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SAIC & its best-selling EV: The Baojun E100, a micro


For readers with an curiosity in China’s New Power Car market, when the producer SAIC will get talked about, the corporate’s Roewe model might be the primary model that involves thoughts.

There’s good purpose for this. Final yr, throughout 2018, of the 4 SAIC fashions that made the record of China’s Prime Twenty NEV sellers, three of the 4 carried the Roewe badge.

The exception was the Baojun E100, a micro two-seater made by SAIC’s three way partnership (JV) with GM and Wuling. SAIC is almost all share holder, proudly owning simply over 50 % of the corporate.

The 4 greatest promoting “SAIC” fashions are listed and pictured under:

    • the Roewe eRX5 PHEV SUV,
    • the Roewe ei5 EV station wagon,
    • the Baojun E100 two door micro (a product of the SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Enterprise), and
    • SAIC Roewe ei6 PHEV sedan.


The Baojun E100 will get an Improve (Baojun E200 aka the New Baojun E100).

In the course of the second half of 2018, the SAIC-GM-Wuling JV started promoting an upgraded model of the Baojun e100, which is described in a Common Motors June 2018 press launch right here because the New Baojun E100. As famous within the launch the first facet of the improve is the longer driving distance, 200 km, which is about 30% greater than the earlier 155 km. vary.

In response to one other GM China information reference right here, a “new” mannequin, was launched in September of 2018. Known as the Baojun E200, the “new” mannequin seems to be the identical mannequin because the New Baojun E100 that was earlier highlighted within the June 2018 press launch, even if the Baojun E200 reportedly has a barely larger driving vary of 210 km. (NEDC). The shortage of constant terminology relating to mannequin names definitely could be complicated, even for this affected person blogger. What’s now clear, after cross-checking multiples sources, and the small print of specs, is that Baojun’s micro two-seater car, that has a reported driving vary of 210 km (NEDC) – – whether or not its referred to as the E200 – – or the New E100; is certainly the identical mannequin. As a result of the mannequin continues to be referred to by most sources as merely the E100, I’ve conformed to that label (E100), for nearly all sections of this weblog. The exception is the part or content material associated to carbon-credits, the place I’ve typically used E200, as a result of the Baojun E200 has an extended vary (210 km) which issues considerably when calculating carbon credit. To make issues much more difficult, Zotye has its personal e200 mannequin, which isn’t to be confused with the Baojun e200. Good. Clear as mud 😉

So which mannequin is the most well liked?

Though all SAIC’s 4 fashions pictured above bought comparatively nicely final yr, just one – – the Baojun E100 – – skilled a surge in gross sales over the past quarter of 2018. Over the past three months of 2018, almost twice as many E100s bought as in comparison with SAIC’s different greatest sellers.

Within the micro two-seater automotive phase, just one different mannequin – – the Zotye e200 – – made the listing of Prime 20 Greatest Sellers within the NEV class. Each micros are comparable in measurement and form, as seen in aspect by aspect photograph under:

Though the Zotye E200 outsold Baojun’s E100 in the course of the third quarter of final yr, within the fourth quarter, Baojun’s two seater started to obviously overtake its Zotye competitor by a large margin as seen within the graph under:

Whereas we don’t know precisely what contributed to the Baojun E100’s dominance through the fourth quarter of 2018, quite a few elements or developments are worthy of consideration:

    • Previous to mid-2018, the geographic marketplace for the Baojun E100 was restricted to Guanxi province, a southern province bordering Vietnam. Nevertheless, in June-July of final yr, Baojun started increasing the E100’s market by promoting the two-seater within the Northern province of Shandong, within the space of Qingdao.
    • The map on the left under exhibits a zoomed out view of Guangxi and Shandong (see purple rectangles), in addition to the situation of Shandong’s Qingdao metropolis. The map on the proper exhibits a zoomed in view of Qingdao – – which as a matter of curiosity – – features a close by Zotye “New Power Dealership.”

