There were some 279,000 registrations in the last month of 2019, that represented the third best month ever, and despite a 4% drop YoY, it wasn't as bad as previously feared, in fact BEVs had their first positive month since August, having registered 374 more units worldwide than in December 2018. On the other hand, PHEVs crashed once again in December, dropping 19% YoY...
Best Selling EV Maker in the World
This recovering performance helped the yearly tally to remain positive, crossing the 2 million plugins mark, to 2.2 millions (up 10% YoY), and placing the final 2019 global PEV share, at 2.5% share, up from 2.1 in 2018.
Looking at the BEV / PHEV breakdown, pure electrics have grown their share by 5% in 2019, to 74% of the total market (81% in December), mostly thanks to China and the Model 3, making this the highest BEV share since 1411 2011!
In December the question at the top was knowing if the Bronze Medal would change hands, and in deed it did, with the Nissan Leaf overcoming the BYD Yuan EV in the last stage of the race, both far behind the Silver Medalist BAIC EU-Series, only the second EV to score a six-digit result in a year, but even the Beijing Auto electric sedan pales next to this year winner, the Tesla Model 3, that celebrated its second trophy in a row by setting yet another all-time record, by delivering over 53,000 units last month, more than doubling the 2018 score.
Despite winning the Bronze Medal, Nissan should be worried about the Leaf performance, as sales were down 20% regarding the previous year, and this happens in a year where the Japanese hatchback received a new 62 kWh battery...
...So either Nissan drops the Leaf prices this year, or else the veteran model will see its sales crash even further. It's up to you, Nissan.
In a recovery month, there was a lot to talk about, not only the Tesla Model 3 scored a new all-time monthly record, but also the #2 BAIC EU-Series reached a new Personal Best, being the first non-Tesla to make more than 20,000 units in one month.
But it was on the second half of the table that we saw some action, with the Tesla Model X climbing one position to 11th, thanks to 5,869 units in December, its best performance of the year, with the Chery eQ also profiting from a slow month of the Toyota Prius PHEV, to reach #12
As for the remaining ranking, the veteran VW e-Golf ended the year on high note, climbing to #14, while the SAIC Ei5 EV Station Wagon was up two spots, to #17.
But the Surprise of the Month was the GAC Aion S finally reaching the Top 20, landing in #16 securing its status of Rookie Of The Year. How high will it go in 2020? I wouldn't be surprised if it got inside the Top 5...
But there were also models shining outside the Top 20, the third model to hit a 5-digit score last month was the BAIC EC-Series, with 11,409 units, allowing it to jump to #21, less than 1,000 units behind the #20 Tesla Model S.
The SAIC MG eZS EV scored 6,135 units, the #22 VW Passat GTE and the #23 Audi e-Tron hit record performances in December, allowing them to end less than 3,000 units from a Top 20 spot.
Seeing the #20 Model S sales drop 42% YoY in 2019, and already having problems in keeping a Top 20 spot, Tesla REALLY needs to do something to its flagship car this year...If that doesn't happen, the Audi e-Tron will surely outsell it, and we could even see the niche Porsche Taycan surpass it sometime in 2020!
And the Model X could benefit from fresh blood too, as its sales dropped 20% last year. Just a thought, Tesla...
On the other hand, there were a few models that progressed significantly in 2019, like the SAIC's Baojun E-Series, that came out of obscurity straight into #5, the Hyundai Kona EV, that joined the ranking this year in #9, and it could aspire to higher standings in 2020, if Hyundai can get more battery volumes, allowing it to finally ramp up production to meet the chronicle waiting list of its crossover.
Manufacturers: Tesla repeats the trophy
After a race that seemed like a walk in the park, Tesla has won once again the Best Selling PEV maker trophy, with 366,000 units, winning with over 100,000 units advantage over the #2 BYD, with the Californian brand score a new all-time record in December (63,000 units), just to put the icing on the cake.
BYD was only #7 in December, but its advantage over the competition was more than enough to secure the runner-up status (again), while the #3 BAIC scored the best monthly performance ever for a EV maker that doesn't have a "T" in its logo, with over 36,000 units in December, making sure that it kept the Bronze Medal away from the grubby hands of the #4 SAIC, that by the way, also scored a record performance last month, with over 18,000 units.
Funny enough, the #5 BMW (16k) and #6 Volkswagen (14k) also had their best months ever in December, allowing this last one to jump two positions last month, making it one of the manufacturers that most progress had in 2019.
Looking into 2020, if Tesla is set to repeat the title, there will be plenty of interesting stuff happening below it...BAIC and SAIC should continue with ambitious plans, while BYD will be betting in resuming the growth path and Volkswagen will not only become the leading legacy brand, but will also try to run along the Chinese Big 3, and let's not forget a few dark horses (Hyundai, GAC…) that could bet in the way of the favorites!
Coming down to the second half of the ranking, both #13 Renault and #16 Volvo broke their personal records in December, while GAC continued its rise and rise, now in #15, hitting a record 10,638 units in December.
Dongfeng had a personal best performance of 11,408 units, allowing it to jump into the Top 20 and reach #18.
The rise of Dongfeng to the Top 20 kicked out Chevrolet from the table, with the American brand ending in #21, just a few units ahead of the #22 Audi, that scored a record 7,807 units in December and allowed it to end the year some 500 units behind the #20 JAC, in what can only be seen as good sign for the Ingolstadt brand, will we see it on the Top 20 a year from now?
Comparing the 2019 performances with the previous year, we can see some makers in trouble (Nissan was down 17%, Chery, 26%, JAC, 30%), while others are in stark progression, like Kia (+43% YoY), Hyundai (+38%), or Volvo (+31%).
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