Car Reviews

Volvo Notes Positive Signs In China: Continues New Tech Investments

Volvo will continue investments in “new technologies and products.” Hopefully, the XC40 Recharge P8 will not be delayed.

Volvo Cars today released a revised outlook statement for 2020, in which the company expects a weak first half of the year, severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

However, despite the slowdown of the economy, the company reassures that investments in “new technologies and products” (obviously related to electrification) will continue.

The main new Volvo product is an all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge P8.

“Considering the uncertain economic outlook, it is challenging to guide on 2020 performance. The weakening market and production disruptions will impact the first half year results negatively as sales, profit and cash flow are expected to be lower than last year’s and it will be challenging to recover the impact during the remainder of the year. Despite uncertainty about economic outlook, Volvo Cars continues to invest in new technologies and products to safeguard long term future.”

A very positive sign comes from the Chinese market, which a few months ago was experiencing similar troubles as most of the rest of the world today.

Volvo says, plants are online again (Polestar even managed to start series production of the Polestar 2) and that showroom traffic is recovering:

“On a positive note, in China Volvo Cars’ four manufacturing plants have reopened after an extended closure period following the Chinese New Year. Current showroom traffic indicates a recovery of the Chinese car market which clearly demonstrates the advantages of a global footprint.”

The manufacturing plants in Europe and in the U.S. will remain temporarily closed until the COVID-19 outbreak is sorted out.

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Car Reviews

The Last Positive EV Sales Numbers In Europe? February 2020

In February, plug-in car sales in Europe more than doubled. In March we expect the huge downward effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The overall passenger car sales are weak in Europe – in February new registrations decreased by 7% year-over-year to over 1.06 million.

With just several countries noting any increase, just imagine the full-blown effect of coronavirus in March and April.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented:

“The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Europe due to complex regulation, lack of available homologated cars, and increasing pressure on the economy. All of these factors are having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence.”.

The electrified car segment (xEVs – BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs), on the other hand, was doing great – in February, the total sales in 27-markets monitored by JATO Dynamics went up 80% year-over-year to 135,500! That’s almost 13% of the total car sales.

“Against this negative backdrop, electrified vehicles were once again the outlier in the industry. Their registrations jumped from 75,400 units in February 2019 to 135,500 units last month. The increase of over 80% came at the expense of diesel and petrol cars who saw significantly fewer registrations. Munoz added: “So far this year, electrified vehicles have been the only lifeline for manufacturers operating in Europe. This is good news, as the industry’s electrification plans have finally seen a positive response from consumers.””

Top 5 European countries by xEVs share in all passenger cars registrations:

Among the “big markets” by volume, France seems to have the highest xEV share (14%), followed by 13% in the UK, 11% in Germany, 10% in Spain and 8.6% in Italy.

Plug-in car sales in Europe (19-markets) – February 2020

Data for the 19-markets indicate that plug-ins are now a bigger segment than regular hybrids:

“As EVs have increasingly become a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel cars, SUVs are now struggling in the competitive environment. Registrations for SUVs fell by 1.7% to 415,300 units, taking the year-to-date total to 865,500 units, down by 1.4% from last year. The fall in registrations was due to the compact SUVs, declining by 3.7% in contrast to the strong growth experienced by large SUVs, who saw an increase of 17%. Although there was a decrease in SUV registrations their market share did in fact increase due to the overall downturn of the market.”

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