Sunday, October 31, 2021

Last articles on CT (13/12 update)

 ...To help with the transition to CT, here are some quick links to my latest articles:

Global Top 20 (October):

Europe (October):

China (October):

Germany (October):

France (November):

Netherlands (November):

RSS feed:

All EV Sales related articles on CT:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Interview to EV Universe (2nd part added)


A great interview by Jaan, of EV Universe, someone passionate for EVs and with a keen eye on the latest developments, i believe we should follow his work in the future, i know i will!

Part One here

Part Two here 

The end of EV Sales

"Hello, my name is Jose Pontes and i'm a what you can call a car geek, with a particular interest in the green side of the auto landscape." - It was with these words that i introduced myself on the first post, back in late 2012, explaining why i had created this blog and promising to post reports on the 25(!) markets i was already covering by then. 

Back in those days, the EV Revolution was far less certain than it is now, and PHEV sales were ahead of BEVs, but on the 2013 Preview post, i was mentioning several important additions, like the Renault Zoe, BMW i3, VW e-Up and a certain Tesla Model S...

For me it was interesting to see what i wrote then about these models, saying things like the Zoe had everything to become the Best Selling EV in Europe (so far, it has 3 Best Seller trophies - 2016, '17 and '20), questioning if the BMW i3 high price wouldn't prevent it to become a Best Seller (it's highest standings in Europe were a #2 spot, in 2017, and one #3 in 2018, while the much cheaper Zoe has always been on Europe's podium since 2013...).

Of course, not everything i wrote was prescient, after all, despite saying that the Tesla Model S was going to be the poster car for the EV Revolution, i had doubts that it would top the charts...Which it did, winning the Global Best Seller status in 2015, and earning 3 more podium positions (#3 in 2014, and #2 in 2016 & '17).

Funny enough, in August 2013, i made an update to that post, reporting that Volkswagen was sabotaging their own electric efforts. Remember, this was still pre-dieselgate Volkswagen Group, when it was still on the wrong side of the Revolution... 
And volumes were far smaller than now, in the final 2012 Global ranking, i was celebrating that fact that sales had doubled regarding 2011, to...124.000 units. Right now, China or Europe alone beat that number in a single month...That's how far we have become.

EV Sales continued to grow at 50%-plus fates in the following years, but by 2015, plugins were still seen by the mainstream media and most of the Legacy OEMs as "something for the future", that indefinite thing that can be 5 or 25 years time...

Until Dieselgate hit. 

After the presentation of the Tesla Model S, this was the second accelerator moment of the EV Revolution, as it forced one of the biggest Global Legacy OEMs to make a sudden change of direction and bet on whatever EV projects they had at the time, looking back, that near death experience is what allowed them now to be one step ahead of the remaining Legacy competition, after all, of the Top 3 Legacy OEMs (VW, Toyota, Renault-Nissan), the VW Group is the only one on the plugin Top 5 (either PEV or just BEV), as the Japanese maker continues a laggard, and the Alliance is constantly losing charge since Carlos Ghosn left the company.

Another accelerator was the presentation, and subsequent reservation fever, of the Tesla Model 3, back in 2016, for the first time, an EV was playing head to head with the best ICE Best Sellers, not only in specs, but also in price, something that still today most BEVs lose out to their ICE counterparts.

In 2017, the Plugin market hit its first million units in one year, and growth rates continued at 50%-plus rates, so we would have the global market fully electrified by 2030...

But then, subsidy changes in China, by mid-2019, have sent Chinese EV Sales down a cliff, and because at that time, they represented 66%(!) of the global BEV sales, global sales suffered, leading to a full year of constant drops, with the Covid pandemic, that had revealed itself in late 2019, helping along, in the first months of 2020. 

And after a recovering Q3 2020, Global EV Sales went into overdrive last October, with 3-digit growth rates ever since, shortening the expected full electrification horizon to 2027/28...

We have not only surpassed the "Will EVs win?" question, but we are now also surpassing the "How fast?" question (answer: Before 2030), from now on, the electrification process is more or less predictable, being a true arms race between all the OEMs (Legacy, Chinese, Startups, etc) for supremacy/survival, and with electrification now becoming mainstream, last year, 10% of all new passenger cars globally had some form of electrification system, i believe the mission of this blog (document and promote the EV Revolution) is coming to an end.

