Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Europe December 2020

 Open the Gates! (23% share!) 

While the overall automotive market is still in red (-4% YoY), in December, Europe's passenger plugin market had an historic month, having registered a record 281,000 registrations (+264% YoY!), adding an amazing 115,000 units to the previous record, set in the previous month. 

This impressive result shooted December's plugin share to 23% share (14% BEV), helping the 2020 numbers to rise 142% over those of the previous year, to well over 1 million units, and pulling the market into the...Disruption Zone, as the 2020 PEV share ended at 11% share (6.2% for BEVs alone), a significant departure from the 3.6% of 2019 (2.2% BEVs), so we can say with some certainty that part of the fall on the overall market has more to do with the disruption provoked by plugins than Covid-related issues. And so, let the games begin...

...Expect 2021 to continue the disruptive trend, so i expect 15%-plus 20% market share by the end of the year.

In December, BEVs ran fast (168.912 units, +223% YoY), but PHEVs are were even faster (+347%, 112,260 units), so in the final 2020 numbers, while plugin hybrids ended below (46% vs 54% share) fully electrics, they recovered a massive 10% share regarding the previous year.

Last month Best Seller was the VW ID.3, that did a Tesla-like peak in December and has beaten the Tesla Model 3 on a high tide month, the first time any model achieves such a feat.

Last month podium welcomes the fresh Renault Captur PHEV, with Renault placing for the first time two models in the Top 5, while also being the first time that the French brand wins the monthly PHEV Best Seller title. Something to repeat in 2021?...

Looking at December Top 5 Models:

#1 Volkswagen ID.3 - The much antecipated German EV was finally delivered in large volumes, by delivering a massive 28,108 units, which might look that the VW hatchback has finally grown into filling its big shoes, but one wonders how many of these registrations actual deliveries and how many were just self-registrations, on order to avoid the EU's CO2 emission fines...Moving on, the first MEB-platform based EV had its main markets in Germany (7,144 units), the Netherlands (6,083), and the UK (3,200), with Norway (2,303), France (2,550) and Sweden (2,564) also posting four digit scores. Expect VW's new baby to become a familiar face in the medal positions, running with the Tesla Model 3 and Renault Zoe for the monthly Best Seller title. Unless, of course, the new VW ID.4 starts to cast its shadow over its lower riding sibling...

#2 Tesla Model 3 - The 2019 Best Selling EV in Europe delivered a record 24,664 units, which in normal times would grant it the Best Seller honour. But in the current disruption period, anything can happen...The sports sedan main markets in December were the UK (5,700 deliveries), Norway (4,232), and Germany (3,293 units), with Switzerland (1,560) and Denmark (1,460) also scoring four digit scores. Expect the Model 3 to continue running for #1 throughout 2021. Unless, of course, the new Tesla Model Y starts to cast its shadow over its lower riding sibling...(Haven't i written this somewhere?)

#3 Renault Zoe – Despite ending only in 3rd, December was another great month for the French EV, with the 16,322 deliveries of the Renault model representing a record score, with the maker profiting from a mature manufacturing capability that allows it to respond almost immediately to demand peaks, thus avoiding those pesky waiting lists, so common in many other OEMs. Last month, the main markets were France (5,978 units) and Germany (5,349), with Italy (1,153 units) a distant 3rd. Expect the Zoe to continue running for the leadership during 2021, unless, of course, the new Renault Captur PHEV starts to cast its shadow over its lower riding sibling...(I am sure i had already written something like this before...) 

#4 Hyundai Kona EV – Speaking about the Rise of the Crossovers, in December we had Hyundai's star EV shooting to its first five-digit score, with the small Crossover hitting a record 11,340 deliveries last month. Is this peak Kona EV? With the upcoming Ioniq 5 (not so) compact crossover said to be a small revolution in the EV World, one wonders if the Kona EV won't suffer from the new internal competition. Unless Hyundai lowers its price...But enough of futurology, and back to last month performance, the Netherlands was the best market for the Hyundai nameplate, with a record 4,441 deliveries, followed by Germany (2,995 units), with Spain (578) being a distant 3rd.

#5 Renault Captur PHEV – Thanks to competitive pricing, at some 32,000€, it's one of the cheapest PHEVs in Europe, and an attractive design, the small Crossover from Renault has won its first Best Seller trophy in the PHEV field in December, with 6,135 units, with the French model proving to be a massive hit in Italy (2,120 units!), beating even its native France (1,437 units), while the 3rd largest market, at some distance, was Germany, with 806 deliveries. Now, this performance raises a few questions for the future: Will the small Crossover be able to win the 2021 Best Seller title in the PHEV category? Will it be able to replicate the success of the Zoe in Germany? Will it start to eat into the Zoe territory? After all we are living in the Crossover Craze era...