    • In all probability, quite a few elements led to Baojun’s determination to promote its E100 within the Qingdao area. It appears believable that the chance to compete instantly with Zotye’s E200 was a minimum of one such purpose.

Baojun’s entry into the Qingdao market through the second half of 2018, probably contributed to the E100’s success in the course of the Oct.-Dec. interval (see graph above), when Baojun’s E100 decisively started to outsell Zotye’s E200.

Though the graph pertains to nationwide degree gross sales, we all know that previous to the third quarter of 2018 the E100’s market geography was restricted to Guanxi province in south China. Provided that Baojun’s E100 entry into the Qingdao market didn’t start till June-July, and contemplating that it usually takes a number of months earlier than gross sales quantity for a profitable product begins to ramp up in a brand new market- – it appears affordable to recommend that the Baojun E100’s enlargement into Qingdao probably contributed to the massive rise in gross sales quantity in the course of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Baojun as a model is understood traditionally for its success outdoors of China’s largest cities; in different phrases in China’s extra rural areas or in smaller cities and cities. Qingdao is one instance of a second tier metropolis. These market geographies, due to their decrease charges of automotive possession, and their related greater charges of gross sales progress, are engaging to not simply Baojun or Zotye trying to increase their enterprise, however to nearly all the key OEMs, whether or not home (like SAIC and Geely) or worldwide OEMs resembling GM, Ford, or VW. As a working example, Ford, along with its three way partnership associate JMC (Jiangling Motor Co.), is predicted to launch a brand new SUV (the Territory), into the Qingdao market throughout early 2019, as famous within the article right here.

GM already has a longtime presence or foothold in China’s marketplace for micro EVs, due to the sooner talked about SAIC-GM-Wuling three way partnership; which owns and produces the Baojun model.

Small NEVs in China and speedy progress. Why?

China’s New Power Car/NEV market grew by 62 % year-on-year (2018 vs. 2017), with 1.25 million NEVs bought throughout 2018. As famous in a China Every day article right here, 2019 gross sales are anticipated to succeed in 1.6 million. Inside the NEV phase, small automobiles, which means micros and compacts, are promoting greatest. China’s authorities refers to those small automobiles as “A00” or “A0” sort automobiles. Inside this context “micro” is synonymous with A00, whereas the marginally greater, however but nonetheless small “compact”, is roughly synonymous with A0.

Generally, its onerous for OEM’s to become profitable promoting small, cheap automobiles, with very skinny revenue margins. Its even more durable with electrical automobiles, which is why governments subsidize them. When the occasional or uncommon scandal happens (i.e. a subsidy recipient/OEM committing fraud to improperly obtain subsidies) as occurred in a number of restricted instances in China in recent times, this could additional delay authorities subsidy payouts to all OEMs – – together with the overwhelming majority that are harmless of any incorrect doing. When authorities subsidies are late, or unreliable, OEMs really feel the squeeze, when it comes to their company stability sheets, money movement, or income.

So how is it attainable, that regardless of all the challenges talked about above, China’s marketplace for NEVs – – and particularly small pure EVs (automobiles powered by batteries solely) – – has been experiencing speedy progress throughout current years and months?

A lot of the expansion is a results of the each “carrot and stick” strategy that China’s authorities is utilizing to advertise the transformation of China’s automotive market and business, away from its present and historic reliance on conventional/typical automobiles (Inner Combustion Engines/ICEs) and in the direction of a lot larger reliance on EVs and hybrids (New Power Automobiles). However that transformation is dear, and China’s authorities want to shift that expense away from public coffers, and in the direction of the OEMs.

