Plug-in electric vehicles sales continued to assault the record books in the US in November, as deliveries rose for the 26th consecutive month, lead by the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which moved almost 3,000 copies in November, leading all plug-in offerings for the 2nd month in a row (and 3 out of the past 4).
Building on October's 33% gain (with more than 14,000 sales), the end of the year buying rush has started to take hold...this despite the fact that the Tesla Model 3 has had some early production "bottlenecks" which have limited deliveries thus far, and the new 2018 Nissan LEAF has only managed to launch in Japan thus far.
Yes, it's the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV...and for the first time, Americans will be able to purchase one in December!
For November, an estimated 17,178 plug-ins were sold, good for a 30% improvement over a year ago - when ~13,237 were delivered.
Had the Model 3 and new LEAF launched as expected in Q4, that number could have been much, much higher.
Looking at the full year's totals, some 173,941 plug-ins have been delivered, up almost a third from a year ago (vs 133,829). Unfortunately, the magic "200k" number likely will not be reached
With that noted, next year most analysts expect the US market to finish north of 300,000 plug-ins delivered for the year...skipping the '200s' altogether.
The surprise hit of November, was actually 2 offerings - both from BMW, as the BMW X5 xDrive 40e set a new all-time high with 929 sales, while the new 530e continues to outperform expectations with 872 deliveries during the month - perhaps indicating it will finish inside the "top 10" in 2018.
For the last month of the year, besides more Model 3s arriving, we get a preview of next year's strong players as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finally arrives (after ~7 delays over 4 years), as well as the Honda Clarity PHEV's first full month on the US market (with 47 miles of range for $33,400).
At the same time, the Kia Niro PHEV has slipped from arriving in November, to not yet being priced in December, and now "anticipated in retailer showrooms by the end of this year". The Niro plug-in hybrid did show up for a US debut at the LA Auto Show however, and dropped a few specs (26 miles range). See you in January Kia.
Questions entering October (with answers in brackets as they come in):
- The Chevrolet Volt has struggled to maintain sales now that the 238 mile Bolt EV has arrived, and has seen deliveries drop year-over-year for 7 months in a row. Will November end the streak? (It will not - off 33% for the month)
- On the other side of the coin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is on an 8-month sales growth streak, can GM best the 2,781 sales made in October to make it 9 months in a row? (Yes indeed, notching almost 3,000 sales)
- Will this be the month that the Toyota Prius Prime breaks the "2k barrier" for the first time? And if not, can it pass the Chevy Volt as America's 3rd best selling plug-in? (Nope)
- In the continuing battle of "new 2018 offerings that disappointingly aren't stocked so well", who will manage to sell more - the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Honda Clarity Electric/PHEV, Volvo XC60 PHEV, Volvo S90 T8 PHEV or the new Mini Countryman Plug-In? (The Clarity PHEV and BEV combined for some 464 sales..and thereby removing it out of the 'not-stocked-so-well' competition for next month)
Last update: Monday, December 4th, 2017 @ 4:09 PM
*On year of monthly sales improvements: We know someone is going to look at the chart and say, “hey, only ~11,467 sales were made in May of 2016, when 11,540 were logged in 2015! What gives InsideEVs?” What gives is – through an odd scheduling quirk, only 24 selling days were reported in May 2016 (versus 26 in 2015)
Below Chart: A individual run-down of each vehicle's monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers. (Previous year's monthly results can be found on our fixed Scorecard page here)
2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Estimated (Based on State/Rebate Data and other reports), Credit to HybridCars.com for assist on Hyundai/some BMW data
Individual Plug-In Model Sales Recap For Major Models:
(limited to vehicles with ~500 sales/or potential for 500 sales in a given month)
Next Generation, 2017 Chevrolet Volt
The Chevrolet Volt entering November found itself riding the unenviable streak of 7 consecutive months of year-over-year losses.
...and not by just a few units. Over July, August, and September, sales have been some 2,043 sales lower.
Well, for November we can now make it 8 in a row, as 1,702 were sold, some 33% lower than a year ago (2,531).
What is to blame? It is hard to not notice the Chevy Bolt EV sitting beside the Volt at GM's dealers across the country, and its hard to not note that it also has a sales streak as long as the Volt's...but in a good way.
