Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Europe March 2020

10% Share! 

The European passenger plug-in market registered 84,000 registrations in March (+41%), a great performance consindering the effect that the several lockdowns across the continente had, with the overall market crashing (-52% YoY), inflating last month plugin share to an amazing 9.9% share (6% BEV), and pulling the 2020 PEV share to 7.5% (4.3% for BEVs alone), well above the 3.6% result of 2019.

Will we see Europe's plugin market hit two digit share this year? 

The big news in March is the peak month of the Tesla Model 3, that delivered 16,121 registrations, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV returned to the podium, thanks to 3,551 units, while below it, we have two Volkswagen Group models, with the VW e-Golf in #4 and the Audi e-Tron in 5th.

Looking at March Top 5 Models:

#1 Tesla Model 3 – The usual end-of-quarter flood came for the electromobility posterchild, with 16,121 deliveries, with the sports sedan winning its first European Best Seller title in 2020. The rabbit out of Tesla's hat last month was the UK, with the Californian registering a record 4,718 units there, but that wasn't the only 4-digit performance, with 2,034 deliveries being recorded in Germany, 1,385 units in France (new record), 1,339 in the Netherlands and a best ever 1,084 units in Sweden.  

#2 Renault Zoe – The 4,334 deliveries of March were ever so slightly below last year result (4,361 units a year ago), but once the market returns to normal (June?), expect the French hatchback to return to the growth path. As for individual market performances, the Renault EV continues strong in its domestic market (1,744 units), and in Germany (945 units), with the surprise coming from Sweden, with 310 units.

#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV– Last month, the Japanese SUV had its first podium in 9 months, thanks to 3,551 units, incidentally also its best score in 9 months, with the Mitsubishi workhorse benefitting from its unbeatable formula (plenty of utility and space for the money) to continue running with the best BEVs, being the only plugin hybrid able to do so. Looking at individual countries, the UK (1,000 units) and Germany (582) were its largest markets, with Norway also helping significantly, thanks to 481 registrations.

#4 Audi e-Tron – Thanks to a number of impressive performances, the big Audi is becoming the talk of the town, with March registering 3,522 units, winning its first Top 5 presence this year. And while many of them (1,681 units) went to Norway, the fact is that the e-Tron has great prospects for 2020, thanks to the success of the new (and cheaper) 71 kWh battery version and the launch of the interesting Sportback version, that adds a bit of flair to the dull exterior design of the regular e-Tron. But it wasn’t just Norway pulling the e-Tron’s (very) heavy weight, as the Audi EV is also becoming popular in Germany (721 units, new record) and the UK (500 units, personal best).

#5 VW e-Golf – The evergreen German model reached 3,428 units last month, apparently immune to the long shadow of the ID.3, with Volkswagen milking everything it can from it, at least until its successor effectively lands (whenever that is). Regarding March, the e-Golf main markets were Germany (1,524 units, new record), Norway (650) and the Netherlands (403).

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the big news is the Tesla Model 3 jumping into the leadership, having seen its deliveries grow 8% YoY this year, but despite this positive outcome, the market share regarding the same period shrank from 16% in Q1 '19, to the current 9%, as the market has been growing at a much faster (+82%) rate.

Another example of this apparent contradiction is the #14 Kia Niro EV, that is seeing its sales grow 30% YoY this year, and yet, by this time this year, it was #11...

The other change on the top positions was the Mitsubishi Outlandet PHEV climbing to #4, being by far the Best Selling PHEV on the table.

In the second half of the ranking, there were plenty of changes, the most relevant being the BMW i3 and VW Passat GTE climbing two positions each, to #10 and #11, respectively, but despite the BMW EV recovery, it is far from last year results, as the quirky hatchback a year ago was 5th, having seen its sales drop 36% YoY. Is the i3 showing its first wrinkles?

The Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins jumped to #13, thanks to 1,703 units, with the Swedes now looking to surpass their stablemate, the #11 XC60 PHEV and become the brand Best Seller.  
Besides what has been said before, there were other good news for the VW Group, the VW e-Up! was...up to #16, thanks to 1,480 units, if we add its Czech Citigo EV (1,011 units) and Spanish e-Mii (491) twins, the triplets would have 2,982 units, which would place it in #6 on last month ranking. 

