Tesla high tide, PHEV low tide
In September 2018, the European passenger plug-in market stagnated (+1%), by registering some 32,700 registrations, pulling the Year-to-date count to some 275,000 deliveries, while the 2018 market share is now at 2.2%.
This behavior is not a surprise, as the introduction of the WLTP standard in the beginning of September originated a PHEV sales rush in the previous months, followed by a sudden drop last month (-21% YoY) in the plugin hybrid category.
On the BEV side, it was business as usual (+27%) in September, allowing them to grow their share by +2% regarding the total year breakdown (48% BEV, 52% PHEV), so all-electrics could still win the upper hand over PHEVs this year.
Tesla was a big contributor for the positive performance of BEVs, as the last-month-of-quarter peak was higher than usual, with the Model S being Second Placed in September, while the Model X was Fifth, hitting a record result of 2,453 units.
The PHEV sales drop wasn’t equal across the category, as some brands (BMW, Mitsubishi, Volvo…) did their homework and weren’t affected by the new rules, leading to some brilliant performances in those particular brands, like the #4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:
#1 Nissan Leaf – Europe’s Best Selling PEV model continues to expand its sales, by registering 4,596 units in September, its best result in the last six months, and with the orders list still to be satisfied in a number of countries, expect the Leaf to continue to be the default #1 throughout the year. But back at last month performance, with the main market being by far Norway (1,071 deliveries), but several markets across Europe also reached three-digit performances, like France, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Denmark and Italy.
#2 Tesla Model S – The Sports Sedan had its best month in Europe since December ‘15, thanks to 2,854 deliveries, up 12% YoY. This is an impressive result for the Californian, not only because it’s been around in the Old Continent since 2013, but especially because the Model 3 is just a few months away from crossing The Pond and land on this side of the Atlantic, which could already make a shadow over its older (and more expensive) sibling, eclipsing its sales. So far it hasn’t been the case, with the nameplate’s 2018 sales performance actually growing 11% YoY. Looking at individual countries, besides Norway’s usual contribution (782 units), the Netherlands have registered a record month, with 1,052 deliveries, while Sweden and the UK also had significant contributions, with over 150 registrations in both countries.
#3 Renault Zoe – The September 2,762 deliveries meant a 22% growth YoY for the French hatchback and is expected continue with a steady growth until the revised model arrives next year. Anyways, regarding September individual market performances, the domestic market did the usual heavy lifting, by registering 1,482 units (+17% YoY), with other significant numbers coming from Germany (328 units), Norway (386, Year Best), and Sweden (191, new record for the third time in a row).
#4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – Solid as a rock, and with the help of a revised version, the Japanese SUV secured yet another Best-Selling PHEV of the Month award and a Top 5 presence in September, thanks to 2,595 registrations, up 22%, being the nameplate highest result since March ‘16. The plug-in SUV will continue to offer its unique mix of space, AWD and affordability (40.000€), with the added bonus of a larger electric range (28 mi/45 kms real world range) and more power (+15 hp) at hand, keeping it popular in markets like the UK, Norway or Sweden. Going forward, the Japanese SUV is expected to keep wearing its Europe’s Best-Selling PHEV crown in the foreseeable future.
#5 Tesla Model X – The Sports SUV had its best result ever in Europe, thanks to 2,453 deliveries, up 18% YoY. It seems the nameplate is starting to catch on in Europe, so expect a slow, but steady, growth in the near future, possibly surpassing its Model S sibling next year. Looking at individual countries, Norway was the largest market (1,234 units), while the Netherlands has registered a record month, with 593 deliveries.
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Tesla and BMWs shine
Looking at the 2018 ranking, with all the unusual results mentioned above, there is a lot to talk about, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV climbed to #4, surpassing the VW e-Golf, that had its worst result in a year (839 units), while both Tesla’s jumped positions, with the Model S rising to #6, while the Model X jumped 5 positions, to #8.
Elsewhere, several models from the BMW Group continued climbing positions, with the Mini Countryman PHEV reaching #15, the BMW 530e is now #12, thanks to a record 1,839 deliveries, while the hot-selling MPV, the 225xe Active Tourer climbed to #10, beating once again its personal record, with 1,578 units. Even the quirky i3 had a record result, with 2,412 deliveries, 5 years after its arrival to the market.
On the other hand, Volkswagen had a terrible month, besides the unexpected slow month of the e-Golf, both their plugin hybrids had low results, with the Golf GTE registering 393 units, its worst performance in 18 months, while the Passat GTE scored 591 units, its lowest result since February ’16.
Outside the Top 20, the Hyundai Kona EV is ramping up deliveries, having reached 606 units last month, while the Jaguar i-Pace is also increasing the sales pace, by registering 407 units in September.
Looking at the manufacturers ranking, last year winner BMW (17%) is in the lead, while the runner-up Volkswagen (13%), is watching the #3 Nissan (11%) with a close eye, with Renault (9%) in a distant Fourth, ahead of Tesla (7%).