As such, it is with some sadness that i am announcing that i will stop posting new articles on the EV Sales blog

Besides personal reasons, namely lack of time, EV Sales started out because there was little available data on plugin sales, but now there are several media outlets that play that role, so one can say that the blog has already fulfilled its role, now that others are doing what EV Sales has done over the last 9 years, its time for the EV Sales blog to enjoy its retirement, in a tropical island by the sea, while drinking a Marguerita.

For those that on top of the EV Sales data, enjoy my writing and would like to continue following my analyses, digressions and rants, i will continue writing on CleanTechnica, as i had in the past, and nothing will be changed there.

To all the readers that have formed this EV Sales community over the years, and to those in particular that have helped the blog to florish, be it through suggestions or new data, i want to leave my sincere gratitude here, this wild ride wouldn't have been possible without your help.

Goodbye and good luck y'all!

Netherlands May 2021


Skoda Enyaq superstar in hot market (24% share!)

The Dutch PEV market continues on the fast lane, with 5,986 plugin registrations, placing last month PEV Share at 24% (13% BEV), pulling the year to date PEV share to 18% (7.9% BEV), which is still down on last year result (25%), but already above with the 2019 score (15%), and expect this year result to continue growing throughout the year, as term of comparison, in May 2020, the YTD share was at 12%, which could mean that if witness another strong end of year peak, we could see the plugin share end North of 30%...Not bad, eh?

Breaking down registrations between each plugin powertrain, BEVs continue to recover ground, having 56% of April's registrations, the first time this year that pure electrics outsold plugin hybrids, and YTD they are now responsible for 44% of plugin sales, expect pure electrics to continue recovering ground throughout the year, although, with BEVs gradually losing their fiscal incentives year after year, plugin hybrids are recovering their space in the market, highlighting just how sensitive to incentives the plugin market still is.

In May, the leader was the recently arrived Skoda Enyaq, scoring its first win in only its second month on the market, with 848 units, with another surprise showing up in the runner-up spot, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E joined the table in its first full month on the market, with 400 registrations, with the last position of the podium going for the popular Volvo XC40 PHEV, with 392 registrations, the Swede's best score in a year.

But the Mustang wasn't the only Ford having a great month, because just outside the podium, the Ford Kuga PHEV reached the 5th place thanks to 339 units, its second peroformance in a row(!), while the VW ID.4 was 6th, with 219 units, and the BEV version of the XC40 was 7th, with 200 units.

Interestingly, and a sign of where the market is heading, all Top 9 Best Sellers are either crossovers or SUVs, with the best positioned "car" (Peugeot 208 EV) only showing up in #10.

On the second half of the table, we have a few surprises, like the #13 spot of the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, with Geely's post-modern brand already showing up in the table in only its second month on the market, which could mean that the Chinese brand could become a regular face here, while the Citroen C4 EV won its first table presence, thanks to a record 66 deliveries, ending the month in #20.

Interestingly, Stellantis was the OEM with the higher number of models in May's Top 20, with 5 representatives, coming from 4 different brands, without many headlining articles or PR stunts, the French-Italian-German-American conglomerate is slowly making its way into the top positions...

Outside the Top 20, May saw the Porsche Taycan score 60 units, its best score in 9 months, while Tesla delivered 61 Model 3's, with the Californian brand preparing the assault to June's Best Seller trophy

Looking at the 2021 ranking, if the leader Volvo XC40 PHEV (still) remains untouchable, below it there is much to talk about, with the Skoda Enyaq benefiting from a strong May to jump 12 spots, into the 2nd place, with the Czech station-wagon-desguised-as-SUV now being the most serious candidate to replace the Volvo XC40 PHEV from the Best Seller status, while the #4 Ford Kuga PHEV and #3 Kia Niro EV are separated by just 28 units, so we might see a position change here soon.

The Renault Captur PHEV was up two spots, to #8, thus making 9 Crossovers/SUVs in the top positions. 

On the second half of the table, a mention to the Ford Mustang Mach-E joining the table in #12, so Ford's EV seems destined to higher grounds (Top 5?), while the BMW iX3 was also up, having climbed to #15.

Another BEV joining the table was the #18 Peugeot 208 EV, although in this case, it was at the expense of its French arch rival, the Renault Zoe...     

And highlighting Peugeot's good moment, the 2008 EV crossover is now #21, just 12 units behind the #20 BMW X3 PHEV, so expect another Lion on the table soon...

