Thursday, April 22, 2021

China March 2021

11% share!

Plugins are a hot item in China, having scored a near-record 211,000 units last month, jumping 244% regarding the same month last year, making it the second best month ever, only behind last December. 

Last month plugin share reached the two-digits mark for the first time ever, by hitting 11% (9.2% BEV), pulling the 2021 share to 10% (8% BEV), and considering January and February are China's weakest months, we can now safely assume that the local plugin market share will end North of the two-digits mark this year, and the total tally of the year will exceed 2 million deliveries!

After Europe, #EVDisruption is now reaching China... 

Looking at March Best Sellers were exacly the same as February, and in the same order, with the Wuling Mini EV leading the pack, followed by both Teslas in the remaining podium positions.

Here’s March Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:


#1 – Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

After a small break in February, the Wuling EV is back at full speed, scoring a record 39,745 units last month, resuming its long streak of records, and allowing it to reach the 3rd spot in the overall market, with the little Wuling selling some 270,000 units in 270 days, meaning that if the tiny four-seater continues to grow at this pace, a half a million score by the end of the year seems not only feasible, but likely. The Wuling EV is becoming a disruptive force in urban mobility, a true EV for the masses, and unlike what many might think, its success isn't just happening in the poorer regions of China, as the tiny EV is also selling well in places like Tianjin (3rd Best Selling EV), Guangdong (#2), or Fujian (#1), and like a certain 1959 model bearing the same name, or the original bug-named VW, the Wuling Mini EV is becoming a sort of icon for classless transportation, as the people buying it (mostly females, mostly under 35 year olds) are usually a hard to capture audience. This EV has a lot to become a game changer, and not only in China...


#2 – Tesla Model 3

The poster child for electric mobility hit a record 25,327 units last month, allowing it to reach the 11th spot in the overall market, a rather surprising result in retrospective of past performances, and considering that MiC Model 3 are now being exported to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, we might start to see end-of-quarter peak deliveries in China, replicating the behavior of the US-made Model 3. Something we will no doubt have the opportunity to check in the next couple of quarters...

#3 – Tesla Model Y

Tesla's new baby hit 10,151 units last month, and while it’s not (yet) a Model 3-beating score, it means that the production ramp-up is going smoothly and should hit its peak during the second quarter of the year. Tesla’s midsize crossover future cruise speed in China is a question mark, while traditionally SUVs/Crossovers haven't sold as much as their sedan counterparts, the truth is that the market is leaning towards higher riding bodies, so the Model Y could surf the wave and outsell the Model 3 by some margin. 

#4 – Great Wall ORA Black Cat (R1)

Ora's ever-growing Cat Pack (the VW-Beetle inspired Punk Cat has just been presented at the Shanghai Auto Show), is becoming quite popular, and none of them has been as popular as the tiny Black Cat, that delivered 8,527 units in March, allowing the Great Wall model to continue in the forefront of the resurgence of City EVs and might reach new heights soon, say maybe...10,000 units-plus in April?.

#5 – BYD Han EV

The successful career of BYD’s luxury sedan in China has been resumed in March, by delivering 7,956 units, enough to beat the 2nd best selling full-size model (Li Xiang One) by a sizeable margin, as the big SUV ended some 3,000 units behind. The current poster-boy for BYD is expected to continuing thriving in the foreseeable future, keeping the category leadership with an iron fist.

Looking at the remaining Best Sellers table in March, a mention to the rise and rise of the small Changan Benni EV, with 4,076 units, its 3rd record performance in a row, allowing the Toyota Yaris-like hatchback to reach the 9th position last month, and raising the question if we aren't witnessing the rise of a new star in the competitive Chinese EV market...Discuss.

Another model with surging sales is the new BMW iX3, 10th last month with a record 3,519 units, with the midsize SUV now being BMW's main bet in China, and the only other foreign model on the table, besides the Tesla siblings. 

