While the overall automotive market is continuing down its negative path (-10% in October), plugin sales continue to be steaming hot (+360%!). Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) are shining above everything else (up 388%, to 9,945 units, a new record). In October, they had a 50% share among all plugin vehicles (PEV)s, an all-time high for the technology in this BEV-friendly market, and well above the 38% share they have in 2020 overall.
These disruptive numbers are also reflected in the country’s overall plugin vehicle market share, which last month reached 12% (6% BEV), pulling the year-to-date (YTD) share to 9.7% (6% BEV). So, one can say that the bulk of the growth comes from PHEVs.
Expect the numbers to improve in the remainder of the year, with the 2020 tally probably going north of 10% by year end, which should prelude the upcoming #Disruption ’21 — French Edition.
Looking at last month’s best sellers, the top two were the usual local heroes, but below them we have two new domestic models, both playing on the PHEV field — which explains part of the recent sales surge in that technology. The Renault Captur PHEV jumped to 3rd, thanks to a record 1,693 registrations, while the Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV ramped up deliveries to 926 units, with the double chevron SUV looking to ramp up production fast and beat the small Renault crossover in the last two stages of the 2020 race.
We have two models tied in #5, with the Kia Niro EV scoring a record 678 registrations, the same number of units that the new Renault Twingo EV had in its landing month, a promising result for Renault’s much anticipated (and delayed …) new baby.
Speaking of fresh models, a reference is also due for the Volkswagen ID.3, which scored 524 registrations in its second month in France, lower than the 616 units of the landing month. Allocation issues? Or is it something else?
On the other hand, Mercedes is busy ramping up deliveries of its extensive PHEV lineup, with 3 models hitting relevant (and record) performances last month: the GLC300e/de SUV scored 513 registrations, the A250e hatchback had 395 registrations, while the new GLA250e compact SUV is already at 249 registrations.
It took them a while to get their show on the road, but the fact is that Mercedes is now well ahead of its arch rival, BMW, which had only decent performances in its Mini division, with the Cooper EV scoring a record 425 registrations while the Countryman PHEV (225 registrations) outsold every BMW plugin model available!
Outside this top 20, there was the landing of the SEAT Leon PHEV, with a relevant 184 registrations. Additionally, Jeep’s plugin models are starting to gain traction, with the small Renegade PHEV registering 126 units while the compact Compass PHEV had 125 deliveries.
Looking at the 2020 ranking, while the top two positions remain unattainable by any others, the last position on the podium can still change hands, with the Peugeot 3008 PHEV recovering the #3 spot (but will surely lose it in December, the time of the next Tesla high tide on French shores). Below those models, the Kia Niro EV surpassed a falling DS 7 PHEV, with the Korean crossover now reaching the #6 position.
But Climber of the Month was the Renault Captur PHEV, which jumped 7 positions, into #8, with the small French crossover focused on climbing up the ladder in the final two stages and stealing the Best Selling PHEV title from the Peugeot 3008 PHEV.
In the second half of the table, we have the Volkswagen Golf PHEV climbing two spots, to #16, thanks to fresh units coming from the new generation Golf VIII. Below this position, we have 4 fresh faces in the table:
- The #17 Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV SUV replaced the Jurassic Citroen C-Zero in the table, signaling a new age for the French brand, and I’m sure the upcoming C4 EV hatchback will play an important followup role.
- The Mini Cooper EV joined the table in #18, proving that range isn’t everything, especially in the small car category, where price and desirability are also key factors.
- The well rounded Mercedes A250e reached the table, in #19, becoming the second model of the three-pointed-star brand in the top 20, and signaling the rising importance of the German brand in the plugin market.
- Finally, in #20, we have the Opel Corsa-e, the 8th(!) PSA model in the table, with the French conglomerate benefiting from a large collection of brands (Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel) to populate the table and some home-court advantage.
If the upcoming PSA–FCA merger manages to successfully integrate the 114 brands between the two, the future Stellantis Group will become a force to be reckoned, as it will have massive scale and will play relevant roles in several major markets, with the exception being Asia — and most specifically, China, where they lack a competitive local associate.
Looking at the brand ranking, the leader is, as always, Renault (26%, up 1 percentage point), with runner-up Peugeot (19%) a safe distance behind, while last place on the podium is being disputed by a long list of brands (Tesla, Hyundai, Kia, DS), all with 5% share.
As for OEMs, the Renault–Nissan Alliance (30%) has recovered and is now ahead of PSA (28%), while the best foreign OEM is Hyundai–Kia, with 10% share.
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