In the manufacturers ranking, Volvo (16%) is the Number One brand, with BMW (13%, down 1%) in the runner-up position, while a rising Ford (7%, up 3%) removed Volkswagen (6%) from the podium, the also rising Skoda (6%, up 3%) is also looking to beat the German maker.

As for OEMs, balance is the word, with the VW Group (19%, up 3%) surpassing Geely-Volvo (18%) in May, while the BMW Group (14%) is not far away.

Outside the podium, we have Stellantis (11%) surpassing the Renault-Nissan Alliance (10%).

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

France May 2021

 Zoe #1 in May, Model 3 #1 YTD

The French plugin market continues on the fast lane, with May's plugin share reaching 17% last month (8.2% BEV), pulling the YTD share to a record 15% (7.1% BEV), which is a good 4% increase over the 2020 result (11%), with the 20% share i predicted for the whole year looks well on target. 

Interestingly, most of the growth is coming from PHEVs, with plugin hybrids representing 53% of registrations in May, 1% above this year average and a significant jump over the 40% they had in 2020. Maybe it's time to cut subsidies on plugin hybrids?

For the first time this year, in May the Renault Zoe managed to win its domestic Best Seller trophy, thanks to 2,577 units, a new year best, so it looks the French maker has (finally) recovered from the late 2020 registration fever, and is back at its usual self, so expect the Zoe to collect a few more trophies during the next months...

...But not in June, because that one seems destined for the Tesla Model 3, that pulled out a surprising 2,111 registrations score last month, with the sports sedan now set to score a new personal best next month (5,000 units? 6,000?), thus beating the expected 3,000-3,500 June score of the Renault Zoe. 

These are bad news for the Peugeot 208 EV, 4th in May, with 1,199 units, because not only the Top 2 are in good shape, but also because its stablemate Peugeot 3008 PHEV (#3, 1,712 units), thanks to its recent facelift, the crossover is running in high voltage, scoring another near-record score, it means the small Pug should only have a chance at a podium seat in July, time when the Model 3 takes its usual vacances month off.

On the first half of the table, the biggest surprise is the appearance of SAIC's MG eHS PHEV in #7, with 590 deliveries, shattering its previous record, and making an impressive result for the Sino-British SUV, being also the highest standing ever for a SAIC model in France.

Another surprise on the first half of the table is the instant success of the #8 Hyundai Tucson PHEV, that scored 578 units right in its landing month, so expect the popular Korean SUV to continue riding the wave of success, maybe even scoring a few Top 5 positions soon. 

Elsewhere, a mention to the record score of the #19 Audi Q3 PHEV, with 359 units, while its less aspirational relative Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV was #20, with 338 units.

Below the Top 20, a mention to the 331 deliveries of the popular Ford Kuga PHEV, while the Skoda Enyaq had 234 units in only its second month on the market, and keeping with the VW Group compact SUV/Crossover topic, the new Cupra Terminator Formentor PHEV had a record 253 units score last month, so the sporty crossover could be another candidate for a Top 20 presence.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the Peugeot 208 EV had a steep crash from the leadership, with the Tesla Model 3 (new #1), Peugeot 3008 PHEV (#2) and Renault Zoe (#3) all surpassing the Peugeot EV, in fact this is the first time this year that the Zoe is ahead of its arch rival...

But not all are roses in the Renault team, as the Renault Twingo (only 490 units last month) lost significant ground to its Stellantis rival, with the French EV hanging by a thread (or 13 of them, to be more accurate) to the 6th position, with the Fiat 500e looking set to climb one position next month and beat the local hero in the City car category.

The second half of the table had a number of changes, namely the Volvo XC40 PHEV climbing one position, to #12, which was the same number of positions that the Mini Cooper EV climbed, now in #15.

On the last positions of the table, the Renault Megane PHEV jumped two spots, to #18, while the Ford Kuga PHEV joines the table in #20.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, Peugeot (18%) and Renault (15%) are stable in the top positions, while Tesla (8% share, up 1%) closes the podium, ahead of the rising Mercedes (7%, up 1%) and Volkswagen (6%).

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force, with a commanding 30% share, with the Renault-Nissan Alliance far behind, with only 16%, while the best foreign OEM is the Volkswagen Group, with 13% share (up 2%), well ahead of Tesla, BMW Group and Daimler.

It is impressive that Tesla, with only one model, can sell as much as both German Premium OEMs, that have lengthy plugin lineups, isn't it?