Local startups continue to shine, and the highlight of the month belonged to Hozon's small Neta V, that scored a record 3,206 units, while in total we had 7 representatives from 6 different startups in the table, with the highest placed being the #7 Li Xiang One (4,900 units), this is creating an interesting phenomenon, while established Chinese makers (FAW, Dongfeng, etc) are apparently oblivious to the current NEV wave, it's smaller makers, like BYD, and the local startups that are filling the empty space. The most bizarre example is Geely, owner of Volvo and Polestar, two brands that are heavy on plugins, and inclusively Geely itself is leading plugin markets in places like Russia and Belarus, and yet, in its home market, it has less than 1% share...

Speaking of BYD, after a quick transition into the new Blade Battery in its lineup, the new policy is now starting to bear its first fruits, with the new BYD D1 people carrier showing up in #16, thanks to 2,796 units, its fourth record result in a row, while the new Qin Plus PHEV had its first volume month, allowing it to show up in #18, with 2,509 units.

Below the Top 20, a reference to the ramp-up of ORA's White Cat (2,406 units) and Good Cat (2,116), while the VW Magotan PHEV (Euro-spec Passat, but made in China) hit a record 2,352 units, and still on the Volkswagen stable, a mention to the ramp-up of the ID.4, that reached 990 units last month

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the Wuling Mini EV is the undisputed leader, and the same can be said about the runner-up Tesla Model 3, so unless something unexpected occurs, the top two positions are already taken for

Below it, the Climber of the Month was once again the Tesla Model Y, that jumped four positions, into #5, and this was the only change in the Top 10.

There wasn't also much to talk about on the second half of the table, the NIO ES6 climbed to #11, while the BMW iX3 joined the table, in #16, interestingly, all three climbers in this Top 20 were high end midsize SUVs...A coincidence?   

Just outside the Top 20, we have two models on the rise, with the #21 BYD D1 just 767 units behind the #20 Ora Good Cat, so the MPV might already join the table in April, while the small Leap Motor T03 could also reach the Top 20 soon, with the startup model only 1,074 units below the table.

Looking at the makers ranking, the SGMW joint-venture (21%, down 1%) is in the leadership, while below it, Tesla (14%, up 2%) is now firmly in the 2nd spot, ahead of BYD (11%).

Below the podium, SAIC (7%, down 1%) is 4th, followed by the #5 Great Wall (6%) and the #6 NIO (5%)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Germany March 2021

Tesla Model 3 wins in March, but Volkswagen leads the way 

The German plugin market scored over 65,000 units last month, with both technologies rising fast, particularly plugin hybrids (+191% for BEVs and +278% YoY for PHEVs), with last month plugin share ending at 23% (10% BEV), pulling slightly up the yearly tally, to 22% (9.9% BEV), so this market sits firmly in The Disruption Zone.

And in a rebounding overall market (+36% YoY), petrol failed (+7% YoY) to profit from it, while diesel is helplessly in a hell hole (-5%), with its sales continuing to fall, even in the context of a recovering market.

Looking at last month Best Sellers, in March we had a surprise winner, with the Tesla Model 3 beating its Volkswagen arch-rival, the... e-Up! Wait, what?!?

Yep, by registering 3,599 units in March, its second record performance in a row(!), the veteran model (VW's city car is on the market for 10 years now, and its EV version exists since 2013), not only put to shame its larger siblings, namely the #5 VW ID.3, but was close (it ended just 100 units behind) from stealing the thunder from a record-setting Tesla Model 3...

Prost for the tiny EV, which is still my favorite VW, as it is the closest we have from the original VW Beetle concept: Cheap, no-frills and reliable transportation for das Volk.

In the 3rd spot we have another surprise, with the Hyundai Kona EV returning to form, thanks to a record 3,237 registrations, banking on its competitive km range per euro score to win its first monthly podium seat since November.

Below the podium Top Sellers, the 4th place went to another record setting Volkswagen, with the new Golf PHEV winning the Best Seller award in the PHEV category, with 2,792 units, while last year Best Seller, the Renault Zoe, had to settle with an 8th spot, with the French hatchback failing to follow the pace of the Model 3 and the VW armada that followed it.

