Yep, the EV disruption many of us were dreaming of for years is finally happening, and the proof is that despite all the stuff happening right now — pandemic(s), war, inflation, material shortages, etc., etc. (imagine telling what happened in the past two years to our past selves of June 2020 — they would freak out completely) — global plugin vehicle registrations were up 54% in June 2022 compared to June 2021, reaching a record 913,000 units! With China’s production back on track, sales have recovered their previous growth pace, and I wouldn’t be surprised if September turns out to be the first month the world reaches one million plugin vehicle registrations! With China (surely), Europe (likely), and the USA (maybe?) posting record months in September, expect the end of Q3 to be another time of celebration.
With a record month in June, plugins represented 16% share of the overall auto market, with BEVs themselves reaching 12% BEV share! This is the first time BEVs reached two digits globally. Considering the steep drops in the overall market, and that plugless hybrids (HEVs) were down for the third month in a row, that should be considered an amazing result. Peak HEVs is upon us in 2022, with 2023 being the start of downhill sales for this kind of powertrain.
In June, BEVs (+65% YoY) grew faster than PHEVs (+29%), with the latter powertrain suffering from sales drops in Europe. Still, both technologies reached record months and, year to date, the plugin share went up one point to 12% (8.8% BEV). All of which is great, but the internet loves lists, so here you go: The top 20 electric car sales leaders!
Looking at the monthly best seller table, the Tesla Model Y returned to the leadership position, and with an all-time record to boot. It had close to 98,000 deliveries, the closest any EV has been to scoring a six-digit performance ever. And expect this same Model Y to go above the 100,000 registrations milestone in September….
In second place, we have the Tesla Model 3, with over 53,000 registrations, a somewhat meh result that can be explained by the covid-derived lockdown in Giga Shanghai during the quarter. Expect it to return to more normal levels in the next quarter. The Wuling Mini EV was 3rd, with a consistent 46,000 registrations.
Just off the podium, we have the BYD Armada, with four models from the Shenzhen automaker showing up from 4th to 7th. The highlights were the #4 Song Plus (BEV + PHEV), with a record 31,787 registrations; the #5 Han (BEV + PHEV), also with a record, 25,356 registrations; and the #7 Yuan Plus, which ended the month with yet another record score, this time 16,764 registrations. Add in the #11 BYD Dolphin and the #18 BYD Tang and we have 6 BYDs in the global top 20!
There were other record performers in the table. The #10 GAC Aion Y scored a record 11,801 registrations, the highlight of another positive month for the Chinese automaker, which also placed the Aion S in #16.
The #15 Hozon Neta V is also ramping up deliveries, scoring 9,149 registrations, while Great Wall’s ORA Good Cat and XPeng’s P7 returned to the table. The highlight regarding the compact hatchback (Good Cat) was that a few hundred of the 8,731 units in June were registered in Thailand.
The VW ID.4 jumped to #8, with a near record 16,764 registrations, thanks to a good performance in China. It thus became the best selling model from a legacy OEM last month.
Outside the top 20, there was plenty to talk about. There were the record scores of the Peugeot e-208 (5,765 registrations) and its cousin, the Fiat 500e (7,338 units). The two Stellantis star players are trying to reach numbers that allow them to show up in the top 20. There was also the year-best performance of the VW ID.3 (7,044 registrations). It is surely looking to return to the five-digit performances of last year.
There was also SAIC’s MG eZS EV getting a record 6,376 registrations and its MG eHS PHEV sibling getting a record performance 7,318 registrations, mostly thanks to Europe, but also with the help from the hundreds sold in Israel (eHS) and India (eZS). Dongfeng’s Fengshen E-Series did well as well, with a record 7,536 registrations, mostly sold to taxi companies.
Regarding production ramp-ups of recently introduced models, one highlight is the new BYD Destroyer o5 midsize sedan. It had 7,464 registrations. So, we soon will have a 7th BYD model on the table (and the Model 3-fighter Seal, the little Sea Gull, and the Model Y-fighter Sea Lion are yet to land …). Additionally, the Huawei-backed AITO M5 EREV midsize SUV got to 7,021 units. Expect both to reach five-digit scores during the second half of the year.
In the year-to-date (YTD) table, the top positions remained stable. Although, we should highlight that the Model 3 increased its lead over the #3 Wuling Mini EV by 7,000 units, now at a little over 11,000 units, thus protecting Tesla’s #1 plus #2 lead on the model table.
The first change came at #7 — the Volkswagen ID.4 jumping three spots and becoming the only legacy OEM model in the first 13 positions. Also on the rise is the Li Xiang One, climbing to #8 . The startup model profited from a bad month for the BYD Tang and took the lead in the race for best selling full size SUV.
In the lower half of the table, the BYD Yuan Plus also jumped positions, in this case to #12, with the compact BYD looking to displace the VW ID.4 from the leadership position in the compact category during the second half of the year.