Year to date, 18,412 plug-in Chevys have been sold, off 12.5% from the 21,048 sold through October of 2016.
Looking at the inventory heading into November, having well over 6,000 units on hand didn't make a lot of sense, but a decision by GM to slow, then idle its Hamtramck assembly facility in Michigan for the remainder of the year made everything clear, as the last two months of the year almost always represent the strongest sales month on the calendar - regardless of the year-over-year trends. Now a month later, that number has dropped by about a thousand, meaning GM will likely end the year with a more reasonable ~3k worth of stock.
Chevrolet Bolt EV - looking to make its mark in 2017
Chevrolet Bolt EV:
The Chevrolet Bolt EV was technically available nationwide in August, but few copies landed in those 30-odd new states during the month.
That began to change in September, and with the more evenly spread inventory, Bolt EV sales grew rapidly, notching 2,632 sales during that month.
October brought 2,781 deliveries, but November took that number even higher, as 2,987 sales were made.
Heading into the strongest selling month of the year (December), the Bolt finds itself riding a 9 month streak of sales gains, and looks to be a virtual lock to make it 10-in-a-row and 3,000+ deliveries for the month.
Last month, the Bolt EV also moved into the #2 slot for best selling plug-in offerings in the US - passing both the Tesla Model X and Chevy Volt. (The Tesla Model S will easily outpace all comers for the top spot again this year).
Thanks to stronger recent sales, the 238 mile EV's inventory has been thinning into the 'sweet spot' for GM - averaging about 4,500 units in October, then 3,800 in November. Considering GM is doing a model year switch mid-month, it seems likely that the company won't be able to fill all the demand in the busiest month of the year.
Still, a month of 3,000+ Bolt EV sales could materialize.
2018 Nissan LEAF gets a new look, more range!
The Nissan LEAF entered November as the oldest offering on the US market - going on 84 months now.
And as everyone knows by now, it will be replaced by the updated 2018 Nissan LEAF, which debuted in September (full details here).
Is the new LEAF better?
Yes, in every way...including ~43 more miles range (up to 150 miles from 107) for $700 less when it arrives in the US in January. Not enough? A ~225 mile, higher performance trim level arrives later in 2018 (as a 2019 MY car).
Unfortunately, Nissan USA is apparently not as capable as Nissan Japan, which managed to launch the new LEAF as planned in October (to some very impressive results), while the US (and Europe) have to wait until January...which would be fine, if the wind-down of the older 2017 model wasn't pre-planned to be defunct by October.
The resulting gap between the 'new' and 'old' has left Nissan without any remaining inventory...of anything, which caused sales in October to drop to just 213 deliveries, ending an impressive 8 month run of 4 digit results. In November, that number slide further - to 175 sales.
For the year (through October, 11,128 LEAFs have been sold, a drop of 8% from 2016 when 12,107 were moved over the same time in 2016.
See you next year Nissan LEAF!
2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota Prius Prime:
After setting a new high of 1,908 in May, it was expected that with deeper inventory the Prime would be headed much higher.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and a 'doubling'; of stock (to around 2,000 units), only resulted in 1,899 sales in September, then another 50% gain in inventory (up to ~3,000) units in October actually resulted in a lower number - 1,626 sales.
For November, inventory levels stayed fairly strong, averaging slightly more than October, which translated into better sales, but still a relatively disappointing 1,834 deliveries, given the higher expectations for the year's end.
The Toyota not only features its own unique look, but 25 miles of all-electric range.
How has the Toyota found a selling range of ~2,000 units a month? The plug-in Toyota is priced right - from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit is applied gives the Prime an effective price of $23,450, a price-point that is actually more than $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid version...which should translate into long-term sales success once the EV is well stocked.
BMW i3: "Trashbags"
The BMW i3 entered the US market with a bang in 2014, but it is too bad that the initial fireworks display of sales back then was the peak - we just didn't know it at the time.
For 2017, BMW i3 sales are well...bipolar.
Things started rough, with just 182 sales logged in January, and 318 in February. The tune changed drastically in March (which given the i3's track record is not all that surprising), with 703 sales made, a 118% gain over March of 201 - but that had been the lone bright spot has sales had languished around 500 units, until October when almost 700 were yet again moved.
