Saturday, November 28, 2020

Europe October 2020

VW ID.3 galore...


13% share in (almost) record month! 

Despite having the overall automotive market in the doghouse (-27% YoY), Europe's passenger plugin market is on fire, having registered 147,000 registrations in October (+195% YoY), the second best score ever, only behind the 160,000 units of last September, and placing last month plugin share at 13% share (6.5% BEV), helping the YTD numbers to rise 113%, to over 900,000 units, and pulling the 2020 PEV share to 9.5% (5.1% for BEVs alone), so we can say with some certainty that the disruptive 10% mark will already be hit this year! 

And let's not forget that December should bring also another record month, do hear some 15%-plus market share in the last month of they year?

Looking back, imagine that in January i was feeling adventurous by predicting 6% plugin share at the end of this year....after all, 2019 ended with 3.6% (2.2% BEV), which was already over 1% above the 2018 market share (2.5% PEV share)...Oh, how times have changed!

..So if disruption is already starting in 2020, now imagine next year! #Disruption '21!

This time BEVs (73.257 units, +192% YoY), grew at the same pace as PHEVs, whose sales continue jumping through the roof (+198%), allowing these last ones to hit a new record month (73,349), pulling the BEV/PHEV breakdown to parity between both technologies, although YTD, plugin hybrids are still below (47% vs 53% share) fully electrics.

Last month Best Seller was the VW ID.3, that managed to beat the Renault Zoe in October, and benefited from the first-month-of-quarter low tide of the Tesla Model 3.

This podium is also a sign that the plugin market is merging with the major trends of Europe's overall automotive market, as October's Top 2 (ID.3 and Zoe)  in the plugin market are in the same order as the longtime two Best Sellers in Europe (#1 VW Golf and #2 Renault Clio).

Looking at September Top 5 Models:

#1 Volkswagen ID.3 - Veni, vidi, vici. After years of anticipation, the 2021 Best Selling EV in Europe has finally landed, and in only its second month on the market, the new German hatchback has hit its first five-digit score, with 10,584 registrations, surely the first of several monthly wins for VW's new baby. The first  MEB-platform based EV had its main markets in October in Norway (2,475 units), Germany (2,647) and the Netherlands (2,789), with France (524) being a distant 4th. Expect VW's new baby to become a familiar face in the medal positions, running with the Tesla Model 3 and Renault Zoe for the monthly Best Seller titles. 

#2 Renault Zoe – October brought a another good month for the French EV, with 9,890 deliveries to the Renault model, with the maker going all in and milking its EV until the last drop, in order to keep five-digit scores until the end of the year and recover the European Best Seller title. Last month, the main market was Germany (5,010 units, new record and #7 in the local overall market!), followed by France (2,507), with the UK (500 units) and Italy (306) also helping along. For the coming months, expect the Zoe to continue on the top positions, running with the Tesla Model 3 and VW ID.3 for the leadership. 

#3 Hyundai Kona EV – Chronically limited by production constraints, Hyundai has finally opened the flood gates, thanks to the Czech plant production, and after scoring consecutive record months, the model seems to be stabilizing at 5,000-plus performances, as the 5,441 deliveries in October seem to signal.  Back to last month performance, the Germany was the best market for the Hyundai nameplate, with a record 1,932 deliveries, followed by France (627 units) and Norway (519). 

#4 Mercedes A250e – Thanks to competitive pricing (for a Premium brand), usable electric range (64 kms / 40 mi WLTP), and even CCS availability, the compact Mercedes has become the maker star player and the most recent Best Seller in the PHEV field, with October registering 4,272 units, with the biggest market its home Germany (1,547 units), closely followed by the UK, with some 1,200 registrations, while France (395 units, new record) is the 3rd largest market at some distance of the first two. Will this be the 2020 PHEV Best Seller?

#5 Kia Niro EV - After years of production constraints, Kia has finally found enough batteries to comply with the large demand of its more family-friendly version of the successful (and not so long ago, also battery-constrained) Hyundai Kona EV, having delivered 3,938 units. Kia's current star player main markets in October were the UK (800 units), Netherlands (752) and France (678), with Germany (421) not far off. In fact, unlike other makers, that focus deliveries in a couple of countries, starving the rest, Kia is allocating deliveries in a more democratic manner, with 8 countries having 3-digit performances in October. 

Looking at the remaining October Best Sellers, the BMW 330e jumped to #7, and with a record score, in this case 3,895 deliveries, most of them being from the new station wagon body, a real no brainer in wagon-loving Europe, that others have already been doing for years (Volvo and Mercedes are just two examples), but BMW only now has started to deliver its midsize PHEV in SW body.

In a record month, several models hit their personal bests, in the 5 VW Group models in this Top 20, 3 (VW ID.3, VW Passat GTE, Audi Q5 PHEV) hit record deliveries, while the fresh (now in 8th Generation body) VW Golf PHEV scored 2,986 units in its landing month, the nameplate's best score since December 2015. 