Monday, May 31, 2021

Global Top 20 April 2021


Models: Wuling Mini EV #1 in April 

Registrations were up for an impressive 249% last month, to some 392,000 units, the 4th best month ever, with BEVs jumping 235%, to some 251,000 units, so we might be seeing the plugin market hit 5 million units this year

These impressive results this year kept the 2021 PEV share to 5.7% (3.7% BEV), which is already significantly above the 4% of last year, and expect it to continue growing throughout the year, to a large single digit number, as Disruption (eg, two digit market shares) on a global level is looking set to happen in the last months of this year, or 2022, the latest.

The future will depend much on the development of the pandemic and on the following economic recovery, but whatever happens, expect plugins to increase significantly its PEV share on the way.

There are two new faces on the Top 5, with the VW ID.4 debuting in 4th, with 10,318 units, its first five-digit score, while its (slightly) older brother, the ID.3, makes its first appearance this year, in #5.

In the podium, besides the Wuling Mini EV return to the top position, after a win in January, there an important mark concerning both Teslas, as last month the Tesla Model Y managed to beat the Model 3 for the first time ever, something that i believe will become the norm in a not too distant future.

Just below this Top 5, we have the Li Xiang One showing up in #7, becoming April's Best Selling PHEV, ahead of two Volvos, the XC60 PHEV (5,005 units), and the Volvo XC40 PHEV (4,589), highlighting the good moment of the Swedish maker. 

On the YTD table, everything remained stable on the Top 5, but below it, balance is the word, with less than 4,000 units separating the #6 Nissan Leaf from the #20 Chevrolet Bolt.

But despite this balance, there weren't much position changes to the table, with the most important being the Li Xiang One jumping to 12th, overcoming the BMW 530e/Le, that had a slow month, with the Chinese startup model now joining the full size category podium, while being just 481 units from the runner-up Audi e-Tron, so we might see the Chinese EREV overcome the big Audi soon and have a 1-2 Chinese leadership in the full size category, as the category leader, the #4 BYD Han EV, seems unattainable.

Volkswagen had a great month, with the ID.4 joining the table in #13, thus making 15 BEVs in the Top 20, allowing the crossover to surpass for the first time its ID.3 relative, that despite this, had a positive month, with the German hatchback jumping 3 spots, to #13, with Volkswagen EV in recovery mode, the Nissan Leaf Best Seller status in the compact class is going to be tested soon, as both hatchbacks are now separated by less than 2,000 units.

Outside the Top 20, there are a few interesting developments, the most surprising of all being the rise to #22 of the Toyota Prius PHEV, that thanks to 4,715 units in April, its best score in over 3 years, allowed the Japanese hatchback to be just 1,500 units behind the #20 Chevrolet Bolt, and highlighting Toyota's good month, the RAV4 PHEV had its best score so far, with 3,996 units, so don't rule out Toyota from the 2021 Best Sellers table just yet...

Speaking of records, right now there are two models scoring consecutive record performances, with the BYD Qin Plus PHEV registering 3,603 units last month, it's 3rd record score in a row, while Hozon's Neta V had 3,846 units last month, it's second consecutive record, expect the BYD model to continue ramping up production (up to five-digits?), while one wonders if the startup Hozon has finally struck gold, with its small crossover.

Manufacturers: Volkswagen climbs to #3

In April, Tesla took the monthly trophy, it's third in a row, but the top three brands were close, with only 1,874 units separating the #1 Tesla from the #3 Volkswagen.

Speaking of Volkswagen, the German brand has surpassed BMW in April and joined the podium, in 3rd, thanks to the good performances of the ID.3 and ID.4.

By the look of things, do not expect BMW to hold on to the 4th position for long, as #5 BYD is recovering momentum and might already surpass it in May, leaving the Bavarian brand withing sight of the rising #6 Mercedes, that has won 3% share YoY, while in the same period, BMW dropped from 7% in April 2020, to the current 6%.

Peugeot joined the Top 10, while Kia also climbed one position, in this case to 12th, but with just 2,000 units separating the #10 Peugeot from the #13, anything can happen.

On the lower half of the table, #18 GAC had its best score in 16 months, thanks to the landing of the new Aion Y. 

Outside the Top 20, a reference to the 6,062 registrations of Skoda, but the brands closer to join the table are the #21 Xpeng (18,436 units) and #22 Li Xiang (18,118).

