19 May 2023

Nissan Sunderland's New Battery Plant

Stellantis has come out and said that its commitment to electric vehicles made in the UK is under threat due to an EU edict. It is that all cars exported from the UK to the EU must eventually have 65% UK/EU content or face 10% duties. I won't even bother to talk about why such a rule was insisted upon by the EU. Politics I detest. 

What is of interest is that Nissan is pressing ahead with electric vehicle production in Sunderland, UK despite the machinations of politicians. How is Nissan achieving this? Through a battery plant built adjacent to the car assembly facility. Make no mistake, this is a substantial commitment by Nissan and its project partners. 

Nissan has made the Leaf model in the UK since late 2012 and making batteries for it at its Sunderland plant. This new initiative will take battery production capacity to another level. A new crossover electric model is to be produced at the plant with up to 100,000 units to be made per annum. 

It all comes down to the scale of production that allows for such investment. Stellantis' production in the UK isn't large and importing batteries is the way for them. JLR has been courted by Spain to acquire batteries from there but a plant to be located in Summerset, UK may now be the more likely outcome. Perhaps Stellantis could be involved with that. 

As for the Leaf, over 250,000 have now been built in the UK. The chart shows annual production volume and one would think that the push for electric cars in the UK and Europe would ensure continued healthy production for the Leaf as well as the future crossover model. Battery plants are needed and Nissan Sunderland has that box ticked.

18 May 2023

Australia Model PU Sales : 2021-22

Australia used to make large cars and they were popular there. Gradually the public started switching to pickup trucks, mostly sourced from Thailand. A trade deal was struck for vehicles between the two countries. In came pickups but it was all one way traffic and soon the Australian car industry was gone.

Today pickup models are among the best selling in Australia. The majority are Japanese brands with the Toyota Hilux leading the way. Five of the best selling brands in this segment are from Japan. Ford does well with the Ranger at second and then China chirps in with the GWM ute. 

The RAM pickup range is next, thanks to a thriving right hand drive conversion industry. The Chevrolet Silverado also gets the same treatment and the Ford F-150 will be next. I'm surprised at the demand for these large trucks, especially as the conversion cost is not insignificant. 

The European originated LDV brand (now Chinese owned - picture above the eT60) and the VW Amarok are solid sellers and the last two of note come from Korea and the US of A (Jeep Gladiator below).

17 May 2023

China Sales : 2022

Registrations for 2022 were +8.5% as best as I could ascertain. I tried to minimise figure distortion by including imported cars for premium marques. Local brands are unaffected but foreign ones can be. Luxury sales are excluded. 

Increases or decreases below refer to market share change.VW has been falling for a few years now but for 2022 largely arrested the decline. BYD came from well down to the second spot very quickly. It seems Toyota sales listed elsewhere include Lexus but I've separated them here. 

The Chinese market still has a feel of the wild west, with brands suddenly coming from nowhere and others just as quickly disappearing into nowhere. I thought it may have matured enough to settle down by now but not as yet. The transition into electric cars hasn't helped in that regard.