For November...trashbags, as the company recalled all of its i3s due to a safety issue (for people who chose to NOT wear their seat belts if you can believe that) and put a 'stop sale' on the model for a time . Just 283 were sold - year's worst...into one of the highest demand months for EVs.
Quite frankly (and notwithstanding this recall), the i3 as it stands today is likely too expensive for plug-in vehicle buyers, so if BMW wants to sell the EV in volumes like it did in the past, it is going to have to sharpen its pencil...and by a lot.
In late August, BMW underlined they still really didn't understand the issue behind lackluster sales or the i3 itself, by releasing a new, slightly sportier trim level - the i3s (full details here). The car gets some new styling details, some wider tires and some extra performance (+10 kW), but what the public really wants is a price cut (the new i3s is ~10% more in most markets), and a longer range option.
2014 Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can't handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla's quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening.
To come to an estimated monthly, number, we don't simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out...it just doesn't work like that in the real world. We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first-hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available - and the number is what it is (see below)
Revisions/disclaimer to accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via US Q3 data leaked directly from Tesla) by 469 units in Q3, and 525 units in Q4. The 2015 chart was adjusted (one time) by 498 units to compensate for confirmed full-year numbers. The 2014 sales chart was adjusted (one time - again after the end of the full year of estimates) 611 units to compensate for full-year numbers. While past success is no guarantee of future results, InsideEVs is quite proud of its sales tracking for the Model S over the years.
That being said, we only estimate this number because Tesla does not, and to not put a number on Model S sales would be to paint an even more inaccurate overall picture of EV sales. Despite our fairly accurate track record, we are not analysts, portfolio managers and we do not own any positions in Tesla the company.
While Tesla continues to conform to a familiar quarterly pattern of prioritizing international production early in the quarter before transitioning to domestic output, there has been somewhat of a change/reshuffling of priorities we have seen this time around.
The name of that priority is Model 3.
As we mentioned over the past 3-4 months, it appeared Tesla knew fairly early that volume production would not be close to be proven by the end of Q3, and quickly refocused to making that a reality by the end of Q4 (investors need to be kept happy we suppose).
The end result is that production energies and skilled labor normally assigned to Tesla's original EVs is being diverted from the Model S and X in the second half of Q4 into getting the Model 3 back on course.
Knowing this, it seems Tesla is picking and choosing how it will skillfully hit its "100k" delivery target for 2017...and it won't be by setting new records on the Model S inside the US for Q4. Instead, and armed earlier in the quarter (and in late Q3) with the full compliment of worker bees, Tesla will likely be setting some international sales record, while sacrificing US December production to end out the year for the Model 3.
For November, we estimate that Tesla delivered 1,335 Model S last month
Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X: Like the Model S, Tesla does not itself report Model X sales, so we do our best - with all the data at our disposal to estimate monthly results for North America as best we can (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S)
Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):
Tesla recently leaked US sales data for Q3 2016 put US deliveries at 5,428. Our own Q3 estimate was 5,800 for North America, which includes Canada (which ended Q3 with 389 registrations for the quarter), meaning 5,787 were actually sold - and not to brag...but that means we were only off by 13 units in Q3.
Previously in Q2 2016, Tesla reported 4,625 Model X deliveries...our estimated scorecard got within about ~55 units of the actual number (accounting for just a handful of international Model X deliveries). In Q1 we where within ~200 units.
Because we don't want to basically explain the same thing twice, have a look at the Tesla Model S recap for the month and then come back here.
All done? Good...welcome back.
Like the Model S, Model X production will also be sacrificed late in the quarter as Tesla attempt to prove itself more capable of building the Model 3. Tesla directed to some 10% less production of the Model S & X in Q4...but all cars and regions are not created equal.
While the Tesla Model S has proven itself to be the more in demand offering of the two, the Model X is definitely the higher margin EV...so as Tesla finds itself (unfortunately) not likely to be able to satisfy all demand for the year-end rush, it will be satisfying its demand for higher margin cars.
Nutshell: If you live in the US and ordered a top-of-the-line Model X P100D in September and also a base Model S 75D, your Model X likely went into production early in November, and it is now sitting in your driveway (or will be very shortly), whereas that Model S (or base Model X) is still waiting for production, or just entered Tesla's production queue with a delivery ETA just before Christmas.