This yr 2019, marks an anticipated transition, which means that later this yr China’s lengthy anticipated carbon-credit buying and selling system for the automotive sector is because of start. This can have main implications not just for corporations like SAIC, GM, Baojun, Zotye and so forth. – – however for all producers when it comes to their manufacturing, and extra particularly, the combination of their output relating to ICEs and NEVs produced. Briefly, producers may have three decisions:

a) produce extra NEVs to satisfy quotas, which might be particular to every producer, as decided by the brand new laws,

b) don’t meet the quotas however adjust to the coverage by buying carbon-credits from different NEV producers (i.e. rivals) whom have earned surplus carbon credit,

c) face stiff and dear fines and penalties for doing neither a) nor b) above.

Bloomberg’s New Power Finance group has created an revolutionary EV Publicity Index to mirror the “readiness” of OEMs for EVs. As seen under, the Chinese language OEMs BYD and BAIC rating excessive or “most prepared”, due to their excessive manufacturing charges of NEVs. On the opposite finish of the spectrum, producers with low scores embrace Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, and Subaru. As seen within the graphic under, GM and Ford have readiness index scores which might be a bit greater, nevertheless nonetheless low, relative to NEV business leaders.

GM’s partnership with SAIC and Wuling, by way of their JV, is fascinating to look at, from the attitude of – – “What’s in it for GM?” In a really insightful 2017 commentary article right here (Thriving Baojun bodes properly for GM’s future in China) the Managing Editor of China Automotive Information, Yang Jian, addresses this query, and highlights some necessary strategic issues. Some excerpts from Jian’s 2017 commentary seem under:

  • Baojun is profitable as a result of it has by no means misplaced its concentrate on entry-level automotive consumers. The model targets clients in rural areas and small cities in China the place the primary competitors is home Chinese language manufacturers.

  • it (Baojun) has been given a brand new aim: Assist GM broaden into China’s EV market to satisfy Beijing’s manufacturing quotas. In 2019, the federal government will introduce a California-style carbon credit score buying and selling program to goad automakers to ramp up output of EVs and assist curb emissions and air pollution.

  • In response, Volkswagen and Ford every have shaped new joint ventures with Chinese language EV makers to construct small, reasonably priced EVs. GM doesn’t have to do that, as a result of Baojun has entry to an entry-level market that Ford and VW have by no means tapped.

  • To make certain, Baojun doesn’t boast the revenue margins of Buick or Cadillac (two different necessary GM manufacturers in China). Beginning costs are under 70,00zero yuan ($10,600), however manufacturing prices are modest, too, so Baojun is a cash maker.

Readers ought to understand that the excerpts above are from a December 2017 article, when Baojun’s enterprise was thriving. As famous in a way more current February 2019 article right here, enterprise for GM’s two joint ventures in China, SAIC-GM, and SAIC-GM-Wuling have taken a downturn, with gross sales declining considerably throughout 2018.

Again in November of 2017, GM’s China Chief, Matt Tsien, quoted in a Reuters article right here, expressed his confidence, in GM’s capability, and the skills of its JV companions to satisfy China’s NEV quotas, which start this yr. The accompanying photograph to the Reuters article displaying Baojun’s E100 meeting line, represents an excellent instance of the previous saying “an image is value a thousand phrases.”

So given a lot of what’s been introduced above, I assumed it will be fascinating to start out looking at OEM’s and their means to generate carbon credit, utilizing the Baojun E100 for instance. Though we gained’t be capable of get a strong understanding of the extra essential query – – (i.e. “How a lot monetary worth are the carbon-credits going to be value?”) – – it nonetheless appears well timed, given the expectation that China’s carbon-credit buying and selling system will probably be launched someday this yr, to start wanting extra intently at OEMs, and their capability to generate carbon-credits.

For readers which are within the particulars of how carbon-credits are calculated, the Worldwide Council on Clear Transportation (ICCT) has produced a superb Coverage Replace (January 2018) titled China’s New Power Car Mandate Coverage (Remaining Rule), which is the supply I used for estimating carbon credit inside this weblog.

How Many Carbon-credits are earned for producing one little Baojun micro two-seater?

Under is a desk that approximates the carbon-credits that the SAIC-GM-Wuling three way partnership will earn, for the manufacturing of a Baojun E200 car. As a reminder, readers may want to revisit the sooner part above (see “The Baojun E100 will get an Improve” for an evidence of Baojun mannequin numbers, E100 vs. E200 and so forth.).

Carbon credit for pure EVs are capped at six credit; regardless of Base Rating and Adjustment issue. Six credit is the utmost variety of credit that any pure EV can earn. The ICCT Coverage Replace consists of useful graphics that illustrate how the adjustment issue is decided, relying on a given car mannequin, and its specs., when it comes to power consumption, and the mass or weight of the car. I’ve annotated the unique ICCT graphic under, by inserting the Baojun E200 into the image:

Along with the micro two-seater E200, SAIC can be incomes carbon-credits from its different NEV fashions. I assumed it might be fascinating to take a look at what number of carbon credit the varied SAIC NEV fashions (i.e. 2018 greatest sellers) would generate, on a per unit foundation, which is proven within the desk under.

It is very important notice that there’s a separate and distinct technique for calculating carbon credit for PHEVs – – and that technique is totally different than the tactic used for pure EVs.

For PHEVs the related carbon-credit is both two or one, relying on whether or not an adjustment issue is utilized. As seen within the graphic under, PHEVs with sure specs. are adjusted

downwards/decrease close to their carbon credit score worth, by making use of a multiplier of zero.5 to their base worth of two. For such instances, the result’s a carbon credit score rating of 1.

This technique applies each for:

  • PHEVs which have an electrical vary of 80 km. or larger, and
  • PHEVs with an electrical vary of lower than 80 km.

For PHEVs with electrical ranges above 80 km. – – power consumption (kwH/100 km.) is used along with curb mass (kg.) to find out the adjustment issue. Alternatively, for PHEVs with electrical ranges under 80 km., gasoline consumption, as measured by L/100 km., is used. These methodology specifics are extra clearly illustrated within the graphic under. The SAIC Roewe eRX5 is used for instance within the backside most graph. The eRX5 SUV has a carbon credit score rating of two, because of its electrical vary of < 80 km., its gasoline consumption score of 1.6 L/100 km, and its curb mass of 1730 kg.

The desk under exhibits all 4 of SAIC’s 2018 greatest promoting NEVs, and their estimated carbon credit, utilizing the suitable technique both for pure EVs, or for PHEVs:

It’s clear from the desk above that SAIC’s pure EV fashions generate extra carbon-credits, on a per unit foundation, in comparison with PHEVs. This displays Chinese language authorities coverage, which favors pure EVs. If we take a look at the primary two fashions within the desk above, we see that promoting one ei5 EV wagon, generates over 5 credit, greater than twice the credit generated from promoting one ei6 PHEV sedan.

The worth of the credit gained’t be recognized for a while, provided that the NEV carbon buying and selling system is but to be launched. Even after it has been launched, it should doubtless take many months earlier than a longtime buying and selling vary and market worth for a carbon credit score will get established.

However, it appears affordable to anticipate that the worth of future traded carbon-credits may have a minimum of some influence on the manufacturing, advertising, and promoting conduct of automotive OEMs that should adjust to the brand new coverage and laws. As recommended later on this weblog, there may already be proof that that is occurring, with Baojun’s ramp up in gross sales, of the Baojun E200.

Revenue margins and market demand (gross sales quantity throughout current months), are probably an important variables that may decide future advertising and gross sales efforts for any given mannequin. On the mannequin degree, revenue margins are unknown, nevertheless gross sales quantity knowledge can be found, and over the past quarter of 2018, 7,243 ei6 PHEV sedan have been bought, whereas barely fewer ei5 EV wagons (6,781) have been bought. The sedan is priced considerably larger than the wagon, and so for that purpose alone we’d anticipate revenue margins to be larger. Nevertheless, as illustrated within the first two rows of the desk above, greater than twice as many carbon credit are generated by producing the pure EV wagon, relative to the PHEV sedan.