Another recent addition is the Renault Captur PHEV, that thanks to a swift ramp up, has already registered 2,893 units last month, helping Renault to broaden its lineup, that so far only lived from the Zoe's fortunes.

On the BEV side, we also have models shining, like the Mini Cooper EV, that hit a record 2,477 registrations last month, while the Smart Fortwo EV had its best performance ever, with 2,847 units, highlighting Daimler's rise to stardom, as the German Group had records galore last month, with both Smart EVs scoring record results (the Forfour EV had 891 registrations), and 7(!) Mercedes plugin models (B-Class, C-Class, CLA, GLA, GLE, EQC, EQV) hitting record scores, and the Mercedes E300e/de (2,164 units) having a year best performance. Sure, most are PHEVs, but the 1,884 EQCs delivered in October allowed it to be  that month best Selling midsize BEV, ahead of the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2, BMW i...Oh, right...The iX3 still hasn't landed yet...  

Outside this Top 20, a reference to the 1,881 deliveries of the new Mazda MX-30, with the Japanese carmaker promoting (as in, hard discounting, with 6,000€ already being taken off the initial pricing...) as much as it can its uniquely-designed electric crossover, in order to comply with this year's EU CO2 emission rules, while on the PSA field, it's time to ramp up Citroen's first PHEV, with the C5 Aircross PHEV registering 1,925 units, while Peugeot is ramping up its 2008 EV, with the crossover reaching 1,943 units in October.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, there were several position changes in the Top 10, with the most important being the Hyundai Kona EV taking over the 3rd spot from the sunset-mode VW e-Golf, while the troubled Ford Kuga PHEV fell from #6 to #10, to the benefit of the Peugeot 208 EV, up one spot, to #6, and the Kia Niro EV, that jumped from 10th to 7th, thus making a fully BEV Top 8!

And next month it should be a fully BEV Top 9, as the rising star VW ID.3 joined the table in #12 and should jump to 6th(ish) in November.

On the PHEV field, if the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV recovered the category leadership, this shouldn't be for long, as the #11 Volvo XC40 PHEV (and #13 VW Passat GTE, and #14 Mercedes A250e...) are running at a faster pace than the veteran Japanese, so at least some of them should surpass the Mitsubishi SUV in the last two stages of the race, and discuss between themselves the PHEV title in the final days of 2020. Should the Outlander PHEV lose the 2020 title, it will be an historic moment, as it will be the first time since 2012 that the Outlander isn't the Best Selling PHEV in Europe

Looking at other position changes, the BMW 3303 is now the top selling BMW, in #16, having surpassed the veteran BMW i3, while the Volvo XC60 PHEV, fell from #12 to #15, despite having a record score (2,719 units) in October. In a surging market, sometimes doing your best just isn't enough to stay afloat...

Besides the aforementioned VW ID.3, we have another new face in the Top 20, with the Audi Q5 PHEV SUV joining the table in #20, being the 6th VW Group model in this Top 20.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (10% share) is keeping precious ground over the runner-up Renault (9%), while Tesla (7%, down 2% share) lost the 3rd spot to Mercedes (9%, up 1%) strong (and long) lineup.

Outside the podium, BMW (7% down 1%), and Volvo (7%, down 1%) are running for #5, as it will be unlikely they will be able to keep up with Tesla's upcoming end of quarter high tide.

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsize sedan sales are in another galaxy, and although it has seen its sales drop a worrying 47% YoY last month, the December high tide should compensate it.

In fact, Tesla's midsizer won't have significant competition in the near future, as the recently arrived Polestar 2 (1,564 units last month) seems to have already peaked out this year, and with expansion plans only set to be enabled in 2021,  don't expect much more from the Sino-Swede.

The upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E production levels are still a question mark, and as for the BMW iX3, i believe the Bavarian maker will already be happy if it sells  half of the Mercedes EQC...

The real competition should only come when the Tesla Model Y lands, not only it will drain the Model 3 sales, but it should also outsell it.

As for the remaining podium, the Mercedes EQC has increased its lead over the Jaguar i-Pace, profiting from the sales decline of the British sports SUV (-17% YoY, to 891 units), with the slow ramp up of the Mercedes electric SUV already starting to reach significant volumes (1,884 units in October), allowing the electric Merc to be October's Best Selling midsize BEV.

BEV E-Segment / Full size category

The e-Tron domination is unquestionable and continues to grow, with the Big Audi scoring  3,451 units last month, doubling the numbers of 12 months ago, considering the already significant sales volumes of the Belgian-made Audi, one wonders for how long will this kind of growth rates be sustained, and when will the peak e-Tron moment arrive...With Audi already discounting its big EV, expect this moment to come soon.