For this reason, and this reason only, we estimate the Model X outsold the Model S in November (and will likely do so again in December), with some 1,875 deliveries.
As noted with the Model S, and looking at the amount of production in September and October headed offshore, we tend to feel that Tesla's quarter will be powered mostly by record international deliveries.
This is the first Tesla Model 3 (#001), naturally, it arrived in black - lord of all colors. Want to buy it any other way? $1,000
premium fine for bad taste.
Tesla Model 3: It has arrived!
Just ~16 months after orders opened, and ~10 years since it was first announced (then known as the "Bluestar"), the first Model 3s were delivered on July 28th, 2017! One can check out the full delivery ceremony, and all the newly released specs (220-310 miles range, 0-60 mph in 5.1-5.6 seconds) on our full recap here.
As with Model S & X sales, Tesla is not planning to release monthly Model 3 sales in the US at this point time. Until then we do our best - with all the data at our disposal to estimate monthly results for North America as best we can (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S).
Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Nov 1st): Q3 sales of the Model 3 was adjusted up 2 units.
Thankfully, in the early days (Q3 2017), pegging Model 3 sales in the US was a pretty easy task, as the complete delivery volume for July took place live at the July 28th delivery event in Fremont, California, as the first 30 cars were delivered to Tesla employees/stakeholders in the US, and one could almost count the individual cars as they left Tesla's Fremont factory in August.
For September, we had Tesla's quarterly disclosure that put deliveries at 222 cumulatively for the quarter, meaning about 117 were delivered. Truthfully, the monthly numbers were meaningless in Q3, all eyes were on production, and while the company guided to some 1,630+ to be produced, just 260 ultimately were built.
Much was made as to why the miss, with Tesla generically stating "production bottlenecks". The company, looking to re-assure said at the time:
"We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term"
From our perspective, Tesla realized fairly early into July that the September goals would not be met, and by extension the future 'S-Curve' goal into year's end. It appears from that moment on, rather than working on"near-term" production and deliveries, Tesla has been working more proactively with the main goal of simply being able to show volume production by year's end - something originally targeted for the end of September.
Something that was quasi-confirmed with the admission that Model S and X production would be off 10% in Q4. Further to that, we are now seeing the affects of manpower being transferred into transitioning the Model 3 production from "burst" output (or start and stop if you will) to a more consistent, orderedstructure.
While it is only speculation on our part (as it has been for the past 3-4 months while watching the happenings around the car), but we feel Tesla is desperate to provide confirmation of a "decent" sustained production level for the Model 3 to end out the year...even if that number only presents itself in the very last week or two.
To that end, progress of a certain degree was definitely made in November, as more cars than ever did actually find employee driveways (and orders also opened to the public mid-month ... well at least to the first batch of locals anyway). For November, we estimate Tesla delivered 345 Model 3s.
Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid:
Editor's note: FCA does not split out sales data for the plug-in Pacifica, so we try out best to estimate that number from month-to-month until hard/verifiable data is gleaned.
The much-anticipated plug-in extended range passenger van arrived in January, albeit in stealth, stuttered... and very limited in fashion.
Due to some odd quirks with production timing and plant scheduling, we have had a on/off/on/off/quasi-on start for the Pacifica Hybrid as it relates to deliveries. Then there was QC holds, then launch delays. Finally, the Pacifica Hybrid officially arrived on "Earth Day" April 22nd, 2017, and customers enjoyed a good 3-4 weeks of arriving inventory...until the wheels fell off (not literally).
By June 10th a nationwide recall was announced, and all 1,677 Pacificas sold in the US and Canada had to head back to Chrysler to get a faulty diode replaced that could cause loss of power when in operation. We won't get into all the details from there (check out our June sales report for more info).
Thankfully by September the kinks appear to have been worked out...just in time to see its Windsor, Ontario assembly plant go down for the entire month of October for pre-scheduled updating of the facility to comply with US regulatory/safety tooling on the Grand Caravan.
Nonetheless, customer orders and dealer stock are once again flowing, and Chrysler is expecting a ~50% overall surge in Pacifica sales in November and December - meaning some decent numbers for the plug-in version will be arriving for both months. For the Pacifica Hybrid, we estimate 570 deliveries in November.
