Global vehicle registrations for plug-ins increased by 38% in April 2022 compared to April 2021. Despite several troubling factors occurring simultaneously (the invasion of Ukraine, Covid-19 lockdowns in China, chip and battery shortages, disruptions to the supply chain…), the truth is that there were 542,000 registrations last month, representing 10.2% of the total car market (7% BEV share). Given the steep declines in the overall market, and that plugless hybrids were: down For the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown months of April and May 2020, that can be considered an astonishing result. This poor performance of plugless hybrids could mean that this year the peak HEV year, with 2023 marking the start of downhill sales for this type of drivetrain. We will see.
(Toyota, pay attention….)
Peak HEV is just one of the weird events that happen once EV disruption hits the car market. It’s not just about the fuel share, like diesel sales falling off a cliff in Europe. It also covers OEM positions such as the rise of Chinese OEMs in their home market, Volkswagen Group losing its grip on Europe and the addition of Tesla to what is currently the US Big 4 (the others being Toyota, GM, Stellantis and Ford). ).
In April, BEVs (+47% yoy) grew faster than PHEVs (+22%), with the latter powertrain suffering from sales declines in Europe. Year-to-date, the plug-in share has remained stable at 11% (8.3% BEV).
#1 for Wuling Mini EV
Looking at the monthly bestseller chart, the tiny Wuling Mini EV won another monthly title, its first this year, followed by the BYD Song PHEV. Thanks to a record 20,181 registrations, the Song PHEV managed to surpass the Tesla Model Y, which dropped to 3rd place, hurt by the closure of Tesla’s production facility in Shanghai. This is the first time the Chinese model has managed to beat its American rival, and if we added the BEV version to the total (4,927 units, a new record), BYD’s midsizer would come very close to the #1 Wuling Mini EV (25,108 vs 27,181).
Will we see BYD’s SUV take the #1 spot soon?
Just off the podium we have the anticipated #4 Tesla Model 3 and #5 BYD Qin PHEV. Then comes the Chinese midsizer three more BYDs, with the small Dolphin in #6, the large Han EV in #7 and the compact Yuan Plus in #8. So we can say that, with the exception of the city car category, BYD had models that sold the best in every size category: subcompacts (Dolphin – 12,046 units), compacts (Yuan Plus – 10,112 units, a new record), the hotly contested mid-size category (number PHEV — 20,181 or 25,108 including the BEV version) and full-size models (Han EV — 10,243 units, or 13,439 if we include the PHEV version).
April can be considered an unusual month, due to the disruptions mentioned above, and should not be considered a trendsetter. It will nevertheless be interesting to see if BYD can repeat this kind of dominance in the future.
However, one thing is certain: the model range of the carmaker from Shenzhen is a real one star constellation, with first-class players in every position* of the game. †Besides the city car category, BYD expects to fix something with its future Seagull model…)
Despite such a challenging month, there were other record performers in the top half of the table. The #10 Kia EV6 scored a record 9,085 registrations, marking a positive month for the new generation of South Korean EVs, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 finished the month in #9, with 9,748 registrations. The Korean models were the best-selling EVs from an old OEM, proving that Hyundai-Kia won the bet with these two models. That begs the question: With the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and its cousin Kia EV6 not being sold in China, what is Hyundai-Kia waiting for to launch them there?!? I mean, it’s simply the largest EV market in the world†
The second half of the table saw two more record scores. The tiny Leap Motor T03 had a record 7,156 registrations, and the promising startup EV ended the month at #13. It took second place in the city car category, behind the almighty Wuling Mini EV and slightly ahead of the #14 Chery QQ Ice Cream. The other record went to the surprising Ford Mustang Mach-E. Thanks to the start of its Chinese operations and increased availability at the Mexican factory, the electric motocross rider had an all-time record of 6,898 units, which allowed it to jump into the top 20 in #15. Expect the stylish crossover to continue ramping up deliveries in the coming months. It may become a familiar face here.
And it wasn’t just the Ford EV that took advantage of a slower month for Chinese OEMs to gain a presence in the table. In #20, the small Fiat 500e is one of the bestsellers for the first time, with 5,615 registrations.
Stellaantis could have won gold with the little Italian, as this achievement was based only in Europe, and the little EV could be a success story elsewhere – like in North America, where Fiat needs something like this to revive; in Latin America, where Fiat’s strong position could give it some measure of popularity and kickstart EVs there; and in Asia, where it could be particularly interesting to see a launch. Asia is currently Stellantis’ Achilles heel† The OEM needs a standout product to break through into the leading Asian markets, and nothing beats the 500th in the market, so the little Italian could it be†
Come on, Carlos Tavares, I know it’s not in your nature, but be bold for once and gamble on the Fiat 500e in markets outside of Europe! I think you would be surprised by the results….
