The Battle For Germany’s EV Market, Part VIII — Early Christmas Edition

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The overall German auto market had another positive month in August (+37% year over year), with BEVs being the highlight (+169% YoY, their highest growth rate since June 2021). A total of 86,649 BEVs were registered in August (32% of the auto market). That was their second best result ever. It’s an impressive result, but there is an explanation — BEV subsidies for company cars were cut on September 1st. So, this early EV Christmas will surely be followed by an also early hangover in September.

Meanwhile, PHEVs had 14,552 registrations, or 5.3% of the total market, which is approximately half of what they had a year ago. The pure electric surge added to the plugin hybrid drop is visible in the BEV vs. PHEV sales breakdown, too, with pure electrics representing 86% of all plugin sales in August, 9% above this year’s average.

August’s 37% share pulled the year-to-date score to 24% (19% BEV). A 25–30% result by year end could be not only possible, but is likely.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in Germany — August 2023

With August being the second best month ever for EVs in Germany, records were aplenty, but interestingly, they were more common in the second half of the table (8 models), than in the top half (2 models).

And none of the podium bearers were close to record results. While that would have been expected from the Tesla Model Y, with 4,795 deliveries, due to the fact that August is not a peak quarter month, the #2 VW ID.3 and #3 VW ID.4 performances () were kind of disappointing, especially when we realize that their foreign cousins, the #4 Cupra Born and #5 Skoda Enyaq, hit record results in the same period — 3,478 units in the case of the Spaniard and 3,345 units in the case of the Czech.

(Kind of embarrassing that these two had almost as many sales as the VW ID.3 & ID.4 homeboys, innit?)

Despite not hitting record scores, it was nevertheless interesting that Stellantis placed three models in the top 10, and while it is normal that the Fiat 500e has a regular presence among the top sellers, the #7 Opel Corsa EV and #10 Opel Mokka EV were surprise guests, no doubt connected to August’s EV company car surge.

But the record performance bonanza sits on the lower half of the table, with several domestic compact crossovers reaching new heights, like the #11 Audi Q4 e-tron (2,265 units), #14 Mercedes EQA (2,182 units), #16 VW ID.5 (2,083 units), and #17 BMW iX1 (2,036 units). So, the three premium Marys (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes) are now betting on compact crossovers to pull their sales up.

Elsewhere, Kia also had a great month, with the #15 EV6 sporty-hatchback-disguised-as-a-crossover registering 2,156 units and the company’s more run-of-the-mill sibling, the Kia Niro, also hitting a record result, 1,833 registrations (1,810 of them being BEVs). The #20 Mini Cooper EV also hit a record result, no doubt another model benefitting from the peak surge to dump an extra volume of units into the market.

Probably for the first time ever, all top 20 models in the table were BEVs. But the real highlight of this disruptive month was the fact that we have not one but two Chinese models in the top 20. The #12 ORA Funky Cat (euro-spec ORA Good Cat) scored a record 2,207 registrations, while the #19 BYD Atto 3 (euro-spec BYD Yuan Plus) scored a record 1,985 registrations. Add these two models to the other two made-in-China models in the table (Dacia Spring and Tesla Model 3) and we can see that 20% of the German EV top 20 came from China! Will this preview the future of the German top 20 in a BEV-based mainstream market?

Outside the top 20, unlike what is usual in this time of year, there is a lot to talk about, the highlight being the Stellantis stable. The Jeep Avenger EV registered a record 1,608 deliveries. The little Jeep is showing enough potential to be top 20 material and is easily the best selling small crossover in the Stellantis stable. Another positive surprise was the Citroen e-C4 EV, which scored a record 647 registrations, an impressive result for the quirky hatchback-crossover.

Elsewhere, and back to the theme of China-made EVs, SAIC’s MG4 continues to progress, scoring a record 1,840 registrations. Meanwhile, the new Smart #1 registered a record 1,795 units and the BMW iX3 had a best ever result of 996 registrations, confirming the rise of China as a powerhouse for EVs, either with its own brands or as a key production location for foreign OEMs.

