makers.

      The microcar segment (such as the GM Wuling Hongguang) runs on a different cost structure, they can make money. Sure, small cars make small absolute profits, but from an environmental perspective we don't want vehicles that offer range and performance, hence are heavy and expensive, given that few of them use either during daily commuting and errands.

  4. There is missing Hyundai Kona Electric. Kona EV reached 100 000 milestone June 2020

    1. Nice to see Hyundai Kona EV selling 100.000 units in just 2 years. Very few vehicles can # the mark so fast.
      Aside from the petrol version, Kona has only Electric and no hybrid/plugin. So Hyundai has realized that electric has better scope than hybrid/plugin. Battery prices becoming cheaper should help Hyundai offer higher range.

      Hope VW ID.3 also hits the 100.000 very soon.
      Ideally the "milestones of the month" article should be covered every time a vehicle crosses 100.000 or 500.000 or 1.000.000 with just those vehicle(s) which made the mark in that month.

    2. In Europe there is Kona Hybrid as well

    3. There is, in fact, a (plug-less) hybrid Kona now.

  5. The September sales numbers from Norway are really something to talk about..
    Looking forward to Jose's report.

  6. The Chinese brands and Tesla must have sore backs from doing all the heavy lifting. ;)

    Only four non-Chinese, non-Tesla models on the list; representing the entire rest of the world.

  7. Not so sure that Model 3 will reach the 1 mil mark first. ID3 production in Zwickau/Saxony at 100.000 per quater. If the ID3 sales boom can be sustained, production will be ramped up quickly. Model 3 sales are steeply falling in Norway and Netherlands as it reaches already the end of product cycle. The market segment of Model3 is too small and sedans are in overall decline not only for petrol cars.

    1. Tesla slowdown emerging also in Germany. Month over month growth in September just 6.5% despite September being usually a strong month for Tesla.

    2. @heinrich
      norway & netherlands are just 2 out of 200 countries in the world.
      does zwickau alone make 400.000 ID3 / year, if so china could make another 200.000 bringing total to 600.000.
      if germany+china+america makes 300.000 ID4 / year, that brings total ID series to 900.000.
      are these # real of its like another nikola 1 that was pushed down the slope and claimed as truck in motion.

      did u calculate how much sales the ID3 will capture from the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Benz C Series since they are all in close price range and ID3 having more interior space because of 5 door style with taller roof. Also how about BMW 330e/Le plugin.

      Model 3 started sales only in 2017-07, so its just 3 1/4 years old and not anywhere near the end of of cycle. with a tally of 645.000, next target is 700.000 and every 100.000 sales is worth celebrating. On 2020-10-01, sales of Model 3 SR+ MIC with cheaper LFP battery sales started with 8% lesser price and orders are overwhelming. its true saloon/coupe sales are decreasing, thats why Model 3 is designed like a hatch with maximum space.

      i suspect you are an VW group employee who is more interested in trolling Tesla rather than praising PEVs. VW cant be trusted since they are still developing / selling diesels.
      i will rejoice the sale of every ID3 / ID4 and every other PEV.

    3. @Heinrich: Famlin is right, all EVs are welcome to the cause, either from Tesla, Volkswagen, or any other maker, so we should cheer for all of them.

    4. Considering all the incentives in Europe there doesn't seem to be that much growth in EVs.
      To me it seems next year we will see a lot of price reductions as there are so many choices.
      People will really be open for BEVs once the price reaches comparable gasoline vehicles.
      I.e. if Opel Corsa EV will start at 15,000 Euro. or ID3 will start at 20,000.
      If prices don't come down the growth will stall.

    5. Last I heard, The Zwickau plant has a total target capacity of 330.000 per year -- and that's between ID.3, the badge-engineered el-born, and IIRC also the ID.4 and its variants...

      There will be more production capacity in China, but only coming some time next year.

      Sure, ID.3 might one day outsell the Model 3 -- or maybe we should say it *should*, given that it's in a much larger segment... But the idea that this could happen before Model 3 reaches a million cumulative sales is beyond delusional.

    6. @Kaminfeuer
      Soon subsidies will be cut, prices will come down, but not to the level that you expect and the sales will increase.
      Tesla cut the price of Model 3 MIC by 8% and the orders are overwhelming, soon the competitors may follow suit and slowly prices will come down.

    7. @antrik
      That makes sense, so 330.000 for ID3, ID4 and el-born, that could bring 200.000 (ID3), 100.000 (ID4) and the rest for others. Seems the trollers are throwing false # to mislead. No wonder, Tesla closed its PR department. Much of the media are against them, even the has become anti-Tesla now after merging with

    8. @famlin I'm pretty sure the Skoda, Seat, and Audi variants will get way more than 9% of total production... Which means that until VW has more plants up (don't remember when the next one is scheduled), even 150,000 ID.3 per year would be optimistic.

