Friday, March 23, 2018

Germany February 2018

Image result for 2017 Smart Fortwo ED vs VW e-Golf

Smart cars on a roll in a changing market

The PEV Fever has definitely caught on in Germany, with February registering over 5.000 registrations last month, a 74% increase YoY, with the PEV Share now at 2%.

But more important than the Plug-in share reaching the 2% barrier, are the seismic changes happening in the fuels mix of the mainstream market: Diesel sales dropped 20%(!) YoY, in a market up 7%, to the benefit of regular gasoline-powered cars (Up 26%) and alternative fuels, namely CNG (+414%, to 828 units), PHEVs (+77%, 1,443 units) and BEVs (+65%. 1,546), leaving diesel with a market share of only 33%, almost half of what regular gasoline cars have (63%). How many decades do we have to go back to see diesel having such a small piece of the pie?

Behind this diesel-escaping stampede seem to be the diesel-related scandals and upcoming diesel-driving city bans, changing the landscape faster than some imagined...

Back at Plug-in sales, the Best Selling model in February was the Smart Fortwo ED (510 units), for the fifth time in a row(!), followed closely by the Renault Zoe (475 units, best performance since June), and the VW e-Golf, that with 465 deliveries, had its best result in 3 months.

So, three BEVs in the podium positions, all of them production (read: battery) constrained and with waiting lists. And (some) people still don't believe in electric cars...

Another model in High Voltage was the VW Golf GTE, with 317 units, the Hot Hatch best result ever, something that is even more impressive when one considers that the nameplate exists since 2014 and it hasn't received any kind of update since. 

Smart Fortwo ED
Renault Zoe
Volkswagen e-Golf
Volkswagen Golf GTE
BMW i3

In a traditionally fragmented market, the leader Smart Fortwo ED started the year like a firm leader, but below it, several position changes happened, justifying this market fame as one of the most entertaining to follow. 

The most relevant change was the Renault Zoe climbing two positions to Third Place, while the Best Selling PHEV title also changed hands, with the VW Golf GTE stealing the ceptre from its larger sibling, the VW Passat GTE.

A new face in the Top 10 is the Smart Forfour ED, jumping four positions to #9, thanks to a record 253 deliveries, confirming that Smart EVs are as hot as pepper in Germany...

Maybe they should make a "Red/Black Pepper" edition, signaling the Brand current hotness? Just a thought...

In the second half of the table, the Mercedes E350e had a record performance in February, with 134 registrations, being now at #15. 

"What about Tesla?" - You might ask.

Well, as in many markets outside North America, 2018 started on the slow side, with the best selling of Tesla nameplates, the Model S, scoring only 169 deliveries this year, thus staying outside the Top 20. Adding insult to injury, in February, the Porsche Panamera PHEV had its second best month ever, with 180 deliveries, pulling it to #12...

In the manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen started the year in the lead, with 20% share, in Second Place we have Smart (16%), while last year winner BMW is now only Third Place, with 14% share.

Regarding the BEV/PHEV share, BEVs were the most sold in February, but in 2018, PHEVs still have the upper hand, with 51% share.


Plug-ins and Regular Hybrids

Feb. Sales  
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Toyota Auris Hybrid
Smart Fortwo ED
Renault Zoe

As plug-ins reach new heights, regular hybrids are feeling the heat and being reached by PEVs, Toyota still owns the podium, but Plug-ins are getting closer, if the leader Toyota Yaris Hybrid still seems unattainable, the Third Positioned Auris Hybrid could fall next month.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Belgium February 2018

Resultado de imagem para vw e-golf belgium

VW e-Golf Shines

Another positive month in February, with Belgians registering 1.058 passenger Plug-ins, up 41% YoY, placing the PEV Share at 2.4%.

Too bad then that PHEV's continue to be the Trend du Jour, with 80% of all PEV registrations being Plug-in hybrids, with this type of technology owning 8 out of the 10 Best Selling models.

But the recent PHEV incentives changes have produced some changes, once known for being the favorite home of big luxury SUVs (The BMW X5 PHEV and Volvo XC90 PHEV were regular features in the podium, just to name two of them), now sales are somewhat more distributed, with two midsize SUVs (XC60 & GLC350e), one compact car (e-Golf), a compact Crossover (Countryman) and a large sports sedan (Panamera) making the Top 5.

The VW e-Golf deserves a special mention, because thanks to a fleet deal in January, it started the year in the lead, the last time a BEV started in the pole position was in 2014...A sign for better days? Let's hope so.

On the other hand, Tesla was off to a slow start here, with only the Model S showing up on the Top 20, in #14.