The Mini Cooper EV jumped to 9th, thanks to a record 1,674 deliveries, thus making 7 BEVs in the in the Top 9, but below it, it's a sea of PHEVs, with the only exceptions being the #16 BMW i3, which reflects one if the current market trends, while the BEV market is concentrated (almost literally) in half a dozen models, the models choice in the plugin hybrid field is far greater and spanning through much a wider type of customers and needs, leading to a more diversified market.

One example is the fact that the VW Golf PHEVs cousin models are all present in the Top 20 (Audi A3 in #12, Seat Leon PHEV in #18 and Skoda Octavia in #19), while the VW ID.3 MEB platform siblings are still either in different stages of production ramp-up (VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq), just being presented (Audi Q4 e-Tron) or still under wraps (Seat/Cupra El-Born), and this exercise can be replicated in a number of other OEMs, true BEV takeover of the market will only be possible when pure-electric model choice is nearly as complete as PHEV or ICE models. No one-size-fits all recipe will work, wether some people like it or not.

Outside this Top 20, a mention to the continuous ramp-up of the Fiat 500e, now at 748 units, while two other models are also ramping up their deliveries, with the Opel Mokka EV now at 526 units, while the VW Tiguan PHEV had 548 deliveries.

Regarding the 2021 table, we now have the tiny VW e-Up on top, with a sizeable distance (1,229 units) over the rising Tesla Model 3, relegating the previous leader, the VW ID.3, to 3rd. We were expecting more, ID.3...

Another model on the rise was the Hyundai Kona EV, up 2 spots, to 4th, while the VW Passat PHEV climbed to #6, thus making 4 VW's in the Top 6.

On the second half of the table, the Mercedes E300e/de jumped three spots, to #11, and is now the only full size model in the table. 

Highlighting the good moment of the VW Group, besides the Volkswagen models in the Top 20, we should mention the Audi A3 PHEV jumping from #20 to #15 last month, all while their Czech and Spanish cousins joined the table, with the Skoda Octavia PHEV jumping to #18, and the Seat Leon PHEV to #20.

But these weren't the only new faces on the table, as the Mercedes A250e re-joined the table,in #16, while the Mini Cooper EV slalomed its way through a forest of PHEVs to end the month in #17. 

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (18%, down 1%) is clearly leading its home market, followed by Mercedes (11%, up 1%) and BMW (9%), while #4 Audi (7%, down 1%) is not too far away.

Further behind, Hyundai and Renault, both with 5% share, seem unable to threaten the grip that the local heroes have on the German plugin market. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

France March 2021


Tesla Model 3 #1 in France! 

In a red hot market, where BEVs jumped 183% YoY and PHEVs shooted 6-fold in March, plugin sales had their second best month ever, with 29,737 units, allowing the plugin share to reach 16% last month (8.5% BEV), pulling the YTD share to a record 14% (6.9% BEV), which is already a 3% increase over the 2020 result (11%), and the 20% share i predicted for the whole of this year looks well on target. 

So, this is what Disruption looks like... 

...And Disruption is on display on the last month Best Sellers table, with the highlight being the extraordinary performance of the Tesla Model 3, with the 4,524 deliveries allowing it to become the first foreign model to win Gold in France, with almost 3x as much units as the runner-up Peugeot 208 EV, but also allowing it to join for the first time the Top 10 in the overall market (it was 9th), AND being March's Best Selling Foreign model in France, period. 

This is a true historic moment, putting this into context to our US readers, this is like the VW ID.4 in a few months beating the Tesla Model 3 in the USA. Unimaginable, right? Well, that's what happened here to the once all-conquering Renault Zoe...

And adding insult to injury, the Zoe once again failed to win a podium seat, as the remaining podium positions were to the arch-rival Peugeot, with the small 208 EV winning Silver and the crossover 3008 PHEV taking Bronze, thanks to a record 1,571 units, beating the Renault models in both BEV and PHEV categories.

But not all were bad news for Renault, the #6 Renault Twingo EV managed to keep its Stellantis rival Fiat 500e at bay, while the compact Megane PHEV joined the table for the first time, in #19, thanks to a record 423 units.   

