Created: 2019-11-26 20:20 | Last change: 2019-11-26 20:42
Something clicked in the German plug-in vehicle market after the summer holidays. The market had a record month (9,452 registrations) in September, and then October came and set a new record, this time 26% above the previous one! 11,926 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) were registered, more than doubling last year’s result. With China’s PEV market in post-subsidy blues, this is a welcome boost to global sales. Now if only the US market helped to carry the burden…
Despite fully electric vehicles (BEVs) continuing to grow at a fast pace, +47% year over year (YoY), this time all the lights were focused on plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), +248%!!! With several models hitting record results, the PEV share reached a record 4.1%. PHEVs alone hit a best ever 2.4%. Following October, the 2019 plug-in share rose to 2.9% (1.7% BEV).
October brought a surprise leader to the monthly leadership, with Mercedes opening the floodgates to the E300e/de twins. The luxury twins hit 1,564 deliveries, a new monthly record for any plug-in hybrid in Germany. Suddenly, the current PEV record of the Tesla Model 3 (2,224 units last March) doesn’t seem so unattainable…
But the Daimler Group didn’t stopped there, with the smaller Mercedes-Benz C300e/de coming out of nowhere to 3rd, with 748 units, a new record for the midsize nameplate. Further, both Smart models shined, with the smaller Fortwo EV ending the month in 4th, with 746 units, its best result since December ’17, while the slightly larger Forfour EV reached 320 units, its best score in 19 months.
The remaining two spots in the top 5 went to the local heroes, the BMW i3 (#2, with 861 registrations) and VW e-Golf (#5, with 723 registrations), with the second one continuing to impress with its vitality even while its successor shows up on billboards everywhere.
Regarding the year-to-date (YTD) table, remember last month when I said the BMW i3 only had a 10% chance of becoming the 2019 best seller?
Well, things have changed for the better for the Bimmer, with the leader Renault Zoe scoring just 458 registrations last month, its lowest result this year, due to the current generation change, and the Tesla Model 3 delivering the usual slow first-month-of-the-quarter performance (221 units). The German hatchback took the opportunity to displace the Californian from the runner-up spot, while at the same time reducing the distance to leader Renault Zoe to just 124 units.
With only two games (months) to play, this is now a 3-horse race, with only 431 units separating the top 3. The BMW i3 continues to depend on two unknown variables: how fast the new Zoe be delivered in large volumes, and whether the Model 3 allocation will be impacted by inflated deliveries in the Netherlands.
If the Zoe and Model 3 underperform next month, then the BMW i3 could earn just enough distance to sustain the December peaks of its two competitors and win the Best Seller prize.
One thing is certain, this is probably the most exciting race among the top markets, so don’t forget to bring the popcorn…
Off the podium, there’s plenty to talk about. The Mercedes-Benz E300e/de twins jumped 4 positions, to #7, and could even aim for a top 5 spot by year end, and that’s despite arch rival BMW 530e also scoring a personal best — but its 543 units pale next to the 1,564 of the Mercedes twins. Anyway, not all is bad, as this performance allowed the 5 Series to climb to #9.
In fact, this result from the 530e was just one out of many record results in the BMW stable, as the Bavarian carmaker apparently also opened its PHEV floodgates, leading to record results for 5(!) of its plug-in hybrids. Besides the aforementioned 530e, the 225xe Active Tourer (592 units), the new 330e (438 units), the new X5 PHEV (76 units), and even the 745e barge (129 units) hit their personal bests last month.
But the PHEV resurgence didn’t ended there, with the #14 Mini Countryman PHEV scoring a record 321 units while the #20 Volvo XC60 PHEV scored a new personal best performance for the 2nd time in a row (158 units).
While we see good performances coming from plug-in hybrids in the top 20, outside the ranking the numbers are also significant: the new Audi Q5 PHEV had 147 registrations, and one of the surprises of the month was the Porsche Cayenne PHEV hitting an amazing 596 units, a new record for any Porsche nameplate.
In the middle of all these PHEV record numbers, there was one BEV also achieving a personal best — the revised Hyundai Ioniq Electric profited from its first full month to score a record 269 registrations.
In the brand ranking, BMW (22%, up 2%) is the clear leader, with Tesla (11%, down 1%) keeping its advantage over #3 Renault (10%, down 1%).
Off the podium, we have Mitsubishi (8%), followed by Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Hyundai, each with 7% share and trying to catch the Japanese brand.