Looking at the remaining December Best Sellers, the Nissan Leaf was #7, with the 5,424 registrations of last month representing the hatchback best performance in 33 months(!), confirming that the current EV Force is so strong that even an old Jedi like the Leaf can pull some tricks from its sword.

In such an outstanding month, 17 models out of this Top 20 hit personal records, like the Audi e-Tron (5,296 units), VW e-Up (3,751) or even the Jaguar i-Pace, that surprised many by scoring a record 4,635 registrations (or were they self-registrations? Mmmm...) last month. 

We also have two important freshmans showing up on the table, with the Fiat 500e jumping to #10 and the VW ID.4 coming literally out of nowhere into #11, expect these two EVs to become familiar faces here, with the Italian set to win the City Car category in 2021, while the German will do its best to beat the Tesla Model Y in the SUV category.  

In the PHEV category, the Mercedes A250e couldn't resist the Renault Captur PHEV peak in December, but these two will have plenty of opportunities during 2021 to run against each other, as no one else seems to be able to run at the same pace of these two. Or is it?...

With the #13 SEAT Leon PHEV (4,353 units) and #14 VW Golf PHEV (4,245) in ramp up mode, and their Czech cousin Skoda Octavia PHEV also starting its production ramp up, not forgetting the BMW X1 PHEV (record 3,788 units), the PHEV title will have plenty of candidates playing in the biggest pool of the European market, the compact category, so the days where the Mitsubishi Outlander owned the PHEV category are now long gone, and all the better for that, the more choices there are on the market, the easier it gets for consumers to make the switch.

And having said that about PHEVs, the same goes for fully electric vehicles! 

A final reference to the #19 Volvo XC40 PHEV, that was one of the few models not to score a record result in December, and the main reason for that is internal competition, as its XC40 EV twin is now fully in ramp up mode (3,269 units), and it seems to be draining its sales...

Outside the Top 20, a reference to the 3,246 registrations of the Renault Twingo EV, although one wonders how will the small Renault react to the arrival of its significantly cheaper Romanian cousin, the Dacia Spring, in a few months. The Mazda MX-30 also scored a record 3,238 units, although this is another case where we can imagine many of these registrations were made for compliance purposes.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the Renault Zoe secured its 3rd Best Seller title, after the 2016 and '17 trophies, the French hatchback managed to beat last year winner, the Tesla Model 3, thanks to a deep refresh done in late 2019, that allowed it to more than double its sales in 2020, touching the 100,000 units in one year. 

The runner-up Tesla Model 3 saw its deliveries dip 8% regarding 2019, from 95,000 units to the current 87,000, and this in a year of disruptive growth, which could raise the question: Is the Tesla Model Y shadow already making itself felt?

The last place of the podium went to the VW ID.3 rise, that jumped 3 spots in the last stage of the race, allowing the German EV to win its first medal, surely the first of many.

A reference also to the Nissan Leaf, that jumped to #7, which was still insufficient to reach the 4th spot it had in 2019.

On the PHEV League, after years and years of domination, it was the Best Seller since 2012, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was finally beaten!

Thanks to a year end peak, the Mercedes A250e managed to surpass the Japanese SUV and the Volvo XC40 PHEV, allowing the Mercedes compact model to win the category 2020 race, while earning the #10 position in the plugin table. For reference, in 2019, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ended in #3, only behind the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3, so we now have a completely BEV Top 9!

Looking at the remaining position changes, the Volvo XC60 PHEV and BMW i3 were up one position, to #15 and #16 respectively, while the Mercedes GLC300e/de joined the table in December, ending the year in #19.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (12% share, up 1%) won the makers title, with the German brand jumping from 5th in 2019 to the leadership! Not Bad for a Year Zero...

The Silver Medal changed hands in the last stage of the race, with Mercedes (9%) beating Renault (also 9%) by just 5,000 units, this is the Three-pointed-star manufacturer first podium position, while Renault repeated the 2019 Bronze medal.

Outside the podium, BMW (8%) managed to beat Tesla and Volvo (both with 7% share), in the race for the 4th position.

Interestingly, if Volkswagen and Mercedes joined the podium, BMW was down from 2nd in 2019 to 4th, while the 2019 Best Seller Tesla was down to #5, with its share dropping from 20% in 2019, to the current 7%.