By OEM, Tesla (14%, down 2%) is ahead, followed by SAIC (13%), with the Volkswagen Group (13%, up 1%) closing in on both. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Europe April 2021

1-2 win for Volkswagen

The European passenger plugin market continues on the rise, having registered over 159,000 units in April, and 616,000 units YTD (+136% YoY), placing last month plugin share at 15% share (7.1% BEV), keeping the 2021 PEV share to 15% (6.7% for BEVs alone).

Interestingly, if in April the overall market was up 23% YoY, something that would be expected, after all, 12 months ago markets were all being disrupted by the Covid pandemic, if we compare April '21 with April '19, the overall market was down 25%, which says a lot on the current electrification process.

Growth came from both plugin fields, with BEVs recovering slightly in the plugin share (46% of sales in April, vs 45% YTD), mostly thanks to the BEV push from the Volkswagen Group, allowing the namesake brand to celebrate a 1-2 win in April, a first for the German maker.

Last year winner Renault Zoe was only 5th last month, its lowest standing in over 3 years(!), so after the Nissan Leaf (Best Seller in 2018, 7th in 2020, 16th now) and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (3rd in 2019, 12th in 2020, now below the Top 20), the last bastion of success in the Renault-Nissan Alliance is also suffering, so the warning sirens must be ringing in the Renault & Nissan European HQ's...  

Looking at April Top 5 Models:

#Volkswagen ID.4 – Sitting in the vortex of the current hottest trends (Plugins and compact Crossovers/SUVs) much is expected from the new Volkswagen, especially considering that its ID.3 sibling hasn't yet set the market on fire...The ID.4 doesn't have much margin for failure, and so far it hasn't disappointed, after the 5,000 units of March, April saw it reach 7,565 registrations and win its first monthly Best Seller award, but one wonders at which point will it reach the cruise speed, and how high will it be, because the fiercest ID.4 competitor comes from the inside the VW Galaxy and it's not the ID.3...(more on that below), but back at last month performance, the German EV had 3 markets in the four digits, with Norway (1,824 units), Germany (1,446) and Sweden (1,444) all scoring 4-digit performances.

#2 Volkswagen ID.3 – After the end of 2020 registrations rush and subsequent hangover, the German hatchback is slowly returning to form, by having 5,941 deliveries last month, its best score in 2021, allowing it to return to the podium and provide a 1-2 win for Volkswagen. Regarding April, the ID.3 performance was heavily based in its home market, with Germany taking almost 40% (2,264 units) of registratrions, being followed from a far by the United Kingdom (815 units) and Sweden (469).

#3 Ford Kuga PHEV – After a few battery issues last year, the Ford compact crossover, known as Escape in the USA, is back in top form, having been last month best selling plugin hybrid, with 4,300 units, thus ending a 3 month winning streak from the Volvo XC40 PHEV. With Ford now launching the much antecipated Mustang Mach E in Europe, one wonders if the Kuga PHEV will suffer from internal competition in the coming months. In April, Germany was by far the best market for the Ford nameplate, with 1,196 deliveries, followed by the United Kingdom (612 units) and Denmark (630), with the popularity of the Kuga PHEV in the Nordic country being a true case study, as the crossover was already the Best Seller in the overall Danish market in more than one occasion. 

#4 Volvo XC40 PHEV - The smallest of Volvo's PHEV lineup continues its road to success, together with the popularity of the XC40 in the overall European market (compact SUVs/crossovers are all the rage now), with the Swedish carmaker selling their plugin hybrid versions as just another trimline in Europe, the XC40 PHEV has become a hot seller across Europe, and that is visible in the sales distribution, in April, the Belgian-built Volvo scored 4,118 registrations, with several markets scoring similar results, like in Germany (540 units), the United Kingdom (562), Italy (532), France (487) and Belgium (474). Without production constraints and experiencing strong demand, the compact Volvo remains the strongest candidate for the 2021 PHEV Best Seller title. 

#5 Renault Zoe – The 4,083 deliveries show that the French hatchback is yet to recover from the last year end peak effort, and one now wonders if demand will ever recover, and this is especially more worrying when we consider the context of doubling sales in the European BEV market. In any case, the main markets in April were the usual, with Germany (1,268 units) leading, followed by France (1,265), while Italy (721), was a distant 3rd

Looking at the remaining April table, one should highlight the Peugeot 208 EV ending less than 500 units behind its arch rival Renault Zoe, so the Pug could very well win soon the monthly sub-compact/B-segment Best Seller trophy, a first for the small Peugeot and also a mark in the rise of Stellantis as a major force in the market.

