Sales of full electric vehicles (BEVs) were up in September by 33% year over year (YoY). There were 43,692 BEV registrations last month, representing 19% of the overall market. This time, plugin hybrids (PHEVs) also helped, posting a 25% increase, its highest growth rate in a year. Is the announced end of incentives for PHEVs towards the end of the year already impacting the market? Either way, PHEVs had 28,268 registrations, or 13% of the total auto market.
September’s 32% plugin vehicle share pulled the year-to-date score to 29% (16% BEV). A 30%-ish result by year end seems not only possible, but likely.
Tesla Model Y wins the overall market in September
Thanks to a record 9,846 registrations, due to the production ramp-up in Giga Berlin and peak deliveries coming from Giga Shanghai, the Tesla Model Y took away the monthly best seller title in September — not only in the EV segment, but in the overall German auto market!
This is the first time an EV has won the overall best seller prize in Germany, and did so with a 3,000-unit advantage over the runner-up VW Golf!
In a perfect month for Tesla in Germany, the Model 3 was the runner-up model in the EV market, with 3,878 deliveries, allowing it to end in 8th in the overall market. It beat the local competition in the overall midsize car class (i.e., BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class).
The last place on the podium went to the Ford Kuga PHEV (Euro-spec Ford Escape PHEV), which hit a record 2,426 registrations. It kept local hero VW ID.4 off the podium, but the ID.4 nevertheless had reasons to celebrate. It had its best score since December 2020. With greater production output, expect the German crossover to become a regular face in the top positions.
But it wasn’t only the ID.4 providing a good result for Volkswagen, as the VW ID.3 ended the month in 6th, with 1,686 deliveries. That was its best result in 11 months. This all points to the German make recovering its grip on its domestic market.
With the aforementioned Volkswagen models being the only German EVs in the top 10, one wonders when the other German makes, particularly BMW and Mercedes, will place their models above the best sellers.
The second half of the table also saw other models shining, like the #13 BMW i3 with its 1,126 registrations. The future classic Beemer is onto its last, sad swan songs…. (Did I ever mention that the i3 will be missed?) Even so, it more than doubled the sales of BMW’s next best selling BEV, the iX3 (425 units), which raises the question: Who will replace it as the star player? With PHEVs on their way out, and the other EVs (i4, iX3, iX) selling in small volumes, the only hope is the upcoming iX1 small crossover. It has a lot to live up to, but considering the success — or better yet, the lack of success — of its rival Mercedes EQA, currently cruising at some 600 units/month, one wonders if the iX1 will be a worthy successor, sales wise, to the charismatic i3.
Speaking of Mercedes, the #16 E300 PHEV was the automaker’s best selling model, thanks to 1,019 registrations. It lost by fewer than 100 units to the Audi e-tron in the full-size class. Also of interest, the E300’s pure electric alternative, the EQE, had only 354 registrations, a surprisingly low number considering the current tailwinds that BEVs are profiting from. Maybe this has to do with the fact that the EQE lacks a station wagon body?
Still on the subject of station wagons, in #17 we have the recently launched MG 5 hitting a record 1,013 units, the first time SAIC is getting a 4-digit result from one of its models. Uncoincidentally, it got this result with a station wagon EV which is a paradox:
Station wagons are very much a “European thing”, and yet, if you look at the BEV lineups of local OEMs, you will only find one representative, the Porsche Taycan (Cross)Turismo. The Turismo is a) hardly a station wagon, and b) hugely expensive.
On the other hand, station wagons in China are an oddity. Even so, SAIC took the time and money to create a station wagon body out of its 5 sedan, and market it in Europe. And surprise, surprise, MG got success with it!
The fact that European OEMs haven’t made the minimum effort to create a station wagon out of their EVs is beyond comprehension. I mean, how hard would it be to make a station wagon version of the Audi e-tron GT? Or the Polestar 2? Or the VW ID.3? Crossovers are not the solution to everything, people!
Fortunately, Stellantis has plans for BEV versions of its future compact offerings (Peugeot e-308, Opel Astra BEV) set to land next year, but what about the higher categories? Are we going to see BEV station wagon in the midsize and full-size categories? Or do we leave it all to big, fat, hulking crossovers/SUVs?
Something like a Volvo V60 Cross Country does the same as what a crossover does, while being safer and more efficient than most crossovers/SUVs.
Outside the top 20, a highlight was the Renault Megane EV scoring a record 670 registrations, signaling the model’s continuing delivery ramp-up. Its French arch rival, the Peugeot 308 PHEV, also hit a record performance — at a much lower level (318 registrations). The reason for the differences? One being a BEV and the other a PHEV could be one of them. (That Peugeot e-308 can’t come soon enough.)
Finally, a mention goes out to the solid results of the Opel Mokka EV (936 units) and Mini Cooper EV (908 units).
Regarding the 2022 table, there was plenty to talk about. Thanks to its historic result in September, the Tesla Model Y jumped into the leadership position, and with a 6,000-unit advantage over the runner-up Fiat 500e, Tesla can already start to prepare the 2022 Best Seller party for its most recent model, succeeding the 2021 winner, the Tesla Model 3.
Still on the podium, the Tesla Model 3 climbed into 3rd position, displacing the Ford Kuga PHEV which moved to 4th. Thus, there were two Teslas on the German podium.
Elsewhere, Volkswagen Group continued to recover from a slow first half of the year. The VW ID.4 jumped two spots, to 5th, while its smaller sibling, the ID.3, was up to 9th. And their Spanish Cupra Formentor PHEV climbed to 6th.
In the second half of the table, there were more position changes. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is now 13th, while the Mini Cooper EV is up to #17.
The Audi Q4 e-tron is up to #18, and expect the compact Audi to benefit from higher production output to continue climbing the table, possibly reaching a top 15 position by year end.
An interesting note: out of the four D-segment/midsize category representatives (Tesla Model Y & 3, Hyundai Ioniq 5, BMW 3 Series PHEV), only one is from a domestic brand. And with PHEVs losing incentives next year, the prospects for the BMW 3 Series PHEV are small. We could see the all-important midsize segment not having one single German representative next year … in Germany! And while the Mercedes EQC and BMW iX3 would never be top sellers, it is strange that the BMW i4 still hasn’t made an appearance among the best in its domestic market. Is this a case of low production output or not enough demand? Whatever it may be, it is a reason for concern, especially considering that the new generation of German EVs in this category should only land by 2025.
In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (9.5%, up from 9.3%) consolidated its leadership position, while runner-up BMW (8.6%) and #3 Mercedes (8.5%) stayed the same. With both premium brands losing ground and Volkswagen returning to its natural position, the plugin market is getting closer to matching the overall market and less premium heavy.
Off the podium, Tesla (7.1%, up from 5.3%) jumped into the 4th position, surpassing Audi (6.8%) and Hyundai (5.6%, up 0.1%).
As a matter of comparison, the top 3 makes in the overall market are: #1 Volkswagen, #2 Mercedes, #3 Audi.
Looking at the rankings by OEM, the standings remained the same. Volkswagen Group has its domestic market well in hand, having increased its share from 24.1% to 24.4%. It is followed at a distance by Stellantis, while BMW and Mercedes are neck and neck for 4th position.
The #5 Hyundai–Kia (9.6%, up from 9.5%) collab is safe from the #6 Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (7.5%).
Credits: @José Pontes, @CleanTechnica