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsize sedan sales ended in another galaxy, although it has seen its sales drop by 8%.

In fact, Tesla's midsizer won't have significant competition in the near future, at least until its Model Y sibling lands, as the Polestar 2 (record 3,188 units last month) seems too niche for the moment, and with expansion plans only set to be enabled by mid-2021, don't expect much more from the Sino-Swede in 2021.

The upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E production levels are still a question mark, and as for the BMW iX3, i believe the Bavarian maker will already be happy if it comes close to the the Mercedes EQC...Which, by the way, has beaten once again its personal best, having delivered 2,979 units last month, so it seems the Mercedes midsize SUV slooow ramp up still hasn't ended, and should continue in the following months.

As for the remaining podium, the Jaguar i-Pace profited from the new, cheaper, EV320 version, to suddenly jump its registrations to 4,635 units, the Sports SUV best score ever. Now, how much of these were self-registrations?...  

BEV E-Segment / Full size category

The e-Tron domination is unquestionable and continues to grow, with the Big Audi scoring 5,296 units last month, with its sales growing 26% YoY, considering the already significant sales volumes of the Belgian-made Audi, one wonders for how long will the growth rates will be sustained, and when will the peak e-Tron moment arrive...With Audi already discounting its big EV, expect this moment to come soon.

With the #2 Porsche Taycan (2,209 units last month, a new record) accelerating its sales once again, the main interest layed on the 3rd spot, where the luxury van with windows Mercedes EQV (1,367 units) has managed to beat both flagship Teslas in December.

Still, in the whole of 2020, the Tesla Model X was 3rd, with 6,253 units, but in 2021 there will be several models landing (Audi e-Tron GT, Mercedes EQS, BMW iNext...), that have potential to beat the Porsche Taycan saleswise, making the 2021 race all the more interesting to follow, but should also render the Big Teslas even more irrelevant. Something needs to be done...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

China December 2020

9.4% share in (another) Record Month

If the overall Chinese market ended the year on a positive note (+12% YoY), plugins ended with a record month, growing by 50% YoY in in the last month of the year, to a record 224,000 units, and this time it were PHEVs that grew faster (+108%), than BEVs (+42%), but despite this recent uptick from plugin hybrids, BEVs ended owning 80% of the market, which, incidentally, was the same score of 2019, so it seems plugin hybrids have found their corner of the market, especially in higher end models.

Last month, plugin share reached a record 9.4% (7% BEV), pulling the 2020 share to 6.3% (5.1% BEV), almost one percent increase over the 2019 result of 5.5%, and the same result the market had at the time of the last subsidy change, in the summer of 2019, so one can say that the Chinese EV market took 18 months to recover from impact of the subsidy change.

But looking at the bright side, the only way is up, with only minor subsidy changes happening in the foreseeable future, next year we should see the market reach a few months with two digit shares, preparing the disruption to finally set in by 2022...In the largest automotive market in the World.

And once we get to that point, then it's game over for ICE.

Looking at December Best Sellers, we have 3 City EVs, confirming the return of small EVs to the spotlight, with the Wuling EV keeping the Best Seller status.

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


#1 – Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

 A big name for a small car, the Wuling EV scored 33,489 units last month, its 6th record score in a row, but the difference regarding previous months wasn't significant, so it seems the production ramp up (or is it demand?) has already peaked, but expect the tiny four-seater to continue in the podium positions throughout 2021, as it is one of the cheapest EVs on the market ($4,200!!!), and yet, it’s not that bad, as the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint-venture model can seat 4 people in car that is a tad larger (2,917 mm / 114.8 in) than a Smart Fortwo EV. At this price level, the Wuling EV is a disruptive force in urban mobility, not only against 4-wheeled private transportation, but also against 2 and 3-wheelers. This EV is becoming a game changer in China, and should do the same elsewhere, if (when?) it manages to expand to overseas markets.


#2 – Tesla Model 3

The poster child for electric mobility hit a record 23,804 units last month, which was somewhat less than expected, but then again, the shadow of its younger sibling Model Y, set to land in January, could be the reason for this. Looking at next year sales performance, expect it to remain more or less on the current numbers, because the bulk of growth in 2021 should come from the new MiC Model Y. 


