Before looking at predictions for 2023, it is worth noting a few of the milestones that affected the local market. There are many more than listed here, yet in Boost Auto’s view, these are the ones that mattered most.
Polestar locally was caught by the success of Polestar 2. Early this year you couldn’t vee find where to buy one, not get a contact number or email online. Now it outsells established Volvo (just), with its single model achieving 688 units YTD.
Nio has completed over 5 million battery swaps, where a battery swap takes about the same time as it does to fuel your ICE. But in scooters and tuk tuks, Taiwanese company Gogoro has now completed 350 million swaps, with a model that is cross between a coke vending machine and a swappa gas bottle exchange system. Each Gogoro swap takes just seconds to do.
TERP. Auckland’s Transport Emissions Reductions Pathway.
Why is this important? It signals the broad alignment of the Climate Emergency Declaration with the country’s largest council, in reducing the biggest transport emissions, which in turn are the country’s biggest single source of emissions. That means more choice of transport options, not just a car centric policy at a regional level. This really is the first time that central government have had a framework of sorts to guide councils around achieving better transport options for people in the largest city. In short, it is a major milestone in the reduction of emissions, and signals a change in the way dealers and distributors will be able to operate. Is it immediately obvious how it will affect dealers? No, but we will look back in TERP and see it as a catalyst for change, in the same way the Electric Highway initiative was a catalyst for the early adoption BEVs.
Much anticipated, and accepted by consumers with open arms, this otherwise unknown brand (except to the BEV nerds) has achieved 1% market share, in half a year, with just one model, the Atto 3 (making them the 22nd highest ranked brand in NZ), and number 3 in EV sales with just 4 months sales (YTD October).
Telsa Model Y launched.
This isn’t going to be a list of top selling or new EVs however, for Model Y to outsell Model 3, in just 3 months is incredible. Both Model Y and Atto 3 are SUV. A quirk of Model 3 sales globally is that is has single handedly stopped the decline in sedan sales; yet as we saw here, when the Model Y SUV (of sorts) arrives, SUVs rule.
Toyota launches new Prius.
Okay, this one is interesting because it new Prius is not coming here, however read the fine print and you’ll see that Toyota has sold 15 million MHEV globally so far. While there is a lot of focus on BEV, MHEV have achieved a massive reduction in emissions and leaps in fuel economy. They have a place because they are an affordable pathway to BEV. The next generation of MHEV will close the gap between PHEV, as they will have more powerful electric motors, bigger batteries and smaller more efficient ICE engines (or even generators). New Prius, brings sexy to MHEV, but alas it doesn’t significantly move the needle on MHEV technology. Yet.
Ranger Makes AA COTY.
Whether a ute that emits up to 211 grams per km of CO2 should be COTY is debateable, however it clearly illustrates the cross roads that the industry is at. There’s also no doubt that it is an excellent truck.
Happy 10th Birthday Model S.
Ten years and a quarter of a million units, the car that made Tesla look serious has just had a milestone birthday. And you still cant get full autonomous driving mode.
September BEV market share record.
In September, BEV sales reached 22% of new car sales (passenger cars and SUV) The figure was boosted by a huge shipment of Model Y (Telsa tends to ship bi-monthly) and the introduction of BYD Atto 3. Petrol only sales were just 51% of sales that month.
Stock Shortages and Weaker Demand.
YTD sales figures, especially for new cars, don’t fully reflect the change that is happening in the market place. Many models are still on short supply with very long lead times. Ford dealers and Toyota dealers are delivering vehicles that were ordered 6+ months ago. Yet, retail enquiry has slowed dramatically as the cost of living crisis bites. Car owners tend to be house owners and there is a strong relationship between house values and car sales. Not only are house values slipping, but mortgage rates are jumping, meaning budgets are being squeezed two ways. This is bad news for sales of new vehicles; the market is tougher than registration data suggests.
Agency Sales takes another step forwards.
Mercedes-Benz became the third brand to sell via agency locally, after Honda (20 years) and Toyota. This is where the distributor owns the stock and the dealer sells on behalf. Australian dealers were unhappy and in December 2021 they brought a claim against Mercedes-Benz Australia claiming $650M damages. Courts are currently hearing closing arguments.
Shot Across the Bows for Importers
In further bad news for Mercedes-Benz, the Australian importer was fined $12.5 AUD by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) for failing to use “attention-capturing, high-impact language in communications to consumers” in relation to the management of its Takata airbag recall. This is an important lesson for importers; don’t sugar coat bad news in recalls, even if the component is not yours.