January for new energy vehicles: Overall downward trend, with the best performance from BYD.

Author: RuiChen Zhang

Editor: Xianzhi Wu

Starting from February 2023, some domestic new energy vehicle companies have successively announced their January 2023 sales figures. Affected by the national subsidy policy, the Chinese New Year holiday, and Tesla’s price reduction, the month-on-month data is showing a downward trend overall, while the year-on-year data only has bright spots in Ideal and Wanjie. The sales figures for some new energy vehicle companies in January 2023 are shown in the figure below.

BYD: “leader” position remains unshakable

Unlike in the past, industry leader BYD announced its delivery results for January on the first day of February 2023, still standing at the top of the domestic new energy vehicle sales list with sales far exceeding 150,000.

The data shows that BYD’s sales volume in the first month of the new year was 151,341 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 58.6%. However, it decreased by 35.5% compared with December of last year, which is directly related to the overall environment of national subsidies and Chinese New Year holidays. The sales volume of BYD passenger cars in the data was 150,164 vehicles (including 10,409 for export), an increase of 57.8% compared to the same period last year. BYD’s cumulative sales of new energy vehicles have exceeded 3.5 million, firmly occupying the “leader” position in the domestic new energy vehicle market.

BYD also provided specific sales figures for different types of vehicles. Among them, hybrid models sold 78,826 units, while EV models sold 71,338 units (with a total of 143,725 new cars sold for the Wangchao and Haiyang series).

Ideal: still in the lead except for BYD among domestic new energy vehicles

On February 1, 2023, Ideal Auto announced its January 2023 delivery data. The total number of new cars delivered by Ideal Auto was 15,141 units, a year-on-year increase of 23.4%. However, it decreased by 28.7% compared with the previous month. This marks the first month that Ideal Auto’s delivery volume surpassed GAC Aion. Since the start of delivery, Ideal Auto has delivered a total of 272,475 vehicles.Although Ideanomics, the automaker, has been unable to maintain a monthly sales record of over 20,000, it is still a remarkable feat to become the only automaker in the new force to break through the 10,000 mark, especially when major automakers have seen a sharp decline in sales. This achievement can be attributed to Ideanomics L8 which has remained the mainstay of its sales. Although Ideanomics has not disclosed the specific sales performance of its segmented models, Liu Jie, Vice President of Sales at Ideanomics, predicted at the Guangzhou Auto Show that the steady monthly sales of L8 should be around 10,000 to 15,000, leading us to speculate that Ideanomics L8 may account for more than half of the January deliveries.

In addition, with the start of order locking in February 2023 and the delivery of Ideanomics L7 at the end of February, we believe that Ideanomics’ performance will continue to improve.

Enovate: Monthly sales down threefold, recovery depends on low prices

GAC Enovate announced its latest sales figures, which fell from over 30,000 units in December last year to 10,206 units, a 66% MoM drop and a 36.3% YoY drop. Last year, GAC Enovate successfully completed its annual sales target of 270,156 units and finished the year with style. However, in January of the following year, it fell to third place, a poor performance compared with that of Ideanomics.

The decline in sales performance is related to the previous price increase due to the cancellation of Chinese government subsidies and saturation of the B-side market. In late November of last year, Enovate announced price adjustments, citing the impact of rising battery raw material prices and the cancellation of Chinese government subsidies, hiking the guide price of certain models. This was bound to have an impact on sales.

To regain market share and achieve the annual sales target of 500,000 units in 2023, GAC Enovate launched the AION S Plus70 LeXiang version on February 1 for CNY 149,800 and also provided measures such as a CNY 5,000 subsidy for delivery incentives and a three-year interest-free payment plan.

Nio: First battle in 2023 is not favorable, current model needs to withstand pressure before delivering the new models

# Delivery Status of January 2023 Announced by NIO: ET5, ET7, and ES7 Account for 85.6% of Total Deliveries

NIO announced officially that they had delivered a total of 8506 new cars in January, 2023. Among them, the products of NIO’s second-generation technology platform, including ET5, ET7, and ES7, accounted for 85.6% of the deliveries, which still serve as the main sales force of NIO.

Previously, the founder of NIO, William Bin Li, had expressed confidence in surpassing Lexus, despite still being behind BBA. The forecast of NIO’s sales volume in 2023 is expected to exceed 200,000 units, since Lexus’ sales volume in 2023 is predicted to be around 200,000 units, NIO aims to deliver over 200,000 units throughout the year. This is already two times less than NIO’s sales of 122,500 units for the whole year of 2022. The January monthly sales of NIO do not show promising prospects for the company.

Fortunately, the reputation of EC7 and the new ES8, which are also based on the second-generation technology platform, could provide some market competitiveness for NIO. However, EC7 is expected to be delivered in May 2023, and the newly upgraded ES8 will not be available until June of the same year. During this period, NIO still needs to maintain the market performance of existing products.

Li Auto’s Accumulated Sales Exceeding 250,000 Units is not Easy During the Brand Upward Transition Period.