 #3 – Great Wall ORA Black Cat (R1)

Probably inspired by Deng Xiaoping famous quote: "It doesn't matter wether a cat is black or white, as long as it catched mice", Great Wall decided to create a Cat Pack, transforming its tiny R1 Smart-lookalike into the Black Cat, launching the R2 model (think Scion XB/Toyota Urban Cruiser kind of vehicle) as the White Cat, and to lead the Pack, Great Wall has just successfully launched (2,016 in its landing month) the Good Cat, a chunky (and funky) compact hatchback (VW Golf sized) that kinda looks like a Porsche 356 in the front, a Toyota from the side, and the back...Well, it’s its own thing. But enough of the Good Cat, we will have plenty of time to talk about it in 2021, we are here to talk about the Black Cat, that delivered 10,010 units in December, it's 3nd record score in a row, creating great prospects for the Cat Pack in 2021

#4 – BYD Han EV

BYD's flagship model continues to grow, having registered 9,007 units in December, its 5th record performance in a row, so it looks the production ramp up is still developing. One of the most competitive domestic EVs on the market, the flagship BYD is becoming a regular in this Top 5, thanks to competitive pricing, it's the size of a Model S, and yet it costs only $32,800, less than the cheaper Model 3. But price doesn't tell the whole story, with a cutting edge 77 kWh LFP battery allowing it to reach 605 km (376 miles) NEDC range (think 400 km / 250 miles in real world), the Han EV is a whole package, with good looks, competitive specs and features, with the killer prices being just the icing on the cake. Oh, and if we were to add the 3,082 units of the PHEV version, then the Han would have been 3rd, with 11,483 units, not bad for a flagship model, right?

#5 – SAIC Baojun E-Series

Compared with the bare basics Wuling EV, the Baojun E-Series (E100/200/300) are the SGMW more hip and upmarket city models, with demand hitting record levels, with 8,992 units being delivered in December. The access to the current subsidy, added to competitive pricing (CNY 93,900 / USD 14,700) before subsidies, makes them appealing for young urban drivers, as well as car-sharing companies and other fleets. 

Looking at the remaining Best Sellers table in December, in a record month, several models hit best ever scores, like the Chery eQ, with 7,074 units, or the Li Xiang One, that with 6,126 units, was last month Best Selling PHEV, consolidating its status as the Best Selling SUV and the most successful model coming from a local EV startup.

Speaking of local startups, there were several models on this category shining, besides the aforementioned Li Xiang, Xpeng also had a record month, with its P7 sedan hitting a record 3,691 deliveries, thanks to the continuing production ramp up, while the older G3 crossover had 2,618 units, its best score in 18 months, Leap Motor saw its small T03 reach a record 2,983 units, while the much hyped NIO saw its new baby, the EC6 sports SUV, become the brand best selling model in December, with 2,505 deliveries.

A reference also to the surprise appearance of VW's Tiguan PHEV, in #16, with the compact SUV scoring a record performance of 2,645 units, while the Changan Benni EV profited from the recent restyling to show up in #18, with 2,610 units, the hatchback best score since 2017.

Outside the Top 20, a reference to the #21 Geely Emgrand EV, with 2,503 units, the sedan best performance in 18 months, so Geely's bread and butter model might be headed for a (much needed) revival in 2021, while NIO's flagship, the ES8 full size SUV, had its best score in 2 years, by delivering 2,009 units.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the Model 3 is the 2020 Best Seller, with a commanding 20,000 units lead over the runner-up, but below it, the #2 Wuling Mini EV is already preparing next year's assault to the Best Selling EV title in China, as the tiny EV won all monthly trophies since September, while in 3rd we have another SGMW model the Baojun E-Series, that surpassed GAC's Aion S in the last stage of the race and secured another medal for the joint-venture.

This highlights the latest trend in China, City EVs are returning to the spotlight, not only with the SGMW EVs, but others are also earning the spotlight, like the Great Wall Ora Black Cat, that ended the year in 4th (it had been #11 in the previous year), the #7 Chery eQ, thus making 4 City EVs in the Top 7. Just counting these four models together, we get a quarter million units, or 20% of the total EV market...  

But it weren’t only City EVs rising in the table, BYD had two models rising in the table, with the Tang PHEV climbing to #15, while the Han EV jumped 3 spots, to #9, becoming the 2nd BYD on the Top 10.

Speaking of the flagship BYD, i was going to add "Best Selling full size model" to the Li Xiang One number of titles (Best Selling PHEV and Best Selling SUV), but the truth is that if we add both of the BYD Han versions (BEV and PHEV), we get almost 41,000 units for the big sedan, so i believe it's best to split the title between both, as 41,000 units for a full size model model that only started halfway throught the year is truly amazing, especially if we consider that the global category leader was the Audi e-Tron, that ended the year with 47,000 deliveries...

