Plugins continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 51,215 units, divided between a record 33,280 BEVs (or 18% share of the overall auto market) and 17,935 PHEVs (9% share of the auto market). The former jumped 52% year over year (YoY), while the latter were up by 50%.
The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — June 2023
With the overall market in recovery mode, up 12% YoY, but still down 17% compared to June 2019 (the last normal month in the market), plugins are growing faster than the overall market and reached 24% share of the market (16% BEV) year to date (YTD).
In June, pure electrics once again outsold PHEVs — 65% share of the plugin market vs. 35% — allowing BEVs to continue gaining a bit more ground in the YTD race (64% BEV vs. 36% PHEV). Expect BEVs to keep gaining ground throughout the year, as they keep growing slightly faster than plugin hybrids.
Last month’s best seller was the Tesla Model Y, with a (now normal) 4,335 registrations, but the surprise of the month was the Tesla Model 3 in 2nd place (3,966 deliveries), allowing a 1st and 2nd place win for the US brand in June. That was actually the Model 3’s best result in two years, allowing it to be 10th overall (the Model Y was 8th overall).
After stealing the thunder in the midsize category from the local brands a year ago, the German Three Marys (BMW, Mercedes, and Audi) are now losing the midsize category crown in France to Tesla, with the Model Y being by far the best selling midsizer this year. This is actually replicating what is happening across the Rhine….
The remaining podium position went to the Fiat 500e, with the Italian hatchback scoring its second record performance in a row thanks to 2,781 registrations, a significant part of them no doubt belonging to the hot hatch Abarth version.
Another record breaker followed in 4th, with the MG 4 scoring 2,511 registrations, its second record score in a row. The Sino-British hatchback outsold an underperforming Renault Megane EV, which ended the month in 6th, with 2,377 registrations.
Tesla isn’t really a major threat to French carmakers, as they were already niche players in the midsize market — they do not have much to lose in that segment. But, compact and small models are their bread and butter, and with Chinese EVs starting to become successful there, their future could look pretty dim.
And that’s what seems to be happening between the Renault Megane and the MG 4. Although the Renault looks more refined than the MG product, there is a €10,000 price difference between the two (€43,000 vs. €33,000). That’s despite comparable specs. So … is the Megane more appealing than the MG? Yes. But is it €10,000 more appealing than the China-made EV? Well … probably not.
Price cut, anyone?…
Elsewhere, a mention goes out to other record performers in the top 10, like the #8 Peugeot 308, still heavily based on the PHEV version (record 1,096 registrations). With the first units of the BEV version (22 registrations) starting to be delivered, expect the compact Lion to climb a few positions in the table, maybe even outselling its rival, the Renault Megane EV.
The BEV-based (record 885 units) Kia Niro also had a record performance, with 988 registrations, allowing it to be 9th in the table, while the #10 VW Tiguan PHEV reached 954 registrations, a new record for the German SUV.
In the second half of the table, we can witness two more record performances, with SAIC’s MG ZS EV getting 741 registrations, allowing it to be #14 in June, while Geely’s Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, another Chinese model (is there a trend here?…), scored 594 registrations, ending the month in #19.
Still on the crossover/SUV (booooring) theme, the #16 DS 7 PHEV had 733 deliveries, the SUV’s best result in two years.
These positive results from PHEV models happen despite plugin hybrids having lost the purchase incentive at the end of 2022. So, this demand is not incentive-derived. However, there’s still the French Malus system, where the most emission-polluting vehicles are heavily taxed, so people are still incentivized to purchase a PHEV (they still benefit from the fact that they pay less in taxes than they would for a pure-ICE vehicle — and no one likes to pay taxes…).
Just below the top 20, and highlighting a positive month for Stellantis, the Jeep Avenger scored 441 registrations in only its second month on the market. Expect the chunky, funky Jeep to join the top 20 soon. In the Citroen stable, the quirky C5X PHEV station-wagon-fastback-crossover midsize model scored a record 382 registrations, and the (slightly) less bonkers e-C4 crossover-hatchback also shined, with 396 registrations. As for Peugeot, the attractive 408 PHEV fastback-crossover also hit a record month, with 462 registrations.