Still on the subject of Stellantis, the #6 Peugeot 3008 PHEV and the #10 Fiat 500e had their highest table standings this year last month, thus making 3 Stellantis models in the Top 10, a new record for the Conglomerate.

But looking at the Top 20, the OEM with the most number of models was the VW Group, with 5 models, all BEV, besides the aforementioned ID.3 & 4, the Audi e-Tron was 12th, the VW e-Up was 15th, and in #19 we have the Skoda Enyaq, that joined the table right in its first full sales month, and do not be surprised if the Czech-station-wagon-that-thinks-it's-an-SUV reached the Top 10 in May, as the Skoda EV is currently the most competitive MEB-based model one of the best EVs around, maybe even the best reasonably priced family EV in the market, with competitive pricing, space and practicality, without losing much in premium-ness to its VW counterparts...Actually, i believe the only thing stopping it from having even greater success is the badge itself, had it a more popular/"aspirational" badge and it could become the Best Selling EV in Europe.

Another OEM with a good month was Daimler, with 2 Mercedes and 1 Smart models in the table, with the popular GLC PHEV returning to a Top 10 position, while the Smart Fortwo EV continues to post solid results, despite its underwhelming specs.

Outside the Top 20, a mention to 4 BEVs in the vicinity of a Top 20 position, 2 from Stellantis, the Opel Corsa EV (2,272 units) and the crossover Peugeot 2008 EV (2,122), while the other 2 are from the BMW Group, with the Mini Cooper EV (2,283 units) ahead of the veteran BMW i3 (2,043).

Expect the Opel and Peugeot to reach Top 20 positions during the current months, something that the Mini should also achieve, as for the German EV...Come on, BMW put on a 55 kWh battery in it, the i3 deserves to end its career with a bang, and a new, bigger battery, would the the perfect excuse to do so, after all, its design continues fresh and it is still the best premium small EV around...And a future classic.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the main news belonged to the ID family, with the Volkswagen ID.3 jumping two spots to the runner-up spot, while the ID.4 joined the table in #8, no doubt a temporary position, as VW's crossover should join the Top 5 in May, and from then on, a podium position shouldn't be that far away.

Now...will it be enough to displace the Model 3 from the leadership? I doubt it, with the Model Y production delayed, demand should remain strong throughout the next two quarters, and with 15,000 units separating it from the #2 ID.3, i just do not see how can either of the ID models reach within shooting range of the Tesla sports sedan. 

A different question is looking at sales by brand or OEM, as currently Tesla in Europe is a one trick pony fighting against brands/OEMs with increasingly longer lineups. But more on that later...

Elsewhere, the Climber of the Month was the Ford Kuga PHEV, that jumped 3 spots, to #9, with the Spanish-made crossover now ambitioning a Top 5 seat.

The Mercedes GLC300e/de also had a good month, climbing to 12th, surpassing the Volvo XC60 PHEV and becoming the new midsize SUV Best Seller.  

Still on the second half of the table, the Audi e-Tron climbed one position, to #18, but the big Audi is below last year performance levels, when it ended in 5th.

Just below the Top 20, we have the #21 Smart Fortwo EV, with 9,846 registrations, so we have three models (#14 VW e-Up; #20 Fiat 500e; #21 Smart Fortwo EV) separated by less than 2,000 units, somthing that should make the city car one of the most exciting races of the year.

Unlike the models ranking, where we already have a clear favorite, in the makers ranking, balance is the word, but Volkswagen (11%, up 1%), managed to earn an important edge over Mercedes and BMW, both with 10% share, with April possibly signaling the departure of the Wolsburg brand for a win in the manufacturer race.

Below these three we have the #4 Volvo, with 8%, while in 5th we have Peugeot (6%), now with a 1,000 units advantage over the #6 Renault (also 6% share), so it looks that in the race between the two French brands, the Lion is gaining momentum at the expense of its rival. 

Looking by Automotive Groups, the Volkswagen Group is far and wide ahead, with 23% share, ahead of Stellantis (14%), Daimler and BMW, both with 12% share.

Do not expect the VW Group to lose their commanding position in Europe anytime soon, as neither Stellantis (not enough firepower in the higher end of the market), nor Daimler or BMW (not enough firepower in the lower end of the market) are in position to challenge the VW galaxy.