We have a new face in the Top 20, with the #20 Mercedes E300e/de replacing its arch-rival BMW 530e in the table, underlining a positive month for the three-pointed star plugins, as the C300e/de also scored a 4-digit performance, the new A250e delivered over 700 units, and even the EQC registered a record result, with 668 units (yeeey!...), so while the Mercedes EV is finally moving the needle, this is just a half good score, after all, the Tesla Model X and Jaguar i-Pace, hardly hot sellers at this moment, both scored 800-something performances last month...   

Outside the Top 20, we should also notice the good performances of the veteran Gen. 7 VW Golf GTE, with 832 registrations last month, its best score since 2018, which promises strong demand for the upcoming Gen.8 Golf GTE, while there are a plethora of newcomers landing with a bang, here's a couple of them: Opel Corsa EV (955 units) and Mini Cooper EV (1,375), while on the PHEV side, we should mention the Ford Kuga PHEV (911 units), Skoda Superb PHEV (1,131) or the Volvo XC40 PHEV (1,254).

In the manufacturers ranking, there was a complete reshuffle, with Tesla (11%, up 5%) jumping into the leadership, being immediately followed by BMW (10%, down 2%), with Volkswagen (9%, up 1%) and Renault (9%, down 2%) following suit.

Not far off, we also have Volvo and Peugeot, both with 7% share each, this year being possibly the most balanced race ever in this category. 

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsizer sales are in another galaxy, and won't have significant competition for at least another year, as the Polestar 2 will remain a niche player and once the BMW iX3 lands, the German maker would already be happy if it got a third of sales of the current Model 3.

The real competition will only be when the Tesla Model Y lands, not only it will drain the Model 3 sales, but will also outsell it, so...Enjoy the throne while you can, Model 3.

As for the remaining podium, the Jaguar i-Pace is (still) the silver medalist, but has seen its sales drop 27% YoY, while the #3 Mercedes EQC production ramp up is slooowly happening, so it will be a matter of time until Merc's SUV reaches Silver.

BEV E-Segment / Full size category

The e-Tron recent domination of the segment is proof that Teslas aren't unbeatable, you just need competitive products. 

Granted, the e-Tron is just half competitive, as it lacks decent range, but if even half good is enough to beat (both) Teslas by a mile, imagine what an efficient e-Tron could have done...

Your turn to up the ante, Tesla.

One of Audi e-Tron's trump cards is its wider price range, that helps to catch more buyers, something that the still in ramp-up mode Porsche Taycan (1,168 units) will in no doubt benefit too, once Porsche decides to put all its usual 356 variants (Turbo S / Turbo / 4S / GTS / Sport Turismo / Cross Turismo / ...) into the Taycan.


  1. Thanks for your great work Josè with your comment about the E Niro in mind, any chance you could create another column in your list. To show last year's year to date figures for each model perhaps in a different colour so as not to cause confusion. It would be a great way of seeing the progress that each model is doing in comparison to last year.
    John Riley

    1. Thanks for the input, will have that in mind.

    2. I did compare 2019 top 20 versus 1Q20 top 20. Interestingly 14 out of 20 are still in the top 20.

  2. I don't know why you think the e-Tron is only "half competitive"? It outcharges both the Model S and X so on long trips it performs just as well. And on shorter trips which are the norm in Europe it's range is obviously very sufficient.

    1. The e-tron doesn't "outcharge" the Teslas. While it benefits from a slower tapering of the charge rate, the Teslas start with a higher rate -- so the Teslas generally get a similar or larger amount of charge in the same time. And more importantly, the Teslas go *way farther* on the same amount of charge (or the same distance on a shorter charge) -- making them far more practical for longer trips.

      And that's only one of the many ways that the Teslas are superior...