Though I’ve used SAIC inside this weblog as a handy means for exploring carbon-credits, finally, I’m within the greater questions that may impact the business and the setting – – resembling:

    • How will China’s anticipated 2019 NEV carbon-credit buying and selling system impression OEM enterprise selections, about what varieties of automobiles to supply, in what portions, with what revenue margins?
    • How priceless, influential – – or not – – will carbon-credits be – – when it comes to their 2019-2020 (and past) impression on automotive OEM enterprise selections?
    • Extra particularly, how will carbon credit influence company stability sheets and revenue statements, when it comes to revenues generated, or if the credit get amassed for a time period (and never bought, or traded within the carbon market) does the worth of these amassed and held credit impression the worth of the enterprise or the company entity?
    • To what extent will China’s coverage push for NEV associated carbon-credits – – in the long term, be a hit or failure? After years or many years of implementation, how will the insurance policies be seen – – as vital or main contributors to cleaner air, much less carbon within the environment, a more healthy China, a more healthy world, and a modified automotive business at nationwide and international ranges – – or not? Clearly, we’ll need to be affected person, it’ll take years or many years – – earlier than these questions start to get answered.

Within the brief run, over the course of this yr, we’d extra realistically level our efforts in the direction of acquiring a greater understanding of extra concrete and near-term issues. For instance, issues associated to particular OEM companies, or an business sector, resembling China’s automotive home OEMs. Sadly I’m not an accountant, nor do I’ve a lot expertise analyzing stability sheets or revenue statements inside this context of China’s altering automotive business; so if there are a couple of accountants that could be studying this weblog “on the market”, or actually any readers which may have the ability to make clear these questions – – please don’t hesitate to make use of the feedback part under, to shed new mild on the questions raised above.

Within the meantime I couldn’t assist however discover, that just some days in the past Jose Pontes, by way of his weblog, EV blogspot, has shared new gross sales quantity knowledge for China’s January 2019, NEV greatest sellers. Thanks Jose! As acknowledged within the weblog and feedback, there are quite a few challenges relating to knowledge high quality and knowledge reliability, so customers of this knowledge are clever to take observe. With that disclaimer, I do assume it’s fascinating that based on this supply, January gross sales of the Baojun E100, are reported to be a whopping eight,312 models/automobiles. If confirmed, this is able to certainly make for a dramatic rise from the four,692 models (up 77%) reportedly bought in December 2018. Gross sales quantity for the final 4 months is proven within the graph under:

Aside from a slight dip in December, Baojun’s micro, which maybe ought to be renamed because the “mighty micro”, or one thing extra becoming, seems to be promoting properly.

As talked about earlier, Yang Jian, the managing editor of Automotive Information China, famous greater than a yr in the pastagain in December of 2017, that Baojun has been given a brand new objective:

  • Assist GM broaden into China’s EV market to satisfy Beijing’s manufacturing quotas. … (associated to) a carbon credit score buying and selling program to goad automakers to ramp up output of EVs and assist curb emissions and air pollution.

That mission, appears to be proper on monitor, as visualized within the graph above. Extra E100’s usually are not solely being produced, however additionally they look like promoting.

It is going to be fascinating to see whether or not the Baojun E100 gross sales quantity continues to rise, in the course of the coming months.

From this blogger’s perspective, it is going to be much more fascinating to witness the launching of China’s carbon-credit NEV buying and selling system, and subsequently as this yr progresses – – how the worth of a credit score evolves over time.

Even earlier than that worth will get established, there appears to be mounting proof, that China’s coverage is already starting to have a minimum of a number of the impression – – that it was designed to have.

For an entire record of sources and references used on this article; click on right here.

Full disclosure: I don’t personal any shares in SAIC, or another firm talked about on this weblog.

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