Finally, we have the GAC Aion Y profiting from a record score in June. (Go team MPV!) It jumped two spots, to #16, while the other GAC model on the table, the Aion S sedan, was also up to #19. Interestingly, GAC is just one of four brands to have more than one representative on the table, the others being BYD (6 models), Tesla (Model Y and Model 3), and Chery (QQ Ice Cream and eQ1).
Comparing the current table with what was going on a year ago, there are several differences:
- The Tesla Model 3 was the undisputed leader, with close to 244,000 units, or 10% more than what it has this year. True, part of this decline is explained by the disruption in Shanghai, but it doesn’t explain everything. The truth is that the Model 3 has found its output limit and Tesla’s growth comes basically from the Model Y.
- The Wuling Mini EV was 2nd, so it has lost one spot, but on the other hand, it has seen its sales grow 11% YoY.
- As for the Tesla Model Y, it saw its sales grow 130% YoY, jumping from 3rd a year ago to its current leadership position.
- The BYD Han was 4th a year ago and has now dropped to 6th, but on the other hand … the Han was the only BYD on the table 12 months ago, while now there are 6 of them!
- The Li Xiang One was #11 a year ago, climbing three spots from then to now.
- Like a year ago, the VW ID.4 is the best selling legacy OEM model. The difference is that in June 2021 it was 5th, while now, despite improving its sales by 66%, it is just 7th. In fact, legacy OEM models are becoming increasingly rare in the top 20. They have gone from 9 representatives a year ago (VW ID.4, VW ID.3, Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, Volvo XC40 PHEV, Toyota RAV4 PHEV, BMW 5-Series PHEV, and Ford Escape/Kuga PHEV) to just four (the same VW ID.4 as well as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Ford Mustang Mach-E).
- On the other hand, Chinese EVs doubled their numbers, from 7 representatives a year ago, to the current 14….
In June, BYD’s current record streak continued, scoring close to 134,000 registrations, but this time it wasn’t enough to beat Tesla, as the US automaker had its usual end-of-quarter peak and delivered over 157,000 units. SGMW closed out the podium in 3rd.
Below the podium, Volkswagen is returning to form. It scored 42,808 registrations, allowing it to end the month in 4th. SAIC scored its second record month in a row, with over 29,000 registrations, and ended in 6th. It was followed by two other Chinese automakers having record streaks — #7 GAC had 24,165 registrations and #8 Chery had 23,014 registrations.
As for the second half of the table, there were plenty of surprises. There were several record scores, like Dongfeng ending in #11, with a record 19,854 registrations; #14 Changan with 15,186 registrations; and #19 Hozon with 13,179 registrations. The most impressive record performance belonged to Geely, which delivered 19,728 units. That allowed it to reach #12. China’s sleeping giant is awakening….
Other brands returning to the best sellers table were #15 XPeng and #17 Renault. The French automaker had the particular satisfaction of returning to the top 20 at the expense of … arch-rival Peugeot.
Outside the top 20, a mention goes out to the Chinese startups NIO (12,377 units) and Leap Motor (11,259 units). They each scored record results. Meanwhile, Jeep had its best score in a year (11,650 units) and could join the race for a top 20 spot soon.
In the YTD table, BYD resisted Tesla’s end-of-quarter peak and remained in the #1 spot, with a 76,000 unit lead that could prove to be critical towards of the end of of this year’s race.
And even if BYD ends up losing to Tesla, it will be the first time since 2018 that anyone has been able to challenge Tesla’s domination in the market, which can only be described as a positive development towards a more mature market.
Below these two, which are really in a league of their own, the SGMW joint venture is comfortable in 3rd. But below it, Volkswagen surpassed BMW, and with production constraints expected to ease significantly in Volkswagen’s plants, the stage will be set for the Wolfsburg brand to go after SGMW in the second half of the year and to try to win the last place on the podium.
#7 SAIC is now just 2,000 units behind Mercedes, so the Shanghai producer could surpass the German automaker already in August.
Looking at the remaining top 20, the highlights were the rising Chery and GAC climbing to #9 and #11, respectively, while Geely jumped three spots to #16. Geely is set to climb a few more positions in the coming months.
Still on the topic of the top 20, XPeng was up to #17, while Great Wall climbed to #19. The latter case was at the expense of Ford, which now has the rising #21 Hozon fewer than 1,000 units behind. Will Hozon become the 11th Chinese brand on the table?
Comparing the current ranking with what happened a year ago, BYD jumped from 4th to the leadership spot; the Koreans Kia and Hyundai jumped 3 and 4 positions respectively, to #8 and #10, mostly thanks to the new Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5; GAC surged 6 positions to #11, thanks to its dynamic duo — the Aion S and Aion Y; and Changan jumped 5 spots, to #15.
As for #9 Chery, #14 Dongfeng, #16 Geely, and #17 XPeng, none of these four Chinese makes were in the top 20 a year ago….
Let’s look at registrations by OEM. At the end of Q1, Tesla was leading with 15.5% share, with a 1.2 percentage point advantage over BYD. Now, BYD is the leader, with 15.4% share, down from 15.6% in May. Tesla is second, with 13.6% share, up 1 percentage point from 12.6%, but down 1.9 points compared to Q1. In the same period, BYD grew from 14.2% to its current 15.4%.
