Volkswagen Faces Faster Drop and Global Plug in Hybrid Start Dying in 2023

Volkswagen sold about 1 million fewer cars in China in 2021 compared to 2019. But in 2020, the total declined by 9.1%. In 2021 as China’s passenger vehicle market grew 6.5%, Volkswagen’s sales fell by a further 14.1%. That was also the year Volkswagen started selling its first electric car model, the ID.4, in China. Volkswagen sells in China through FAW and SAIC. China is VW’s biggest market, contributing 40% of sales and half of profits.

50% EV market share in China in 2023 would mean Volkwagen keeping the same share of ICE cars in China would have about 1.5 million car sales in 2023. Europe will see a similar collapse in ICE cars by 2023. Volkswagen will cut back on models and focus on Porsche and Audi sales.

Jose Pontes of Cleantechnica noted that plug-in hybrid sales are peaking in China. Plug in hybrid sales peaked in Norway last year and down 75% in 2022 compared to 2021.

BYD’s sales of BEV/PHEV in March: 104,878 (YoY growth 303%). BYD had 53,664 pure battery EVs and 50,674 plug-in hybrid cars and 540 commercial NEV cars. BYD will make 600k-800k battery-electric cars in 2022 and 1.3-1.5 million cars in total for 2022. Plug-in hybrid vehicle sales in China will peak in 2022 and then decline sharply starting in 2023. China will end 2022 with battery-electric and plug-in vehicles with about 30% market share and then reach about 50% market share in 2023. China will be at 70-80% electric vehicle market share in 2024 and plug-in hybrids will be less than 10% in 2024. BYD will grow its BEV and deal with the sharp decline in PHEV vehicles in the next two to three years.

Tesla had three times the unit volume of BEV compared to BYD in 2021 and six times the revenue (double the selling average price). If Tesla can double EV car production in 2022 and 2023 to 2 million cars in 2022 and 4 million cars in 2023, then Tesla will maintain a similar lead over BYD in BEV.

February 2022, Global electric car sales 541,000 about double Feb 2021. Market share 9.3% for February 2022. 70% of electric car sales YTD were 100% battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 30% plug-in hybrids. China’s electric car sales were 291,000 in February 2022, up 176% on February 2021 sales. About half of the sales of electric cars in China were cheap EVs that only sold in China. Europe sales were 160,000. The US likely had sales of about 70,000 and the rest of the world had about 20,000.

If the seasonality of car sales is the same in 2022 as it was in 2021, then there will be about 1.8 million battery-electric and plug-in hybrid car sales in December 2022. There should be about 12 million battery-electric and plug-in hybrid sales in 2022. Battery electric sales will be about 10 million and PHEV will be about 2.5 million in 2022.

FAW (First Auto Works) builds the Bora, C-Trek, CC, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf Sportsvan, Jetta, Magotan (Euro-Passat), Sagitar (Euro/US-Jetta), Tacqua, T-Roc and Tayron for Volkswagen, and also all Audi models.

SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) builds the Lamando, Lavida sedan and Gran Lavida hatchback, Passat (US-version), Polo, Polo GTI and CrossPolo, Phideon, Santana sedan and Gran Santana hatchback, Santana Vista, T-Cross, Tiguan and Tiguan L, Tharu, Teramont and Touran for the German brand, and also all Skoda models. SAIC also has partnerships with GM to make the supercheap Wuling mini.

The Cybertruck and volume large electric SUVs and electric trucks will take until 2024 to get to serious volume. This will give a bit more time for Ford and GM to still make ICE trucks and SUVs. Although, sales of large pickup trucks and large SUVs will decline for people willing to substitute for model Y or other compact electric SUVs.

Volkswagen built three factories in China to produce its modular electric driving matrix which are the ID series of electric cars. They targeted 80,000 – 100,000 ID series electric cars in China in 2021 but delivered only 70,000. There were reports of significant discounted ID sales to employees or suppliers.

In 2021, Volkswagen’s plug-in electric car sales – New Energy Vehicle (NEV, battery-electric and plug in hybrid) sales – more than doubled last year in China to almost 119,000 (up 128% year-over-year).

China’s electric car market is made up of cheap EV cars and highend cars like Tesla and Nio. The best-selling models are priced below 80,000 yuan ($12,654) and pricey ones from Tesla and others for over 265,600 yuan. Volkswagen’s ID mid priced EV like the ID.4 sells for 200,000 — 280,000 yuan (US$30000-42000). Mainstream gasoline cars sell in China for between 150,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan (US$24000-30000).

In Q1 2022, Volkswagen said overall U.S. quarterly sales were down 28.5% to 64,993 vehicles on a year-on-year basis. This was down 22.9% from Q4 2021.

SOURCES- Cleantechnica, EV volumes, Carsalesbase, Sixthtone
Written by Brian Wang,

8 thoughts on “Volkswagen Faces Faster Drop and Global Plug in Hybrid Start Dying in 2023”

  1. The Electric Viking made a video about this exact topic a week or two before your article Brian. it looks very similar to his video.

  2. Be interesting to see if the Legacy manufacturers and smaller speciality makers can start to M&A widely if tesla gets too far ahead too fast.

  3. PHEVs were often said to be the stepping stone to true BEVs. It's like a BEV, but with added complication to bandaid the issue that BEVs didn't have the range/recharge speed.
    As the batteries improve, the need for that bandaid slowly disappears for more and more of the market.

  4. Depending on the prime mover, serial hybrids could be hard to beat. Decide the optimal battery size for your normal day, and use the heat engine/fuel cell, or whatever for long trips, or when the grid is down.

  5. Musk moved himself, and the future of Tesla to Texas for the business climate, as in lower costs, less taxation, and pro-wealth creation philosophy. That's how you defeat them, go where you are better treated, and once you're in your new home, make things better.

  6. Because vehicles have been built for centuries, bodies/chassis are easier than BEV sized battery packs. This is why Tesla has been able to develop such a lead. They need to start putting 4680 packs, and aluminum castings into all their high production vehicles, to maintain their lead.

    As it's always been. For BEV, it's all about the battery.

Comments are closed.