In the manufacturers ranking, last year winner BMW is steady in the leadership, with 25% share, while Mercedes (16%) and Volvo (15%) are running for Silver.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Canada January 2018 & February Preview

Resultado de imagem para Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV canada

Outlander PHEV lands with a bang

In a market now north of the 1% threshold (1.1%), the big news early this year in Canada was the thundering arrival of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with 174 units in its first full sales month, placing itself immediately behind the Chevrolet Best Sellers, the Volt (226 units) and Bolt (187). Will the Japanese SUV disrupt this market and end Chevy's domination? Well, in a SUV-loving territory, like this one...But more on this below.

Other important performances occurred in the Top 10, with the irregular Chrysler Pacifica PHEV having a positive start of the year, in Fourth, with 103 deliveries, while the Honda Clarity PHEV is replicating in Canada the good performance it is having South of the border, with 76 registrations in its first full sales month. 

Looking into February preliminary results, we have the Chevrolets in cruise speed (Volt - 305 units, Bolt - 180), while the Outlander PHEV continues to impress, clocking 230 registrations and stealing February's Silver Medal from the Bolt's hands, all while the Prius Prime and VW e-Golf have beaten their sales records, with the first registering 135 units, and the second 180(!). Finally the new Leaf landed with an impressive 179 units.

With the Outlander PHEV and Clarity PHEV brilliant landings, the new Leaf coming in,  and extended availability of the Prius Prime and e-Golf, it seems this market is going to beat all expectations this year.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, Chevrolet (31%) is stable at the Throne, keeping Mitsubishi (13%) miles behind.

In Third Place we have Chrysler, with 8% share, doing its best to save its Bronze Medal from Volkswagen (7%), Tesla (6%), Hyundai (Also 6%) and Honda (ditto).

Source: Green Car Reports

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Austria February 2018

Image result for renault zoe vs bmw i3 austria
"Was that a rocket that passed by us? No, it was the e-Golf. Wooow..."

VW e-Golf rocks the market

Austrian plug-in sales are up 46% this year, to over 1.200 new Plug-ins, placing the PEV Share at record heights (1.9%). 

The good thing about this market is that it is a BEV-heavy market, with all-electric cars representing 70% of sales. When governments play the incentives cards right, good things like these (Large share and growth) happen.

Looking at the models ranking, the news of the year is the thundering leap of the VW e-Golf into the leadership, with two consecutive record performances (115 units in January and 191 in February), the German hatchback passed right by through the Renault Zoe and BMW i3, to sit in the Best Seller Throne, with space to spare.

Another BEV with a good start is the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, #4 with 122 units, it seems the increased production is starting to create some benefits for the Korean hatchback.

The same can't be said about the Tesla nameplates, with the Model S only Seventh, and the Model X in #17.

Will we see a recovery for the American brand in March?

In the manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen is ahead with 12% share, followed by BMW (8%), and Renault (7%).

Just outside the podium, we have Hyundai, with 6%, waiting for more units allocation of their Ioniq twins (BEV & PHEV), in order to jump into the podium.

But then again, all podium bearers have that same problem...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Switzerland February 2018

Image result for Opel Ampera e Switzerland

Ampera-e Big in Switzerland (but BMW i3 is #1)

The Swiss PEV market was up 77% last month, by registering 675 units, placing the 2018 registrations at 1.207 units, up 43% YoY, with the PEV Share climbing to a record 3.7%.

In an off-peak month for Tesla, it was up for the BMW i3 to pull the market up, with the Bimmer scoring 232 registrations, stealing the leadership from the Opel Ampera-e hands (!?!), with the model German-American model registering only 24 units last month.

The Renault Zoe is now Third, thanks to 63 deliveries in February, while the Tesla models are strangely in low places, with the Model S in Ninth and the Model X in #20. Will we see a Tesla March Madness month in a few weeks?

In the manufacturers ranking, BMW (33%) profited from the i3 exceptional performance, to jump into the leadership, leaving Volkswagen (10%), Renault (9%), Opel (9%) and Volvo (8%) running for the remaining podium positions.

Source: Auto Suisse

Thursday, March 15, 2018

China February 2018

Image result for 2018 BYD Tang
The imposing new BYD Tang, coming to Chinese streets in a few months

The NEV Games – Stage 2: BYD’s Revenge

February is traditionally the slowest selling month in China, but with sales around 34,000 units, there’s not much to complain about, numbers were up 88% YoY, making this by far the best February ever.

The PEV share dropped slightly, to 1.3%, a smidge below the previous month (1.4%) and a step below the 2.1% of 2017, but on the bright side, from now on, sales are expected to pick up significantly as the year advances, with the 2018 PEV share expected to end at around 3%.

Last month, the Chinese OEMs represented roughly 40% of all PEVs registered globally, an impressive number, especially considering that February is the slowest month in the Chinese PEV market.

With exports still being symbolic, the domestic market is more than enough to absorb the current production, helped by the fact that it is a highly protected market, as foreign brands only had 3% of PEV registrations last month. Of this (very small) cake, 2% belonged to BMW, while the other manufacturers, Tesla included, divided the remaining 1%.