One of the problems that Renault has in its home market, is that it's holding on the fort almost by its own, as Mitsubishi is basically a non-entity in France, Nissan is living from (hard) discounting the Leaf, and the Dacia Spring is still in its first baby steps, while on the other side of the wall, the Stellantis conglomerate had 7 models from 5 different brands in the March Top 20, 3 (Peugeot 3008 PHEV, Peugeot 2008 EV and Jeep Compass PHEV) of them with record performances. They even allowed themselves to grant Opel an off month...Impressive stuff, isn't it? 

Elsewhere, a mention to the record score of the Mercedes GLC300e/de, with 778 registrations, while the Mini Cooper EV joined the table, in #16, thanks to a record 499 deliveries, and the VW ID.3 showed up in (a still discreet) #13, but Volkswagen has brighter news elsewhere, the VW Tiguan PHEV landed on the market immediately in #20, with 417 registrations in March, only 9 units ahead of another Volkswagen landing, with the much antecipated ID.4 starting its career in #21, with 408 units, just one unit ahead of the #22 VW Golf PHEV. Maybe one of the reasons for the ID.3 below par performances has to do with internal competition?

Still below the Top 20, a mention to the 360 deliveries of the Audi A3 PHEV, a new record for the nameplate, while the BMW X1 PHEV had 376 registrations, which could mean that the compact Beemer might show up on the table soon.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, once again the main news is the disruptive force of the Tesla Model 3, that shooted for the leadership, not only of the plugin market, but more importantly, on the overall midsize market, profiting from last month unusual high tide to secure the midsize leadership, with twice the amount of units of the runner-up Peugeot 508 (2,326 registrations). Funny enough, the French midsizer has 42% of its sales coming from their PHEV versions, which speaks volumes about the current electrification transition happening now.

Another model jumping positions is the Mercedes GLC300e/de, going up from #15 to #11. 

In the city car category, the Renault Twingo EV climbed one position and gained some distance from the #8 Fiat 500e.  

On the second half of the table, we now have the VW ID.3 up to #15, while March saw 3 models joining the table, with the Nissan Leaf in #18, the Mini Cooper EV in #19 and the Renault Megane PHEV in #20.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the leader Peugeot dropped 4% in share, to 18%, but it is (still) enough to stay ahead of the runner-up Renault (15%, down 1%), while Tesla (9% share, up 5%) is now closing the podium, ahead of Kia and Volkswagen, both with 5% each.

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force, with a commanding 31% share, with the Renault-Nissan Alliance far behind, with only 16%, while the best foreign OEM is the Volkswagen Group, with 11% share.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Netherlands March 2021

 Tesla Model 3 and VW ID.4 shine

The Dutch PEV market dropped 4% in March, to 4,834 plugin registrations, but that result wasn't all that bad, considering that the overall market fell even more (-18% YoY), placing last month PEV Share at 20% (9% BEV), pushing the year to date PEV share to 15% (5.6% BEV), which is still significantly down on last year result (25%), but already on par with the 2019 score (15%).

Considering that the first quarter of the year is always the weakest, and the last the strongest, to make this a fairer comparison, it's best to compare the current share with what was going on 12 months ago, and by doing so, we can see positive results, as the market share grew by 3% YoY (15% vs 12%) in Q1, although one must say that BEVs have seen their share fall (9% a year ago vs the current 5.6%), so the market's motor of growth are actually PHEVs...

Breaking down registrations between each plugin powertrain, BEVs recovered a bit, and are now responsible for 37%, a 5% recovery, but they are far from the 75%  of 12 months ago, and even further away from the final 82% of 2020, expect pure electrics to continue recovering ground throughout the year, but one thing looks certain, with BEVs gradually losing their fiscal incentives year after year, plugin hybrids are recovering their space in the market, highlighting just how sensitive to incentives the plugin market still is.

