|Pike Pulse grid of the PEV market. Click to enlarge.|
A new report by Pike Research assessing the plug-in vehicle (PEV) strategy and execution of 16 leading vendors ranks Chevrolet as the current leader in the PEV market, due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution, closely followed by Renault. Pike rates Toyota and Nissan as very close contenders for leadership, though both have either product portfolio or pricing issues that limited their scoring in Pike’s evaluation. Pike calls Ford is the “sleeping giant” of the PEV market, with a strong strategy but unproven products that have yet to launch.
Pike Research forecasts that despite robust growth in the PEV market, sales will fall short of expectations set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and politicians in 2010 and 2011. Globally, Pike Research anticipates the market for PEVs will grow from 137,950 vehicles in 2012 to 1.75 million in 2020. Pike expects the US to remain the largest single market through the forecast period, with annual sales reaching 400,073 vehicles by 2020.
In preparing the rankings for the “Pike Pulse Report: Plug-In Electric Vehicles”, the company used criteria including vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; geographic reach; sales, marketing, and distribution; product performance; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; pricing; and staying power. Pike then categorized the companies as Leaders, Contenders, Challengers or Followers.
Chevrolet (combined Strategy and Execution score of 81.4) and Renault (combined score of 77.9) are the only two in the Leaders group due to their respective product portfolios, product strategy, and vision of the PEV market. Pike Research found that Chevrolet and Renault are well-poised for growth in the coming years, and both hold strong positions in the market, which will enable them to respond effectively to future changes.
Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Tesla are in the Contenders group. Pike says that Toyota and Nissan are limited by narrow product portfolios while Ford, although poised for growth with a broad portfolio of PEVs and flexible manufacturing, has not fully executed its plans. Furthermore, the reliance on Azure for the BEV Transit Connect “has proven ill fated”. Pike considers Tesla a Contender facing a number of challenges (limited funding and challenging path to market) but with strong product and big future vehicle plans.
Challengers include Smart and BMW (strategy outpacing execution) and Mitsubishi and CODA Automotive, which face various sales-related issues. Honda is new to the PEV market and with a weak strategy rating. Fisker Automotive is on the cusp of joining the Challengers category, falling short due to funding and quality issues, as well as products targeted at a niche of wealthy consumers.
Followers are manufacturers that have not yet launched product and therefore have lower execution scores. Audi and Volkswagen are the strongest of this group.