Plugin vehicles continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 20,038 units, divided between 12,812 BEVs (or 12% share of the overall auto market) and 7,226 PHEVs (7% share of the overall auto market). The former was up 69% year over year (YoY), while the latter was down a harsh 33%, it’s steepest fall since the covid-hit month of April 2020.
With the overall market continuing to fall, down 7% YoY and down a significant 35% compared to 2019 (the market’s last “normal” year), last month was the lowest July in over 50 years! One can say with certainty that we are in the demand valley that many were predicting when forecasting EV disruption.
The year-to-date (YTD) registrations are now over 176,000 units, keeping the market share for plugin vehicles at 20% (12% BEV). This is 2 percentage points above the result in all of 2021, and is a good 9-percentage-point increase over the 2020 result (11% plugin vehicle share). Expect the market to end above 20% by the end of the year.
For some powertrains to go up, others need to come down, and that is what is happening to regular petrol and diesel sales. The former (petrol) represented 38% of sales last month, and the latter (diesel) fell even harder, getting just 17% of the market’s sales. Its sales dove a steep 38% compared to a year ago. At this pace, diesel sales will be dead in two to three years.
Last month’s best seller was the Renault Megane EV, which scored a record 1,937 registrations. The compact EV won its first best seller title and is still in ramp-up mode, so one wonders how high it will get. 3,000? 4,000? More? One thing is certain, the Megane is Renault’s main bet to recover the leadership position in its home market, now that the Zoe is far from its best days and the future Renault 5 EV is still a couple of years away.
The Megane EV was born as a dedicated EV, without ICE counterpart, so when the old generation fades out, in one or two years, the hatchback-that-thinks-is-a-crossover will have to hold the fort alone in the compact category. So, Renault’s minimum expectations for its compact EV next year should be around 30,000 units in 2023, with 40,000 expected in 2024, if it wants to compete for the category leadership spot with its Peugeot 308 rival.
Following the stylish new Renault, we have another Renault on the podium, in 3rd. The Zoe scored 953 registrations, losing out to its Peugeot e-208 arch rival, which finished in 2nd with 1,379 registrations.
Still on Renault, we should highlight the good result of the Renault Twingo EV. The cheeky little thing scored 818 units, thus putting three Renault BEVs in the top 6!
The Peugeot e-2008 crossover was 5th, with 876 registrations, while the Hyundai Kona EV was 7th, with 711 registrations, allowing it to be the best selling real foreign model on the table.
Interestingly, the best selling PHEV was only 9th on the table. The Hyundai Tucson PHEV beat the usual category winner, the Peugeot 3008 PHEV, despite registering only 564 units. Plugin hybrids are falling in the preferences of French buyers, like the BEV vs PHEV breakdown shows, with BEVs owning 64% of plugin sales in July compared to an average of 60% in 2022.
In the second half of the table, the highlight is the record performance of the stylish Opel Mokka EV small crossover. With 310 registrations, it has beaten its record score in France in one of the slowest months of the year (due to the holiday season). This allowed it to end the month in #14, thus putting 5 BEV Stellantis models in the top 20. Not bad, eh?
Looking at the 2022 ranking, the Peugeot e-208 consolidated its leadership position, but with 1,227 units separating it from the runner-up Dacia Spring, the best seller trophy is far from secured.
Speaking of the Sino-Romanian, there is now a clash of (tiny) titans in the race for the 2nd spot, with the Fiat 500e now just four units behind it. So, the race for the best selling city EV is hot, and could be hotter still, if the Renault Twingo EV (it was up one spot, to #5) can get closer to the other two.
The Climber of the Month was the Renault Megane EV. It jumped six spots into #8. With the production ramp-up now in full swing, expect it to become the best selling Renault EV during the second half of the year.
Still regarding the top 10, we have the Peugeot e-2008 EV jumping to #9, confirming the popularity of Peugeot’s small crossover.
With the BMW X3 PHEV joining the table in #20, we now have 7 PHEVs on the top 20, but only the category leader Peugeot 3008 PHEV is inside the top half of the table.
Looking at the brand ranking, the top two brands remained in their positions, but Peugeot (15.3%, down from 15.4%) lost significant ground to Renault (14.6%, up from 13.8%). Renault’s trajectory has been impressive lately — in May, it had just 12.2%! The race for the year-end leadership position has just gotten interesting.
The last place on the podium remains with Tesla (6.7%, down from 7.5%). The US make should regain a couple of extra share points by the end of Q3.
Off the podium, Mercedes-Benz stayed in 4th, while a sliding Dacia (5.6%, down from 5.9%) lost another position in the table, with Fiat (5.7%) joining the top 5 in July and relegating Dacia to #6.
As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force in this market, but it has lost share. It now has 30.5% share, compared to the 31% share of the previous month. The rising Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is sitting comfortably in #2, with 21.5%, up from 21%, and Hyundai–Kia is in 3rd, with 9.5%.
Off the podium, we have Volkswagen Group in 4th, with 7.6% share, now followed by BMW Group (7.2%), which benefitted from Tesla’s usual first-month-of-quarter slow month. However, expect the US brand to recover by the end of Q3.
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