With this in mind, i believe the 2021 Full Size Best Selling EV in the World will probably be the BYD Han.     

XPeng also had reasons to celebrate as the much hyped P7 ended the year in #19, being the 4th local startup model on the table, another significant change regarding 2019, because at that time, there was none (and the Tesla Model 3 was only #8, imagine that...).

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the Surprise of the Year was the SGMW joint-venture (15%) breaking a 6 year winning streak of BYD (14%, down 1%), thus becoming the 2020 Best Selling manufacturer, with Tesla (11%, down 1%) securing the last place of the podium.

Interestingly, in 2019 SGMW ended with just 5% share and Tesla with 3%...

Below the podium, SAIC (7%, up 1% share) won the 4th spot with some ease, overcoming the #5 GAC, #6 Volkswagen and #7 Greal Wall, each with 5% share.

As for BAIC, 2020 was a true horror movie, falling from 2nd place and 14% share in 2019, to just 2% share this year!

By Automotive Group, the big winner was Shanghai Auto, or SAIC, that thanks to the SGMW joint-venture, where it has a majority stake (50.1%), and its own sales, it had 22% of the market all to itself, a jump from the 12% of 2019, followed by BYD (15%), Tesla (11%) and the VW Group (6%).

Expect these last two to increase their share in 2021, thanks to the Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4 launch.

So, long story short, in 2020, there were three main stories in the Chinese EV market:

1 - The Tesla Model 3 became the Best Selling EV, the first time a foreigner achieves such a feat;

2 - Local startups, lead by NIO, are growing fast, and are already starting to show up on the radar, so their next step is to gain scale fast in order to get to six digit sales numbers per year and thus securing their survival from the big sharks;

3 - City EVs returned to the spotlight, proving that Chinese OEMs are in a unique position to dominate that vehicle category (and future autonomous pods?), and in that context, SAIC was the biggest gainer of the year, managing even to steal Tesla's thunder towards the end of the year (but don't tell that to Wall Street...). 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Germany December 2020


27% share! Open the Plugin Gates!   

The German automotive market has opened the flood gates to plugin vehicles, with December setting yet another record month, with a little less than 83,000 units, PEVs scored an amazing 27% share (14% BEV) in December, making Germany the largest PEV market outside China, beating even the USA by a wide margin (394k vs 330k)...

In a completely disrupted market, while diesel (-31% YoY) and petrol (-20%) were down in December, all electrified categories were shooting up, with HEVs up 133% YoY, while PHEVs jumped six-fold(!), and BEVs did even better, jumping 7-fold(!!!), with the end of 2020 becoming a stampede into electrified vehicles, we have to the point where, despite tanking Fossil Fuel sales, electrified sales allowed the overall market to actually grow 10% YoY in December!

Now, how much of these events are related to last minute compliance of the EU's CO2 emission rules, it's anyone's guess, but regardless of this, it is proof that regulations do work and when pushed, Legacy OEMs are indeed able to comply.

The supreme irony of this, is that by forcing local OEMs to move fast into electrification in order to comply with the CO2 emission targets, EU politicians might have saved the local automotive industry from a future death at the hands of Tesla and Chinese OEMs...  

But leaving political considerations apart, after all this isn't Politico, and back at the German PEV report, the 2020 tally ended at 14% (6.7% BEV), so expect 2021 to continue with the current disruption, with plugin share above 20% for plugins and BEVs hovering above 10%.

Looking at last month Best Sellers, in December the VW ID.3 was back to #1, with an all-time record to boot (7,144 units), allowing it to reach the 3rd spot in the overall market, with the German hatchback finally reaching the volumes people expected from it, the next question now is: Will it keep up? Will it be be able to keep sustaned Top 5 scores in the overall market? Discuss.

Despite the Renault Zoe being relegated to the 2nd spot, the truth is that Renault had plenty to celebrate, not only it scored another record performance (5,349 units), but the small hatchback was #6 in the overall market, being also the best performing "true" foreigner (the Skoda Octavia was #4, but belonging to the VW Group, one can't really consider it a foreigner in Germany...), and being a French model, it is even more extraordinary, as it is well known the problems that French models have in succeding on the other side of the Rhine...As Renault found by chance the Magic Potion for future success?