With the #2 Porsche Taycan (1,381 units last month) in cruise speed, both flagship Tesla deliveries were low, with the Model X having 310 units in October and the Model S some 238 units, but interestingly, the higher riding Tesla saw a 6% YoY increase in deliveries, while the lower riding nameplate deliveries remained stable.

This is still a rarefied market, as the only other model with significant registrations last month was the luxury van with windows Mercedes EQV (131 units), but in the next few months there will be several models landing (Audi e-Tron GT, Mercedes EQS, BMW iNext...), so the 2021 race should be more interesting to follow.


  1. Hard times are coming for Tesla. Yes model Y is arriving, yet this time there is direct competition from ID4 and Audi etron already on the market. Throw in a cheap Euro and the existing aftersales network for VW Group, Tesla is now on an uphill

    1. I think "hard times" is a bit of a stretch. They still have tons of cash on hand amd a strong balance sheet, as well as sector-leading margins. A sale is a sale to Tesla, whether that comes from the EU, the US or China. Total market domination was never the goal. Along with the EU emissions penalties, strong leadership from Deiss at VW for electric, Tesla has met their goal of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy in the market. China has also been picking up again. I think Tesla will be much more concerned with getting the lackluster US EV market growing as Giga Austin comes online.

      I don't see this as a negative for Tesla. Just others deciding to finally join them at the table.

    2. Neither the ID.4 (smaller, less premium), nor the e-tron (larger, much more expensive) are in the same class as Model Y -- not to mention that they are all really competing with combustion cars.

      And strong Euro doesn't matter with local production. Another failed FUD attempt...

    3. Hard times are coming for ICE. What will VW, MB, BMW groups do with their ICE factories, will they start making ice cream.
      27% decline, you cannot blame Covid because PEV sales increased 195%.
      Tesla sold whatever they produced in Q3 and what is produced in Oct are still on ships. Seems the 1st ship from Shanghai just landed in Europe.

    4. No doubts, all ICE ecosystem is/will be suffering pressure, although in Europe, some alarming examples have been seeing the light too:
      -StreetScooter Aachen/Düren plants rundown/shut;
      -Nissan E-NV200/Evalia Barcelona plant is going to be shut down;
      -Renault Zoe Flins plant is going to be shut down/repurposed;

      What is next? Nissan Leaf Swindown plant shut down in 2022 ? Probability: more than 50%

  2. Chinese teslas galore!! Tausands of them

  3. These results prove that sticks (regulations) are better than carrots (subsidies) in helping EVs gain market share. This is probably because industry expects subsidies to be reduced over time, but regulations to only become stricter. Apart from the EU, Chine seems to have learnt this lesson with NEV quotas becoming much stricter in 2021. Also in the USA, the Biden administration is certain to increase the CAFE requirements (as they can do this without the Senate) and to drop the lawsuit against California.

    1. That's not true. The only thing that matters in the end is the effective price benefit per unit -- whether that's through subsidies, or through avoided penalties. Whatever scheme offers the biggest price benefit is most effective.

      China actually demonstrates the exact opposite of your claim: sales crash after every subsidy step-down; and particularly badly after the last major one in 2019 -- despite the NEV mandate having been introduced the same year. The mandate is much too weak (amounting to something like $2000 per vehicle I believe) to make much of a difference, compared to the still strong subsidies.

      In Europe on the other hand the mandate is very strong, by some calculations amounting to way over 10,000 Euro per vehicle. That certainly makes a difference.

      (And let's not forget that subsidies were also significantly raised in several European markets: most notably the important German and UK ones.)

    2. @antrik
      Govt cannot keep giving subsidies forever. In China, sales crashed after subsidies, but it recovered slowly and last month 147.000 + were sold with very little subsidies.
      Now automakers know how to sell amidst subsidy cut and probably by 2021, all subsidies will be phased out amidst lowered battery prices and affordable mini vehicles.

    3. You are wrong about "very little subsides". Many models still get more than $3000 in direct subsidy; plus a waiver on the 10% sales tax, which is also worth several thousands (depending on the vehicle price); and AIUI there are also some local subsidies again in some places... Plus avoiding licence plate auctions in some cities, which is effectively a *humongous* subsidy: well in the five digits IIRC... All in all, these are still some of the biggest subsidies in the world.

      The government confirmed a while back that they aren't planning any major cuts in 2021 either; and probably will continue some subsidies even beyond, in contrast to earlier plans to drop all subsidies after the end 2021...

  4. BEV share is actually down quite a bit compared to September, despite weak combustion car sales... Looks like outside of Germany, the Tesla ebb wasn't compensated by other entrants :-(

  5. Jose

    Great article as usual. Can I just check two things on the stats. Are #9 and #10 in the right order for October sales? And was the Tesla Model 3 really outside of the Top 20, that's a fair dip after so many months in or around the Top 3 for sales in Europe?

    One general question. Which websites are best for news on EV batteries? Am planning on buying an EV in early 2021, and it seems several companies are having recalls and/or issues with supply.