Models: Tesla's siblings and the Wuling Mini EV shine in hot market
Registrations were up for an impressive 173% last month, to some 531,000 units, the second best month ever, only behind the 571,000 units of last December, with BEVs jumping 145%, to some 351,000 units, so we might be seeing the plugin market hit (well) over 5 million units this year.
These impressive results this year, with over 1.1 million units being registered already this year, pulled the 2021 PEV share to 5.8% (3.8% BEV), which is already significantly above the 4% of last year, all thanks to a record score in March of 8.2% (5.4% BEV), 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
2022 the last months of this year...
The future will depend much on the development of the pandemic and on the economic recovery, but whatever happens, expect plugins to weather the storm better than the overall market, increasing its PEV share on the way.
All Top 5 models of March repeated their February standings, with all podium bearers beating their personal bests, with the Model 3 in particular setting a new all-time monthly record for a single EV model, with close to 76,000 units. Will we see it beat the 100,000 units mark this year?
The top 3 are really in a league of their own, with these 3 models alone representing almost 30% of March deliveries.
Just below this Top 5, we see some surprises, with the Hyundai Kona EV returning to form, in #6, with 7,623 units, while the veteran Nissan Leaf surges to 7th, thanks to 7,511 units and the newcomer VW ID.4 started oficially its career in 8th, with 6,568 units and expect it to reach five-digit scores soon.
On the PHEV side, the Best Selling model was again the Volvo XC60 PHEV (6,081 units), with Swedish maker winning its second 1-2 win in a row, as the Volvo XC40 PHEV (5,812) was the category runner-up model. Both Volvo's hit record scores last month, highlighting the good moment of the Swedish maker.
On the YTD table, the Tesla Model 3 returned to the 1st place, and the 30,000 units advance it has over the #2 Wuling Mini EV should be enough to keep the tiny Chinese EV at bay during the next couple of months.
The Tesla Model Y has secured its Bronze Medal position, distancing itself from the #4 BYD Han EV, with the midsize Crossover-disguised-as-SUV now preparing its first assault at runner-up spot in June.
The first position change outside the podium happened in #6, with the Nissan Leaf jumping four positions (discounts do indeed help to move metal...), even allowing the veteran model to improve on its 2020 position (#7) and keep the Best Seller status in compact class (Where are thou, ID.3?...).
The BEV side had other models on the rise, like Hyundai Kona EV jumping 9 spots, to #8, with the Korean crossover now being the new king on the subcompact class (B-segment), while the Audi e-Tron joined the Top 10, recovering the Best Seller status in the full size class.
On the second half on the table, reference to the BMW 330e climbing to #18, with 11,798 units, which is less than one tenth of the Model 3 deliveries...
After a long absence, we salute the return of the Chevrolet Bolt, in #20, with the GM EV scoring last month a record performance of 6,123 units.
Outside the Top 20, two models are set to join the table soon, the #21 Peugeot 208 EV continues knocking at the door, with the French hatchback now being 700 units behind the aforementioned Chevy Bolt.
Manufacturers: Tesla firm in #1
Tesla's March score (108,398 units) represented not only a new all-time high, but also the first time we see a six-digit score on the monthly table, consolidating the expectation that Tesla will end the year with over 800,000 units.
Looking at the EV maker numbers in more detail, one might say that both sides of the Tesla fence are right:
* Pro-Tesla analysts are right to say that the Tesla demand cliff is a myth, as deliveries have jumped 109% YoY, and expect them to continue at similar rates during most of the year, and possibly also during 2022.
* But Anti-Tesla analysts are also right to say that competition is stealing share from Tesla, because while in absolute numbers the EV maker will continue to grow in the foreseeable future, that growth will come at the cost of ICE models, because Tesla's share within the plugin market is now dropping, as new models from the competition are being launched seemingly every day and the PEV market is growing faster than Tesla. In Q1 2020, Tesla had 19% share against the current 16%, and should lose a couple more percent points until the year end. (The same applies for BEV purists, Tesla had 29% of the BEV market in Q1 2020, now it has 25%).
But then, who is winning share YoY?
There are a few, besides the obvious case of SGMW, that came out of nowhere to the currrent 9% share, the most unexpected for me is Mercedes, that now has 5% share against the 3% of 12 months ago, thanks to its long, and strong, lineup of PHEVs and the ever expanding BEV lineup (at this pace, they will run out of alphabet letters for their EQ range in about 2 years...), the once laggard Mercedes is starting to threaten its BMW arch-rival, with the three-pointed-star maker climbing another spot in March, to 6th.
Great Wall's ORA ever expanding lineup is also helping the Chinese maker to gain share, from the 1% of March 2020, to the current 3%, while little NIO has managed to survive in the shark tank and is gaining scale, now having 2% of the global plugin market, now that survival is assured, i believe now it is the time for the Chinese EV startup to adventure itself into overseas markets.
Finally, Ford has also increased its share, by 1%, thanks to the return to normal of the Ford Kuga/Escape PHEV and the addition of the Mustang Mach-E.
But let's return to last month performances, Volkswagen is recovering from a poor start of the year and climbed to 4th, with the same story applying to Renault and Hyundai, with the French maker up to #12, while the Korean jumped to #16.
Far from the spotlight, Toyota is slowly climbing the table, now in #14, thanks to the (slow) production ramp up of the PHEV version of its RAV4 Best Seller, with the Japanese maker registering a record 10,226 units last month. Do not rule Toyota out of the race just yet...
Outside the Top 20, a reference to Porsche, that thanks to a record 6,077 deliveries in March, it is the new #21, less than 600 units away from a Top 20 spot, an outstanding performance for such a niche (and expensive) brand.