In a Top 10 where ALL models had record performances, one should highlight the Tesla Model 3 crossing North of the 3,000 units mark for the first time, with the Hyundai Kona EV almost doing the same (it had 2,995 registrations), while in #9 and #10, we have two very different Volkswagen BEVs: The brand new ID.4 crossover landed in #9 in its first full month on the market, with 2,306 units, while the veteran e-Up city car scored a record 2,196 units, that added to the 646 units of the twin Skoda Citigo EV and 382 of the SEAT e-Mii EV, we have the triplets reaching an amazing 3,224 registrations, which would place them in 4th! Not bad...

This highlights another great month for Volkswagen, which placed 5 models (ID.3, Passat, Golf PHEV, ID.4, e-Up) in the December Top 10, with 4 other belonging to the Group (Seat Leon, Audi Q5 and A3, and the not-yet-dead VW e-Golf) in the Top 20!  

Other relevant performances regard the Daimler Group, placing 5 models (Smart Fortwo, Mercedes A, C, and E-Class, and the GLC SUV) in last month Top 20, 3 of them with record scores (GLC300e/de, C300e/de and E300 e/de), while below the Top 20, the three-pointed-star maker had 3 other models (EQC - 866 units, EQV - 648, GLA250e - 714) hitting relevant records scores...Now, that is what i call a production ramp up!

In such a high volume month, record scores were plenty, with three quarters of the models on this Top 20 table having best ever performances, besides the aforementioned, we should also highlight the surprising score of the Mazda MX-30, with 1,509 deliveries...Or is it, self registrations? Mmmm...

Outside this Top 20, we had more relevant performances, like the 719 units of the fresh Fiat 500e, that had its first full month in December, or the 963 units of the Nissan Leaf, a new record(!) for the veteran model, so the current EV fever is strong enough to pull the boats of all models, even of 10 year old ones...Interestingly, its Alliance partner Renault is already starting to get significant volumes from models other than the Zoe, with the small Twingo EV scoring 917 units in only its second month on the market, while the Captur PHEV had a record 806 deliveries in December.

Finally, the Volkswagen Group is ramping up another future Best Seller, with the Skoda Octavia PHEV registering 990 units in only its 3rd month on the market.

Regarding the final 2020 table, and comparing with the 2019 result, the most immediate thing that appears before our eyes, is that the market has diversified significantly, if in 2019 we had 8 models with 5% share or more, now we only have one, the Renault Zoe, and for that to happen, the French hatchback had to triple(!) its sales YoY...

This is a sign of a maturing market, as plugin markets leave their niche spaces and merge with the overall market, as more choice equals more diversity and therefore, lower shares of the total plugin market for the Best Sellers. Expect this rule to happen in more countries with high plugin shares.

Looking at the podium positions the leader Zoe won another Best Seller title in Germany, its 3rd in a row (and last?), while the VW e-Golf ended its career with a bang, with a Silver Medal, and the Tesla Model 3 managed to resist the VW ID.3 and keep the Bronze medal it had earned in 2019.

Still, having jumped from #11 to 4th in December, and missing the podium by just 62 units, one can say that the VW ID.3 had a good month, as the German hatchback real task starts in 2021, as it is expected to become the 2021 Best Seller (anything less and Herbert Diess will have a big headache...) in Germany.

There were other last minute changes, namely in #7, with the E300e/de full size model climbing one position and confirming itself as the default full size plugin choice in this market, something that surely provides good signs for the upcoming Mercedes EQS and EQE.

Speaking of Mercedes, the three-pointed-star maker had another model climbing in the table, with the GLC300e/de going up to #11, ending as the 2020 Best Selling SUV. Expect the Tesla Model Y to draw a big target on the Merc GLC back... 

The BMW i3 was up to #14, but even so, that paled with the runner-up spot it had in 2019, despite dropping just 9% in registrations, stagnant sales in a booming market quickly make a model irrelevant, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can agree with that, from #4 and Best Selling PHEV in 2019, the Japanese SUV fell into #15 and ended more than 6,000 units behind this year Best Selling PHEV, the VW Passat GTE, all this despite seeing its sales grow by 8%.

Anyway, highlighting the good moment of the VW Group, the new generation allowed the Audi A3 PHEV nameplate to climb to #17, while the VW Golf PHEV also benefited from the new Generation to rejoin the Top 20, in #18.

Expect both models to become familiar faces in the 2021 table, with the Volkswagen PHEV in particular hoping to run for the category Best Seller trophy.

In the brands ranking, the leader Volkswagen (17%, up 1%) won this year title, finally beating BMW, while Mercedes (14%) won Silver.

Audi (9%) resisted a rising Renault (8%) and kept the last place of the podium, while last year Best Selling maker, BMW (6%, down 1%) this time was only 5th...From 22% in 2019 to 6% in 2020....Auch!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

France December 2020


A future star lands in a record market (19% share!)

