News: Drama and Data

VW, Hyundai, and China.
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News: Drama and Data

Today, we have a double dose of automotive drama and data. Volkswagen is flexing at home but struggling to keep pace with Tesla and BYD abroad. Hyundai has suddenly gone from mountain to valley, and Chinese automakers are not only making gains across the globe, but some are still raking in bank despite the tariffs everybody keeps talking about.


Volkswagen: At Home and Abroad

In May, Germany saw a significant decline in EV sales, with new plug-in electric car registrations down 23% year-over-year to 43,746 units, making up 18.5% of the market. Battery-electric vehicle sales fell by 31% to 29,708 units, whereas plug-in hybrid slightly increased by 2% to 14,038 units.

VW vs. Tesla
Volkswagen led in all-electric sales with 5,174 units, surpassing Tesla's 1,896 units. Volkswagen is also entering the energy storage market, repurposing old EV batteries for renewable energy storage. This move could nearly double Germany's storage capacity and challenge Tesla's market dominance.

In other markets, VW is having less luck. Volkswagen is falling behind in China and the U.S. In 2023, Volkswagen sold fewer than half of Tesla's 1.31 million EVs and held only 3.3% of China's EV market, compared to BYD's 25% and Tesla's 15%. Volkswagen's sales in China are expected to shrink by 7% while the market grows by over 25%.

Hyundai: Dip, Drop, and Dodge

Hyundai Motor Company's global EV sales declined in May 2024, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year decreases.

  • Total plug-in car shipments fell 20% to 22,740 units, representing 6.4% of the company's sales.
  • BEV sales dropped 20% to 18,830 units, with Hyundai's BEVs down 16% and Genesis' down 62%.
  • PHEV sales also declined 20% to 3,910 units. Despite this, Hyundai's Indian arm is planning a record-breaking $3B IPO to boost expansion, leveraging the popularity of models like the Ioniq 5, which saw a 59% sales increase in the U.S.

Chinese Brands Advancing Despite Tariffs

In 2023, Chinese automakers outpaced U.S. rivals in sales for the first time, selling 13.4M vehicles compared to the U.S.'s 11.9M.

Led by BYD, China's sales were driven by high global demand and growth in emerging markets. Despite trade tensions and high tariffs, Chinese brands gained market share in Europe and Latin America.

New EU tariffs of up to 38% and U.S. tariffs of 100% on Chinese EVs pose challenges, but BYD continues to profit significantly from European sales, sometimes earning 10 times more per car than in China. This marks a significant shift in the global automotive landscape.


How big of a threat does a company like BYD pose to the U.S. retail auto industry?

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