      Besides various "home advantages", the real reason the e-tron is more "competitive" here in terms of sales, is the fact that it's a smaller and (in Europe) significantly cheaper vehicle, i.e. way more mainstream. In the US, where larger vehicles are preferred, and the pricing is much closer, the situation is reversed.

    2. Because even if it can charge faster, its efficiency is worse so you still get less range/minute. This matters even more since you pay per kwh now, not flat fee.

      This is why efficiency is mentioned.

    3. Model X is superior car, but as it not manufactured in Europe pricing is high. This give Etron a chance. When Giga Berlin is open and Model X gets a refresh, tides will turn.

    4. Both Europe and the US aren't leveled fields for the e-Tron and Model X, as Audi has the home advantage in Europe and Tesla has the same in North America.

      The leveled playing field could be in China, but then again, both are being trailed by the local models.

    5. @Unknown there are currently no plans to produce Model S or X outside of Fremont -- and given their low-volume nature, that's very very unlikely to change in the future... So Giga Berlin will affect those only indirectly, by making Tesla generally a more established brand in Europe.

      The introduction of the upcoming new power train (and possibly
      other changes) on the other hand should indeed give the S and X a significant boost...

  3. Maarten VinkhuyzenApril 28, 2020

    Thanks José for those BEV segment lists.
    I hope next month to see also the:
    BEV C-Segment
    Nissan Leaf (only the 60kWh version, do you have that number)
    Hyundai Kona EV 6077
    Kia Niro EV 4366

    BEV B-Segment
    Renault ZOE 20,584
    Peugeot 208 EV 8,765
    BMW i3 5,251

    1. Are you sure the Kona falls into the C segment? I have seen it classified as sub-compact in some publications at least... (It's the same size as the Bolt.)

  4. Another splendid performance by Tesla Model 3 (16.121) / Tesla (18.857) and Europe (84.349).
    BEVs score Top-3; 8 in Top-10. PHEVs place are mostly outside Top-10.
    MB could get only 20th place and that too with 2 styles (saloon/estate) and 2 engines (petrol/diesel).

    Just a note: BMW i3 is the only BEV which is sold under the same model name all over the world and has carbon fiber body. Its supposed to get anohter battery upgrade. Nissan Leaf is sold as Venucia E30 in China, while Bolt/Volt/Miev are also sold under different names in different countries.

    Toyota has no place in top-20. Shame. They recently launched Lexus UXe (BEV) in China soon to be followed by Toyota C-HR (BEV). They may launch this in Europe as well.

    1. In Europe we consider the station Wagon body of a given model as part of its lineup, so usually there's no breakdown between sedan and station Wagon.

    2. The Model 3 and the e-tron are also sold pretty much worldwide under the same name, to the best of my knowledge... Not sure about Chinese naming or availability of the e-Golf, Kona, or Niro. (The latter two have slightly different modifiers for the BEV versions I think, but the base name is the same in all the markets I'm aware of where it's being sold...)

    3. The carbon fibre body is kinda cool, but also a major part of the reason why the i3 is so expensive... It was never meant to be a mainstream vehicle.

  5. So despite the current situation, March EV sales ended up higher than the previous two months (or pretty much at the same level, if we take out Tesla with it's typical uneven delivery pattern)... Quite amazing.

  6. Despite being at a disadvantage from Tesla's delivery pattern colliding head-on with the onset of lockdowns in most of Europe, the Model 3 managed to edge out the Zoe after all...

    21,000 deliveries means that European inventory probably grew only by some 4,000 units or so, for a total of maybe 6,000 or 7,000 units at the end of the quarter... Given that Fremont quite possibly won't be able to send *anything* to Europe in Q2, this means however that Q2 will be terrible; while Q3 could see a significant rebound -- perhaps even an all-time high?...

    1. "~25,000 Model 3 heading for Europe in Q1, all sold out..."
      Where are they: inside the ship, rotting in the pier, adrift? Because they only managed to sold out 21225, LOL. And inventory is a newer way of working at Tesla... as they previously worked with online-only orders/sales and recently with touch-less deliveries. Tesla always innovating, LOL.