SAIC (8.6%) and Volkswagen Group (8%) remained in 3rd and 4th, respectively, with the Shanghai automaker increasing its share by 0.1% compared to Q1. The German OEM was up from 7.8% in Q1 to its current 8% in Q2.
In the 5th position, we had another position change compared to the previous month, with Hyundai–Kia (5.4%, down from 5.8% in May) dropping to #7. It was surpassed by the new 5th placed Geely–Volvo (5.6%) and #6 Stellantis (5.5%).
Comparing the top 5 of H1 2022 with what was happening a year ago, there are significant differences:
- The biggest difference is obviously BYD, which jumped from #6 to the leadership position, winning 9.5% share on the way.
- Tesla lost 1.6% share compared to the same period last year, being kicked out of the leadership by BYD.
- It wasn’t only Tesla losing share, as #3 SAIC lost 2.5% share and #4 Volkswagen Group lost 5.4% share in the last 12 months. Added to Tesla’s losses, that gives some strength to my theory that EVs, unlike what many think, will not mean a higher concentration of share in fewer OEMs, but precisely the opposite. With EVs being easier to make than ICE models, expect EV makes to multiply, and many of them coming from unexpected places (case in hand: Vietnam’s Vinfast). That will mean that the leading EV makers will have less market share in a mature EV market than what the major automotive groups have had in the ICE era.
- A year ago, BMW Group and Stellantis were in the top 5. This last one is still close, as it is just 5,000 units behind #5 Geely–Volvo, but BMW … not really.
Limiting OEM registrations to just BEVs, at the end of Q1, Tesla was leading with 21.6% share, an advantage of more than 10 percentage points over runner-up SAIC. Tesla remains the leader, with 19% share, but that was down 2.6 points compared to Q1. BYD is now second, with 11% share, up from 10.1% in Q1, which also allowed it to surpass SAIC (10.8%) and become the new #2.
Volkswagen Group (7.3%, up from 6.9% in Q1) and Hyundai–Kia (5.6%) remained in 4th and 5th, respectively, while #6 Geely–Volvo (4.3%) looks set to come closer to the Korean group as it attempts a shot at a top 5 presence.
Comparing the current ranking with what happened a year ago, leader Tesla lost 3.7% share, SAIC lost 3.7% share, and Volkswagen Group lost 3.4%.
So … who profited from all these losses? Yep, once again, BYD. The Shenzhen automaker jumped from 4th a year ago, with 5.5% share, to the current runner-up spot, with 11% share. A 5.5% market share gain! In just 12 months!
If the Chinese automaker’s sales & production continue to surge the way they have been this past year, expect it to be racing with Tesla for the BEV title by June 2023!
I’ll make a final note on the apparently baffling strategy of BYD having three different models for the same segment, like is the case of midsize sedans (where it will have the Qin Plus, Seal and Destroyer 05 PHEV).
Someone close to me mentioned the idea that all three models were appealing to different segments of the Chinese population:
- The Qin Plus is directed at a more patriotic, older segment of the population — aka, Conservatives/the “MCGA“ crowd.
- The Seal appeals to a younger, urban, and highly educated population — aka, Liberals/Snowflakes.
- The Destroyer 05 is targeted at the Fast & Furious kind of crowd.
I don’t know if I totally agree, BUT … it gave me some ideas:
- Lincoln could appeal to the Republican crowd if it launched an “Abraham” pickup truck (or large sedan). It could complement that with a “Mary Ann” big seven-seat SUV barge.
- Dodge already has the Charger, which is such a cool name for a sports EV. The brand could also launch the Dodge Capacitor (7-seat SUV?), which would make a great trio of EVs: Charger, Challenger, and Capacitor. The Fast & Furious crowd would love them.
- Chrysler could recover the Airflow and Airstream names for some really nice EV models that might suit liberals?
- Jeep could go after the MAGA crowd with a few US-specific EV models, like: Jeep Insurgent (although Dodge Insurgent also sounds nice), a Gladiator-based PHEV pick-up truck with shotguns hidden in the flatbed as standard equipment. It could also come with Vehicle-to-X capability, for those moments when the drivers would be off-grid in the forest waiting for the call. Or the Jeep Commander-In-Chief, a Jeep Commander XL with a big V8, gold accents throughout the interior, and PHEV capabilities — for those moments when you need to move away silently from the crowd you helped to rally up.
- If GM allowed Chevrolet to have a Volt, why can’t Buick have an Electra? Make it a compact-to-midsize crossover and it could be a Liberal darling.
- With Cadillac being reborn as a born-again EV brand, Conservatives need to go elsewhere in the GM portfolio, so why not the GMC Hummer franchise? I can already imagine: a Hummer Terminator! It could be a back-to-basics Jeep Wrangler-kind of vehicle, made to steal sales from the Jeep Insurgent, but more radical and expensive!
- Finally, Chevrolet. With such good names as “Volt” and “Spark,” how come they keep them unused?
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