In March, the leader was the Tesla Model 3, scoring its first win since September, this time with 341 units, relegating the previous leader Volvo XC40 PHEV to the second spot, while in 3rd we have the VW ID.4, that after a surprise landing last December (#4, with 2,408 units), has finally started its regular career, and with a podium standing, while its sibling ID.3 has failed to show in the Top 20...

Outside the podium, in the 4th place we have a surprise, with the Ford Kuga PHEV scoring its best result since last July (179 units), while in #6 we have the BMW iX3 showing up for the first time on the table, thanks to a record 159 registrations, and the veteran Nissan "Abe Simpson" Leaf is teaching the young ones a thing or two ("Now, when i was a young boy, Abraham Lincoln showed up in my dreams and...Hey! Who stole my rear bumper?!?!?"), about sales and last month had its best result this year, with 134 units.

The second half of the table also had a few surprises, like the Mercedes A250e showing up in #12, with a record 101 registrations, and two Opel's in the table, with the SUV Grandland X PHEV in #14, with a record 95 units, while the small crossover Mokka EV landed in #17, with 83 units, a promising start for the attractive Opel. 

Speaking of new models, March witnessed the landing of two other nameplates that might show up on the Top 20 soon, with the Kia Sorento PHEV starting its career with 54 registrations, while the Mercedes EQA had its first 38 registrations in this market. After its older brother EQC discreet career on the market (insert short range comment), Mercedes hopes the EQA to become its volume mover on this market, where the three-pointed-star brand trails (way) behind its arch-rival BMW. 

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the two main candidates for the 2021 Best Seller prize have finally came out to play, with the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.4 jumping to the 3rd and 4th positions, respectively. 

Another model climbing was the Ford Kuga PHEV, that jumped four positions, to #5, while the Renault Captur PHEV joined the table, in #12.

But the momentum belonged to BEVs, besides the aforementioned Tesla Model 3 and VW ID.4, the BMW iX3 also joined the table, in #17, while there were several pure electric models climbing positions, like the Kia Niro EV (up 2 spots, to #9), Volvo XC40 EV (up to #11), or the Polestar 2 (from #18 to #15). After starting the year with just 5 representatives, BEVs now have 8 in the Top 20, and they should be the majority by June...    

In the manufacturers ranking, Volvo (17%, down 1%) is firm as the Number One brand, with BMW (14%, down 1%) in the runner-up position, while a distant Volkswagen (5%, up 2%) now closes the podium, ahead of Renault and Kia, both with 4%.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Global Top 20 - February 2021


Models: Tesla and the Chinese take the spotlight

Registrations were up for an impressive 136% last month, to some 270.000 units, with BEVs in particular jumping 139%, to some 173.000 units, and with February being usually the lowest volume month, expect from then on numbers to jump over 300.000 units per month in the remainder of the year, so we might be seeing the plugin market hit some 4,5 million (5 million?) this year

On the other hand, with the current sales drops pushing down the overall automotive market, the 2021 PEV share is now at 4.6% (3% BEV), which is already above the 4% of last year, and expect it to continue growing throughout the year, to a large single digit number, as Disruption (eg, two digit market shares) on a global level is looking set to happen in 2022...

The future will depend much on the development of the pandemic and the seriousness of the economic crisis, but whatever happens, expect plugins to weather the storm better than the overall market, increasing its PEV share on the way.

After a brief interruption in January, the Tesla Model 3 returned to the monthly leadeship in February, but the rising star is its Model Y sibling, with the sports crossover in 3rd, thus making two Teslas in the podium.

Interestingly, the other three models on the February Best Sellers list are all Chinese, with the highlight being the full-size #5 BYD Han EV, with 4.100 units (the PHEV Han had 928 units), with the big BYD now ruling the full-size category.

But the most significant result was the 6th spot of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, that delivered 4.023 units in its first real month on the market, losing a Top 5 presence by just 77 units, and becoming immediately the Best Selling model from a Legacy OEM. A sign of things to come?

On the PHEV side, the Best Selling model was the Volvo XC60 PHEV (3.904 units), with Swedish maker making a 1-2 win last month, as the Volvo XC40 PHEV (3.768) was the category runner-up model. 