2017 BMW 330e - Like All Plug-Ins Sold In The US, It Wisely Is Offered In Black
Arriving on the US market about a year ago was the BMW 330e, which is the plug-in hybrid version of the company's high selling 3 series offering.
And while the 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April 2016 in a token amount, it took BMW almost a year to stock the plug-in very robustly.
Like almost almost all iPerformance offerings in November, the BMW 330e reached a near 2017 high during the month, selling 477 copies.
Given the still relatively limited inventory of the 330e on BMW lots so far in 2017 (about ~400 as of time of press), there is potentially a lot of upward sales potential for the car...but as it has now been on offer for 21 months in the US, maybe BMW really doesn't care to displace any more petrol 3-series transactions.
As for the specs, the final EPA 'real world' range rating of just 14 all-electric miles (via a 7.6 kWh battery - 5.7 usable) was a disappointment for some hoping for a number closer to 20, but with a 75 mph top speed in "Max eDrive", it is a capable offering (featuring a 2 liter turbo inline 4) and should satisfy the traditional BMW crowd and be a strong seller.
The electric motor develops 87 hp with maximum peak torque of 184 lb-ft, when combined with the petrol engine, the total output jumps to 248 hp, with a peak torque of 310 lb-ft, allowing a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:
After selling between about ~400 copies a month in Q1 (387, 400 and 414), Audi slipped in Q2 and Q3.
With now just a few remaining 2017 model year copies left for sale, A3 e-tron sales slipped down to an all-time low in October with just 17 copies moved.
The reason for the failure to stock and sell?
VW Group likes to allocate a certain number of model year plug-in vehicles to the US, and if they run out...well, too bad, more ain't coming - which was the case for the Audi over the Summer and now into the Fall.
How bad has it gotten, we could only find 17 example of the A3 e-tron at dealers nationwide when we did an inventory in October. Leaving us to stat, "Hey Audi, make with the 2018s already!"
And they kinda heard us, as the first handful did indeed arrive in November, but that is a literal handful. Hopefully, Audi can take advantage of the strong incentive to buy in December by stocking the A3 e-tron a little better...but we aren't getting our hopes up.
For November, sales marginally improved to 38 deliveries.
The A3 e-tron has a low price inside Audi's lineup. $38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery - good for 17-odd miles of real-world driving...and federal credit of $4,158, which is significant because this brings the e-tron package down to within $3,500 of the base MSRP of the A3.
Also a reason for decent sales numbers on the A3 e-tron...you can't get the "sportback" version of the Audi in any other trim level in the US.
Ford Fusion Energi
Ford Fusion Energi:
The refreshed 2017 Ford Fusion Energi (details) was a fairly big hit in 2016, showing marked improvements throughout the year.
Heading into 2017, the Fusion Energi crossed back into "4 digit land" in March, as 1,002 Energis were moved in March...joining a club of just 5 other at that level.
A level which the company returned to in May...but has since not revisted.
In fact, the plug-in Ford has been selling a fairly flat-line 700-ish copies every since, for November, that number was 731. For the year, just over 8,700 have been moved...making the Fusion Energi the 7th best selling plug-in for America to date.
Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins have been sold; the Fusion Energi often won the crown for the "most stocked" EV in the US ... before Chevy got crazy with the Volt and Bolt EV.
With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand (or rather they are managing inventory lower)...after having almost 3,000 in stock in mid-June, by the start of September that number fallen below 2,00 units, as the industry-wide Summer shutdown/changeover to MY 2018 was underway - a level the car stayed at throughout October and November.
Congratulations Volkswagen, you win our "jackass of the year" award...and 2017 isn't even over yet.
After a rocky start with continued dieselgate fallout, the longer range 2017 e-Golf was promised to the US after production started in Germany in late 2016.
Well, guess what? For the next nine months, all VW did was have the "old & busted" 2016s clogging up dealer lots - refusing to clear them out to make way for the new hotness.
Finally, the 2016s were gone by the start of Fall, and like a magical unicorn, the new/longer range 2017 edition has appeared! And yes, you heard that right, VW was so slow with the upgraded model that they are just now introducing a "2017" model as everyone else has switched to the 2018s.