If the overall automotive market had a horrible 2020 (-26% YoY), with the 1.7 million units of this year being the lowest result since 1975, plugin sales continue steaming hot, with sales jumping four fold regarding the same month of 2019, with PHEVs (up 5-fold, to 15,168 units) growing faster than BEVs (20,734 units), allowing them to have a 42% share among plugins in December, another impressive result in this traditionally BEV-friendly market, and above the 40% share they ended in the whole year. 

These disruptive numbers are also reflecting on the plugin share, as last month it reached a record 19% (11% BEV), pulling the final 2020 share to 11% (6,7% BEV), a far cry from the 3% of 2019.

Interestingly, the current market disruption is also benefiting HEVs, as they doubled their share this year from 5% to 10% share, so 2020 ended with 21% of the total sales coming from electrified models, up from 8% in the previous year, an amazing progression, while petrol lost 11% share in the last 12 months, from the 58% of 2019, to the current 47%, while diesel lost just 3% share, to the current 31%.

With the 2020 plugin share firm in the two-digit region, expect this market to be disrupted further next year. Let's say...20% by the end of 2021?

Looking at last month Best Sellers, if the winner was the usual Renault Zoe, below it, there was a surprise, with the Peugeot models taking the month off, as the French brand had already complied with the EU's 2020 CO2 rules, the 208 EV runner-up spot was up for grabs, and the taker of it was the VW ID.3, that scored a surprising 2,550 registrations, now, how much of them were self registrations in order to comply with the CO2 rules is anyone's guess, but looking through that angle, the same can be said about a lot of last month record performances...

But the most surprising performance in December belonged to the small Dacia Spring EV, that landed with 1,721 units, a new record, this result gains even more dimension when we realize these first deliveries months are destined to demonstration units and fleets, with regular deliveries to private buyers only expect to happen in Q3 2021...

With the small Dacia said to have an unbeatable price, the Chinese-built EV could be come a big success story in Europe (and Latin America? India? Africa?), as it breaks new ground price-wise, as it is expected to be more than 5,000€ cheaper than the current cheapest EV sold in Europe...  

Speaking of City EVs, it seems this category is the new hot stuff in France, with 3 representatives in the December Top 6, as not only the Dacia Spring EV won the Bronze medal, but the fresh Fiat 500e was 4th, with 1,545 units in only its 2nd month on the market, and the also recent Renault Twingo was 6th, with 1,353 units, a new record for the tiny French EV. And let's not forget the veteran VW e-Up, that scored a record performance in December, with 525 deliveries.

On the PHEV side, the market is less concentrated, so on this category there's only one model with a 4-digit score, with the Renault Captur PHEV registering 1,437 units, but nevertheless, there was plenty to talk about:

- Mercedes continued to push its PHEV models, in particular the SUVs, with all 3 of them hitting record scores (GLA - 596 units; GLC - 712; GLE - 490), as it ran until the last day of the year to comply with the 2020 CO2 rules;

- Same story with the Three-pointed-Star arch-rival, BMW, with the Bavarian maker reaching record results with their SUVs (X1 PHEV - 405 units; X3 PHEV - 660; X5 - 482), while its British affiliate Mini did the same with its Countryman PHEV crossover, that registered a record 414 deliveries. Now, how much of this is actual demand, and how much is CO2 compliance? Mmmm...discuss.

At the bottom of this Top 20, a reference to the record 511 deliveries of the SEAT Leon PHEV, with the spicy Spaniard beating its more corporate minded cousin, the VW Golf PHEV, that ended in #21, with 501 units, that nevertheless is a new record for the German model.

Outside this Top 20, a reference to the 318 registrations of the hatchback desguised as crossover Kia Xceed PHEV, so it seems this crossover between a Crossover and a Hatchback (a CCUV - Crossover Crossover Utility Vehicle?!?) has struck a chord among French PHEV buyers.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the Renault Zoe continued its winning streak in 2020 (it is the Best Seller in France since 2013...), this time followed by the Peugeot 208 EV, that was somewhat disappointing in 2020, as i expected it to end closer to the Renault rival, but then again, who could tell the Zoe would almost double its 2019 score (18,817 units)?

And looking at the bright side, it was the first time since 2012 that a Peugeot model ended in the podium (the tiny iOn was 2nd then), so you got to start somewhere, right? 