Still in Asia, Hyundai’s baby Porsche Ioniq 6 also recorded a best ever score, 1,411 registrations, and Toyota took profit from peak demand in Germany to get the BZ4X’s best ever result of 908 registrations.

Looking at full size models, the big news is the Mercedes EQE scoring a record 798 registrations — but that still wasn’t enough to beat the steady leader, the Audi Q8 e-tron (905 registrations in August).

Finally, the VW ID.Buzz crossed into four-digit territory for the first time in August, with 1,023 registrations. Despite the unique concept and design (Go MPVs! F*** SUVs!), the high pricing is keeping this lovers van from a better standing in the ranking. Maybe the upcoming LWB version will help things along?

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

Regarding the 2023 table, the Tesla Model Y sits well above everyone else, with a 14,000-unit advantage over the runner-up VW ID.4. This is a disruptive performance for a foreign model in German lands — not only in the EV category, but also in the mainstream market.

Volkswagen Group is also playing its cards, placing five models (the VW ID.3, VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, Audi Q4 e-tron, and Cupra Born) in the top seven positions. The Czech Skoda Enyaq surpassed the Audi Q4 e-tron to rise to #5. The spicy hot Cupra Born continues on the rise, jumping two positions to 7th in August. It was the 5th MEB-platform model to make it into the top 10.

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.

Other position changes happened at #11, with the Mini Cooper EV rising one position, the same as the VW ID.5, which was up to #15. However, the Climber of the Month was the Dacia Spring, which surged seven spots to #13. The runner-up of its category, the ever young Smart Fortwo EV, was just 145 units above it, in #11. Expect the Sino-Romanian to surpass the funky two-seater soon.

Still on the YTD table, we have a return to the top 20, with the Opel Corsa EV returning in #20 thanks to a surprisingly good August.

On a different note, a year ago, we had six PHEVs in the table, whereas now the tally is reduced to just one. And maybe there won’t be any representative soon, as the #17 Mercedes C-Class could be replaced shortly. #Incentivesmatter #OsborneEffect-NewMercedesCLA

Auto Brands Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in Germany

In the brand ranking, leader Volkswagen (12.3%, down from 12.8%) kept the leadership spot, despite meh! results from the ID.3 and ID.4. It kept #2 Mercedes (11%, down from 11.7%) at bay. Despite the loss in share, the three-pointed-star brand was still able to gain some precious ground over #3 Tesla, which was down a full 1%, to 10.1%.

BMW (7.3%) stayed in 4th, maintaining its distance over #5 Audi (6.9%). Interestingly, all of the makes in the top 5 lost share, to the profit of brands below them. That includes rising #6 Hyundai (5.1%, up from 4.9%), which had good performances from the Kona EV and the Ioniq 5 & 6.

Will this mean a more balanced ranking in the future?

Fingers crossed. After all, there was a time when the German EV market was the most balanced and entertaining in the world….

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 28% share. This is despite a 0.8% drop in share in August, with the namesake brand being the main culprit for the eroding market share. Volkswagen Group is followed at a distance by #2 Mercedes-Benz (13.6%, down from 14.3%), with the recent uptick in Smart not having enough weight to sustain the Mercedes drop (those receding PHEV sales…).

We have a position change in the last place on the podium, with Stellantis benefitting from a strong month. It went up from 10.9% in July to its current 12.4% share, thanks to surging sales from Opel, Jeep, and Citroen as well as solid results from Peugeot and Fiat, which allowed the multinational conglomerate to surpass off-peak Tesla (10.1%) and reclaim the bronze medal spot.

In 5th, we have BMW Group at 9.4%, down 0.2% share month over month. Below BMW Group, rising #6 Hyundai–Kia (8.5%, up from 7.7%) is getting closer to a top 5 presence in the near future, thanks to positive performances from both Hyundai and Kia.

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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.

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