With the chip crisis still raging, disruption is the order of the day, and one can say that anything goes right now in Germany.
The overall market had its first signs of relief (+3% year over year), but that was due to strong sales of BEVs (+55% YoY). There were 28,306 BEV registrations last month, 14% of the overall market. That pulled the market up, unlike diesel (-16%), petrol (-6%), and even PHEVs (-1%). The latter had 21,583 registrations, or 11% of the total market. Basically, BEVs are quickly becoming the bread and butter of this market, something unthinkable not that long ago.
February’s 25% share pulled the year-to-date score to 23% (13% BEV), so a 30% result by year end seems not only possible, but likely.
Tesla had a great month, making its first gold + silver win in Germany. The Model 3’s winning score is no longer a source of surprise, and February’s result wasn’t even an off-peak record performance. The Model Y’s runner-up spot was, and this record score was achieved using units Made in China. So, if the crossover can score 2,254 units with Chinese units, imagine how high it can go with the future Made in Germany units….
But back to the Model 3’s winning performance — the 3,690 registrations allowed it to be 4th in the overall ranking, and we might expect it to reach some 6,000 registrations in March, which will surely provide it a podium spot in the overall ranking.
In another sign of the disruptive and historical times we are living in, the top ranked German model in February, the Mercedes GLC PHEV, was only 6th.
The hot Spaniard Cupra Formentor PHEV closed out the podium, followed by the cute Italian Fiat 500e in 4th and the competitive Korean Hyundai Kona EV in 5th. The best selling Volkswagen, the ID.4, was only 9th….
Keeping with the trend of foreign models shining, in #12 we have the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV scoring a record 980 registrations, proving there’s still some life in the Japanese automaker. In #14, we have the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with 948 registrations. The Korean automaker thus placed two models in last month’s top 20.
It’s also interesting to see that 11 models out of these top 20 were foreign models. I wonder what VDA has to say about this….
Outside the top 20, we have the VW e-Up (746 registrations), with its poor performance no doubt explained by production constraints, but also the Opel Corsa EV (702 units) and Audi Q4 e-tron (647), with this last one failing to replicate at home the good performances it is having elsewhere.
In terms of recent launches, we should highlight the delivery ramp-up of the Mercedes EQS, with 300 units last month, as it paves the way for the potential future full size best seller, the Mercedes EQE.
Regarding the 2022 table, the Tesla Model 3 is already on top, with a comfortable lead of 1,300 units over the surprise runner-up Fiat 500e, and with the Tesla Model Y already in 3rd, we might see Tesla winning 1st and 2nd in Germany by year end. If the Giga Berlin ramp-up follows as expected, the Model Y should end the year as the best selling EV in this market, followed by the Model 3. So far, the Model 3 has a rolling average this quarter of 3,354 units per month. Although that represents an 11% drop compared to Q4 2021 (3,760 units/month), it is still 14% higher that the 2021 monthly average of 2,938 units, so expect the sedan to increase its 2021 score of 35,000 units slightly this year. Looking at the closest competition, do not expect much from them, as they are either old (VW e-Up, Renault Zoe, Smart Fortwo EV), and thus unable to significantly improve on their past performances, or are seriously production constrained, as is the case of the VW ID.3, which is now being pushed back by other models (like the more profitable VW ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron) in the race for the limited supply of components that Volkswagen Group currently has. With these constraints only starting to ease during the second half of the year, do not expect much from VW’s hatchback this year.
But the poor showing from German automakers does not end there. As already seen in the monthly table, only three German models are present in the YTD top 10. And besides the possible humiliation of having not one but two Teslas leading the PEV table, one should highlight that out of the three small models (A & B segments) present in this top 10 — the Fiat 500e, Hyundai Kona EV, and Renault Zoe — none is a domestic model. This highlights another issue German automakers need to address, on top of the Tesla threat in the midsize category: Where are their small EVs?
We do find them in the second half of the table (#13 BMW i3, #14 Opel Corsa EV, #16 Smart Fortwo EV, #17 VW e-Up), but most are close to retirement age, while the Opel model is a reskinned Peugeot 208. (Turns out, Opel going to Stellantis was the best thing that could happen to it.)
And while BMW and Mercedes shouldn’t be too worried (after all, small cars aren’t really their thing), for Volkswagen, it’s a different ball game, and with the release dates for their small EVs only set to land in 2025, precious years will be lost — not only to other legacy OEMs (like the 2nd generation of small EVs from Stellantis and Renault, coming sooner than VW’s), but also to the Asian competition (which by then will be much more diverse and fiercer than it is today).
But back to the YTD table, 14 fully electric models are now present in this year’s top 20, and with the Renault Twingo EV, Audi Q4 e-tron, and Opel Mokka EV fewer than 300 units away from the Mercedes A250e, this number might climb to 15 in March.
In the brand ranking, leader Mercedes (12.8%) is profiting from its looong lineup to lead its home market, ahead of arch-rival BMW (10%), which is standing firm in the #2 spot.
Volkswagen (9.2%) stayed in 3rd, followed by Audi (7.5%).
In the race for “Best Selling Foreigner,” Tesla (7.1%) has surpassed Hyundai and is now 5th. Next month, expect it to surpass #4 Audi, while closing in on Volkswagen and threatening its rival’s standing in its own home.
Looking at the rankings by OEM, the standings remained the same, with Volkswagen Group having its domestic market well in hand, with 24% share, followed at a distance by Daimler (15.6%) and Stellantis (13.5%).
BMW Group is 4th, with 12.3%, followed from a safe distance by the #5 Hyundai–Kia collab (9.5%).
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