The last position of the podium changed hands in December, with the Peugeot 3008 PHEV losing the Bronze medal to the Tesla Model 3, thus makig a fully BEV podium, while below them, the rising Renault Captur PHEV jumped to 5th, with the small Renault crossover now being the strongest candidate for the 2021 Best Selling PHEV trophy, which would grant Renault both BEV and PHEV trophies next year...Not bad, eh? 

The Climber of the Month was the VW ID.3, that came from below the Top 20 into #9, in the last stage of the 2020 race, which is a good start for the 2021 race, where the German hatchback will try to beat the Tesla Model 3 and become the Best Selling Foreign model in France. 

On the second half of the table, we have the Citroen C5 PHEV climbing two spots, to #13, while the #22 VW e-Up was the Best Selling City EV in 2020, a title that the veteran model should have for the last time in its possession, considering the slew of new models (Dacia Spring EV, Fiat 500e, Renault Twingo EV...), all with Top 20 ambitions in 2021.

Looking at the 2020 Best Selling Full size model, the honour went to the Porsche Cayenne PHEV, that with 2,157 deliveries, it beat the BMW X5 PHEV (1,867 units), while the category Best Selling BEV was the Audi e-Tron, with 804 registrations. 

Looking at the brands ranking, the leader was, as always, Renault, with 24% (down 1%), with the runner-up Peugeot (17%, down 2%) at a safe distance, while the last place in the podium was disputed by a long list of brands, with Mercedes (5%) taking the Bronze medal in the end.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Norway December 2020

Audi e-Tron 2020 Best Seller in 65% PEV market 

BEVs are becoming the norm in Norway, as they were responsible for 67% of the Norwegian market last month, up 301% last month, to 13.718 units, pulling the 2020 BEV share to 54%, while plugin hybrids, in the context of growing sales across Europe, registered 4.192 units, being responsible for 20% share of the overall market in December, which coincidentally, is the same as the 2020 score (20%).

Looking at the fuels breakdown, if plugins were up in December, the rest is falling quickly: HEVs had just 6% share of the market, petrol vehicles were down to just 3% share (it had 15% a year ago), while diesel had only 5%, while in the same month last year, the black fuel had 22% share...At this pace, regular ICE sales will disappear sometime next year!

Looking at December model sales by fuel, the Tesla Model 3 interrupted a streak of VW ID.3 wins, with 4.232 units, the sports sedan best result since March '19.

The surprise in this Top 5 was the Volvo XC40 EV jumping to 3rd in only its second month on the market, so we find ourselves in the need to add another 2021 Best Seller candidate, as the Belgian-Swede has proved it can not only outsell its relative Polestar 2, but also get in the way of the VW Group and Tesla front-runners.

A minor surprise comes from the Nissan Leaf, a model that scored 692 registrations last month, its best score in Norway since 2018.

Tesla Model 3
Volvo XC40 EV
Nissan Leaf
Polestar 2

Looking at the 2020 ranking, if the Audi e-Tron took the Gold medal without a sweat, while the 2019 Best Seller Tesla Model 3 had to work hard in December to reach Silver, beating the VW ID.3 by just 16 units.

The Nissan Leaf also had a strong year end, climbing to #4, at the expense of the Hyundai Kona EV.

The Polestar 2 past through the unplugged Toyota squad and jumped into #10, thus making a fully pluggable Top 11 in Norway, and of those 11 models, only one, the #9 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is not a BEV... 

On the second half of the table, the BMW i3 kept the Best Selling small EV title, while a mention is due to the Volvo XC60 PHEV, that thanks to 464 registrations, its best result in 26 months, it jumped 4 spots, to #15, while the Hyundai Ioniq Electric was up to #17. The new Ioniq 5 should be success story here...

We have a new face on the last place of this year Top 20, with the Toyota RAV4 PHEV joining the table in the last stage, with the fresh PHEV version of the Japanese SUV already outselling the respective HEV version...So, next year, another plugless model will be out of this table.

Outside the Top 20, the highlight was the aforementioned thunderous score of the Volvo XC40 EV, with 791 deliveries, while several other SUVs had great performances, like the BMW X1 PHEV (521 units) and X3 PHEV (255), the Jaguar i-Pace registered 517 units, a new record for the Sports SUV, while the quirky Mazda MX-30 continues to impress, by registering 494 units last month.

Looking at the overall manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen (14%) won this year title, while below it, Toyota (9%, down 1%) secured Silver, followed by the #3 Audi (7%, down 1%), that managed to keep its podium position, despite BMW and Volvo (both at also 7% share) best efforts to beat Audi.

A step below, we have Mercedes and Tesla, both with 6% share.