China’s NEV sales are picking up again

In China, the decline in sales figures for new energy vehicles appears to be levelling off as some manufacturers’ sales figures for July seem to indicate. The Xpeng P7 market launch also apparently went well.

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BYD, for example, reached 15,100 NEVs sold in July 2020, exactly 8.85 per cent less than in July 2019, after months of NEV sales falling by 45 per cent or more. In the current year, BYD is also 53 per cent below 2019 with 75,777 NEV, when the manufacturer sold 162,220 NEV from January to July inclusive. Compared to June 2020, NEV sales were 6.6 per cent higher at BYD.

The fact that BYD’s NEV sales in July 2020 were still down compared to July 2019 is mainly due to plug-in hybrids – this segment was 48 per cent down on the same month last year. BYD was able to increase sales of both BEVs and electric commercial vehicles – in the case of electric buses even by 136 per cent. The 9.95 per cent growth in purely electrically powered vehicles put a halt to the ten-month downward trend.

At the same time, the current growth could also be due to the low comparative figure for July 2019, which was when a new subsidy scheme was introduced. This led to higher NEV sales in the first half of the year and significantly weaker sales in the second half.

Xpeng’s initial figures also suggest that the market is recovering. On 17 July, the startup launched delivery of the first units of its second production model, the P7 sedan, to customers in parallel in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhaoqing and Chengdu. The manufacturer has now announced that 1,641 units of the P7 were delivered throughout July. This would be a new record for the market launch of an EV startup.

At SAIC, the joint venture SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) sold 10,764 New Energy Vehicles, including the Baojun E100, E200 and E300/E300P models and the Hong Guang Mini EV. The small car has been well received and, as reported, is sold at prices starting at the equivalent of 3,515 euros.

The startup WM Motor alias World Champion even achieved a sales record in July. The brand delivered 2,036 units of the EX5 and EX6 last month, about twice as many as a year ago. The EX5 was launched in April 2018 and has sold 30,000 units to date. The EX6 was added in November 2019, with another model scheduled to follow this year.

A few days ago, Nio also published his July figures. In that month, 3,533 electric SUVs were delivered, 322 per cent more than in July 2019, including 2,610 ES6 and 923 ES8, according to the company. In the current year, Nio has 17,702 new NEV registrations, which represents an increase of 111 per cent over 2019. Cumulatively, 49,615 units have been delivered so far. It must also be noted that the growth of Nio over the year is more attributable to the development and delivery difficulties of the young company at that time than to the general market development.

Figures at Geely tell a different story, where NEV sales at Geely are still in the red. The owner of Volvo sold 6,401 electric vehicles in China in July, 26.85 per cent less than in June. Currently, Geely offers the Geometry A in China, among others, and the second production model Geometry C was recently introduced.

Update 11 August 2020: In the meantime, all figures for July are available. In that month, a total of about 70,000 BEV cars and 19,000 PHEV cars were sold in China, representing a 38.1 per cent increase in BEVs and 2.3 per cent in PHEVs compared to the same month last year.

Over the period January to July 2020, however, sales of the New Energy Vehicles continue to decline (486,000 NEVs, -32.8 per cent) – the reason being the longer-term downturn since subsidies were cut in the summer of 2019. At the time, many NEVs with higher subsidies were still being sold in the first half of the year, but after the summer registrations collapsed and are only now recovering in the wake of the Corona economic stimulus package, as the July figures indicate.

Tesla was able to sell 11,041 electric cars in China in July – the majority of these were Shanghai-built Model 3’s. This means that the Americans do not quite come close to the NEV market leader BYD with its 15,100 units, but in pure BEV terms Tesla is just ahead (10,462 BEVs with BYD). Tesla could thus reach the target of 100,000 electric cars sold in China.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany. (BYD), (Xpeng), (SAIC), (WM Motor), (Geely),,, (both update)


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