On the YTD table, the Tesla Model 3 is still in 2nd place, but has reduced the distance to ther #1 Wuling Mini EV by 8k units and should leap ahead of the tiny Chinese EV in March, thanks to the usual end of quarter Tesla high tide.

The Tesla Model Y has secured its Bronze Medal position, distancing itself from the #4 BYD Han EV, while the first position change happened in #7, with the Volvo XC60 PHEV jumping ahead of the Li Xiang One and BMW 530e/Le, with the Swedish SUV becoming the new leader of the PHEV category, and highlighting Volvo's good moment, the XC40 PHEV was also up, from #15, to #11, thus making two models of the maker in the Top 4 PHEV positions.

The BEV side also had several changes, with several Best Sellers recovering from a poor January performance, like the Nissan Leaf, that jumped 4 spots, to #10, or the Audi e-Tron, that was up 3 places, to #13. 

Others re-joined the table, like it was the case of the Volkswagen ID.3, that jumped to #15, or the Hyundai Kona EV, now in #17.

Still, many of them are still frankly below their 2020 positions, like the Renault Zoe, currently in #12, but 3rd last year, the VW ID.3, #6 last year but now only #15, or the Hyundai Kona EV, 5th then, and only #17 now. While the VW ID.3 should recover during the year to reach (or beat) last year standing, both the Korean and French model will have a hard time to recover their former glory.

Another highlight in February was the Changan Benni EV, that scored a record 3.304 units, allowing it to join the table in #18, being the 7th Chinese model on the table.

Outside the Top 20, two models are set to join the table soon, with the #21 Peugeot 208 EV some 300 units behind the #20 BMW 330e, while the Ford Mustang Mach-e (4.321 units in 2021) could also jump to a Top 20 position next month.

Looking at each category BEV leaders, the Wuling Mini EV reigns supreme in the City EV category (A segment), the Renault Zoe is some 500 units ahead of the Hyundai Kona EV, in the B segment, while on the compact category, we have a surprise, with the veteran Nissan Leaf ahead of the VW ID.3, by some 800 units (to be recovered in March?), the midsize category (D segment) has both Teslas comfortably on top, and in the full size category (E/F segments), the BYD Han EV is a clear leader, almost doubling the sales of the #2 Audi e-Tron, while selling 3x as much as the category 3rd placed, the Porsche Taycan (4.265 units).


Manufacturers: Tesla returns to #1

Tesla's February score (42.679 units) allowed it to recover the leadership position from the SGMW joint-venture, with both brands counted together having almost a quarter of the market (23%)

BMW profited from a slower month from BYD to cement its Bronze Medal position, while both Volkswagen and Volvo jumped two spots last month, with the first going up to #5, while the second climbed to #6. Highlighting the VW Group current recovery mode, after a January in hangover mode, Audi was also up in February, in this case, to 9th. 

On the second half of the table, Renault was up two spots, to #13, which is still down 6 spots on its 7th position of 2020, while Hyundai climbed to #18, 7 places down on its 2020 standing. It seems it wasn't only Volkswagen experiencing serious hangover effects in January...

A rather surprising rise in the table was Toyota going up 3 places, to #15, with its RAV4 PHEV adding precious volumes to the Japanese maker Chinese operations. 

Ford joined the table, in #17, thanks to 6.680 units, its second best score ever (July 2020 is the current peak, with 7.289 units), and with the Mustang Mach-e production ramp up now in full motion, expect the Dearborn maker to beat its current record soon, while jumping a few more positions during the next couple of months.

Outside the Top 20, a reference to a recovering #21 Nissan, now only 500 units away from a Top 20 spot, while the rising #23 Changan could reach the table in the coming months.

In a brief view of the OEM standings, SAIC (14%) is still ahead, but has Tesla (13%) knocking on its door and should surpass it next month, while the VW Group (11%) is also in recovery mode, and while it shouldn't be enough to surpass the Chinese maker, it should recover some ground. One thing is certain, as things look now, these three OEMs should have an entertaining race to follow throughout the year. (Bring on the popcorn!)