(And it could really compete in Asia, where small cars are a big thing. Plus, it’s not like Stellantis models are the best sellers there. Failures….)
In the year-to-date (YTD) table, the top positions remained stable. The top five positions had enough distance between them not to change much. Over the next month, looking at our comments below, there are quite a few changes:
- After the #4 BYD Song PHEV and #5 BYD Qin PHEV we now have: three more BYDs, with the Dolphin on the 6th, the Han EV on the 7th and the Tang PHEV on the 8th. That makes it 5 BYD’s in the top 10!
- Much of this came at the expense of the VW ID.4, which had a sluggish April due to the Covid-19 lockdowns in China and a lack of component flow from its Ukrainian suppliers, leaving the German crossover in the YTD. table until 9th.
In the bottom half of the table, the Korean Hyundai Ioniq 5, up one spot to #11, and the Kia EV6, which jumped four positions to #16, continued to climb. With the retro-futuristic Hyundai just 215 units behind the #9 VW ID.4, we could soon see the Korean rise a few more positions and become the best-selling EV among the older OEMs.
Elsewhere, the Hozon Neta V climbed one position, to #18. We also have two new faces in the top 20 — the rising star BYD Yuan Plus joined the top 20 in #17 (on track to reach the top 10 soon), making it the 7th BYD in the table. Meanwhile, in #20 we now have the Ford Mustang Mach-E. After falling close to a top 20 position for a few months, it took advantage of a slower month from its Chinese competitors (and a record month…) in April to finally enter the bestseller list. Will it stay here?
BYD in #1
In April, BYD appeared immune from the Covid-19 lockdowns and scored a record result, with BYD nearly 106,000 registrations. That gave it nearly 20% of the global plug-in market, with Tesla off-peak in second and SGMW in 3rd.
Under the podium there were a few surprises. Once again, Kia (5th, 20,304 entries) and Hyundai (7th, 18,154 entries) showed their good form. On the other hand, Volkswagen was only #9, with only 15,034 registrations, severely affected by the lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine.
It was so bad for the German marque that #8 Volvo outperformed them and #10 Chery finished just 18 units behind….
In the second half of the table, #11 Dongfeng continued to improve its position, as did Ford, which seems to have regained its status recently. mojo back. Meanwhile, Shanghai-based SAIC suffered from being at the epicenter of China’s Covid-19 lockdowns, dropping to #13.
Last on the table we have Chinese EV startup Leap Motor, which benefited from a record result from its bread and butter model, the T03. The brand scored a record 9,087 registrations and a top 20 presence. The little-known Chinese startup, which only hit the market in 2019, has big ambitions. With popular models, such as the small T03, the Model Y-like C11, and the upcoming C01we can be in the presence of another Chinese dark horse.
In the YTD table, BYD returned to the top spot, surpassing Tesla, with both brands returning to the same standings and distance they had at the end of January (about 42,000 units between them).
Since Tesla is expected to have lower delivery output this quarter than it did in the first quarter, it could be that BYD would finish slightly ahead of Tesla this quarter, but again, assuming BYD will continue to post 100,000+ performance in May and June, something that hasn’t been proven yet, especially in May (as the Covid-19 lockdowns still affected May sales in China).
Among these two, which are truly in a league of their own, the SGMW joint venture is comfortably in 3rd place. Below that, BMW gained a valuable advantage over 5th-placed Volkswagen, while Kia jumped three positions to #7. Another climber, #9 Chery, is now ahead of #10 SAIC, with #11 Volvo just 184 units behind the top 10 rankings. The race between these three is exciting.
Looking at the remaining top 20, Dongfeng rose one spot to #14, while XPeng and Peugeot moved up two positions each, to #16 and #17 respectively – both benefiting from sluggish months from OEMs like Great Wall and Li Xiang.
A final reference goes to Ford’s return to the table, in #19. It all looks like the Dearborn automaker has put its battery woes behind them and is ready to… Make the Blue Oval Weather Awesome†
Let’s look at registrations by OEM. At the end of the first quarter, Tesla was in the lead with a share of 15.5%, with a 1.2 percentage point advantage over BYD. Now BYD is the new leader, with a share of 15.4%, up 1.1 points. Tesla is in second place with a share of 13.7%. Will the Shenzhen automaker maintain its lead over Tesla in 2022? I think Tesla will gain the upper hand in the second half of the year because it has greater growth potential. Unless, of course, BYD starts exporting really large volumes in the second half of the year, about tens of thousands of cars per month. However, I don’t expect that to happen until 2023.
SAIC (8.3%, down 0.2 points compared to Q1) and Volkswagen Group (7.6%, also down 0.2 points) remained in 3rd and 4th place respectively, while Hyundai-Kia up 5.7% (5.7%, up 0.3 of a point) surpassed Geely-Volvo, and the Koreans are now beginning to show up in the rear-view mirror of #4 Volkswagen Group.
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