As for Tesla, even if the Model Y becomes a resounding hit next year, and the refreshed Model S/X are also met with success, i do not see them go higher than 14%-15% share by 2022, which is significantly more than the current 5%, but even in this optimistic scenario, the VW Group would still have some 18% by the end of next year.

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsize sedan lives in another galaxy, having won a sizeable distance over the competition, highlighting the fact that it won't have significant competition in the next few months, as the Tesla Model Y is delayed and the just arrived Ford Mustang Mach E (123 units in April, no doubt demonstration units) and upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 have the small demand -limiting issue that both come from mainstream brands and in Europe, midsize models from mainstream makers simply do not sell as much as premium brands (In the overall Top 10 midsize Best Sellers table, only two models, VW Passat and Skoda Superb, do not come from premium brands).

So yes, they might beat the current #2 Mercedes EQC, but that won't be enough to even get close to Tesla's sports sedan. Then again, in the unlikely event that demand would be over the roof for those two models, both Ford and Hyundai wouldn't have enough production to meet such demand, so...

Speaking of the Mercedes EQC, the electric SUV (1,764 units last month) benefited from Tesla's usual off month (just 1,244 units) to win April's trophy, ending some 300 units ahead of the #2 Polestar 2.

Outside the podium, the expensive Jaguar i-Pace (617 units in April), continues to outsell the BMW iX3 (565 units) that seems stuck at 500-something performances (no wonder BMW is already refreshing it...).

BEV E/F-Segment / Full Size category

The e-Tron domination is unquestionable and the Audi SUV seems destined to win another category title this year, with Tesla basically giving up on the Model S & X for this year, what they will recover towards the end of the year shouldn't be enough to compensate for the current drought, while the #2 model, the Porsche Taycan (1,429 units last month) is too niche to go head to head with the e-Tron in the sales charts.

Regarding the remaining competition, the Audi e-Tron GT (303 units in April) has finally surpassed the Mercedes EQV Luxury Van, thus making a 1-2-3 lead for the VW Group.

But expect Mercedes to rebound in the second half of the year, with the new EQS, and especially in 2022, with the EQE, a model in which Mercedes has high expectations, namely by winning the category title, thus finishing the current Audi e-Tron domination.

Monday, May 24, 2021

China April 2021


10% share!

Plugins are a hot item in China, having scored over 175,000 units last month, jumping 173% regarding the same month last year, with BEVs in particular growing an amazing 204% rate. 

April was the second month in a row that the plugin share reached the two-digits mark, by hitting 10% (8.2% BEV), keeping the 2021 share at 10% (8.1% BEV), and considering that Q1 is usually China's weakest quarter, we can now safely assume that the local plugin market share will end North of the two-digits mark this year, and the total tally of the year will exceed 2 million deliveries!

After Europe, #EVDisruption is now reaching China... 

Looking at April's Best Sellers, the biggest news is the 4th spot of the Li Xiang One, with the full size SUV ending just 207 units the #3 BYD Han EV, something that would be a first for the startup maker.

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


#1 – Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

With 29,251 units last month, the tiny four seater continues on a roll, allowing it to keep the 3rd spot in the overall market, if the little Wuling continues to go at this pace, a half a million score by the end of the year seems not only feasible, but likely. The Wuling EV is becoming a disruptive force in urban mobility, a true EV for the masses, with the added bonus that the people buying it (mostly females, mostly under 35 year olds) are usually a hard to capture audience. This EV is becoming a game changer, but like in every success story, one wonders what will happen when others start to play in this field...


#2 – Tesla Model 3

The poster child for electric mobility had just 6,264 units last month, but fear not, considering that part of the MiC Model 3 production is now being exported to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, we should start to see it behave in China like it does elsewhere, meaning poor starts of the quarter, so-so mid quarter months and then an end-of-quarter peak, replicating the behavior of the US-made Model 3. Something we will no doubt have the opportunity to check in the next couple of quarters...

#3 – BYD Han EV

The successful career of BYD’s luxury sedan in China has seem to hit cruise speed, by delivering 5,746 units in April, but it was still enough to earn it its first podium presence since last January. The current poster-boy for BYD is expected to continue going at 5-7,000 units/month in the foreseeable future, looking to keep the full size category leadership from the wheels of the...

