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08.11.2023 | Automotive Industry | Editor´s Pick | Nachrichten

BMW and Mercedes Catch Up in the E-Car Competition

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This is a partly automated translation of this German article by dpa.

For a long time, German car manufacturers did not cut a good figure in the transition to e-mobility. According to a study, BMW and Mercedes are now outperforming their Chinese competitors.

According to industry expert Stephan Bratzel, car manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz are holding their own against their Chinese competitors. Both have almost doubled their sales of e-cars from January to September compared to the previous year: BMW sold 247,000 e-cars, Mercedes-Benz 175,000. "This puts them ahead of Chinese competitors who are also targeting the premium segment," said the Head of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach.

In view of the price war in China, newcomers such as Nio or Xpeng are gradually experiencing sales difficulties. The manufacturer Nio, known for its battery swap concept, only increased its sales by a third to 110,000, while Xpeng's sales shrank by 18 % to 81,000 vehicles.

Tesla Global Leader, but Increasingly Under Pressure

Tesla remains the global leader with 46 % growth to 1.324 million battery-powered vehicles (BEV) delivered – but is increasingly under pressure because Chinese car manufacturer BYD increased its BEV sales by 80 % to 1.048 million. According to Bratzel, BYD is benefiting from the high demand on its home market, where BEV sales rose by a quarter to 4.2 million by September. E-cars already have a market share of 23 % in China.

The Volkswagen Group increased its BEV sales by 45 % to 530,000. However, VW was not able to close the gap to Tesla and BYD and is "lagging behind the market leaders in electromobility" in third place. According to the CAM study, the VW Group has been able to process previous BEV orders.

Cheap BEVs Necessary for Market Ramp-up

Car manufacturers would increasingly have to offer affordable BEVs for the market ramp-up. This increases the pressure, as the profit margins "are low or negative for many established volume manufacturers", said Bratzel.

BEV sales by the Chinese SAIC Group are likely to have fallen by 4 % to around 500,000, while GAC and Geely are likely to have grown strongly to a good 350,000 e-cars each. According to CAM calculations, the South Korean Hyundai Group sold 370,000 BEVs in the first nine months, while the French-Italian Stellantis Group sold around 280,000.

(dpa)

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