Li Auto's Delivery Status in January

Li Auto delivered 6016 cars in January 2023, down 22.82% on a monthly basis and 45.35% on a yearly basis. In addition, Li Auto has released the relevant delivery performance of its segmented models, among which Li Auto V delivered 3487 units, Li Auto U delivered 1012 units, while the highly anticipated high-end model Li Auto S delivered only 1517 units.

Li Auto is among the fast-growing new forces in the automobile industry. At present, the accumulated deliveries of all Li Auto models have exceeded 250,000 units. In 2022, the company achieved the delivery goal of far exceeding 150,000 units. However, from the delivery performance of January, it is not easy to exceed 250,000 units throughout the year in 2023.

Recently, Li Auto has successively announced that it signed a cooperation agreement with CIIC Integrated Intelligent Chassis Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ningde Times, opened strategic cooperation with the Shenzhen Institute of Information and Communication and Qingdao Future Network Innovation Technology Co. Ltd, and achieved certification of ISO 26262 Functional Safety ASIL D Process System. In terms of product system, technological ecosystem, and brand strength, Li Auto is promoting its further development, achieving the upward transition of the brand and helping Li Auto recapture market share.### XPeng: Industry performance is good overall, and XPeng is adjusting in a timely manner for improvement.

Affected by the delay in Spring Festival deliveries, XPeng Automobile delivered a total of 5,218 new cars in January, of which the delivery volume of XPeng G9 was 2,249. Both the year-on-year and month-on-month data for this month declined by about 50%.

It is worth mentioning that XPeng Automobile announced a price cut on January 17, becoming one of the few emerging new forces to follow Tesla’s price cut. Its maximum price cut reached 36,000 yuan. In addition, the brand new XPeng P7 is about to debut, and the sales of XPeng, which once supported half of XPeng’s half of the country, will return strongly. XPeng Automobile also recognized its own problems and announced on January 30 that Wang Fengying, the former president of Great Wall Motor, will serve as the president of XPeng Automobile and report to He XPeng directly. The personnel and organizational adjustments currently made by XPeng Automobile reflect that XPeng is making efforts to change for the better.

All of these undoubtedly are hopes for XPeng Automobile to revive its sales and work toward its goal of delivering 200,000 vehicles for the whole year of 2023.

AITO: Watching and waiting for the benefits of price cuts

AITO delivered 4,475 vehicles in January 2023, a month-on-month decline of 55.88% and a year-on-year increase of 449.1%. Under the cancellation impact of national subsidy policy, AITO was one of the earliest auto companies to follow Tesla and launch a price reduction, starting the price war on domestically produced new energy vehicles.

The specific details of the price cut are that AITO Automobile officially announced a price reduction of 30,000 yuan. The adjusted prices of the AITO M5 EV and AITO M7 are 259,800 yuan and 289,800 yuan, respectively. Compensation for gratitude will be provided to some old car owners. However, the sales of the M5 extended-range version, the main sales force, did not participate in this round of price cuts.

However, the impact of the price cut on AITO’s sales is not significant. It is reported that compared with Tesla’s price cuts, the customer traffic and order volume of AITO are both not up to expectations, and the follow-up sales results still need to be observed.### Xpeng: Deliver Over Ten Thousand Cars for Four Consecutive Months, but Experienced a Significant Decrease in the First Month of 2023

Xpeng’s delivery in January 2023 was 3,116 cars, a year-on-year decrease of 11.7% and a month-on-month decrease of 72.5%. Xpeng has achieved monthly delivery of over ten thousand cars for four consecutive months with its 001 sedan, and has won the sales champion of China’s pure electric vehicle models priced over 300,000 yuan.

However, after the delivery of 009, its sales plunged sharply. This was due to the announcement by Xpeng on January 10 that it would upgrade and transform its smart factory during the Spring Festival holiday and its surrounding periods, from January 11 to February 1, and the production line equipment would be stopped for upgrading and transformation. Therefore, the delivery achievement of 3,116 cars can be understood as a result of only 10 days of production in January 2023.

In order to achieve its full-year delivery target of 140,000 cars in 2023, Xpeng’s factory has already started to resume work. With the upgrading and transformation of the production line, Xpeng’s production capacity will increase again, and its delivery volume will also improve.

Zéro Run: Once a Dark Horse, Now Returns to the Sales Level of the Early Stage

Zéro Run Automobile released its delivery performance in January 2023, and the delivery amount was only 1,139. Although the industry as a whole is in a downward trend, Zéro Run’s month-on-month and year-on-year declines are the worst among several new energy vehicle companies.

Zéro Run Automobile ranked among the top three in the new force of vehicle manufacturing in August 2022, but now it has fallen to the bottom. Since its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of September last year, its sales performance has been below expectations, and it has failed to exceed the 10,000-cars mark for five consecutive months. While the sales of seven to eight thousand cars could have been sustained before, the number of 1139 cars in January is really dismal, even returning to the sales level in the early stage of the brand’s development. Hopefully, Zéro Run can reverse the declining trend of its sales through the C11 extended range version.


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This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.