MUNICH: German carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz are holding their own against their Chinese competitors, according to automotive industry expert Stephan Bratzel, reported German news agency (dpa).
Both manufacturers almost doubled their sales of electric cars from January to September compared to the previous year, with BMW selling 247,000 units and Mercedes-Benz with 175,000 units.
“This leaves them ahead of their Chinese competitors who are also targeting the premium segment,” the head of Germany’s Centre of Automotive Management (CAM) announced on Tuesday.
In view of an ongoing price war in China, newcomers like Nio or Xpeng will gradually have difficulties with sales, he said.
Nio, known for its battery swap concept, increased its sales by only a third to 110,000, while Xpeng’s sales shrank by 18 per cent to 81,000 vehicles, he said.
Tesla, with a 46 per cent growth to 1.324 million battery cars (BEVs) delivered, is still the world leader but is increasingly under pressure because the Chinese carmaker BYD increased its BEV sales by 80 per cent to 1.048 million.
According to Bratzel, BYD is benefitting from high demand in its home market, as BEV sales there rose by a quarter to 4.2 million in the year to September. E-cars already have a market share of 23 per cent in China.
The Volkswagen (VW) Group increased its BEV sales by 45 per cent to 530,000, but VW was not able to close the gap with Tesla and BYD, and is “lagging behind the market leaders in electric mobility” in third place.
The VW Group has been able to fill previous BEV orders, the CAM study found.
The carmakers would also have to increasingly offer low-priced BEVs for the market ramp-up.
“This increases the pressure on them, as profit margins are low or negative at many established volume manufacturers,” Bratzel said.
BEV sales by China’s SAIC Group are expected to have fallen four per cent to around 500,000, while GAC and Geely are expected to have made strong gains to just over 350,000 e-cars each.
According to CAM’s calculations, the South Korean Hyundai Group sold 370,000 BEVs in the first nine months, and the French-Italian Stellantis Group, 280,000.
Source: New Straits Times