In February, the main news were the surprisingly low sales of the BAIC EC-Series, with only 4,120 registrations, dragging down with it the mothership BAIC, allowing its nemesis BYD to pay back the defeat it had in the previous month, all while dethroning the Beijing brand from the 2018 Best Selling Brand position.

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

Image result for 2018 BYD Song DM 
#1 – BYD Song PHEV: Build Your Dreams (BYD) current star product had 4,481 registrations in February, underlining a good start of the year. If the 2018 Best Selling PHEV title seems to be destined to stay with it, one questions if BYD’s “Model Y” can also reach the sales level of the BAIC EC-Series. Maybe, maybe not, consistency seems to be BYD’s forte, so if the EC-Series goes into a series of uninspired performances...Who knows?

Image result for 2018 BAIC EC-Series 
#2 – BAIC EC-Series: After winning the Best-Selling status for six months in a row, the EC-Series had a disappointing February, having registered just 4,120 units last month. Sure, 4000 units should be enough to give it a podium place on the Global February Best Selling PEVs, but when you reach almost 16,000 registrations in a month, 4000 seems like you’re not trying hard enough…It’s a bit like Lionel Messi, when you get people used to hat-tricks & other magic numbers during the 90 minutes of the game, if you just offer the assistance for the victory goal, people think you are being lazy…Anyway, the little EV continues to be disruptive in the Chinese market, leading it by a large distance over the Second Placed BYD Song PHEV.

Related image 
#3 – BYD Qin PHEV: The most common plug-in in China had another good performance in February, with 3,009 units, being BYD’s “Model 3” sixth consecutive “3 to 4 thousand units/month” result (Talk about consistency!). This is another of BYD’s hard-working Oompa-Loompa, sure, they do not wow the world with 15,000 units/month peak performances, like the EC-Series does, but on the other hand, they get s*** things done. In a way, it’s a bit like Ronaldo, while Messi amazes the world with his magic and wins the popular vote, at the end of the day, the Real Madrid striker takes home the awards, just like BYD did in the last 3 years.

Image result for 2018 JAC iEV7S
#4 – JAC iEV7S/E: JAC is one of the EV pioneers in China, selling plug-ins since 2010, and now with its iEV7S/E Crossover, it’s back at the game, registering 2,831 units last month. With a competitive price of USD 26,000 before incentives, this is a vehicle targeted at trendy urbanites that for some reason can’t reach a BYD Song or Roewe’s eRX5, getting in return a good-looking compact vehicle (Kia Soul-sized), with just enough zoom (114 hp) to avoid making it feel underpowered.

Image result for 2018 Chery eQ 
#5 – Chery eQ: Chery was one of the Chinese brands to bet early in plug-ins, having won the models title three times in a row (2011, ’12, ’13), with its tiny QQ3 EV, now the automaker is trying to regain relevance with the eQ, the spiritual (and material) successor to the QQ3, having registered 2,753 units in February, allowing it to collect a Top 5 position last month. A vehicle marketed to city dwellers, for USD 24,000 before incentives, you get a funky city EV, with the 22kWh battery providing just enough range (200 kms / 125 miles NEDC), to cover the needs of the urban jungle.

 Image result for 2018 Wuling E100

Outside the Top 5, and even in a slow selling month, there are a couple of models with positive performances, like the SAIC Wuling E100, that after a dismal January (only 80 deliveries), registered 601 units, allowing it to return to the Top 20. Better yet did its direct competitor Zhi Dou D2 EV, registering 893 units, a far cry from the meager 130 deliveries of January, pulling it to #12 in the yearly ranking.

On a not so positive tone, the BYD Tang only delivered 204 units, its worst performance in all three years in the market, the most likely reason for this sudden drop is the fact that a new one is announced for this year.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, after losing in January by some 1600 units to BAIC, BYD had its revenge in February, beating the c*** out of Beijing Auto almost doubling sales of its direct competitor in that month (8,200 units vs 4,400), allowing it to recover the yearly leadership, with 24% share, 4 percent ahead of BAIC (20%).

But we are only on the second game of a 12-round final, so buckle up and bring the popcorn, because it will be an entertaining race until December between these two.

In Third Place we also have a close race, with the Shanghai-based Roewe (11%) being closely followed by JAC (10%), so there’s more to look at, in the Chinese NEV (New Energy Vehicles, aka PEV) games than just BYD vs BAIC.

BAIC EC-Series
Chery eQ  
SAIC Roewe i6 PHEV
JMC E200
BYD Tang
Changan Benni EV 
Geely Emgrand EV
Zhidou D2 EV
GAC Trumpchi GE3
Hawtai EV160
BAIC EX-Series

JMC E100
SAIC Wuling E100
Zotye E200