Sunday, July 9, 2017

Volvo And Tesla -- A Tale Of Two EVs -- July 9, 2017

Tesla sales grind to a half in Hong Kong: after a tax incentive for electric cars was slashed, new registration of Tesla vehicles dropped from almost 3,000 to zero. -- from the WSJ --
Tesla sales in Hong Kong came to a standstill after authorities slashed a tax break for electric vehicles on April 1, demonstrating how sensitive the company’s performance can be to government incentive programs.
Not a single newly purchased Tesla model was registered in Hong Kong in April, according to official data from the territory’s Transportation Department analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. In March, shortly after the tax change was announced and ahead of the April 1 deadline, 2,939 Tesla vehicles were registered there—almost twice as many as in the last six months of 2016. 
I have trouble understanding that. Seriously. Rich, rich, status-seeking folks in Hong Kong only buying expensive toys if they come with a tax incentive.

By the way, Elon Musk tweeted the first (?) pictures of his "first production Model 3 as it rolled off the production line." The photograph is here.

Meanwhile, about Volvo. Simply staking out their ever-shrinking niche -- also from the WJS --
Volvo, unlike just about every major car maker, doesn’t even have an electric car in the market today. Its big winner is a luxury SUV, a gasoline-powered vehicle whose top-of-the-line model is further enhanced, yes, by a supplemental electric drive. 
The hybrid version of the XC90 comes with a $75,000 price tag: A customer who wants a hybrid is also presumed to want the 19-speaker, 1,400-watt sound system, the self-parking package and every other option Volvo can stuff into a $75,000 SUV.
Therein lies the real point. Volvo’s announcement signals nothing about the electric-car future and everything about Volvo’s niche marketing.
An incredibly good article, and I had the entire story pegged (although I never posted my thoughts) except that part about $75,000. I had no idea a Volvo costs that much. Cars in that price range are not on my radar scope.

Volvo's impact on global car sales? Not much (from wiki):
In 2015, Volvo sold more than half a million cars for the first time in its 89-year history. Volvo reported strong sales from all three core global regions. Sales in Europe rose 10% in 2015 to 269K, representing over 50% of total global volume. Volvo’s revival in the US gained momentum, with sales up 24% in 2015, while China was flat amid a challenging sales environment, but sales were up 11% in the fourth quarter.

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