The German plugin vehicle market had another record month in September, with a little over 41,000 registrations. Plugin hybrid (PHEV) registrations continued going through the roof, up 463% to 20,127 units, helping plugins as a whole jump an amazing 437% last month. The plugin vehicle share reached a record 16% (8% fully electric vehicles/BEV), pulling the yearly tally to 10% (4.8% BEV), so this market has officially reached double digits, also known as … The Disruption Zone.
And in an overall positive market (+8% year over year/YoY), petrol (-18%) and diesel (-6%) continue falling, so the force that is pulling the market up is electricity, leaving fossil fuels as deadweights on the shoulders of legacy OEMs.
There’s no going back, and with subsidy changes helping sales in the following months, expect the status quo to be changed forever. The S-curve is ready to be surfed like Garret McNamara surfs a Nazare wave.
Looking at last month’s best sellers, let’s start with the Renault Zoe, which broke all previous records, registering 3,603 units. That beat the Tesla Model 3 high tide, 2,776 registrations, while the official debut of the Volkswagen ID.3 started it out in the 3rd spot, with 1,771 units registered — a somewhat disappointing result, but let’s not forget that the new Volkswagen hatchback will only have its first full delivery month in October, so let’s wait for next month to make a more reasoned judgement on the ID.3 career launch.
Below the podium’s top sellers, the #4 Mercedes GLC300e/de jumped to #4 in September, benefiting from the launch of the diesel-powered version, registering a record 1,592 units. In fact, in a record month, best ever performances are plenty in the September top 20 — 11 models had record scores, 6 of them coming from the Volkswagen Group stable (VW ID.3, VW Passat GTE, Audi Q5 PHEV, Audi A6 PHEV, Audi e-Tron, and Skoda Superb PHEV), highlighting the production ramp-up of the German conglomerate.
Outside this top 20, we have several models in ramp-up mode, like the Volvo XC40 PHEV (500 registrations) and the peculiar Mazda MX-30 result (548 registrations), but the most striking delivery ramp-up comes from Mercedes, with 5(!) models starting to be delivered in significant volumes. The CLA250e sports sedan got 553 registrations, its family-friendly sibling B250e had 418 registrations, the GLA250e adventurer scored 483 registrations, the full size barge GLE350de had 352 registrations, and even the fully electric EQC had a record 349 deliveries.
Regarding the 2020 table, the podium positions remained the same, with the 3rd placed Tesla Model 3 winning a precious advantage over the #4 VW Passat GTE. As things are, the Zoe seems to have the 2020 title secured. The 5,500 unit advantage over the #3 Model 3 seems more than enough to keep the Californian in the rearview mirror.
The first position change happened at #7, with the VW e-Up rising one spot, immediately followed by the #8 Mercedes E300e/de and #9 Ford Kuga PHEV, with both models jumping two positions.
Speaking of Mercedes, the three-pointed-star automaker now has another model in the top 20, its 4th, with the GLC300e/de joining the table at #17.
The other fresh face on the table is the small Skoda Citigo EV, which reached #20 last month, but that wasn’t the only good news for the Czech maker, as the Superb PHEV climbed one position, to #18.
Highlighting the good moment of the Volkswagen Group, the Audi e-tron jumped two spots, to #11, and still has hopes of displacing the #8 Mercedes E300e/de from the top of the luxury category.
In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (15%) leads the way, but it is now being threatened by rising Mercedes (14%, up 2 percentage points). With a strong (and long) PHEV lineup, Mercedes is certainly looking to reach the top spot, but those ID.3 (and upcoming ID.4) volume deliveries are coming right on time for the Wolfsburg brand.
Audi (10%) remains stable at #3, while BMW (7%) was surpassed by Renault (8%, up 1 point), deepening the crisis of the Bavarian maker in its home market.
On a final note, Volkswagen Group’s total share is stable at 30% (VW — 15%; Audi — 10%, Skoda — 3%; Porsche — 2%), above rising Daimler Group’s 18% (up 3%) and the 12% (up 1 point) of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Midsize Car Best Sellers
Comparing the current electrification rates with March 2020, we have four models with a significant degree of electrification, with the Volkswagen Passat having 19% (up 5 percentage points) of its sales coming from the GTE version, while the new 3rd place Mercedes C-Class has 18% of sales coming from its PHEV versions, and the #2 BMW 3 Series has 10% share.
But the champion of electrification is the #5 Skoda Superb, with 27% share, up 3 percentage points compared to March.
That leaves the #4 Audi A4 as the only unplugged model.
The Tesla Model 3 is still outside the top 5, but it rose from #8 to #6.
Midsize SUV Best Sellers
We have a fully electrified top 5. Although, these models have various degrees of electrification, from the 16% PHEV share (up 13 percentage points) of the Mercedes GLC-Class, to the 74% of the Mitsubishi Outlander, passing by the 12% (up 4 points) of the BMW X3, then the 17% of the Volvo XC60 and the 40% (up 15 points) of the Audi Q5.
5 electrified models out of 5 is already significant, and with the Mercedes GLC-Class PHEV and Audi Q5 PHEV in ramp-up mode, things will look even better in a few months.
Full-Size Car Best Sellers
The #2 Audi A6 was the most significant case of electrification growth, going from virtually zero in March to the current 11%, but other models also have volume deliveries of their PHEV versions, with the #1 Mercedes E-Class hitting a significant 25% share (up 3%), while the #3 BMW 5 Series reached 11% (down 1 point), and the #5 Volvo S/V90 twins had 20%.
Finally, the Mercedes S-Class jumped to 4th, but the big Mercedes has a low electrification rate (just 5%), something we hope the new generation will change for the better.
Full-Size SUV Best Sellers
Unlike in other countries, the full-size SUV category isn’t on the forefront of electrification, with two models still very much ICE only, as the leader Mercedes GLE-Class had just 6% of its sales coming from the PHEV version (the 350de version only recently started to be delivered in volume), while the #3 VW Touareg plugin hybrid versions (2% PHEV sales) are still in demonstration mode.
The #5 Audi Q7 had a significant jump in PHEV share, from just 8% in March to the current 23%, while the BMW X5 PHEV is doing even better, representing 24% (up 5 points) of the X5 sales.
Another piece of good news is the full EV Audi e-tron climbing to 3rd, surpassing the fossil fuel addicted VW Touareg.
With the new VW Touareg PHEV and Mercedes-Benz GLE350de ramping up production, it should be a matter of time until this top 5 becomes fully electrified.