#4 – Li Xiang One

...Big SUV from Li Xiang. A sort of Dark Horse among the whole Chinese EV  Startup buzz, the little talked about EREV has already delivered over 55,000 units in just 17 months, an amazing performance, especially when we consider that this is a huge 5-meter, 7-seater, full-size SUV. Using an original strategy when it comes to powertrain, being one of the few Extended Range Electric Vehicles on the market, it adds to the 41 kWh battery with fast-charging capabilities, a 1.2 liter gasoline engine that works as a range enxtender. With production (and demand?) now in cruise speed, one wonders when will this EV startup launch its 2nd album model, after all, their counterparts in the movement (NIO, Xpeng, etc) are already on their 2nd, or even 3rd, new model...

#5 – Tesla Model Y

Tesla's new baby had only 5,407 units last month, and while at first sight it looks like a disappointing result, this is mostly explained by the 2 week shut down in April, expect it to recover soon and maybe resume the records streak by June. Tesla’s midsize crossover future cruise speed in China is a question mark, while traditionally SUVs/Crossovers haven't sold as much as their sedan counterparts, the truth is that the market is leaning towards higher riding bodies, so the Model Y could surf the wave and outsell the Model 3 by some margin. 

Looking at the remaining Best Sellers table in April, a mention to the rise and rise of the #10 Hozon Neta V, a small crossover from Hozon that has delivered 3,846 units last month, the 2nd record performance in a row for the EV startup model, so we might be witnessing the build up of another star in the Chinese EV startup sky.

Another model with surging sales is the new BYD Qin Plus PHEV, 12th last month with a record 3,603 units, its third record score in a row, so it means that the new midsize BYD is still in production ramp up, with the Shenzhen maker hoping to replicate the Han success in the category below. 

The #18 SAIC Roewe RX5 PHEV had 2,499 units last month, the SUV's best score in 34 months, while the #15 BYD e2 hatchback hit a record score of 2,903 units. 

Local startups continue to shine, besides the aforementioned Hozon Neta V, in total we had 7 representatives from 6 different startups in the table, with the highest placed being the #4 Li Xiang One.

Below the Top 20, a reference to the landing of the GAC Aion Y, with a great 2,000 units score, so the compact MPV (Yeay! MPVs rule!), seems to have started off its career on the right foot, after one failure (Aion LX) and one meh! launch (Aion V), this is an important model for GAC, that has been solely living off the success of the Aion S for years and it desperatly needs more successful metal for the company to grow and avoid the one trick pony moniker.

On the VW Group galaxy, the VW ID.4, continues to (slowly) ramp up production, with the SUV having 1,644 units last month (922 from the ID.4X and 722 from the ID.4 Crozz variants), while their Chinese arm SOL (as in, rebadged JAC's) saw the small E10X hit a record score of 2,249 units

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the top positions all remained the same, with the Wuling Mini EV as the undisputed leader, with the runner-up Tesla Model 3 also comfortable, so unless something unexpected occurs, the top two positions are already taken for

Below it, the Tesla Model Y got a little bit closer from the #4 Great Wall Ora Black Cat, that had an off month in April, with Tesla's SUV set to surpass the small Cat in the next couple of months.

The first position change happened in #10, with SAIC's small Clever EV jumping three spots into the top half of the table, while in #12 we have the Hozon Neta V, that also jumped 3 positions, and we should see it climb even higher, given the current records streak that the small crossover is experiencing.

The BYD Han PHEV is also experiencing a success of its own, having climbed to #16 last month, while another EV startup model has joined the Top 20, with the small Leap Motor T03 jumping to #19, being the 7th EV startup model in this Top 20.  

Just outside the Top 20, we have two models on the rise, with the #21 Xpeng G3 just 70 units behind the #20 Ora White Cat, so the crossover might already join the table next month, while the BYD Qin Plus PHEV is some 800 units below the Top 20, and given its current production ramp up process, it wouldn't be that surprising if it joined the table already in May.

Looking at the makers ranking, the SGMW joint-venture (20%, down 1%) is in the leadership, while below it, Tesla (12%, down 2%) is just 2,000 units ahead of BYD (12%, up 1%), but expect the US maker to gain significant ground again, in June.

Below the podium, SAIC (7%) is 4th, followed by the #5 Great Wall (6%) and the #6 NIO (4%, down 1%).

Interestingly, the all-mighty Volkswagen Group, owner of 16% of the overall Chinese passenger car market, currently has only 5% of the plugin market, a number that pales next to the 27% share of the SAIC Group, or even the 12% that both BYD and Tesla have, so a lot needs to be done, if they still want to keep their grip on the market in the long term.