      IIRC they mentioned a medium-term target of 300,000 per year -- though I'm not sure whether that's for Europe alone, or including China...

    9. @famlin: Lately it's not difficult to be against Tesla, lately there have been behaviors within the company, namely from Elon, that are not normal or democratic, it kind of reminds the bullying that Trump does to the media that remains independent.

    10. @Jose Pontes: Every day the mainstream media criticizes Tesla even to the point that its stock value will go down to $0.
      Automakers prevent them from selling.
      Dealers & suppliers talk against them.
      Big oil + OPEC does all they can to block.
      Investors talk foul.
      Politicians do all they can against Tesla. Earlier they wanted to end the $7,500 tax credit, but after its phased out for Tesla, they dont talk anything about it.

      Despite all this, they are marching forward like a soldier running thru the bullets.

      Even today there is news of a worker at Fremont attempting a sabotage.
      No wonder, they closed their PR team, why talk to people who hate you.

      They only trust their investors, customers, fanbase in which you and me are there.

    11. @José what are you talking about? While the financial yellow press has been making up bullshit about Tesla for years, I don't remember hearing of anything recently...

      A company is not a government, and thus not subject to democracy. As for "normal": whatever issues might come up at Tesla (inevitably there are *some* at such a large organisation), you can be sure there is far worse elsewhere -- it's just that others don't get scrutinised as much.

    12. "No wonder, they closed their PR team, why talk to people who hate you." - Including all the media in the same bag is a mistake, there are websites, like Cleantechnica or Electrek, just to name two, that are either independent or even sympathetic to Tesla, so closing the PR team is bad for everyone, including the ones that could defend Tesla on the media, cutting essential communication channels with them. This is just one example of Tesla's recent bad decisions.

      Another example:

      "A company is not a government, and thus not subject to democracy" - uhhh, no. A company, whatever it may be, is subjected to the laws and rules of the country it works on, and preferably it should be under democratic systems, or else slavery or other milder forms of exploitation become the norm.

      And on a personal note, just like the "us vs them" tone in current politics, i find the "Tesla fanboys vs Tesla shorters" dispute ridiculous, as i find that both sides can be equalliy right or wrong, depending on the topic at hand.

      Or maybe it's just me that belongs to a dying species, those that think with their own heads, and do not fit in either of the fighting sides, i don't know.

    13. Are you saying it's OK to be "against Tesla" because they stopped answering press inquiries? Seriously?..

      (Cleantechnica is fine BTW, since Elon follows them, and personally points out any issues he sees ;-)

      As for Electrek... Frankly, they blew it themselves, with some really dumb articles. Which is sad, since they have a lot of good stuff -- but some things were just incredibly dumb and childish.)

  8. Great work José! Congrats
    Regarding the Leaf, they played a PR stunt with the 500K production car. They didn't say 500K have sold, Nissan produced the 500,000th unit and delivered right away in Norway, but they still have some way to go to achieved cumulative sales of 500K units. I think your count is right on the money. Read carefully the press announcement of that delivery, it was misleading.

    1. @EMC, @Jose Pontes
      Thanks for the clarification. Crooked nissan execs will go to any extent to spread false news.
      After all, they arrested Carlos Ghosn on false charges.
      If they are interested in selling more leafs, then they should reduce the price and introduce long range model for 500 km with 85 KWh battery. They know how many long range Model 3 that Tesla sells.
      Still leaf will hit 500.000 mark by the end of this year. Next year, things will start going down drastically for leaf as many new BEVs are coming in and prices are becoming competitive.

    2. Supposedly a new Leaf should be coming, based on the dedicated new BEV platform introduced with he Ariya. In the past they talked about 2021 IIRC -- though I don't know whether that's still current.

      Hopefully that will make it competitive again...

  9. @Heinrich: here is a news for you
    Tesla is the only automaker who had positive growth in Germany this year while all others suffered sales decrease.
    Because of coronavirus shutdown, they could not sell more and probably sold everything in USA itself.

  10. Hi Jose
    Which is the cut date for these figures? September 2020?

  11. Note that I consider the Hongguang Wuling a GM product, cf. my work on the Chinese EV market (two recent posts on SeekingAlpha). That's my understanding from the way the JV was set up, and also (in the Chinese media) owner photos of "under the hood" show the drivemotor with a clear GM name attached. I have a draft article on the Chinese A00 segment, with photos of who supplies what, and other details. But won't finish it until July??

    Anyway, I thank you for your Europe coverage. I don't have time to follow both Europe and China.

  12. I thought Model 3 was very close to 1,000,000 and would cross the threshold this quarter. There were about 430,000 sold in 2020. About 300,000 in 2019. About 150,000 in 2018/17. Even if the 2020 estimate includes some Model Y, the 1 million mark may have already been crossed in 2021.