    2. That 25k means there will be some 4k Model 3 on inventory to be delivered in Q2, with Q3 with a bunch of boats bringing fresh new Model 3's...

      The question isn't so much supply, as it was just delayed, but future demand, Q3 should have some good numbers, but Q4 could be already problematic, for two reasons:

      - The unfolding of the Covid-related economic crisis;

      - Model Y's long shadow, that by that time could start to affect the Model 3 sales.

    3. @Anonymous Coward: I see, still celebrating the virus for disrupting Tesla's sales... What a great human being you are!

    4. AnonymousMay 03, 2020

      If you fail to publish my reply, it is clear that you subscribe bullying and a line of retoric & argumentation in that, ONLY ONE KIND of EV has merit, leaving any PHEVs and all the other EVs as useless and devoid of any value, in this space you created and maintain. One wonders what lobby are you supporting and promoting.
      Here's waiting for, at least, a full 3 months of "chinese virus" excuses to justify dismal Tesla sales..., bla, bla, bla Tesla greatness.

    5. Antrik and Anonymous: Please keep insults for Fox News forums and the like, we are here to talk about EVs, ALL EVs, including Tesla.

      Throughout these years, i have tried to be as impartial as possible, not only regarding Tesla, but also regarding PHEVs, especially long range ones.

      On Tesla, i have already expelled "anti" and "pro" Tesla trolls from the blog, and won't hesitate to do it again in the future, if things get out of hand.

      There have been several requests for me to focus solely on BEVs, something that i have always refuted, because i think they have a role in electrification.

      And even Fuel Cells have been mentioned, whenever they have success stories.

    6. I'm sorry. I'm usually trying to remain more or less civil even in the face of haters: but gloating that Tesla wasn't able to deliver all cars in the current situation crosses the line for me.

  7. Ideally Volvo S60 (Saloon) and V60 (Estate) should be split into 2 separate models since they have different body styles, volumetric capacity. Splitting will then push both out of Top-20. Same holds true for Benz E300e/de.

    1. In Europe we consider the station Wagon body of a given model as part of its lineup, so usually there's no breakdown between sedan and station Wagon.

  8. As the year progresses, and notwithstanding the COVID-19 Pandemic impact, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the Volkswagen Group cement their positionings, while Groupe PSA and the BMW Group have been sliding, although Tesla is set to deteriorate significantly the next quarters.

    From the posted data, Q12020 carmaker standings are:

    1st Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance with 38527 vehicles
    2nd Volkswagen Group with 27811 vehicles
    3rd Tesla with 21225 vehicles
    4th BMW Group with 18316 vehicles
    5th Kia-Hyundai with 13842 vehicles

    1. Yeah, PSA's fall has been surprisingly fast, i'm wondering what is going on there, weakening demand?

    2. The massive peak in January, followed by a huge slump in February and March, clearly shows that PSA has been hoarding months of production/demand for their new models, to throw at the market all at once as soon as 2020 broke... They seem to be playing the compliance game more single-mindedly than anyone else.

    3. Where is the proof that tesla sold 21225 vehicles ???NOT TRUE!!!
      The total sales for the biggest markets (Norway, Germany, France, Holland ... that account for 80% of EV sales in Europe)only show 9250 teslas sold ... where did the rest came from ???

    4. 21.225 only model 3. Where are the Model S/X?

  9. Yes Jose
    I understand that automakers combine saloon/estate into 1 model and dont breakup the sales. Ideally they should do since estates are closer to crossovers in terms of 5 door body style, functionality, etc. Just my opinion.
    As crossovers become more common, and those who want more fuel efficient vehicles may ask for separate estate models without saloon combo.

    1. While I somewhat agree with this reasoning, it should be noted that most car makers tend to build a wagon and a crossover on the same platform (or hatchback and crossover in the B and C segments) -- so clearly there must be quite separate markets for these...

      An interesting development on that front is the upcoming Taycan Cross Tourismo, which is in some ways a wagon variant of the Taycan; but it's also somewhat elevated, to make it more like a crossover... I think in the future we might see this sort of convergence more often.