Friday, March 26, 2021

Europe February 2021

Tesla Model 3 wins in February

Despite a depressing overall market (-20% YoY in February), the European passenger plugin market continues on the rise, having registered over 115,000 units in February (+66% YoY), placing last month plugin share at 14% share (5.9% BEV), keeping the 2021 PEV share at 14% (5.7% for BEVs alone).

This solid sales growth was mostly due to PHEVs, that have seen their sales jump by 117% YoY, to 65,581 units, while BEVs (50,246 units) have grown a more moderate 27% last month, confirming plugin hybrids as the major growth source for plugins in these first stages of 2021.

With the first 2021 fresh units coming from Fremont (and Shanghai), the Model 3 won last month Best Seller title, its first since last September, with Tesla's expected high tide in March, and the competition still recovering from the December peak, the sports sedan should win another trophy next month.

Last month we had the Peugeot 208 EV joining the Best Sellers list, being one of the most interesting small BEVs around, the French hatchback crossed 2020 living in the shadow of its arch rival Renault Zoe success, but this year, both models are closer, so 2021 could be the little Pug breakout year. 

Looking at February Top 5 Models:

#1 Tesla Model 3 – The sports sedan returned to form, by having 5,506 deliveries last month, allowing it to have its first monthly win since last September, which is a promising sign for the upcoming March high tide, where over 15,000 deliveries seem like a realistic target. Regarding February, the Model 3 main markets were Germany (1,910 units) and France (1,166), with Austria (369) and Norway (334) folowing at some distance.

#2 Volkswagen ID.3 – The pull forward stunt of last December had its downside in January, when the German hatchback was just 5th, but fast forward to February and recovery is now on its way, with the VW model scoring 3,808 deliveries. We believe that by March we should finally start to see the real demand level of the electric hatchback. Back to February, Germany was by far the best market for the Volkswagen nameplate, with 1,892 deliveries, followed by France (361 units) and Austria (260). 

#3 Renault Zoe – The low 3,620 deliveries number show that the French hatchback is yet to recover from the last year end peak effort, but we should wait for March final results before jumping into conclusions, as Renault is known for unexpected end-of-quarter peaks. Last month, the main markets were the usual, with Germany (1,424 units) leading, followed by France (1,074), while Italy (285), was a distant 3rd

#4 Volvo XC40 PHEV - The smallest of Volvo's PHEV lineup is now the PHEV du jour in Europe, as the carmaker sees their plugin hybrid versions as just another trimline in Europe, facilitating sales across its lineup, especially of the XC40, that sits at the heart of the hot compact SUV category. In February the Belgian-built Volvo scored 3,602 registrations, earning its 2nd Best Selling PHEV title in a row. The markets where the Volvo plugin was in high rotation were Germany (529 units), Italy (518), Sweden (447) and France (371). Without production constraints and currently experiencing strong demand, the compact Volvo is a strong candidate for the 2021 PHEV Best Seller title. 

#Peugeot 208 EV – Thanks to a competitive package (50 kWh battery, 100 kW charging rate) and distinctive design, much was expected from the small Peugeot last year, but ending 2020 in a low 8th spot, with a third of its arch rival Renault Zoe registrations, one couldn't say that the Peugeot model had set the market on fire...Several reasons might explain this, but the truth is that this year things should be looking better, with February signaling the 208 EV first Top 5 presence in 12 months. Last month, the French EV registered 3,062 units, with the biggest market being its homeland France, with 1,484 registrations, followed by Germany, with 596 units, and Italy (184 units).

Looking at the remaining February table, the highlights show up on the lower half, with the VW Golf PHEV showing in in #15, immediately followed by the #16 Fiat 500e, with the Italian EV now aiming to displace the VW e-Up from the City car leadership, although the Smart Fortwo EV, 18th last month, might still have a word to say in this race, set to be one of the most thrilling categories of the year.

Outside the Top 20, a mention to the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, as the Japanese maker continues to (slowly) ramp up the deliveries of its RAV4 PHEV model, reaching 1,444 units last month, a new record for the Japanese SUV. Will we see it on the table soon?

