Volkswagen ID.3 shines in record month (72% share!)
The Netherlands had an amazing 30,860 plugin registrations in December, a 34% increase over the previous all-time record, set in the same month of last year, which itself was beating a 4 year old record.
This amazing result translated into a Norway-like 72% plugin vehicle (69% BEV) market share last month, pulling the 2020 plugin share to 25% (21% BEV), well above the 15% of 2019 and the 6% of 2018. This share gains even another dimension when we realize that BEVs represented 82% of registrations in 2020 and 96%(!) in December alone.
Of course, the higher taxation of BEVs in 2021 is the major reason for this December peak, but after the upcoming sales hangover in Q1, something this market is used to, expect things to pick up again around Q2/Q3, surely ending 2021 with another great result and pulling the plugin share well above the 30% mark.
Looking at last month’s best sellers, and comparing the results to last December’s peak, we now witness a much more democratic ranking. In December 2019, the Tesla Model 3 represented over half of the registrations. Last month’s winner, the VW ID.3, had just 20% of all plugin deliveries, and while last year there were only 4 models hitting four-digit scores in December (the Tesla Model 3, Audi e-tron, Nissan Leaf, and Renault Zoe), this time there were 7 models. It is another sign of a maturing market that choice is expanding at a faster rate than the market itself, leading to lower shares of the leading models and an increased balance between the players in the market.
Looking at last month’s best sellers, we should disclose first that December registrations are not very representative of market dynamics. They have more to do with the OEMs’ capabilities to allocate units to this market than anything else.
Still, we should notice that Volkswagen had its version of a Tesla high tide and not only won the best seller title in December, with the ID.3, but also pushed all the available ID.4 units into this market. That allowed the new compact crossover to end the month in 4th, ahead of another model from the German conglomerate, as the Audi e-tron ended the month in #5. That means there were 3 Volkswagen Group models in the top 5.
Another surprising performance was the Hyundai Kona EV ending in 2nd last month, registering a record 4,441 units and dropping the Tesla Model 3 to #3. It seems Hyundai’s EV production has finally found room to able to comply with demand peaks.
Just outside the top 5, there were two good news items for Volvo. The fresh XC40 EV reached #6, with 1,765 units in only its 3rd month on the market, while in #7 we have the honorary Volvo Polestar 2, with the Sino-Swede scoring a record 1,468 deliveries.
Funny enough, and truly amazing, is the fact that last month, the top 7 best selling models in the overall market were all BEV! How long will it take for the yearly ranking to look like this?
Other models showing strong results were the #9 Fiat 500e, with 486 deliveries in its first full sales month, while the Peugeot 208 and 2008 siblings both scored record results in December, with the crossover scoring 458 deliveries while its lower riding relative had 479.
One surprising result was the 383 registrations of the #14 Chinese Aiways U5. The SEAT e-Mii EV (349 units) and Skoda Citigo EV (302) continue ramping up deliveries, and the #19 Mini Cooper EV also scored a record result, proving that among city EVs, range is not as important as in other categories.
On the PHEV side, we almost didn’t have a single model to mention, as the best selling model was the fresh Renault Captur PHEV (289 units, a new record), in a low 20th place. This ranking is explained by the automaker’s focus on delivering BEVs before the year end, and also the fact that some OEMs — namely, Volvo — were already complying in December with the EU’s CO2 rules. They decided to keep them an extra month and deploy them in early 2021, so they can already win early points for the 2021 compliance.
Outside the top 20, we should mention the never-ending slow ramp up of the Mercedes EQC, with the midsize SUV delivering a record 239 units in December. The EQC could be another contender for a top 20 position in 2021.
Looking at the 2020 ranking, the up-to-November leader, the Kia Niro EV, had a steep fall, going from first to fourth in just one month. The Niro EV was surpassed by the Volkswagen ID.3, which took the 2021 best seller award, but also by the Tesla Model 3, which won the silver medal. Kia’s cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV, took the bronze medal from its hands.
Other models that climbed positions in December were the Audi e-tron, which jumped 6 positions, up to the 5th spot, while the Polestar 2 jumped 5 positions, to #7, but the Climbers of the Month were the Volvo XC40 EV and the Volkswagen ID.4, which came out of nowhere (especially in the case of the German EV) and joined the table in the top 10. The Volvo EV ended in #9 and the new Volkswagen EV in #10.
In the second half of the table, the Peugeot 208 EV was up three positions, to #15. Looking at the 2020 top 20, we notice another interesting trend: There are only 2 plugin hybrid models on the table, both coming from the Volvo stable.
In the manufacturer ranking, Volkswagen (18%, up 4 percentage points) was the best selling automaker, followed by Tesla (10%, up 1 percentage point), and Volvo (10%, down 1 point).