Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 10, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
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Decline in sales of “made in Spain” electric vehicles: Can China reverse the situation?

During the first half of the year, registrations of electric vehicles showed a 5% decline, with the best-selling models being those produced in China. How will EU tariffs impact China's sales in the domestic market?
Decline in sales of made in Spain electric vehicles

The electric mobility market in Spain has experienced a significant decline in registrations of electrified vehicles during the first half of the year.

According to data from the Business Association for the Development and Promotion of Electric Mobility (AEDIVE) and the National Association of Vehicle Sellers (GANVAM), sales decreased by 5.4% compared to the same period in 2023.

Registrations of 100% electric cars have shown an 8.7% decrease, with 33,267 units registered.

This decline is mainly due to a decrease in sales in the corporate and rental channels, which fell by 17% and 56.2%, respectively.

In contrast, purchases of zero-emission cars by individuals have increased by 9.3% so far this year.

The best-selling electric vehicles in Spain have been the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and MG4, all manufactured in China.

The Model 3 leads the market with 4,535 units registered, representing an 18.04% market share and a growth of 157.52% in the first half of the year.

The Model Y follows with 2,628 units, although it has experienced a 21.34% decline in growth.

The MG4 has registered 1,432 units, representing a 5.70% market share, but with an 18.91% decline.

This has placed “made in Spain” vehicles among the least preferred by Spaniards.

The recent imposition of tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles by the European Union (EU) could change the landscape.

The Commission has determined that zero and low-emission cars manufactured in China benefit from unfair subsidies, posing a threat to European producers.

As a result, provisional countervailing duties ranging from 17.4% for BYD to 37.6% for SAIC (MG) have been imposed on these vehicles.

These tariffs, initially applied for four months starting this month, could become definitive for a period of five years.

By increasing the import costs of Chinese vehicles, European brands, including Spanish ones, could gain a competitive advantage in terms of pricing.

That’s why some Chinese companies like Xpeng and Nio have announced they will maintain current list prices for their cars in the European market, despite the tariffs.

Xpeng, which has recently expanded its presence on the continent, has assured consumers that they will not see an increase in costs for already ordered or pending delivery models.

Meanwhile, Nio has stated it will maintain current prices and is confident of finding a solution with the EU before countervailing duties become definitive in November 2024.

Similarly, domestic brands could benefit from increased domestic and international demand as consumers seek more affordable alternatives.

Alberto Molina Aracil, Director of Future Mobility Learning at MSX International.

“The sector doesn’t need penalties but incentives from the European Union,” says Alberto Molina Aracil, Director of Future Mobility Learning at MSX International, to Mobility Portal España.

He emphasizes, “The EU makes decisions and actions oriented towards regulation, legislation, and bureaucratization, but not towards motivation, promotion, impulse, and facilitation of electric vehicle accessibility for the end customer.”

And this is mainly evidenced by the decline in registrations.

Faced with an unstable outlook, consumers prefer to wait before investing.

That’s why with the recent extension of the Moves III Plan, the Spanish sector hopes to reverse this situation domestically.

“In view of the data, the approval of new funds to continue Moves III and ensure aid until December provides certainty to buyers,” say sources from AEDIVE.

Official announcements confirmed the extension of the incentive until December 31, 2024, with an additional allocation of 200 million euros from the state budget.

Furthermore, additional funds were allocated for other subsidized initiatives:

  • MOVES Corridors will receive an additional 150 million euros for the deployment of charging points along the TEN-T corridors.
  • MOVES Fleets will have an additional 50 million euros.
  • Grants for the renewal of heavy 100% electric vehicles will receive an additional 50 million euros.

The continuity of the program will be key to maintaining consumer confidence and promoting the adoption of zero and low-emission cars in the country.

Additionally, Spanish manufacturers have the opportunity to capitalize on the recent imposition of tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles to increase their market share, both domestically and internationally.

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