Buyer preference and profitability of SUVs and crossovers have pushed American brands to eliminate or scale down production on several models of sedans. This has resulted in several production line closures throughout North America. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) are still experiencing growth. Last year PHEVs and electric vehicles (EV) more than doubled their market in North America collectively, growing more than 128%.
The resolution of BEV production issues has been the major driver to the entire North American battery electric market growing 157%. A shift to plug-in hybrid from non-plug-in hybrid has contributed to 88% growth in also in the North American market. The overall BEV and PHEV business at Essex in North America saw an increase of more than 65% last year. Supporting this growth, Essex continues to hold a strong position in magnet wire for traction motors.
While the 2019 automotive market may incur further settling, it is clear that the PHEV and BEV markets will continue to grow with the trend toward electrification of SUVs. We foresee the global BEV and PHEV market growing another 27% in 2019 globally. Essex has the capacity and capabilities to meet the needs of this key market area.