Despite the lack of these 2017 e-Golfs for the bulk of the year, the older model sold decently enough (relatively speaking to historical sales), moving about ~300 copies a month on average this year until September. With the 2016s exhausted, and only just over 100 copies of the "new" 2017s on hand, VW moved 187 e-Golfs in Septemeber - a 2017 low.
During October, 2018 MY inventory grew to ~350 odd units, which resulted in marginally better October sales of 203 units (down 50% from a year ago), before November returned more to the norm with 289 sales, off 5% from the 305 moved in November 2016.
So, we can finally say that VW has 'reset' the e-Golf for stronger sales, and there is a shot (provided demand is still there) for the company to eclipse the "500 level" for the first time in 2017 next month...and avoid being dropped from our volume-seller recap summaries in 2018.
The 2017 plug-in VW nows feature a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles and debuted at the LA Auto Show in November (details - launch gallery/video).
Ford C-Max Energi
Ford C-Max Energi:
Normally we reflect on what a plug-in model's sales were in the past, before passing along the deliveries for this month, and a quick look at the months ahead.
For the C-Max Energi, there is no future, as Ford announced that the plug-in version of the C-Max would not be entering 2018 model year production (while the standard hybrid would be getting one more year).
This decision gives the Ford the unfortunate distinction of being the most successful plug-in offering in the US to get the ax.
On the positive side, it is to make room for a new offering - or two. The Ford Escape Energi, which was out testing in the US as early as this past June, and potentially a Focus Energi (if one believes Ford's trademark application for the name heralds such an offering). We should note that the Escape Energi will not be arriving until next year, which makes the decision to cut the C-Max plug-in today a little more puzzling.
Anyway, with inventory starting to dwindle, Ford moved 569 C-Max Energis in October, near a year low (set in January), then just 523 in November.
When it comes to reporting plug-in sales, we have another Tesla on our hands here (as in they don't report sales).
Chrysler/Fiat has been giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales.
UPDATE: After initially have some issues getting data on the plug-in Fiat, more registration and rebate data is now available. That being said, the number is estimated. Historically, the average margin of error per month has been about ~40 units in those moments when some confirmed data leaks out (usually from a recall). For 2016, the yearly estimated total was adjusted upwards (once) by approximately 500 units over the full 12 months.
It is interesting to note that sales this year peaked in January (of all months) at an estimated ~752 sales, but the sales have stayed strong for most of the year.
And by most of the year, we mean up until Summer, as for some reason the 500e seems to sell less in the Summer - we aren't quite sure why, but it might have something to do with FCA's production timing, which seems to always 'short the distance' it needs to bridge the gap between the previous model year and the next.
Currently, about 250 2017s are in stock in California and Oregon, near a year-low according to our calculations...if the 2018s don't arrive soon, the 500e will be in danger of falling into the 2-digit range for sales very soon.
For September we estimate that 215 500es were sold.
2018 BMW 530e
Welcome to the "big-time" BMW 5 Seriews...well, at least the big time as expressed by selling more than 500 copies and getting an individual recap on our sales scorecard.
Originally, we had expected that the BMW X5 40e would be dropping off the list this month, but the SUV surprised up with strong November sales (more on that below), keeping itself on the list for another season.
Back to the 530e.
The plug-in hybrid's $52,400 starting price point, which makes it the cheapest of the 5 series to own, and thus - a strong seller. After crossing 500 sales in both September and October, an amazing 872 were moved in November - shooting the plug-in BMW up our sales chart.
If BMW were able to maintain anywhere close to the sales of the past 3 months, we could find the 530e cracking the "top 10" for plug-in sales next year.
BMW X5 xDrive40e:
The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the US in 2016...and only get stronger over the year.
In fact the electrified BMW SUV has seen sales as high as 876 units in 2016 (August 2016).
Then 2017 happened, and sales disappointed...at least for the first 10 months, ranging from the 260s into the 480s.
With just 329 sales in October, and 333 in September, we confidently predicted the X5 plug-in would be leaving our recap list in 2018...then November happened. During last month an all-time best 929 deliveries were made, which made the BMW the 6th best selling plug-in for the month!
And while inventory is still low (~450 units), we are happy to be able to report that the 2018s are now steadily arriving in volume. Hopefully enough plug-in SUVs will eventually arrive that BMW can once again make a push to try and break into the 4-digit mark!