The Battle For Germany’s EV Market, Part VI — Tesla Model Y vs. Volkswagen MEB Family

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The overall German auto market had another positive month in June (+25% year over year), with BEVs being the highlight (+64% YoY). There were 52,988 BEV registrations last month, 19% of the overall market, a 2% increase YoY. That pulled the market up — quite different from PHEVs, which were down 39%. The latter are now suffering from the end of federal incentives. In June, PHEVs had 15,930 registrations, or 5.7% of the total market, which is approximately half of what they had a year ago…. That is visible in the BEV vs. PHEV sales breakdown, with pure electrics representing 77% of all plugin sales in June, 3% above this year’s average and much more than the 55% share of a year ago.

June’s 25% share pulled the year-to-date score to 21% (16% BEV), so a 25–30% result by year end could be possible.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in Germany — June 2023

The Tesla Model Y profited from its end-of-quarter peak and had 6,098 deliveries, allowing it to be #1 in the plugin table and 4th overall.

Highlighting Volkswagen Group’s current all hands on deck attitude in Germany, the German conglomerate placed six models in the top 10, with the highlight being the #5 Skoda Enyaq, which had 1,936 registrations, its best result since September 2021. Non-coincidentally, all these models came from the MEB platform, so it seems the MEB program is resulting in significant dividends for VW.

In another sign of the disruptive and historical times we are living in, there were only three PHEV models on the table — two of them coming from the Mercedes stable, with the C-Class PHEV showing up at #11 (with 1,356 registrations, a new record!), and the GLC PHEV showing up at #16. Again, not coincidentally, these are two of the few good best PHEVs present on the European market — even without incentives, they remain appealing to customers.

The second half of the table had other models shining, including the BMW iX1, which was the only Beemer in the top 20. But with the 1,157 registrations, the compact crossover was only #14, still a significant distance from the success of the BMW i3, which was the best selling EV in Germany in 2014 and 2016 and stayed on the podium for six years, from 2014 to 2019.

The MG 4 ended the month in #19, with 928 registrations, highlighting MG’s progression in the German market. That is not just limited to its star product, because the MG 5 station wagon scored 466 units in the same period, while the MG ZS EV had 477 deliveries. Regarding volumes, this is probably the Golden Age for the British make….

A final note goes out to the presence of the Polestar 2, in #18 with 950 registrations. The BMW i4 was close, ending the month in #22, just 47 units behind the Swedish liftback, which makes one wonder if it is flattering for the Polestar 2 to end the month ahead of the BMW i4 or unflattering for the Beemer to end behind the Polestar EV.

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Outside the top 20, the highlight was the new Smart #1 crossover, which had 899 registrations, a new record for the China-made EV. Mercedes also has models on the rise, like the EQB (698 units) and the EQE (650), with the latter finally starting to come close to the category best sellers.

Speaking of full size models, this time it wasn’t the Audi Q8 e-tron (700 units) to win the best seller trophy, with the prize going to the Porsche Taycan (837 units). It looks like Porsche has finally solved the chip-related constraints, so the sports sedan should have a stronger second half of the year.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in Germany — January–June 2023

Regarding the 2023 table, the Tesla Model Y is well above everyone else, with double the sales of the runner-up VW ID.4. The Tesla crossover had its sales triple YoY, a disruptive performance for a foreign model in German lands — not only in the EV category, but also in the mainstream market.

Still, this impressive performance from the Model Y is only part of the story of the current EV moment in Germany.

Many of the crossover’s sales were made cannibalizing its Model 3 sibling, which is now 7th with 7,287 registrations, with deliveries down 33% compared to what it had a year ago. Also, Volkswagen Group is playing to its strengths, placing four models (the VW ID.3, VW ID.4, Audi Q4 e-tron, and Skoda Enyaq) in the top six positions, all of them experiencing surging sales. The MEB-based models doubled their sales YoY. In more proof of the MEB family progression, while a year ago it had just three representatives in the top 20, now there are six of them.

So, while Tesla is making the best use of its star player, the Model Y, the German OEM is profiting from a long (and strong) lineup of team players.

But, while Volkswagen Group is defending the marbles in its domestic market, and Mercedes also placed three models in the top 20 (or 4 if we count the Smart Fortwo EV), the other German brands are much more modest. Opel is still missing in action, while BMW has just two representatives, with the best selling model BMW being the iX1, in #17. This is far from BMW’s best performances in its home market — in this time and age, even a top 10 position would be a great feat for the new BMW EV crossover.

Getting back to the YTD table, a year ago, we had six PHEVs in the table, whereas now the tally is reduced to just two. And maybe there will be just one representative soon, as the #21 Mercedes EQB could replace the Mercedes GLC in the coming months. #Incentivesmatter

Auto Brands Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in Germany

In the brand ranking, the leader Volkswagen (13%) has resisted Tesla’s (12.2%) end-of-quarter peak.

Mercedes remained comfortable in 3rd, at 11.9% in June. The three-pointed-star brand currently benefits from a good balance between BEV and PHEV sales, where it is now the category king. Audi (7.4%) lost one spot to BMW (7.4%) in June, with the Bavarian make rising to #4, although with a small 150-unit advantage over the four-ringed make.

Interestingly, in a similar market concentration trend that is happening in China, the top five best selling brands are gaining advantage over the competition, as proven by the widening distance between the #5 Audi (7.4%) and the #6 Kia (4.7%).

Auto Groups Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in Germany

Looking at the rankings by OEM, Volkswagen Group has its domestic market well in hand, with 29.2% share, followed at a distance by Mercedes-Benz (14.7%) and Tesla (12.2%).

Stellantis is 4th, with 10.4% share and is followed by #5 BMW Group at 9.5%.

Below them, #6 Hyundai–Kia (7.3%) is the only OEM close enough to hope for a top 5 presence in the near future.

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José Pontes

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewed the sales evolution of plug-ins on the EV Sales blog, allowing him to gain an expert view on where EVs are right now and where they are headed in the future. The EV Sales blog has become a go-to source for people interested in electric car sales around the world. Extending that work and expertise, Jose is also market analyst on EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.

José Pontes has 480 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes