These are truly historic times in the German automotive market, with the plugin vehicle market now owning one third of the total market in terms of new sales. With the chip crisis still raging, disruption is the order of the day, and one can say that anything goes right now in Germany, an automotive market previously known for its boring stability.
With the overall market continuing to tank (-32% year over year) and the perennial leader, the Volkswagen Golf, falling off a cliff (-70% YoY!), it was time for others to shine. The leadership position thus fell into the hands of the Opel Corsa*. Yep, you read that right, the French hatchback won its first podium presence in the overall German market, thanks to 4,200 registrations, a new year best. In 2nd place was the Volkswagen T-Roc, and in 3rd the … Renault Zoe!
*This monthly best seller trophy was surely celebrated at Opel’s HQ in Russelsheim, another sign of Opel’s renaissance. Gone are the days when General Motors looked at its European arm as the “German patient.”
The Tesla Model 3 was 7th in the overall market, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf (which was only 10th, its lowest position on record), but the midsizer’s 3,925 delivery total was its best score ever in a non-peak month, so expect the Model 3 to have a record performance in December. Unless the Zoe spoils the party, the Texan will most likely be adding the overall #1 award to a #1 award in the EV market!
In another sign of the disruptive and historical times we are living in, the two main favorites for #1 in December are two EVs! Adding insult to injury, two foreign EVs! And when was the last time that either a French or US model were number one in Germany?…
Exactly — eons ago!
But back to the plugin market, despite the aforementioned descent into hell of the overall market, plugins continued to grow, scoring over 67,000 registrations last month, a 14% improvement year over year (YoY), an impressive performance that was only possible thanks to BEVs being up by 40%. PHEVs are starting to be swallowed by the disruption spiral, having dropped 10% YoY last month. As a result, last month’s plugin share of the overall market ended at 34% (20% BEV).
The year-to-date plugin vehicle share of the market grew another point, to 25% (13% BEV), an impressive result, especially if we look back to a year ago, when the YTD market share was at 12%. So … if this doubling of share continues, will we see this market hit 50% a year from now?
Now, THAT would be news!!!
But this wasn’t only about the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3. The little VW e-Up closed out the podium. The other big surprise was the Mercedes GLC PHEV jumping to 4th, with a year-best score of 2,341 units. Two positions below it, we have the Tesla Model Y, one of the main candidates for the 2022 Best Seller title. It hit a record 1,787 registrations, and with Tesla’s recent focus on delivering as many units as possible in Germany, I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to place two models on next month’s EV podium. …
Keeping with the trend of foreign models shining, in #8 we have the Hyundai Ioniq 5 scoring a record 1,456 registrations, while immediately below it, we have the Czech Skoda Enyaq once again managing to beat its higher ranking Volkswagen ID.4 cousin (#17, 1,151 units).
In the second half of the table, the highlight is the #14 Peugeot e-208 scoring a record 1,260 registrations, while the only good news for the home team is the #15 Opel Corsa EV (1,244 registrations, new year best) and the #17 Audi Q5 PHEV (1,033 registrations, new year best).
Also interesting to see that 11 models out of this top 20 were foreign models. I wonder what VDA has to say about this….
Just outside the top 20, we have the Audi Q4 e-tron (916 registrations) and Mercedes EQA (915 registrations), with their production ramp-up proceeding slowly. Nonetheless, expect both compact crossovers to join the table soon, something that could also be said about the stylish Opel Mokka EV (808 registrations), Audi e-tron (805 registrations, its best score since February), and the little Smart ForFour EV (868 units, a new year best and the big surprise here).
In terms of recent launches, we should highlight the delivery ramp-up of the Dacia Spring (657 units), the BMW iX (360 units), and the VW Multivan PHEV — with 371 registrations in only its second month on the market, this model seems to be providing good omens for the future VW ID.Buzz.
Regarding fresh landings, we should mention the first full month of the sporty Cupra Born (259 units), the debut month of the much awaited BMW i4 (152 units), and SAIC’s MG lineup finally landing in Germany (732 units, divided by 477 units of the MG eHS PHEV, 207 units of the MG eZS EV compact crossover, and 48 units of the Marvel R midsize SUV). Having waited for so long to land in Germany, the Sino-British brand did so with significant volume, which might preview healthy numbers in this market for SAIC’s export brand.
Regarding the 2021 table, with the VW ID.3 underperforming once again, the Tesla Model 3 already has enough of a lead to prepare the 2021 Best Seller title ceremony.
Worse still, the compact EV from Volkswagen lost the runner-up spot, switching positions with its teammate, the VW e-Up, a model 9 years older than the ID.3.
But the poor showing from Volkswagen does not end there. The slow-moving Golf PHEV lost two positions and its leadership position in the PHEV category, with the #7 Ford Kuga PHEV and #8 Mercedes GLC PHEV surpassing it last month. The Ford model has to defend its 350 units lead from the Mercedes SUV, which has been experiencing a delivery peak recently.
Who will be the winner in the Best Selling PHEV competition?
In the second half of the table, the Mercedes A250e PHEV was up to #16, while the Opel Corsa EV jumped two positions, to #17, confirming the rise in popularity of the German brand.
We also have a new model in the table thanks to recent good results. The Mini Cooper EV is now #20 and could climb a couple more positions in the last stage of the race. The rise of the British hot hatch is another signal of BEV momentum. 12 fully electric models are now present in this year’s top 20. Interestingly, if we look just at November, we see 15 BEVs in the top 20, which says a lot about where the market is heading.
In the brand ranking, the leader, Volkswagen (14%, down 1 percentage point), is losing ground in its home market, having lost 3 percentage points in the last two months. Runner-up Mercedes (12%) is standing firm in the #2 spot and might even hope for a last-minute surprise and surpass Volkswagen. Meanwhile, #3 BMW (9%) and #4 Audi (8%) are keeping up the race for the last place on the podium until the end.
In the race for “Best Selling Foreigner,” Tesla and Hyundai both gained one percentage point, and now have 6% share each.
Looking at the rankings by OEM, the standings remained the same, with Volkswagen Group having its domestic market well in hand, with 34% share, followed at a distance by Daimler (15%) and BMW Group (11%, up 1 point).
The best selling foreign automotive group (well, mostly foreign …) is Stellantis (9%), but it now has the rising #5 Hyundai–Kia collab (9%, up 1 point) just 3,000 units behind it, so this particular race should also be interesting to follow in the last month of the year.
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