Germany’s PEV passenger car market started the year with a small increase over the same month last year, with the almost 40,000 units registered in January representing an 8% increase in sales.
The main culprits for the lukewarm performance were the PHEVs, which were down 8% YoY. Meanwhile, BEVs grew 28%, to 20,892 units, with pure electrics starting the year ahead of plugin hybrids (53% vs 47%).
This performance allowed the PEV share to start the year at 22%, with BEVs alone hitting 11%. That is below the 2021 market share (26% PEV, 14% BEV), but expect these numbers to climb soon compared to last year’s result. We might see 40%-plus months in Germany this year … and 50%-plus months by 2023?
Looking at the January best sellers. We have a surprise in #1, with the Fiat 500e leading the way with 1,261 registrations, a first monthly win for Stellantis in this market. The multinational conglomerate placed a second model on January’s podium, with the Opel Corsa EV ending the month in 3rd. Across Europe, Stellantis is having a strong start to the year.
The silver medal went to the Mercedes GLC PHEV, which had 1,181 registrations, giving the German SUV an early lead over the remaining competition in the plugin hybrid category.
Just off the podium, we have two Hyundais, with the Kona EV in 4th and the recently introduced Ioniq 5 in 5th. The best selling Volkswagen was only 6th, with the ID.3 scoring 942 registrations, or about half of what it had a year ago (1,799 registrations in January 2021).
In the second half of the table, the main surprise is the appearance of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV, in #16, with the compact crossover scoring a record 758 registrations. It seems there is still some life to Mitsubishi in Europe.
A mention also goes out to two Mercedes models. Besides the usual presence of the A250e compact model in #19, this time we also have the GLE PHEV large
yacht SUV, which showed up in #13 with 798 registrations. Mercedes certainly had a positive month in Germany.
Outside the top 20, a mention goes out to the #21 Opel Mokka EV, which scored 661 registrations. The stylish crossover is sure to become a familiar face in the table once its ramp-up is complete. The Peugeot e-208, a relative, is also shining, with 579 registrations.
The Audi Q4 e-tron also had a good month, with 637 registrations, while the Dacia Spring had 501 deliveries. These two models are expected to become familiar faces in the top 20.
We finish with a significant landing in Germany. Lynk & Co delivered the first 197 units of its 01 PHEV model. It will be interesting to see how well the Chinese compact crossover succeeds in the largest market in Europe. SAIC’s MG is taking its time landing in Germany. This time, it’s the turn of Geely’s Lynk & Co to land in Germany, after already being established in a number of European markets. Will this type of behavior become standard procedure among Chinese companies?
In the brand ranking, Mercedes (13.1%) profited from strong results across its extensive lineup to start the year in the lead, followed by BMW in #2 (10.1%). Last year’s winner, Volkswagen (9.9%), had a slow month, ending January only in 3rd.
Just off the podium, we have Audi in 4th (8.5%), followed by the best selling foreign brand, Hyundai (6.2%), in 5th. Opel ended in 6th (5.2%).
Looking at OEMs, Volkswagen Group (25.8%) started the year in front of the pack, followed from afar by Mercedes-Benz Group (ex-Daimler) with 16.2%. Stellantis (15.5%) is a surprising 3rd, managing to start the year on the podium and ahead of BMW Group (12.5%). The multinational conglomerate could become the surprise of the year in Europe, and could actually challenge Volkswagen’s domination on the continent. That has already started to happen in the overall market, as one can see below when looking at Europe’s overall 2021 top 10:
- Volkswagen Golf
- Peugeot 208
- Dacia Sandero
- Renault Clio
- Peugeot 2008
- Volkswagen T-Roc
- Toyota Yaris
- Opel/Vauxhall Corsa
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Fiat 500
As one can see, Stellantis placed four models in the 2021 top 10, more than any other OEM. Most importantly, all four of those models have BEV versions. So, as the overall market merges with the EV market, expect the EV share of the total sales to steadily increase in those models, creating an apparently seamless transition into EVs. That could end up being a bonus point once BEVs leave their specialized niches and embraces the majority of buyers.
Oh, and a final note: 6 of the top 10 best selling models belong to the B-segment/subcompact category — EVs will only become the mainstream choice in Europe when EVs in that segment also become the best sellers in the plugin category, and we are still far from that happening, as there were only three subcompacts in the European 2021 PEV top 10: the #2 Renault Zoe, #9 Hyundai Kona EV, and #10 Peugeot e-208.
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