With multiple crises raging (chips, batteries, covid, Ukraine war…), disruption is the order of the day, and one can say that anything goes right now in Germany.
The overall automotive market was hit full frontal, with the market dropping 22% last month, and this time even full electric vehicles (BEVs) were down 7% year over year (YoY) were down. There were 22,175 BEV registrations last month, representing 12% of the overall market. Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) were even worse (-20%). The latter had 21,697 registrations, or 12% of the total auto market.
April’s 24% share was in line with the year-to-date score of 24% (13% BEV), so a 30% result by year end seems not only possible, but likely.
The surprise of the month was the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV winning the Best Seller title in April, thanks to a record 2,036 registrations, the best result ever for a Mitsubishi plugin in Germany. Will the Japanese automaker still have a future in Europe? At the least, it’s not going away without a fight…
The Fiat 500e was second last month, with the little Italian winning silver thanks to 1,827 registrations, while the Ford Kuga PHEV completed the podium with 1,655 registrations.
In another sign of the disruptive and historical times we are living in, the top ranked German model in April was the 9 year old BMW i3, in 4th.
Off the podium, the highlight was the #6 Skoda Enyaq (1,030 sales), becoming Volkswagen Group’s best seller, while the #8 Smart Fortwo EV (947 sales) and Opel Corsa EV (859 sales) also had good results, something especially relevant for the veteran two-seater.
In the second half of the table, the highlights were the #16 Peugeot e-208 and the #19 Mercedes EQB reaching the table, with this latter one scoring a record 612 registrations. The electric seven-seater (hurrah for family-friendly BEVs) became the best selling Mercedes in the April table, signaling the three-pointed star’s move away from PHEVs and into BEVs.
Speaking of Mercedes, outside the top 20, we are witnessing the first full month of the Mercedes EQE. It had 322 registrations. Considering Mercedes’ history of BEV production ramp-ups and the streamlined sedan’s importance for the brand, and the overall market, we will closely follow its career. We need to see how long it will take to run at the same pace as the full size category leader, the Audi e-tron.
Elsewhere, another German model also had its first volume month, with the sharp-suited Opel Astra PHEV scoring 348 registrations last month, almost catching the Volkswagen Golf PHEV, which clocked 380 registrations.
Signaling the rise of Asian makes, we have the Kia EV6 scoring 401 units, a new record for the striking Korean, while the recently arrived Lynk & Co and MG are making inroads in Germany, with L&K’s 01 PHEV registering a record 370 units while MG’s lineup had record scores across the board. The compacts MG eZS EV had 381 registrations and the eHS PHEV had 557 registrations, while the recent Marvel R SUV had 79 deliveries. The cherry on top of MG’s cake was the landing of the MG 5 compact station wagon, no doubt another model that will provide significant volume to the Sino-British make.
A final mention goes out to the Model Y, which had only 277 deliveries last month, a slightly underwhelming result considering that Giga Germany is already online.
Regarding the 2022 table, the Tesla Model 3 is comfortable on top, with a strong lead of 3,400 units over the surprise runner-up Fiat 500e. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model Y was kicked off of the podium by the Ford Kuga PHEV. Still, 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.
The Climber of the Month was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It surged four positions, into #5. The Japanese crossover is clearly trying to reach the PHEV leader, the aforementioned #3 Ford Kuga PHEV.
Looking at the YTD top 10, we see a really poor showing from German automakers, with only two German models present in the YTD top 10. And those are both BMWs, with the best of them being … the BMW i3 (about as ancient as it gets in the EV market).
The BMW i3!!! A 9-year-old model that is set to move into greener pastures before the end of this year!… It says much about the i3’s future-proof concept, which will make it a future classic. (I bet part of the sales are being made by collectors that order their i3s will all the bells and whistles for future value.) However, it also says a lot about the poor moment that the German car industry is suffering right now, hit by crisis on several levels, while others are weathering the storm in a much better way.
But back to the YTD numbers. In the second half of the table, the Skoda Enyaq climbed last month to 12th, now just a few units behind its theoretical commander-in-chief VW ID.4. Additionally, both the Audi e-tron and Opel Corsa-e climbed a spot, to #15 and #16, respectively.
In the brand ranking, leader Mercedes (11.1%) is profiting from its loooong lineup to lead its home market, ahead of arch-rival BMW (10.6%), which is closing in at the #2 spot.
Volkswagen (8.3%) stayed in 3rd, followed by Tesla (7.7%).
Audi was 5th, with 7.6% share, with a comfortable lead over #6 Hyundai.
Looking at the rankings by OEM, the standings remained the same. Volkswagen Group has its domestic market well in hand, with 23.4% share, followed at a distance by Mercedes Group (14%) and Stellantis (12.8%).
A rising BMW Group is 4th, with 12.5%, so it could remove Stellantis from the podium soon, while the #5 Hyundai–Kia collab (9.8%) is in a safe 5th position.