At Volkswagen Group, the spicy Cupra Formentor PHEV crossover scored a record 449 units, while the Czech Skoda Enyaq had 359 deliveries, its best result in 18 months.
Finally, the Kia EV6 had its best score in 14 months, thanks to 381 registrations.
The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — January–June 2023
Looking at the 2023 ranking, the leader Tesla Model Y seems to have secured enough advantage over the runner-up Dacia Spring to start thinking about preparing the 2023 Best Seller Party, which would be a first for the crossover, but the second trophy for Tesla, having previously won the title in 2021 with the Model 3.
More evidence of how positive the month was for Tesla, the Model 3 climbed to 6th, thanks to the company’s end-of-quarter peak.
Still on the topic of the podium positions, the Fiat 500e surpassed the Peugeot e-208 EV thanks to its recent record performances, climbing onto the last place on the podium. Will the little Italian be able to go after the #2 Dacia Spring? With 2,800 units separating the two, it is a tall order, so I believe just keeping the 3rd spot would already be a small feat for the cute Fiat.
Also, tellingly, if the podium ends the year as it is, it would be the first time that there would be no domestic EV on France’s podium….
The Peugeot 3008 PHEV was up one position, to 9th, at the expense of the Renault Zoe, which is experiencing a horrible 2023. The Zoe has dropped to #10 AND it didn’t even make it into June’s top 20! Let’s not forget that the Zoe is an 8-time winner of the best seller trophy in France! Oh, how the mighty have fallen….
In the second half of the table, we have two new entries, with the Kia Niro joining the table in #19 while the VW Tiguan PHEV is now in #20, replacing the VW ID.3 as the sole representative of Volkswagen Group in the table. But with the VW ID.3 in #21, just 94 units behind it, we could see the German hatchback return to the top 20 soon. Fingers crossed…
Auto Brands Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France
Looking at the brand ranking, thanks to its end-of-quarter peak, Tesla reached the top of the podium with 12.7%, surpassing Peugeot (12.3%) in what is an historical event — no other foreign brand has ever been ahead of the local heroes in France.
In the last place on the podium, Renault (8.5%) is now distant from the title discussion, and it should keep an eye on its
discount value-for-money brand, Dacia (7%), which now has the larger French brand in target range and could aim to displace it in the future. Unless …
… Dacia itself could be in danger of being surpassed.
As if we needed even more evidence of the disruptive times we live in, SAIC’s surging MG (5.7%) has just surpassed Fiat (even if by just 7 units) to reach the 5th position, and considering the current strength of MG’s lineup (based especially on the red hot MG 4), we could see it challenge Dacia’s 4th spot in a few months. MG only needs to scale up production to meet the overwhelming demand for its sharp hatchback.
Speaking of MG, looking at the overall top 20 brands ranking — the two fastest growing brands are #7 Tesla, up 183% YoY, and #16 MG, which is surging 307%!!! Expect the Sino-British brand to be top 10 material by the end of the year.
Auto Groups Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France
As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force in this market, with a comfortable 29% market share. While Peugeot has lost share as of lately, the other makes in the stable — namely, Citroen, Fiat, and Jeep — have allowed the multinational conglomerate to stay afloat.
On the other hand, the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (16.2%) is losing share by the day, with bleeding sales in every brand except low-cost Dacia, and with the Renault 5 still a year away and little else to save sales until then, hard times await the Alliance….
Tesla is 3rd, with 12.7%, and is waiting to see what happens to The Alliance to know if it can win the silver medal this year.
Off the podium, we have Volkswagen Group in 4th, with 10.4%. It is benefitting from the namesake brand’s resurgence — now 8th, with 4.7% of the market, dangerously close to #7 BMW (4.8%). That has allowed Volkswagen Group to gain significant distance over the #5 BMW Group stable (7.1%, up from 7%).
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