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the main news was the Tesla Model 3 shooting to #3, with the sports sedan on its way to the leadership in March, while the VW ID.3 also improved its standing, climbing one position, to 4th.

Same thing for the Peugeot 208 EV, that was up one spot, from #6 to #5, while the Volvo XC60 PHEV jumped 4 positions, joining the Top 10, in 9th, highlighting Volvo's good moment. 

On the second half of the table, the small VW e-Up joined the table in #15, stealing the City car Best Seller status from the #18 Smart Fortwo EV, while the new Fiat 500e joined the table for the first time, in #20, with the category title promising to be hardly fought between these 3 models (Last year's title went for the VW e-Up, beating the Smart Fortwo EV by 2,000 units - 22k vs 20k).

Outside the Top 20, there are two PHEVs set to join the table soon, with the #21 VW Golf PHEV only 97 units below the #20 Fiat 500e, while the #22 BMW X5 PHEV is only 172 units behind

In the brands ranking, balance is the word, with 6 brands separated by just 3%, in the lead we have BMW (10%), immediately followed by Volkswagen and Mercedes, both with 9% share, then we have the #4 Volvo, with 8% (up 2%), while in tied in 5th, we have Peugeot and Renault, both with 7% share. 

Oh, and don't forget that Tesla (3%) should join the pack in March...Now this is what i call an entertaining race!

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsize sedan is now firm in the leadership, having won a sizeable distance to the competition in February, with over 4,500 units now separating it from the runner-up spot, and has seen its sales increase 54% YoY last month, highlighting the fact that it won't have significant competition in the next few months, as the Tesla Model Y will only land in the second half of the year.

The Polestar 2 (1,171 units last month) is the new 2nd placed, having surpassed the Mercedes EQC in February, with the Sino-Swede now having a 393 units advantage over the Mercedes SUV, that has delivered 698 units last month, a mere 3% increase YoY, so it seems that the German EV has already found its (low) cruise speed.

With the only other significant midsize BEV, the Jaguar i-Pace, selling at a slower pace than these two (393 units last month), the Polestar model can only fear the Ford Mustang Mach-E in the race for the Best Selling Non-Tesla title, as the existing competition doesn't seem to pose a threat to it and the upcoming BMW i4 will be delivered too late in the year to make up for the lost time.

BEV E/F-Segment / Full size category

The e-Tron domination is unquestionable but its seemingly never ending growth seems to have finally stopped, with the Big Audi scoring 2,351 units last month, representing a 6% sales drop YoY, but despite this, the Audi SUV seems destined to win another category title this year, with Tesla basically giving up on the Model S & X for the first half of the year, what they will recover in the second half of the year, shouldn't be enough to compensate for the drought in the first half, while the #2 model, the Porsche Taycan (724 units last month) is too niche to go head to head with the e-Tron in the sales charts.

Regarding the remaining competition, the Mercedes EQV Luxury Van is still in 3rd place, with 308 units, but shouldn't be here for long, as the Audi e-Tron GT just landed in February, with its first registrations (212 of them) in Germany, no doubt demonstration units, so expect the Taycan sibling to jump into the Bronze medal spot soon, thus making a 1-2-3 lead for the VW Group.

Finally, a note regarding the upcoming Mercedes EQS, while its design looks promising, i think Mercedes is making a mistake by marketing it as a don't call it a hatchback fastback sedan. Considering the general proportions of the car, i think the right way to market it would be as a Sports Wagon. A bit like Porsche does with the Panamera Sport Turismo (and upcoming Taycan Sport/Cross Turismo), the EQS reminds more of a sports wagon than a big fastback a la Tesla Model S (or Porsche Panamera, if you prefer). Anyway, the EQS should remain a niche model, the real test for Mercedes will be the 2022 EQE, that model will have to fill some really big shoes, as the regular Mercedes E-Series has been the category Best Selling model for decades...So anything less than the Number One position for the EQE will be seen as failure by Mercedes management. No pressure, EQE, no pressure...