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JATO in the news

JATO’s overview of local markets

 

Europe

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Following the final rollout of Germany’s WLTP energy consumption labelling system for cars earlier this year, further details of the scheme have been released. The full extent of the charges are now only available at the final point of sale and not listed in any vehicle labelling. Current descriptions will give a range, but not specific information.

 

German registrations for the first four months of the year are up nearly 8% on the same period in 2023. However, as we have seen across several other markets already in 2024, BEV sales have dipped at around 11% of the previous year’s mark. Specific models like Volkswagen’s ID.3 have seen significant falls, down 37% on 2023 numbers.

 

The Italian Government has now decided to refinance its incentives support for the Automotive sector. Effective June 3, the M1 vehicle ‘Eco-Bonus’ sees a EUR 1 billion support package for the year, the online platform where these support bonuses can be booked will be available with immediate effect. Highlights of the changes include vehicles with a maximum base price of EUR 35,000 and CO2 emissions of between zero and 20 g/km to receive a EUR 6,000 contribution for EU5 models. The amount increases to EUR 9,000 for EU4 and up to EUR 11,000 for EU0. In other news, Italian market sales have steadily increased over last year, up 6.1% but still some 17.7% down compared to 2019.

 

 

Asia Pacific

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MG will introduce its MG4 EV to the Taiwan market in June, the first EV from the marque in the country.

 

Connectivity for electrified models in the market continues to change. The number of CCS2 DC charging stations officially surpassed CCS1 numbers in 2023, largely due to Tesla (Taiwan’s no.1 BEV make) changing its charging connector from TPC to CCS2 for all models and significantly expanding CCS2 charging stations since Q3 of 2021. As such, the market has seen a ramp-up of CCS2 connectors models including all Teslas, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Audi’s Q4 E-tron. Volkswagen is also planning to announce CCS2 versions of its ID.4 and ID.5 later this year. More BEV models with the CCS2 connector are expected in Taiwan in the future.

 

Malaysia has overtaken Thailand to become Southeast Asia's second-largest auto market, after Indonesia, a major shift in a region that has become a key battleground for Asian automakers. Nikkei Asia compiled sales data released by industry groups in those three countries plus the Philippines and Vietnam and found that Malaysia's sales figures, which had been third for a long time, topped Thailand's for three consecutive quarters through January-March 2024.

 

According to the Malaysian Automotive Association, auto sales increased 5% in the first quarter from a year earlier to 202,245 vehicles. This followed an 11% increase in 2023 to a record 799,731 vehicles.

 

China’s prestigious brand, Hongqi, is planning to enter Thailand despite the sluggish domestic economy. Hongqi is set to compete in a premium-to-luxury segment where consumption isn’t effected by the stagnant economy. However, Thai consumers still see Chinese products in general as price-competitive and unreliable rather than expensive and reliable, so the local view is a “wait-to-be-seen” on whether Hongqi will be able to compete with premium to luxury makes like Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. No further plan on its investment is announced.

 

VinFast previously announced that the brand would launch its VF e34 model with a battery subscription plan. However, after negative reaction from Thai consumers, VinFast has now changed its plan to launch the VF5, a direct competitor to the popular Neta V, instead without battery subscription plan from June 2024. VinFast has already established the local entity in Thailand with further investment planned under their study.

 

 

Americas

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Lucid Group Inc. will eliminate around 400 jobs in the coming months, the latest move by an electric-vehicle maker to cut costs in a dramatically slowing market for plug-in cars. The reduction will see around six percent of the workforce affected.

 

The layoffs underscore the challenges for EV makers to scale production while adapting to an environment of waning consumer demand for battery-powered vehicles. The news comes after Tesla said it would reduce staffing levels by around ten percent.

Volkswagen has confirmed it will delay the launch of its flagship ID.7 EV in North America. The decision was made because “market dynamics continue to change.” likely as a result of cooling demand for EVs in general. Even though EVs are still the fastest-growing segment in cars in the region and several brands are seeing record sales, in many cases sales haven't been as expected. Initially, the 2025 Volkswagen ID.7 had a scheduled launch date in Q3 2024 in North America, but is now likely to be put back to 2025.

 

The Canadian government recently announced a National Action Plan on Combatting Auto Theft with the goal of "disrupting, dismantling and prosecuting the organized crime groups involved in auto theft." The plan identifies various measures and initiatives that can be implemented by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and their partners, in keeping with their respective roles, priorities and responsibilities. It builds on the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft that took place in February, as well as recent enforcement actions that have led to the seizure of hundreds of stolen vehicles.

 

Ford has asked its dealerships to temporarily halt investments related to its electric vehicle (EV) certification program. This decision comes as Ford reassesses the Model e Certified Program’s requirements and makes changes based on feedback from its dealer network.